Posts Tagged ‘Real Madrid’


At the time of writing England still has four representatives in the competition so the chances are reasonably good that one of them could win it. To an extent it depends on the draw for the quarter finals, particularly for Manchester City and Liverpool who are already through to that round.

Manchester United still have a potentially tricky second leg tie at home to Sevilla to overcome but should do so without major problems whilst Chelsea have the hardest task in that they need to either beat Barcelona in the Camp Nou or come away with a high scoring draw in order to progress. (more…)



Why does UEFA have such strange ideas? Is it because FIFA, the world body, also has strange ideas and it feels the need to keep up with them? And how come the two never seem to agree on anything?

FIFA has already stated that VAR will be used in this year’s World Cup, supposedly the biggest tournament on the planet. UEFA have decided that it isn’t at an acceptable standard yet for the Champion’s League. So it’s fine for the world, just not for Europe!

We have mentioned, in a recent article, how FIFA’s “best player in the world” often isn’t considered to be the “best player in Europe”.

The World Cup itself isn’t called the “World Champion’s League” yet it has a similar format to the European club version. (more…)


Alexis Sánchez made his expected debut against Yeovil Town in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday evening.

Martin Keown, ex-Arsenal-destroyer-of-all-things-football, decided that the Chilean did enough to merit being awarded man-of-the-match. Doing enough, in Sánchez’s case, included giving the ball away on at least five separate occasions and firing a free-kick tamely into the arms of the Yeovil keeper.

He did, however, assist in two of the goals and looked, at times, to be different class to everybody else on the pitch.

We have to agree with Keown’s assessment which leaves us wondering where this signing leaves Marcus Rashford. (more…)


Today we continue our look at what the short term future holds for the top six managers.

Yesterday we concluded that Jürgen Klopp will stay at Liverpool beyond this season, Antonio Conte will leave at the end of this season and Stubborn Old Man will, (probably), stubbornly carry on in his role as captain of the Titanic which is how he is viewed by many football followers, not just those of his own club.

The difference being that, if he were to abandon ship, then it probably wouldn’t sink and may even rise, submarine-like, with a new man in charge.

So to the other three and we start with:

Pep Guardiola (more…)

FA Cup 1904

 (The nearest there was to an interactive wall-chart in 1904! The numbers on the colours correspond to the number of the team wearing them and there are some interesting names amongst the previous winners. The winners that year were…..Manchester City!)

The FA Cup may not be quite as glamorous as it used to be but it is still a trophy that the top clubs want to win.

An appearance at Wembley nowadays is no reward for reaching the final. After all, drawing Tottenham Hotspur away will have the same outcome this season, as will reaching the semi-final and it is this devaluation of the national stadium which has been a major contributor to the FA Cup losing much of it’s gloss. (more…)


This might seem like a fairly obvious statement but the truth is that Daniel Levy doesn’t strike us as a man who likes spending money on players.

With the demeanour and looks of a James Bond villain and all the business acumen required to play Scrooge in a pantomime version of “A Christmas Carol“,  he appears to be the archetypal, old fashioned employer who thinks that his workforce is a necessary evil and only there to make money for him.

Why else would he be prepared to borrow and invest in a stadium which, at the last estimate, is going to cost in the region of £800 million? This is according to club director Donna Cullen and is virtually twice the original price quoted. (more…)


What is the real reason why José Mourinho has never spent more than three seasons at any particular club?

Is it because of the wanderlust? Does he get itchy feet THAT easily? Does he just like moving around Europe? Or does he reach his sell-by date at clubs reasonably quickly?

Today’s top football managers, with one or two exceptions, tend not to stay at one club very long. This, at present and for the last few years, has suited José Mourinho.

His style of management since leaving Porto has been to look for quick fixes which have usually involved spending lots of money. He is not usually very successful in his first season but he has, until now, always won the title in his second season. (more…)


In his latest chinwag with the nation’s finest press and broadcasting representatives, José Mourinho managed to express an opinion which hasn’t been met with gasps of surprise or “what’s he going on about now?” type questions.

He claimed, quite categorically, that Manchester United may be a big club but it is not a big team.

Pause for breath while the assorted menagerie which passes itself off as intelligent authors of the truth digest this profound statement.

What can he possibly mean? Well, dear readers, it is the truth and has been for a long while. (more…)


The ‘Special One’ is no longer special. Very good, maybe, but special? No longer.

Whilst winning all of his titles and trophies with Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea again and now, Manchester United, he created a history deserving of his title.

In 17 seasons of club management, Mourinho led his club to win its domestic league eight times, the UEFA Champions League twice and the UEFA Cup/Europa League twice. Between 2003 and 2012, Mourinho did not go a single calendar year without winning at least one trophy.

So he was, without doubt, special. He now needs to prove that he still is, or still can be. (more…)


Another good night was had in Europe on Tuesday by the majority of the English clubs. Manchester City clawed their way to a 1-0 victory over Feyenoord which confirms their winning of the group, Tottenham continued to display their new found maturity, particularly in European competition, by winning in Dortmund and Liverpool, well, they continue to be just Liverpool!

The plucky little scousers managed to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory having suffered a second-half collapse similar to that of AC Milan in the Ataturk Stadium back in 2005.

So Tottenham have won their group if they can take a point from their final game and Liverpool will guarantee qualification with a point from their final game. (more…)