Monthly Archives: September 2013

CHANGING TIMES

Sir Alex Ferguson holds aloft the Champions League trophy in 2008

Sir Alex Ferguson holds aloft the Champions League trophy in 2008

A look into four managers who may need to change in order to attain Champions League success

It was not that Manchester United played badly. It just was that Real Madrid played better.

Tactically, they proved superior. Technically, they were supreme. Every Madrid player caressed the ball with subtlety – as if it was a crown jewel and passed it around intelligently, seemingly fearful of losing a precious possession.

All this was summarised by the third Madrid goal. Fernando Redondo running down the touchline then, Read the rest of this entry

THE SIGN OF FOUR : Arsene Wenger

Arsene+Wenger+AC+Milan+v+Arsenal+FC+UEFA+Champions+KcGLJtYw92Ol

A gaping blank – an unexplained one at that – exists in Arsene Wenger’s managerial CV. For all his achievements at club level, it is odd that a manager of his status has never won a continental title.

Twice, he was denied in UEFA’s secondary cup competitions. In 1992, his Monaco lost to Werder Bremen in the Cup Winners Cup Final while it was the heartache of a penalty shootout that brought about loss to Wenger’s Arsenal in the 2000 UEFA Cup final against Galatasaray.

It is however Europe’s premier competition Read the rest of this entry

THE SIGN OF FOUR : Jose Mourinho

Jose+Mourinho+Chelsea+v+Hull+City+Premier+ybKpbUWCCMal

From unknown to special; to public enemy number one, Jose Mourinho has always courted controversy. He divides opinion more than most.

For him however, he recognises that the world is a stage and thus he always plays his part. Mainly cast as the villain, it is surprising just how many times it is he who has performed heroic achievements.

Winning the Champions League with Porto in 2004 was Read the rest of this entry

THE SIGN OF FOUR : Pep Guardiola

Josep+Guardiola+Barcelona+v+Tenerife+La+Liga+kBf9oK66w5yl

At Barcelona, he exemplified all the features of Plato’s proverbial philosopher king. Born and bred in Catalunya’s playing fields, he rose to dominance with poetic displays in midfield. Then he left, only to return as manager and build probably the greatest club side in history. Certainly, the greatest this side of the century thus far.

Bayern Munich however provides a totally different challenge to Pep Guardiola.

It is a club steeped in different traditions to those of Read the rest of this entry

THE SIGN OF FOUR : Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo+Ancelotti+Carlo+Ancelotti+New+Real+Madrid+wgcOyBfSk3Ll

After the retirements of Jupp Heynckes and Sir Alex Ferguson, it seems that the most experienced manager left in the competition who can boast some level of Champions League success is Carlo Ancelotti.

But far from experience, the Italian manager brings so much more to Real Madrid. His tactical awareness has meant that he is willing to explore various formations. He may have written a thesis on the 4-3-2-1 –and this is the formation he has used at least once in every managerial job that he has had – but he is not stubbornly stuck to it.

At the same time, he provides contrast to Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: