Posts Tagged ‘Portugal’


Wouldn’t you just know it? Cristiano Ronaldo, at the ripe old age of 33 has suddenly announced himself on the World Cup stage.

Many “experts” are predicting that this will be the Portuguese’s last appearance in this tournament as he will be 37 by the time the next one comes around.

We don’t agree with the experts. Now, there’s a surprise! Our guess is that Ronaldo also doesn’t agree with them assuming that he listens to them at all!

The shape he is in and his single-mindedness in wanting to be the best means that another four years will have little or no effect on him. He may slow down slightly although, on the evidence of some of the counter-attacking runs he made against Spain, this is unlikely to happen. (more…)



Pep Guardiola has recently said that it is an ambition of his to manage his country. He also stated, in the same interview that the country in question is Spain, not Catalonia, which may not have gained it’s independence by the time Pep is either shown the door at Manchester City or saunters through it voluntarily.

The thing is, it could be a short term ambition and it could also be a reasonably long term ambition such is the insecurity surrounding the career of a top football manager. (more…)


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…)


It just shows what a sorry state the England national team is in. Sam Allardyce parts company with them for a mistake which was, basically, getting himself involved in a sting operation by a newspaper designed to prove that Allardyce is, after all, as human as most other people.

It was not a mistake over which he should have lost his job which will be proved in future when he is given another job. There’s hypocrisy for you! One man’s meat is another man’s poison and all that. (more…)


(Zlatan has to force his eyes open to try and overcome extreme tiredness brought on by playing a game of football)

So Zlatan needs an extended rest because of his exertions in the Euros! UEFA rules state that players appearing in the competition must be given three weeks break at the end of it. This means that Ibrahimovic would be able to go to China with the rest of the team but, as the poor soul doesn’t have the strength to pull his suitcase, he is being given extra hols by his new boss.

As well as displaying a laudable level of compassion and sympathy it also gives us an insight into how well Jose Mourinho looks after the elder citizens of the team.

The United manager, having watched all the games in France, will have noticed that Ibrahimovic was picked to play in all three of Sweden’s games, meaning that he spent a total of 270 minutes actually on a football pitch during a competitive game. (more…)


Recently I have been reading that the last three results have turned Louis van Gaal into such a good manager that Manchester United couldn’t bear to see him leave at the end of the season and would like him to stay on for his contracted final year.

The last three results have been the Europa League win over FC Midtjylland, who would just about survive the first division in England, followed by a good 3-2 win over Arsenal, who were abysmal and ending in a very fortuitous 1-0 win over Watford, a game in which they were lucky Watford didn’t score three.

With the exception of the Arsenal game, the other two again papered over the cracks and certainly made van Gaal look a lot better than he really is. The problem when this happens is that some people actually believe he is good, only for a short while, but long enough for the damage to be done.

Louis van Gaal has, basically, had his day. He cannot live with the modern game, particularly in the Premier League where he has never managed before. He is far too arrogant to admit it and prefers to rely completely on excuses when his team loses. (more…)


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…)


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…)


(Louis answers truthfully when asked about his chances of keeping the United job!)

Dear Mr van Gaal,

I have some questions for you regarding your team selection and overall philosophy.

Firstly, would you please explain to me why Wayne Rooney was given the captaincy? He rarely shouts, doesn’t lead by example and is far from being United’s best player. When compared with the likes of Bryan Robson or Roy Keane, as a captain, he isn’t even on the same planet! So this is the first strange decision I would like to know the reason behind.

Secondly, on the same player. He has been, by a long way, United’s worst player this season, irrespective of whether he is played up front or in midfield. Do you still feel that, as captain, he should enjoy the special privilege of being picked for every game even though his form has been nothing short of abysmal?

You had the perfect opportunity, when he was injured, to allow him an extended rest period. Instead, as soon as he had recovered, he was back in the team and just as bad as ever. Has he donated an organ to you to deserve all this special treatment? (more…)


Manchester City laboured to a first half lead courtesy of a goal by Wlifried Bony, whose marker Ashley Williams, obviously thought they still both played for the same team when he left him alone in the penalty area to head the opener.

City were missing Vincent Kompany, as usual, Sir Joe Aguero, as usual along with Nasri, Zabaleta and Fernando. Rather than play Kolarov, Pellegrini opted for Sagna on the right and my least favourite player, Gael Clichy, on the left. Clichy cemented his position in my mind as an average player by giving the ball away on at least two occasions and doing absolutely nothing else. Jesus Navas was picked so that Kevin De Bruyne could be reminded of his time at Chelsea. Navas, as is his wont at present, was also very ineffectual.

Swansea were restricted to a couple of first half chances, one of which they should certainly have scored from, but didn’t. So 1-0 to City at half-time.

The second half saw Fabian Delph enter the fray in place of Raheem Sterling. Clichy continued to give the ball away. City chased what appeared to be a much needed second goal as Swansea always looked like they might score. (more…)