Wenger, Van Gaal, Pellegrini & Hiddink A Couple Of Years From Now!

Posted: February 5, 2016 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Managers, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion
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In two years time in the Algarve, at the Vale de Lobo retirement complex for ex-Premier League managers, Louis van Gaal will sit down by the pool along with Manuel Pellegrini and Arsene Wenger and they will talk about the old days.

Louis will begin with how it can all go wrong. Citing the approachment of old age during his tenure at Manchester United, he will point out that, nowadays, this football management malarkey is a game for the youngsters.

Stressing that he tried to reproduce the successes he had enjoyed at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, he will point out that tactics, which were winning titles many years ago, are not even staving off relegation at some teams presently. Just look what happened to big clubs like Aston Villa, Sunderland and Newcastle United!

The problem was that, with the onset of old age, he had to rely on the players coming up with training routines and tactics and, when he did, the team became quite good. They had left it too late to finish in the top four so Jose Mourinho now occupies Louis’ old seat. If only he would have thought of it years ago, he could have saved himself a lot of headaches and Advocaat.

Arsene Wenger, wearing his usual sagely expression, will listen politely and nod in agreement. He will point out that, when the transfer market in France was a secret to everybody but him, he could buy all the best young players, turn them into world beaters and, when they had served their purpose, sell them for a profit.

He had teams which won doubles, he had teams which went whole seasons unbeaten. Where had those days gone?

He certainly thinks it became a lot more difficult as he got older and this explains why his interests became more diverse. Not at the expense of Arsenal, he still managed the football club, much to the dismay of a lot of Gooners. What he did was begin to comment on anything and everything which was nothing really to do with him. He admits to taking his finger off the pulse!

What then happened is well documented. Realising the folly of his ways, Arsene set about having an upside down season whereby, for the first time in years, Arsenal began really well and, by the end of January were still contesting the title. Fortunately, for the rest of the Premier League, Arsenal’s season was to finish as it usually started and they were third at the end!

Arsene takes a mouthful of cognac and puts it all down to old age creeping up on him when he was still quite young.

Manuel Pellegrini sips at his Casillero del Diablo, a crate of which he received from Ed Woodward as a “thank you” for leaving Manchester City. He admits that coming so close to winning the quadruple had made him think twice about resigning but, as they all agreed, it was now a game for the youngsters. Anyway, the treble had certainly given Pep Guardiola something to think about, not the least of which being why he always chooses to follow managers who have just won a treble.

Being the youngest of the three, Pellegrini had been wondering whether or not to continue, but was persuaded otherwise when he realised that, with the departure of Guus Hiddink from Chelsea, he would be one of the oldest managers in the league, if not the oldest! Also, his European credentials had been questioned once too often for his liking.

Yes, the timing was right for the three of them to get out of the rat-race. It certainly wasn’t going to get any easier and, at their age, it was time to slow down.

Just as they were considering turning in for their afternoon nap Guus Hiddink appeared from the bar with another round of drinks. He had decided to join them for a few days before repatriating to Holland where he was going to try out his new fishing rod.

He agreed that his job at Chelsea had been the easier of the four. After all he only got a squad of top players to stop losing matches and he wasn’t even expected to win anything. Jose Mourinho had created such havoc that Guus was picking up money for nothing, literally.

It still wasn’t tempting enough for him to stay on, after all, it’s a youngsters game now, he’ll leave it to somebody else, thank you very much!

Having finished their drinks, they all agreed that they would meet up again after their afternoon naps to discuss further the state of the Premier League and why England has become, ‘no country for old managers’.


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