Posts Tagged ‘Zinedine Zidane’

jm

Why was José Mourinho attending the international friendly game between Austria and Russia?

Well, obviously, he was there to watch Marko Arnautovic! How do we know? Easy, we read it in the paper, so it must be true.

It did cross our mind that he may have been there swotting up on the Russian team as he has agreed to be a pundit on a Russian TV station for the duration of the World Cup. (more…)

Advertisements

w

How can selling Wembley be described as a betrayal? The idiots who massively overspent in building a stadium nobody outside of London really wanted cannot be accused of selling the soul of football, as some people have put it.

Wembley never was and never will be the “soul of football”. That title belongs to grounds such as Old Trafford, Anfield, Goodison Park and Stamford Bridge. In the past it would have included Highbury, Main Road, Roker Park and others too numerous to mention. (more…)

bandr

Confused? It’s hardly surprising after the noises coming out of Madrid! Only minutes after winning the trophy for the thirteenth time in their history and the third time in the last three years, two of the BBC were talking of their futures as though they had played their last games as a Galáctico.

The other member of the BBC, Karim Benzema, probably realises how lucky he is to be playing at a club whose manager is from the same ethnic background as he is and, probably because of this, keeps selecting him no matter how average a player he is. So he is keeping his mouth shut at present.

But what is likely to happen with the other two? (more…)

3350

So Liverpool are through to the semi-finals of the Champion’s League having beaten Manchester City home and away in their quarter-final tie.

There is no doubt they deserve to be there as the damage was all done in the first leg at Anfield where City proved, yet again, that if their defence is put under any pressure they don’t have a defence!

The second leg may have been more interesting had a perfectly good goal from Leroy Sané not been disallowed. This would have seen City go in at half-time leading 2-0 and chomping at the bit for more in the second half. As it was, they left the field somewhat dispirited and weren’t the same team after the break. (more…)

3

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…)

img_1083

Is it a coincidence that the six richest clubs in the Premier League currently occupy the top six places in the Premier League?

I suppose it depends upon your view of Leicester City’s achievements last season. If you think, like many others, that their winning the title was a one-off, freakish, yet sensational story then the natural order of things has been restored.

If, however, you think that the Leicester story can be repeated by either themselves or another unfancied club, then the amount of money a club has available to buy players is less relevant. (more…)

image

He was born in Yerevan, capital of Armenia, in 1989. When Henrikh was seven years old his father died of a brain tumour at the age of 33.

Football certainly played a prominent part in his family life as his dad has been a striker for FC Ararat Yerevan during the 1980’s, his mother is the head of the national team department in the Armenian football federation and his sister, Monica, works at UEFA headquarters.

In the early 1990’s the family moved to France to escape the Armenian mafia, where Henrikh played for ASOA Valence and helped them gain promotion to Ligue 2. The club no longer exists. (more…)

image

(Jose sits with his medical team and ponders the future!)

Jose Mourinho is in limbo. If we believe all the reports then he wants the Manchester United job. If we believe further reports then the reason he isn’t the current manager is because of Sir Bobby Charlton. He is old school and doesn’t like the idea of the club’s manager being headline news most of the season.

If it was only for all the good things, he would probably be fine with it but Jose, as is his wont, tends to make the news for virtually everything he does and, let’s be honest, it isn’t always the stuff used to set as examples for schoolboys to follow.

From arguments with his medical team to arguments with his players, Jose isn’t too fussy and even manages to include other managers in his occasional outbursts.

Arsene Wenger, Sam Allardyce and Manuel Pellegrini to name but three, have all crept into Mourinho’s radar of people he loves to hate.

The problem for United is actually quite simple. They have tried David Moyes. A likeable, non-confrontational Scot who, some people thought, would be ideal for United. He wasn’t because the job was too big for him.

So they are now trying van Gaal. After all, he is a winner, more like the “United type” than Moyes. He knows what it is like to win Championships and Champions Leagues titles.

Having spent £258 million on new recruits you could be forgiven for thinking that van Gaal would be doing somewhat better than his predecessor. He isn’t! His record is almost identical to that of Moyes except he didn’t last as long in the Champion’s League, with Moyes having taken United to the quarter final stage. (more…)

no_country_for_old_men_

It is certainly looking that way.

Look at the top teams in Europe outside of the Premier League. Real Madrid now have Zinedine Zidane who, at 43, has just taken over the managerial role. They are, arguably, the biggest team in the world. Whether or not he is successful remains to be seen but it appears that Madrid have taken a leaf from Barcelona’s book by promoting from within.

Luis Enrique is the man in charge of Barcelona. At 45, he is already very successful and, with the team he currently manages, there is no reason to think that the success will dry up anytime soon.

There are now three teams in Spain of course, the third being Atletico Madrid, managed by 45 year-old Diego Simeone. Since his appointment Atletico have seriously challenged the dominance of the big two in a similar way to when a young Alex Ferguson was given the job of breaking the Celtic/Rangers monopoly when he was appointed as manager of Aberdeen. He also got the United job at 45 and the rest is history. (more…)

image

The answer to the above question is looking more and more likely to be “no”.

Having, apparently, fallen out with Jose Mourinho, this feeling now appears to have spread to the rest of the club. What has happened to a player who, only last season, was being placed behind only Messi and Ronlado in the world’s best players list?

We know that under Mourinho he was sometimes played out of his favourite position. We also know that he was expected to carry out defensive duties by tracking back and not letting the opposition wing backs have a free run. What we also know is that he didn’t like that side of the game.

Ideally, Hazard would play for a team whereby he was told to stick himself around the halfway line and wait until the hard working defenders managed to get the ball to him. Then he would be able to do what he does best, whether that be run at the defence through the middle, or on either wing.

It is unlikely that he will get his wish under Hiddink, who is also a bit of a taskmaster and expects his players to work hard for the ball. Whether or not Hazard sticks around to see if there will be a change of manager in the Summer is anybody’s guess but, at the moment, he is not of that mind. (more…)