Football

The GodFather : The Beginning of a new Legacy 

Posted on Updated on


“I adapt my idea of football to my players, not adapt my players in my idea of football.”               Antonio Conte

Fresh from the thumping victory over Man United. Chelsea look like a team ready for any challenge thrown at them. Chelsea players don’t look like a shadow of themselves while they were under Jose Mourinho.

Back when Jose Mourinho was appointed as United manager he surely made it clear that every United fan needs to forget what happened in the past 12 months , probably including his sacking during his second spell at Chelsea. Looks like everything Jose was in the news for is being over shadowed by Anotio Conte. The passion that seen Jose running the touchline after Porto winning the champions league. The famous Jose-Wenger push and shove. All of that can wait Antonio Conte has just put himself right there with the best. Improvise, Adapt and Overcome that’s what Conte did during his time at Juventus and now extremely visible during their game against United.

Conte was surely going to make alot of head turns with his managerial versatility,thinking and adapting quickly during the 90mins. Something Mourinho was valiant throughout his time as a manger.He surely did show a glimpse of the same by benching club captain and record scored Wayne Rooney.But unfortunately the cracks  go deeper than just benching Wayne.

Conte started life at Chelsea after a successful yet contentious Euro Championship. Pre-season at Chelsea began with a loss while trying to implement the 3-5-2, 4-3-3, 4-4-2 and 4-2-4 formation. The players at Chelsea surely were so fixated with Jose 4-2-3-1 that it become difficult to get free flowing football out of that group of players. With AC Milan next they shifted from the 4-3-3 to 4-1-4-1 while chasing the game.Chelsea were 3-1 winners.

The dynamism and fluidity of football was something that can win you games and new recruit N’Golo Kante was surely going to benefit from this.Playing to his strengths the team has been able to exploit Kante’s presence on the field.Conte did know how to use players like Pogba,Pirlo and that’s something Jose is trying to figure out as he is still searching for a partner for Pogba. The midweek game against Fenerbache Pogba did partner Carrick and they dictated the terms of play and eventually won 4-1 . Why did Jose not opt for the same midfield pair only he can elaborate.  Jose looks like a fallen angel along with United, rigid approach, defiant tactics ,lack of ability to turn defence into attack extremely similar during Louis Van Gaal tenure and a little prowess to bench either of the two new recruits with their failure to perform consistently.This  is what cost them the match against Conte’s Chelsea.

Chelsea have been a breath of fresh air eversince Conte was appointed. Players like Hazard, Matic have been rejuvenated under Conte.Adding David Luis their backbone looks strong. Everything Jose is Conte is more of an upgraded version in my opinion. Surely Conte has had his fair share of doubts over the years which manager hasn’t.But with being the only Italian team to go unbeaten an entire season is something only Arsene Wenger can relate too in the Premier League. Giving Jose benefit of the doubt his Chelsea side did do wonders during his first spell.Every title winning squad down the years has had a back bone to build on and for Conte it was Andrea Pirlo during his spell at Juventus. Even though Pirlo was such an influence to his title winning team. Conte didn’t include him in the Italian squad along with Giovancio as they both moved to Major League Soccer. Conte did show gutts on how serious he was with players opting to play for leagues such as MLS which are far behind in terms of technicality and level of playing compared to the likes of la Liga ,Italian and Premier league.

Conte as a player was known for his gritt, temper,intensity and aggression but also for his sublime passing accuracy, longer range efforts. Beginning his managerial career he surely did inculcate the same in his teams. Most notably Juventus where Pirlo and Pogba were the master tacticians during that period. Accuracy in passing mixed with quick decision making and clear eye for goal upfront which made them a force to reckon with but somehow they failed in Europe.

Chelsea and Conte is more like rebound relationship reaching new horizons. Conte has surely given Chelsea that freshness and  unpredictability that has lacked in the team in recent years. Matic and Kante proving their worth along with the wall Consisting of Luis Cahill , Courtious  and flair of Hazard,Victor Moses,Pedro tormenting defences and Of course tough nut Diego Costa who has been lethal this season, they surely are a team that can get that Premier League title.

Next two months will surely show what Chelsea can do and how good they are. They play Spurs and Man city in a span of 8 days. New year begins at Hart Lane and then Leicester city along with Liverpool and Arsenal in-between this is entertaining Hull city at home. 

One thing’s for sure drama will be at an all time high. Chelsea can surely take Arsenal Liverpool and City on with that kind of lethality in the squad as they showed against United.

July 30th-The Day Zlatan Called & Manchester United listened

Posted on Updated on

The buzz surrounding probably the biggest transfer in football from marketing and brand value stand point was finally revealed. Zlatan has finally stated on his social media pages his next destination will be Manchester United.

image

Even before an official club statement made, Zlatan Ibrahimovic decided to announce that he will be playing at the Theatre of Dreams. This clearly shows who holds the aces in this transfer deal. Old Trafford a sacred place where the likes of Giggs , Ronaldo , Beckham , Paul Scholes, Best, Sir Bobby Charlton and Eric Cantona have played and become club Legends in their own right.

The speculation surrounding his transfer to Old Trafford began was right before the Champions League final and have been grabing headlines ever since. Zlatan does what Zlatan wants.

Zlatan is said to have alot of similarities with Eric Cantona Legend at United . Many United fans thrilled to have got their man even without Europe this season. Such is the Humongous Stature of the club.
In 1992 Man United found themselves struggling against the likes of Aston Villa, Blackburn, QPR and needed some adrenaline rush quickly, they finally found it in the shape of 26 year old Eric Cantona from Marseille. With extreme footballing ability and a strong personality to match that. They found a rare gem and over the next five years would set United in total destruction mode no matter who the opponent was. It was total mayhem.

image

                        Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Fast forward to 2016 after another miserable season with the sacking of Louis Van Gaal and No Champion League. United were back to the rebuilding phase .The controversial yet successful Jose Mourinho on board, United have again hit a big jackpot Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Already being compared to the tough, cocky Eric Cantona. Zltan surely has built his reputation over the years for footballing ability, strong personality in the dressing, cocky one liners and lethality in front of goal.

Eric and Zlatan always did what they wanted when they wanted and in whatever way they wanted. In the age where PR builds you and breaks you, Zlatan surely knows how to get the world to listen even without saying a word.
Qualities that make both men who they are include Arrogance, vision on the field, lethal feet, aggression, ridiculous Skill and never ending determination and unpredictability.

Comparisons between Eric Cantona and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are endless he seems more like a reincarnation of Cantona if you ask me. But interestingly Cantona came in as 26 year old lad hungry for success and Zlatan clearly past his best days with nothing to prove to the world only time will tell how things pan out for him as well as the Club. Zlatan always played against the rule book and needless to say it has served him well.

image

The Transfer Deal “A Smoke Screen.

The flip side to this transfer would definitely be if the gamble to get Zlatan to Old Trafford will pay dividends, or would he end up just like Falcao.
His recent performance at the Euros has certainly not done him any favours.
But knowing Zlatan and his will to prove people wrong, there is a defiance in him and will to succeed that has got him success everywhere he went.

Will Zlatan’s move be regarded in the same lines as Rudd Van Nistelrooy. Eric Cantona or be with likes of Di Maria, Juan Sebastian Veron , Radamel Falcao who failed to live up to the hype remains to be seen. One things for sure everyone will have their eye on Zlatan and his time in the English Premier League will surely not be dull.
United have in the past gone for players well past their prime namely Laurent Blac who joined United between 2001-03 season only finding the net once in 48 appearances as a and fellow Swede Henrik Larsson who joined United on loan back in 2007 but didn’t seem to be much of a success back then.

One of the reasons for Zlatan’s transfer to Manchester United was Jose Mourinho and  the man who “he would die for” as mentioned in his autobiography. With him by his side he surely will make alot of headline in the months to come along with the Portuguese. United’s rivalry with Man City at an all time high with Guardiola on the blue side of Manchester, the Manchester Derby this year will be bigger than the El Classico for sure.

Ibrahimovic has always done things on his own terms. But as it’s said Money Doesn’t always bring happiness ” Zlatan has always had the odds stacked against him yet he rose up from the ashes to win everywhere he went.

“The Most hated player at the Most Hated Club managed by the Most Hated manager in the world & supported by the Most Hated Fan’s in the world.”

The Bloated Transfer Market

The biggest club in England can afford such type of a transfer as the Club has become more of a Brand in the recent past. Ed Woodward the clubs executive vice-chairman has done alot to strengthen the grip on the commercial aspect of the Game. So worst case senerio this plan doesn’t work the shareholders won’t be really bothered as Jersey sale ,sponsorship, Television deals all play a major role building the brand Manchester United and getting revenue on their investments. Manchester United stocks surely have gained few points after this announcement.

Recently Manchester United have turned alot of head not for their playing style or trophies but more so by the huge sums of money paid in the transfer Windows bring in wealth of talents for jaw dropping amounts of money with likes of Di Maria, Anthony Martial, Mata , Fellani, Memphis Depay, Eric Bailey and Now Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Some have reaped fruit like Robin Van Persie who came in the team and hit the ground running but he did have experience in the premier league, and same would be expected of Ibrahimovic even without experience in the Premier League, with his leadership skills and unpredictability surely the dressing room will be more lively than before similar to the time when Eric Cantona and Roy Keane were in there.

image

With the Toughness of the Premier League made alot of careers go up in smoke. We will have to wait and see how the Premier League treats Zlatan. Zlatan a born Leader and Winner always sailing against the tide. The World will finally see what the Swedish is truely made of in the Toughest League in the World as well the Toughest League Zlatan has ever played.

The Longevity of Ryan Giggs at Man United comes to an End.

Posted on Updated on

After nearly 30 years at Man United helm Ryan Joseph Giggs has finally decided to call it a day at the Theatre of Dreams. Beginning his career at rivals Manchester City in 1985 and then joining Manchester United on his 14th birthday in 1987. Ryan made his senior debut in 1991 and went on to score 168 goals for the club, he was also named interim player-manger after David Moyes was sacked. Later upon the arrival of Louis Van Gaal, he was appointed Assistant Manager. Finally after the much awaited arrival of Jose Mourinho as manager for United ,Giggs has decided not to take up a role under Jose and has put his foot off the pedel and decided end his career as a coach at United.

image
Champions League 1999 against Bayern Munich

             Image taken from dailymail.co.uk

This decision will have alot of tongues wagging, whether it was the right decision or not. But with the background of Jose Mourinho and his ever famous antics at Chelsea and becoming a villain in the football world. It’s fair to say it was probably the right decision. Not forgetting Jose was offering a only a bit part lower level coaching role at United mainly bridging the gap between the youth academy and first team. A man with such wealth of experience as a player in one club, it’s a bit harsh with such treatment and probably deserves better.

Ryan Giggs Trophy Cabinet
The Most decorated player in English Football till date with  13 Premier League Trophies, 4 FA cups, 4 League Cups, 2 Champions League, 1 UEFA Super Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup , 1 FIFA Club World Cup as well 9 Community Shields.

image

Early Days as a Player in Man United
Started as Left winger, his pace tormented the opposition, just ask Dean Austin and Jason Cindy of Tottenham at the Tender at of 18 years. Probably not many give him credit for his free kicks than one should. With the Likes of Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo in the fray Giggs didn’t need to take up that responsibility. But after Ronaldo left in 2009, Ryan was once again given that responsibility and once again against Tottenham at White Hart Lane Giggs swirled his Magic curling the ball in the top right corner of Carlo Cudicini’s Goal. It was a reminder to everyone that even at this age he still had what it took at such a high level.

Ryan Giggs Stats.
1) Ryans giggs scored a staggering 127 Goals with his left foot another 22 with the Right, 18 with the head and one with his knee unconventional yet effective.
2) Highest assist in the premier League with 131. Holds the record for the quickest United goal in 15 seconds.
3) Giggs has made 151 appearances in the Champions League which behind 3rd behind  Xavi(157) and Cassillas(158).
4)Only player to play in 19 champions League campaign.
5) Giggs hasn’t been shown a red card in a single game of his playing career at Man United but surely has more Yellow card (37) than Winnie Jones.

image

             Image taken from Mirror.co.uk

What next for Ryan Giggs?
Probably Giggs will surely be up the pecking order to manage some Premier League Club and not be on the sideline of a coaching staff of any team.
With the amount players turning managers it seems like a walk in the park but  just ask Gary Neville if it really was that easy. On the other hand Zidane has seen success in such short time with winning the Champions League with Real Madrid. He was in charge of Real Madrid Castilla as well Assistant Manager before getting the nod for Manager at Real Madrid.
Ryan Giggs still needs some time working  under an experienced manager before taking the leap of manager. Currently working as a TV pundit for the European Championship, another year under a seasoned manager and Giggs would be ready to take up the challenge of managing a Top European Club.

Berlin Date for Juventus and Barcalona

Posted on

Finally the nightmare for Real Madrid and Gareth Bale in particular was over. 1-1 it ended on the night at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Juventus held their nerve and enjoyed the host scuffing chance after chance, finally Juventus reaped fruit of their first leg advantage and won on aggregate. Juventus is going to Berlin. They will meet Barcelona in the final.

image

Ikea Casillias joined Xavi as the joint all time leading appearances in the Champions League. Gareth Bale had another forgettable night in the white shirt. Paul Pogba returned from injury to setup Morata’s goal. Madrid just couldn’t add to their lead and alot of missed chances confirmed their fate againts Juventus.

Many United fans would realised what a mistake it was to let Pogba leave and Last night he proved all the doubters wrong. After having being told by the United management in 2012 that “his time will come”. Sir Alex also wasn’t afraid to ses the back of Pogba and fast forward a few years ahead, it’s Pogba in the Champions League Final and United can only watch and still only managed to seal only 4th place which needs them to qualify for the Group stages of the Champions League.

There will be a few Former United players playing at the Berlin final , that include Tevez, Evra,  Pique and debatable Pogba who made seven appearances which were all from the bench and not a single start.

The stage is set for the two current best teams in Europe to face eachother in Berlin on June 6th.

Gareth Bale from “Mr Invincible” to “Mr Invisible”

Posted on

image

           Picture from sports keeda

How did the fairy tale of Gareth Bale’s Transfer to the Bernabeu turn into such a nightmare? Where did it go wrong for the Former Spurs Hotshot? Will there be any resurrection in a Madrid Jersey or another club will come calling next summer only time will tell.

Transforming from a traditional left back at Spurs to left Winger in a Madrid Shirt. Bale has come along way but the past six months his world record transfer to Real Madrid has turned out for the worst for him.

Being labelled as selfish during a recent game where he preferred to take a shot on goal rather than pass to Ronaldo which frustrated him.

Even Carlo Ancelotti has not been quite happy with Bale’s recent form on field he preferred to use him more from the bench than in the starting 11.

Bale surely has scored and assisted this season but he has not got the love he should have got for his contribution. The fans clearly showed their dissatisfaction with Bale when he left Bernabeu in his car and few fans gathered and started hitting the windows,  lucky enough he drove off quick before it could get any worse.

image

             Picture from goal.com

But above all of that the game against Juventus was surely something that tops his worst game in a Madrid shirt.
Ancelloti gave Bale a chance and was brought it at Central Attacking Midfield role. Ramos was made to play along side Toni Kroos deep but that backfired completely.
Real Madrid Losing on the night 2-1 againts the Old Lady from Turin.

The talk of the night was the inability and the failure of Garth Bale to be of any use on the field. He hardly did any damage to the Juventus defence. Even Roy Keane had his say on Bale’s performance “You can’t win a  game with 10 men” “Gareth Bale gave Real Madrid nothing tonight”.

Even after Real got one goal back through None other than Ronaldo during the celebration Bale looked more like a lost sheep in the flock. He lacked confidence in is own ability. He certainly suffers from low morale and recent injury hasn’t done anything good either.

How does Bale turn around his life at Madrid, time is certainly running out and with the summer transfer window round the corner.

It would be naive for Madrid to cash in, but for Bale it would be a calculated risk to move away. Man Utd and Chelsea will surely try their luck if Bale becomes available and considering Bale has his family back in England it would be only logical for him to head back after his spell at Madrid.

Jose Mourinho the best there is, The best there ever will be ?

Posted on Updated on

Will there be another manager like Jose Mourinho with the success rate he has had over the 15 years of his managerial career ? Is Mourinho the greatest ever manager to manage a football team ? Cese Fabregas certainly think so.

Right from the moment Jose Mourinho was confirmed to be heading over to chelsea for his second stint, there was a sense of fear among every manager especially the ones in the top 4.

Louis Van Gaal the man who was instrumental and had an influence over him at the start of his life as a manager, knew exactly what Jose would bring to the premier league.

Notable mention to Arsene Wenger who knows exactly what Jose is all about as his team of invincibles were dethroned by Mourinho’s Chelsea team in his first year as manager.

Fast track a year ahead and Jose Mourinho has delivered in his first season of his second stint at Chelsea. With Fabregas choosing Mourihno over Wenger and Man United having their own issues with injuries and trying to adapt to the Dutchman’s philosophy. There wasn’t really any challenge from any other team in the premier league.

Spur and Man City did really well along with Arsenal to try and challenge Chelsea for the tittle but none of them were a match for “A Mourinho Master Class”.

There were alot of critics suggesting Chelsea were boring and Pellegrini also criticising Chelsea for not playing beautiful football and winning the league the way Man City did it a year earlier.

image

Here are few of the key moments in the league where Chelsea won the league.

1) Chelsea remained unbeaten in their first 23 games winning 17 and drawn 6. Winning 3-0 against arch rivals Spurs.

2)Chelsea beating Man United 1-0 despite having least possession of the two 33% , their lowest of the season.

3)Beating Arsenal early  in the league 2-0 memorable for the Wenger-Mourinho Pushing and Shoving.

image

Jose is the true Joker in Premier League. He has mastered the art of winning. Even though the total squad comprised of just 22 players in the entire season considerably low their his counterparts. Jose still managed to use the resources very well.

Jose Mourinho may have weird ways of doing his job but at the end of the day it’s the results that matter. With 3 games still to play Chelsea will look to give some youngsters a chance.

Do you think Jose Mourinho is Boring? Do you think he is the best there ever will be?

Feel free to comment and share the post if you have liked it. A feedback would be obliged.