Archive for the ‘Managers’ Category

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Two seasons ago three of the “big six” started their campaigns with new managers in charge. Pep Guardiola had arrived, with much fanfare and hype, at Manchester City and he would go on to lead them to….er….third place in the Premier League, 15 points behind the winners, and absolutely nothing else.

José Mourinho rode into town, checked himself into the Lowry hotel as if anticipating a short stay and then led his new club, Manchester United, to an underwhelming sixth place finish. He did redeem himself, however, by winning both of the B trophies. He picked up the Carabao Cup and the Europa League with the latter ensuring qualification for the Champion’s League. (more…)

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It started, more or less, with Unai Emery getting the Arsenal gig. The club wanted somebody who could match, or better, Arséne Wenger’s achievements during his last few years in the job. They certainly got that. Emery is adept at getting his clubs into the top four and has been known to actually win the Europa League on more than one occasion.

Hold on to your hats you Gooners, it’s going to be a roller-coaster ride full of “been there, done that” and déjà vu. Unai Emery will deliver one of the trophies Wenger failed to deliver but which will it be? Our money’s on Big Vase. (more…)

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José Mourinho wants, at some stage. to manage Portugal. He is quick, however, to point out that the position is still some way in the future as he has more energy for his club job now than ever before.

Pep Guardiola is still young, or so he assures us. This was pointed out by him when stating that he too would quite like to manage at country level in the future. He doesn’t stipulate which country probably because his country, in his own mind, isn’t yet a country.

Never mind, he would probably still have a few options were he to decide to make the move into the semi-retirement home which is international football management. (more…)

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Manchester United…..

José Mourinho has to go all out to win either the Premier League title or the Champion’s League or, best case scenario, both! The impression is that another trophy-less season might very well be the end of him and even a Carabao or FA Cup win, in isolation, wouldn’t be enough to save him.

One of his well documented problems is that, if he is not winning trophies, then his style of football alone is not enough to keep him in a job. As everybody is aware, he was sacked by Chelsea when five months into his third season back with them.

His demons begin to surface when he starts losing football matches and he tends to blame the players, physios, scouts and anybody else who isn’t him! (more…)

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Why was José Mourinho attending the international friendly game between Austria and Russia?

Well, obviously, he was there to watch Marko Arnautovic! How do we know? Easy, we read it in the paper, so it must be true.

It did cross our mind that he may have been there swotting up on the Russian team as he has agreed to be a pundit on a Russian TV station for the duration of the World Cup. (more…)

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How can selling Wembley be described as a betrayal? The idiots who massively overspent in building a stadium nobody outside of London really wanted cannot be accused of selling the soul of football, as some people have put it.

Wembley never was and never will be the “soul of football”. That title belongs to grounds such as Old Trafford, Anfield, Goodison Park and Stamford Bridge. In the past it would have included Highbury, Main Road, Roker Park and others too numerous to mention. (more…)

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The Antonio Conte saga goes on. No decision has yet been announced by either the man himself or Chelsea as to what his immediate future holds. The fact that everybody else already knows doesn’t appear to have occurred to either of the two parties. Or maybe it has and that is why they can’t be bothered announcing anything.

Anyway Conte, when he does leave/get fired in the very near future, won’t be rushing into a new job. He has decided to take a sabbatical at Chelsea’s expense.

This is because, contrary to popular belief, he won’t be swapping jobs with Maurizio Sarri, who may end up at Stamford Bridge but will be replaced by Carlo Ancelotti. No, Conte is more likely to take over Ancelotti’s bar stool for a period so he can see how the land lies. (more…)

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Arsenal’s powers-that-be who are, apparently, Ivan Gazidis, Sven Mislintat and Raul Sanllehi and not, as we thought, Arséne Wenger, have decided that Unai Emery is the man to succeed the one we naturally assumed was God at the club.

Unai, (no relation to Dick as far as we are aware), brings with him a wealth of experience in winning the Europa league, having done so three times with Sevilla, so Arsenal could really have done with him last season

Apparently he likes to do things in threes as he finished third in La Liga on three occasions when with Valencia behind guess which other two? Yes, you’re probably right. (more…)

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José Mourinho will point to a second placed finish in the Premier League and, no doubt, try and spin this as progress on last year’s sixth place. Taken in isolation he is right, there has been a slight improvement in league performance.

What must also be taken into account is that the only other team to improve on last season were Manchester City and we all know what they did! In fact, of the top six, United and City were the only two to improve on last season’s eventual league position.

Chelsea went from first to fifth, Arsenal went from fifth to sixth, Tottenham Hotspur went from second to third and Liverpool remained static in fourth. So the fact that United managed to climb into second can be put down, in part, to the failure of the others to improve or even maintain their previous season’s form. (more…)

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Football supporters of the top clubs these days are about as patient as a five-year-old on Christmas Eve.

Back in the seventies, when Mancheser United were relegated to the second division there were disappointed shrugs and sighs of resignation but little else.

It had been coming for a while and, when it finally happened in 1974, nobody was really surprised and the optimism of Tommy Docherty in predicting that the club would bounce straight back to the first division was infectious. (more…)