Champions League title, or failure – Guardiola under pressure

February 2, 2016

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“Pep Guardiola has won the Bundesliga twice and the DFB-Pokal once. From Bayern’s point of view, it possible to think of the Bundesliga and the Pokal as useless. If you win the Bundesliga eight times in ten years, you would not be celebrating either. We all know what ambitions Pep Guardiola had when he came to Bayern. He wanted to infect Bayern with his football ideas, building his second Barcelona. Did he succeed? Partially, yes!” Bundesliga Fanatic

Pep Guardiola must realise Manchester City’s dream of joining the European elite
“For Manchester City, it feels as though the announcement that Pep Guardiola will take charge in the summer is the culmination of a four-year process. From the moment Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano arrived as director of football and chief executive respectively, their aim was to appoint the man with whom they had achieved such success at Barcelona.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

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Money League – Oh! You Pretty Things

February 2, 2016

“A couple of weeks ago Deloitte published the 19th edition of their annual Football Money League, which ranks leading clubs by revenue, this time for the 2014/15 season. On the face of it, little has changed compared to the previous year, as Real Madrid once again top the table for the 11th year in a row with annual revenue of €577 million (£439 million), and there are no new entrants in the top 10. However, there has been some movement with Barcelona (€561 million) overtaking both Manchester United (€520 million) and Bayern Munich (€474 million) to reclaim second place, as they became only the third club to break the €500 million revenue barrier.” The Swiss Ramble


The roots of Russian football racism – Part Two

February 2, 2016

“Slurping – the sound that suck calves make when you’re weaning them, or pigs at the trough, or Russians drinking hot tea. It isn’t racism from me, they don’t want to let the tea cool, or be ‘civilized’ and add milk. I was on a platzkart train from Voronezh to Moscow and my neighbours were all having breakfast and slurping tea. I’d fallen asleep just before midnight cheesed off. In the four bunk kupe next to mine a group of relatively well-heeled men and women in their mid-20’s were drinking tea and talking politics. They were liberal and very anti-Putin. Any other time I’d have an interest in their conversation, though when they kept commenting about a family from Tajikistan in the next kupe, I spoke out.” backpagefootball


Gary Neville: A Brit abroad in Valencia

February 2, 2016

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“It is fair to assume that a few eyebrows were raised when England coach Gary Neville was appointed Valencia manager until the end of the season. Yet there are many links that helped the joint Salford City owner and former Manchester United right-back seal his position. His brother, Phil, had been working as Assistant Manager for the Spanish giants since the summer and fellow Salford City owner, billionaire Peter Lim, also has a stake in Los Che. Gary Neville certainly knows his football.” Outside of the Boot


Tactical Analysis: Barcelona 2-1 Atletico Madrid | Red cards ruin epic tactical battle

February 2, 2016

“Barcelona took on Atletico Madrid at the Nou Camp in arguably one of the most important matches in La Liga this season. Heading into the match tied on points, both teams were looking to strengthen their title credentials.” Outside of the Boot


The Old School manager’s memoirs

February 2, 2016

“The era of the ‘celebrity gaffer’ is upon us. Mourinho out, Guardiola leaving, Simeone interested, Klopp on Merseyside, and football critics and fans following their every gesture. There’s a reason those four have won, or in Klopp’s case been minutes away from, the top prizes on the continent in the last ten years: they galvanise their players, create a winning mentality and attract the best talent to work under them.” Football Pink