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.
I can’t help but mention what’s going at Westminster at the moment, feels like something from game of thrones or house of cards; backstabbing, all sorts of dishonesty and game playing even Spielberg couldn’t even have come up with this plot. So Boris caused all that chaos for nothing as in for nothing! Watching with baited breath as it all continues to unfold.
Back to football which is the reason why you have clicked on this post, Zlatan has more or less confirmed his move to Old Trafford via his Instagram account. With no Champions league on the cards this season at United I am guessing it’s the lure of Jose and a very big pay packet that have secured his signature, but at 34 is Zlatan really worth that gamble especially in the Premier League?PSG competing in Ligue 1 with the money they have is like a 10 year old playing in the under fives, the Premier League is a different ball game entirely. With all the money coming into the Premier League, all the clubs are more evenly matched than in the past where there was a very large gulf between the established top 4 and the rest, at the moment one can’t even point at an established top 4. Zlatan has also always struggled playing against English teams in Europe, now he gets to play against English opposition every week in England where referees allow more physicality and with defenders that will leave a foot in there now and again who will not be awed by him. How will Zlatan respond to that?
History has shown us that wherever Zlatan goes Zlatan wins a league title but that was the case for Louis Van Gaal till he rocked up at Old Trafford and left without winning a league title. Then what happens to the likes of Rashford and Martial? How much game time will they get? If both young men step up to the mark and are banging in goals week in week out? Will Jose leave Zlatan on the bench more often and if so how will Zlatan react? We all know Zlatan doesn’t take kindly to not being the main guy. He is a big personality and how will his new teammates respond to that personality and Jose’s personality in high and consistent doses? I also forgot to mention Wayne Rooney,how does that impact him and how will he respond? Player power is very big these days evident in how the London boys in blue ushered Jose out last year. Player factions are not a good thing for any team.
Time will tell if this going to be a marriage made in heaven, I for one foresee rocky relations in the course of this marriage that might end up in a bitter divorce or maybe it’s just the Arsenal man in me wishing it doesn’t work.