Tag Archives: Pep Guardiola

Spineless Yaya Toure

Pep

I knew it was a question of time before the real Yaya Toure came to the fore after his time at City came to an end, so it wasn’t a surprise when I saw him trying to play the race card in his recent attack on Pep Guardiola and how the Spanish manager has a problem with Africans…

Let me take you back to 2016 when Aubameyang pipped Toure to the African footballer of the year, quoting Yaya Toure on stage he said he was disappointed” but told Aubameyang he had “been doing brilliantly well this year” and seemed generous in praise towards his rival. After the ceremony, this was Yaya Toure;

“I’m very, very disappointed. It’s sad to see Africa react this way, that they don’t think African achievements are important,”

“I think this is what brings shame to Africa, because to act in that way is indecent. But what can we do about it? Us Africans, we don’t show that Africa is important in our eyes. We favour more what’s abroad than our own continent. That is pathetic.”

“But even Fifa, with all its history of corruption, wouldn’t do [what CAF judges did]. Yaya will take care of Yaya and let Africa take care of itself. As I’ve been told many times, you can’t take care of Africa too much because Africa will be the first to let you down”.

Just to make it clear it was another African player that won that award and as it didn’t go his way he resorts to blaming the whole continent because Yaya didn’t get what he wanted.

The beef with Pep is a disgruntled self-absorbed player at the tail end of his career refusing to accept he is not the player he once was and playing time on the pitch will reduce. His agent doesn’t help matters either and one can see how they are a match made in heaven… His tirade at Pep an employee of Toure justified Pep’s stance on not playing Toure till an apology was received back in 2016.

This same Toure explained in a Facebook statement his agent’s views were not his views in his apology agreed to sign a one year extension on the same salary  at the end of 2016/17 season leaves the club at the end of the 2017/18 season and is now proclaiming his agent’s views he once denied, my definition of spineless.

His race card argument doesn’t hold up a look at the City line up puts holes in that immediately or going the players he has worked with at Barcelona and Bayern.

A weak man smears other when he doesn’t get his way and that is what Yaya Toure and his agents are and no amount of money or trophies can change that…

Jose The Childish One? Whinging One? Take your pick..

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Manager Jose Mourinho of Manchester United walks off after the Premier League match between Manchester United and Burnley at Old Trafford on December 26, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 26: The childish one in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)

I woke up from a Christmas food-induced coma to find United were trailing Burnley by two goals, with the game finishing with a last-gasp equaliser from United I was expecting the “childish” manager of the club to turn up with excuses and he didn’t disappoint.

It’s a small man without character that makes others look bad to make himself feel good or look good and that epitomises Jose Mourinho these days. Manchester City didn’t even play today and he spends his post-match conference talking about City conjuring excuses for his poor performance as the manager of Manchester United football club. The idea that city are playing well only because they spent loads of money in the summer is weak and lazy at best.

Lest take a look at City’s best performers this season at a glance;
Sterling, Silva, De Bruyne, Otamendi, Sane, Aguero, Ederson and Walker.
Six of those players are not new acquisitions, Pep has only managed to increase their productivity which I think is a manager’s core job, as a result, they look better as a team. Mendy one of the fullbacks Jose must have been referring to has been sidelined for months, Danilo has barely featured and Bernado Silva has been a bit part player, playing more in the cup competitions.  Let’s not forget Fabian Delph a midfielder Pep has made believe he is a good left back and is presently doing a good job filling in for Mendy.

Let’s not forget De Bruyne who is tearing up the league this season was once maligned by Jose as lazy justifying selling him when he was at Chelsea. You ask yourself how is Pep getting Debruyne to chase down the opposition when he hasn’t got the ball?…

What exactly has Jose done to improve the likes of Rashford, Pogba, Martial and Lukaku? What is he doing to find an in-house solution like his counterpart on the blue side of Manchester has done? It is never him, it’s either the players or he hasn’t been given enough money but it is never his fault. This dude has spent almost £300m in a season and a half at United and his side looks like an expensively assembled West Brom under Tony Pulis. His team is third most expensively assembled squad in world football and he is trying to bleat poverty.
A hypocrite who has shown he can’t beat the bigger clubs playing football adopting anti-football aka bus parking strategies turns around and takes digs at the likes of Burnley when they do the exact same thing and are successful with it against him.

I honestly can’t be bothered with this dude and it’s high time those paid and tasked with asking real questions (“Journalists”) start doing so at these conferences.

Also can’t be bothered with my fantasy league update, will do a gameweek 20 roundup before the year ends. Enjoy what’s left of 2017 people… and remember don’t be like Jose.

When your goalkeeper is your best player..

Super de Gea Courtesy Skysports
Super de Gea
Courtesy Skysports

It is bound to catch up with you at some point, so I will let Jose and his boys enjoy their escape at the Emirates yesterday, thanks to the heroics of de Gea. The Arsenal-Manchester United game was a typical Arsenal performance; present the opposition with gifts from calamitous defending, outplay the opposition, Keeper has a blinder, get back to within 1 then be stupid enough to concede even though there was a considerable time to equalise and no need to over-commit players forward. My mate over in the middle east was giving me live commentaries via WhatsApp and got excited when Lacazette scored but I wasn’t moved this is Arsenal we are talking about and they were true to type,  they should never have been 2 goals down in the first place. While I am still on Arsenal I honestly think Sanchez more often than not impedes the team’s style of play, holding on to the ball for too long and losing the ball as often as he gets it. I would think having played at Arsenal for this long he would understand the need to pass the ball as quick as possible which makes his team’s all-round play more effective. Anyways he will be somebody else’s problem or solution come the end of the season.

The wheels on the Spurs wagon has come off! In fact, there is no longer a wagon after watching them escaping with a draw at Watford yesterday. I don’t know what has happened there but it seems like beating Real Madrid is going to be the highlight of their season with the way things are looking.
Liverpool back in the top 4 after yesterday’s win taking Brighton apart at the Amex, things seem to be looking up on that side of Merseyside for now, the only unusual thing about the game was that Salah didn’t score. It’s the Merseyside derby next week, Big Sam now at the helm over at Everton started his reign with a home win over Huddersfield, I am thinking it’s going to be an interesting watch. Allardici against Klopp…. Huddersfield have definitely been brought back down to earth…
Chelsea notch up another win in a bid to cement their top four status, routine win not much to take from that game.

Pep and his boys take on Moyes and West Ham today I can’t say I am holding out much hope for West Ham but stranger things have happened in football.  Talking about Pep I will never understand the Pundits and Journalists who have never played the game trying to dictate how professionals who have played the game should channel their passion. Back to WestHam still scratching my head wondering what the West Ham Owners were drinking or smoking when they appointed Moyes. Must interview well or just be very good at hypnotising interview panels my only explanation for him still getting jobs.

City wanted Arsenal to do them a favour yesterday but I guess it was a case of sending boys to do a man’s job. Another derby to look forward to next week, one team’s run is going to end.

By the time of posting this City ran out 2 1 winners with a late winner from Silva. Moyes still seeking his first win with his team who are one place from the bottom. If I was a betting man I will bet they are still there or thereabouts 23 games from now.

Catch you all next week if I am not too hung over to post as I have two Christmas parties next week.

Week 7 belonged to Pep and Dyche

KDB and Pep Source AFP/Getty Images
KDB and Pep
Source AFP/Getty Images

We are seven games into the Premier League season and it’s looking like it is going to be a two and a half horse race involving both Manchester clubs and some club who wear white in North London whose undoing will be their “away home” ground at Wembley.

My performance of the week definitely goes to City, playing without Mendy, Aguero and Kompany and still managed to dominate the reigning champions at the Bridge doing it the Pep way.  I mean he got Fabian Delph playing like a proper left back! No one could have ever predicted that, it’s only 7 games but Pep and his team are becoming one it seems. City faced their first proper test at the weekend and they passed in flying colours.
United are doing a good job of beating whatever mid-table team has been placed in front of them and their latest victim was Hodgson’s Crystal Palace who are actually bottom of the table. United’s next game is away at Anfield after that it’s Huddersfield, Spurs then Chelsea.  A testing month ahead for the red part of Manchester. As for Crystal Palace I still don’t know what Hodgson is doing better than DeBoer, they are still shipping in goals and can’t score! Going by precedence I guess he has one more game to save his job. I wonder who Parish is talking to for the job.

Everton spent 150 million pounds or 150 million Zimbabwean dollars because that team presently looks like a group of guys assembled on some obscure back street and made to play together. For someone who has a chip on his shoulders it must be a humbling experience for Koeman. Saying all of this Everton play Arsenal next and are probably going to use Arsenal to jump start their season! Mark Hughes and Stoke can attest to that this season. Sean Dyche doing a good job at Burnley has a philosophy and sticks to it, stability and incremental progress all play a part.

Kane can’t just stop scoring and trust the Bristish tabloids going overboard drawing comparisons to Messi and Ronaldo, I am not even going to go there it’s not worth my keyboard strokes. He is holding up Spurs well and as usual Pochetino’s team have been efficient. Huddersfield must now know they are in the Premier League after their experience over the weekend but sit in a comfortable position in 11th.

I like Klopp but seriously what’s going on with that defence? Another calamitous goal to drop points at Newcastle. Has embraced the can’t defend narrative and taken it away from Arsene and his boys. He really should stop kidding himself, that defence needs help ASAP. Klopp plays United next at Anfield and Jose must like the look of that defence. The Ox got another 6 minutes today I wonder what he must be thinking.

Oh before I forget Arsenal beat Brighton at the Emirates, I will admit I was sleeping and didn’t watch it but good for them. They play Everton next and I totally won’t be surprised if Arsenal become the springboard to Koeman’s season It’s what Arsene and his boys do best, give lifelines to struggling managers.

Presently number one in all my fantasy league, see you guys after the international break.

5 weeks in and Manchester is the place to be

Lukaku goading Everton fans and rightly so OLI SCARFF/Getty Images
Lukaku goading Everton fans and rightly so
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Since I last posted DeBoer has been sacked after 4 games and Hodgson has since taken the reigns at Crystal Palace. While I had picked DeBoer for the sack at some point but definitely not after 4 games! I have since aired my feelings about that on my Facebook page and Twitter. Hodgson lost his first game at the weekend and he plays City, United and Chelsea next. if he loses those 3 games would he be sacked too? Anyways that’s the problem for Parish and his American partners at Selhurst park.

Another game week is gone and with 33 game weeks left it is looking like Pep and Jose will be jostling for the Premier League title this season. They are in almost identical positions at this same stage last season and we all know what happened but this season both managers seem to have gotten through to their players and they are playing how their managers want them to.
Still talking about Manchester my mate messaged me to say Jose is back after watching United beat Everton, I was like dude they played a presently clueless Koeman and an Everton team that has gone backward even with all the money spent, he responded you just don’t like the Jose. There is some truth in that response but United will face sterner test and my money is on City at the moment oh and I like Pep too.
I also don’t get when fans give it and can’t take it, on Lukaku’s back all game he scores and cups his hears back at them and you see people saying he is ungrateful! Don’t get fans like that he had every right to celebrate.

Those guys that wear red and have a stadium in North London and their manager finally realised it is important to go to an away stadium against a top side and have a plan! It was a game they could have actually won with better luck but it was a vast improvement from the pasting at Anfield. It begs so many questions but I don’t have time for that this morning. Something in me wants to believe they will play with their mindset going forward but we all know it’s not safe to hold your breath when this team is concerned.

Spurs can’t win a game at Wembley in the Premier League and Klopp and his team still can’t defend. My Liverpool friend messaged me to say Klopp’s honeymoon is over, looks like there is more unrest amongst the Liverpool fans than normal with recent showings. It’s still game week 5 and I expect Klopp to get better and Chamberlain to still be coming off the bench.

Time to get ready for work, I am still jamming in my fantasy league top in all my leagues but one!

Mourinho’s Cowardly Defence of United Fans

Fellaini and Jose Mourinho Getty Images
Fellaini and Jose Mourinho Getty Images

Yesterday Jose secured his first League win at Old Trafford in a while and this time 1 goal managed to do it against Spurs. Just like last week Marouane Fellaini came on as a late substitute with United leading 1 0 and some United fans felt it was justified to boo him, which was cowardly in every way.
Fellaini doesn’t select himself to be on the bench neither does he sub himself into the game, the manager does that, their anger should have been directed at the manager and not Marouane. Then you had Jose at the end of the match justifying the boos from those sets of fans which in my opinion is also cowardly as it comes across he wants to be on the good side of these fans, I can’t see Sir Alex justifying his substitute being booed in any way. At no time should a manager justify the booing of his players especially when one is singled out for being called upon by the manager and I am amazed that he took that stance. In essence he is defending people who are second guessing his judgement instead of his player who he expects to run through brick walls for him. I hope the Fellaini dude is alright because no one deserves that from their fans or manager.

Klopp and Pep are finding our that no matter how fast and furious your play is, if you don’t have a good goalkeeper and defence it will bite you in the bum now and again . Pep set up in a suicide manner against Leicester without his best striker or centre half pairing and he deserved that result, that was totally self inflicted in every way.  De Gea and Cech together in goal would have struggled with that set up in front of them. As for Klopp and Karius I like to think he is still settling in, I mean De Gea had problems adjusting in the beginning so I will still give him some time. After the weekend results Liverpool, City and Spurs are doing their very best to drag United back in.

Finally Arsene and his  boys came back from a goal to beat Stoke and Bellerin is so good for Walcott they work a treat down that right side. It was also great to see three different goal scorers without Sanchez’s name on the score sheet, means goals goals from everywhere in the team. It’s that time of the year when football comes quick as it’s mid-week games week, Everton away is next. That reminds me sort out the fantasy league, catch you guys later in the week.

Blame the Ref, the Players, and Luck but not Mourinho

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Jose Mourinho still doesn’t get it and I doubt he ever will as long as he continues to see himself as the most important parameter in any event.  If his fall at Chelsea taught him anything I assumed it would have been how not to publicly criticize your players.

In last week’s loss to Manchester City Jesse Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, were not up to the task according to Jose but very little to do with how he set up his team, Contrast his response to how Pep Guardiola handled the postmatch Bravo culpability questions.

Fast forward 1 week to yesterday’s loss against Watford, the referee, players and luck were all responsible for the loss this time but certainly not him, Luke Shaw got particular mention for not doing his job on Jamat. The last time I checked a manager is responsible for the team line up and how they are set up, something Jose hasn’t got right this season.
Like most of us I am an armchair pundit, never managed a team but common sense dicates that if you throw yourself under the bus for your players they will do the same for you. I am not against having a go at players they are not babies but there’s a time and a place.

It’s only 5 games in and Jose is already tossing his boys under trains and buses after losses, I am curious to see what happens if the heat gets ramped up any further.

Jose you can’t fire 11 players but you can get rid of one manager. It’s early days but he needs to learn from the Chelsea debacle very fast and someone should please tell him Fellaini next to Pogba is never going to work. Why buy a Ferrari and use it to tow a Fiat Punto all over the place?

Manchester United apparently won the transfer market but it takes a lot more than expensive buys to win matches.

Pogba and Jose the right fit?

Paul-Pogba

Pep drew first blood in an exciting Manchester Derby and I am still bemused by people who continue to doubt his management credentials and ability to win things playing the Pep way in the Premier League. So far it’s 4 in 4 and he has been to Stoke on a rainy day and Old Trafford too without the compliment of his full squad if I may add.

I was surprised to see Pogba playing in the CDM role in the derby a role he struggles with if i go by his performances there at the Euros.  Fellaini alongside Pogba in midfield in my opinion negates all the attacking attributes Pogba possesses, he is better in an advanced position where he is not shackled with too much defensive responsibilities. For Pogba to be all he can be he needs to know that he can play how he likes to play and not be berated when he makes errors, herein lies the problem with Jose as his manager.
Jose does well with finished attacking articles and makes the most of defensive talent/potential , but he is not the man to make the most of young promising attacking talents as his go to mantras are defence and discipline.  John Terry was 23 going on  24 when Jose took over at Chelsea, Michael Essien was 23 going on 24 when Jose got him from Lyon,  these two are just examples of young defensive minded potential that developed to be great at it under Jose. I also remember Varane who everyone raves about now was given his first team opportunity at Real by Jose although Zidane was responsible for his recruitment. Contrast that with Mikel Obi who broke out in the same youth tournament as Messi and was second only to Messi at that tournament. I wonder what would have happened to Mikel if he had opted to stay at United under Fergie instead of going to Chelsea where his attacking instincts were curbed under Jose as a 19 year old. I look at Arjen Robben who did well under Jose but struggled with the defensive work ethic at Chelsea but thrived at Bayern. Then you have Hazard who did well initially then lost his zeal under Jose but looks like a new player under Conte because Kante and Matic are dealing with the defensive side of things.

Paul Pogba has talent although not 89 million pounds worth of it, time will tell if the choice to go back to Old Trafford being managed by Jose  in his bid to someday win the ballon d’or is the right one.

Pep dropping Hart not a big deal

guardiola

Manchester City kicked off their season officially last weekend and Joe Hart has been on the bench for their opening matches with Pep deciding to go with Willy in goal. There has been so much hullabaloo (my need to sound English) about Pep’s decision to drop Joe that in some quarters like those belonging to Joey Barton  it’s seen as disrespectful and disgusting.

Pep dropping Joe is not an indictment on him being a less than capable hand when compared to Willy it’s just that he doesn’t fit into the ethos of his kind of football presently. Pep has gotten rid of more accomplished and successful players in favour of less celebrated players that fit into the vision of his team. If we cast our minds back to Barcelona he got rid of Ronaldinho and Deco and promoted little known players at the time Pedro and Busquets from the Barcelona B team into the first team and the rest  they say is history. At the time nobody in their right minds would have brought in these inexperienced guys and sacrificing the likes of Deco and Ronaldinho. This same Pep who invested so much in buying Ibrahimovic, then sold him when he figured he didn’t suit his style of play or team ethos so I don’t get why dropping Joe is such a big deal.

He is England number one and has won the title with Manchester City yes, but the new man at the helm has a very clear picture of what he wants and has decided to go with Willy. If you ask me I am not convinced the Willy dude is such a great passer of the ball from what I have seen but if he is keeping Joe Hart out because of that passing ability then I would like to believe Pep who observes them everyday in training is in a better position to judge and is not being anti-English with some sort of agenda against Joe. I doubt very much there would have been so much noise had the roles been reversed as in Joe being the understudy being picked ahead of Willy if he had been number 1.

Pep has decided to start how he intends to go on and it is a bold statement to drop the England number 1 in favour of Willy, time will tell if it is the right decision.

Premier League 2016/17 Season

PRemier League is here again!
Premier League is here again!

Hard to believe we are at the beginning of yet another season in the Premier League, feels like only yesterday when Spurs were busy making sure St Totteringham day was not missed with their performance on the last day of the season at Newcastle. This season has all the ingredients of being the most keenly contested title yet with the acquisitions of some of  the “super” managers in world football. I am hoping the action is more on the pitch rather than off it, as already the media are hell bent on creating an Arsene vs Jose thing with all the misleading captions relating to Pogba and Ibrahimovic.  There are blockbusters wherever you look; Jose returning to Stamford Bridge at some point in the away dugout, Jose against his Crush Arsene at the Emirates stadium, Jose Vs Klopp and Pep Vs Jose. Ronald Koeman in his new role at Everton is bound to make the Merseyside derby even more exciting if you ask me and Leicester will try to show us all they belong with the big boys. I can hardly wait for the kick off, I am lying though I can as I wish Arsenal were more together going into Sunday’s game, they will probably surprise me and smash Liverpool with Holding and Chambers keeping a clean sheet!
My predictions for top 4 are as follows; Arsenal. Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea oh you mean my real predictions . Well if I am using my head I pick Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal, yep that’s my top four.  What are your top four predictions and why? I am off to bed and I am going to try and catch a bit of sleep it’s 2.45am here. Adios for now and remember guys it’s only a game, so enjoy the season!