Now watch Manchester City and Pep take control

IT’S a strange and often confusing football world we live in, one in which Manchester United, the dominant force in English football from 1992 through to 2013, are now considered comparative underdogs. United have surprised everyone with their recovery after some early-season dramas, such as their home defeats against Palace and Spurs.  The calls for […]

Lampard and Guardiola are not immune to criticism or even the sack

HOW do you sack managers like Pep Guardiola, or replace parts of the furniture like Frank Lampard? There’s an assumption that clubs will not fire people who are football luminaries or club “legends”. But it would be wrong to believe Lampard and Guardiola are untouchable, at best they will be left in a room and […]

Manchester City v Lyon: Does Pep’s brick wall need therapy?

THE GUARD continues to change. No Messi, no CR7 and now, Pep Guardiola has to step aside. It’s France v Germany in the semi-finals, the league that was supposed to be lagging the other “big five” has two representatives. Admittedly one is the heavily bankrolled Paris Saint-Germain, but Lyon were not meant to be present […]

Manchester City, FFP and CAS – time to move on

MANCHESTER CITY’s two-year ban from the UEFA Champions League might have been overturned, but the critics won’t let the saga close without further snipes. Managers at other clubs, league officials and media commentators have all suggested the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was foolhardy. José Mourinho said it was a “disgraceful […]

Di Matteo and Barton showed the unsung hero can also take football’s top stage

THE THREE men who have managed a European Cup/Champions League winner on three occasions are well known to all: Bob Paisley, Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane. Unsurprisingly, most of Europe’s biggest names have won the competition and some equally notable managers have not – Bill Shankly, Don Revie, Arséne Wenger and Franz Beckenbauer, for example, […]

Manchester City remind Real that time flies when you’ve had fun

SERGIO RAMOS, one of the figureheads of the modern Real Madrid, will sit out the second leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie with Manchester City. At 33, you never know if it will be the last Champions League campaign for the “Svengali of white-shirted bastardism”, to quote a leading UK journalist […]