Posts Tagged ‘Manuel Pellegrini’


The result was fitting, if not entirely fair. City, to be honest, were the better team on the night and certainly looked the more likely winners. However theirs is a problem similar to that of Manchester United in that they don’t turn enough chances into goals.

It could be argued that Manchester United deserved the point if only for their stout defending, no mean achievement given that three of their four first choice centre backs are out injured. (more…)



“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…)


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…)


Why is it that a new manager coming into a club can often achieve excellent results with exactly the same players who were responsible for the previous manager being fired?

On the flip side of that, why is it that a new manager coming into a club can often achieve nothing with the same players or even after adding a few of his own?

The answers to these questions are not as complicated as you might think. (more…)


The same may possibly be said about Antonio Conte but, as yet, we don’t know enough about him or his motives to put forward a case one way or the other.

Other older managers such as Arsene Wenger, Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Robson and even, to a lesser extent, Manuel Pelligrini, Louis van Gaal and Claudio Ranieri took jobs at clubs where there was a challenge. (more…)


What is happening in Manchester? United, if they are not very careful, will continue on their downward slope into total mediocrity, (in some people’s eyes, they are already there)!

City, on the other hand, can afford to throw away the FA Cup in order to be able to win in the Ukraine three days later. Many people think they could have achieved the Champion’s League win without sacrificing the other trophy but, what the heck? This is City. Who cares what the fans want?

What was particularly annoying was that they had been on a very good run in this competition with some good away wins and there was a very real possibility that a stronger City team would have beaten Chelsea.

So, at least if City win the treble, it will not include the FA Cup so wouldn’t be quite the achievement of United in 1999. (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…)


Manchester United simply have to react to the news that Manchester City have signed Pep Guardiola as head coach for the next three years starting in the 2016/17 season.

To muddle through with van Gaal, another old man who is, currently, nowhere near as successful as his equally geriatric counterpart at the Etihad is suicidal nonsense.

City are grabbing the bull by the horns! Manuel Pellegrini could end this season with four trophies. Remembering what happened with Jupp Heynckes at Bayern Munich, he will surely win at least three! It is very unlikely, but it is possible.

Van Gaal will be very lucky if he wins one.

City are replacing an already successful manager with another, younger one. United aren’t even considering replacing their boring, unsuccessful manager yet.

United fans are already fed up with the boring football. They move like waves between cheering a United win, then booing the next insipid performance. After years of success it is hardly surprising that the Old Trafford faithful have turned on van Gaal. They turned on Moyes as well but both were given a fair crack of the whip even if they would both deny it if asked. (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…)