Archive for the ‘Pep Guardiola’ Category

IMG_1770

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…)

Advertisements

IMG_1748

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…)

IMG_1295

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…)

IMG_1247

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…)

img_1338

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…)

img_1183

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…)

img_1174

Well folks, it’s that time of the year again! European competition has returned with the start of the knockout stages of both the Champion’s League and the Europa League.

This article was supposed to be a preview of the two tournaments BEFORE any of the games had been played but, thanks to missed deadlines due to oversleeping, is now published after the first round of them has finished.

Fortunately only Arsenal, out of the English contingent, have played their first leg game and everybody knew what was going to happen before a ball was even kicked. (more…)

img_1170

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…)

nintchdbpict000273884577

When these two managers were appointed by their current clubs it was widely expected, particularly in Manchester, that the top two positions in the Premier League would be contested between them.

Obviously, this view would not have been the case in parts of London or Liverpool but, generally, it was the concensus in the frozen, rainy wastelands of Manchester.

The facts have proven to be quite different. They have proven, for one thing, that even some of the best managers cannot just take over at a club and immediately turn them into champions. (more…)