Managers changing guard left right and centre has left me wondering whether there will ever be any further longevity in the game. There are only now a handful of managers that may be willing to stay at club for a long period of time and of the ones that want to do as such swiftly run out of time because of a multitude of reasons. Baying fans, board expectations, media shtick a combination of the three or the big one these days is the multi-billionaire owner. Success is in different shapes for different clubs, however no matter what the aim is for a league season a run of bad results over a period of time leaves any manager in hot water. It’s for this reason that I think that the grass is never greener on the other side. It may look that way but when you get there you find out it has that Instagram sheen from a distance only to be uncovered as you get closer to the real thing. In Arsene Wenger we have a man who truly understands this and really knows how the club ought to be run. He knows that his decisions aren’t likely to be met with adulation across the whole fan base and board to a degree however every decision he makes is a thought through one that considers the longevity of the club. We may not quite see it at times however that is what seems to be in his sights at all times. The day he leaves will truly be a sad day and we know that it is something that isn’t too far around the corner. He’s the last man in football that will truly put himself after the club, not before. I think that there is only one other manager who may be capable of achieving longevity at a club, if given the chance, and that man is Jurgen Klopp. He looks as though he wants to stay at a club and become imbibed within its philosophy to be one of them. But even he is not someone who has a plan B. He knows one way to play and that’s the downfall of every big manager. The only manager who used to be able to do this was Sir Alex Ferguson. He was able to up the physicality when his team was technically inferior its opposition. Arsene Wenger is beginning to be able to also do this within even more stringent financial restrictions which is incredible. The finance is also another reason as to why I severely doubt any successor managing our club would be able to keep so many plates spinning for
Be careful what you wish for is the mantra that forever spins in my head when I asses the managers that jump from club to club. Carlo Ancelloti was given 8 years at Milan but he himself has considered it impossible to replicate what Ferguson and Wenger have achieved. You then have Jurgen Klopp who had 7 years at Mainz 05 followed by 7 years at Dortmund before being pushed out. I have a feeling he will be here for a while so long as he is backed in the transfer market. Guardiola considers his managerial jobs in the same way we think of our careers in all honesty. He looks at places with a 3-4 year project in mind and once he’s ‘done his time’ he moves on. Diego Simeone looks a similar mould to the not so special one and brutes his way to titles in a similar style all be it on a smaller budget. There’s LVG who looks like 5-3-2 is the only thing that works with him no matter the personnel. It’s either that or the boring stuff we’ve seen so far this season from United. Then Mourinho himself who has single handedly convinced the fans at Chelsea that he alone was culpable for their success last year and not at all responsible for the failures this time around. Fans actually believe this and that’s what is worrying. This great
piece by Daniel Storey really details how these fans have been sold down the river http://bit.ly/1QVOKiQ and completely duped by the man who plays only one way. People talk about Wenger not having much of a plan B and it’s pretty clear that most managers don’t and never have. Mourinho’s style inhibits players like Hazard and Fabregas who was booed on the weekend. Mourinho’s definitely won in that respect but as the above article states a freedom began to develop itself at the weekend. I completely think that they will now turn it around which is slightly upsetting.
The whole of the above highlights one thing. Arsene Wenger is going to be a difficult man to replace and will leave a legacy that will only be looked upon in its full glory a little while after his magnificent reign has come to a close.
Onto the weekends exploits. Leicester continue to defy logic and are on a winning march and are seriously contenders for at the very least a top 4 position. The reality is they will need around 70 points at least to have a chance. This means they need 32 points from a possible from a possible 63. They have given themselves a massive chance as if they win the majority of their home games with a couple results elsewhere they will surely hit that target. A lot depends on keeping their first XI fit for the whole season as well as keeping a hold of their prize assets come January. You never quite know what goes through a players mind even if simply an offer comes in. Whether it’s accepted or rejected is another issue, but the fact it comes in can mess with a players head and that will be something new that Leicester have to deal with. It’s all gearing up for it to be an exciting season at the very least. Man Utd contrived to lose at home to Norwich and in addition, in a marvelous addition we were able to overcome the oily Man City. I was lucky enough to be in the North Bank for this one and it felt like a tense atmosphere beforehand. Our start did little to ease this as City were well and truly on top before we scored. De Bruyne really should have made it 1-0 but a little over a minute later we were able to take the lead with our first shot. Ozil fed the ball to the left, which I believe was intended for Monreal, but Theo took it upon himself to take the ball and fire it into the corner. What. A. Finish. My cousin to the left of me was so delirious that he fell into the row ahead in celebration, at which point he continued to celebrate before I had to yank him back to his feet. The point at which we scored seemed to settle us and nip City’s threat in the bud. We were in the ascendancy and our second came from an awfully misplaced pass by Mangala. Walcott latched onto it, gave it to Ozil who then slipped Giroud in to slot in the second. 2-0 and the place was jumping. We’d only had 2 shots and scored 2 goals. Although City’s stats read as 7 shots they only really had one big chance, De Bruyne’s one just before Theo delivered a killer blow. Ozil with 2 more assists and he is closing in on that Henry record of 20. 5 to go and still 21 games to play. Seriously in love with this man. The second half was a different story. We came out and could have been 4 or 5 up with the chances we created. Campbell had 2, one of which he really should have put away. Ramsey had 2 one-on-ones, again one of which only Joe Hart’s face could stop going in. The football we played was scintillating at times coupled with hard work all over the pitch. Theo Walcott looks a different player since coming back into the fold, he has added strength and hard work to his game. Joel Campbell has clearly been reading my articles of support and is applying himself brilliantly. Work-rate that can be compared with Alexis. No really. The second half appeared to be fully in our control until a moment where Ramsey lapsed in concentration allowed Toure the opportunity to get a shot off and what a shot it was. It was so out of nowhere that even the City fans took a few seconds to realise wat had happened. We were under the cosh for the last 8 minutes where City could have equalized through Toure, but thankfully De Bruyne’s pass to him was slightly over hit. We hung on and defended resolutely to the end and have now put ourselves in a great position. This seems an appropriate place to mention how imperious Mertesacker was. A brilliantly organised and commanding performance. Added to this the fact that Ramsey and Flamini have now done it against City they shouldn’t feel the pressure as much in the games to follow. They are clearly more than capable.
We now have Southampton away with the news that Alexis is likely to miss that as well as the Bournemouth and Newcastle games makes it all the more important. We need to somehow bring home the 3 points in that game to allow ourselves the opportunity to build on from the City result.
In the mean time we can all enjoy our Christmases as Santa has proven why he wears red.
Have a very Merry Christmas folks.
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