Posts Tagged ‘Valencia’

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The first thing we must do before looking at the draw itself is congratulate the northwest clubs for almost monopolising the Champion’s League places.

This year we will be looking for improvement from Everton and West Ham and, if we are going to have another London club this time, we would quite like West Ham to be it. So goodbye again to Arsenal and Chelsea and, with a little luck, Tottenham Hotspur. Welcome to the Europa League AGAIN!

Anyway, the draw has been kind to Manchester City, reasonable with Manchester United and Liverpool and quite tough on Tottenham. Here are the groups which contain the English teams. (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…)

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(The answer to the above question is that he probably will, but as a commentator!)

When Gary Neville’s ill fated stint in charge of Valencia reaches it’s inevitable conclusion, he will have a choice to make.

Assuming Peter Lim wants him to carry on in the role of coach at the Spanish club, which I actually doubt, he will have to make more of a commitment than he has done so far. I think it far more likely that Lim is looking for a replacement as I write.

Moving to Spain when you are a multi-millionaire ex-footballer is not the chore it once was and, indeed, still is for a lot of the less well-off ex-pats. He will have private tutors for his children and one for himself in order to try and learn Spanish, which he will not be able to do in five months, but he should master the basics.

He will have lawyers, solicitors, translators, all at his beck and call to smooth the transition from Manchester to Valencia.

The worst affected in this move will probably be the children, assuming that they have friends in Manchester. As previously mentioned, they will be tutored at home meaning they will rarely come into contact with other children, certainly not the Spanish ones, unless at club functions. His wife will find more well-off British women to pass the time with on the long days when hubby is at the training ground or travelling to away matches. (more…)

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Thanks to the recent transfer embargo handed out to the two Madrid teams, it seems that David De Gea may be staying at Manchester United for a while longer.

It may be that, having signed a new deal at Old Trafford, he decided that he didn’t want to leave anyway. At the time there was no encouragement from the Real Madrid fans, (mainly because he used to play for Atletico), nor was there much forthcoming from the management. It appeared that the chief procrastinator in all this drama was, as usual, Florentino Perez. It was he who wanted De Gea.

The story goes that when he realised how against the move the fans were and how much they liked Keylor Navas, he conveniently messed up the paperwork which saved him from an embarrassing u-turn on the matter. Whatever the truth is, De Gea remains in Manchester with two of his three amigos.

Given Florentino Perez’ penchant for wanting everything HIS WAY because, as far as he is concerned, HIS WAY is what is best for Real Madrid irrespective of what anybody else may think, it is no surprise that they have fallen foul of some rule about wresting kids from the arms of their parents at a very young age. (more…)

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If we are to believe everything that we read, which we don’t, then all four of the above mentioned managers could be out of their jobs at the end of the season.

Guus Hiddink is an interim manager at Chelsea. He may do very well and be offered the job on a longer term basis. The question is, does he want it? He seems to be quite happy to flit in and out of jobs for short periods of time. He has also expressed a desire to spend more time fishing, which a short term contract would allow him to do at virtually anytime he wished.

Since his unsuccessful flirtations with Russia and the Netherlands national sides, Guus may feel that he is getting a little past it for the big stage. Although international management does not carry the day to day pressures of a domestic team, the whole weight of a country is on the shoulders of the coach when attempting to qualify for a tournament or even win one, so it is no surprise he has not leapt straight back into that side of the game. With Chelsea, he can walk away should he so decide. I think he will. (more…)

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Carlo Ancelotti is going to Bayern Munich where, after succeeding as usual, he will be fired as usual. He will probably win the treble but, because he is cursed, he will still be fired.

At two of his previous clubs he has a record which most managers would be proud to have. He was fired from his job as Chelsea manager having won the League and FA Cup double and, at Real Madrid, he was fired having won the Champion’s League. So he could be considered either a trifle unlucky or a loser for only winning the top trophies and none of the lesser ones.

Sympathy is not a feeling too much in evidence when it comes to highly paid football managers losing their job. Particularly when you consider that the top ones will almost certainly walk straight into another one.

So what will be the chain of events this time, I don’t hear you ask? (more…)

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(Gary picks up his first “Manager of the Month” award in Valencia and wonders if this is an example of what is to follow)

I watched Gary Neville’s first game when not officially in charge of Valencia. He sat in the stands jumping at every header, moving sideways every time the ball did. He was doing what all passionate managers do, he was living the game, kicking every ball and feeling every tackle.

In fairness, he was right to wait until after this game to take charge. Anything could have happened against Barcelona. Messi was fit again and was alongside the other two musketeers in Suarez and Neymar. If Barcelona scored five, Gary could always say that it “wasn’t on his watch”. He had also had very little time to get to know the players, so it was right that he allowed little brother and Voro to remain in charge for this game.

As it happened, Barcelona had “one of those days”, where they just couldn’t finish off any of their moves, except one, created, perpetuated and finished by Suarez which made us ask, at the time, how many would Barcelona score? The answer was a very simple, “one!” Despite having the majority of possession, hardly an unusual trait for a Barcelona team, they failed to convert the chances they created, and they created a few. (more…)

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Gary Neville is off to Valencia or, from a gastronomic point of view, morcilla will meet paella.

Valencia is the undisputed home of paella. The Spanish dish originally comprising of chicken, rabbit, snails, green beans, white beans and rice. It is now a global dish consisting of whatever people feel like throwing in the pan.

Gary, (and brother Phil), were born in Bury, the undisputed home of the black pudding. So there is some connection between the two. Black pudding or morcilla is also a favourite dish in Spain. How can this match made in heaven possibly fail?

Well, there is the fact that neither of the Neville’s have any management experience. This, of course, may not be a problem as everybody has to start somewhere, but Valencia is a big Spanish club in La Liga, the third best supported after Real Madrid and Barcelona not, for example, Burton Albion which saw Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink take his first steps on the managerial ladder. (more…)