Bits & Pieces: Wednesday Night’s Champion’s League And Chris Coleman’s New Job

Posted: November 21, 2017 in Champions League, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Managers, Manchester United, Opinion
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Tomorrow night sees the return to Champion’s League action of Manchester United and Chelsea. What is required and how will they approach their games?

Basel 1849 v Manchester United 680

This is a game from which Manchester United only require one point, that would be enough to guarantee qualification to the knockout stages.

It is, however, a dangerous game playing for a draw and Mourinho is well known for setting up his teams, particularly in European away games, not to lose.

That is all well and good and can even result in the occasional win with a goal scored on the counter-attack, but it can also end in defeat if the opposition manage to score. The strange fact about these cagey games is that winning goals are often scored in the last two or three minutes, giving the losing team very little opportunity of equalising.

The best way to ensure a point is taken from this game is to try and win it. A win or a draw makes the final group game a formality and this is the approach which should be adopted.

Now that Pogba and Ibrahimović are back we expect United to go out and win this one without too much trouble.

Qarabag qarabag 2 v Chelsea 630

This is a game Chelsea should also be looking to win as they won’t want to give any encouragement to Atlético Madrid, who are currently in third place and four points behind the Blues.

If Chelsea were to draw this one and Atlético were to beat Roma, a feat which is not unthinkable as they are the home team, then the gap would be down to two points with Chelsea and Madrid meeting in the final game of the group at Stamford Bridge in December.

We would imagine that Antonio Conte does not want to go into the final game needing a result because, although Chelsea would be quite capable of getting one, it would add unnecessary pressure.

On this basis, he will go all out for a win in Azerbaijan and make the Atlético Madrid result an irrelevance. Win and Chelsea are qualified, it’s that simple.

Chris Coleman’s decision to take on the Sunderland job isn’t as strange as it first may have appeared

Chris Coleman

In other news, Wales are now managerless. Chris Coleman has vacated his position in order to take up the offer of fresh employment up in Wearside. How can Wales replace him?

He had the players onside, he had qualified for the European Championships, going further than England in the process, (not that that is anything to brag about), and he was the manager of the team which beat Belgium!

Impossible to replace you may think. Maybe, but think back to when Coleman was appointed. He also had to replace a Welsh icon, but under tragic circumstances. Gary Speed had done everything that Coleman was about to do and would probably have achieved at least the same success as his replacement, but it wasn’t to be.

Coleman stepped into the breech at a very difficult time for Welsh football and has done a remarkable job since.

He cites differences of opinion with his Welsh bosses as his reason for leaving but we tend to think he had taken Wales as far as he could and he knew it. Why else take the poisoned chalice which is the Sunderland job?

Alternatively, he may feel that his new job is a no-lose situation. It is unlikely that he will take them any lower as they probably won’t be relegated now, despite their precarious position.

So keeping them in the Championship this season, then mounting a promotion challenge next would make him a hero in comparison to the last few Sunderland managers.

Anyway, whatever his reasoning, we wish him luck.


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