In a Premier League season where far too many teams have under-performed, the managerial merry-go-round has well and truly begun, and for many clubs – it is a very welcome ride.
As well as gaffers being offloaded, there are a substantial amount of managers available to hop on, with a variety of coaches losing their jobs throughout Europe. The Premier League is hoping to lure some of these managers into England, to try and revamp some of the disappointments of the season.
Newcastle are set to axe the best coach in the league, John Carver, whilst West Ham have decided to not renew Sam Allardyce’s contract. Likewise, Dick Advocaat has left the Stadium of Light after saving them from relegation. More interestingly, Brendan Rodgers’ future is in some sort of doubt at Anfield following a hugely disappointing season with Liverpool.
Following Alan Pardew’s departure at the very beginning of the year, it seemed the best move for both parties. After leading the Toon Army to a very impressive run streak towards the end of 2014, relegation looked simply out of the question.
Cue John Carver, who seemed to set out to prove any fans who suspected they were safe wrong. Eight successive Premier League defeats meant for the Magpies to free-fall down the division, hence leaving it to the final day of the season to decide their fate. However, de did manage to see off West Ham and secure their place in next seasons Premier League.
The Geordie looks very likely to lose his job, with Mike Ashley declaring his ambitions for the future. If those ambitions are for relegation scraps and Championship football – then Carver is the man.
The bookies favourite is ex-Derby manager, Steve McClaren, having left the club following their failure to achieve a play-off spot. Perhaps McClaren deserves a shot at the top tier of English football, and he certainly has waited for his chance since leaving Middlesbrough 9 years ago.
Also amongst the front runners are Arsenal legend Patrick Viera, who reports say will hold talks with Newcastle chiefs this week, ex-Swansea manager Michael Laudrup, Real Sociedad manager David Moyes and Champions League winning manager with Chelsea, Roberto Di Matteo.
I think any of the list above would be an adequate solution to take the club forward, and as long as Mike Ashley doesn’t take the cheap option (again) and go with Carver, it could be exciting times for the club.
Following a successful four year spell in East London, Sam Allardyce’s contract was not renewed at the end of this season. He took the helm at Upton Park when the club had just been relegated in 2011, and led them to a straight return to the big time.
Since, West Ham have stabilised, and under Allardyce’s leadership, have sustained three successive mid table finishes in the Premier League. This season, West Ham were fourth on Christmas Day following a superb first half to the season. Like Newcastle, however, the second half to the campaign was not so impressive – slumbering to twelfth in the league.
It seems to be the best decision for both the club and Allardyce, with the ex-Bolton gaffer admitting this himself. With the Hammers also managing to get into Europe via the Fair Play League, a new system at West Ham maybe required, but it will have to be sorted out soon with their season kicking-off a long time before the average Premier League start date.
Ex West Ham defender and Besiktas manager Slaven Bilic seems to be the clear bookies favourite, and has been for a long while. Also in the list are Marseille manager Marcelo Bielsa, David Moyes, Steve McClaren, Ajax manager Frank de Boer and Sevilla manager Unai Emery.
Nevertheless, the owners David Sullivan and David Gold both keep hope that they can lure Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp to the Boelyn Ground, with this seeming very unlikely.
Ex-Rangers manager Dick Advocaat took over from Gus Poyet in March 2014, and led the club to safety. However, with the Dutchman at the not-so tender age of 68, him and the club came to the decision that he was not the right man to steer the ship for the long-term future.
It seems to be the time that Sunderland establish themselves as a consistent Premier League team. In the last few seasons, it is hard to disagree with the notion that the Mackems have had too many relegation fights and replacement managers.
The bookies favourite to take reigns in the North-East looks to be Burnley manager Sean Dyche, following his teams relegation. Sam Allardyce from West Ham has also been thrown about along with ex-Real Madrid coach, Paul Clement, although he looks set to take charge at Derby replacing Steve McClaren.
McClaren himself could be an option for Sunderland, if he doesn’t go to heavy rivals Newcastle and Patrick Viera could also be appointed at the Stadium of Light.
Dyche would be a fantastic appointment for Sunderland. It always looked a difficult challenge for the Burnely man to beat relegation at Turf Moor, given the lack of funds provided. However, his work certainly didn’t go unnoticed, and an appointment at Sunderland would be the right move for him, giving himself a chance to stabilise a club and take them to the next level.
After falling just short of the title last year, many expected Liverpool to at least regain their Champions League status this season.
However, what happened couldn’t be as far from the expectations set. Sixth is where they finished, with their summer signings flopping hugely, and not living up to the hype by any stretch of the imagination. Owner John William Henry may wish to shake things up, and replace Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp seems to be the firm favourite, should Rodgers depart Merseyside. The German has stated that Liverpool and Manchester United are the only English sides he would consider joining after leaving Dortmund, the club he had been with for seven years, leading them to a Champions League final. He said that he would have to change the transfer policy at Anfield should he join, so a move might not be so certain.
Other possibilities are ex-Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, Frank de Boer or a return to Merseyside for ex-Napoli manager Rafa Benitez.
Jack Wilshere’s injury shows why Arsenal shouldn’t renew his contract
The 26-year-old has been struck down by yet another injury.
Jack Wilshere will be pleased with the progress that he has made since returning to Arsenal from his loan spell at Bournemouth.
He was initially nothing more than a squad player that was out in the cold at international level too, but the midfielder worked hard to gain more game-time in North London.
Across all competitions, he has played more than 30 matches and his form earned him a call-up to the England squad.
It looked like he was getting a once-promising career back on track, but almost like clockwork, he has suffered an injury to set him back once again.
Gareth Southgate confirmed that he wouldn’t be travelling to the Netherlands for Friday’s match and the quotes were reported by Sky Sports.
“It is not a specific injury and over time they flare up and they need to settle down over a couple of days.
“We are hopeful it will settle down pretty quickly. It’s an ongoing problem and it’s not something new for him. He’s very disappointed not to be involved in the game.
“He’s trained well though but if you think about the journey he’s had in the last two years and his big injuries then he’s progressing really well.”
Although it is encouraging that it isn’t a serious injury, it is a reminder that Jack Wilshere remains a risk for both club and country.
It is difficult to build a team around a player that is susceptible to miss matches and the quote from Southgate is a worry as he refers to an ongoing problem.
Arsenal have had a difficult campaign and they will be planning a rebuild over the next 48 months as they transition away from the Arsene Wenger era.
They will have to make tough decisions on many players at the club and Wilshere’s future will be brought into focus over the next few weeks as his contract expires at the end of the season.
There have been numerous reports regarding contract talks between the two parties and there is hesitancy on both sides.
This latest injury suffered by Wilshere and the comments from Southgate referring to an ongoing problem show why it is Arsenal who need to end this association.
Wilshere can’t be relied on to stay fit and to feature prominently in a busy schedule. Arsenal will have ambitions of challenging at the very top of the game and will likely be involved in European competition every season. They need to have a squad of players that are reliable and the 26-year-old isn’t that.
Aside from that, Wilshere represents what Arsenal have become over the last decade. He is a player that had a lot of potential, but he has failed to fulfil it and been very inconsistent at the highest level. Of course, he isn’t to blame for the club’s problems, but he is also unlikely to offer the solutions.
This season has been a nice farewell campaign for him. It would have been sad if his Gunners’ career had ended after being shipped out on loan to Bournemouth.
He has returned to earn some of his credibility back, but the club need to move on and progress if they are to get back to the top of the English game.
A lot of contentious decisions will need to be made and the first should be the release of Jack Wilshere this summer.
Why Jose Mourinho’s treatment of Luke Shaw has crossed the line
The Portuguese manager has been highly critical of Luke Shaw this season.
The fractious relationship between Jose Mourinho and Luke Shaw plumbed new depths when the left-back was substituted at half-time in Manchester United’s FA Cup victory over Brighton & Hove Albion. The 22-year-old had been handed a rare opportunity to impress at Old Trafford but lasted only 45 minutes.
Speaking about Shaw in his post-match interview, Mourinho said: “Luke, in the first half, every time they came in his corridor, the cross came in and a dangerous situation was coming. I was not happy with his performance.”
The differences between the pair now appear to be irreconcilable. Shaw, who was signed by Louis van Gaal in the summer of 2014, has been used sparingly by Mourinho. The former Southampton starlet has made just 18 Premier League appearances under the Portuguese in a career that has been blighted by injuries.
Being substituted at half-time is almost as embarrassing as it gets for a player and Shaw’s mood will not have improved after being publicly criticised by his manager. It’s certainly not the first time Mourinho has chosen to talk candidly to the media about his concerns with the 22-year-old.
Some players require an arm around the shoulder to perform at their peak, while for others it takes a kick up the backside. Mourinho, opting for the latter, does nothing without reason and has clearly tried to spark a reaction from Shaw, without success.
From being one of English football’s brightest prospects after making his World Cup debut aged just 18, Shaw, who has seven England caps to his name, is in danger of not fulfilling the potential that convinced United to spend what was then a world-record fee for a teenager.
Mourinho’s tactic of singling out individuals who have not met his standards is in stark contrast to Sir Alex Ferguson, who never blamed his players in public. It has divided opinion among pundits, with Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier claiming the United manager is ‘destroying’ Shaw.
Mourinho is an expert at using smokescreens to distract from his side’s unconvincing performances. And this latest controversy has moved the narrative on from United’s shock Champions League exit at the hands of Sevilla.
Tough love is one thing, but the sustained, public attack on Shaw is unacceptable. If Mourinho genuinely believes he is not good enough to represent United, then fair enough. But to continually vilify the youngster’s performances is a step too far and one that could irreparably damage Shaw’s confidence.
This is not to say that Shaw is a completely innocent bystander. Mourinho’s predecessor, Louis van Gaal, also questioned his desire and general conditioning when he joined United four years ago. Indeed, the Dutchman signed Shaw up to a tailored exercise regime in an effort to improve his fitness.
But while van Gaal’s treatment had the desired effect, Mourinho’s has done the opposite. Being publicly humiliated on a routine basis does neither party any favours.
In all likelihood, Shaw’s disappointing United career will come to an end this summer. A fresh start away from the toxicity under Mourinho is exactly what he needs.
Keanan Bennetts has perfect opportunity to impress Mauricio Pochettino this week
The left-sided star has a chance to impress in first-team training during the international break.
With the international week in full flow, plenty of teams in the Premier League have seen their squads diminished by call-ups to national teams.
Tottenham Hotspur are one such side. Nonetheless, with most of the first-team squad away with their respective nations, work continues at Hotspur Way.
In order for Spurs to have a full complement in training, plenty of young talent needs to be pulled in to the ranks.
Mauricio Pochettino will, therefore,e get a chance to see some of his young players training with regular first-team players such as Fernando Llorente, Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura.
One player who will be training with the first-team this week is talented wide-man Keanan Bennetts, according to London Live.
The 19-year-old left-winger has been catching the eye for the club’s youth team in recent weeks, making the news after scoring a fantastic goal for the under-19s against Monaco in the UEFA Youth League last month.
Bennetts has also been attracting interest for his positional dexterity. The wide-man has played at left-back in recent times and it could be that is his future best position.
This week he will be up against some excellent players such as Lamela and Moura, who did not receive selection to the Argentina and Brazil national teams, respectively.
If he can prove himself with this calibre of player, Pochettino will have to take notice.
It is coming to a point in his Tottenham career when Bennetts has to make such an impact. The teenager is out of contract at Spurs in the summer and needs to ensure he is kept on for at least one more season.
Tottenham fans who follow the youth teams are certain he is deserving of such a chance. If he can show Pochettino what he is capable of this week, then a new deal will surely be in the pipeline for the talented wide-man.
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