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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

Frank Lampard right to blast media for negative Wayne Rooney fixation handicapping England’s 2014 World Cup bid

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Just like David Beckham before him Wayne Rooney is an England hero who refuses to be written off by the British media.

The truth is that Roy Hodgson’s men have been affected by the negative comment targeted at their biggest star by the newspapers, radio and television back home.

Frank Lampard revealed the resentment within the England camp for the negative media attention  when he said: “There has been a fixation with one player in every World Cup I’ve been involved in.

“It’s frustrating when you’re in a team group and that happens. There is a fixation on one player and rather than a debate. It becomes an agenda so I think we need to drop the agenda and look at the team, whoever plays.

“Rooney is determined at every tournament. A lot of furore has been built up around him but I see the same Wayne. He wants to play well and give everything for the team.

“It’s about a team performance. We didn’t win the other night, but the minute you start trying to focus on individuals again and again and again it can be detrimental. Behind closed doors, we’re trying to win games.”

Rooney Facebook statement

No doubt Rooney will attract even more criticism for lashing out at the media abuse he has received from some so-called experts with a strongly worded statement on Facebook today that reads:
“Sometimes wonder what the press are getting at. I said from the start I want to do everything I can to make sure I’m ready for these World Cup games and as part of that I was doing extra training a week before the squad joined up. That’s exactly what I did yesterday, my own extra training because that’s what I wanted to do.”

The truth is that Rooney’s contribution in the narrow 2-1 defeat by Italy in their opening Group B match was a vital part of a performance Gary Neville has described as  “the best England have played for 16 years.”
In my view there  is absolutely zero chance of Hodgson not sticking with Rooney in the must not lose showdown with Uruguay on Thursday. How delicious will it be for the Manchester United star if he makes the critics eat their words when it really counts.

Group D

Peerless Pirlo king of the jungle

In England’s showdown with Italy it was another masterclass from the peerless Pirlo. The 35 year old the undisputed king of the jungle in the Amazon.

Italy 2-1 England
Raheem Sterling was England’s star man in a positive display by Roy’s boys.
And Daniel Sturridge gave the Three Lions hope with his first World Cup goal.
But Italy were good value for their 2-1 win.

England had their chances and this was a big improvement on previous displays.
Meantime the biggest surprise saw Costa Rica reverse a 1-nil half time deficit.
Costa Rica 3-1 Uruguay
Three goals in the second half stunned Uruguay.
And that makes Thursday’s England-Uruguay match a must not lose game for both sides.

On what we’ve seen so far England definitely have the quality to beat Uruguay.
So long as they don’t lose on Thursday England can still quality for the knockout stages.


Manchester United legends past and present at Old Trafford for unveiling of statue for ‘The Boss’ confirm he’s Simply the Best

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Source: via john on Pinterest



Words alone are simply not enough to pay tribute to the greatest football manager of all time – and it is impossible to overstate what Sir Alex Ferguson means to Manchester United.

It was wonderful to see legends past and present make the pilgrimage  to Old Trafford to witness the unveiling of a magnificent statue in honour of the great man.

Fittingly placed in front of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, it is an everlasting monument to a dynasty that began 26 years ago and has emulated the success of that other great Knight who first elevated United to the status of the world’s most famous football club, Sir Matt Busby.

The return of  many of Fergie’s greatest recruits including Eric Cantona, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Gary Neville, Andrew Cole, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar gives you an indication of how highly The Boss is regarded. And the heartfelt messages broadcast on a video screen from the likes of  Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho underlined the significance of the occasion.

Beckham thanked Ferguson for giving him ‘the best years of my career’ while Ronaldo vowed to return soon for English lessons. It was pure theatre at The Theatre of Dreams attended by the entire current squad along with fans and other VIPs.

Manchester United have become masters at getting the tone and dignity of such occasions absolutely spot on and this was another perfect performance crowned by Sir Alex’s wife Cathy unveiling her husband’s statue.

“Somebody has to control me and Cathy is the only one who can,” quipped Ferguson as his wife climbed the podium to do the honours. “Mind you, I’ve made her promise to come here every Saturday morning and bow down in front of me.” That is not going to happen – but for generations to come millions of Manchester United fans will certainly do the honours and pay tribute to the greatest manager of them all.


United legends turned up in honour of The Boss: Former players Solskjaer, Cantona, Yorke, Cole, Van Nistelrooy, Van der Sar

Source: via john on Pinterest

Source: via john on Pinterest