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It’s gonna be Dortmund, isn’t it?
I can’t believe I made it through the full 90 mins last night. 2 teams who needed a draw. Middle of the mountains. Half frozen pitch. All the delights the Europa League has to offer. It’s the sort of game that makes you want to drink. Well, drink MORE in my case.
So looking at who we could get in the next round and there’s lots of intere… It’s gonna be Dortmund isn’t it? It just will be. I don’t believe in fate or some higher power but, for some reason, the most poetic thing usually happens in football. The former player will score and break fans’ hearts etc. So I’m fully prepared for Dortmund and all the over-the-Klopp coverage that will get.
That last pun means I’m now part of the problem. Not sure how I feel about that.
Kris, LFC, Manchester
Drogba for Chelsea manager
After watching Chelsea play Porto yesterday I felt really funny inside. I can’t stand mourinho. So much so that I only watch Chelsea in the hope that they loose every single match until mourinho is fired. I think he is a success as a manager but as a human he is a failure. But who cares as long as he could deliver. However I watched Porto try and fail to breach Chelsea’s ranks. It was an impressive showing and many wonder why a team that sucks so bad in the league can produce such brilliance. I really don’t even know who Chelsea’s best player was. There was an arguement to be made for every player. They didn’t even look like the same team. O how I hated that game. When I saw Roman Abramovich clapping and giggling like a sixteen year old girl, It really hurt. However, I believe that last nights result was a false light. A false light will only lead us deeper into the darkness. (Quoting SOIAF). Eventually his deficiencies will find him out and all this patience from the fans will have been a wasted investment. I still have hope though. I believe that rotten form will continue in the league and he will get sacked so that we can get a respectable person in as manager who deserves the support of all reasonable people all over the world.
I dream on.
If that does happen I would like to see Chelsea hire Drogba as our new manager. It seems to be the trend that clubs recruit managers from their own club veterans or even relatively untried talent. Big clubs with money should not be afraid to take risks sometimes. Afterall why do they need the worlds best coaches when they can afford the worlds best players? It’s clubs who can’t afford the best talent that should needs be shrewder in their search for managerial talent. See Ranieri and Leicester as a typical example of what I am saying. Most of the time, big name managers always have conflict of egos with their star players. See Mourinho, LVG, Guardiola, SAF, as examples of bad chemistry between big player and big manager. What big clubs need are young managers with years of playing experience within and outside the league who have a proven influence within the squad even as players. And then hire experienced coaches to assist them and provide them with latest technology in management. If a player can be groomed, then why not a manager? And If ever a former player deserved to be groomed for management, Chelsea and Roman Abramovich could and are doing a lot worse than Drogba could if the environment was made conducive.
Paul (Support Drogba for Chelsea manager. Make Africa proud. How bad could he possibly be?) from Nigeria.
A message to Mr Van Gaal
I don’t usually write in (mostly because I’m too lazy) but the recent developments at Manchester United. I know people are sick of the subject, so I’ll try to keep it brief. LVG said he would take United to the title in 3 years, from 7th position in 2013/4. From what I can see, his plan is:
Season One: Stabilise the squad and bring back CL football – He got us 4th place, and got rid of a lot of deadwood people have been complaining about. Unfortunately, the experiments with Di Maria and Falcao didn’t work out, partially due to LVG’s man management. However, he still brought in and bettered Shaw, Herrera, Blind and Rojo, all important squad players.
Season Two: Consolidate our position in the league, and perhaps a title challenge – From his tactics, he seems to be aiming to solidify our defence and strengthening our midfield. Am I disappointed with the departure of RVP and Hernandez? Yes, but I understand that he is trying to groom Memphis and Martial. Do you guys remember the difference in Shaw’s performance between last season and this? i’m hoping he has a similar effect on the frankly ridiculous number of youth players he has given a chance to (which is the true United Way, if you ask me).
Season Three: The title – I’m assuming he’s going to work on the attack next season.
Overall, am I disappointed that we’re out of the CL? Of course, but I’m more disappointed that after a year and a half focussing on our defence, we weren’t able to get anything despite scoring two goals away from home. And I’m supremely disappointed in the former players who are jumping on the #LVGout bandwagon (especially since the only level-headed one now has a real job at Valencia), and the reports of the current players complaining publicly about LVG’s tactics. Get on board, or get out. Football isn’t a f***ing democracy, the manager is in charge. If you don’t like it, go join Chelsea where the players get a say in the appointment of the manager. I hope United never becomes that kind of club.
Tarutr MUFC (Also, loving the icon profile series. It really brings back my childhood, even if McGrath might have been a little before my time)
Newcastle and the new player bounce
Reading the article about Newcastle United, and David Glen’s similarly interesting mail on Thursday afternoon, got me thinking about one possible reason for the new players shining brighter than those who’ve been there longer. Basically, as much as people will constantly describe any sort of Tottenham mishap as being a bit “Spursy”, anyone who’s been at Newcastle for any length of time these days seems to have a similar malaise.
When Alan Pardew started doing well at Newcastle, he had an influx of new players, so much that he and his scouts were highly lauded and Graham Carr almost became a household name. Most of these newbies contributed to the team’s good fortunes, but instead of settling in the North East, it seems more like the rot set in. Players like Papiss Cisse, Fabricio Coloccini and Chieck Tiote are clear examples of players who made bright starts in black and white but have declined in form since, reflecting the team’s general descent of the table. It’s not a hard and fast rule, as Yohan Cabaye and Demba Ba both managed to move up in the world after playing for United, but very few others of that era (unless I’m missing someone obvious, always possible) have either achieved much with United or gone on to better things.
Last year, Watford’s success in attaining promotion seemed to be linked to a turnover of managers offering a constant “new manager bounce”. Admittedly, having Troy Deeney up front probably helped more, but just go with it. With Newcastle’s players generally showing that it’s better to burn out (because rust never sleeps), perhaps they have a wholesale clearout at every opportunity, and surviving – thriving, maybe – on a constant “new player bounce” after every transfer window.
The literary Ed Quoththeraven (Jimmy Carr < Franz Carr < Graham Carr < Baby You Can Drive My Carr)
It seems after our valiant boys did the bear minimum on Sunday and played like professional footballers and that the main criticism they are getting is that they only try when they are telly. This is bunkum, they rarely try at all. I am only joking of course. We have not been useless all season. At times we have been somewhat unlucky or played well and not got a result. We have only been totally abject against Bournemouth, Leicester and Crystal Palace (and we upset Man City by scoring first…we won’t be doing that again). We have played 9 times on TV this season and have won 3, drawn 3 and lost 3.
I am very much of the ‘take each match as comes’ this season. I think we will be ok this season if only because some other teams are totally useless. Now I have said this, I fully expect a rogering from Spurs and a mass brawl to erupt between the team and Schteve’s little island of hair.
I was reading David Glen, Chester le Street email about how Newcastle players are putting themselves in the shop window and not willing to die for the team. At first I was on the players side. Agreeing with the fact that we are talking about professional athletes who have a short playing career. These players have a right to get the biggest move/wage increase possible as they only have at best a 20 year career. This seems to me to be a logical viewpoint, until I thought about the way I work. Maybe I’m an idiot but I’m willing to give everything for the company I work for. Long hours no problem, no lunch easy. The reason I work this way is simply because there is this idiotic thought constantly flowing through my brain that if I work hard at the very least my current employer will feel I am worth employing in the long term thus keeping the money flowing through my bank account. Do footballers not consider the long term consequences of their attitude. Play 2 years with a club in England for good money but get sold to some Greek club and destroy your career? I guess at the end of this long pointless rant, my question is do most football players see the massive gain from a big money move as the preferable outcome from playing with a club they have no loyalty for?
If that is the case I guess I really don’t have anything in common with a typical professional footballer
Cian (only writing in so someone doesn’t have to read Ed Quoth the Raven) Cork
Garry Monk is Micky Adams
I’ve been reading the correspondence and articles on Garry Monk with interest, as it reminded me of Micky Adams’ tenure at Coventry City.
In Adams’ full season in charge, he lead us to 8th position in the Championship – Slightly misleading, as we were about 10 or 11 points off the playoffs, but considered by pretty much everyone to be a good achievement and suitable foundation for a promotion challenge the next season. Halfway through his third season, with the club in a relegation battle, he was sacked.
I have no doubt to this day that it was the correct decision: Anyone who watched the team at that time could see the lack of interest, the malaise, the complete void of any ideas or creativity, and if that isn’t the manager’s fault, whose is it? It’s all well and good saying the manager has overachieved in the past, but what’s the point of an achievement if you don’t build on it? You can’t trade on past glories, as the saying goes. And the fact that we subsequently did no better than Adams doesn’t retroactively make the decision to sack him an incorrect one.
Monk’s achievements at Swansea speak for themselves, and fair play to him for such a fantastic first season, but I can’t see how anyone could see the state of affairs on the pitch and argue that things would just magically get better. The danger of giving someone more time when they haven’t done well enough with the time they’ve been given is that the time does eventually run out, and it’s often better to act quickly.
Monk will find success as a manager, of that I have no doubt, and he has earned the respect of the footballing world for his achievements at Swansea, but I do believe the club were probably correct to look for someone who can build on his achievements.
-Adrian (Coventry City fan)
If Swansea have sacked Monk to hire Poyet that will be a truly sad indictment that essentially displaying no talent whatsoever but having some experience of top flight management is somehow perceived as valuable. Or possibly that being a top player entitles you to one of the top management jobs in football.
When you see the mindless decisions that so many football clubs make it does help to remember that these clubs are incredibly small companies in global terms. Very few large companies could justify the mystifyingly stupid and ridiculous decision making you see at a host of premier league clubs.
An England XI made of glass
Ronan Sherman, Cork
Poshest footballer name
Sorry folks, this competition was all sewn up in the 70s
Alex Stokoe, Newcastle upon Tyne
Arsenal have Alexander Oxlade-Chamberlin and Ashley Maitland-Niles and did have Brandon Ottewill-Ormonde on their books.
Toodle pip and tally ho!
Surely has to go to Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, the guy sounds like a Lord…
Sam, LFC (I’ll try and contribute to this site at least once. Honest) North Yorks
Might be time for F365 readers to re-calibrate their social class radar a bit. Double-barrelled names have been on the rise outside the aristocracy for a while now, and a quick glance shows Cameron Borthwick-Jackson went to a comp in Urmston, Troy Archibald-Henville grew up in the definitely un-aristocratic London borough of Newham, Ainsley Maitland-Niles in nearby Redbridge. So what you’re kind of doing is just mocking the parents of kids from modest backgrounds for wanting to keep both parents’ surnames going.
I was just reading your Champions League Winners & Losers and noticed the parallels you drew with Arsenal and the Great Escape. This line in particular in the opening paragraph nearly made me choke, “For Steve McQueen read Olivier Giroud, for James Garner read Mesut Ozil and for Richard Attenborough read Joel Campbell”. Not that I am pedantic (but I am) wasn’t Steve McQueen rounded up on the Swiss border by Ze Germans i.e failed to escape but did show off his excellent motor-cross skills. James Garner crashed landed with Donald Pleasance’s character and was rounded up and dropped back to the prison, and Richard Attenborough was shot by the Gestapo with CI5’s finest Gordon Jackson. Surely that is not “A Great Escape” but rather, “A Failed Escape” which resulted in Sir Dickies characters untimely demise. Now if you had said, “For James Coburn read Oliver Girourd (went through Spain to get home), for Charles Bronson read Mesut Ozil and for John Leyton read Joel Campbell (they both sailed from the Baltic to get home)” that would have made more sense seeing as they “actually” escaped. Anyway well done Arse and boo-boo to Man U.
Right that’s me done…nothing to see here……Evening all!