The worm turns and "supercoach" van Gaal is on the rack
You know that something is amiss at Old Trafford when their greatest media fan, the Daily Mail's Ian Ladyman says that he doesn't think LvG knows what he's doing. The weekend actually started OK for the manager who even United fans have taken to calling Long Ball Louis with a report in the Mail that 81% of United fans thought he was doing a good job. The poll, in the Manchester Evening News actually asked the question "What is more important for van Gaal this season, style or results?" It isn't so surprising that United fans think that results are more important given that style seems to have gone out of the window. United fans are historically extremely supportive of their managers but dropping Rooney to a defensive midfield position and then launching long balls up to Fellaini is testing their patience. It seems incredible that until Saturday's game Rooney hadn't had a single shot on target in the whole of 2015 and that despite United's impressive 65% possession at the Liberty Stadium they could only muster 3 shots on target as opposed to Swansea's 6.
We never actually bought into this idea that LvG was some sort of supercoach. We thought that he got lucky at Ajax when he won the European Cup in 95. He had the equivalent of the Class of 92 in trumps and he inherited them.
Van der Sar, Reizigner, the de Boer brothers, Seedorf, Davids, Litamen, Overmars, Bogarde, Kanu and Kluivert. You’re talking of 11 great young players who all came through at exactly the same time.
At Barca he took Bobby Robson’s side that had won 3 trophies the previous season and made it that little big better and went on to win the league. Robson would have done the same anyway. He went downhill after that and lost the league to Deportivo. That’s like losing the Prem to Villa. On his return to Barca he lasted just 8 months and left them 20 points behind the leaders and 3 points above the relegation zone.
At Bayern he took a team that had finished as runners up the previous season to the title and then came 4th the year after before yet another sacking.
Given United’s upcoming fixtures including Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea, City, Liverpool, Everton, WBA and Palace a CL place looks increasingly unlikely. Could it be that they do the unthinkable and actually finish lower than Moyes’ team? With Pep committing to Bayern for at least another season we’ve already had a crafty punt on Ancelotti taking over in May.
In our league, Oli Ottey actually had a very poor week with just 34 points, a result of two cheap strikers and selecting Yaya as captain. Oli’s line-up is actually very interesting and is either a stroke of genius or a suicide note. Last season’s overall winner, Jay Egersdorff has ominously moved into 3rd place and is now only 55 points short of Oli helped by a 72 this week along with Meridian’s John West.
The top 10 are as follows:
Oli Ottey – Goodman Masson
John West – Meridian
Sachin Ruparelia Partners
Manager of the Week
We haven’t been able to give Jon Pheasant a mention since Gameweek 10 of last season but he’s had a blinder this weekend with 76 points moving him up to 34th place. Jon’s another manager to select Southampton’s Patrick van Aanholt who, at £4.3m seems to be a bit of a bargain. We think Jon was very farsighted to select David Silva because Pellegrini might have been tempted to rest him ahead of the game against Barca on Tuesday. It’s just a shame that Jon didn’t choose him as captain to get a massive 85 points.
Nice to see you back, Jon.
Page 2 Pacesetter
With a massive 73 points in 65th place we find Jon Pheasant’s colleague at Non-Stop Recruitment, Matt Beedle. Matt had a brilliant season last year and ended up coming an overall 6th so the man’s obviously got some pedigree. Matt’s got a couple of unusual choices in Spurs’ Danny Rose and Everton’s Steven Naismith but they got him 19 points between them this week. Unfortunately, Matt made the fatal error of leaving Charlie Austin on the bench because he thought he was injured. 8 points going begging there Matt.
Nice to see you back as well, Matt.
The Best of the Rest
With 64 points in 121st place, we find Mark Naden. Mark’s been inspirational this week, selecting Silva, Rose, Giroud and Hazard as his captain. He’s actually a member of no less than 10 private leagues and despite his poor showing in our league, he’s actually 11th in the Morson league. Those boys over at Morson need to pull their fingers out, we think.
Great week and well done Mark.
Last season it would have been unthinkable that City’s captain would be in the taxi, but he’s struggled all season and hasn’t played at all well since returning from injury evidenced by just one clean sheet and two yellow cards in the last 5 games. City are always better in the run-in but Kompany’s lack of a settled central defensive partner is not helping him and we think that if City do manage to overtake Chelsea it will be in the Kevin Keegan style of scoring more than the opposition.
There are great defensive bargains at West Brom, Southampton and Liverpool, which you could swap Kompany out for and have some change to boost your midfield or attack.
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