Posts Tagged ‘Rafa Benitez’

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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…)

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José Mourinho is not known as a nice guy. He has fallen out with owners and club presidents, he has fallen out with players and fellow managers. He has fallen out with physiotherapists and club doctors. There are probably not many positions within the world of professional football with whom the Special One has not fallen out at one time or another!

He is, however, finding out that he has a nice side now that he is manager of Manchester United. He hasn’t turned into a serial smiler just yet, but there are signs that his disposition is somewhat mellower than it used to be. (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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He has already said it. If we concentrate solely on each other in this league, then somebody else will win it. It was OK in Spain as there were only usually two clubs competing for the title, so it was good to have some mind games. These are the words, more or less, of Jose Mourinho shortly after taking over at Manchester United.

Who he is trying to convince is rather a mystery. Is it the fans? I doubt it. Most fans will tell you that they love a few mind games. United supporters were always in their element when Fergie was giving it large about some manager or another.

Also, in the not too distant past, Jose himself was known for having a slight dig at opposing managers. Spats with Arsene Wenger and Rafa Benitez readily come to mind. (more…)

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When I think back to the great Liverpool teams of the past, I think of Ian St. John, Ian Callaghan, Emlyn Hughes, Tommy Smith, Ron Yeats, Roger Hunt, Kevin Keegan and John Toshack, Ian Rush and Kenny Dalglish, Ray Clemence, Graeme Souness, Alan Hansen and even Bruce Grobbelaar. As you will notice I have recorded these as I remember them rather than in any chronological order.

When I think back to the recent Liverpool teams, the players that spring to mind are Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez and maybe Robbie Fowler. Of all the ones mentioned, Suarez showed absolutely no loyalty to the cause whatsoever. It can be argued that, as a Uruguayan, he would always feel more at home in Spain and he already had connections with the city of Barcelona if not the club, so it was rather ordained that he would end up there.

The point being that over a thirty year period from the late sixties until the late nineties, all the memorable players were around in the sixties and seventies. What has happened since?

No other team in England was as successful as Liverpool. In Europe, Liverpool are still the most successful English team but have failed to qualify for the top European competition in eight of the last ten years since winning it in 2005. (more…)

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Cristiano Ronaldo decided, at the age of 24, that he wanted to go to Real Madrid. The reasons for this decision are reasonably well documented. It wasn’t for the money. Even at 24 United would have matched anything Madrid offered if they had been given any encouragement that he would stay at Old Trafford.

Being Portuguese and having already played in Portugal, the biggest clubs for those players are usually Real Madrid and Barcelona. It is a return to Iberia, the culture they are used to, the weather, the food, everything that is, to them, home.

Luis Figo was another world famous Portuguese who actually had the distinction of playing for both Barcelona and Real Madrid. So it is certainly not an uncommon desire for these players to want to ply their trade in Spain at some stage. (more…)