sheriff polo shirts Giggs should learn from Gerrard
Could this be the end for Mourinho?
As an Arsenal fan I am fully expecting us to lose at the weekend. We always lose to Manyoo away in the league right? Then with Mourinho being the manager, that makes this even more of a certainty.
However, what if we win? I know its unlikely but you never know, we might get lucky. Would that be the final wake up call for the press to notice that Emperor Mourinho has been wearing no clothes for a while now?
Its interesting how the Wenger Mourinho thing all started because in the first match between them (Arsenal vs Chelsea), it was 2 2 and Thierry Henry missed a sitter to win it near the end. Had he scored that, we wouldn even be talking about that record. So perhaps what Wenger says that its about the teams not the managers has some merit.
Firstly, I am a United fan, and as such have never really liked Steven Gerrard.
Secondly, as a United fan, I have always loved Ryan Giggs. That family business was a little unpleasant, but none the less. He is, and always will be a United legend.
However, his attitude since he left the club has left a bit of a sour taste in the mouth. He is attempting to absolve himself from the Moyes/LVG eras, and as is well documented, he was either doing nothing and just putting out cones and therefore unsuitable for a top managerial role,
or was taking an active part and therefor complicit in the worst 3 seasons since I started following them (1985 Paul McGrath was my hero).
He has then seemed to feel he is entitled to walk into a Premier League managerial position on reputation. Without doubt he felt he should have been given the reins at Old Trafford due to his illustrious playing career, or Swansea because he’s Welsh.
Which is nonsense. It’s been argued before that he should cut his teeth elsewhere, or in lower leagues, and I feel this is the right thing for him to do. It might knock the edges off him.
Now, Steven Gerrard has been linked to the MK Dons job, going as far as to say he has met them, and I have to admire him for that. He is willing to move to a club in the lower half of the Championship and on the face of it doesn’t seem to think he should be delivering Jurgens P45.
Similar situation to Patrick Viera, gone elsewhere to learn the trade. Or to some extent Gary Neville, granted that went tits up but kudos for trying.
So, for once in my life, well done Steven.
Can’t wait to hear what Robbie Savage has to say about a player coming in from foreign leagues and taking another job from Ryan Giggs.
If the reports are to be believed, then Stevie G is going to be the MK Dons manager. I for one would like to applaud him. The easy route would have been to dive into a coaching role at Liverpool or go the Roy Keane route and finish in Scotland with predictable enough winners Celtic, but the MK Dons offer a different challenge. Earlier this year, Robbie Savage bemoaned Giggs not getting the Swansea job over the vastly more qualified Bob Bradley. Carragher wrote in his column that more Football League Clubs should be offering a chance for ex pros to cut their teeth at management. Fair play to the MK Dons for taking the risk. No matter your opinion on Gerrard, I do think it a brave step. I hope he succeeds.
Miguel Sanchez, LFC, Eire (Portrait of an icon, Robbie Fowler?)
Herrera is the new Keane (kind of)
A word of warning about Ander Herrera
Miguel Sanchez, Jamo and Alex are all labeling Ander Herrera a nasty bstard on the football field, and that fair (Paul Murphy defense was blinkered, at the very least). But, I glad to have him as our bstard. The last proper bstard to boss Manchester United central midfield won 17 trophies and became club captain along the way. Herrera is a far different player to Roy Keane, but we missed an emotionally connected bstard at Old Trafford and United fans will happily let Herrera take up that role.
And a word of warning to Eric Dier: yes, you bigger and yes, you were wronged by Little Ander but, the conniving, snide, little bstard always wins this war. There also the fact that 80,000 at Old Trafford will scream far louder in protest, should you harm Ander, than those at Wembley; tiny chance you get away with anything subtle or blatant. The only way, Eric, to exact revenge on Herrera would for Tottenham to dominate United which is as likely as it will be depressing.
More games to watch this weekend
Tottenham West Ham. Slaven Bilic got everything right the last time these teams met, when his side harassed Spurs all over the pitch, held them to 73% passing, and won 1 0. But that was at Upton Park, Spurs were missing Danny Rose and Kyle Walker, and the Hammers were playing much better football then. Still, as Bournemouth showed, the best way to play Spurs is to attack them, so it should be once more unto the breach. But the current 3 4 3 might leave West Ham light in central midfield last year’s win came with three in the middle. Tottenham are by some distance the most left oriented attacking team in the league, so if it’s three at the back, Cheikhou Kouyat, one of West Ham’s best performers, will be under pressure. Other than a healthier squad, not sure what the answer is for Spurs’ scoring troubles. But Hammers fans are hoping it’s not Adrian, who has been well below his best this season.
Stat: Of regular penalty takers in Europe’s top leagues, Mark Noble is the most successful at sending the keeper the wrong way, at 87% of the time. (That someone is keeping track of this is a triumph for humanity.)
Sunderland Hull City. Don’t miss this one, folks. By my count, Hull have only one fit and eligible striker, Dieumerci Mbokani, so we might see the 4 5 1 from the second half against Southampton. But Mike Phelan has preferred three at the back lately, and a 3 4 2 1 could really flummox the hosts, who will probably stay with the 4 4 2 which worked at Bournemouth, Victor Anichebe playing a bit behind and to the left of Jermain Defoe. A sign of the change from Allardyce to Moyes is that Patrick Van Aanholt has been getting almost twice as many crosses in, and Ahmed Elmohamady can be vulnerable on that side. Duncan Watmore will tend to cut inside from the right, which will probably suit Sam Clucas’ defensive style. John O’Shea looks fit again and will probably start, but remember that Lamine Kon and Papy Djilobodji are much better in the air, which is where Mbokani can hurt you. Please, Mr. Phelan, press just a little bit?
Stat: Hull City are dead last at preventing pass completions in their defensive third. They also dead last in preventing pass completions in the neutral zone. And in their attacking third as well.
Southampton Liverpool. Possession play meets gegenpressing in the tactical battle of the week. Southampton system tends to leave Oriol Romeu isolated in front of the back four, which could be disastrous given Liverpool style of attack, even with Lallana and Coutinho missing. Maybe sit Jordy Clasie deep as well? Virgil van Dijk has excelled this season, but his greatest strength is in the air, where Liverpool rarely go. A the other end, although the Reds have at times been susceptible to quick breaks through the gegenpress, the Saints are short on pace, which is exactly why they failed to create more chances against Manchester City. If you’re wondering about corners, given Liverpool’s kinda sorta weakness there (but don’t mention it to Jrgen), Southampton rank fifth in quality of chances created from corners. And while we’re statting, a look at the numbers below suggests the Saints are due for some luck.
Stat: Southampton are dead last in saving opponents’ shots on target (57.1%) and also in scoring their own shots on target (20.0%).
Ever since Sky have taken over the TV rights to the Premiership, many fans have moaned that Sky has ruined football by making it too expensive for the average fan. Looking at spiralling ticket prices since 1992, it’s hard to argue. But to me football clubs themselves escape criticism far too easily and the latest study on ticket prices, showing for the first time attending Premiership matches will be cheaper, has only reinforced my feeling as it so long overdue!
Put it this way if your favourite beer manufacturer suddenly started making record profits overnight so they decided to put their prices UP, would you still buy the beer? And that’s my point, the amount of money clubs make from TV, now more so than ever, vastly outweighs what they earn from ticket sales. They could pass massive savings onto fans without a drastic change to total profits. But they choose not too, as enough is never enough.