Archive for the 'Story of the week' Category


Ince under more pressure as Blackburn lose again.











Wigan have dashed any hopes of a Blackburn revival with a 3- 0 trouncing.

We can surely start counting down the days till Ince is sacked.

This once again shows how underappreciated the role of a good football manager is.

Clubs feel they can simply bring in a former great player to run the club and that will work.

Unfortunately, this formula has proved to be inefficient, time and time again.

Amongst the worst performing managers this season have been players who have recently finished their football careers and where great players.

These include Roy Keane, Paul Ince and Zola.

Roy Keane has already walked away from the Sunderland post.

More than likely Ince and Zola will not have a job come end of the season.

Just like in football you have to do the hard yards.

This usually includes starting out at a lower division team, building up confidence and gradually progressing to the highest level.

The same applies in order to be a successful manager.

Sir Alex Ferguson did not start at Manchester United; he started at a less glamorous team developing his craft.

Ex-players cannot simply be thrust into a managerial post in the premiership without being tested in lower leagues for an adequate amount of time.

It is fair to say that the majority of people underappreciate how difficult it is to manage a football side.

This season has definitely proven what a lack of experience can cause.

To put things in perspective, I’ll break it down in business terms.

Since the premier league is the highest division in English football, we will make our comparisons with the biggest businesses.

If you owned Virgin or British Airways would you hire your highest ranking manager if they had insufficient experience in such a role, or would you hire someone that has been tried and tested in the industry over a period of time?

I’m sure most people will go for the tested experience.

In conclusion, can we please stop hiring these ex-players that have not proved themselves as good managers.

They’ve proved themselves to be good players, but not good managers.











Is a striker only as good as his manager?



I believe so.

Every other position, regardless of the style of football does not get affected as much as a striker.

All the play building up to the forwards is a reflection of how the manager wants his team to play.

Therefore, it is very easy to flourish under one manager and look very average with another.

Look at how Anelka is dominating now.

Finally he has found a manager that plays a style of football that suits him.

Basically, playing most of the football on the ground.

However on the other side Drogba is really struggling for form.

Yes, I know he scored yesterday. But I mean in the general scope of things.

Put it this way: Drogba is the type of forward who holds up the ball well and has fantastic aerial presence.

This is how Murinho liked his football played, and Drogba benefited from this.

His game suited his managers style of football, hence is success during the Murinho reign.

Murinho’s style on the other had made Shevchenko look like had never played football.

Furthermore, I do not believe that Anelka would be playing this well if he was coached by Murinho.

Another example is Cisse.

Cisse arrived at Liverpool with a very big reputation, and was on his way to Liverpool before the appointment of Rafa Benitez.

Cisse did not fit Rafa’s style and was subsequently made to look very average and placed down the pecking order.

Cisse though has done well under the Roy Keane management.

Instead Liverpool went the aerial root with Peter Crouch, who we know is no longer there.

In a nutshell, while some strikers are just rubbish.

It must be appointed out that one must not rush to judge the value of a striker until assessing the mangers style of football.

The style may not suit the striker.

This usually happens mostly when managers inherit strikers from past managers.








Newcastle United : The great underachievers


What is wrong with Newcastle?

In terms of infrastructure you couldn’t ask for more.

They boast the second highest attendance in the premier league for  matches at home.

The fans are amongst the most passionate, if not the most!

This has been a case of mismanagement (literary).

Well, you can’t blame it on money.

Newcastle has splashed around their fare share of money in the transfer market.

Furthermore, the few players that are actually good that they have signed, they tend to sell them instead of hang on to them.

Surely a club like Newcastle deserves better than this.

When Ashley turned up you couldn’t help but feel optimistic.

However just like Shepherd he continued the same cycle of hiring washed up British managers.

Don’t these guys get it!

If a manager has failed to win or achieve anything significant at all his previous clubs, he is most likely to do the same at Newcastle.

All of this criticism excludes Sir Bobby Robson off course.

Here’s a hint Newcastle.

You think you are a big club, so start thinking big.

Stop signing average international players, and make the main focus to sign an internationally proven world class manager.

Not a British one.

All the good British managers have a job right now.





Benitez loses patience with Robbie Keane.


After months of patience Rafa Benitez finally left Robbie Keane on the bench.

I was one of those who were very optimistic about the signing of Robbie Keane.

He’s resume speaks for itself.

Everywhere he has played, he has scored plenty of goals, and he has played at plenty of places.

However the deciding factor in why he is not scoring could be the environment.

If you break it down, the two places Robbie Keane has scored the least goals has been at the two biggest clubs he has played at.

He struggled to score goals at Inter Milan, and now he is struggling to score at Liverpool.

It has been at the less glamorous clubs that Robbie Keane has really flourished.

Basically it seems as though he thrives in an environment where he is one of a few stars.

When you put him in a star studded line up, Keane almost constantly has a look of nervousness, as he tries to prove himself.

Therefore is Keane really as good as we think.

This has happened to many strikers before, who we thought were great players when they were the only star.

When you put them in a star studded line up, goals go dry.

An example is before going to Man United, Forlan had an amazing goal scoring record.

His arrival at the star packed Man U, proved fruitless.

On Saturday Benitez sent on an unknown Moroccan (El Zhar), and left Keane on the bench.

Benitez said: “It wasn’t easy to leave him on the bench, but I had to do what is best for the team.”

Apparently a few Liverpool players are not enjoying Keane’s style of football, describing it as selfish.

Once again reiterating the small team syndrome, because being the goal star at a small team, you are used to being depended on to score and come up with something.

It will be very interesting to see how Keane’s Liverpool career progresses.








How did Roy Keane lose the plot?

It all started so well!

What went wrong?

The ex-Manchester skipper looked like he was born to be a manger.

At one stage there where even whispers he would one day take over as manager at Man United.

It was all so great.

Roy Keane was able to bring this team out of the Championship to the Premier League he had once dominated as skipper.

He was even able to attract players like Cisse, mainly due to his reputation he once had as a player.

After they were able to stay in the Premier league last season, Sunderland seemed like a club that was going places.

However, after a run of 6 defeats in 7 games it all went crazy.

A few games before this, Keane had been booed by supporters.

This is almost a given for Premier League managers to receive this sort of reception at some time in their managerial career.

But being Roy Keane, this was unacceptable to him, who said: “That’s something I’ve not come into the job to accept”.

Without being too harsh, this almost seems immature.

The best of managers have been booed, and one should come to expect this.

Even Roy Keane!

Furthermore this shows a lack of resilience.

Something one must demonstrate as a manager.

I guess this shows us that not all great players can be great managers.

It could almost be a case of a player who once dominated the premier league, returning with a weaker team he is expecting to play like Manchester United.

Maybe Keane returned to the premier league too quick, and should have been learning his craft in the lower leagues.

You  almost felt that he was just signing players because he could and not because he should, when you break it all down.

Well who knows what the future holds for Roy Keane.

Will he ever return to be a manger again?












The new Makelele?


If Liverpool wins the title, Mascherano could be the man to guide them there.

Forget the of brilliance of Steven Gerrard, the flamboyance of Fernando Torres or the nothing of Robbie Keane (lol).

Mascherano is the work horse in the middle of the park.

Not since Makelele first joined Chelsea. Have we seen such an influential defensive midfielder?

Players like this help you win titles.

Don’t believe me?



 By TC






The Arsenal Debate



Why is it that Arsenal always plays their better football against the Big 4?

They have lost 5 league games this season; however they have beaten Man U and Chelsea.

In a nutshell, Arsenal plays good, free flowing football.

They are able to express this better against big teams because they too are trying to play good football.

This opens up gaps and the gunners are able to use the full extent of their attacking abilities.

However when they meet a side like Bolton who are happy to sit back most of the game, they are in trouble.

Hence the success of Chelsea, Liverpool and Man U, who are able to change their style to suit the opposition they are up against.

It seems that no matter the opposition, Arsenal refuse to change their style.

This culture is implemented into all the youngsters that are at the club.

However when you have William Gallas coming from a side like Chelsea, who is accustomed to ugly 1-0 victories, it makes things a little different.

It was only a matter of time till he got up and said something; obviously he is not used to this type of football.

Recent results have shown that against less favorable opposition, Arsenal have not been able to get the job done.

Wenger said it himself: “This season we have played better against the top four,” admitted Wenger at his pre-match press conference. “We cannot deny that because we lost against the teams who are not maybe favorites to play in the top four. Why? Maybe because they play a different type of football.







Will we ever see another Owen or Rooney?

The premier league today has so much money, that the days of investing in youth academies seem to be gone.

Really, what is  the point, when everybody in the league has the money to buy proven international  and national players.

Yes, even teams like Sunderland  who have just returned to the Premier League are able to lure the likes of Cisse and Chimbonda.

While there is still hope for the lower end teams to develop youngsters, the end is coming due to the copious amounts of money available to teams.

Admittedly, I am a critic of the Arsenal style of football, which I feel for the talent at their disposal, is too soft to win a title. 

However Arsene Wenger seems to be amongst the few still looking to unearth young talent from the club.

Who can deny the excitement when a young Michael Owen first burst on the scene, or the young bullish Rooney who seemed fearless as he played against his idols.

I feel that’s better for the game than a big money signing like Shevchenko which turns to nothing.

So will there be another Rooney?

Sir Alex Ferguson was so famous for discovering raw English talent.

When was the last time you saw a young English player come through the ranks at Man U and command a regular place?

Sure, we have seen flashes of potential, but they usually just get loaned off to some young championship side.

The situation at Chelsea for example is an absolute joke.

The FA should really take a step back and see what direction this is all going.

Even Chelsea fans have to admit that it’s a pretty sad situation.

I reckon their Reserve side would qualify for the Champions League.

We need more attention on the future of the game.

Wishful thinking, I know!

At the end of the day money talks!untitled



 By TC


The death of the English Manager

The four top teams In the English Premier League do not have an English Manager.

Why is this the case?

 For all the hype in recent times surrounding managers, it took the FA to hire Sven to realise how poor English managers were.

We know what a bitter pill that would have been to swallow to hire a foreigner.

However, what a change that was.

No one can deny how refreshing the appointment of Sven was.

After all that, the sadly predictable appointment of Steve McLaren followed.

Need I say more?

I will! What a bloody disaster.

Don’t get me wrong I would like to see a good English Manager, but it’s just not happening.

The talk of the town is Harry “Houdini” Redknapp, whose specialty is helping teams avoid relegation.

Then Redknapp has the nerve this past weekend to say Paul Ince can one day be the National manager.

Ya, and one day Michael Jackson could like girls.

Outside of the top four, the best manager is Martin O’Neil, and he isn’t English.

Who will be the next good English manager to step up?

I’m searching hard.

Watch this space…





Is the gap between the Big 4 and everyone else closing?

Last weekend’s results were surprising for all of us, with not one of the Big four registering a win.

Furthermore none of the Big Four actually scored a goal.  Does this mean that the gap is closing, or was

This merely a one off. Time will tell.

Especially with the unlimited transfer kitty being handed to Man City in January.

This could really shake things up!

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July 2020