Archive for the ‘Managers’ Category

mauricio-pochettino

PART ONE – ANTONIO CONTE, MAURICIO POCHETTINO & PEP GUARDIOLA

Probably not as bad as you may think. In fact, of the six, only Antonio Conte is deemed to have the temperament to walk away from a club at the merest hint of disagreement.

Here is what is being said about them individually.

Antonio Conte – Chelsea

As with others on this list, he has a habit of leaving clubs when least expected to do so. The first time was with Bari in Italy. He had just got them promoted to Serie A and had also just signed a new contract when he decided not to continue in the job any longer. (more…)

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It’s all a question of size. Ask Pep Guardiola about the importance of a player’s height and our guess is that the adage, “a good little ‘un will always beat a good big ‘un“, will be his first response, or the Spanish equivalent at least!

Ask the same question of José Mourinho and the answer may very well be reversed. He has usually built his teams around big centre forwards backed up by relatively big midfielders.

If Manchester United were to field a team of their tallest players right now it would include Marouane Fellaini at 6’4″, Paul Pogba at 6’3″, Romelu Lukaku at 6’3″ and Michael Carrick at 6’1”. (more…)

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The feeling at Old Trafford when David Moyes took over was, generally, one of apprehensive expectation. The problem was that nobody knew of what they were apprehensively expectant!

Moyes was untried at this level and, despite relative success at Everton, (which was keeping them in the Premier League’s top ten for years), he had won nothing of any note. (more…)

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Watching “The Sunday Supplement” on, believe it or not, Sunday, we here at WSA were dismayed, if not surprised, to hear that all of the journalists on the programme were going to vote for Antonio Conte as their “manager of the season“.

Now we have never thought that football journalists were ever recognised authorities on the machinations of the modern football club or it’s manager, but to vote for Conte shows a staggering lack of knowledge and totally flies in the face of the true definition of the award. Let’s look at the contenders as they were when the season started. This, in itself, got everything off on the wrong foot as the wrong managers were being scrutinised. (more…)

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Maybe the manager’s expectations weren’t too high. Maybe the fan’s expectations WERE too high. Either way, for Pep Guardiola or José Mourinho, if the season was to end now, then it hasn’t been that bad.

City would qualify for the Champion’s League through their Premier League position and United would qualify for the Europa League because of their EFL Cup triumph and their position in the Premier League. This may not be exactly how the supporters envisaged it at the start of the campaign but it would still represent a decent season for the two. (more…)

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Just as the Premier League season nears it’s pulsating climax it happens. What happens, (we don’t hear you ask)?  What happens is one of those pesky international breaks.

It is called a break because the players, particularly the English ones, can have a rest. All of the ones not included in their national team squad can sit, feet up, and watch the dross churned out by their so-called “betters“.

All of the players selected by their national team manager can also have a rest as the pace of the games, at least those involving England, will border somewhere between snail and tortoise. (more…)

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Barring a miracle at The Emirates, Arsenal are out of the Champion’s League. Surprise, surprise! Beaten again by Bayern Münich, although the opponent in the round of Arsenal is largely irrelevant, whoever they played would have won the tie. It’s surely time for Arsene Wenger to seek a different challenge.

Tottenham Hotspur, who weren’t good enough for the Champion’s League and so thought they would quite like a crack at the Europa League, proved that they couldn’t hack it at that level either, beaten by Gent, one of those Belgian teams with no good Belgian players because they are all playing in England for teams such as Tottenham Hotspur. (more…)

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José Mourinho is not known as a nice guy. He has fallen out with owners and club presidents, he has fallen out with players and fellow managers. He has fallen out with physiotherapists and club doctors. There are probably not many positions within the world of professional football with whom the Special One has not fallen out at one time or another!

He is, however, finding out that he has a nice side now that he is manager of Manchester United. He hasn’t turned into a serial smiler just yet, but there are signs that his disposition is somewhat mellower than it used to be. (more…)

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The current top six are unlikely to remain with their present managers for too long unless they find a way of sharing the trophies between them on an annual basis.

The Holy Grail, however, remains the Premier League title but with half an eye on winning the Champion’s League, (unless you are Arsenal, in which case just qualifying for the competition is sufficient).

If, this season for example, sees Chelsea win the title, City, United and Tottenham finish in the top four and Liverpool and Arsenal making up the remainder of the top six then little should change for next season. (more…)

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Rewind to a time not much more than twelve months ago. Stood on the touchline at the Kingpower Stadium was a manager whose team looked bereft of ideas, short of a leader and heading in one direction only, downwards.

José Mourinho, when interviewed after that 2-1 loss to Leicester City, unashamedly blamed his players for not following orders. This despite the fact that, as he well knows, the ultimate responsibility lies with the person who picks those players.

Roman Abramovich obviously concurred with the opinion that the manager was at fault and Mourinho was out of work. (more…)