Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

154c08246dde

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…)

IMG_1496

Unless England get another chance to play every game at Wembley, which nowadays certainly wouldn’t guarantee them anything, they will be nowhere near winning another World Cup.

Considering that they haven’t come close to winning anything in all that time, this is a very sad indictment of the nation who like to keep reminding the world that they invented football. (more…)

img_1124

(Yet again Ronald Koeman has donned his Claudio Ranieri mask in order to slip under the radar!)

If you believe everything that you read, then yes, the Premier League is very open this season. The fact of the matter is though, that it isn’t really.

What do we mean by “open” anyway? There are twenty teams in the division. For the title race to be wide open, (as in “that result has blown the title race wide open“, a frequently heard phrase), then every one of the twenty needs to be in with a chance of winning it. (more…)

img_0983

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…)

image

The battle for control of Manchester between the two clubs also looks set to be the battle for the Premier League title. At present, the only other team who may be a threat to that dominance is Chelsea, one of those teams from down South.

With newly appointed Antonio Conte in charge and having won three out of three, they are the only club going toe to toe with United and City in the early stages. (more…)

image

 

The first Manchester derby since last season will be played in China. There will probably be some Mancunians in attendance but how many is anybody’s guess. The fact that the match is totally meaningless makes it a lot easier to bear for fans of the clubs who are from Manchester and can’t quite come to terms with their local club playing a derby in China!

As usual, it is all about money. The clubs may spout on as much as they wish about how they are rewarding their Asian fans with a visit and how pleased they are to be there but, given the choice, I am pretty sure that both managers would rather have stayed a lot closer to home.

Neither club would be anywhere near the area if they weren’t trying to attract an even bigger fanbase than they already have. Ed Woodward, as far as United are concerned, has signed a few sponsorship deals in the general area, (it’s the only thing at which he is any good!), so the trip will also keep these companies reasonably happy. (more…)

 

image

As expected by everybody, except Sky Sports News and the Great British press, Jose Mourinho’s first press conference failed to enlighten us on anything of which we were unaware.

Starting with a totally banal question by some clown from Sky Sports News about him being the “Special One”, then something else and what was he now, as if anyone was interested. The subsequent questions were predictable, not only to anyone with half a brain but even to Mourinho who probably could have listed them beforehand whether or not he had been primed.

New signings was a quickly covered topic. There would be a minimum of four. Three have already been made, (these include Mhkitaryan, who isn’t official yet but about whom everybody has known for at least a week). So one more will be made long before the end of August according to the boss, suggesting that Jose is not yet au fait with how Ed Woodward operates, leaving plenty of time for any other additions to be made as and when appropriate. (more…)

image

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…)

image

Jose Mourinho sat in his office at Cobham, whistling “Maybe it’s Because I’m a Londoner,” in between mouthfuls of fish and chips and slurps from his mug of Tetley’s tea. His anglicization now almost complete.

He has to retain a little of the Portuguese, after all, it is where he was born and it is where he wants to retire to at some stage in the dim and distant future, or quite soon, depending upon which is your newsrag of choice.

Since winning the Champions League title with little old Porto back in 2004, having only replaced Octavio Machado in 2002, Jose’s star has been on the rise.

He has become a truly European manager, having won the title with clubs in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain. He has also won the Champions League with clubs in Portugal and Italy. (more…)

image

Loyal followers of these chronicles will be aware that, in the very recent past, I wrote about the folly of meaningless international friendly matches, particularly at a time when the Premier League table is starting to take on a meaningful shape.

For any loyal followers who just happened to miss the first part, here it is.

I also wrote about it back in August of 2014, for Pundit Arena, if anyone is interested, here that is as well.

My doubt about these games is focused on what purpose they actually serve. Other than teaching uninformed coaches things about their team blatantly obvious to everybody else, and running the risk of injuring players who may be vital to their club’s title challenge, what is the aim? (more…)