Posts Tagged ‘FA Cup’

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José Mourinho has decided that the loss against Huddersfield Town was entirely the fault of his players. He is right, to an extent, in that it is they who take to the pitch and, therefore, they who have the major say in how the game is going to be played and whether or not they will win.

He is also right if they fail to carry out his instructions and leave the field having lost the game.

He is wrong to think that, by publicly blaming the players, it makes him in some way safer in his job. (more…)

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Following a decent start, at home, against an average team, Manchester United players will have gained confidence as well as the three points from their performance. They will have gained little else as the victory over West Ham United was a relative stroll, particularly after the first goal had demolished any “ambition” they may have had of defending for ninety minutes.

Manchester City also experienced an easy day out in Brighton where, despite initially struggling to break down the HOME!!? team, they won quite comfortably in the end. Both clubs, without really being tested, looked quite convincing but were helped by the opposition! (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…)

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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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Take it from us folks. We here at WSA are in the know. We didn’t get where we are today, (which is absolutely nowhere), by not knowing a thing or two about football.

We have it on very good authority that Liverpool and Arsenal will miss out on a top four place. Which authority would that be then? You may well ask.

Well, in the case of Arsenal, the authority is Arséne Wenger himself. In an obvious attempt to undermine his teams already rock-bottom confidence, he is about to announce that he is staying on for another year. He feels that, without Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Özil, the backing of the fans and Champion’s League football, he will be able to attract sufficient quality players to the Emirates to enable a quick return to the top four, after which he can vacate his position with his head held high. (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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Alright, it may be asking a bit much to expect this team to win the Premier League. They will also need to play considerably better against Chelsea in the FA Cup than they did against Southampton in the EFL Cup, where they proved that it is possible for the better team to lose.

Take Zlatan Ibrahimovic out of that EFL final team, give Southampton back the goal that was wrongly disallowed and the trophy would be heading to St. Marys, not Old Trafford. (more…)

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As far as cup finals go it isn’t the most prestigious. It isn’t up there with the Champion’s League final or Europa League final. It isn’t even up there with the FA Cup final.

Through all it’s various guises which have included the Milk Cup, the Worthington Cup and the Capital One Cup it has been used as a vehicle for giving fringe players a run of games, certainly by the bigger clubs, who have the squads deep enough to render the exercise unnecessary.

The effect this has on the competition is to take away the giant-killing days. No longer is it a major surprise, or even much of an achievement, when a Championship club at full strength beats a Premier League club fielding it’s reserve team. At least it could be argued that the playing field is level for once. (more…)

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Barring a miracle at The Emirates, Arsenal are out of the Champion’s League. Surprise, surprise! Beaten again by Bayern Münich, although the opponent in the round of Arsenal is largely irrelevant, whoever they played would have won the tie. It’s surely time for Arsene Wenger to seek a different challenge.

Tottenham Hotspur, who weren’t good enough for the Champion’s League and so thought they would quite like a crack at the Europa League, proved that they couldn’t hack it at that level either, beaten by Gent, one of those Belgian teams with no good Belgian players because they are all playing in England for teams such as Tottenham Hotspur. (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…)