Posts Tagged ‘Antonio Conte’

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So it’s nearly all over. On Wednesday night the fat lady will sing, at least as far as any English interest in Europe is concerned. To continue the mixed metaphors from the previous article, then is the time that José Mourinho will find out if the straws at which he has been grasping can be pulled through the silver lining he has decided the Europa League to be, or if they will get stuck in the cloud.

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Watching “The Sunday Supplement” on, believe it or not, Sunday, we here at WSA were dismayed, if not surprised, to hear that all of the journalists on the programme were going to vote for Antonio Conte as their “manager of the season“.

Now we have never thought that football journalists were ever recognised authorities on the machinations of the modern football club or it’s manager, but to vote for Conte shows a staggering lack of knowledge and totally flies in the face of the true definition of the award. Let’s look at the contenders as they were when the season started. This, in itself, got everything off on the wrong foot as the wrong managers were being scrutinised. (more…)

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…………”

And so it goes on. This extract, as learned readers will know, is taken from “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. In some ways, it describes quite well the period between Louis van Gaal being told to do one and José Mourinho being welcomed into the spider’s web which masquerades as the manager’s office at Manchester United. (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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Just as the Premier League season nears it’s pulsating climax it happens. What happens, (we don’t hear you ask)?  What happens is one of those pesky international breaks.

It is called a break because the players, particularly the English ones, can have a rest. All of the ones not included in their national team squad can sit, feet up, and watch the dross churned out by their so-called “betters“.

All of the players selected by their national team manager can also have a rest as the pace of the games, at least those involving England, will border somewhere between snail and tortoise. (more…)

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We here at WSA recently had a spare five minutes which we filled by playing the Daily Mirror top six predictor game, (it’s here if you want to try it out).

It’s quite simple really, all you do is enter whether you think the top six will win, lose or draw their remaining games and the widget calculates the rest. Our final table had Chelsea as champions, Manchester City second and Manchester United third. Tottenham edged out Arsenal and Liverpool for the fourth spot. (more…)

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Arséne Wenger and Louis van Gaal have a couple of things in common. Firstly, they are both past the 65 years of age mark. Secondly, they have been unable to adapt themselves to compete in the modern football world.

It is now seven years since van Gaal won La Liga, his last major championship title and a whopping thirteen years since Wenger last won the Premier League. Yes they have both won cups since those days but even a blind squirrel will eventually find a nut and they were both managing historically successful teams at the time. (more…)

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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…)

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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…)

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As regular readers of these chronicles will be aware, there are several amongst the football fraternity who are, to put it mildly, an irritation. We are not just referring to current players in the previous statement, as there are far more irritating people who have never played the game, who have retired from the game or who have dabbled at it and been no better than average.

There are reporters, presenters and referees. There are “celebrity” fans, another horrible expression suggesting that some people are “celebrated” whilst others are completely ignored throughout their life despite the good they may do. (more…)