Football Managers – Never Go Back

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They say in football that a manager or indeed even a player should never go back to an old club where they once had success as the only way it will end….is in disaster and a tarnishing of legacy. Let us look at some of the reasons why this is the case, and examples of the managers who really should never have went back!

Kevin Keegan – Newcastle

Who can forget the first run of Kevin Keegan at Newcastle! Returning to the club where he was an idol on the playing pitch, Keegan carried on his legacy, guiding Newcastle to the Premier League for the first time. Once there, he unleashed a brand of attacking, high risk and high pace football. They were known as the entertainers and beloved by many. Neutrals were urging them on to take the title when in 1996 they held a 12 point lead in the table. It was a glorious period that saw Newcastle even make the Champions League the stats were great and can be found on this website . But the return in 2008 wasn’t so great! Newcastle were in decline heavily, the St James faithful called on King Kev to restore faith, but disagreement with the boards, a stagnant transfer policy and a club that has changed from the club he knew….meant it all ended in tears.

Kenny Dalglish – Liverpool

Liverpool were indeed the team of the 1980s and during the second half of that decade it was King Kenny on the throne. He majestically guided Liverpool to a League and Cup double in his first season, 2 more titles were added and he confidently knew he had the best team in the land had his hands. After a successful and iconic playing career with the club, his status grew even more. But Liverpool suffered in the 1990s and 2000s. Not winning a Premier League title, looking like a faded giant. With a huge fanfare Kenny returned to save the day in 2011 but it all ended in a damp squid when 8th place was the best he could achieve!

Jose Mourinho – Chelsea

When his career is all said and done, I assume the Special One will have returned to other of his former clubs, given that his appointment usually means initial success. He worked his magic at Stamford Bridge, placing the team into a dominant run and winning back to back Premier League titles by some distance. Easily the best side in England, The Special One was untouchable. However, tensions with the owner led to a departure at the start of a 4th season. But the story was resumed in 2013 after Jose had won titles with both Inter Milan and Real Madrid.  He won the league again but this time the story was less of a happy ending as those tensions came back, he walked out and is now booed every time he returns to the Bridge.

So three very good examples to any current managers who have achieved success…..never go back as more often than not, it ends in tears

Europa League Main contenders

It is not just about the Champions’ league when it comes to Europe, with the Europa league having also now reached the knockout stages. Much anticipation is already building ahead of the next round of fixtures taking place later this month. So here we cover the five sides most likely to be battling it out for the title.

Source: https://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/025a-0e9f7aaa6274-354c80d3e326-1000–europa-league-round-of-32-ties-meet-your-opponents/?referrer=%2fuefaeuropaleague%2fnews%2fnewsid%3d2635721

Sevilla

Spanish side Sevilla are the general favourites for the title and proving popular with punters using the offers available at match-bonus-code.co.uk. This will come as no surprise when you look at their incredible history in the competition. They are five time winners, that includes them winning three in succession between 2013 and 2016. Sevilla are also battling it out near the top of the Spanish top flight and will be hopeful of securing a Champions league spot for next season. They have been drawn against CFR Cluj in the next round of fixtures and will be the very strong favourites to progress through.

Manchester United

Another of the sides at the top of the market are Premier league outfit Manchester United. They have an incredible European pedigree with three Champions league titles in their history. United have also won the Europa league back in 2017. They appear to have a tough task on their hands if they are to finish in the top four domestically, so this will be seen as a great opportunity to qualify for the Champions league next season. They have drawn Club Bruges in the next round and will also be expected to progress through.

Inter Milan

They were surprisingly knocked out of the Champions league, so are now without a doubt one of the key sides to beat in this competition. They continue to battle it out at the top of the Serie A table, so it will be interested to see how much importance they put into this competition now. Inter Milan are also three time winners of this competition and three time winners of the Champions’ league. They have been drawn against Ludogorets in the next round of fixtures.

Ajax

The Dutch side are another team to have surprisingly been knocked out of the Champions league. They are flying domestically, so will also be expected to challenge in this competition. Ajax won the Europe league back in 1992 and are also four time winners of the now Champions league. They have been drawn against Getafe in the next round and will also be strong favourites to progress through.

Arsenal

The final side to make the select list are last season’s defeated finalists Arsenal. This competition will also be of much importance to them if they wish to play in the Champions league next season, as they appear unlikely to finish in the top four domestically. Arsenal are usually very dangerous in this competition, so must enter calculations. They have been drawn against Olympiacos in the next round and will be expected to progress through.

Liverpool FC – Record Breaking Season

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Always the butt of the long running joke…”Next Year is our year”….the long title drought at Anfield seems all but over.  After spending a number of season crafting a team worthy of Champions League glory, Jurgen Klopp has finally mastered the Premier League, and done so with a bang. Liverpool’s brand of football is not only scintillating to watch and virtually unplayable as opposition, but along the way they have smashed record after record to get to where they are, the cusp of Premier League glory. Lets take a look at some of the key stats that have helped to establish this season (that not even the most biased Liverpool fan could imagine…even in their wildest dreams!)…

  • Firstly, to get a serious title bid underway this season, you had to agree, that Liverpool would need a good start. And by did they do that! 61 points in the first 21 games eclipsed the previous record set by Manchester City. With rivals dropping points left right and centre, the 61 points was the set up for pure domination of the league!
  • Being unbeaten in 38 games is also a fact that still stands out amongst all. In the modern Premier League, one of the attractions and reasons that the league is so popular across the continent, is that it has a level of unpredictability meaning anyone on any given day can beat anyone else! Not in this case….38 games, or a full season of games, without a loss is unmatched in Premier League history, placing this current Liverpool team as perhaps one of the best ever!
  • Those first 21 games also produced a record that again, staggers belief….for a team that play such open attacking football they have conceded only 14 goals with 6 clean sheets. This is perhaps why Virgil Van Dijk is considered to be such a key figure in the side. Without the solid defence, the 38 games unbeaten certainly wouldn’t have happened!
  • Liverpool are on target for well over 100 points, the current record set by Manchester City in 2017-2018. Surely if that happens, there can be no argument about the Premier League finest?
  • Are Liverpool the new invincible? Arsenal went 47 games without loss….would you bet against Liverpool of 2019-2020 breaking this? I certainly wouldn’t! And who will eventually end it?
  • Liverpool are also on course to break Manchesters record of 16 away wins in a given season! If they go anywhere near that total of 16 then it wont be long before the 100 point barrier is broken!
  • The record for most wins in a season is 32….Liverpool are well on track to achieve this! Barring a major slip up, 32 wins should be well within the grasp!

What other records may they break? Most goals? Longest time at the top? Largest points gap between 1st and 2nd? Whatever happens the Jurgen Klopp revolution at Anfield will set some records that may take a very very long time indeed. 2019-2020 will go down as a season to remember!