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Gerrard as Liverpool manager? Erm…
In response to Guo, and his masterful plan to install Stevie Me as Liverpool manager. I thought I’d state a few reasons why I feel David Unsworth should be made the permanent Everton manager.
1. After being knocked out of the Cup Winners Cup with Everton in 1995 after a disappointing 1-0 aggregate defeat to Feyenoord, and then subsequently never playing in Europe again. Unsworth will be incredibly hungry to ensure European competition is consistently on offer at Goodison. Expect big things in the Europa.
2. He did a great job with the U23 side, winning the Liverpool and Lancashire cups in 2016. He will be familiar with all the young players who will be good enough for the first team, and could blend in the youth prospects with the over 40s such as Wayne Rooney, Ashley Williams and Leighton Baines.
3. Unsworth has played with the best. Training with the likes of Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, Paul Gascogne, Gary Speed, and Linvoy Primus should mean Unsworth knows what a good player should look like. Also playing with Paddy Kenny means he knows what a sh!t keeper looks like
4. He knows the Premier League. A very vital ingredient. Being unfamiliar with the premier league could be managerial suicide for any manager, just ask Mauricio Pochettino and Marco Silva. An unforgiving league where if the 1st placed team plays the bottom team at 80% they would likely lose to the bottom team. Knowing what to expect from teams and managers should make the games somewhat easier to manage.
5. He’s a local lad (sort of)
Also in 5 years time, Unsworth will be 47.
Guo says that one of the 5 reasons that Steven Gerrard should take over from Jurgen Klopp is because he ‘knows the league’. Piffle.
Since England won the World Cup only six men have won the English football league title for the first time having previously managed at that level – Joe Mercer, Harry Catterick, Dave Mackay, Ron Saunders, Howard Wilkinson and Claudio Ranieri – and they all only managed it once each, accounting for less than 12% of titles in that time. (Brian Clough, Kenny Dalglish and Jose Mourinho all won the league again in subsequent roles).
The list of managers to have won the title in their first top-flight role since 1966 includes some of the game’s very greatest – Shankly, Busby, Mee, Revie, Clough, Paisley, Fagan, Kendall, Dalglish, Graham, Ferguson, Wenger, Mourinho, Ancelotti, Mancini, Pellegrini and Conte.
And of the current big 6 club managers, only Mourinho and Pochettino have previous top-flight experience in the UK, with Wenger, Guardiola, Klopp and Conte all in their first jobs – and I think we can reasonably say that Guardiola looks a very strong bet to win the title at some point in the next 2-3 years.
Turns out ‘knowing the league’ is really rather unimportant when it comes to winning the title.
Jonny (Guardiola and Klopp are heirs apparent to that list) Dance
In response to Guo and his ode to Gerrard, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ‘didn’t know the league’ when appointed manager of Cardiff City? Must have imagined all those goals for Man United then.
Knowledge of the league is irrelevant, as is ‘knowing’ what a good player looks like – I’d point you towards the managerial career of one Royston Keane as evidence against that train of thought. Great players rarely make great managers, and the list of those that have tried and failed is a pretty extensive one. Look at Glenn Hoddle as another example, many players complained that playing under Hoddle was a thankless task as he could never understand why players couldn’t do the things he could.
What matters for managers is communication, the ability to mould those players under your charge into a comprehensive unit, and at least a basic appreciation of tactics and organisation. Success at youth level is no guarantee of the tactical side of things, no matter how well that youth team does. You need only look across Stanley Park to see the folly in that school of thought!
Conrad Wiacek, MUFC
Guo, you know who else ticks all those boxes? David Unsworth. How’s that going for Everton?
Rom ain’t stupid
One thing that I think is being missed on the already tedious Lukaku ‘debate’, is completely outside of the intelligence and/or luck sides of things. Romelu is extremely positionally disciplined. He knows the positions in the box, for all kinds of scenarios, that he needs to be in to maximise his chances or knocking the ball in the net – and, if you watch carefully, he’s generally there, and tends not to shift too much away from said area.
Without noticing this aspect, it’s easy to look at him play and think he’s not moving enough, he’s static, he’s not linking play as he should (technique?) or dropping off to face outside the box and goal (intelligence?). He’s been proven, on countless occasions, that his positioning largely equals goals – just look at the jaw-dropping stats. It’s just that it relies heavily on service, an understanding with team mates (from ones that properly find him), and it relies on a defender potentially losing concentration (lacking discipline) for him to appear in the right area.
The intelligence-bashing of Romelu is tiring, and this would suggest he’s actually pretty smart about his work, whatever that even means. It also likely explains why Jose bought him, and probably why he wanted Perisic, or someone similar, to find these positions of Rom more regularly than the current players seem to do.
But he is a flat-track bully
You can talk intelligence until the cows come home but there are some simple, Rafa-style, facts on Lukaku that illustrate his abilities pretty clearly…
Teams Lukaku has scored against this season and their current league position
West Ham- 18th, Swansea- 19th, Everton- 16th, Southampton- 10th, Palace- 20th and Newcastle- 14th
Teams Lukaku hasn’t scored against this season and their current league position-
Leicester- 12th, Liverpool- 6th, Huddersfield- 11th, Spurs- 5th, Chelsea- 3rd, Brighton- 9th
Average league placing of teams he has scored against- 16.16
Average league placing of teams he hasn’t scored against- 7.66
I know what you are thinking- the better teams are harder to score against, therefore everyone’s stats would be that way around. By way of comparison, the average league placing of the teams Mo Salah (the Premier League’s current top scorer) has scored against is 8.37 and the average league placing of those he hasn’t scored against is 9.6.
But what about international goals, I hear you cry… isn’t Lukaku Belgium’s all-time leading scorer? Well yes he is. Since the start of the 2016/17 season he has scored an impressive 14 international goals… against Cyprus (3), Bosnia, Estonia (2), Greece (2), Gibraltar (3), Mexico (2) and Japan.
Before he moved to Utd a whole raft of people said he was a flat track bully. F365, amoungst others, said no and pointed to a hattrick in a 5-5 draw in 2013 as evidence of his ability against big clubs. However, the evidence is pretty clear- Big Rom is a flat track bully, no more and no less. If that is what Utd want then happy days. He will help to steamroller teams in the relegation mix (lots of lovely 4-0s) but he will never be the player to help Utd to the title or the Champions League, he just ain’t that guy.
Micki ‘it cannot be December on Friday, I refuse to believe it’ Attridge
Needs too many chances to score. Fades in and out of games. Form fluctuates. Goes missing in big games.
Lukaku is a bad rap single and feud with Teddy Sheringham away from being Andy Cole.
Falling for you
It feels nice to get some replies in the mailbox. I just want to reply to Terry to continue the positive vibes. First of all, I sent a reasonably long mail but I reject that the sole purpose of it was to call for cheating. I will admit I suggested that the possibility of a slip at work would improve Liverpool’s chances around the box.
In 2013/14, Liverpool were awarded 10 penalties- the most in any season for the club since football began in the early 90s. Not all of them came from dark arts, but, the presence of Suarez surely added to the panic in the box. Some of those penalties made a real difference- last minute winner at Fulham comes to mind.
I agree with Gary Neville- you can stay on your feet and get a pat on the back from your nan (or Terry), or you can go down and win your team a penalty.
Maybe I am living in the past, maybe the future is a brighter place. Salah and Mane don’t have to slip at work in every game. But the occasional fall or niggling of the opposition defender won’t stop me from sleeping at night.
I accept that none of this will change the team’s inability to defend a lead or defend in general.
Jamie, Eire, ( the first one)
Shaw to Chelsea?
Watching Luke struggle at United had me thinking.
Alonso is our ONLY established fullback. We need More homegrown players. If conte was willing to work with that injured Barkley who ended up shitting all over out bid for him, why not try Shaw? He deserves a fair chance at another big club and it’s not like mourinhos rejects have been known to thrive elsewhere, but we really need a cover for Alonso. Thoughts of Pedro playing there give me the willies. If Shaw would come in and train under conte, I think he would improve and give Alonso a run for top dog.
Are there any other top. 5 club fans who would like Shaw in January.
Paul (CFC) from Nigeria.
Why not change the name of Mediawatch to Citywatch so you can carry on your spaff fest over Pep and the boys
I usually find your ‘Recommended reading of the day’ a great feature, so thank you for the additional articles and view points of some very insightful, talented writers.
With this in mind, can I throw some of your followers this way to an update on Chapecoense football team who suffered that horrific plane crash last year.
Tim Vickery, who I’m a big fan of anyways, has written a wonderful piece about how the club (and in fact the world) have paid tribute those who lost their life (71 of the 77 who were on board), how they have mourned and also how they are performing this season.
I’m sure most of you have read it, but I still thought it was worth sharing for anyone who might have missed it.
Jamie, CFC, Watford
Wait a minute F365…Daniel Storey is that you on the journalists show for Premier League Today??
Well up Lad!
Good contribution…and well done for not asking Simon to please let you finish speaking…I did enjoy his finger wag there…”interesting point” about the Marco Silva pursuit, and cue interjection…Chairmen (former) really do know best guys!
Jokes aside, Simon makes for decent tv too, I’m just being harsh, you would think the poor man was Pep!
Manc In SA (get in Daniel!)