Archive for the ‘Pep Guardiola’ Category

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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…)

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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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Is José Mourinho just flirting with PSG in order to get some attention from his current employers? It is reported that he has asked for a “massive” pay rise, whatever that is, in order to sign a new and extended contract with United and he could be using the fact that he is still able to command the top jobs in European football as leverage to get it.

He could also be seriously contemplating taking the PSG job, either at the end of this contract or the next one.

United fans need to remember that, for Mourinho, this may be his biggest job to date, but it is still just another in the line of big jobs he has already undertaken and doesn’t necessarily mean he is at the end of his nomadic wanderings. (more…)

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So it is nearly time for the two new BFFs to face off against each other in a Manchester derby unlike any other.

This is the first time the game will be played, not only outside of Manchester, but also, outside of the UK.

A Portuguese coach will square up his team of Spanish, Armenian, French, Italian, Belgian, Argentinian, Swedish, Portuguese, Dutch, Ivory Coast and English players against a Spanish coach and his team of Brazilian, Argentinian, Spanish, Belgian, Ivory Coast, Ukrainian, Turkish, German, French and English players, in the USA! USA! USA! That, folks, is the Manchester derby nowadays. (more…)

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Two managers with no history whatsoever of wanting to stay at a club for more than two or three years. In fact no history, as managers, of actually staying at a club for more than two or three years. Yet there has been a dramatic u-turn by the pair of them and they have now both stated that they want to stay where they are for “a long time“. Why?

Take, for example, Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman. These are two managers who you would expect to crave longevity. They have both previously managed Southampton with very similar records of relative success. This has been a springboard to bigger things with Pochettino moving to Tottenham and Koeman to Everton. (more…)

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The result was fitting, if not entirely fair. City, to be honest, were the better team on the night and certainly looked the more likely winners. However theirs is a problem similar to that of Manchester United in that they don’t turn enough chances into goals.

It could be argued that Manchester United deserved the point if only for their stout defending, no mean achievement given that three of their four first choice centre backs are out injured. (more…)

José and Pep

Let’s just assume for a minute that Manchester City win the FA Cup and finish in the top four. Certainly one of the two is a probability whilst the other is only a possibility.

Let’s also assume that Manchester United win the Europa League and finish in the top four. At present these are both just possibilities but, remember, they have already won the EFL Cup.

Given these two scenarios, who would be thought to have been the more successful? United or City? José Mourinho or Pep Guardiola? (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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It has always been a source of amazement and, occasionally, amusement, to see the quality, (or lack of), amongst the squads of the top clubs. Manchester City and United are no different and there are certainly players within those two sides who are nothing more than average.

This is one of the reasons why they are both behind Chelsea, who have less “below average” players than the rest. (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…)