Posts Tagged ‘The FA Cup’


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…)



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…)


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…)


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…)


In all fairness, ANY manager at ANY club has the right to select whichever team he feels is appropriate for the game ahead.

Sure, there will be “first choice” elevens which, in the manager’s opinion is his “best” combination of players. This combination will not always be the right one for different opponents. Therefore, the manager has to have the right to make changes.

The question only becomes inflammatory when wholesale changes are made in order to “protect” some players for games further down the line which are deemed to be more important. (more…)

Wembley Stadium - Pre Carling Cup Final

If a family of four, from either Manchester or Liverpool, wishes to see the Capital One Cup final at Wembley they can do so for a reasonably small fortune.

Yes folks, it is that disgraceful time of they year when the FA, for reasons known only to themselves and for a lot of money, decide that two teams and their fans, separated only by 30 miles of motorway should travel, at great expense, to London to play a game of football which could have been played a lot nearer home.

Without going into any great research I just quickly looked for match tickets and train tickets and found that for a mere £82 each return, the family can get to London. For a further £40 each, they can have a ticket to watch the match.

So, assuming that they travel to, and back from, London on the same day, eat before they leave and when they get home, thereby spending nothing more than the ticket prices, (train and match), the cost to this family will only be £488 in total.

By the time they get back to either Liverpool or Manchester they will be starving and very tired, but one of them will have seen their team lift a trophy. (more…)


What is happening in Manchester? United, if they are not very careful, will continue on their downward slope into total mediocrity, (in some people’s eyes, they are already there)!

City, on the other hand, can afford to throw away the FA Cup in order to be able to win in the Ukraine three days later. Many people think they could have achieved the Champion’s League win without sacrificing the other trophy but, what the heck? This is City. Who cares what the fans want?

What was particularly annoying was that they had been on a very good run in this competition with some good away wins and there was a very real possibility that a stronger City team would have beaten Chelsea.

So, at least if City win the treble, it will not include the FA Cup so wouldn’t be quite the achievement of United in 1999. (more…)


The latest from the gutter press appears to be that Jose Mourinho doesn’t want the Manchester United job! Not until June anyway. That means that whatever happens between now and the end of the season can be blamed on van Gaal and van Gaal alone!

Could be a smart move, Jose and, then again, maybe not. What happens if United win the FA Cup and the Europa League? Remember that the team have now returned to winning ways and have just beaten a team sixty places below them who are struggling against relegation. According to Louis this was “fantastic”.

It does seem, unfortunately, that barring relegation and all the players handing in transfer requests, van Gaal will be there until the end of the season. Nobody appears to want to be called the “interim manager”.

There is also the Ed Woodward factor. He would be stupid enough to insist that van Gaal saw out his contract if he was given the slightest excuse and winning a trophy or two would pass for the slightest excuse. (more…)


Manchester United need to win the FA Cup. Not to keep Louis van Gaal in a job because, if United finish outside of the top four, he will leave as a failure. The reason they need to win it is for their own confidence and self-belief.

If they finish the season empty handed and, as is expected, van Gaal leaves, there will be more doubts than definites and more pessimism than optimism. No Champion’s League football next season, as with last, would not be a total disaster. It would, however, demonstrate how far United have fallen since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

United have a chance of picking up two trophies this season, (three if you count the Premier League, which they are not good enough to win). They could win the Europa League and maybe should take it seriously as it is another route into the Champion’s League. As already mentioned they should be trying all-out to win the FA Cup. The fans will forgive boring, inept performances if trophies are won, (for a short while anyway). If nothing is won and the performances are not good then expect the fans to get on the player’s backs, after the manager of course.

The problem facing United at present is that they don’t appear to have improved. They scraped into fourth position last season, meaning they had to qualify for the Champion’s League. They were then eliminated very tamely and softly from a relatively easy group, AFTER having spent £258 million on new players! (more…)


Jose Mourinho didn’t need to win this game. He didn’t even need to draw this game. He can be eliminated from the Champions League at the group stage, knocked out of the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge by the Wheeltappers and Shunters social club second eleven, and be relegated to the Championship and it won’t bother him a jot. Why? Because he has what nobody else in Britain has had since Lord Ferg retired. He has job security!

He knows Roman Abramovich so well that he knows the innermost thoughts of the Chelsea owner without being told what they are.

Convinced as he is that he has a job for life that still didn’t stop him urging, cajoling and pushing his team hard for the victory which keeps him in the competition if not important in keeping him in a job.

Chelsea were not their last-season-excellent selves, they were just efficient and did a good job when that was what was required. A 2-0 win sees them stagger into the knockout stage where they will lose to either Benfica, PSG or Juventus. (more…)