Posts Tagged ‘Mauricio Pochettino’

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Watching “The Sunday Supplement” on, believe it or not, Sunday, we here at WSA were dismayed, if not surprised, to hear that all of the journalists on the programme were going to vote for Antonio Conte as their “manager of the season“.

Now we have never thought that football journalists were ever recognised authorities on the machinations of the modern football club or it’s manager, but to vote for Conte shows a staggering lack of knowledge and totally flies in the face of the true definition of the award. Let’s look at the contenders as they were when the season started. This, in itself, got everything off on the wrong foot as the wrong managers were being scrutinised. (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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Arséne Wenger and Louis van Gaal have a couple of things in common. Firstly, they are both past the 65 years of age mark. Secondly, they have been unable to adapt themselves to compete in the modern football world.

It is now seven years since van Gaal won La Liga, his last major championship title and a whopping thirteen years since Wenger last won the Premier League. Yes they have both won cups since those days but even a blind squirrel will eventually find a nut and they were both managing historically successful teams at the time. (more…)

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The current top six are unlikely to remain with their present managers for too long unless they find a way of sharing the trophies between them on an annual basis.

The Holy Grail, however, remains the Premier League title but with half an eye on winning the Champion’s League, (unless you are Arsenal, in which case just qualifying for the competition is sufficient).

If, this season for example, sees Chelsea win the title, City, United and Tottenham finish in the top four and Liverpool and Arsenal making up the remainder of the top six then little should change for next season. (more…)

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Ronald Koeman must resign himself to the fact that a challenge to break into the top six will probably have to wait until next season. Some wise spending in the Summer transfer window and his astute management should see a more concerted effort from Everton next time out.

He will certainly be expected to improve upon the finishes of Roberto Martinez and David Moyes as he has a sizeable amount of cash available thanks to the new owner, Farhad Moshiri. (more…)

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As regular readers of these chronicles will be aware, there are several amongst the football fraternity who are, to put it mildly, an irritation. We are not just referring to current players in the previous statement, as there are far more irritating people who have never played the game, who have retired from the game or who have dabbled at it and been no better than average.

There are reporters, presenters and referees. There are “celebrity” fans, another horrible expression suggesting that some people are “celebrated” whilst others are completely ignored throughout their life despite the good they may do. (more…)

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The Premier League is beginning to take shape. The top six are starting to pull away from the rest and all that remains now is to see in which order they finish.

This is all a little better than in previous years when the top four has usually consisted of Manchester United, City, Chelsea and Arsenal, not necessarily in that order.

Other than last season when Leicester City gatecrashed the party there is a familiar look to four of the top six but two new arrivals are threatening the natural order of things. (more…)

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Czechoslovakia, Greece, Denmark and Portugal spring to mind as relatively recent winners of the European Championships. None of the four could be considered as serial winners of competitions.

Wales also stayed in the last competition for longer than England and even managed a 3-1 win over Belgium while England couldn’t even scrape a draw with Iceland and exited the tournament in their usual fashion, ie when there was still plenty of it left! (more…)

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Manchester United appointed Jose Mourinho in the full knowledge that he rarely stays at any club for more than two years, whether the reason for departure is his choosing or not. He has since indicated that he would like to stay at Old Trafford for “many years“.

Manchester City did the same with Pep Guardiola. Having spent five years in charge at Barcelona, (one of them with the B team), he developed his current wanderlust and spent a further two years in charge of Bayern Münich. The impression is that, if he is successful at City, then he may be talked into staying longer. (more…)

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(In the above photo Ronald Koeman has cleverly disguised himself by wearing a Claudio Ranieri mask in order to deflect attention away from Everton!)

After tonight’s game between Liverpool and Manchester United the top seven will have a familiar look about it, (assuming that your regular top seven doesn’t include Leicester City!)

A draw will see no movement, a Liverpool win will take them to the same points as Arsenal and Manchester City, and a United win will take them above Liverpool, into fourth place, on goal difference. (more…)