Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

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Mind games have rarely won football games. Sir Alex Ferguson once famously got under the skin of Kevin Keegan and his comments were widely attributed to United managing to chase down the twelve points lead Newcastle had at the top of the Premier League at the time.

The same would never happen to Pep Guardiola. He is more experienced than Keegan was, he has won more as a manager than Keegan had. He is certainly more street-wise than Keegan. Yes, he will occasionally rise to the bait but he would never let it affect his team’s performances on the pitch. (more…)

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Pep Responds To The Mind Games After The Event

Pep Guardiola has decided that his team do not commit “tactical fouls”. He was accused of said shenanigans by José Mourinho, (who else?), in the build-up to the Manchester derby which, of course, City won 1-2 not only without committing any noticeable trips or pull-backs but also without much diving, another Mourinho suggestion which failed to hold much water.

In fact, the only player who was booked for diving was United’s Ander Herrera in what the referee deemed was an unfair attempt to win a penalty. (more…)

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Pep Guardiola is, possibly, going to achieve his short-term targets at Manchester City this season. If he can win the Premier League which, in actual fact, is now his to lose, and win the Champion’s League, then it will be job done.

Will he then still be motivated to try and repeat the feat whilst adding maybe the Super Cup and an FA Cup or two over the next couple of seasons? Maybe, maybe not.

At Barcelona, once he felt he had taken the team as far as he could he became bored. He wanted a fresh challenge and went to Bayern Münich where, compared with the previous manager who had won the treble, he actually failed. (more…)

Silver

This week saw Burnley, once again, become one of the top six, if not the big six. Once more it was at the expense of Arsenal, who have now fallen to seventh after their 0-0 draw with West Ham on Wednesday.

Burnley beat Stoke City 1-0 with a late goal and the pressure is very much on Mark Hughes at this moment in time. What he wouldn’t give for a couple of wins!

In fact, Tuesday was a decent night for both of the top six teams who had games because Chelsea also returned to winning ways with a convincing 3-1 win at Huddersfield.

That win took them level on points with Manchester United for 24 hours at least! (more…)

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The quick response to the above question is that they don’t! However, if that were all we had to say on the matter then this would be the shortest article we have ever unleashed on our long-suffering readership.

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola has already revealed his secret to keeping everyone in check and on board with his way of thinking. He doesn’t care! As he has said in the past, if they do as they are told he has no problem with them. If they aren’t happy about not being in the team than that isn’t his problem, it’s their’s!

Despite this stand-offish, (and correct), approach to management, Guardiola has few, if any, players who are actively seeking a transfer from the club. (more…)

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Well, to start with, if you support a team currently below Tottenham Hotspur then the chances are somewhere between zero and minus ten!

However, your chances improve if you support one of the current top six. Manchester United are currently second and eleven points off the leaders so they, in theory anyway, have the best chance and that would be somewhere between zero and minus five.

So, you see, the higher up the table your team is, the better your chances of winning the title.

Seriously though, can anybody catch City? (more…)

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José Mourinho and some of the United “supporters” need to get over their latest defeat by Manchester City and stop making excuses as to why the game was lost.

Ander Herrera was correctly NOT given a penalty for his dive in the City penalty area.

Even if the penalty had been awarded there is no guarantee that it would have been scored.

Even if it had been scored there is no guarantee that United would have gone on to draw the match, never mind win it!

Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young are both ageing wingers being played out of position. Had it not been for David De Gea over the last few seasons, United’s defence would have been exposed as the shambles it actually is. (more…)

Salmon

The early game on Sunday morning took place on the south coast of England.

Judging by the assortment of winter clothing on display, it was quite a cold one. This did not auger well for the two games to follow as, up in the frozen and often ignored wastelands of the north west it is frequently a few degrees colder than down in the pampered south.

What would Lukaku have to wear to stay warm? How about Sterling? Would he survive in just his football kit, thermal long-johns, scarf and gloves? What about Roberto Firmino? Surely it would be too cold for him to come out to play! Only Gylfi Sigurdsson would be sweating in this climate of ours! (more…)

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The first derby of the weekend was at The London Stadium and featured West Ham United against Chelsea.

The West Ham team, with Joe Hart dropped to the bench, featured Michail Antonio, Aaron Cresswell and Mark Noble. These were the lone English players in the team unless their loser of a manager was to spring a surprise and include a youth player or two, which he didn’t.

(He didn’t even include Javier Hernandez, who has scored more goals against Chelsea than he has against any other club)! (more…)

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SATURDAY

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On the face of it, one of the only two games which seem pretty much nailed on to bring a top six team all three points is the one between Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City.

Stoke have shown some very erratic form this season although, in the league at least, so have Spurs!

If Tottenham can find any kind of fluency such as they seem to manage in the Champion’s League then they will win this game with ease. If not, then they will still win but with a bit more of a struggle. (more…)