Posts Tagged ‘Denis Law’

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In all fairness, ANY manager at ANY club has the right to select whichever team he feels is appropriate for the game ahead.

Sure, there will be “first choice” elevens which, in the manager’s opinion is his “best” combination of players. This combination will not always be the right one for different opponents. Therefore, the manager has to have the right to make changes.

The question only becomes inflammatory when wholesale changes are made in order to “protect” some players for games further down the line which are deemed to be more important. (more…)

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To answer this question in an honest manner it is necessary to understand the pressures under which the manager of a top Premier League club operates.

The first thing to appreciate is that José Mourinho will be judged on what he wins, not who he brings through from the youth team. This means that, in order to stay in the job long enough to blood potential first team players, he needs to be filling the trophy cabinet on a reasonably regular basis. (more…)

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(Wayne Rooney looks over his shoulder only to find that the manager insists on him playing!)

Recently, one or two football players have remarked that they have “nothing to prove”. They say this as though they have reached a pinnacle and will never drop their standards below this optimum level.

Marouane Fellaini was one of the ones to speak out and that, frankly, was laughable. Now it’s the turn of Wayne Rooney again. Yes, again! It seems that Wayne likes to tell everybody how good he really is on a fairly regular basis. (more…)

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What can we expect from a Manchester United versus Manchester City game in the modern era?

Contested between, arguably, the two greatest managers in the world, two teams with several world class players between them seem to be very evenly matched but, as usual, there is still time for a spanner or two to be thrown into the works.

It already appears as though Manchester United will be without Henrikh Mhkitaryan through injury whilst on international duty. Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia will not be available due to arriving home the day before the game and Luke Shaw was sent home from the England squad as a precaution but should be OK to play. (more…)

 

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Eric Cantona recently stated that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could become the “Prince of Manchester”. This title was the highest earthly one available according to Eric as HE was the “King of Manchester”.

The first task here is to correct Eric’s misunderstanding that he is the “King”. This title has always belonged, and will always belong, to Denis Law, regardless of whoever follows him.

Proof, if any were needed, can not only be found in the number of goals Law scored for United, but also in the lyrics of a famous old song which rang round Old Trafford for many years. Sang to the tune of “Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner”, the title was changed to “Maybe it’s because I’m from Manchester” and the final line was “and the King is Denis Law”. Older followers of these chronicles will remember it well. (more…)

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The last time I was present at a Manchester United versus Leicester City game at Old Trafford was on March 18th, 1967. I have been to Old Trafford many, many times before and since but only ever once when they played Leicester. The game sticks in the mind for two reasons. The first is David Herd scoring the first goal and breaking his leg in the process when falling over Gordon Banks whilst in the act of shooting. The second is the scoreline of 5-2 to United.

Back then, Leicester didn’t have a bad team, it just wasn’t very good. Now the situations have been completely reversed. At the moment United don’t have a bad team, it just isn’t very good. An example of how far down in the estimation of even ex-players the club has gone was typified recently by Denis Law. He was asked if he thought his team of the sixties would beat the current one. He thought for a moment and replied, “yes, I think so, 1-0.” When the interviewer wondered why such a low score Law replied, “well, we’re all in our seventies now!”

The difficulty for the majority of the United fans, particularly those who comment on popular social networking sites, is that they do not possess a sense of humour. It is also true that many of them have never even been to Old Trafford.   (more…)

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When Manchester United take to the field against Leicester City on Saturday evening, one of their title rivals will already have played and another one won’t.

Assuming, possibly wrongly, that Leicester aren’t going to stay the course then, when they kick off against United at 5:30pm on Saturday, Manchester City will have already played and therefore, obviously, the result from their game will be known.

By the time Arsenal kick off on Sunday in their game against Norwich, they will be aware of the results of both Manchester teams. Is this unfair, or does it not make any difference?

Let’s assume that both Manchester clubs lose. I know that is unlikely but it could happen. Would this then determine the tactics Arsene Wenger employs against Norwich? If he knows he can gain three points on the other two, then surely he will go for the win. If, however, the two Manchester clubs draw, then Wenger is likely to play with the intention of not losing as the last thing he would want to do is drop points when his rivals only picked up one each. If they both win then he has to go for the win. (more…)

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During the 1960’s I was lucky enough to go to Old Trafford every other week. I say lucky enough but, apart from in 1967 when they won the title, I didn’t see a very successful team but I did see a lot of very entertaining football.

Those were the days of Best, Law and Charlton, the three remembered more than any others for the attacking football United fans still crave to this day. It should be noted though, that United had other internationals in that team. Harry Gregg played for Northern Ireland, Shay Brennan and Tony Dunne were both international full backs. Nobby Stiles, still remembered from England’s world cup winning team and David Sadler was another occasional international. Pat Crerand was a regular for Scotland and even David Herd managed 5 caps

There were other players who didn’t achieve international status because, in those days, the majority of clubs had eleven British players so there was more competition for each of the home countries. (more…)

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Jose Mourinho is a winner, (usually). He is not in the football business to win friends, admirers or even fans. He is in the business to win trophies. In achieving this he may attract some of the aforementioned but, if he doesn’t, he isn’t the type of person to lose any sleep over it.

Having been very successful at every club he has managed, he is now finding out what it is like to be below average. Yes, Chelsea have not only descended from the top of the pile to being average, they have stayed on the elevator for one more downward level to become below average.

What is responsible for this sudden and dramatic downturn? It is not only a collective loss of form, confidence and cohesion, it appears to be a loss of faith and/or trust in the manager. How else can the loss of form of a whole team be explained? (more…)