Premier League half time report 5/5 (4)

Premier League is half way thru and it’s time to draw some conclusions from what we saw up to now.
There’s still time to correct and improve till the end but 19 games are more than enough to evaluate team’s values and predict final results.

Premier League leaders

Results usually don’t lie and if the Reds are looking down at everybody else it’s because they deserve so.
However, I’ll go a bit against the public opinion and declare my surprise! Big surprise!

Premier_league

Listing thru roster at Klopp’s disposal my astonishment increases! Even more drastically when you consider Liverpool’s domestic invincibility.
Because at international level it’s something different, particularly away from home but let’s focus on the Premier League.

Liverpool’s squad has 26 players registered for this campaign. Beside Salah, up to a point Van Dijk and Alisson there isn’t any other member that would walk into competing teams. At least not holding regular starting berth!
And even Mo isn’t scoring as he did in previous season!

Premier League

That’s the reason for my amusement! All are valuable members and have quality however beside the mentioned trio nobody else would be a candidate for world’s top 5 in respective position.

Some of them not even top 5 in Premier League!

Summer signings

Taking a look at the summer purchases doesn’t make your heart sing!
A couple of reliable holding midfielders. A flamboyant attacker that failed in every big club he’s been at.

And a goalkeeper. Excellent and expensive but ultimately a goalie!

And that’s it! Nothing more!

Surely not the staff to recover 25 points and 33 goals deficit to Manchester City shown at the end of last season!

So, how do they do it? How did they manage to stay undefeated in supposedly the toughest and most competitive league in the world?

As already established not much has changed since last campaign, therefore, there aren’t any rabbits pulled out of the hat on regular basis.

Klopp effect?

Jurgen Klopp has been in Beatles city for over 3 years now and considering everything now is picking up the fruits of his work. Or so it seems.
His men are still to taste the bitterness of losing a league game, defence looks rock solid with only 7 goals conceded and the attack is scoring at will. Is it possible that it’s all due to him?

Premier League

His tactics, for all the praise gegenpressing gets, isn’t anything new.
Lot’s of managers apply the same approach. It was something new in the 1990s when Sacchi had his AC Milan team press high, but not now.

Going down the exclusion procedure it must be his man-management skills!

One excellent, two very good and a bunch of goods players playing known style of football and arriving at the turn of the league undefeated. It has to be the manager!

His unorthodox way of behavior on the bench, frank communication with the press and emotional reaction to any situation make him a stand-out performer.
I say performer because for me it depicts him better than the word coach, manager or any other available to describe his job.

Previous achievements

He’s known for losing cup finals, both with Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool, however, he won a national league in Germany. Twice in a row!
And the league is even more balanced! Besides has a club prescribed to win the title some 80% of the times in the last couple of decades or so.
Therefore, he has a winning mentality to match his border-line theatrics and results to support that!

Anyway, I just can’t see Liverpool winning the title!

With crucial Champions League matches coming on February, domestic cup competition reaching its climax and increasing pressure on the team to finally bring home Premier League golden medal it all might crumble.

Klopp has a past of faltering in decisive moments and the club has a tendency to self-sabotage (yes, I’m referring to Gerard’s famous slip) when it matters.

Premier League

You might argue that Ranieri and Leicester City had an even worse reputation when the Foxes won the title. However, that was a season when all giants had a transition year.

This time beside Manchester City there’s also Tottenham close enough to push the Reds till the end.

Whatever has been done up to now will matter only statistically if the famed trophy won’t parade around Anfield. And I can’t see that happening.

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Mourinho news; bye-bye 5/5 (4)

Mourinho is no longer Manchester United manager! The news has been awaited for long and finally it’s been shared.

Unless you’ve been out of this world the last few days you heard that Jose Mourinho has been relieved of his managerial duties at Manchester United. Self-proclaimed Special One lasted 2 and a half years at the helm but eventually everybody’s satisfied it’s over. Probably even himself!

Mourinho legacy

Mourinho smartly chose to take over after other managers got United fans used to disappointments.

The club had qualified for Europa League and played such boring football that even his teams would be ashamed of.

Mourinho

Shortly, he could hardly do worse then his predecessors!

In his first year he, as it turned out, rightfully targeted international success as his ticket to Europe’s prime competition, Champions League!

On the way he managed to take home additional 2 cups and by doing so made a flying start; 3 trophies and qualification to the most important competition. Job done and everybody’s cheering!

Everything was presented to be fine even if Premier league top was so far away United couldn’t see it with a binocular.

Second year demonstrated all the Portuguese’s appointment shortcomings. No attacking, sexy football. Or at least watchable! Consequently no trophies. Only reached target was Champions League qualification

Champions League second round exit against Sevilla was a warning which had to be taken seriously. But Mourinho, as usually, talked his way out of it and his tram continued with modest performances and likewise results.

He’ll always point out the trophies he’s won in his career and won’t acknowledge that times have changed and he also needs to.

Mourinho

His tricks just don’t bring important triumphs any more.

Team status

The team has its weak points which are need to be fixed but also heavily underused strengths. Quality is there, especially in the attacking area, that needs to be put in conditions to flourish.

Mourinho stubbornly insisted with negative football which isn’t suited neither to club and his history, neither to the roller-coaster at his disposal.

United’s future

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over. Club legend and scorer of one of the most important goals in club’s illustrious past.

Solskjaer

Managerial experience is missing, particularly at top level, but available group of players need somebody to let them play and not worry to much that a wrong pass will hurt manager’s feelings.

Perhaps people upstairs are trying to find inspiration in recent fortunes seen at Real Madrid and partially at Chelsea with Di Matteo’s appointment.

At this moment it’s fair to say that probably anybody would be better than the Portuguese!

Mourinho’s future

Even a conflicting character as him still has some elite suitors left in European football. Real Madrid president is keen to bring him back even if that would be an unpopular move with Blancos demanding crowd. And also with some of squad’s key figures.

Anyway it’s general knowing that Perez doesn’t listen too much and does things his way.

Mourinho

Other possible destination is Inter Milan. In Lombardi he has a divine status and virtually could return whenever he wants.

Both clubs are going thru rough patches and season could turn out non-satisfactory which usually means managerial change.

Portuguese football federation would let him in charge even part-time and without any limits. Past approaches weren’t successful but this time Mourinho could be the one to offer his services. And probably would be accepted.

There are numerous possibilities outside Europe for Mourinho but he’s a type of person that needs to be in the center of things and hardly will agree to ridiculous sums of money to settle for “big fish in a small pond” situation.

Eventually Mourinho’s adventure in Manchester ended in familiar and expected fashion. Some silverware at the beginning, little eye-catching football, a lot of controversy and public laundry washing, criticizing everything and everybody around him and inevitable sacking.

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