Monthly Archives: June 2011

Arsenal Should Cash In On Fabregas Now, And Rebuild For A New Era

It is the perennial summer saga, the transfer rumor that just won’t go away until Fabregas officially resigns for Barcelona. Earlier today, Barcelona reportedly had a thirty million euro bid for the Arsenal captain turned down by the Gunners, and that is expected to only be the start of the continuation of one of football’s most famous tug of wars.

Throughout the last few seasons, Arsene Wenger has maintained a resolute stance on Fabregas, claiming that the Spaniard is not for sale at any price, and that the Gunners have no plans to let him go. For Arsenal fans hoping for Fabregas to stay, this particular aspect of Wenger’s stubborn persona has been met with far more satisfaction than those which have dictated his frugal spending, but perhaps it doesn’t deserve such a positive response; perhaps if Wenger were to relent, and sell Fabregas, then the stubbornness governing his transfer dealings would finally begin to fade, and with it Arsenal’s years of hurt.

If Arsenal are to move on from the disappointing results which saw them crash out at the Nou Camp, surrender again in the fight to wrest the league from Chelsea and Manchester United, or even dispel the memories of a painful day at Wembley, then offloading Fabregas is a clear and easy decision.

The Arsenal of Fabregas has been taken as far as it can go, to the brink of success, close enough to feel the hurt of failure, yet still far enough for their annual collapses not to be considered surprising. Arsenal need a dramatic overhaul, and that process of change should start with the captain.

Already, the seeds of a new era have been sown, Stan Kroenke has taken ownership of the club, and the North Londoners are set to sign two useful looking players in Christopher Samba and Gervinho. However, Arsenal are still in need of an aggressive, holding midfielder, someone in the mold of a Michael Essien or the Owen Hargreaves of three years ago. If Fabregas were to leave for something in the region of thirty million pounds, then ample funds would be available to purchase such a player, one who would help Arsenal to take a grip on tight games, and close out inferior teams.

As far as a replacement for Fabregas goes, Arsenal have the very men already at the club, Jack Wilshere is a player that many would like to see playing further up the pitch and the newly fit Aaron Ramsey could also fill that void.

With the signings of Samba, Gervinho and perhaps a Diarra or Muntari, Arsenal would then be able to turn to the pressing concern which exists in goal, one which contributed to their failure in last year’s League Cup final. Sczeney, although promising, is not yet good enough to take over the number one jersey, an experienced, consistent presence is needed in that area, someone not prone to high profile mistakes.

Arsenal’s needs are obvious, and players of the required class available, but Arsene Wenger’s unrelenting stubbornness could prevent the Gunners from making any change. Would the Frenchman be willing to admit defeat, sell Fabregas and start a new? I don’t think so, Arsenal fans might have to wait until that day that the Professor decides to pack in, for real progress to be made.

Should Arsenal sell Cesc Fabregas?
Will Arsenal sell  Cesc Fabregas?


Frustrated Inter Face Difficult Summer

Twelve months ago, Inter embarked on a managerial search, however, it was one done in the glow of European triumph, one conducted with a horde of trophies safely stored away back home. Now, more than a year on from their Champions League triumph in Madrid, Inter and Moratti are at it again, searching for an adequate replacement for the irreplaceable; the Special One.

With manager Leonardo set to take on a front office role at French club Paris St. Germain, Inter’s search, while only a week or so old, has already met with disappointment and rejection. Former Chile manager Marcelo Bielsa, known for his expansive style of play, was the first to snub Moratti and co., before Porto hotshot Villas-Boas elected to join Chelsea ahead of the Nerazzuri. While moves for Laurent Blanc and Fabio Capello were played down, a much more serious venture was also ended, as Sinisa Mihajlovic added his name to the growing list of managers to have turned their noses up at Moratti and Inter Milan.

For a club of Inter’s size, this consistent rejection is as bemusing as it is frustrating. While you can be sure that their are a whole host of managers willing to take on the role, the ones that Inter have in mind haven’t shown the remotest interest, whether it be because of Moratti’s nasty habit of interfering in coaching affairs, or the consistently pressured state of a hot seat at any of Italy’s major clubs.

While at the moment the coaching situation is the number one concern for the blue and black side of the San Siro, frustration must also exist in the club’s failure to make any ground in this year’s transfer market. Alexis Sanchez, a confirmed target of Inter’s, seems to have chosen Barcelona ahead of all his Italian suitors, while players already at Inter have been heavily linked with moves elsewhere. Samuel Eto’o has stated his desire to finish his career with a Premier League swansong, while Wesley Sneijder is the subject of interest from Manchester United and Manchester City.

Samuel Eto'o Samuel Eto'o of FC Internazionale Milano during the Serie A match between Inter Milan and Catania Calcio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 24, 2009 in Milan, Italy.In between secret meetings with every manager under the sun, Moratti has done his best to quash all the rumors of departing players, but has met with little success; both Eto’o and Sneijder have been just has heavily linked away this week as they were the last.

If Inter don’t sort out their future soon, then dire premonitions will soon begin to circulate; with Italy limited to only three Champions League spots next season, there is no room for error amongst Serie A’s top sides. Already, Milan have started to build towards next season, bringing in Mexes, Taiwo and a couple young Italian strikers, while Juventus have also been very active in the transfer market. In Naples, the Azzuri look set to retain the services of their “big three” attackers, so competition is sure to be stiff next season; and I haven’t even mentioned the rejuvenated AS Roma yet!

So the longer Inter toil away in that managerial hunt, the more fans of the Coppa Italia winners will begin to look over their shoulders. There are more than a few teams creeping up, determined to throw a spanner in Inter’s works, and mix it up with the established elite in Italy.

If you were Moratti, who would you bring in as Inter coach?

This aricle was also published by The Chairman on Footy Utopia.

U21 Euros Day 7: The Ones Who Shone

1. Adrian Lopez- After an unconvincing first match, Adrian has become one of Spain’s most impressive players. His first three goals were all taken well, but numbers four and five added importance into the equation.

Too often, major tournament’s hand out their golden boots to players who racked up goals in easy wins during the group stage, fortunately, Denmark’s U21 Euros will dish out their scoring honor to a big game goalscorer. Adrian’s first came with only a minute of the ninety left, as the number seven showed real desire in getting to the near post before the defender, to prod home a vital equalizer.

Just minutes later, he was at it again, heading home Diego Capel’s brilliant cross to put the Spaniards 2-1 to the good with fifteen minutes of extra time remaining. At the beginning of the tournament, it had seemed as though for all their pretty little patterns, Spain would always have problems putting the ball in the back of the net, Adrian Lopez has prevented Spain from becoming know for their lack of a cutting edge, since opening his account he has been in breathtaking goal scoring form.

2. Jeffren- Since the substitution was introduced into football, every great team has had that one man, the “super sub” who could come on and provide impetus to the attack, and help secure a result that at first had looked a tough ask. In Jeffren, Spain have found their man, a player capable of making an impact off the bench, and in the case of today’s game a vital, vital impact.

It takes real composure to produce a moment of brilliance at the end of a tight game, to provide your team with the edge when a match had looked beyond reach. However, Jeffren was able to do all that, his cross to the near post was tapped in by star scorer Adrian, as Spain found a crucial equalizer in the last minute of normal time.

If a last gasp assist wasn’t enough to secure a place on this list for Jeffren, then his howitzer of a goal in the final minute of extra time fully secured it. With the Belarussians running out of time for which to grab an equalizer, Jeffren put a little gloss on Spain’s semi final win, firing home a stunning strike from range which completed a 3-1 win. Certainly, Barcelona’s Jeffren has made a strong case to be included in the starting line-up for Spain’s upcoming final.

3. Muniain- Muniain rose to prominence this season after some truly impressive performances for Spanish club Athletic Bilbao, and he has continued to enhance his reputation with a series of strong showings in the Euro U21 Championships. However, it was only today that he stamped his name all over a game, Muniain was one of the best players on the pitch as Spain narrowly beat the Czech Republic.

An attacking player who can play on the wing or through the middle, Munian was a danger every time he got on the ball, dribbing past players with consummate ease, and finding intelligent, insicive passes. Though he didn’t score, Muniain was a constant threat to the Czech goal, buzzing around with intent, it was surprise to me that he didn’t eventually find his way onto the score sheet.

With a final approaching for the Spanish squad, players like Muniain will be crucial, if the Athletic Bilbao man complement his performances with goal, then Spain could be in business. Mind you, they could be in business anyway!

<a href="/under21/photos/index.html?pid=1646288">Admir Mehmedi (Switzerland)</a>4. Admir Mehmedi- Goals from midfield are a valuable asset to any team, and this Swiss side has enjoyed a very fair serving of them. Crucial to that has been their number eleven, who once again stepped up to play a massive role on Wednesday night.

Deep into extra time and with the match seemingly destined for penalties, Mehmedi picked up the ball several yards outside the Czech penalty area, advanced, and slashed a shot across goal into the bottom corner of the net. A sumptuous goal on any occasion, but one made just that much more special by the circumstances it was scored in.

Against Spain, players like Mehmedi are going to be absolutely crucial to combating the Spanish possession game, Mehmedi will have to complement his goalscoring feats with a performance of steel and discipline.

5. Xherdan Shaqiri- It is impossible to leave this little man out. Despite not having any statistical impact on the game, it was his performances which eventually wore down the Czech rear guard. Shaqiri’s exquisite touch and turn, coupled with real pace, endurance and a laser like shot, forced the Czechs to double up on him, creating space for the likes of Mehmedi to produce some magic of their own.

By quite a long way, Shaqiri was the best player on the pitch, a danger every time the ball arrived at his feet. With the game drifting towards extra time, he almost won the match with a fabulous low shot from range, which agonizingly rebounded off the outside of the post.

Had that shot gone in, Shaqiri would have gained all the plaudits he deserved following a brilliant performance, however, for now at least, he has to step back and share some of the limelight with teammate Admir Mehmedi.

A World XI To Take On Barcelona

On Wednesday,’s Paul Macdonald will unveil a World XI most equipped to take on Barcelona. Today, In For The Hat Trick will introduce their XI, on Wednesday we’ll see how it compares with Paul’s!

The Rules: The team must be made up of current players, that do not currently play for Barcelona.

Formation: My World XI would play in a 4-3-3 formation, one that when supplied with the appropriate personnel is dangerous in attack and compact in defense.

The Team: 

GK: Pepe Reina- Many would say that this is the least important of the eleven positions to be filled, but I disagree, while there are a whole plethora of adequately equipped shot stoppers in the game, there are very few who would fit my requirements for inclusion in this team. What Pepe Reina brings to the table that is perhaps lacking in the game of other goalkeepers is real intelligence with the ball. When Reina picks up the ball either with his feet or his hands, he is immediately looking for an option, a way to start an attack. Boasting remarkably good technique in both his throwing and his kicking, Reina is capable of picking out the players he sees, and would be an ideal man to kick start a surge forward.

RB: Branislav Ivanovic- Right back was one of the most difficult decisions to make my mind up on; there are a myriad of potential candidates, from youngsters like Rafael to the more experienced Maicon. However, Ivanovic’s sheer strength, speed and concentration sets him apart from the rest. Sure, Maicon was a part of the Inter Milan team which beat Barcelona in a two legged Champions League tie, but since then, his reputation has been tarnished by Welsh Wizard Gareth Bale. Ivanovic however, has been a model of consistency, the only Chelsea player last season to perform strongly throughout the duration of the league campaign. Ivanovic would be more than capable of stopping players like Pedro, and his prowess in the air would aid the World XI on set pieces.

CB: Lucio- Despite not playing his best over the past twelve months, Lucio still is an obvious candidate for the center back position. His stellar partnership with Samuel factored hugely into Inter’s success at the Camp Nou, and I feel that Lucio is still good enough to pull that feat off again. His strength, size and power are simply breathtaking, and I feel that he could easily shut down striker David Villa. Lucio has the pedigree, and he is most certainly a default starter in this World XI.

CB: Thiago Silva- This young man is fast becoming the best center back in European football and his play last season with AC Milan more than warranted a spot on the World XI team sheet. Silva is a disciplined defender who can also play in midfield, showing that he has the skill and passing ability necessary to cut it against Barcelona. Silva is capable of carrying the ball out of defense and distributing, something that would be crucial in keeping and maintaining possession, too many long balls forward would play right into Barca’s hands.

LB: Ashley Cole- At this point in time, there really aren’t a lot of high quality left backs to choose from; the only two really eligible are Ashley Cole and Patrice Evra. While personally I think that Evra is a better player, he has failed in matches against Barcelona too often in the past, so I would be hesitant in putting him in a crucial position, one which if adequately filled could go some way to stifling the threat of Messi. Cole, like most top class full backs, boasts immense attacking ability with strong defensive discipline, attributes that would both come in handy against Barcelona.

CM: Wesley Sneijder- Sneijder is an absolute must in this team, he is by quite a long way the best creative midfielder outside Barcelona, and he has experience at playing against the famed Catalan midfield. Sneijder is someone who can not only start attacks with terrifically accurate cross field balls, but can keep the midfield’s possession game ticking over with smart interchanges of passes. Sneijder is also a brilliant taker of free kicks and corners, and as we know, if there is one weakness in the Barcelona team it is their ability to defend from set pieces.

CM: Michael Essien- Essien, in my opinion, is still the finest holding midfielder in World football. His pace, tenacity and eye for goal have helped him on the way to that title, and I think he is a much more mobile alternative to Pepe in the center of midfield. In 2009, Essien’s Chelsea team were within a couple minutes of knocking Barcelona out of the Champions League, and the Ghanaian destroyer’s play in midfield was a huge part of that. Essien is a man who could disrupt Xavi and Iniesta’s passing rhythm, and if that was achieved then the whole Barcelona machine would be thrown off sync.

CM: Bastian Schweinsteiger- One of my favorite players, Schweinsteiger is a more experienced than fellow candidate Jack Wilshere, and much more disciplined than the aforementioned Pepe. Schweinsteiger is another who could hustle and harry the Barca midfield, and his strength and creativity in attack would also be a boon to the World XI. Schweinsteiger does not play in a team good enough to pose Barcelona a real challenge, so until he moves away from Germany we are unlikely to see him pitted against the Catalans in any really meaningful way. Sure Bayern might be drawn against them in next year’s Champions League, but surrounded by players incapable of keeping up with the Catalans, his talents in midfield would make little difference.

RF: Cristiano Ronaldo- Ronaldo’s goal threat from midfield makes him impossible to leave out of the team. In the past he has performed poorly against Barca, but the threat is still there, and at any moment he could finally explode all over Pep Guardiola’s team. Ronaldo’s pace would come in handy on the counter attack, and his ability in the air (as demonstrated in the Copa Del Rey final) would also be a useful weapon. The one weakness to Ronaldo’s game is his refusal to track back, which is why I would deploy him on the right, Barcelona don’t have a really top class attacking left back on their books, so his defensive weaknesses would be less easy to exploit on that side of the pitch.

CF: Carlos Tevez- As demonstrated by Chicharito’s performance in the Champions League final, as a striker you can’t play against Barcelona unless you are capable of keeping the ball and moving it around. Time and time again Javier Hernandez gave the ball straight back to the Barcelona midfield, and time and time again United’s attacks fell apart when the ball reached his boots. Tevez however, is equally as good at finishing as Chicharito, yet he is able to link up play as well. Perhaps most important though is Tevez’ work rate, he routinely covers more ground than anyone else, and is another player capable of disrupting Barcelona’s passing game at its very route, the feet of Carlos Puyol and Gerard Pique.

LF: Samuel Eto’o- Eto’o was arguably the most important piece of Jose Mourinho’s 2010 Barcelona blueprint. Known for the vastness of his ego, Mourinho managed to convince Eto’o to shelve his pride and play out a crucial defensive roll. In 2010, Eto’o shut down the attacking threat of Dani Alves, and also did an excellent job on both Messi and Pedro when either one got anywhere near his side of the field. On the attacking end, Eto’o is equally as effective, though in 2010 he really had very little impact up there, history shows us that he is capable of making something out of nothing. The Cameroonian clocked up thirty-eight goals last season, there is no reason why he would be unable to notch up a couple more against his former employers.

Please comment with your preferred eleven, or any questions or comments regarding mine.

Read more by David Yaffe-Bellany/The Chairman  @ EPL Talk and Red Flag Flying High

U21 Euros Day 6: The Ones Who Shone

1. Danny Welbeck- Last season was one of real advancement in the career of Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck. After performing well in only a handful of appearances for United, Welbeck was sent on loan to Sunderland, where for the first part of the season he formed part of a dangerous attacking triumvirate, made up of himself as well as Darren Bent and Asamoah Gyan.

At the U21 Euros, Welbeck was England’s only goalscorer, finishing well against Spain, and then having his potentially crucial goal against the Czech Republic wiped out by a late blitz. Forming a solid partnership with Danny Sturridge, Welbeck caused defenses problems with his mazy dribbles and fine interplay. Many seem to think that the Englishman will get more of a chance at United next season, and if he continues from where he left off against the Czechs, then he may well earn further first team opportunities.

2. Phil Jones- There is definitely a case to be made that Phil Jones’ reputation has been a little inflated since news of him move to Manchester United came through, however, he was one of England’s strongest performers against the Czechs. Forging a very effective partnership with Chris Smalling, Jones looked strong in the air, composed in the dribble and aggressive in the tackle. If the Smalling-Jones axis continues to succeed, then it is one that we could see feature very prominently for both United and England.

Captain on the night against the Czechs, Jones led by example, communicating well with the other members of his defense, and clearly committing totally to the England cause. Unfortunately, Jones and England were beaten by a pair of late goals, leaving a heart broken ex Blackburn defender to return home and prepare for what is likely to be a crucial season in the young man’s career.

3. Chris Smalling- It might seem strange that this list is made up of three players from a team that yesterday exited the tournament but, in all honesty, England’s 2-1 loss to the Czech Republic was their best performance of the finals by quite some way. As mentioned above, the Jones-Smalling axis in defense was crucial to the Lions success for the first eighty-eight minutes of the game, the pair were both very effective at shutting down star Czech Republic striker Kozak.

Smalling’s control of the ball at the back was particularly stunning, he looked every bit like a new Rio Ferdinand, calmly dribbling the ball forward, and spraying accurate passes to all parts of the pitch. Smalling’s performance at the Championships proved that his opening season at United was no fluke, Chris Smalling is definitely the real deal.

4. Juan Mata- For those of you bored of hearing me wax lyrical about Valencia midfielder Mata, look away now. After appearing in the Days 3,4 and 5 List, Mata has returned for more, he was simply brilliant against Ukraine. After playing the part of “mister assist” for the first two games, Mata finally got a couple goals of his own, slotting home from close range before netting a penalty later on. Neither goal was particularly difficult to take, but both were converted with consummate ease, earning Mata a place on the list and Spain a place in the semi finals.

With players like Mata, Herrera, Adrian and Thiago in tow, there is no doubt that Spain are now run away favorites to win the U21 European Championships, like the senior team they keep the ball for minutes at a time, and finally they seem to have discovered a goalscoring touch.

5. Lukas Marecek- After defeating England, the Czech Republic will advance to the semi finals, and their future from then on will depend a lot on the form of players like captain Borek Dockal and inspirational midfielder Lukas Marecek. For a period in the first half, Marecek was everywhere, dictating play when the Czechs were in possession and closing down England when they were not. Marecek seems to have an astute understanding of the geometry of central midfield, his short passing was clever and his movement excellent.

Since signing in 2010, Marecek has only made a handful of appearances for Belgian club Anderlecht, but after his fine performance against England, that could be about to change next season.

U21 Euros Days 3,4 And 5: The Ones Who Shone

Apologies about the shortness this time, due to technical difficulties I was unable to view the entirety of the U21 action. INFTH will be back tomorrow with a more complete review of Matchday 6. 

1. Juan Mata- One of the players expected to perform heading into the tournament, Mata really shone for
the Spanish U21s agaisnt the Czech Republic. While Adrian made all the headlines with two goals, Mata was the man who put him in position for those strikes, claiming a brace of assists. Moreover, it was Mata who kept Spain ticking over, the hub of all their creative endeavours, and the man who caused the Czech’s more problems than anyone else. Come the next round, Mata will have to continue in this vain of form, Spain have been dubbed early favorites, and Mata’s play may well decide whether or not they meet expectations, and take home the trophy.

2. Adrian- To be honest, I was not at all impressed by Adrian’s performance against England, but he certainly improved on it with a fine display agasint the Czech Republic. As mentioned above, Mata linked up well with him, teeing up two strikes, which were both take extremely well. Finishing was one of Spain’s problems agianst England in their opener, so the arrival of Adrian as a worthy holder of goalscoring responsibility is something which should encourage Spanish fans.

3. Nicolai Jorgenson- After disappointment in game one, the Danes bounced back well agianst Belaruse, and Jorgenson’s stunning goal was crucial to that success. Whenever a brilliant goal is scored, people take notice whatever the level, and Jorgenson’s stirke was certainly far, far above average. Picking up the ball ten yards into the opponents hafl, Jorgenson glided past two defeners, before smashing a rasping shot into the far corner from twenty five yards; a stupendous goal, and which proved to be the game winner. Unfortunately though, a 3-1 loss to Iceland in the group finale ended the Danish dream, so we will have to wait for the start of the European season before we see Nicolai Jorgenson score again.

4. Admir Mehmedi- I must admit, going into matchday five I didn’t know much about, Admir Mehmedi, but an impressive two goal performance from midfield did much to put him on my radar. A penalty was followed by an opportunistic goal, sealing the win for Switzerland and plaudits for Mehmedi. The Swiss number eleven is definitely one to look out for in later rounds; after their commanding group performance the Swiss are now one of the favorites to topple Spain and claim the U21 Euros. So far this tournament, Switzerland have been one of the largest contributors to INFTH’s U21 stars lists, Mehmedi arrives to complement two of last weekends flagged players; Shaqiri and Emeghara.

Justifying Judas The Manager

It is the ultimate form of footballing betrayal, a way to insure countless boos, threatening letters and foul mouthed attacks on Twitter. Moving across a footballing divide, from one end of a city to the other, is frowned upon unanimously by fans across the globe, it is the ultimate sign of disrespect to former employers, yet it is a move which many are willing to make.

Over the years, high profile players like Luis Figo and Carlos Tevez have crossed this divide, one as metaphorical as the iron curtain, yet as heavily manned as the Berlin Wall. To put it simply, clubs don’t want their players to join rivals, and there are numerous examples of chairmen and coaches going out of their way to prevent such an occurrence. In 2007, Fergie stepped in to prevent Gabriel Heinze moving to Liverpool, but he wasn’t quite as successful two years later, when Carlos Tevez signed for Manchester City.

However, more interesting than the role of players in football’s version of one of the new testament’s most poignant scenes, is the role of the manager, a man who’s betrayal is often more hard felt than that of the playing staff. Just look at Burnley, for whom last season Owen Coyle’s Judas Kiss proved to one of death too.

But should managers not be given certain allowances that aren’t provided to players? In modern football, the managerial game is a hazardous one, a run of four or five disappointing results could end with the sack. Managers are the most harshly treated being in the footballing jungle, they are made to be as accountable as referees, but unlike those officials, face severe punishment for poor decisions. A managers job is always on a knife edge, and staying too long at a club inevitably ends with an ignominious departure. Therefore, managers should be forgiven for their acts of “betrayal” as they are ones of self preservation too.

An easy example of this managerial controversy, is that of Birmingham manager Alex McLeish, who was surprisingly relegated last season. After a tumultuous year at City, he elected to resign about a week ago, and has since taken over the reigns at Aston Villa. Understandably, Blues fans are irked at McLeish’s move to their crosstown rivals, resentful at his betrayal. However, had McLeish remained at Birmingham, his managerial life would have been at risk; any newly relegated manager has his job hanging by a thread. At Aston Villa, McLeish is guaranteed a new start, an opportunity to resurrect a flailing club, and guarantee himself a little more room for error than he would have been allowed at City.

Managers deserve the right to betray their team, after all, over the past few years teams have done nothing but betray managers, rendering any claims of annoyance at their moves highly hypocritical. For every cry of “Et tu Brute” emitted by Chairman, managers need only thrust a copy of “The Damned United” back into their faces.

Men like Coyle and McLeish are entitled to move wherever they please, both know that their clubs are unlikely to stay loyal to them, and both were able to leave their former teams without the slightest feeling of guilt. For most managers in the modern game, it is important to leave clubs swiftly, as well at at their peak. Jose Mourinho is the master of leaving at the right time, he nearly always knows when he has brought a team as far as possible, or when a side has hit the wall and is beginning to move backwards. While Mourinho has never left a team for their local rivals, he nevertheless is a good example to men trying to succeed in the cut throat world of football management. If, as a manager, you are loyal to a club then your chances of success spiral downwards; to succeed in the field of football coaching you must be ruthless to your employers, or they will be ruthless to you.

Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, Sir Alex Ferguson has been at Manchester United’s helm for twenty-five years, but he is an anomaly, an exception to an overarching rule. Football managers should never be criticized for acts of so called betrayal, every time an owner comes out with the dreaded vote of confidence, or a well respected coach receives the sack after four months in charge, the managers are being betrayed themselves.