Posts Tagged ‘Guus Hiddink’


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…)



This is the latest incarnation in a fairly long history of the José Mourinho persecution complex. Nothing is his fault and the whole world is out to get him.

In truth this attitude helped to develop a siege mentality during his successful years at Chelsea and Real Madrid . He managed to convince his players that they were universally hated and nobody, except their own fans, wished them well.

It is not dissimilar to the way Sir Alex Ferguson used to motivate his teams. Proving to be the best was always, in his opinion, the only way to show those doubters and haters how wrong they were. (more…)

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Manchester City, played three, won three. Manchester United, played three, won three. Chelsea, played three, won three. Arsenal, played three, won one, drawn one, lost one.

So why have the new kids on the block started so well and yet Arsenal, with their wily old manager, have started off in what has become their usual manner? (more…)


Manchester City finished fourth last season and won the Capital One Cup. That relative failure saw them having to play a Champion’s League qualifier against Steaua Bucharest this time out, a tie they won comfortably.

To many fans of many clubs Manchester City’s season would have been considered a resounding success but, when you have the kind of players, and therefore, the kind of financial outlay that they have, success is deemed to be finishing in the top two in the Premier League and reaching the final of the Champion’s League. (more…)


The Champion’s League suddenly has a new significance for Chelsea this time around. Winning it looks like their best, if not only, route back into it next season.

A dismal Premier League campaign which only started to turn around when Guus Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho was, at one stage, seeing them involved in a relegation battle. Although Hiddink hasn’t pulled up any trees he has steadied the ship somewhat and Chelsea now sit in twelfth position which is only “very” embarrassing as opposed to the “extremely” embarrassing position of a couple of months ago.

The problem with winning this competition is that Chelsea, in all their years competing, have only managed to do it once. Having lost a final against Manchester United, on penalties, they could say they were a little unlucky. They weren’t, they were outplayed for most of the game and were fortunate to hang on for penalties.

The year they won it has to go down as one of the most fortuitous campaigns ever witnessed in the history of the Champion’s League. They should have been hammered by Barcelona in the semi-final, where players were sent off and penalties were missed and, in fairness, having got through to the final, most people agreed that Chelsea’s name was on the trophy that season. (more…)


In two years time in the Algarve, at the Vale de Lobo retirement complex for ex-Premier League managers, Louis van Gaal will sit down by the pool along with Manuel Pellegrini and Arsene Wenger and they will talk about the old days.

Louis will begin with how it can all go wrong. Citing the approachment of old age during his tenure at Manchester United, he will point out that, nowadays, this football management malarkey is a game for the youngsters.

Stressing that he tried to reproduce the successes he had enjoyed at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, he will point out that tactics, which were winning titles many years ago, are not even staving off relegation at some teams presently. Just look what happened to big clubs like Aston Villa, Sunderland and Newcastle United!

The problem was that, with the onset of old age, he had to rely on the players coming up with training routines and tactics and, when he did, the team became quite good. They had left it too late to finish in the top four so Jose Mourinho now occupies Louis’ old seat. If only he would have thought of it years ago, he could have saved himself a lot of headaches and Advocaat. (more…)


(Roman wonders whether Guus has sorted out Chelsea’s problems and whether Manuel will bring another steadying hand to the tiller!)

I suppose if you want a quiet, charming and polite man to take over a club like Chelsea then, yes, he would be ideal. A little like Hiddink in that he prefers to do his talking on the pitch and only appears at press conferences and on TV because his contract states that he has to, it would be an almost seamless transition from one to the other.

Having decided that Jose Mourinho was no longer the man to take the club forward, Roman Abramovich now has a decision to make. He can try and tempt a man who is eight years Mourinho’s senior but is a safer pair of hands in which to leave the grenade that is Chelsea football club, or he can try to attract a younger manager with potential longevity, such as Diego Simeone.

His choice may say a lot about his own long-term plans. If, for example, he opts for Pellegrini, this would be on a two or three year contract which probably wouldn’t be renewed, irrespective of success achieved. It would be viewed as a way to get Chelsea back on an even keel without losing the ability to compete at the top of the Premier League and in the Champion’s League. (more…)


Reportedly the most coveted coach in the world, Pep Guardiola enjoyed a successful career as a player at Barcelona and then went on to have a very successful career as their manager.

He surprised a lot of people by choosing to leave the club at the height of their success, citing the need to prove to himself that he could achieve the same levels elsewhere.

He then surprised even more people by opting to go to Germany to become the new manager of Bayern Munich. What was particularly surprising about this move was that he was following a manager who had just won the treble of Bundesliga title, German Cup and Champion’s League. Jupp Heynckes was going to be almost impossible to follow and so it turned out. Pep was successful but, at the time of writing, hadn’t been able to win the Champion’s League and neither, therefore, the treble.

It was no great surprise when he announced that he would be leaving Bayern Munich as he wanted to manage in the English Premier League. I think he found managing Bayern relatively easy and it appeared that they had even less competition in the Bundesliga than Barcelona had in La Liga during his time there. It did not turn out to be the challenge he expected and must have been quite boring, even for him, to know that, barring miracles being bestowed upon other clubs, Bayern Munich would have the league wrapped up by around Christmas. (more…)


Guus Hiddink will not be staying at Chelsea after this season. That is not good news for Chelsea fans.

Has he been brought in to save the club from relegation? Has he been brought in to try and win a trophy? What about sorting out the players who brought about the downfall of Jose Mourinho? He must know that there is more than one bad apple in this particular barrel.

The point now is, does he really care about that side of things? Providing he keeps Chelsea in the Premier League, maybe gets into the top six, has a decent run in the Champion’s League, (even he must know they are not good enough to win it, although, they weren’t good enough to win it the year that they won it, so you never know!), and also has a good shot at the FA Cup then Guus will probably feel as though he has earned his money.

Is it really his problem that the football club contains some players, certainly led by a Fletcher Christian-type character, who wanted Mourinho out of the way and are trying to become the tail that wags the dog? No, it isn’t. It would be much easier for Hiddink to serve his time, pick up his money and disappear into the Dutch reservoirs armed only with a fishing rod and some worms. (more…)


It is certainly looking that way.

Look at the top teams in Europe outside of the Premier League. Real Madrid now have Zinedine Zidane who, at 43, has just taken over the managerial role. They are, arguably, the biggest team in the world. Whether or not he is successful remains to be seen but it appears that Madrid have taken a leaf from Barcelona’s book by promoting from within.

Luis Enrique is the man in charge of Barcelona. At 45, he is already very successful and, with the team he currently manages, there is no reason to think that the success will dry up anytime soon.

There are now three teams in Spain of course, the third being Atletico Madrid, managed by 45 year-old Diego Simeone. Since his appointment Atletico have seriously challenged the dominance of the big two in a similar way to when a young Alex Ferguson was given the job of breaking the Celtic/Rangers monopoly when he was appointed as manager of Aberdeen. He also got the United job at 45 and the rest is history. (more…)