Posts Tagged ‘Arsenal’

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Counting chickens before they are hatched is easy when all of your eggs are in the same basket. José Mourinho has already counted the chickens and has decided that he will gamble on them all hatching.

Just to prove how confident he is in this he is also trying his hand at juggling with them! He doesn’t have another basket to hand, just in case a fox comes to steal the first one. He has decided that guarding the basket by concentrating all his efforts on it’s safety is the way forward. (more…)

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So Manchester United managed to overcome a terrible pitch and a good team and are now in very real danger of reaching the final of the Europa League.

The pitch, at the end of the day, was the same for both teams although Rostov are, obviously, more used to playing on it. It didn’t really make a difference. Providing United, who had the better players, played to their potential then they were always going to be in a position to win the tie over the two legs. (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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Rewind to a time not much more than twelve months ago. Stood on the touchline at the Kingpower Stadium was a manager whose team looked bereft of ideas, short of a leader and heading in one direction only, downwards.

José Mourinho, when interviewed after that 2-1 loss to Leicester City, unashamedly blamed his players for not following orders. This despite the fact that, as he well knows, the ultimate responsibility lies with the person who picks those players.

Roman Abramovich obviously concurred with the opinion that the manager was at fault and Mourinho was out of work. (more…)

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So that’s it. It’s all over until the next time. We did warn you that it was over-hyped. We did try to explain that it may not live up to the publicity. The day turned out to be very much like an advert for…..well…..anything, in that so much was promised and so little delivered.

As was also predicted the results have changed very little in the makeup of the Premier League table. Chelsea are still top. The wins by Arsenal and Spurs kept them where they were and a little soft shoe shuffling by the rest has made little or no difference as to how the final table of the season will look. The major event was Manchester City losing points as opposed to the three London clubs above them who all gained three. (more…)

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Well here we are, dear readers, preparing for the second Manchester derby of the season and we’re only in October!

Regular followers of this irregular missive will have noticed that I have, on occasion, seen fit to bemoan the way that cup draws seem to bring the Manchester clubs together, before the final, on a fairly consistent basis. They seem destined never to get to the altar, always having to have a sordid little affair long before the big day ever dawns which then, invariably, belongs to somebody else. (more…)

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Despite his name Zlatan Ibrahimović is Swedish. His father was from Bijeljina in Bosnia and his mother from Prkos in Croatia. They met, however, in Sweden after both emigrating there a few years earlier.

When Zlatan was six they gave him a pair of football boots and, apart from a short time when he was fifteen, he has never looked back!

Fast forward to 1996 when he joined Malmo and stayed with them until 2001, experiencing relegation, promotion and little else, although it was during his time there that Arsene Wenger tried, unsuccessfully, to sign him for Arsenal. (more…)

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He has already said it. If we concentrate solely on each other in this league, then somebody else will win it. It was OK in Spain as there were only usually two clubs competing for the title, so it was good to have some mind games. These are the words, more or less, of Jose Mourinho shortly after taking over at Manchester United.

Who he is trying to convince is rather a mystery. Is it the fans? I doubt it. Most fans will tell you that they love a few mind games. United supporters were always in their element when Fergie was giving it large about some manager or another.

Also, in the not too distant past, Jose himself was known for having a slight dig at opposing managers. Spats with Arsene Wenger and Rafa Benitez readily come to mind. (more…)

 

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This should not come as a major surprise to supporters of the two clubs. If they both stick to their original schedule Manchester United will have played five “warm-up” games and City three.

United will have faced Wigan Athletic, Borussia Dortmund, Galatasaray, Everton and Leicester City.

City will have played Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal.

In the past United have been known to organise another friendly prior to the start of the season, usually in the week leading up to the Community Shield. Given that their derby in China was cancelled they may still choose to fit in another game before the big kick off. It seems that United’s players have not yet reached the required level of fitness demanded by a Premier League title contender. (more…)

 

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Antonio Valencia:

He has never regained full confidence since breaking his leg against Rangers a few years ago. At one stage he was a marauding winger who was never afraid to take defenders on and beat them, usually with pace rather than trickery. Since recovering from his injury he has always either passed the ball or tried a cross instead of attempting to beat the full back. His crosses invariably hit the defender he doesn’t try to beat and either go out for a corner or possession is lost.

Sir Alex Ferguson was the first to think he may be a decent wingback. Louis van Gaal also played him in that position and Jose Mourinho as well. Well, not wishing to try and advise these three luminaries, but Valencia IS NOT a wingback. He CANNOT defend. He is regularly playing the opposition onside, and is a complete liability in his own area. (more…)