Posts Tagged ‘Rafa Benitez’

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So, according to Claude Puel, the Leicester City manager, Manchester United’s interest in Harry Maguire may have been fabricated in order to unsettle the player.

As conspiracy theories go it isn’t a very good one, nor is it very original. Firstly, Maguire does not look the type who would be bothered too much about interest from a bigger and better club. Yes, he would like to play for Manchester United but he is also realistic enough to be aware that he has just signed a five-year contract with Leicester, so a move for anything less than totally silly money would be out of the question. (more…)

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For the last few years the top six in England’s Premier League has been very predictable. They may have switched positions at times but it has always been the same six teams.

Last season, Chelsea and Arsenal were the ones to miss out on the Champion’s League places and it is surely no coincidence that both clubs start the coming season with a new man in charge.

Manchester City, in case you were holidaying on Mars, ran away with the title with Manchester United finishing second, a mere 19 points behind. Tottenham were third and Liverpool fourth.

Down in seventh place were Burnley who finished the season nine points behind Arsenal in sixth. (more…)

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It’s day 3 of our look through the Premier League clubs and who will be retaining the services of their manager for next season.

Up to now we have decided, either through fact or fiction-which-may-become-fact, that three of the ten we have considered will be leaving for pastures new. So who will be joining Arséne Wenger, Antonio Conte and Claude Puel in seeking alternative employment? (more…)

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Today, Saturday, saw a relatively quiet day for the top six in the Premier League, with only Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool in action.

Spurs were at “home” to Huddersfield Town whilst, in the late game Liverpool took on Newcastle United at Anfield in a fixture which saw the return of Rafa Benitez to the club where he experienced his greatest success.

The first game saw a reasonably easy victory for Spurs although they originally struggled to find the net and only led 1-0 at half-time. The second half followed a similar pattern and Son managed to get his, and Spurs’ second goal to wrap up a fairly routine win. (more…)

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Some Very Average Refereeing resulting in some Very Awkward Results has culminated in the introduction of a system known as VAR, which could stand for  Virtually Anything Really.

The Video Assistant Referee is a very highly technological innovation which, after years of testing, allows a bloke to sit in a room, miles away from the match in question, and watch it on the telly!

Millions of fans have been doing this for years so, apart from said bloke being able to communicate with the referee, in circumstances when he thinks he’s got it wrong, what is the difference? (more…)

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José Mourinho’s latest gripe is the amount of games United have to play over the festive period and how close together they are.

He will actually only be involved in the same number of games as everyone else in the Premier League but, hey, this is José so it wouldn’t be normal if he wasn’t affected more than the others.

Having played in the late game on Saturday evening when United threw away two points having allowed Leicester to equalise in the 95th minute, the poor souls were only afforded a break from football matches of two and a half days before they had to go into battle again. This time against Burnley at Old Trafford. (more…)

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Apart from all of the money which is thrown at him on a regular basis, is José Mourinho really getting the recognition he deserves for his achievements?

Leaving aside all his trophies, both domestic and in Europe, with his previous clubs. Leaving aside his transforming of struggling clubs such as Chelsea and Inter Milan, both of which he turned into title winners and leaving aside his record of being only the fifth manager to have won the title in four different countries, we sometimes wonder what he has to do to please some people. (more…)

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Yesterday we took a look at the three games involving Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur and gave you all a rare insight into the power that is gifted only to the rare few; that of foresight.

Using this foresight coupled with our uncanny ability to have a guess at absolutely anything, we are able to accurately state the outcome of Premier League games in which the top six, (or big six, if you prefer), are involved.

West Brom v Chelsea

Anyway, to the games. the final one of the three o’clock kick-offs in which we are interested is the game between West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea. (more…)

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Tottenham Hotspur

The early game on Saturday featured Huddersfield Town against Tottenham Hotspur. This was the first real test for David Wagner and his newly promoted team. They failed it!

Mind you, Spurs had Harry Kane to thank once again for their margin of victory and one does wonder how many goals this team would score without him.

Yes, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen tend to chip in with a few but Kane outscores everybody by a long way. (more…)

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Rafa’s still the gaffer, but for how much longer?

We get the impression that, if Rafa Benitez wasn’t so settled in England and had somewhere else to go, then he would be off like a shot. He appears to be staying at Newcastle more because he doesn’t have an alternative than because he wants to.

He has a home in Jesmond and a home on the Wirral and commutes regularly between the two. He is unlikely to get another job in the Premier League with a club as big as Newcastle. Having already managed a big club in Liverpool, and a smaller club in Chelsea the only others left which would fit his particular bill are Mancheter United, Manchester City and Arsenal and even if he wanted any of those jobs he is very, very unlikely to get them. (more…)