Abolish International Football? Here’s My Ingenious Solution!

Every time International football comes around I die a little inside. Anyone following my Twitter feed will know that I hate International football with passion, and there’s a few reasons why:

  • It breaks up the Premier League campaign, when all I care about is watching and following Arsenal.
  • Because our squad is full of International players, it is inevitable that we will pick up injuries.
  • And even if they don’t come back injured, then they’re shattered from flying half way across the world.
  • England will never win anything again.
  • English footballers are some of the most overrated and over pampered footballers going. The British media make out they’re world beaters and then they get found out against other International sides.
  • England play some of the most boring football known to man. I don’t even watch them any more because it is less interesting than watching paint dry.
  • International football just funds the corrupt organisation that is FIFA and Sepp Blatter.

And the Jack Wilshere situation shows how ridiculous International breaks are. Who cares about who players for which country? I could name a million players that technically shouldn’t be playing for their “country” but do so.

Football is a global sport and International football isn’t as important as everyone makes out. We have ex-Arsenal man Eduardo, who is Brazilian, Deco was the same but played for Portugal, and most of the World Cup 98′ winning France squad weren’t really French – but what is French? You had Zidane (Algeria), Vieira (Senegal), Desailly (Ghana), Pires (Portugal), Djorkaeff (Armenia) and Henry and Thuram could be classed being from Guadalupe.

Personally, none of that bothers me and if you qualify to play for a certain International team then good on you I say. Plenty of Welsh, Irish and Scottish players were basically English. How Tony Cascarino ever played for the Republic of Ireland I’ll never know.

But I’m not completely oblivious to the demand of International football. People do like it (for some reason) and I admit, I do get caught up in the hype surrounding the World Cup and European Championships. What I would like to see, is a complete overhaul of International football.

In the summer, the years we don’t have a World Cup or European Championships, we should just have all of the qualification group games played within a 2 month period. There would be no distraction to domestic league campaigns, and no backlash from the Football Associations of different countries.

And more importantly, it would capture the imagination of the fans again. Obviously it wouldn’t be like a proper World Cup or European Championships, but having a qualification tournament in the summer would allow the fans to get completely behind their team without this ridiculous situation where domestic and International games are mixed together.

And furthermore, there wouldn’t be arguments from International managers and club managers about injured players, blah blah blah.

Really, FIFA should sign me up now, I’m a genius.

So Would You Have Harry Redknapp or Roy Hodgson As England Manager?

As parts of Harry Redknapp’s autobiography start to come out in the Daily Mail, today’s serialisation touches on his opinions on the England managers role, and how the FA are “clueless”.

He said:

“I wouldn’t trust the FA to show me a good manager if their lives depended on
it.

“This isn’t about them giving the England job to me or Roy Hodgson, but English football being run by people who really haven’t got a clue – and they get to pick the England manager.

“Everyone said I was the people’s choice, the only choice. All the senior players seemed to be up for me to get the job.

“I got quite a few text messages at the time from players saying they would love me to manage England: Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry.

“But the FA went for Roy Hodgson to be the England manager – a man who is more their cup of tea.”

But do you agree with that?

Personally, I think Harry Redknapp would have been the better choice for England manager. I know Woy Hodgson has more International experience (coaching Switzerland, Finland and the UAE) and has vast European coaching experience, but for England I just think ‘Arry would have been the perfect choice.

Forget the fact he used to manage the idiots down the road, he would have been the most popular choice.

The fact of the matter is, yes technically, Roy Hodgson is the better manager. He’s managed International teams, European sides and won trophies across Europe. But that’s not what England need.

They need the a manager with a personality, a manager who can relate to the players. The truth is the vast majority of the England team are overpampered, overpaid nancy boys who need a buddy. Harry Redknapp is that man. He will lift moral, and get the best out of the limited brain capacity most of the England players have.

Roy Hodgson is too technical and like when at Liverpool, the players will probably not understand his methods. England need a man who can get the players motivated and perform at their best.

So who do you think is the best man for the job? Redknapp or Hodgson?

Mancini, Benitez, Mourinho & The Managerial Merry-Go-Round

A few weeks ago, you wouldn’t have thought that the two managers of the Top 2 clubs in England would no longer be in their jobs before the season was over, but that’s exactly what’s happened.

Alex Ferguson retired and had his official send off on Sunday in front of thousands of his adoring fans at Old Trafford, while Roberto Mancini had a far less glamourous send off, being officially sacked yesterday.

The official statement from Manchester City was that he failed to meet any of the seasons targets, except for Champions League qualification, and in today’s football – however harsh the sacking was – it’s par for the course.

Looking around Facebook and Twitter, the outrage from City fans was, quite frankly, ridiculous. All the “Thank you for everything Roberto” posts were nauseating and some football supporters really need to get a grip of themselves. For me, Roberto Mancini is possibly one of the most overrated managers of all time.

Let’s look at his track record shall we? At Inter Milan, he won 3 Serie A titles but all 3 of those were helped hugely by the effects of the Calciopoli scandal, where Juventus were relegated, and AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina were docked points.

During his time at Manchester City, he won the Premier League – only after almost losing to QPR on the last day of the season and scoring a last minute winner. And I don’t need to tell you about his record in Europe at both Inter and City, which was shockingly poor, considering the talent at his disposal.

I’m sure he’ll be just fine this afternoon, having a nice cup of tea thinking about the reported £28 million pay off he has to worry about.

Along with the new vacancy at The Etihad Stadium, a job has opened up at Everton. With Mourinho a dead cert to become Chelsea manager next season, people are looking to who could become the new boss at Goodison Park.

I know his name has been banded around for the Everton and possibly Wigan jobs but for me, Rafa Benitez would be excellent at Manchester City. He has extensive knowledge of the Premier League, has a good track record of managing egos and is astute in Europe. If Rafa was appointed at Manchester City, I would put them as favourites for the league ahead of Manchester United. If Rafa and Mourinho join City and Chelsea respectively, then it would be a really 3 horse race for the title next year. Arsenal and Tottenham would again be fighting for 4th position unless big changes were made.

But at least it would be a more interesting season. Manchester United pretty much cruised to the Premier League title this season and we need another competitive year. Arsenal are always capable of stringing a decent run together but it’s only usually in the final months of the season. If we have this massive war chest that people are reporting then we could compete, but does Arsene have the ability to pick the best talents? He’s been working on a shoe-string for so long it’s hard to know if he would spend the money on players that are truly world class.

Who Will Succeed Alex Ferguson At United?

When the news first broke about Alex Ferguson’s retirement, my thoughts immediately went to Mourinho. Who else would be bold enough to take that job after decades of consistent success with one man? Who else wouldn’t be fazed by the massive expectations that came with a club like Manchester United?

But after dismissing David Moyes due to his lack of experience in Europe, I’m not so sure now.

Manchester United will be after a a long term replacement and Moyes represents that. Also, it seems like Ferguson has been grooming Moyes for a while now, and possibly told him to just stick it out with Everton for a few more years and when he comes to retire he’ll get the job. Moyes’ contract runs out in the summer as well so it’s a perfect way to stick with Scottish management.

My biggest question mark was over top level experience, but I suppose if you’re after a long term replacement then Manchester United will have the patience to give him a few years to settle in.

After just checking the bookies David Moyes is the clear favourite at 1/10! Mourinho is in second place at 5/1, Jurgen Klopp 20/1 and then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at 25/1.

Would Manchester United fans like David Moyes at Old Trafford? I can’t decide whether he is a fantastic manager or overrated.

Who do you think will be the next Manchester United manager?

Ferguson is a Legend / Mourinho to United?

Since last night, the Twittersphere went into over drive with rumours that Alex Ferguson was going to retire at the end of the season, and this morning it was confirmed.

The news broke out from a players versus coaches golf game yesterday afternoon. Apparently, the news was meant to be revealed on Sunday when United would be officially crowned champions, but once the rumours started Ferguson had to respond.

I for one am a little surprised, partly because he seems to flirt with the idea of retirement every summer and not before the season ends. Also, I thought he’d try to lift the Champions League one more time.

Manchester United have been hugely successful over the last 27 years and for me, he is the main reason why. This season, like others before it, experts and fans alike have said the United team that has won the league wasn’t the best. Whether that is true or not is open to debate, but the fact is Ferguson gets the absolute maximum from what he has. When you consider the squads at Manchester United and Manchester City, and the contrasting amounts spent on it, it is almost criminal that Manchester City didn’t win the league. So for United to win the league so comfortably, it a huge testament to Alex Ferguson’s ability as a coach and manager.

Of course, he has spent big money on players but nothing in the region that other big clubs like Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona and PSG have spent in a single transfer window. He has combined youth, experience and most importantly – and something I have been especially jealous of – is a winning mentality. You can say what you like about Gary Neville (when he was playing, not now), Rio Ferdinand, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Roy Keane et al, but however much they were f*cking annoying people, they were winners. Winning is all that mattered and they did it at any cost. They’ve had squads in the past that weren’t the best technically, but they still had that desire to win trophies. When Arsene Wenger talks about mental strength, Manchester United have that in abundance.

Last summer when Robin van Persie joined United some newspapers speculated that his purchase was a leaving present for Alex Ferguson, a last ditch attempt to wrestle back the Premier League title from their noisy neighbours. And so it proved, they were right.

Before you accuse me of a Manchester United and Alex Ferguson love in, I will remind you something Arsene Wenger said of Ferguson a few years ago. He basically said that they respected each other because what they achieved in the game, but when it came to playing against each other it was a fight. Because I support Arsenal it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the things Ferguson has done for United – it is undeniable that he has been the driving force in their massive success over the last 20 years. I don’t think the Premier League will be the same without him and it’s hard to say what kind of affect his departure will have on that club.

And that brings us to his replacement.

It’s hard to imagine who could possibly replace their greatest ever manager. It would just be like us trying to imagine who could possibly replace Arsene Wenger when he decides to retire or leave the club. The bookmakers have made David Moyes the odds on favourite but for me I cannot see that happening. He has done well for Everton, but even Everton fans I speak to say his tactics are limited and can be overly negative.

If he does get appointed (and I would be surprised) then Manchester United must feel that everything is in place for continued success. Something many people haven’t mentioned is his lack of experience in European competition. Some people have the knowhow when it comes to European football but others haven’t. Roberto Mancini for example has no idea how to do well in Europe, as he’s shown with Manchester City and previously at Inter Milan.

So we come to other candidates. Of course, Jose Mourinho will be mentioned as he has pretty much cut all ties with Real Madrid. And the question is would he return to a football club? He likes to try new experiences (that much is clear) and filling the boots of his friend Alex Ferguson would be massively tempting for him. It would also be a massive coup and signal of intent if United poached him and if I was a Chelsea fan, I’d be a little worried.

Other names mentioned are Jurgen Klopp, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Jupp Heynckes, Gary Neville, Manuel Pellegrini, Mike Phelan, Laurent Blanc and Michael Laudrup. In that list are a few really top top managers with a wealth of European experience, hence the reason why I feel Moyes would be a strange choice. And who would want to turn down the chance of managing on the biggest football clubs in the world? United won’t struggle to find a world class appointment, that’s for sure.