Opinion: Manchester United needs to axe Solskjær

At this point of time the Manchester United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær, the former caretaker and later hired manager for full-time since 2018. There was at one point of time looking like there was progress and more of a structure in the play. However, those days are now gone.

The United team has been in tatters all of October and November 2021. There only been one victory over Tottenham. The rest have been tragic and humiliating results, which is starting to pile-up on him. After twelve rounds in the league he has 5 losses and 5 victories. That isn’t a sign of strength, but of serious weakness.

OGS after last season was supposed to continue the path of building a strong team. Solskjær was getting new recruits in defence, midfield and attack, which all could boost the team significantly. As a manager with the new signings of Varane, Ronaldo and Sancho. He should have the system and momentum on his side. However, that isn’t evident.

The results are stinking. They are aggravating and the loss to Young Boys seems like a pattern now. OGS should make it look like he has control, but that isn’t how it looks. Instead, it seems like his losing the players and they are talking about their grievances to the press. That shouldn’t happen and with huge egos. The manager needs to show character and a plan forward.

Solskjær seems to be lost. Just like the team is often on the pitch now. He got talented and skilled players, but he doesn’t seem to get them into either a formation or philosophy to win. At United that shouldn’t be the case. He could partly get away with this at Cardiff. The short stint it was in Wales. However, this is just prolonging the agony for everyone now.

OGS should see the writing on the wall. The former team legend and player under Sir Alex Ferguson is now on borrowed time. The Glazers will only save his behind, if their investment is still cashing in. When the buck stops, they will axe him too. At this point in time and with Woodward in control for now. He might survive another day, but he cannot fail much more.

This manager have humiliated the team at City, Liverpool and now Watford. OGS let Watford walk all over the team and mock them. Losing 4-1 away to Watford is a disgraceful thing to do as a United Manager. Yes, the team is at fault, but the manager is the first to blame. He is the man who decides and makes the selection of players. It is his tactics and the manifestation on the pitch isn’t there.

Solskjær seems to fail at this and isn’t able to rise above this crisis. The team was boosted and gotten new manpower. However, that isn’t reflected in the results and instead its getting worse. The manager should have gotten more steady defensively with Varane and the midfield should be more inspiring with Sancho. Nevertheless, OGS haven’t utilised this or other acquisitions in his time. Just like Van Der Beek have been lingering on the bench. While Fred and others have been stinking up the place.

It is a reason why the team is lacking and the manager isn’t able to revitalize the squad. The manager doesn’t have the character or finesse to push them. He is to meek or soft to push these stars into action. In the season 2019/20 he came third in the league and last year came 2nd placed. Now, his trailing in 7th place and several points behind the big teams in top four. His soon at the levels of which he became the caretaker in 2018/19. That says it all about his failure to progress the team.

OGS should have stabilized the team and ensure some sort of winning points formula. He has already two seasons behind him. The man should have shown it, but at this moment it is like he cannot grasp what is ahead of him. The sort of steady losses only ensure his possible demise. Nobody will blame the board or the club to sack him now. It would be risky to be another season outside of Champions League. Especially, after getting such huge names and big signings ahead of the season.

Solskjær will not a be a well sought out manager after this either. He was lucky enough to get hired and have these years as a manager in Manchester United. OGS got it because of his legacy and former player at the club. He didn’t get it on merit or acclaimed managerial resume. No, he got it because of his long-foot at the Champions League final many years ago.

OGS is lucky this lasted this long. That he was able to pull of the last two seasons and the caretaker period. That he was able to do that is more than enough. It is just painful to follow him now. Just like it was the months when he was in the dugout at Cardiff. To be blunt, it is even worse now. Because, there he had nothing to loose, but at United he destroys his whole credibility.

Solskjær is lucky if he survives this loss against Watford. He knows that too. There is little to give now and he needed results to keep the job. Now it is just a matter of who takes over and this terrible display cannot continue. There is no saving grace here. Peace.

Opinion: Solskjær is under fire

Every goal disappoints you to concede. If some team outplays you that’s fine – that’s well done to them. But today the first one we gifted, the second one is a set-play that we should do better. We don’t really get our heads on it, and the blocks. Third one, it’s 10 seconds after we equalised. It shouldn’t happen. It’s just one of those things: deal with it. It’s a long ball from Jonny and we should just deal with it. Then the last goal is a set-play again, which is disappointing. It’s concentration, focus, every time you concede a goal” (Ole Gunnar Solskjær after 2-4 defeat to Leicester on the 16th October 2021).

The Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær is in real trouble. He has been managing the Red Devils for over 2 and half years. Last year he was so close to titles, but became second in both of those races. In the Premier League and losing to Villareal in the Euro League Finale. So, this season has to prove further progression to secure his role.

However, the last month has been an giant issue. OGS haven’t delivered and seemingly gotten rotten results. The season started splendid with good victories and a mediocre match at Southampton. Nevertheless, since Mid-September the results haven’t been any good. The club is currently with 14 points after 8 matches and if the club had won every match they would have 24 points. Not that you expect the club to win every match in the Premier League and be the invisible. But… you do expect to get close with United, as they are automatically a title contender. If they are not title contenders. OGS and United should always aspire at that. That is expected for them.

Yes, before Ole became the manager there been a long run of seasons of mediocrity. The team wasn’t filled with huge talents and had a plan. There was several of managers picking their players and some youngsters from the academy.. While that made the team fragile and didn’t have the amount of creativity, strong defence or even a 20 goals a season striker.

OGS have gotten several of world-class players. His transfer-kitty have been extensive and given him a lot. That’s why you should expect more than just clinging on to a Champions League spot. The club will most likely be in the range of 3-4th this season. As the results of late is soon sending them to far to reach the title of the Premier League. It is just 5 points up to Liverpool, but this early in the season is worrying. Especially, if this club is supposed to be progressing.

The club should be in a better place. It has Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, Edison Cavani, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and that’s players who should make them a big team. Yes, a team with such players can have lackluster and bonkers matches. However, 1 victory in the 5 latests matches isn’t what you expect of United. No, they are supposed to be on the tail of bigger teams. This team isn’t supposed to fail in Switzerland and look like the B-Team of Young Boys. No, that’s not supposed to happen, but that happen this season.

On the 19th September was the last victory in Premier League. Yes, United finally won in the Champions League group over Villareal. Since then the team has lost against Aston Villa away, a tie against Everton at home and destroyed away at Leicester today. This isn’t the supposed moving forward is looking like. Especially not when the manager has gotten such player into his team. There should be some sort of move, tactics and ability to use his squad to assemble victories.

Yes, we do know that Ole has been critical about the amount of matches and how it get players injured. That’s why he couldn’t have several of players playing on the team today. Nevertheless, a manager is supposed to sort it out and have other players to squad to cover the others. If not, the team is needs solid tactics. The manager needs to fix that and show his ability to deliver results. Even when his stars are off the pitch. That doesn’t seem possible with Ole. Not that this point at least.

People are even questioning if the players are following a certain philosophy or strategy. Maybe, Ole has been saved by the general star-power. That the team has certain individuals who can change the matches on their own. OGS knows this, but who has seen significant style or playing style in the last two years?

People are questioning that… and it’s natural after this long time without a victory in the league. While the results earlier in the season should be proof that there was something on the way. Now, people are naturally questioning it all.

OGS should show it and prove that he can carry this weight. He is not in “transition” anymore. That train is sort of over. He has had over 2 years to build and the results should start to come now. The instability and uncertainty should be over. However, that is never ending.

Ole is asked to be sacked by plenty of people now. That’s natural even if the place in the League isn’t all out of order and it’s still easy to get into top 4. However, that was Wenger’s plan for Arsenal and was mocked years ago by United fans and everyone else. Especially now that United club has invested and gotten new players ahead of this season. You would thinks was looking more rosy. However, they are not and now everything is point at the manager.

OGS needs results and quickly. He needs to prove the early start of the season wasn’t fluke. The good results of 4 and 5 goals and not really concede a lot goals. Now, that is backfiring and the team isn’t delivering.

After all this time and transfer windows… shouldn’t this project look better and show signs of progress?

Yes, a team and squads have periods and dip of form. That is natural, but the team shouldn’t make it look so dire as today. The choices of the manager should be questioned. The recent results aren’t just speculation, but adding pressure. Right now OGS cannot go much longer without delivering. He needs a lot of victories in a row. That’s what he needs and what United needs as well. Especially, if the club isn’t planning to fall behind the top 4, which could easily happen if this continues.

Ronaldo cannot play all matches, neither can anyone else. That’s why he needs a steady rotation and have a back-up plan. That doesn’t seem viable today and maybe that’s not on the program tomorrow. However, that is needed quickly and he needs to prove he has this. People shouldn’t be able to question him and his style of play. That should be instilled into the players and be visible to the crowds, which isn’t happening now.

Ole do you want this job or are you clueless these days? What is happening? Or was the stint at Cardiff a warning of what is ahead for United? Peace.

Opinion: Pochettino got no excuses [and he got to win trophies now]

There is no more jokes anymore or open questions about the possible talent in the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) squad. This club got to conquer the Ligue 1 and possibly win the Champions League. The recent additions to an already great squad should be all the reasons for a cake-walk of a season. Not talking about the salaries and the spending on these players, which is vastly different from the rest of the French League.

This year, Mauricio Pochettino got to achieve greatness now. He better become a victor and not prolong the agony with another second place in the league. The manager better have a victory run unknown to men. This because the move of Lionel Messi should say it all. That the PSG is getting Messi should ensure the season and trophies.

However, the PSG have already gotten a world class recruits ahead of the season. They have gotten AC Milan’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma (free transfer), Real Madrid’s centre-back Sergio Ramos (free transfer) , Inter Milan’s Right-Back Achraf Hakimi and Liverpool’s Central Midfield Georginio Wijnaldum (free transfer). All of these players are winners and been vital players in their teams. They have all been victors and been successful. While Lionel Messi also on free transfer from Barcelona.

Not like the PSG got lack of talent before all of these players arrived to the French Capital. No, the team had already Goalkeeper Keylor Navas, Central Midfield Marco Verratti, Left Wing Neymar, Right Winger Ángel Di María, Centre Forward Kylian Mbappé and Mauro Icardi. This is just to mention a few and then leaving out Draxler and Gueye who is world-class as well.

Therefore, this team is packed and has a players who can change matches. The PSG should with all these player be superior in France and be able to challenge anyone in the Champions League. If they cannot do this with this squad. They never will succeed. Because, they have the stars, the experience and the possible goal-scorers to make a winning team.

The only question now with possibly Messi arriving in Paris. Will Pochettino be able to handle all this and the pressure put on him. He can skate away and linger on the lack of talent. It is not like he can complain that he doesn’t have a player or big enough squad to succeed. Because, this is the Football Manager or Champions Manager dream-team. It is the sort of trade-off and recruitment your dream of achieving in fantasy football. This is usually only happening in the virtual world. As the free transfers of PSG is so world-class. That you can wonder what happened to their teams and why they let these players go…

PSG has had the best transfer window any club can have. In a market and when other clubs are struggling financially. When European football is bleeding and lacking funds for salaries and transfers itself. At that time they are able to pick up stars for nothing and only paying additional sign-on fees and such. Which is something they would have if they had bought them as well. Therefore, the PSG has won this and now they got to win on the pitch too.

The Manager got to carry PSG and ensure the results are coming. He has a team to dream of and with such massive skills. That Pochettino has no excuses or say, if the results doesn’t goes his way. The Argentinian manager better show his tactical mind and use these player at full capacity. He has a defence, a magical midfield and strikers to end any opponent. Pochettino just got to execute and secure the win before the final whistle. Peace.

Opinion: The Super League undressed one vital ingredient hidden in plain sight

The Dirty Dozen or the 12 clubs who was breaking away from the Football governing bodies and creating their own league on Sunday the 18th April 2021. Have shown the world their true character and reason for ownership in the sport in the first place. The clubs have been taken over by sports owners, businesses and financial backers who is in for a quick buck. This isn’t owners who cares about football, its traditions or the legacy of these clubs. No, they are a MEAN to an END.

The clubs in question are useful tools for a cash-grab and a huge profit margin in sports where there isn’t to much investments for supporters and consumers world-wide to buy the product. If that is TV-Licensing deals, sponsorships or merchandise sale. It is all ways to sell the products and get the money flowing. Get the business from going from red to black in a heartbeat.

The 12 clubs and additions would have a financial wet-dream and be in a beneficial agreement. Where they would earn big money before even playing and just participating in the Super League. These teams would earn fortunes and they would just change the rules of the game. The pyramid of national leagues or even UEFA club coefficient wouldn’t matter. These twelve teams would get an advantage and be partners in their own system.

They wouldn’t have to care about the rules of FIFA, neither the tournaments of UEFA or the national association. The teams would be separate from the national leagues and cups. The 12 in question would live on their own island and on their own terms. Not playing in solidarity with others than themselves and gaining the perks of that.

That is why the Super League was so baffling. Yes, the UEFA and FIFA isn’t perfect. They are corrupt and have well known cronyism. The UEFA governing body is a greedy machine and the same is FIFA. So, the 12 clubs are just a mirror of their efforts, but in their own way. The 12 teams have been living in this greed and been building its prestige within these systems. That’s why breaking away would be a betrayal of the system they have grown big in.

Neither of the parties I have mentioned has clean hands. In the end its the supporters and fans who pays the price. The clubs are only being wealthy and rich, because of fans and supporters are willing to spend their dimes on them. They are buying tickets, subscription to Pay-Per-View and other things in connection with them. Not like the clubs can live or work without fans. They are the one reason for their existence in the first place.

The Super League was built on a shaky ground and would be a damned from the start. There would be so many left behind and leagues shattered because of the betrayal of these 12 teams. The owners of the teams might seek to find a way out. As their wet-dreams went south. The fans and the football bodies didn’t accept this. However, the teams still needs a reminder and they we’re close to making it happen. They had finalized the deal and went out with sort of collective statements. They we’re proud founding clubs of the Super League. These teams needs to be reminded and get a punishment. The Football Associations and others needs to react swiftly. It cannot just be water under the Stamford Bridge. It got to be something, drop of points and transfer embargoes. They need to feel.

The 12 teams are maybe not able to configure the league. As teams are ditching out the deals tonight. Sports directors and CEOs are resigning. We are seeing rumours of trading teams or trying to sell. All of that because they couldn’t bath in glory and swim in coins like Scrooge McDuck. However, the clubs was willing and was close to ditch everyone else. That got to have consequences. This cannot just conspire to happen over night, release it out of the bag and scare whole of Football Europe without any sanctions or punitive actions. The clubs who was willing to betray their national leagues and associations needs to be addressed. These has to be answered and they have to wonder why they wanted to leave the fold for their own game.

The owners underestimated the values, the reach and the general support for Football in Europe. These owners aren’t close in the alleys and streets around the stadiums on the day-to-day basis. They are only looking over the stock portfolio and the bottom-line on their investment. If it is yielding good money and great returns. Now, they are seeing the heart of the matter and possible the outreach of clubs. They didn’t just buy a Football Club, but also a local stakeholder and a part of a community. That cannot just be traded or sold as a loaf of bread. No, it got to be respected and honour the commitment of the fans it has.

The Dirty Dozens owners forgot this part. They forgot why they exist. Now, these clubs better face consequences and answer for the Super League. The resignations and possible sales of clubs isn’t saving it. That is just damage control after a failed enterprise. They we’re supposed to get a quick fix of money and run their own game. Now, they have lost without even playing a game. The PR is ghastly and the reputations is in tatters. The trust in the owners and the boards is at a all time low. These folks are willing to trade it all for a JP Morgan security of steady cash-flow.

The Super League shows how the Americans lives in their own world of Money-Ball. Where clubs are vehicle for printing money and securing favourable deals in Entertainment/Sports. That is all it is to them. They don’t value traditions, competitions or the rules of the game. No, it is money and that is what it all boils down too. They don’t care about Bushby, Shankly or Shearer. No, they only care about Pound Fucking Sterling and Euros. Peace.

Opinion: Supporters have to learn from AFC Wimbledon [Super League, don’t join’em, but beat’em]

I always remember back to Wimbledon and their rough playing style (the Crazy Gang). Wimbledon as a team was filled with sometimes misfits and out of character players. However, they did entertain and showed courage on the pitch. That is why the Wimbledon team was respected and deserved credit for what it did.

However, at some point the team fell apart. It also got relegated and got new owners. That really relocated the team and its facilities. This cause furore and fury among the loyal supporters. Wimbledon deserved much better. The owners went ahead and relocated it. Nevertheless, the supporters started from scratch and built up a new team.

MK Dons – The Owners Club:

MK Dons, formed in 2004 from the ashes of Wimbledon FC, began playing their football at the National Hockey Stadium under the guidance of Stuart Murdoch, but poor results would lead to his dismissal in November of the same year and the appointment of Danny Wilson in his place. The experienced Wilson was in charge during the Dons’ most turbulent spell as a Club, escaping relegation from League One on the final day of the season thanks to Gareth Edds’ 84th minute winner against Tranmere Rovers.” (MK Dons – History).

AFC Wimbledon – The Supporter Club:

It was preserving that glorious past that drove followers of the club to start again in the summer of 2002 after a specially appointed three-man FA commission shocked football fans everywhere by allowing the old Wimbledon FC to relocate to a Buckinghamshire new town. Determined not to let a proud 104-year history die, Dons supporters organised themselves and within just six weeks AFC Wimbledon – a club the commission had declared would be “not in the wider interests of football” – was born” (AFC Wimbledon – About Us).

This here is a cautionary tale, as well as one that has to inspire, as AFC Wimbledon is the game ahead and what the supporters needs to do. Yes, the owners can have the stadiums, the licenced names and jerseys. They can have the logos and even the grounds where the proud history of the clubs was made. However, the owners doesn’t own the supporters or the fans. They are the reason why the clubs are profitable and big business. These are the ones spending and making football viable as an investment.

Therefore, now that the Super League becomes a thing. The fans of the Big Six in the United Kingdom better learn from AFC Wimbledon. If they want to take care of the rich history and what matters. They better start their own clubs and forget the old ones. They are like the MK Dons. The clubs of the owners like Glazers, Levy and Henry. These people are in it for business and profits. Those fellows isn’t in it for the love of the game, but to earn quick bucks. That is why they are invested and interested in a Super League where they control and secure the bag.

That is why the supporters, fans and everyone who loves the sport. Have to start a fresh. They got to do like the Wimbledon fans had too. They had to stand strong and united, be courageous and not take the bollocks from the owners. They have to start new clubs in their stead. The supporter unions and organizations have to organize together in a manner where the they all can participate and create new clubs. Clubs which will represent the supporters and be “theirs”. Not be money-making machines for rich investors or hedge-funds.

Supporters have to stay grounded and think for the long run. Because this Super League is only envisioned as a cash-grab for a selected group of owners who has no care in the world in the spirit or the ideals of the competitions. They want a huge profit quickly and earn fortunes on the hard work and dedications of supporters for decades before they arrived to the clubs. These individuals want to take the heritage and the history of these clubs to get a few more shillings. That is what they do and leave behind a lot of national leagues, cups and European competitions without their presence. All been done for a creation of a money-ball situation. That’s it. The rich historic clubs traded on the alter of crony capitalism. That is tragic and therefore, the supporters have to challenge this. Just like the great supporters of Wimbledon who lost their home, their club, but they started their own with AFC Wimbledon, because the owners traded it away with the MK Dons.

Now, the big clubs are trading away their histories and their collective place for a shot at this Super League. In their stead the supporters have to create new teams in Milan, London, Manchester and elsewhere. To show the owners that they got nothing without the supporters and in the end… the souring profits will stop when they don’t have the ratings, the licences, the merchandise and gift selling. They only have empty stadiums and TV-deals, which the supports might boycott. That will be the tragic end. That is if the supporters are willing to risk their clubs, which have already been traded and taken for granted by a few greedy owners. Peace.

Opinion: The “Owners” League

The establishment of the European Super League (ESL) is practically the “Owners” League. This is made by and made for the owners of these clubs. The owners of these Football Clubs see the profit and possible incentives to control the licensing and merchandise directly. Not being part of the European Football bodies or governing associations. This is taking direct control of their investments and finding ways of getting a possible cash-cow.

The Super League is the European answer to the American Money-Ball. Where they have “World Series”, NBA and all the other leagues where Franchises and Owners of Teams are automatically part of the leagues. These are not made by national associations and by league structures that makes it possible for the underdog to get to the top. Because, the leagues are pre-fixed and has the Major League Teams already secured play.

The same will be with the Super League. Where the Founding Teams and such will have a favourable spot. These clubs will be there and never get relegated. These clubs with their massive wealth will sign of their own rules and together not care about for instance the “Financial Fair Play” or other measures to make the game more interesting.

With this sort of game-play and league. There will not be possible to see Burnley or Sheffield United beat Manchester United or Tottenham. No, they will not be able to participate or even try to play other second tier teams in the other leagues. They are practically shut out of the competition and the league is a narrow joint venture between the capital strong clubs of Europe.

The ESL is just made for the owners and not for the supporters. This is not intended on making it better for fans or making the sport more competitive. There is already Champions League and Euro League under the UEFA umbrella. Where the European Club Association has a say and is a vital member of. Therefore, ESL is playing around this and trying to be challenger to this.

What the ESL is losing out of is the direct competitions and the growth of the national leagues itself. If La Liga, Premier League or Serie A wasn’t competitive and interesting the supporters would ditch that too. However, the race for the titles and the race for the European titles as well have fuelled the interests for years. The ESL wants to cash out of that without putting the work down.

These clubs wouldn’t be interesting or as big as they are, if they didn’t participate or being part of the bigger picture. So, if they go along with this one and plays this one out. They are outplaying themselves too. You cannot grow naturally on your own. The competition will be pointless and mediocre with time. Especially, if the fans ditches things or boycotts it. As they feel betrayed by the owners and the financial backers of this. The owners wants quick money and control. They don’t want to be playing to rules of the game or the governing bodies of it. No, they want to the dough and wants to eat quickly.

That is what happens when you mix a lot of rich billionaires, oligarchs and hedge-fund investors taking control of Football Clubs. These are only calculating profits and possible returns. They are all in for their ends and doesn’t care about the love of the sport. These has invested to get money and earn money on buying the clubs. That is why they are doubling down on it and preparing for the ESL.

The ESL is the “Owners” League. It isn’t made for the supporters, but as a incentive to make it more profitable and cash-in money quickly. However, that can also only happen if the supporters actually follows and does participate in this. Nevertheless, supporters and fans are already outraged.

We know that will matter, but they are not taking that in. As the money is to big to care about few screaming out and being mad. They need to see the bottom-line and if the money goes from red to black. When they do that… then they are earning money and they don’t care what the older fans cared about. Peace.

Opinion: The European Super League [it’s all about the money(!)] and forgetting the fans

It is now officially that there been made a deal or an agreement to form an European Super League. This has been made with the American Bank JP Morgan and other owners of European Clubs. This being the owners of the 15 big Football Clubs.

The clubs who is involved is Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Athletico Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus. These together will form the core of the league. That is 12 clubs with additional 6 teams to become 18 teams league.

This is a formation made with the financial backers and owners of the clubs. These are oligarchs and wealthy hedge-fund owners who is trying to make their own cash cow, which they control and not involving either UEFA or FIFA. These clubs will run the tournament and be the chiefs in their own house. These is all founded by the financial backers and the ones owning the clubs. It is their own drive to make a more profitable enterprise.

The Super League at this point is slated to start in the 2023-24 season. This means the club will be preparing for the shift and the machinery behind the launch of the League until then. The managers and the clubs will be making preparations for it. While they might focus less on the National Leagues or the European Cups (Euro League and Champions League). They maybe not even care about the FIFA Club World Cup. Therefore, this is creating their whole own additional thing without considering the implications of the current tournaments the clubs already participate and is members off.

The modern day football have been driven by money. The salaries and the revenue have reached epic sums. The clubs, the merchandise and licensing is profitable enterprise for the European elites. The clubs has fans worldwide and the stars has posters everywhere. That is why these clubs who signs up to this Super League could profit and make vast fortunes to cover the eventual debt or prices of operation. However, they are also not respecting the football’s governing bodies or the traditional tournaments, which have made the sport and the clubs big in the first place.

This clubs didn’t grow on a island. They grew as a part of a football body and part of the evolution of football. These clubs have been part of the changes with UEFA and their National Leagues. If they feel to big for these bodies now. Then they are disrespecting the national associations and their roles in supporting their growth. The clubs are grand and great, because the Football Associations and supporters made them huge.

If they would pick the Super League and do this deal. Take the bait and the funds. They would have fight for relevancy and be a secondary league or tournament to the ones already existing. These are sort of making their “upper echelon” Champions League and formalizing it. The elite making their own league and ignoring the other champions of Europe. They are not caring for the second tier from the other states who also can get their cut and sometime meet the giants at their field. That is the beauty of this game.

Now this will block the greatness of the possibility of seeing the Messi’s and Ronaldo’s against the national heroes of Eastern Europe or Central Europe who could only dream about challenging such big stars on the pitch. They are now relegated by default and by the cynic approach of outside owners who see the money, but not the heart of the game.

If I we’re a Liverpool support. I would turn to Everton. Similar with the other clubs. If they decide to do this. Yes, UEFA and the National Association have to take their turns. They got to show force and enforce strict rules. So, that the ones that betrays the leagues get punished. However, this only proves what the American Money-Ball people thinks. They can juice up the clubs and make them invisible to the rest. Instead of investing and securing a better football product for all supporters.

This is corporate greed, which has grown strong into the Football Community. This is the market driven and profit thinking. Instead of loving the game. This is the owners taking it all in their hands, using their leverage and trying to forge their own rules. Instead of using all governing bodies of Football. Yes, FIFA and UNICEF have become cash-cows and big business too. Still, they are capable of exporting and making the sport more interesting for the supporter. Yes, they have made greedy agreements and shady transactions, which the manner they have traded the World Cup on the International Stage.

However, the National Leagues and European Cups have been successful and grown massive interests. That’s because of the competitive nature and international interests on these competitions. This is why the world is following Champions League, Euro League and the other National Leagues like Premier League, Serie A, La Liga and others. Which has all created interests and fans all across the globe.

If the big-teams ditches this and creates their own by corporate interests, instead of their fans. They are losing their key ingredient to why they became big-clubs in the first place. If the fans and supporters ditches the Super League and forget these clubs. Then they are losers and have huge bills to pay for empty stadiums. It maybe not happening at first. However, when they are not participating in ordinary leagues or competitions. What will drive them to make them better or challenge for titles? When they are in their secluded little league… of giants… who just plays along themselves.

That will end hurt themselves. It might work for a few seasons if the backers are lucky, but the prospects and the greatness will fade. As these will not have growth potential or glory in their respective fields anymore. They will be lonely in their own tournament and maybe not allowed to return to respective leagues and such.

In previous times, when clubs have demoted or breached rules. They have lost points, been relegated and even pre-fixed to struggle in the up-coming season. If these clubs abandon their respective leagues and wants to return “home”. Then the associations should use measures to stifle and make them pay for their disloyalty. Also, in a way where the club pay a hefty price and also on the pitch. Since the owners didn’t value the additional support or the traditional leagues.

The Super League is the Money-Ball experiment in Europe. American investors and corporations thinking they can juice up a cash-cow and call it a day. Where they can use strong brands and huge platforms to make a “World Series” and hope for a “Super Bowl”. While forgetting about the UEFA cups and the importance of national leagues. This is why this is a destructive move and as a supporter of football. A tragic move. A move made only for the pockets and not for the heart of the game. Peace.

Opinion: If Guardiola is a tactical mastermind, he should manage with 3 substitutes!

pep-guardiola-manchester-city-press-conference_3739994

Now that the Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola is having his first real test as a professional manager, he wants to revamp the system. So that it can with ease fit his protocol and tactical, mastermind of tactics are struggling with “only” having 3 substitutes in the Premier League. Since he doesn’t have Arjen Robben or Lionel Messi; he has Sergio Agüero and Kevin De Bruyne. Seems, like they are not up-to his level or his standard of football, he is not winning with ease as Guardiola did in Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

With History in Mind:

“On 21 August 1965 Charlton’s Keith Peacock ensured his place in football history by coming on as substitute for injured goalkeeper Mike Rose at Bolton. The Football League had decided to allow substitutes from the start of the 1965-66 season, although only to replace an injured player. There had been many calls for such a change over the previous decade and the issue achieved prominence after a series of FA Cup finals had seen teams depleted by injury, often with decisive influence on the result” (Bateman, 2016).

What Guardiola was saying:

“’It’s not just English football, it’s all around the world. We’re going to kill the players,’ Guardiola said” (…) “‘For that reason we have to have huge squads, more money for the clubs to spend. Just three substitutions right now… why can’t you make four, five or six? ‘That [would] mean all the players are involved more than they were before. The coaches can use different tactics, where you can change four or five players’. ‘It’s [then] a more open game, not always the same. Less injuries. Everything would be better. I think UEFA and FIFA have another opinion about that.’” (Gaughan, 2016).

So to be able to change a forward, midfield and defence isn’t enough as he has loaned away Joe Hart to Torino, not thought much of many of the other former big-players under Roberto Manchini, Guardiola are now wanting to revolutionize the Substitutions system in the Premier League. This is the same kind of whining we heard similar fashion when Jose Mourinho started his first period in Chelsea. That there we’re to many matches in the Christmas and around New Years, as the Premier League and cup matches happens nearly every 3 day with no Christmas break as in other European leagues.

So now Guardiola, the tactical genius, the mastermind of football cannot manage to change 3 out 11 players on the pitch, as he cannot see this fitting the time schedule with Champions League and other cups. That sounds weak, as Alex Ferguson managed well for a decade with that in Manchester United. He has not been proclaimed the FOOTBALL mastermind and the one who could make water into wine.

The new-wine is to be able to substitute half of the team as the strength of modern players are lacking, the ease of heavy training make them more fragile as their salaries has surged and the level of tattoo’s are more common than on seamen back-in-the-day. That Guardiola has to and wants to change half his team says more about his lacking consideration and wish to have bigger squads. Because if they can substitute 6 players, the bench shouldn’t be 7 players with 6 players eligible to play on the field and one keeper! Than the number of substitutes should be 12 players and 11 eligible players to play on the field. That means that the squad of a team would be 23 players not the 18 players that it’s now. That together with the maximum squads registered into UEFA Champions League and Football Association (FA) for Premier League. Something that will make the richest and powerful teams grab more of the talent and more of skilled players without needing farmer-clubs to keep the level of world-class professional players elsewhere.

Guardiola just want it easy and make the changes as he sees certain players without form or without character on the field playing Burnley instead of intelligence of how to use those three to change the game. This isn’t what I expected of Guardiola, I thought he would cope with the Premier League and not bitches like this. The Arrogance of wanting to revamp an old system because he has a hard time isn’t wisdom. It’s the easy fix out. Just like I felt with Mourinho when he was nagging on the amounts of matches in the Christmas and New Year’s period!

Man-up Guardiola! You who are supposed to be a mastermind, a tactician use the system and hit it hard. You have a club with fortunes to spend; you got workmates from Barcelona to help you out in the corners of Football Academy and the scouting after talent on the continent. You Guardiola have a grand opportunity to prove your skills.

I feel the same way to ranting Mourinho who said this in 2013:

“We go into the Christmas period and the accumulation of matches is so high, we don’t do it as a normal thing, we do it as a special group with a special mentality, enjoying the situation, forgetting we don’t have a Christmas break like the Spanish, Italian and German players. We don’t have that” (…) “But we have the pleasure of playing a period that’s only for the braves. I like that very, very much.” (…) “”I enjoyed it when I was in England before and I missed it when I was in Spain and Italy. Now I’m back I want to enjoy it, I want the players to enjoy it, and we need a special mentality to cope with that situation” (…) “Nine matches and one of them is the match against Steaua. That’s our motivation for tomorrow, to try to kill the situation in the group phase and give us a little bit of space in December; instead of having nine real, competitive matches, we only have eight” (HGH Magic – ‘Mourinho: Christmas fixtures only for the braves!’ (26.11.2013) link: http://www.chelsea.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=538783#ixzz4SZILKQJi).

It’s time for Pep to cope with the Premier League, to play with the cards that are dealt and the cards on the table. He cannot think that his stature and his former accolades will give him way to fix the FA. Pep is not the first or last former successful manager trying himself in the Premier League. There aren’t many leagues with more substitutes over 3 + one extra if the goalkeeper is injured in the overtime. This is something that Pep should be able to fix it!

PEP, time to man-up eats the pupping-pop and figure out possible ways of using the players, the club and the league. Not complaining and wanting a revolution because you cannot handle the pressure. Time to think through your skill-set, talk with your fellow compatriots and club apparatus in Manchester City; they should help you and give you advice so you can manage 3 substitutes as it has been for decades. Peace.

Reference:

Bateman, Jason – ‘Fifty years of substitutions in football: from necessary novelties to tactical tools’ (18.09.2016) link: https://www.theguardian.com/football/when-saturday-comes-blog/2015/sep/18/fifty-years-substitutions-football-sport

Gaughan, Jack – ‘Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola urges football authorities to allow managers to use more than three subs’ (10.11.2016) Link:: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4018792/Manchester-City-boss-Pep-Guardiola-urges-football-authorities-allow-managers-use-three-subs.html#ixzz4SZ8BtdBN

City Mayor Peter Soulsby on Sky Sports News (Youtube-Clip)

“City Mayor Peter Soulsby appeared live on Sky Sports News from the King Richard III Visitor Centre on 6th April. He was speaking to reporter Rob Dorsett about Leicester City’s fairytale season and the connection with the reinterment of King Richard III” (Leicester City Council, 2016).

Premier League 2015/2016 – My thoughts after ten rounds

PL 2015-16

There is now a new campaign and new matches. New stars and new clubs and promoted teams adding spice to the Premiership. The Premier League has now had ten rounds of the 38 rounds. It is an indication though still early, I will say that it shows how this might unfold. Though at a certain level shows how this campaign might be. There will be changes on the table and far from sure that those under the relegation mark. Three teams will go down to Championship. Who that might be is hard to see now, especially with how it has unfolded in recent seasons. Who wins the title isn’t easy choice either? Manchester clubs are on the top four together with West Ham. Tottenham and Crystal Palace, off the top three either Manchester club for the moment, though the strongest team right now is Manchester City.

Bournemouth is having its first ever season in the Premiership. It’s a small club with the smallest stadium in the league. But the stagnation of tactics is straining the team together with the collective damage of injuries in the team. Eddie Howe is a young and modern manager. What he already has done with club is amazing.

Watford is also a promoted team, but not new to the league, they have been here before. But the expensive and buying 13 players from coming up from the Championship has acutally worked together with getting a tactical manager in Quique Sanchez Flores. Igahlo and Deeney have showed the quality and that they are fit for the league!

Norwich went straight back after their last turn down into Championship. They have mostly the same team that went down in the last go-around. Alex Neil the Scot has done well in the club, though the recent results is frightening and looking as bad as under the last months under Chris Hughton.

Now I will take the clubs that is actually under the line at this time!

Aston Villa, one of the royalties that has been in a down-falling-spiral since the last two years of Paul Lambert’s tenure. The freshness Tim Sherwood brought saved the club for the third season in a row. Now they gone with only one victory all season, but before starting the season they lost Benteke, Delph and Weimann. Buying young talent, but not finish products. Then after 10 rounds firing Tim Sherwood! There is surely not being built squads anymore in the club, but quick fixing to save the place in the league! Will they make it this year? They might, but want be easy!

Newcastle has a new manager that has turned down the club three times, twice as Derby manager before fired there. Steve McClaren has surely a big boat to turn. Newcastle hasn’t been sparking in a long time. This is for the first season in a while there been bought players with great potential from the low-countries. One victory and 19th Place and losing in the tenth match to Sunderland. Is surely not looking like an easy way out for the Tyne-side team!

The 18th place team is Sunderland yet another team that has struggled in recent campaigns. They fire a manager in the beginning of the season, then saving the place, then running it into the ground in the second campaign of his reign! Paulo Di Canio, Gus Poyet and Dick Advocaat had all the same faith, though Advocaat resigned; it ended before Christmas in second campaign like with the two former managers. Sunderland needs a boast and gotten Sam Allardyce who has history of securing teams and playing safe. Yet another experienced manager, but the team lacks continuity and defensive structure that can builds into using the striking force of Defoe. Time will tell if they will save themselves yet another time.

The Surprise of the season and the giant fall of the league is CHELSEA. Losing five times already and the CHELSEA team need something new. Jose Mourinho has been on a strike and been more paranoid then certain dictators are against everybody else then himself. First the doctor Eva Carneiro was banished. Everybody has target Diego Costa! Every referee has been against CHELSEA!  Like this quotes after losing on Ethiad Stadium to Manchester City:

“A Ramires goal incorrectly ruled out for offside with Man City a goal ahead changed the complexion of this early-season Premier League fixture” (…)”We dominated after the interval and after Ramires’s goal was disallowed, Hazard drew a fine stop from Joe Hart. Two late City goals, from Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho, added some gloss to a final scoreline which did not accurately reflect the bigger picture.” (…)”The Chelsea pressure was mounting and the royal-blue momentum nearly paid off with 20 minutes to go. Hazard lead a rapid break and picked out Diego Costa approaching the left-hand side of the box. He carried the ball, cut inside before squaring for last year’s Player of the Year. Hazard dropped a shoulder and fired for goal, but met his match in Hart” (Chelsea, 2015).

I saw that match; the whole report was like hogwash from certain dictatorships and not a proper match-report. Then the last match kind of confirmed the troubles inside the club. With the cards which has unfolded this season with weak defense of Matic, Ivanovic and Terry. Hazard has been a shadow and only Willian has delivered in the midfield. Falaco came in as a third option, but is still not striking and Loic Remy doesn’t get the time to hit and Costa is just making a lot of fuzz, but not really hitting the goals in the box. Chelsea has issues with Jose Mourinho and his strives to be what he is – a winner and now constantly losing. And his last reaction to losing at a better playing West Ham. Has proven that the Drama of CHELSEA is far from over this campaign!

Stoke has been magnificent under Mark Hughes though this campaign haven’t been either fish or bird. They have not delivered back to back victories yet. They got Shaqiri to the team as they got Bojan last go around. They play more technical and less of Pulis 1-0 counter-strike football. But the results this campaign hasn’t been anything to talk about.

Swansea is in the middle of the league. Third campaign with Gary Monk! The team has evolved and gotten a new favorite in the team. He is Andrew Ayew they got as a bosman player before the campaign, he and Gomis has hit it off. They beat Manchester United in the third match in a row! If they play like that they can still end up over 10th position! Swansea is steady building and proving that yet another campaign.

Everton with Roberto Martinez had a weak campaign after striving in his first as Everton manager. This season is supposed to pick it up. Still the matches I have seen, it’s too unstable. At this stage the defense that was the strong point of David Moyes is totally gone. The team is filled with young talent, but Gareth Barry is showing that he is starting to be to slow and makes more cards, then doing well. Joss Stones and Ross Barkley has skills and proves viability and not forget Lukaku is a force in him. Coleman and Naismith deserve more credit. Leighton Baines is the hero of the team, though too much injured for the moment. The team can be magical and play fantastic, but it’s not consistent which this club deserves!

West Bromwich has Tony Pulis. That means the dream result is 1-0 or 2-1. They won over Aston Villa and Rondon is scoring. Where did Saido Berahino go? Not Tottenham, but he is around in Birmingham right? Wonder when the fans of West Bromwich are going to be bored with the destructive defensive counterstriking teams of Pulis?

Liverpool has been strictly average after using a fortune in the summer and giving Brendan Rodgers another chance to succeed. FSG the owner’s lost their patience the result and getting a draw with Everton before a week of internationals. The players that the Transfer Committee got and structures of the club has given Rodgers a hard time with losing the best players two campaigns in a row. FSG has later gotten Jurgen Klopp as the savior of the club. Benteke, Clyne, Firmino and Origi haven’t done magic either this campaign. Sturridge has been injured. Coutinho and Allen hasn’t been stabile so it’s not all Rodgers, though he was a working scapegoat and now we can see if the German can get this Merseyside club firing!

Southampton is still up high even after losing Schneiderlin who was important in the last seasons also my favorite player in the team last year Clyne. Ronald Koeman is in the second campaign. With the losing of essential players they still have the capacity to get new ones to fills the slot, also show the quality of Fonte, Mane and Pelle one of them will surely be bought by Liverpool if they follow the procedure of their summer shoppings.. Southampton is still over mid-table and stay there. It wants be a team in one of the Champions League spots, but surely be close to get into the Euro League this year as well! If the 10 first matches is telling the truth of the quality of the team.

Crystal Palace first starting campaign with Alan Pardew he was a shadow of himself in the end of his tenure in Newcastle. He got back into the collaboration as a manager with Cabaye. Bolasie, Puncheon, Sako, Zaha, Chamakh, Jedinak, Wickham, Souare, Campell, Mutch, McArthur, Ledley and Bamford! Is all the mid-fielder and attackers that the EAGLES have this campaign and their attacking forces are amazing. Bolasie is truly a player I would have on any of my dream team! Hopefully Crystal Place will continue to play as amazing as they have done!

Tottenham has actually kept their manager Pochettino and Denis Levy must surely be drinking since he usually fires managers quickly. They have Adebayor, but only official striker is Harry Kane and he has scored in the last of the tenth match in this campaign. Eriksen has been not so visible this campaign. Lamela and Dele Ali can bring fire to the mid-field. Still feels the team is to unstable and still young. And wonder how long Levy can see the team as Euro-League team and with the team they have for now, they don’t have the last spark to get into the Champions League. Harry Redknapp will be somewhere smiling at the movement since he was fired…

Another Surprise then CHELSEA and their fall is the team of Leicester City. Pearson was fired in the summer and Tinkerman was hired. Claudio Ranieri. Who has on his CV the ability to lose as Greece manager to Faroe Islands that must be a special for any modern manager? But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a good coach and manager. He has had the ability to continue the striving team of Pearson and the striker Vardy is the top scorer for the moment with 10 in 10! Mahrez also has been sparkling together with Vardy. Leicester continues to be a shiny light in the Premiership!

Manchester United has not under Van Gaal been playing wonderful attacking football. They have used a tiny fortune on players. Angel Di Maria is still gone even if he was record buying. Is Luke Shaw still there? Martial has been great gamble and maybe saved a lot of points. De Gea staying has been a great thing for the club and a loss for Real Madrid. Because with Romero you could see he was weaker. Still not feeling that the club has an edge in the game or should I say trying to prove a stable attacking or defensive play. Wonder when they find their way and will be the Champions League team who wins more with a force, not “rare luck”.

Slaven Billic has taken over for Sam Allerdyce in West Ham before the start of the campaign. West Ham expects attacking fun play and Allerdyce isn’t that type, though Allerdyce is not like Pulis, still more stable defense play! Billic has proven to be fresh air and giving the players free speed. Kouyate, Obiang, Lanzini, Payet, Sakho, Moses, Valencia and Zarate is proving that this team can play wonderful football. Payet and Kouyate can play around with great defenses. West Ham has already won over Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal this campaign. They are in the top four and if they stay here it will be a giant surprise and guilt trip for many of the smaller clubs compared to the usual suspects. If they survive the hard December program will tell!

Arsene Wenger and Arsenal can be often in a great state and play Playstation football. They have been amazing and been played with more caution, even gotten a stable goalkeeper in Peter Cech. That even Mourinho wouldn’t want to sell before the campaign. The weakness is still in the defense, though Monreal, Bellerin and Coquelin has grown in their defensive rolls. I have faith that Arsenal can be a title chaser until the end, but hope that it doesn’t fall apart as it has done around Christmas and then picking up just in time to reach Champions League spot. Arsenal has a magnificent mid-field with Ozil, Sanchez, Ramsey. Carzola, Flamini, Wilshere, Rosicky and Arteta! So they should have enough good choices in the mid-field, at strikers it’s usually either Giroud or Walcott, and the Costa Rican Campell. Arsenal can bring it in, just not lose it.

Manchester City is leading the league for the moment after having a draw with their arch rival United in the last league match. The team has played well with the new mid-fielders like De Bruyne, Sterling and Delph. Delph has though not been pivotal at all, Sterling and De Bruyne has giving the team pace. Together with Silva and Navas has giving the edge to strikers of Bony and Aguero. It seems like a good thing by the club to keep Pellegini as the manager. Keeping the staff and adding to already solid team with Kompany, Zabaleta and Yaya Toure. City has enough if they are all firing to become the title winners this campaign. Though the stability and winning over “lesser-teams” away like losing to Stoke is not good enough if they want to achieve the title again, depending on how they keep it steady, if they are steady even without Aguero who might be the best striker in the league, then they have the ability to win it!

Well, what will really happen? Will Pardew get Crystal Palace into the top six this year? Will Mark Hughes get his mid-field firing? Swansea will continue to thriving as last season? Slaven Billic will he manage to keep West Ham winning over the Christmas season, because Allerdyce did not manage that! Allerdyce will he be able like his predecessors to save Sunderland yet another campaign? Has Steve McClaren the quality of the team and the mentality to save Newcastle? Aston Villa has been falling of grace long before Tim Sherwood entering the club; will the new man of the club have the capacity to save it?

Will Watford, Bournemouth and Norwich keep it up, even if Norwich is starting to look like they did in the last season in the Premier League when they had 7-8 matches without victories, remember last time they  they went down? What will happen to Southampton, mid table or actually able to crack into Europe again?

Has Klopp the aura to get the Liverpool club back into Europe or will that be a longer run? Will Pochettino get fired for not getting the club high enough this campaign? How long can Mourinho keep his calm and how long will Abramovich tolerate the negative campaign and results before firing him for the second time?

I could go and on. But there been an interesting start of the season and hope it will continue. The best of luck and hope you also will enjoy the Premier League as much as I do. Peace.

Reference:

Chelsea FC – ‘Match report: Manchester City 3 Chelsea 0’ (16.08.2015) link: http://www.chelseafc.com/news/latest-news/2015/08/match-report–manchester-city-v-chelsea-.html

 

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