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Archive for March, 2016

Reaction to sacked Gary Neville’s baptimism of fire in Valencia has been bonkers. Next stop England, Manchester United or Sky Sports?

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What is alarming about Gary Neville being sacked after less than four months as manager of Valencia is the public reaction to the news.

It is hardly unexpected that England’s assistant manager has lost his job after managing only three wins in 16 league matches in La Liga. For Neville to turn things round at a Spanish club in disarray was always a tough ask for a first management job.

In my opinion, you have to respect Neville for the way he defiantly fought against all the odds, and no shortage of bad luck, even when the fans turned hostile against him. There was no surviving the ‘Festival of Fire’ when burning effigies of Neville, along with Valencia’s chairwoman, Layhood Chan, and owner, Peter Lim, lit up the Valencia sky.

But the way he has been written off as an abject failure in some quarters. While others are hailing him as a potential saviour at Manchester United, speaks volumes about the crazy football world in which we now live.

It is typical of the media to fan the flames with extravagant headlines as Neville’s managerial debut crashes and burns. “Manchester United fans want Gary Neville – not Ryan Giggs – as Jose Mourinho’s assistant manager” screams the Metro. While TalkSport went one step further with suggestions he could be the next manager at Old Trafford. The logic is bonkers.

Equally bonkers. But no less predictable, is that social media has been awash with self-proclaimed experts revelling in the failure of a former Manchester United hero, whose previous job was as an outspoken television pundit on Sky Sports. Instead of acknowledging that Neville’s double act with ex-Liverpool rival Jamie Carragher was the best pairing in football punditry we’ve seen in this country, possibly ever, there are those who love to kick a man when he is down.

To add insult to injury, Gary’s younger brother, Phil, will be kept on at Valencia in his coaching capacity. So there is no doubt that the Spaniards are pinning the blame for their continued decline squarely on the shoulders of their departed manager.

But that will not stop punters speculating that Neville could be England’s next England manager. While others predict he will be back at Sky, or heading for the Championship come next season.
It will certainly be interesting to see what Neville’s next job will be. Especially as he has another chance to shine, as Roy Hodgson’s No.2 with England at Euro 2016 this summer. Meantime, the odds on Neville’s next port of call will inevitably be affected by Manchester United’s upcoming match against Everton.

Wherever Neville ends up next, it only intensifies the interest in football’s never ending soap opera. And you have to wonder how top sites like Betway go about choosing their odds. It’s a tough life as a football manager. But it’s not easy being a bookmaker either. So make sure you keep abreast of the news as it happens.


March 31st, 2016 at 9:07 pm

Will Cristiano Ronaldo return to help Manchester United kids and Louis Van Gaal make Red Devils great again?

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Maybe the media have got it right? Maybe Jose Mourinho WILL be manager at Manchester United next season. Or maybe they’ve got it totally wrong. I hope they have got it wrong. Because recent events have shown the Louis Van Gaal is finally on the right track – giving home grown talent their chance.

In my opinion, it would be criminal to destroy the exciting foundations ‪United have laid for the future.Van Gaal has consistently trusted the young stars served up by the Academy and under 21 boss Warren Joyce.

How many managers have the courage and forsight van Gaal has shown, when he could have packed his squad with more senior players?

The dream for United fans is creating a new dynasty like we did on the back of the ‪‎Class of 92‬ – not a short term boom and bust gamble, with Jose Mourinho.

I do have a soft spot for the self-appointed Special One. He is a great manager. Of that there is no doubt. But I can’t get away from the gut feeling that this club is built on turning home grown talent into the best players in the world.

Personally, I love the way Van Gaal has survived his fight with the media. His philosophy of giving kids a chance has been totally under-estimated.

Louis Van Gaal kids.

I can’t imagine Mourinho ever choosing youth ahead of established stars and big money signings.
The cynics will tell you that Marcus Rashford only got his dream debut and 4 goals in his first 2 matches because of United’s unbelievable injury list. But that is just media propaganda from journalists who’ve consistently made up stories about LVG. Because, their agenda is not what’s good for Manchester United.

Rashford runs riot with double on 3-2 Premier League debut win over Arsenal

What we’ve seen this past 10 days is exactly why Jose Mourinho is not the right man to lead this great football club.

Playing entertaining football is United’s DNA. But so is bringing through the kids. Just as Sir Alex did with Giggs, Scholes, Beckham, Butt & the Neville brothers when United’s academy discovered the Class of 92.

Just as Sir Matt did with the Busby Babes. Pre-Munich . . . and then to win the European Cup in 1968.

This year Sir Bobby Charlton celebrates the 60th anniversary of his United debut. Meantime, Ryan Giggs this week celebrated the 25th anniversary of his United debut. And 22 years ago Paul Scholes scored his 1st Premier League goal for the Reds in a team of kids who flourished alongside the iconic Eric Cantona.

My bet is that many years from now we’ll be talking about the current crop of kids. Whether that be the likes of Academy youngsters Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard. Or young signings like Anthony Martial & Luke Shaw. The point is, Louis van Gaal’s role is to lay the foundations for the next generation of United heroes. And for the next manager, who LVG has already told us will be Ryan Giggs.

I must admit I was worried when United were playing boring football before Christmas. And I was initially disappointed United allowed Guardiola to choose City.

But LVG is living up to his reputation of bringing the best out of the kids. As he’s done ever since he won the European Cup with Ajax back in 1995. Van Gaal’s home grown squad that year remains the youngest ever to be champions of Europe. And they did it playing Total Football, with a team of youngsters – most of whom became superstars.
The team that lined up against Milan in that Final a who’s who of Dutch football.

Ajax: 1995 European Cup winners still the youngest team ever to be champions of Europe

Let him complete his 3-year contract and LVG will deliver. His apprentice Ryan Giggs will take United forward to the next level. And the production line will continue to flourish, with old boy Nicky Butt a great addition as the new Academy boss – because Butt understands what makes United great.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither was the Theatre of Dreams. United’s spirit will never die. And neither will the magic that makes Manchester United the most special club on the planet. . . a Special Club that doesn’t need the self-appointed Special one.

Not when we have an eccentric Dutchman who can make United’s current crop of Kids our next generation of heroes.

Personally I’d love to see one inspirational, marque signing added to the current mix of young stars – just as Sir Alex did with Cantona . . . Imagine the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo leading by example, just as Eric did 20 years ago.

Meantime, injured skipper Wayne Rooney is a great role model for the kids. I hope to see Rooney and Van Gaal at Old Trafford for one more season. for VISIONSPORT