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Louis van Gaal, Giggs or Mourinho? Chelsea’s lack of respect for John Terry matched by media mafia’s disregard for truth

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Ryan Giggs made United debut on 2nd March 1991

By JOHN GUBBA

Quite frankly, the possibility of Chelsea failing to sign John Terry up for one more season at least, in my opinion, is more staggering than sacking Jose Mourinho. Loyalty is only ever one big pay cheque away from being discarded by the majority of professional footballers these days. But love him or hate him, JT has been a colossal leader down at the Bridge.

The Blues are again revealing shades of the embarrassing lack of respect they showed another of their heroes a couple of seasons ago when Frank Lampard was discarded before his sell by date. Calling time on club heroes is never easy and the great managers have always known when to move their legends out of the spotlight.

But surely clubs that make millions in TV money and the globalisation of their brand, thanks to long-serving players like Terry and Lampard, owe them the benefit of the doubt in the twilight of their careers. Not least because their experience and influence is priceless when you are building a new team.

It's All Over for John Terry headline

John Terry still says he wants a new contract

The truth is that the financial men, who control the purse strings, are often just as fickle as the fans, who give players abuse because their knowledge of the game is limited to ill-informed pub banter and failure to recognise talent when it is staring  them in the face.

One of the most popular clips in my company’s vast football archive was filmed 23 years ago at a Fans Football Forum hosted by West Ham United, when Harry Redknapp was given abuse by one outspoken regular at Upton Park. The old Iron insisted Lampard junior was wrongly being selected ahead of Scott Canham, a player who be long forgotten were it not for his starring role in our famous YouTube clip.

There are some players who demand respect from their clubs and fans because their loyalty and outstanding service is unquestioned. Take Ryan Giggs for example who has served Manchester United as man and boy for nearly a quarter of a century. There was never any danger of  Manchester United abandoning Giggs at the end of his playing career. Not while Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge.

Consequently, Giggsy played until he was 40 and his subsequent stints as caretaker boss and assistant manager has seen him chalk up a quarter of a century at Old Trafford. On 2nd March it will be the 25th anniversary of his United debut back in 1991.

While certain sections of the media maliciously suggest there’s no love lost between the manager and his assistant, the truth is Louis Van Gaal has shown great respect to Giggs. LVG has repeatedly said he’s preparing Giggs for the top job. And that brings me to the hottest topic of all for the biggest club in the world.

Who will be manager at Old Trafford next season?

Personally, I find it hard to understand why Giggs is not being taken more seriously as a coach who could take the reigns at Old Trafford. With the world’s media heralding Pep Guardiola as the messiah who will arrive at Manchester City in the summer to create a new dynasty to emulate the one he started at Barcelona, it’s worth remembering that he was a gamble when he was originally given his big chance.

Guardiola was the manager I desperately wanted to see succeed Van Gaal at United when the time was right. But that of course will never happen now that he’s shown his colours and opted for the Etihad. Meantime, the media abuse being served up for Van Gaal is nothing short of scandalous.

We do not have to be rocket scientists to know that for a long spell this season United’s football was quite simply boring.  Paul Scholes has said it. Rio Ferdinand has said it. Michael Owen has said it. Just about every pundit on television has said it. But that does not give the media a licence to make up stories because they think they know the solution. And then lambast their target when he refuses to dignify their agenda by playing ball.

Louis Van Gone newspaper headline

Media have revelled in adding to pressure on LVG

Jose Mourinho was prematurely driven out of his second spell at Chelsea when the media spotlight on his mistakes burnt so brightly that Roman Abramovich pressed the panic button. Now those same media sages have basicaly decided “Mourinho is the only man who can save United from oblivion.”

The problem is the media do not really care what the truth is and there are too many who peddle fiction not journalism, in the pursuit of headlines to sell newspapers and hook an audience on radio, television and the web.

Mourinho stories premature

The media mafia decided months ago that Mourinho is destined for Old Trafford. And I’m not saying that won’t happen, or that LVG will never get the sack. But the story and the season is still unfolding and it should be allowed to do so without the media having an undue influence on the outcome.

It is crystal clear that the mass media have overstepped the mark more than once by running premature stories about Mourinho and Manchester United.  Equally, it should be obvious that newspapers, radio and TV are all about ratings and profit. And it should also be recognised that far too often,  the pressure the media exert does get managers the sack – because the headlines do mobilise public pressure. That in turn makes more headlines. And that’s why most clubs end up stuck in a never ending merrygoround.

My view is don’t be surprised if Louis Van Gaal does see out the full three years of his contract. Equally, if United fail to finish in the Top 4 and don’t win a Trophy either, the chances are the media and Jose Mourinho will finally get their wish.

Personally I’d like to see my Ryan Giggs get the top job at United when LVG does move on. Something I never imagined 23 years ago when I walked on the hallowed turf with Giggsy after he signed his first boot deal with Reebok.

 

 

Andre Villas-Boas must drop skipper John Terry if he wants to prove he is strong enough to manage Chelsea

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BY JOHN GUBBA

Ridiculous as it may sound Andre Villas-Boas’s Stamford Bridge honeymoon is already over – and the rookie Chelsea manager could be out of a job before the New Year.

While Roberto Mancini has spectacularly come of age as a Premiership manager by turning Manchester City into a genuine force to challenge Europe’s best, the problem facing AVB is that his boss Roman Abramovich has no patience. The Russian billionaire will be counting the disastrous cost of failure if Chelsea fail to qualify for the Champions League and that will now be a worry after two successive home defeats to rivals Arsenal and Liverpool.

With skipper John Terry – embarrassed by Arsenal when the Gunners trounced the Blues 5-3 last month – again the fall guy as Liverpool won 2-1 at the Bridge, Villas Boas must decide whether or not to stand by his captain.And that hot potato is a dilemma that could define his future in West London.

The Portuguese manager is only 34 years old and has only been sitting in the Stamford Bridge hot seat for 18 matches. But his appointment is only ever going to work if Abramovich makes it clear he is giving him the time he needs to re-build the Blues. And there is less chance of that happening than Carlos Tevez winning a Mr Manchester popularity contest. Especially with Abromich already making it know he would love to reappoint Guus Hiddink

WHY DO THE PUBLIC CARE ABOUT FOOTBALLERS BEHAVING BADLY BEHIND CLOSED DOORS? THE HYPOCRITICAL MEDIA ARE NOTHING MORE THAN PIMPS ENCOURAGING PROSTITUTION

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Oh brother - Imogen Thomas is the latest kiss and tell wannabe being pimped by the media

Oh brother - Imogen Thomas is the latest kiss and tell wannabe being pimped by the media

BY JOHN GUBBA

There is no defence for famous footballers or any other sportsman cheating on their wives and girlfriends – but what do you expect to happen when predatory wannabe wags hunt down their prey when they are playing away from home and promise no strings attached sex.

I am sorry but this is blatant prostitution – only worse. The girls dress provocatively and will do anything to bed their idols, invariably promising not to kiss and tell. But it always ends in tears and the guys only realise the true cost when the media magnify their mistakes and take the side of the spurned hussy with unrelenting headlines and huge lashings of spin.

The media love nothing better than the chance to destroy the reputation of someone famous. The bigger they are the greater the prize. And the more money to be made by the media and the jilted lover who always says her “heart is broken” and she never intended to bed a married man or ruin his life.

The media love to play the freedom of speech card when they criticise the legal system that allows famous people to hide behind super injunctions that protect their identity. But why do we need to read about everyone’s private life purely to feed the public’s insatiable desire for gossip and scandal.

If we really cared about the wife or girlfriend who has been allegedly let down by their partner, we definitely would not want it to be all over the media. Public humiliation is even more upsetting than whatever has or hasn’t gone on behind closed doors.

The only winners are the media – who make vast sums out of pedaling these stories – and the prostitutes and their pimps who feed the media machine  with the ammunition in the first place.

There are exceptions to the rule of course. When John Terry had an affair with Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend it crossed the line because it affected the team and undermined England’s preparation for the 2010 World Cup. We all had a right to know what was going on then. But do we really need to know who the married Premier League footballer is who had a fling with someone whose biggest achievement in life was appearing on Big Brother? That last sentence tells you all you need to know about this so-called fragile woman.

The media are no different than the pimps who peddle these stories and are hypocritically enabling a world of prostitution where famous sportsmen are considered fair game whatever the consequences.

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ONLY MORONS BOO NATIONAL ANTHEMS: SADLY THE BRITS ARE THE WORLD’S WORST

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How it should be - Katherine Jenkins sings the Welsh National Anthem before the Ashes match between England and Australia in 2009

How it should be - Katherine Jenkins sings the Welsh National Anthem before the Ashes match between England and Australia in 2009

BY JOHN GUBBA

THERE is nothing in sport that makes me more sick to the stomach than hearing fans boo the national anthem – whatever country we are talking about. And what makes it worse, I am ashamed to admit, is that we the British are the biggest offenders.

This time it was the Welsh who were the first to disgrace themselves with an ear-splitting chorus of boos that greeted God Save The Queen before the Euro 2012 Qualifying match against England in Cardiff.

But England’s mindless morons responded just as badly. And we all know they would have started the booing if the Welsh anthem had been played first.

How pathetic and condescending of England’s tainted captain John Terry, controversially re-instated by Fabio Capello, to infer otherwise when he claimed the boos provided the inspiration England needed to put the Welsh in their place. ‘They were booing the National Anthem and the players were very pumped up because of that,’ he said. ‘The players are very proud and ready for the game but when you hear that you get pumped up even more. We showed that from the start.

‘When you go away you expect things like that but, when you hear it, it makes you stick your chest out even more. You can hear the English fans singing and you want to do it for them as well as yourself.’

OK Terry, we get the point. But why don’t you lambaste the English fans when they do the same thing. What makes it worse on this occasion is that God Save the Queen is the national anthem of the United Kingdom, of which Wales is a part and one shudders to think what our brave servicemen around the world who give their lives in battle think of their own people acting so shamelessly.

But it is not just the football crowd who bring shame on Britain. Ricky Hatton was famously let down by his followers in Las Vegas in 2007 before he was embarrassingly outclassed by Floyd Mayweather Jnr in his WBC World title defeat.

Ricky Hatton was embarrassed by his fans booing USA national anthem before his fight with Mayweather

Ricky Hatton was embarrassed by his fans booing USA national anthem before his fight with Mayweather

Hatton’s British fans loudly joined in when Sir Tom Jones sang God Save The Queen. But when Tyrese, the R&B singer, stepped forward to sing The Star- Spangled Banner, the United States national anthem, he was almost drowned out.

The singer gamely plugged on. But many were rightly outraged. HBO’s commentators were quick to condemn the fans they had been praising moments earlier and one HBO technician in the ring gave a middle-fingered salute to the crowd.

The Americans have their faults. But it is hard to imagine their people lacking the class and dignity so often seen by so-called sports fans from Britain.

It is a sad fact that God Save the Queen is regularly targeted by England’s Celtic rivals back in the UK because it is the anthem used by England.

Embarrassingly, last September The Scottish Football Association was forced to apologise to Liechtenstein after Scotland fans booed their national anthem before a Euro 2012 qualifier – because it has the same tune as God Save the Queen.

At the time George Peat, the Scottish FA’s acting chief executive, said: “I was embarrassed and extremely disappointed by the disgraceful behaviour of some of our supporters during the Liechtenstein national anthem at Hampden Park last night.”

It was poetic that the booing seemed to spur minnows Liechtenstein on, and they took a shock 1-0 lead. Scotland only saved themelves from a humilaiting result with a winner SEVEN minutes into injury time at the end of a match against a team ranked only 141st in the world.


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TAXI FOR CAPELLO! EVEN THINKING ABOUT RE-INSTATING JOHN TERRY AS CAPTAIN IS THE LAST STRAW – THE ITALIAN MUST GO

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BY JOHN GUBBA

FABIO CAPELLO may have been a successful club manager in Italy – but the England job is just too big for him. And the latest embarrassing saga of whether or not John Terry will replace the injured Rio Ferdinand as skipper is the last straw.

Capello's latest error of judgment has embrassed Rio Ferdinand

Capello’s latest error of judgment has embrassed Rio Ferdinand

The way Capello – who got it so hopelessly wrong at last summer’s World Cup in South Africa – has been manipulated by the media proves it is time for him to make way for Harry Redknapp, the outstanding English manager of his generation.

Even thinking about handing the captain’s armband back to John Terry on a permanent basis is a disgrace. But to chew the matter over with the press and appear to write off Ferdinand before he has discussed it with the player is shameful.

The England captaincy has become a big issue for Capello following February’s friendly against Denmark when Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry and Ashley Cole all wore the armband at different stages of the match because Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard were both out injured.

“I was really upset about what happened in Denmark, when I saw the players saying ‘who is the captain?’,” said Capello. “After one year of punishment, it was not the best moment for John Terry to see this. For that reason, I need to make a decision – and it will be a permanent decision, not just one game.”

Terry was stripped of the captaincy in February 2010 after reports surfaced that he had an affair with the former partner of England team-mate Wayne Bridge. Ferdinand, 32, was made captain. But has since made only four appearances for England and will miss the upcoming game against Wales because of problems with his back and calf.

Capello wants Terry back - how Daily Mail broke the story

Capello wants Terry back – how Daily Mail broke the story

Now it seems Capello has been persuaded to re-think his stance by “certain London-based media” close to the Chelsea skipper. England’s bungling boss revealed his thinking over an espresso in an Italian restaurant in Knightsbridge on Monday. His camp now insist no decision has been made but admit Terry is being considered.

He may be an experienced player. But Terry is past his best and has lost respect within the England team for a series of errors of judgement. World Cup skipper Steven Gerrard was undermined by Terry’s arrogant and ill-advised attempt to hold a players’ meeting to discuss their failings in South Africa.

Now Ferdinand has every right to be upset over the way Capello has managed the situation by floating his idea of re-instating Terry in public. It is not the first time the Italian has embarrassed one of his stars in this way. Last August he told the media David Beckham was finished as an England international and admitted in the same interview he had not even discussed it with the player.

Now it is time for the Football Association to tell Capello that he is finished. And the sooner the better.

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