Posts Tagged ‘Chelsea’

 “When I grow up I want to score an injury-time overhead kick to win my favourite team the championship!”, said the first kid.
“When I grow up I want to make a last minute penalty save to win my team the cup!”, said the second kid.
“When I grow up I want to take two minutes over a throw-in, thus ensuring the ball is in play for the least amount of time possible and thereby ensuring the opposition have less time to create chances, whilst also giving my teammates ample time to get behind the ball!”, said the third kid, before receiving a thoroughly deserved kicking from the other two.

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"Talking nonsense? Me?!"

“Talking nonsense? Me?!”

There are certain managers for whom every public utterance is scrutinised, dissected and happily challenged by the frothing wolves of a media pack all too eager to sink their teeth into any perceived contradictions or mistruths. For the modern-day football manager the media are every inch as formidable an opponent as the identity of the man in the next dugout, a foe to be taken lightly at their peril. For every manager that is, except Jose Mourinho, for whom every laughably absurd and self-serving address is treated with as much deference and sincerity as though it were delivered from a mount in the Middle East a few millennia ago.

In fact, it’s difficult to think of a more prolific expounder of nonsense in the world of football than the Portugese for whom every campaign can be filed into one of two categories; the successful ones and the ones in which he was cheated. For in Jose’s world there can be no other explanation for short-comings. Eliminated from the Champions League at Camp Nou? Clearly the referree’s fault and not the person responsible for playing Robert Huth up front. Lose a Champions League Semi-final against a Liverpool side costing a fraction of his own team? Clearly the fault of the linesman and nothing to do with his own side’s failure to resister a single attempt on target over 180 minutes against a defence containing Djimi Troare. Unable to budge Barcelona from their perch? Why, a Uefa conspiracy, of course, and nothing to do with an inability to get the best out of the most expensively assembled side in the history of the game. (more…)

Coming to a Ground Near You?

Coming to a Ground Near You?

A world without war; Sky Sports News free of hyperbole; a corrupt-free FIFA – next season’s Premiership promises to trump all of the above in terms of the unimaginable: a Premier league campaign with no Alex Ferguson.

So large has Ferguson’s shadow loomed over the landscape of English football that the great Scot’s departure from the Manchester United hotseat has ensured next season promises to be the most open title race for years. Ferguson’s retirement, it can be argued, will affect the hopes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal just as much as United themselves.

In truth Ferguson’s departure couldn’t have come at a worse time for the great soap opera that is the Premier League. With more and more of the games top stars choosing to ply their trade in Spain, Italy and nouveau riche France and Russia, the last thing the English game needed was to lose it’s JR Ewing. Whether one regarded Ferguson as the greatest manager in the history of the game or a manipulative bully, constantly found out in Europe, there’s no denying the Scot was compelling viewing. (more…)

As a Liverpool fan it pains me to say it, but Chelsea’s next manager should be Rafa Benitez.

The Press seem adamant the path is clear for a triumphant home-coming for crowd favourite Jose Mourinho, but the chances of that are between zero and zilch. Mourinho is nothing if not smart and he knows the work required to return Chelsea to the top is not so much cosmetic as of excavation proportions.

Mourinho acolytes rightly point to his impressive record of success wherever he’s been, but they are decidedly less vociferous when the conversation turns to his squad-building prowess. Everywhere Mourinho has enjoyed success he has inherited either the strongest squad in that country (Porto and Inter) or arguably the strongest squad in the world (Chelsea and Real). Mourinho’s three stand-out signings over his career thus far have been Drogba, Essien and Ozil, but all three were already world class footballers coveted by Europe’s top clubs. (more…)