Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

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Having spent most of my working life scraping a living in the sales industry I have met, over the years, my fair share of blindly optimistic people. It helps, apparently, to think that something will go well even when, to the unbiased observer, it obviously will not.

I have nothing against optimism and positive mental attitude but, as with most things, there is a time and a place. (more…)

 

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Let’s start at the beginning, number one. It would seem that David De Gea is among the top three or four goalkeepers in the world and, as second choice, Mourinho has the Argentina number one in Sergio Romero, so that position seems pretty safe at present.

Action required: None

Next is the right full/wing back position. It is hard to say who is the current number one for this role. Van Gaal brought in Matteo Darmian who was the first choice for Italy. He suffered a loss of form after a bright start and was replaced by Guillermo Varela, then Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and, eventually, Antonio Valencia. Varela’s defending was a little naive at times, BJ is still very young but looks a great prospect and Valencia cannot defend as he frequently proved last season, getting caught out of position on many occasions and failing to play the offside with the rest of the defence. (more…)

 

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As expected by everybody, except Sky Sports News and the Great British press, Jose Mourinho’s first press conference failed to enlighten us on anything of which we were unaware.

Starting with a totally banal question by some clown from Sky Sports News about him being the “Special One”, then something else and what was he now, as if anyone was interested. The subsequent questions were predictable, not only to anyone with half a brain but even to Mourinho who probably could have listed them beforehand whether or not he had been primed.

New signings was a quickly covered topic. There would be a minimum of four. Three have already been made, (these include Mhkitaryan, who isn’t official yet but about whom everybody has known for at least a week). So one more will be made long before the end of August according to the boss, suggesting that Jose is not yet au fait with how Ed Woodward operates, leaving plenty of time for any other additions to be made as and when appropriate. (more…)

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1. A Winning Mentality

Wherever Mourinho has been he has won trophies. Beginning with Porto back in his homeland all those years ago he took this unfancied team to Champion’s League glory. Obviously, domestically he had already won the Portuguese league in order to qualify.

Since leaving Porto for Chelsea he has had one success after another. In fact, since his first club, Benfica, back in 2000 he has managed clubs in a total of 765 games winning 505, a win percentage of 66.01%

It must also be remembered that this success hasn’t always been with the biggest clubs, but some of it has. This brings us to the next point:

2. Big Club Management Experience

Mourinho, as we know, has won the Champion’s League with Porto, in Portugal and Internazionale in Italy. He has also won domestic titles in Portugal, Italy, Spain and England. He has proven, unlike van Gaal and even Guardiola, that he can do the business when there is realistic competition around. (more…)

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This was the first World Cup I was old enough to watch and appreciate. It was 1966, the year before colour TV appeared, so black and white it was.

Colour TV, just as an aside, made its first appearance on BBC2 at Wimbledon, where everybody had to wear white! A typically well thought out introduction to the wonderful world of colour by the BBC.

So back to the World Cup and, after a laborious 0-0 draw against Uruguay, England sailed through the rest of the group beating Mexico 2-0, then France by the same score. Without playing remarkably well, England had qualified from the group and Roger Hunt had scored three goals. Worryingly, at this stage, England’s top scorer, Jimmy Greaves, hadn’t scored a goal in the opening three games.

In the quarter-final England were to face Argentina. By now Alf Ramsey had decided to drop Jimmy Greaves and picked Geoff Hurst in his place. This paid off when Hurst scored the only goal of a drab game, remembered more for the sending off of Antonio Rattin, Argentina’s captain, than for anything else.

In the semi-final, England conceded their first goal of the competition when Eusebio scored a penalty for Portugal. It made little difference as England were already leading at the time with two goals from Bobby Charlton. The game finished 2-1. (more…)

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Jose Mourinho sat in his office at Cobham, whistling “Maybe it’s Because I’m a Londoner,” in between mouthfuls of fish and chips and slurps from his mug of Tetley’s tea. His anglicization now almost complete.

He has to retain a little of the Portuguese, after all, it is where he was born and it is where he wants to retire to at some stage in the dim and distant future, or quite soon, depending upon which is your newsrag of choice.

Since winning the Champions League title with little old Porto back in 2004, having only replaced Octavio Machado in 2002, Jose’s star has been on the rise.

He has become a truly European manager, having won the title with clubs in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain. He has also won the Champions League with clubs in Portugal and Italy. (more…)

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There seems to be more international football matches nowadays than ever before. To me it is an irritant rather than something to look forward to. Here is what I thought about it a just over a year ago.

The football season just starts and we need a break for internationals. We get a month or so further down the line and we need another break for internationals. Some of them are qualifiers, meaningless or otherwise, some of them are just friendlies, meaningless friendlies. (more…)