There can be no doubt that Spurs have been entertaining this season, up until 6 weeks ago they looked like genuine title contenders as they played their attacking, free-flowing football that had neutrals across the land hoping they could sustain their challenge.
Unfortunately and perhaps predictably, when push came to a shove Spurs faltered and their title challenge was over. The premier league is unforgiving, 3 points dropped at the wrong time can be a huge psychological millstone, and so it proved with Spurs.
Meanwhile, those wily old dogs at Manchester United (no, not just Giggs and Scholes) continued to pick up the points whether their performances on the pitch merited them or not. United have a mental toughness instilled in them, even the young players have it. It’s difficult to explain exactly why or how, but it is there. In a season in which many say United aren’t at their best, they’re still keeping pace with billionaire neighbours Manchester City. The winning mentality, it seems, plays a large part – particularly towards the end of the season.
Some will argue that Manchester City don’t have that mental toughness, that winning mentality and as a team they would be right. City, however have individuals that do know it, that have won leagues with previous clubs – none more so than manager Roberto Mancini.
Spurs are looking likely to finish either 3rd or 4th this season and for the large part, they’ll be happy to settle for either – finishing the season above Arsenal would be considered a major success by most of their fans. With the departure of Harry Redknapp likely at the end of the season, do Spurs need a more experienced manager now? A manager that has won titles, a manager that can instil that belief in the players that they’ve lacked at crucial moments. Unfortunately for Spurs, managers of that pedigree are few and far between. Could the special one be on his way to North London?
Chelsea have parted company with Andre Villa-Boas following a string of poor results.
Former Chelsea midfielder Roberto Di Matteo has been appointed temporary manager until the end of the season.
A statement on the Chelsea FC website read “The board would like to record our gratitude for his work and express our disappointment that the relationship has ended so early.
“Unfortunately the results and performances of the team have not been good enough and were showing no signs of improving at a key time in the season.”
It was thought that Rafa Benitez would be the man to take charge after rumours circulated last week but the appointment of Di Matteo has brought an end to the speculation.
After a promising start to his management career AVB found a job that was simply too big for him at Chelsea as they look to rebuild an ageing team and compete in every competition.
The search for the perfect manager continues.
Come back Mourinho, all is forgiven.
There are always players in the Championship that seem to stand out amongst the crowd, with fans and pundits alike calling for them to get their chance in the Premier League, but why do only a few get the opportunity to bridge the gap between Football League obscurity and fame in “the best league in the world”.
A component which is vital when a top club scouts a lower league player is decision making. It doesn’t take much to realise when watching the average Championship game the wrong choice is made far more frequently than during a Premier League game (yes, even Blackburn). Knowing when to pass or shoot, when to close a man down or defend the space may seem like individual decisions, however that one choice forces the whole team to react, and is often the difference between scoring or wasting a chance, clearing or conceding, winning or losing. (more…)
Not content with recently being made to look a fool by Michael Owen on Twitter, Piers Morgan has now been put firmly in his place by Match Of The Day presenter and former England striker Gary Linekar on the social networking site. To make matters worse for the super smug Morgan, Linekar wasn’t content with doing this once, he did it TWICE!
After an impressive start to his Arsenal career, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain appears to be pushing for a place in Arsenal’s starting XI, Arsene Wenger however seems keen to bring the young English winger through the ranks at a steady pace.
Two goals in his first 3 games for the club and Oxlade-Chamberlain is the name on everyone’s lips, but is the 19 year old ready to be starting week in week out for the gunners? He certainly seems to have the physical attributes and raw talent to unsettle defenders, something Blackburn Rovers fans will be all too aware of after he bagged an impressive brave against them last month.
Stuart Pearce’s first game as England manager ended in a last minute loss that was anything but unjust.
Arjen Robben struck twice and Klaas Jan Huntelaar headed the other as the Dutch looked comfortable in their unfamiliar black shirts.
What did we learn?
England’s once solid defence is no more
The Dutch found it far too easy to penetrate England’s defence. The central defensive pairing of Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill is a long way short of the partnership that Rio Ferdinand and John Terry had for many years. (more…)
While the FA play it safe in their search for the next England manager, the ideal candidate goes about his business in an understated way, setting about turning another team into a solid unit that plays well above their station. Harry Redknapp is the front runner and many expect nailed on certainty to be the next man in charge, but when you really assess his record, is he the right man for the job? (more…)
We’re back. This week we’re discussing England’s chances against Holland, the best dressed manager in the Premier League, Mario Balotelli’s love of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and take a look at all the major results from the last week of football.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is on a par with Alan Sugar when it comes to sackings. Here’s a look at all the managers that have worked under Abramovich and look who comes out on top. None other than Butch Wilkins!
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<a href="http://www.football-banter.com/premier-league/chelsea-manager-stats-infographic-the-abramovich-years/"><img src="http://www.football-banter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/chelsea-infographic.jpg" alt="Chelsea manager stats comparison" width="600" /></a><p style="margin:6px 0 12px; text-align:center; font-family:Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; width:600px">Infographic by <a href="http://www.football-banter.com">Football Banter</a>
You’ve got to give it to this kid, even though he pokes himself in the eye – he carries on anyway!