Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Managerial vacancies and moves 2013/14

Below is the list of managerial vacancies and changes so far for next season 2013/14 in Europe's top leagues. This is ridiculous.

Have I forgotten anyone? Has there ever been this many vacancies and new managers in the lead up to a new season? This is a sign of what modern football is slowly becoming.

- Manchester United: David Moyes
- Manchester City: ?
- Chelsea: Jose Mourinho?
- Everton: ?
- Stoke: ?
- Inter Milan: Walter Mazzarri 
- Napoli: Rafa Benitez
- Real Madrid: ?
- Real Sociedad: ? 
- Rayo Vallecano: ?
- Malaga: ?
- Levante: ? 
- Espanyol: ?
- Elche: ?
- Athletic Bilbao: ?
- Bayern Munich: Pep Guardiola 
- Werder Bremen: Robin Dutt
- PSG: Ancelotti staying or leaving? 

Here's a little piece of information that'll show how sad the state of managers has become - in England, at the current rate, Alan Pardew (Newcastle United manager since December 2010, 2 years and a half ago) is the 2nd longest serving manager behind Arsene Wenger. Nice...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Thank You Sir Alex Ferguson

It's too hard to put into words all the feelings that are going through all Manchester United's supporters minds today now that the big man's decide to retire. It's been one hell of a ride, so I'll just leave a list. This list is what I'm thanking the great man for.

Before writing any of the below, I'm just mumbling the words "Thank you Sir Alex Ferguson for":

- making me love football as a 6 year old and supporting the same team fanatically for over 20 years.
- turning Manchester United into what it is today.
- the League Titles.
- the FA Cups.
- the League Cups.
- that night in Rotterdam.
- that night in Barcelona.
- that night in Moscow.
- Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Gary Neville, Philip Neville, Nicky Butt and all the other magnificent players you guided and created.

- Eric Cantona.
- all the other great Legends that played under your tutelage.
- turning Old Trafford into the Theatre of Dreams that it has truly become.
- all the last-minute winners down the years, 2 of which I was lucky to witness at the stadium.
- Fergie time :-).
- using defeats to spur the team on to more victories.
- the enjoyable mind games which made most other managers look foolish.
- chewing that much gum and giving us a good laugh with your off-tempo celebrations.
- keeping us on the edge of our seats year after year after year...
- teaching us all about bouncing back.
- being the greatest manager English football has ever seen.
- making everyone who doesn't support Manchester United hate you, yet still respect you.
- the Club World Cup, the Intercontinental Cup, the Super Cup, and Community Shields.
- the hairdyer treatment that made sure some of the players grew a pair and started performing.
- proving everyone who doubted you and Manchester United wrong. Time and time again.
- spoiling us with some of the best football we'll ever seen in our lifetime.
- even for the times when some decisions and signings were beyond belief to us fans (ex: Bebe).
- all the emotions. The tears of joy and sadness...
- being an inspiration to everyone who has watched Manchester United down the years
- being a Legend, a Hero, a God in our eyes.
- knocking Liverpool off their perch.

Sir Alex Ferguson is Manchester United and just as he's said over and over down the years "nobody is bigger than the club" and that includes himself. So he may be watching over the club from the Director's Box as of next season, but the club will carry on whoever's in charge.
No one will ever forget Sir Alex Ferguson. He has always been his own man and he deserves all the respect and plaudits he gets. We won't take him for granted. We never did. Football will never see a manager like this ever again. He's a rare breed. It is the end of an incredible era.

He made the impossible dream, possible. He is the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. 

Thank you for making us believe...

Thank You Sir Alex Ferguson....

Friday, May 3, 2013

The managerial merry-go-round shall begin soon

The 2012/13 season is almost coming to a close and the destiny of many managers is about to be sealed. Whereas normally players transfers dominate the headlines throughout the summer period, this year there's a feeling that it's the managers who'll be going all over the place. Let's go over the ones that might/will be leaving their clubs.

We'll start with the most obvious one Rafa Benitez, who'll definetely be leaving Chelsea at the end of the season. So the Chelsea hotspot will be free as Benitez's potential suitors will be waiting to see his next move.

Then we've got the big teaser Jose Mourinho who's given out all the possible hints that he's leaving Real Madrid this summer to go back "where he feels loved". One can only assume a return to Chelsea (or perhaps Inter Milan?) is on the cards. And that will leave the impossible job of being Real Madrid manager open.

Carlo Ancelotti has been linked with moves away from PSG despite his success there in his short time at the club. If that does happen, one can only assume that the PSG managerial position will go to one of Europe's leading managers with Champions League experience.

Bayern Munich meanwhile stated that Jupp Heynckes would be retiring at the end of the season and would be replaced by the managerial magician that is Pep Guardiola. However, Heynckes recently stated that he isn't sure he'll be retiring and doesn't want to rule out taking over another club. Some people forget that Heynckes was the manager of Real Madrid during the 1997/98 and he won them the Champions League (that's more than a lot of managers can boast at the Bernabeu), so a return there shouldn't be deemed as unlikely. We've seen Madrid hire ex-managers quite often as soon as they become the cream of the crop (ex: Capello, Del Bosque, Di Stefano, Toshack...).

Elsewhere, it feels like Robert Mancini has an outside chance of leaving Manchester City and if he does, there'll be huge pressure on whoever takes over at the Etihad Stadium. Not from the fans, but from the owners and their kitty box. However, City's future manager will have the added incentive of simply passing the group stage in the Champions League, a feat that Mancini has been unable to do in the 2 seasons that he's taken them to the competition.

Real Madrid, PSG, Manchester City and Chelsea are probably the 4 clubs with the most money to spend in European Football at the moment. They're also the 4 clubs with ruthless owners that get rid of any manager that doesn't succeed as they wish. So those are the 4 that'll ring the managerial changes and probably swap between each other:

Guardiola to Bayern Munich
Heynckes or Ancelotti to Real Madrid
Mourinho to Chelsea
Benitez to Manchester City
Mancini to PSG

Outsiders that could move to these clubs: Manuel Pellegrino, Arsene Wenger, Jurgen Klopp.

Does this make any sense to any one else?