Archive for the ‘Managers’ Category

We had to do it! After years of berating England national football team, it’s manager and it’s perpetually, but unrealistically, (most of the time), optimistic supporters, finally we have to hold up our hands and admit that they have actually played quite well in reaching the semi-final of Euro Not 2020.

Despite occasional attempts by the manager to derail the English train it has kept steadfastly on track and is on course for a first final in forever and possibly, (whisper it), a first trophy in even longer!

Well done gawpy Gareth and the boys. This was teamwork and management above and beyond. Who would have thought we would beat the Ukraine without the Stockport Iniesta and ‘Union’ Jack Grealish, arguably our two best and most creative players?

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We here at WSA have finally worked out the progression of Manchester United. Yes, that’s right, we have finally seen what loyal fans of an ex-substitute with no managerial experience to speak of, (unless relegation from the Premier League counts), have been banging on about for the last three years.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has progressed from being an abject failure in semi-finals, (four of them to be precise), to being an abject failure in a final! Granted, he has only lost one but, the main reason for that, is because he has only reached one. So, having improved his loss percentage in semis from 100% to a mere 80% in one fell swoop, he has immediately started his appearance in finals with a 100% loss record.

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In the time Ole Gunnar Solskjær has been in charge at Manchester United his achievements have been few and far between. In fact, as far as tangible achievements go, there haven’t been any. Progression has been in the form of improving and transforming the team which had once finished second and won a Europa League under José Mourinho, into one which has now finished second and reached the Europa League final. Some progression that!

His greatest achievement to date, given his previous four attempts in three competitions, was NOT losing the Europa League semi-final against Roma.

He has, however, bought himself some more time in the job and will certainly be at the helm next season when, hopefully, this inept government will see fit to allow more fans back in the grounds.

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We here at WSA are all for modernity. We live for the now, not the then or the was. Just because most of our life is in the past does not mean that we choose to live there although, to be fair, it is often a much better alternative to what we have nowadays.

What we have nowadays, for example, are words and expressions attached to the game of football which would have drawn a more than quizzical look if used in the not too distant past.

Take Manchester United, (we wish somebody would take it, at least off the Glazers), for example. A massive club with millions of fans/supporters worldwide.

It is now very easy, through social media, for these fans/supporters to “talk” to each other and boy, do they talk to each other!

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It would appear that Manchester City are now the team looking most likely to lift the Premier League title in May. Put another way, anyone finishing above them will almost certainly win it!

The major difference between City and United, if we overlook the fact that one is managed by a serial winner and the other by a relative novice, is in their players.

Manchester City can look excellent even without their best player which is what they will have to do for probably around 4 more weeks whilst Kevin De Bruyne recovers from a hamstring injury. In their recent game at West Bromwich Albion it was difficult to believe that he wasn’t on the pitch as City took a 4-0 lead into the half-time break.

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No doubt there will be some supporters of the lesser clubs which reside outside Manchester who will disagree with our selection here but we are not really the type of publication which cares too much about what others think! Don’t get us wrong, we appreciate your comments and views on all topics and will always publish the sensible ones, we just don’t have the time to be overly concerned about them!

We have narrowed our list of ‘best midfielders in the Premier League’ down to two! Those two both, coincidentally of course, play for a Manchester club. First up to the podium amid rapturous applause is Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne, who scores as follows:

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Ole’s at the wheel, although the ‘L’ plates are still firmly attached and if any of the backroom staff are his instructor then it is unlikely he will pass the test.

An average ex-player who became a below average manager, Mike Phelan would have to be regarded as the senior figure on the team although quite what he brings to the table given his lack of expertise in anything of relevance is beyond this meagre publication.

He is aided and abetted in his aiding and abetting of the manager by Michael Carrick. Another ex-player but, in his case, a very good one. That’s really where the good news ends. With absolutely no experience of coaching at any level, he was given a job coaching at United, despite the fact that Nicky Butt was already at the club and already had a few years coaching experience.

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After losing at home to Arsenal then away to Basaksehir Manchester United went on to record four wins on the bounce with victories over Everton away, Basaksehir at home, West Bromwich Albion at home and Southampton away.

Performance-wise there were ups and downs. For example, the defeat to Arsenal was poor and the defeat in Istanbul even poorer. The Everton win showed spirit and a determination which had seemed missing in the previous two games but then it was back to a poor showing against West Brom which at least resulted in a win this time.

The Southampton game, apart from a twenty minutes spell when the hosts scored two goals, was an example of how well they can play and how good a player Edinson Cavani is.

But with all these inconsistencies, can United challenge for any of the trophies this season?

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ogs

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s latest excuse for Manchester United not scoring goals is because they are tired! The lack of goals is not being attributed to Marcus Rashford’s injury, nor is it blamed on the fact that Anthony Martial is playing like a sloth who has been told to take it easy. It is not the fault of Andreas Pereira or Jesse Lingard, two attacking midfielders who have four goals between them this season nor is it down to the sheer lack of quality in the team. No, it is because they are tired. (more…)

FINLAND SWAMP SOCCER

And so, dear readers, we reach that time of the year yet again! T’is the season to be jolly and all that unless, of course, you are the manager of a top English Premier League football club.

For those elite few t’is the season to have a moan about the amount of games there are in modern football and how it’s much harder than it used to be blah, blah, blah….and on and on and on.

If you think you have heard it all before that would be because you have, unless you are just coming up to your first birthday that is. (more…)