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January 2021

Want a new coach? Well, not that many!

By Tony Attwood

Man U want a new manager, and that means Louis van Gaal according to the pundits.   But it seems he wants to bring five specialist staff with him and Man U don’t like that because they brought in a whole team of new people with whatever the guy’s name is – the one they had last time.

And worse, no one is quite sure what one of the five does.  But more on that in a moment.

But never mind, say Man U, we’ll have that guy from Real Madrid.   OK, except, maybe he doesn’t want to come.  After all looking at the team he has got, why should he want to unravel a squad like Man U, deal with owners like Man U and do it all again?

Edward Woodward is the man who draws up lists of candidates for jobs at United, usually, it seems, without asking them first.  (Actually it happened to me once, although of course not in football.  I was invited to apply for a job, went to the interview, and realised I was just a makeweight to enable the interviewing panel to rubber stamp who they really wanted, while making it look like a real selection process.  So I walked into the interview room, they asked me why I wanted the job, I told them what I thought of them and their fake process, and departed.   I was quite surprised at myself, but rather pleased that I had done it.)

Anyway, Man U in their arrogance state that Van Gaal, Ancelotti and Diego Simeone of Atlético Madrid will of course all want the job – as will Jürgen Klopp of Borussia Dortmund.   So they Man U choose who to give their largesse to.  Except some of them might well say either, “Not with old red nose breathing down my neck,” or “here is my list of demands” which is what Van Gaal seems to be saying.

Van Gaal of course doesn’t have a job once the Netherlands either win or are knocked out of the World Cup.  But the notion that he might know what he wants to do and who he wants to having doing it, is a bit, well, foreign to Man U.  They have had Sir F telling them what they want for so long, it is hard to imagine an alternative.

Besides muddling through while talking to referees is the normal English way.  We don’t do organisation, planning, structure, thinking…   That’s all a bit German.

So Edward Woodward wants the Dutch coach to work with Ryan Giggs – the thread of continuity.  Or he could get Guardiola who might now be available.  Except Giggs is the new Guardiola according to one newspaper report I saw so he doesn’t need him.

Arsenal will be ok when Mr Wenger finally retires, because his backroom team has been here a long old time. Boro Primorac will presumably move on, as will Vik Akers.   Neil Bamford has been at Arsenal for 15 years, and he and Steve Bould might have to move on, but the youth team is being restructured this season, as Liam Brady’s reign comes to an unfortunate end, so that section of the club could be stable beyond Mr Wenger’s final departure.

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Man U however appear to be lumbering themselves with old boys.  And as we know just because a player has played well, it doesn’t mean he can do much else in football.   Billy Wright anyone?

So setting Giggs alongside Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes will excite the media who love those guys, but not necessarily be the new manager’s choice.

Van Gaal works with the likes of Patrick Kluivert,k Danny Blind, Frans Hoek, Jos van Dijk and Max Reekers.  Actually Max Reekers is an interesting person – always referred to by the single word “analyst” but with little explanation of what he analyses.   Is he a psychoanalyst, or a football analyst?   Internet coverage of him is a real cut and paste job – everyone says, “Analyst Max Reekers” and that’s that.  Lazy journalists.   (Well lazy me too because I don’t know what he does – but then, journalists are paid to find out).

All these funny foreign people coming in would mean that poor little Giggs would be pushed out of things a bit, but as we know the heritage of Man U says that he must be involved until he’s 200 years old, so that is a problem.

Perhaps the most amusing thing is that Sir Alex F is going to be involved in the appointment – just as he was central to making the appointment of the Moyes.  Still he won’t be able to get it that wrong again.  Will he?


The books



59 comments to Want a new coach? Well, not that many!

  • jambug

    United need a new ‘Coach’

    Looks like Chelsea need a new ‘Bus’

    Long way to go yet mind you.

  • jambug

    Oh dear, the Wheels have well and truly come of this particular bus.

  • nicky

    After whining player power caused the demise of David Moyes at Manchester, it seems only right that retired players should be recruited to ensure further deterioration at OT.
    Neville will bring his computer into the dressing room to baffle all those present.
    Scholes will teach players how to tackle.
    And Rooney will explain all about red mist and how to keep talking to referees, and telling them where they’ve gone wrong, throughout every game.
    As for Giggs, a direct line from Ferguson will be vital at all times, advising on how to chew gum and brandish a watch….both at the same time.

    the further

  • Elkieno

    Specialist in failure might well end the season with a shiny trophy and the moaning one with fuck all!
    Wouldnt that be amusing and fun for us????

  • Jax

    My schadenfreude has gone into overdrive

  • Jax

    Loved your comment on Cultured (yesterday)

  • Mick

    I see the ‘tactical genius’ that is Mourinho has only won 2 out of the 8 Champions League semi final matches he has contested, not a brilliant return. What with no Premier League title since 2009/2010 for the Chavs we could be in for much waving of cheque book by the ‘special one’ this summer!

  • Asif

    Even Hazard says that Chelski don’t play football…!!! I am loving it…the media guys had to dump all the Moaninho is a genius writeups and rewrite whole sections showing his failings…so much so for playing such a negative brand of football and they appreciate him…imagine all the teams start playing like this…would any of us watch football?

  • bob mac

    Chelsea opened with 3 CB’s and 3 FB’s as well as a further defensive MF.

    How easy was it to second guess how they would play.

    They lack creative players of real substance.

    Shows how much ‘brilliant defending ‘ relies on lady luck.

    Thanks heavens they are not in the final to spoil the entertainment value as they have in the PL.

  • Mike T

    Last night we came up against a team that by far was the best team we have played all season. They will probably win a league that alongside Barcelona features the other CL finalist Real who, demolished the team that beat Arsenal in the CL .
    It proves that no matter what tactics you deploy if a team is better than you then you will almost certainly lose.
    As they say lost in translation he was talking about not being set up to play a particular type of football.
    Chelsea have already purchased 3 players that will feature next year in all competitions: Sala, Matic & Zuma.
    They will be moving on the likes of Bertrand, Moses, Marin, Mikel, Romeu, Kakuta, Hutchinson, McEachran, Ba, Eto’o , Torres ,Cole & possibly Lukaku, Schwarzer or Hilario, Cech ,Oscar , Ivanovic, Ramieres & Luiz. Several of the number on loan will also be sold.

    It is well known that several of the players on loan and or academy players will be given a squad place next season.

    Put all that together and yes Chelsea will be active in the transfer market . They will be looking to bring in another keeper (probably British) a left back, a midfielder to play alongside Matic, and a ball playing midfielder, 2 or maybe 3 forwards.It is suggested that that most if not all the expected transfers in will be funded from sale.

    I am sure that not even the most ardent Arsenal supporter would really try & mock Mourinos “terrible CL record”, namely in the 10 seasons he has managed a team in the CL he has only managed 8 semi finals and two outright wins ,as being poor. Or would you suggest that AW`s record in the 16 seasons he has managed Arsenal in the CL and twice yes just twice getting past the quarter finals is impressive by comparison?

  • Sukebe


  • Mick

    @Mike T
    Re your last paragraph, no I would not compare the two, Mourinho has indeed got an impressive record as regards trophies won, though it would be interesting to see how he would have got on operating under the financial restraints Wenger has had these last few years. My comment was more a dig at the media who propagate this tactical genius nonsense and then conveniently forget all about the failure of his tactics when things do not work out, as last night.

  • Mike T


    To a large degree I agree about the press but believe me last night watching the game I was full of admiration for AM their team ethic and organisation was something to behold and something that we simply were not good enough to match irrespective of our tactics.
    Their movement and the responsibility taken by the players to adapt as the game progressed cant be understated.
    Oh that their on loan keeper pulled off a couple of very good saves didn’t help!

    Whilst I applaud AW for operating the way he has I am not convinced that some of it hasn’t been self inflicted in that time after time your senior management have said that funds were there if needed yet AW didn’t spend. Would you have won more if he had spent?

    The bulk of the squad that Jose inherited were the same as were knocked out of the CL last season in the group stages. The balance and structure of the squad (not the number of players) is far from fit for purpose this and lack of form (due in part to playing too many games )fitness and suspensions were the reason for the selection last night. In addition the spine had been allowed to age and with big contracts the likes of Lampard ,Cole,Terry & Cech weren’t going anywhere and tied up a disproportionate % of the budget . Once we met the top teams in a knock out we were always going to struggle and last night we did.
    For me he did well to get past PSG.
    I truly believe you will see a different Chelsea next year. Ok it wont be a team designed for a high% of possession but as we have seen over the last season tic tac high % possession may well be a thing of the past

  • Micheal Ram

    Man Utd are deluded to think that they are always so special. They did the same thing when Ronaldinho chose Barcelona instead of them, saying he was afraid to play for the best club in the world, he fears of failure, blah blah blah. Their misleading arrogance serves them right at the moment. Another thing is if all the managers in the world are vacant, who do you think all the best clubs in the world will kill for? Enough said.

  • Mike T


    What does Tl;dr mean?

  • Gord

    Mike T

    Too Long; Didn’t Read;DR

  • Mike T


    OK. !

  • bjtgooner

    @Mike T

    Re your comment: –

    “Whilst I applaud AW for operating the way he has I am not convinced that some of it hasn’t been self inflicted in that time after time your senior management have said that funds were there if needed yet AW didn’t spend.”

    While the funds available to AW are increasing, it does not mean that Arsenal can match the bottomless pits of RA. Further, the transfer market, as you are no doubt aware, is not a fair playing field – and it is not above Chelski trying to use silly money to manipulate the market in their favour. In consequence your implied criticism of AW does seem hypocritical.

  • Mike T


    Not hypocritical at all its just how you have chosen to read my comment.Bear in mind the comment is from a Chelsea supporter.

    You are right the transfer market isn’t a level playing field indeed I doubt that say Norwich have ever been able to complete with Chelsea or come to that Arsenal.

  • bjtgooner

    @Mike T

    The problem is not how I interpreted you comment – rather the problem is what you have written.

  • jambug

    Mike T

    Even if Wenger did have some money to spend, which I doubt very much (I did a piece about why and how this ‘phantom’ pot of money kept being banded about), it is chicken feed compared to the ‘sponsored Clubs.

    We bought a £40 Million player last year, and as much as it did improve us, it wasn’t enough to elevate us to the title or CL.

    Chelsea paid £50 Million for Torres and he hardly set the World on fire.

    Just making the point that the odd £40/£50 Million player is by no means a guarantee to Trophies.

    What Wenger is up against are clubs that have net spends, or loses if you like, of around £50 Million PER YEAR, over a sustained period of 5 to 10 years.

    Then you have the state sponsored/TV monopolies of Spain. The juggernauts of Germany.

    Even if these ‘phantom’ funds where available, even to the tune of £100 Million, (which is frankly ludicrous by the way), that only averages out to just £10 Million PER SEASON. Over that same 10 year period Chelsea have operated on a £50 Million Net spend PER SEASON.

    That’s 1/5th of chelseas spend.

    So when you look at it sensibly, even if this ludicrous £100 Million was real, it is but a drop in the Ocean when measured against sponsored teams such as Chelsea.

  • Mike T

    My comment was in reply to this

    Mourinho has indeed got an impressive record as regards trophies won, though it would be interesting to see how he would have got on operating under the financial restraints Wenger has had these last few years

    So I in effect say well done Arsne for not spending

  • Mike T


    So are you advocating that there is no point spending any money then for fear of the player failing?

    We can dance around all day on available funds but the facts are that Arsenal have both the cash reserves and borrowing ability to fund player purchases. It is rare that a club pay for a player in one sum

    I acknowledge your point about how we fund players but are you saying that you don’t have the resources to compete with say Spurs. The reality is that your CEO said in the past there were funds available so its not a balance sheet thing its a management choice.

  • bjtgooner

    @Mike T

    Re: –

    “Mourinho has indeed got an impressive record as regards trophies won, though it would be interesting to see how he would have got on operating under the financial restraints Wenger has had these last few years”

    That comment does not mean you are praising Wenger for not spending – it instigates a hypothetical consideration only on Mourinho’s capabilities to manage in more austere circumstances.

    I am happy to accept that you would acknowledge how well Wenger has performed despite his restricted spending – but that is not what you stated above.

  • jambug

    Mike T

    Yep, I realised that mike. It was really just this paragraph I was referring to. (In my usual long winded way)

    “Whilst I applaud AW for operating the way he has I am not convinced that some of it hasn’t been self inflicted in that time after time your senior management have said that funds were there if needed yet AW didn’t spend. Would you have won more if he had spent?”

    The crux of my post was that any money he MAY OR MAY NOT of had available to him, was in any case chicken feed in the great scheme of things.

  • bjtgooner

    @Mike T

    Sorry – just realized your comment @ 5.39 pm was a c & P from Mick.

  • jambug

    Mike T

    As I said, I explained at length in a thread the other day as to why I believe this pot of money to be a myth.

    And as I explained above, even if it did exist it is but chicken feed compared to the sums spent by the sponsored sides.

    Unless you think Wenger is so good that he should finish ahead of Chelsea and City on ONE FITH of there spend?

  • Mike T

    @ Jambug

    Yep it was small change, if that’s what tens of millions is!

    @ BJT

    This isn’t my comment

    Mourinho has indeed got an impressive record as regards trophies won, though it would be interesting to see how he would have got on operating under the financial restraints
    Wenger has had these last few years

    Its what I was replying to.

  • bjtgooner

    @Mike T

    OK – you were replying to Mick’s comment @ 5.39 pm.

    The comment I took exception to was: –

    “Whilst I applaud AW for operating the way he has I am not convinced that some of it hasn’t been self inflicted in that time after time your senior management have said that funds were there if needed yet AW didn’t spend.”

    So you applaud him for operating “the way he has” – that phrase could be open to interpretation, but I will accept it as praise – but then you imply that by not spending he has restricted the team and its ability to win.

    I need not go over the hypocritical aspect – that has been covered. But you praise and condemn Wenger in the same sentence.

    Therefore, I’m sure you will understand why I didn’t accept your comment at 5.39 pm : –

    “So I in effect say well done Arsne for not spending”

    – at face value. As noted above if you are trying to indicate approval of AW & his relative success while living within austerity – fine – I will accept that.

  • Mick

    @Mike T
    ‘Would you have won more if he had spent?’
    We will never know of course. All we can say is that spending more and more increases the likelihood of winning trophies but does not guarantee it. I actually enjoy the sensible, responsible approach adopted by Arsenal as opposed to the irresponsible, reckless, to hell with the consequences approach adopted by Abramovich and Man City’s owners. If we win a trophy under these circumstances it will be so much more satisfying than winning via the spending route.

  • jambug

    Mike T


    £10’s of Millions IS small change compared to £100’s of Millions.

    Chlseas net spend over a ten year period was £500 MILLION = £50 Million PER SEASON

    Wengers Net spend over that same period was around £22 Million = £2.2 Million PER SEASON

    I’m saying even if we concede that Arsenal have somehow built up a ‘kitty’ of £100 Million, that still only averages out to an available £10 Million extra PER SEASON.

    That is still ONE FIFTH of Chelseas spend.

    So yes it is ‘small change’ IN COMPARISON.

  • para

    I do not think we had “money” to spend, well at least not that kind of money. Sure we had some, but no one blows all their money on ONE star when other areas of the team needs to be upgraded too. It is only last season that we had a little more and could afford to spend £42m, so this was of course not the full pot.
    We probably have more this season, and AW will do his thing as usual. I just hope that his wishes come true in the transfer market this season, and we get the players he wants to get to improve this team.

    I for one do not expect/or want a “superstar” anymore, but i do expect a few more players of quality to enhance and enlarge the great squad we have built over the years. Superstars seem to cause problems for managers anyway, and then leave within 2 seasons as the money people come knocking.

  • jambug


    Your final comment “…..leave within 2 seasons as the money men come knocking”

    This is so true, and could still happen with our current players, even with our new found ‘wealth’.

    Even if we start to be really competitive in the PL, and even the CL, we are STILL vulnerable to the ‘oilers’.

    No matter how much the likes of Theo, AAron, Wlshere etc. love Arsenal, if they are consistently putting in World Class performance, as I expect they will, the money will come knocking.

    No matter how well we are run we are never going to be able to pay the £150/£200 grand a week wages that these money Clubs can.

    If FFP fails to make any impact, which is what I suspect, we WILL still lose players to these vultures.

    It’s inevitable I’m afraid.

  • jambug @7.40pm,

    And when that inevitable happens, we all know who would get all the blame!

  • Mike T


    The point I was making is that I am very pleased that AW hasn’t spent as I honestly believe had he taken a risk, spent a little more (within what was suggested he had available) then yes he probably would have won a few more trophies so as a Chelsea supporter I say well done AW.

    @ Mick

    Of course spending doesn’t guarantee success but it sure does make it more likely.

    @ Para

    Did Arsenal have the money? In April 2011 AW I quoted on Arsenals website as saying “I have funds available for a big summer transfers”In Dec 2012 Gazidus told the Arsenal supporters trust that “AW has significant transfer funds available”
    Bearing in mind that Arsenal is a PLC so for senior employees to put misleading financial information into the public domain is as a bare minimum reckless

  • jambug



    Whilst the oilers go unchecked it is inevitable.

    But we understand that and the reasons behind it.

    More so even than that, we can live with it because we don’t want to go down the oilers route. We appreciate, admire and take pride in what Arsenal are trying to achieve.

  • jambug

    Mike T

    I can see you acknowledge Wengers achievements.

    Where we differ is:

    a) I don’t believe the money was there in the first place (no matter what the CEO said).

    b) If it was, it was relatively a pittance compared to Chelseas budget and would of made little, if any difference.

    But as I say, most importantly it wasn’t even there.

  • Mike T


    Being a CEO of a PLC brings with it many responsibilities and with it the likelihood that the full force of the law will be brought against you if you mislead in such a way.If the funds weren’t there then the CEO would have been taking a huge risk saying there were.

  • bjtgooner


    I am not sure Mike T is acknowledging AW’s achievements – in his comment at 8.39 pm it looks as if he praising AW for not spending – so that Arsenal would not win trophies which by default would go to Chelski.

    @Mike T – perhaps you would clarify this point.

    And Mike re: –

    “In April 2011 AW I quoted on Arsenals website as saying “I have funds available for a big summer transfers”In Dec 2012 Gazidus told the Arsenal supporters trust that “AW has significant transfer funds available””

    You keep emphasizing that we had money to spend & didn’t do so. I don’t think Arsenal defined exactly how much money was available – so we don’t know the precise value of “significant”. I would contest that the amount would always be insignificant compared to the deep and dark pockets of your benefactor.

    As discussed earlier, having money available to spend does not necessarily lead to a new player – there are many factors involved – including efforts by the repulsively rich to gazump deals – so whether or not the money is spent is not just a management decision – i.e. your comment at 5.50 pm “its a management choice” is far from the whole story.

  • Georgaki-pyrovolitis

    Mike T

    I think the following explains much.

    A quote from Martin Samuel:

    “I think he works with what the board gives him, and they consistently let him down by then trying to curry favour with the fans by claiming he has this huge budget. Some summers he has to sell before he can buy, which is rarely helpful in attracting the best players once they see a talent like Cesc Fabregas leave the club. A few years ago I sat with Wenger and asked him about the unrealistic expectations fostered by the board and he said they had agreed not to do this to him in future; a pledge that would appear to have been broken several times”

    Read more:­2355629/MARTIN­SAMUEL­­THE­DEBATE­Y aya­Sanogo­gem­Arsene­Wenger­Capital­One­Cup­kid.html#ixzz2YLOCuUln

    Recently, on and quoted in the Guardian:

    “I believe that when one day I look back, certainly I will be very proud of what I have done,” Wenger said. “It was a trophyless period but certainly a much more difficult and sensitive period, and we needed much more commitment and strength than in the first part of my stay here. I went for a challenge that I knew would be difficult because we had to fight with clubs who lose £150m per year when we had to make £30m per year.”

  • Mike T


    No need to clarify as its perfectly clear.

    Spending although no guarantee has historically improved a clubs chance of success.

    Would Arsenal spending more have stopped Chelsea winning a trophy or two? Who knows !

  • bjtgooner

    @Mike T

    Well it has not really been that clear, when you said at 5.39 pm: –

    “So I in effect say well done Arsne for not spending”

    It could have been taken that you had something good to say about AW – praising his prudence?

    But you were a bit evasive & that is why I have pushed the point – and it appears that your praise for Wenger not spending is because as a Chelski supporter you do not want him to spend. Fair enough (although given Chelski’s massive spending a bit unsporting) – but it did take quite some extraction to fully establish your position.

  • Mike T


    Read my comment at 5.28pm. If that wasn’t clear that my comment was from a Chelsea supporters perspective then I don’t know what else I could have said.

  • Pete

    This is going over old ground. But a caveat first: it is written from a purely economic perspective – I do acknowledge that the trophy fix in some overrides rational decision making…

    We should consider the concept of deferred gratification.

    Money can only be spent once. If you don’t spend it is still there to be spent in the future. Even if Arsenal did have money to spend, it would have been unlikely to be enough to compete for the title. The key priority for Arsenal over the last few years has been to remain in the CL – which we have (although pretty tight squeeze on more than one location). Beyond that, what is the real value in spending all you can one summer to improve from 4th to 3rd, or even 2nd? Why not save that money and then, when enough has accumulated, spend the whole lot and really push for the title?

    Not that this has necessarily been Arsenal’s strategy – but it is a possibility.

    I am also prepared to consider that Arsenal have tried to spend bigger amounts in the past. But when you don’t have a huge amount you have to make d*mn sure you get it right! You really have to minimise the risk of doing a Torres. A setback for Chelsea, a disaster for Arsenal. So harder to pull off the deals – in fact, too hard in many cases. Also, our wage structure would make it harder to bring in a really big name. We can now afford to get a BIT closer to the Rooney/VanP type salaries – enough to bring in Ozil. But obviously not enough to pay for a Rooney.

    Talking of VanP/Rooney. If they are collectively earning over £25mm a year then Man U have an enormous problem. They are going to have to pay so much over the odds (in terms of salaries) this summer it is going to be incredibly hard. They have completely lost their way. None of the Glazers or Woodward have any significant football knowledge or experience – while all the experienced coaches have been hollowed out too. So you have a bunch of recently retired players with almost no coaching experience managed by a bunch of guys who don’t know the game.

  • Pete

    And fair play to Mike T for coming on here the day after a no doubt very painful loss.

  • Mike T


    Last night was painful but as I said earlier we were beaten by a far better team. So when that happens in truth its no point blaming the ref, injuries or whatever you have to put your hands up and say well done.
    I will be very interested to see if they win the Spanish League and the CL. I think they will. They really are that good and believe me they are a far better team than anything in the EPL and cost less to put together than Cardiff have paid for their team.
    The trouble for them is that they owe so much money they have no choice but to sell players or in the case of Courtois return to their parent clubs now that they have improved.

  • bjtgooner

    @Mike T

    Mike your comment @ 5.28 pm was in response to my comment at 5.02 pm – it did not and could not specifically address the comment you made at 5.39 pm – which could be taken two ways (just as the phrase “fantastic performance by the referee” could be taken two ways!)

    When at 5.39 pm you said: –

    “So I in effect say well done Arsne for not spending” – you were being ambiguous and misleading.

    None of us (including you) could know how much money was available to AW nor could we know what complications AW faced in the market – whether or not his potential targets were overpriced – so we could not know if it was wise for AW to spend or not spend at any given time. Therefore you could have been suggesting that AW was wise not to spend in unfavorable circumstances, i.e. your comment could have more than one meaning.

    I know it is unlikely but even a Chelski supporter could have something reasonable to say about AW – after all not all Chelski supporters can be totally bad. 🙂

    You may have known what you intended to say – but the meaning was not clear – especially when you support a club with a market distorting spending history and yet feel qualified to comment on our spending.

  • Gord

    OT: MW 37+ Ref Assignaments

    The 10 games on the weekend, plus 3 makeup games early next week have referee assignments out.

    West Ham v Spurs Phil Dowd
    AV v Hull Mike Dean
    ManU v Sunderland Howard Webb
    Newcastle v Cardiff Martin Atkinson
    Stoke v Fulham Chris Foy
    Swansea v Southampton Anthony Taylor
    Everton v ManCity Lee Probert
    Arsenal v WBrom Mike Jones
    Chelsea v Norwich Neil Swarbrick
    CPal v Liverpool Mark Clattenberg

    ManU v Hull Craig Pawson
    ManCity v AV Michael Oliver
    Sunderland v WBrom Lee Mason

    The who’s fit at, says same players fit as last weekend.

  • Gord

    Missing Bias data is the story for most of the games in the next 6 days. We have 1 game where both teams have strong positive bias, one stronger than the other. We have another game where both teams have strong negative bias, about the same. If I read the file on Mike Jones properly, our game might involve the largest difference in bias of any of these games. Andrew will get us up to date on that I am sure. Everton slightly preferred to ManCity, so maybe PGMOL is still trying to wish us luck. Next largest difference is negative bias for ManCity in their makeup game, PGMOL probably preferring Liverpool for the title. Oh Mike Riley 😈

    Aston Villa v Hull, no data for Mike Dean for Hull

    ManU v Sunderland, no data for Howard Webb for Sunderland

    Newcastle v Cardiff, no data for Martin Atkinson for Cardiff

    Stoke v Fulham, no data for Chris Foy for Fulham

    Chelsea v Norwich, no data for Neil Swarbrick for Norwich

    CPalace v Liverpool, no data for Mark Clattenberg for either

    ManU v Hull, no data for Craig Pawson

    The format for Mike Jones (doing Arsenal v WBrom is strange).

  • Mike T


    You really need to stop chasing your tail you will get very dizzy.
    I am glad you accept my comments in this matter could be taken two ways that was my intention.

    As for saying something good about AW . How about this

    AW has been instrumental in many of the performance and fitness improvements we have seen with the EPL. Like all managers he is fiercely protective of his club and like all managers has both his fans and critics.

    His ability to develop young players is out there and using a chequebook as a the measure has achieved marvels in maintaining a minimum 4th place.

    He is clearly well educated (like most foreign managers )articulate and when he uses humour is really quite funny.

    The style AW has introduced into football although not unique is consistent and when the team can employ it effectively Arsenal will inevitably lead to Arsenal winning.

    Those Arsenal supporters that want him out probably don’t underestimate what he has done to modernise Arsenal and when he does eventually depart he will be very difficult to replace. Maybe elements of his job could possibly be performed to a higher level, maybe a trophy or two may be won. But, will any replacement be able to keep as many balls in the air at the same time? I doubt it. He is a very safe pair of hands.

    As I have said before be careful what you wish for!

    Will that do?

    However if I had to choose between the two long time managers in the EPL namely SAF or AW. SAF would win hands down every time. He wasn’t just very good he was an absolute genius in footballing terms and we have seen this season what usually happens when a very long term manager leaves and not enough attention (possibly none at all ) is paid to succession planning.
    Its something Liverpool mastered, in the distant past, via their boot room and something that clearly wasn’t evident at Man Utd.

  • bjtgooner

    @Mike T

    Now that was a much better post. But, you do raise, probably inadvertently, two issues: –

    “I am glad you accept my comments in this matter could be taken two ways that was my intention.”

    Why on earth was it your intention to comment in an ambiguous way?

    Further, I cannot accept your comments about SAF, I am not sure why you chose to introduce him to the debate. Are you trying to wind us up; following your ambiguous comment yesterday with the unsolicited comparison with Red Nose?

    Red Nose, as I am sure you remember, was responsible for the ending of the Invincibles run – not by playing football but by resorting to the blatant thuggery with the connivance of Riley. Following that Riley became head of the PGMOL and Arsenal have been short changed by the refs ever since – MU on the other hand received the benefit of many controversial decisions – without which how much would SAF have won – who knows?
    Also, over the last 9 years or so SAF did not have to work under the same austere circumstances as AW. Your comparison cannot be valid – it is very disappointing that you chose to make that statement.

  • Mick

    Careful, you are leaving yourself open to accusations of being delusional!

  • Gord

    The coach of Juventus has noticed that a PGMOL product (Mark Clattenberg) is not up to standard.

    Mark Clattenburg: good on red, poor on yellow

    His bias table (for EPL) ranges from +12 to -8.5, so he is hardly a neutral referee to all. You might be able to argue that he is only neutral to about half the teams we have data on. Or worded another way, to be used by UEFA or FIFA for arbitrary games outside of the EPL, either team in the game has about a 50% chance of being treated fairly by him. Surely this is a goal of the twisted one 😈 Mike Riley. The FA charged Mourinho with bringing the game into disrepute (as I understand the charge) for “congratulating” Mike Riley. I suspect Conte could see the same from UEFA. When are these people going to clue in, that it is Mike Riley that needs to be charged with bringing the game into disrepute?

  • leany

    Good results at cup games in the last few days.

    Chelsea lost. How joyful it is!

    Reyes won Europa League with Atletico and now he’s coming to the final again with Sevilla!!
    Very happy for him. Maybe I am gonna watch an EL final (again!)
    Saw an image of him (side-viewed) beside the name of his club on the telly in my country’s sports programme and wondered “Who’s that? Looks a little bit familiar!” Then smiled happily 🙂

  • bjtgooner


    Surely no one would be so unkind. 🙂

    @Mike T

    I notice you have not responded – no problem, you don’t have to.

    But just to “clarify” your earlier remarks: –

    @ 9.54pm yesterday you stated: – “No need to clarify as its perfectly clear.”

    @ 10.34pm yesterday you said: – “Read my comment at 5.28pm. If that wasn’t clear that my comment was from a Chelsea supporters perspective then I don’t know what else I could have said.”

    @ 8.13am today you stated: – “I am glad you accept my comments in this matter could be taken two ways that was my intention.”

    A bit contradictory there Mike – are you sure you are not the one feeling a bit dizzy? 🙂
    Perhaps now you realize why you were pursued on this one.

  • Mike T

    Evening BJT

    @ 9.54 pm It was perfectly clear alas not to you.

    @ 10.34 pm. . “If that wasn’t clear(in my 5.28 pm posting) that my comment was from a Chelsea supporters perspective then I don’t know what else I could have said.”

    Here’s part of my 5.28 pm comment

    ” Bear in mind the comment is from a Chelsea supporter.”

    @8.13am refer back to 9.54pm above

  • bjtgooner

    @Mike T

    Sorry Mike you are not getting off that easily. 🙂

    @8.13 am you admitted duplicity – thank you for that moment of honesty.

    During our debate yesterday I suspected that you may be implying more than one meaning, which is why I asked for clarification my comment @ 9.37 pm. If you read the comments you will see another contributor was taking you literally, I did not – hence the request for clarification.

    Your reply was a bit of a fob off – and that is why you have been pursued – and going round in circles must have had some effect on you – you eventually admitted duplicity – now you seem to be wriggling again, dear knows in what direction. Better to stick with your honest moment.