I was listening to the “world class” Alan Shearer and Phil Neville discuss this point yesterday and decided to do my own little piece.
On the face of it I can see why Stones get’s so much stick and typing this I can vividly recall careless back passes from Stones that have led to goals or almost led to goals but I will say I still rate him. The potential is there but the problem is with those that are currently being asked to mentor him in the centre of that defence; Otamendi, and Kolarov. I ask myself how Pellegrin ended up with Mangala and Otamendi in the first place and they didn’t come cheap!
Let’s be honest Otamendi will not get game time in the centre of the defence for any of the top 6 teams. His anticipation is pants and he spends so much time diving in tackles and not reading the game, also let’s not forget his penchant to play act instead of getting on with things. City have never looked a solid outfit in the centre of defence without Kompany and it was the same in the Mancini and Pellegrini eras. City have got to make a decision on Kompany’s fitness issues and his replacement, only when that is sorted will Stones begin to find his feet and comfort in the centre of City’s defence. I think it’s asking a lot to expect a young centre back to be the calming influence in that deer in headlights City defence who are very easily spooked at the moment. That back four consisting of Otamendi, Kolarov, Clichy and Sagna is spent and with a keeper that is battling confidence adapting to the PL Stones was always going to have problems playing the way he plays under Pep.
Stones is not your typical English defender known for their no nonsense displays usually summed up as ; kicking the ball to row Z, dangerous tackles interpreted as crunching or full blooded, leaving your foot in to let your opponent know you are there, jumping in front of shots, head bandage wearing with a bit of blood, chest banging aka showing passion, the list goes. He doesn’t come across as one of this type so he isn’t going to be the cup of tea of many English fans and pundits. Giving the right partner in the centre of defence in the mould and calibre of Kompany Stones will come good.
England lost to Iceland yesterday with Roy Hodgson resigning immediately after the game. Listening to pundit after pundit lambast England it was evident some carried a degree of personal beef or agenda. Joseph Barton having a go at Gary Neville to quit as well and the worst of all was Alan Shearer. He is symptomatic of the entitlement culture of some the English players past and present. While on MOTD he claimed he approached the FA years back for the England job and was denied for lack of experience and the FA were right in turning him down in that regard. Just because he managed to win a single league title under Daglish at Blackburn Rovers, score the most goals in the Premier league to date and manage Newcastle into relegation given just a few games does not make him the right candidate for the England job. Maybe it’s because he sits on the cosy sofa in a studio with benefit of hindsight and replays suddenly makes him a good coach/manager? Ask Gary Neville it’s a whole different ball game down there on the touch lines.
Shearer is not the most accomplished player by any imagination at international and club level. More accomplished players at those levels are out there getting their hands dirty learning the ropes and starting from the bottom up. Even Gary Neville a more accomplished player at club level has taken risks that haven’t worked out yet. Dennis Berkamp works at Ajax not as manager, Jaap Stam just got a job at Reading after years behind the scenes, Thierry Henry who has won everything there is to win is completing his badges at Arsenal is yet to demand the French FA give him the manager’s job. Patrick Viera worked at Manchester City with the youth team before heading to the states to take up his first Managerial role. All these more accomplished ex players are getting their hands dirty and learning the ropes. Mr Shearer supreme sofa mouth box thinks he has talked enough to earn himself the role of manager of the English national team. Look in the mirror mate a lot of things you were accusing the England boys of last night are summed up in that one entitled statement of yours about managing England. Go out get your hands dirty give people a chance to sit on a comfy sofa in the studio and analyse what you are doing on the pitch. Everybody makes a great manager in front of the TV on their sofa.
LVG in what seems like his last game for United if one is to go by what the media are saying of the imminent appointment of Jose Mourinho as the new manager at the club managed to come from behind to win the FA cup. I must have been one of the few Arsenal fans delighted that he won it, and in the manner that they did. The media have been on some sort of crusade to get the guy sacked and I was pleased for him they didn’t get the opportunity to stick the knife in him, in the event that he had lost FA cup final. Just picture their Macs when puncheon scored with 12 minutes to go.
My major gripe for writing this post is the way in which the likes of Danny Murphy and Alan Shearer make it seem like the young guns he blooded in his supposed last season were some sort of accident. They claim that he “stumbled” on the young guns Rashford, Lindgard, and Fosu-Mensah, because of the many injuries this season which I found disrespectful. Of all the young players at United how come it was those set of boys LVG decided to introduce to the first team? you can’t call that stumbling, he saw something in those guys and felt they were worthy of a run in in the team and they have grabbed their chances which LVG deserves credit for. Let not forget he was willing to gamble all that money on Martial and you can see why, I was one of those that laughed at Martial’s price tag but it’s there for all to seethat he has a great future at the club and it is money well spent.
Yes with the money spent in his two seasons and standards set by Alex Ferguson, LVG fell well below the mark but in terms of blooding young players with bright futures he was brave and did a very good job. Many managers and especially the soon to be appointed one would have reinstated the more experienced players on returning to fitness but he persisted with the young players. I mean Jose let De Bryune leave Chelsea because it’s really is not his style to work with unfinished articles.
Now that the media and Man united fans have got their wish, I look forward to next season in seeing how this new marriage will develop. You can be sure with Pep on the other side of Manchester the derbies are going to be keenly contested considering the complex Jose has for Pep. One more thing Manchester United fans should stop saying they want good football and that’s why they were pining for Mourinho, that’s a myth! Mourinho never goes toe to toe playing football with the top sides he is a refined bus parker, I look forward to what you lot will have to say when he parks the big red bus against Pep’s city in derbies which Fergie never did.