Victor Manuel Vucetich said as much to ESPN Deportes, so it’s straight from the horse’s mouth. The FMF is beyond dysfunctional.
Barcelona moved quickly to recruit Gerardo Martino after Tito Vilanova had decided to resign following a relapse of his cancer
Barcelona move outside their normal thinking, which is to appoint someone related to the club in some way, to appoint the man that Lionel Messi tabbed as the choice.
Thoughts on this? Does Messi now have the club basically at his mercy? Will the Argentinian presence upset the Spanish and Brazilian players?
Former striker turned League One manager Paolo Di Canio’s time at Swindon Town was successful if controversial to say the least — mostly due to an Italian interview in 2005 in which he said, “I am a fascist, not a racist” — but also because of his hard-headed nature as a manager. I mean, the guy resigned from Swindon after the board sold a top player to a rival, and was then accused of raiding his former office after midnight.
Now, Sunderland AFC are struggling to stave off relegation — right now, they are outside the drop zone, but have looked largely atrocious for most of the season. After an inspiring burst to save the Black Cats from danger last spring, Martin O’Neill spent plenty of Ellis Short’s cash with very little in the way of return and sent players on their way who probably would have helped given the rash of injuries his squad has suffered. Short fired O’Neill after last weekend’s 1-0 loss to Man United — and has now hired the top-level-unproven Di Canio to replace him.
This has brought anti-fascist and anti-racist groups out calling for Di Canio to clarify his previous remarks and prompted Sunderland’s vice chairman, former high-ranking Labour MP David Miliband, to resign in protest of the hiring.
(For context, Miliband’s family came to England to escape the Nazis, so being associated with anyone who openly espoused fascism, spoke well of Mussolini, and seems to sympathize with the hard right of the ultras at Lazio is not terribly desirable for him.)
For his part, Di Canio has denied he is a racist, calling the accusations, as you see below at the link, “stupid and ridiculous.”
Normally, we wouldn’t be writing too much about the firing of a Championship manager on a bad run because this happens frequently. But Blackburn Rovers’ firing Michael Appleton for a string of bad results gives us a series of interesting facts.
- Rovers are now looking for their 4th manager this season and 6th in the past 3 seasons, having fired Sam Allardyce when Venky’s bought the club from the Walker Trust. Appleton was preceded this season by Steve Kean and Henning Berg.
- Appleton began the season at desperately strapped Portsmouth, moved on to Blackpool to replace Ian Holloway (who went to Crystal Palace to replace Dougie Freedman, who bolted to Bolton), and then left the Tangerines for Blackburn.
- Appleton coached all three of the teams he’s been in charge of this season in the FA Cup — players can be cup-tied, but not managers, apparently.
What was that I typed earlier in a flurry of caps and swears? No real manager with dignity or self-respect would ever coach Chelsea again?
Rafa, I thought you were better than this.
OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE. WE DIDN’T THINK THAT WAS ACTUALLY GOING TO HAPPEN THIS QUICKLY. JUST NAME JOHN TERRY YOUR CARETAKER PLAYER/MANAGER NOW, OR MAKE IT PERMANENT, WE DON’T CARE ANY MORE. LIKE GUARDIOLA’S COMING NOW, ROMAN. NO ACTUAL MANAGER WITH ANY SENSE OF DIGNITY OR SELF-RESPECT WILL COME TO COACH YOUR TEAM, IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MUCH FUCK-YOU MONEY YOU THROW AT HIM, NOT AFTER YOU FIRE A DUDE WHO HELPED SALVAGE A SEASON BY WINNING THE GODDAMN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE.
Hey Chelsea fans, meet your new caretaker manager, maybe? Or so sayeth the rumors in certain segments of the British press following a 3-nil beating at the hands of Juventus that pretty much has the title holders facing elimination from the Champions League group stages. If this actually does come to pass, maybe he can make Fernando Torres work again.
Andre Villas-Boas will start this season just like he did the last one: as a Premier League manager. After his fallout at Chelsea, the Portuguese will replace Harry Redknapp as manager of Tottenham Hotspur. Whether he has any better luck installing his system in North London as opposed to West London has yet to be seen, but at Spurs he will have fewer veteran players to pacify or adjust his system to than at Chelsea.
The game of musical chairs continues in the English Premier League (in the spirit of Unprofessional Foul, suck it, Barclay’s) as ol ‘Arry has been told in no uncertain terms where to stick it by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy after what seemed like several offenses:
- blowing a 10-point hold on the 3rd place spot to Arsenal and that was the last CL qualification spot, it turned out, because Chelsea won the CL trophy
- being distracted by the media’s anointing of him as the successor to Fabio Capello in the England job
- taking to television and making noise about a three or four-year extension with 12 months still on a contract
To be fair to Redknapp, he helped turn Spurs into a Champions League threat when they were in the dumps — but Levy has blanked at hardball before when it comes to players and so probably barely batted an eye at telling Harry to go away. The media favorite rumor for a replacement is Everton’s David Moyes, because every time a job with a better financial situation and appeal to players than Everton comes up, that’s what happens.
He helped them lift the trophy. Now Roberto di Matteo has the interim tag removed from his job as manager of Chelsea on a two-year deal. Most of us were wondering why this wasn’t done immediately after the CL victory, but it’s the right move nonetheless.
Premiership managerial go-round continues: after talking to Chris Hughton and Ralf Rangnick, West Bromwich Albion have named former Liverpool assistant manager Steve Clarke as their replacement for Roy Hodgson — in the structure that ironically, Liverpool sought to put in place initially post-Dalglish firing: Clarke will be more head coach than manager and work with a sporting/technical director.
The coaching dominoes keep falling in the Premier League while most attention is focused on the Euros. Paul Lambert’s move from Carrow Road to Villa Park left a vacancy quickly filled by the Norwich City board with the hiring of Birmingham City manager Chris Hughton.
For many neutral observers it’s a welcome return to the Prem for Hughton. Despite the good form shown last year by Newcastle United under Alan Pardew, the Magpies’ sacking of Hughton in the 2010-11 season seemed rather careless and abrupt at the time because of how the 53-year old had swept in and brought the Toon back up at the first attempt after relegation. His work with a financially troubled Birmingham City squad (a 4th place finish in the Championship) earned him another shot.
"He was a man of football who represented the best values of his profession. He was a fighter who leaves a large gap in this world." - Vicente del Bosque, head coach of the Spanish men’s football team, on Manuel "Manolo" Preciado, who died of a heart attack one day after agreeing to coach the recently relegated Villarreal.
Preciado was most identified with Sporting Gijon until he was sacked earlier this year, and Sid Lowe wrote a column before the firing that expressed all the lousy luck that life delivered to Preciado — yet he kept coaching. The second paragraph is the best:
He ditched medicine to be a player, only to be ditched by one club because he led a strike. His solidarity was symbolic. And if they didn’t like Manolo Preciado then, they love him now: few men have connected so well with players and fans. Media, too. Loud, earthy, and likeable, Preciado is Sporting Gijón. He smokes 40 a day and opened the local cider festival. He grew the greatest moustache known to mankind and every time he opens his mouth, the floor vibrates. His words are almost as coarse as his voice, joders and mothers that gave birth to us littering his speech. “We’ve got balls the size of General Espartero’s horse,” he said. That was some pair and Preciado has some pair. He is a survivor. “I asked Rafa Nadal and he taught me how to save a match ball,” he announced this time last year. “I’m like El Cid: they had hammered the lid shut and buried me, but here I am.”
The managerial dominoes keep falling in the Premier League, and it makes me feel bad for both Swansea City and Norwich City now, as it looks like the Canaries’ Paul Lambert has walked out on the club to be Aston Villa’s new manager.
Villa owner Randy Lerner has wanted to tighten the belts financially, and Lambert is able to field competitive, tactically flexible squads on sound spending. Seems like a good fit despite the crap Villa trotted out last season under Alex McLeish.