Posts Tagged ‘The Champion’s League’

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Louis van Gaal – The only United manager as boring as Dave Sexton and Frank O’Farrell, although Moyes came close!

When José Mourinho breezed into Manchester it was, for all but the most cynical of United fans, like a breath of fresh air.

The days of David Moyes promising that the team would try to be as good as City and making Liverpool favourites to win a league game at Old Trafford were a distant memory.

The days of Louis van Gaal sitting rigidly in his seat rather than encouraging his team from the sidelines while they sent the crowd to sleep with mind-numbingly boring football were also consigned to the history books.

Mourinho was here! The “Special One” was now the Manchester United manager having been anything but special in his final season at Stamford Bridge, from where he had been sacked with Chelsea in 16th position in the league. (more…)

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Wigan Athletic v Manchester City - The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round

Sergio Agüero – Involved with the crowd

Judging by the scenes at the end of the FA Cup game between Wigan and Manchester City at the DW Stadium, Pep Guardiola, some of his team and some of the City fans don’t appear to be very gentlemanly in defeat.

Supporters threw seats and anything else they could get their hands on, the players stomped and sulked and Guardiola wandered round like a child whose favourite toy had been taken from him.

At the end of the day they had lost a football match, nothing more. They had been beaten because they failed to take any of their numerous chances whereas Wigan, who had two, scored from one of them. (more…)

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On one hand, yes. On the other hand, no. If we had a third hand we would also plump for not knowing whether or not those two accomplishments would be deemed an improvement over last season’s three trophies.

In the league table, it has to be admitted, that any finish above sixth would be seen as an improvement but it must also be remembered that the final few games of last season’s Premier League campaign were deemed less important than usual due to United’s intent on winning the Europa League.

Winning the FA Cup would, of course, be an upgrade on winning the Carabao Cup as it is the major domestic knock-out cup in England. It requires, however, a favourable draw at some stage of the competition so United will be hoping for this in the coming rounds. (more…)

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José Mourinho is a winner. He hates losing almost as much as Pep Guardiola likes winning. His big problem is that, this season, it would appear that Guardiola is going to win more than his Portuguese counterpart.

There is a very slight chance that United will win the Champion’s League and the FA Cup but it is highly unlikely and there is a far greater chance that City will win the Carabao Cup and the Premier League, particularly as they are so far ahead in one that they have disappeared from view of the chasing pack, and they are in the final of the other with only Stubborn Old Man’s Arsenal standing between them and the first trophy of Pep’s City career.

City are among the favourites for the Champion’s League and the FA Cup as well so the season could be spectacular! (more…)

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Pep Guardiola is, possibly, going to achieve his short-term targets at Manchester City this season. If he can win the Premier League which, in actual fact, is now his to lose, and win the Champion’s League, then it will be job done.

Will he then still be motivated to try and repeat the feat whilst adding maybe the Super Cup and an FA Cup or two over the next couple of seasons? Maybe, maybe not.

At Barcelona, once he felt he had taken the team as far as he could he became bored. He wanted a fresh challenge and went to Bayern Münich where, compared with the previous manager who had won the treble, he actually failed. (more…)

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Never say never. There is a chance that José Mourinho actually does want to manage PSG at some stage of his career, just not yet, it would only make sense if United were to sack him.

What would he achieve? A Champion’s League title in another country? Probably, but is that really the kind of achievement he wants on his CV? Winning trophies at a club who will forever be accused of doing so because of their wealth rather than any managerial ability.

No, Mourinho is far better off at United for the time being. Yes, he has money to spend but, in the Premier League unlike in Ligue 1, that is no guarantee that he will win the title. (more…)

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Manchester City 

Judging by his plea for Manchester City fans to turn up in their thousands for the Champion’s League game against Shakhtar Donetsk, Pep Guardiola is taking the competition very seriously. He has also asked that the Etihad crowd stop booing the Champion’s League music, an act which goes back to when City were fined for contravening FFP regulations, and a plea which may very well fall on deaf ears.

The fans thought the punishment was excessive and a clear case of victimisation which, considering that only City and PSG were fined, and that they were only fined once, is probably true. Here’s the full story if you’re interested. (more…)

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We can’t help but notice that old Arséne, you know the one, French geezer who has had Arsenal in reverse gear for the last few seasons, is slowly losing the plot and has, once again, returned to his obsession with all things Manchester United.

Having decided to award himself a new two year contract when most people wanted him awarded a gold watch and a handshake he has now decided that, from his newly acquired, (and very temporary), position of strength he will make silly comments which will probably come back to bite him. Nothing new there then. (more…)

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Judging by the amount of money with which José Mourinho has been entrusted to buy players during this transfer window, Manchester United seem pretty confident that he is the right man for the job medium to long-term. Bear in mind, he spent around £150 million in the last Summer window and is likely to spend anything between £100 and £200 million this time, maybe even a little more. (more…)

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To be honest, this was a very decent performance by Manchester United. Despite going a goal down in the first half and missing a penalty they played with enough purpose and resolve to score five good goals.

To add to the reasons for slight celebration, two of the goals were scored by Marcus Rashford, making his debut after Anthony Martial had decided that David De Gea shouldn’t have the monopoly on pulling up with an injury just before kick-off. What further added to the feel-good factor was the fact that Memphis Depay was the man-of-the-match.

To continue with the honesty, though, this was always a game that a Manchester United team should expect to win. They are in the Europa League playing teams who weren’t good enough for the Champion’s League. The fact that they have now fallen into this category is their own fault, but they should still be good enough to win it, even though they probably won’t.

Staying with “honesty is the best policy”, the young lads who won the game tonight were not playing because van Gaal gives young lads a chance, no, they were playing because injuries give young lads a chance. (more…)