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Football News: Review Of The Day 16th July 2018

Review Of The Day 16th July 2018
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Review of the Day

 

Transfers

West Ham United have spent a club record £36m + add ons to sign Lazio midfielder Felipe Anderson from Serie A side Lazio. The 25 year old Brazilian is the Hammers 7th signing of the summer so far and smashes the club record spent just a few weeks ago for Issa Diop.

Portugese international defender Jose Fonte's career has been on a fast downwards slope in recent years, after being blocked from moving to Manchester United from Southampton following Portugal's Euro triumph. A poor spell with the Hammers was followed by a move to earn megabucks in China with Dalian Yifang. The 34 year old centre back has been released by manager Bernd Schuster.

 

Southgate Asks Prem To Be Braver With Youngsters

After his masterful handling of England in Russia, beating the mighty Panama and producing a style of play Didier Deschamps would complain was negative and boring, England 'manager' Gareth Southgate is now in a position where he feels able to tell other managers what to do. Southgate said: "We now have players who I think can stand on their own two feet in the Premier League. I think we've got good competition for places and the basis of a really good team, and we've got some young players coming through over the next couple of years that we think can start to push [for places]. It's got to become more difficult to get into the senior squad. Of course, managers need time. I was given an opportunity here to blood younger players in this tournament and they have proved that they could perform at a really good level. Managers at clubs need that time as well - and also, you have got to be brave enough to take those decisions if you think that it's the right thing for the long term. There is no doubt that some players we took who only had a handful of caps before the tournament - I'm thinking particularly of Pickford, Maguire, Trippier as the examples - they come back better players, better, more rounded individuals full of confidence for their clubs. The development in the main happens at clubs, but if it works both ways, that then means the clubs then view it as a positive experience for their players as well."

 

Sampaoli Leaves Argentina Role

Lionel Messi's assistant manager has 'mutually agreed' to terminate his contract after the country's disastrous performances in Russia. An Argentina FA statement read: "Today, the Argentine Football Association and the former national team coach, Jorge Sampaoli, have mutually agreed to the termination of their contract." There has been no word over whether Messi will keep his role as manager.

 

And Finally...

Seems managers are the story today, so here are a few manager anecdotes:

When the legendary Bill Shankly was in charge of Liverpool, he had a team speech to give before his team faced Manchester United. "Alex Stepney," he began, "a flapper of a goalkeeper. Hands like a Teflon frying pan - non stick. Right back, Shay Brennan. Slow on the turn, give him a roasting. Left back is Tony Dunne. Even slower than Brennan. He goes on an overlap at twenty past three and doesn't come back until a quarter to four. Paddy Crerard, now he's a deceptive little ****. Slower than he looks! David Sadler. Wouldn't get a place in our reserves. And finally, John Aston. A chicken, hit him once and you'll never hear from him again." Most of the players were high on confidence, but Emlyn Hughes was not so sure: "That's all very well boss," he said, "but you haven't said anything about George Best, Bobby Charlton or Denis Law." Shankly turned to his captain and replied, "are you trying to tell me that you can't beat a team that's only got three players in it?"

While Shanks was known for his good humour, Roy Keane was more known for his ability to find any excuse not to make a signing. At Sunderland Keane had permission to speak to Robbie Savage about signing him from Blackburn Rovers, so he gave him a call and it went to voicemail: "Hi, it's Robbie - Whazzzzupp!" like the Budweiser advert. He decided that was a reason not to buy him. At Ipswich Town he sent Ross McCormack away after he came in to negotiate a contract, driven in by his missus, as he was banned from driving at the time. McCormack's other half had a small dog in her bag, which was enough to rule him out of playing for Keane.

One of the coaches who managed Messi as a child tells a story about how he tried to get little (or should that be littler?) Messi to head the ball. Messi was a really picky eater as a child but had a weakness for a pudding called alfajores, so he began rewarding the youngster with one for each goal he scored, but realised that Messi was eating too many of them to be healthy. So he changed tack and instead told Messi he would get two of the treats, but only if he scored with his head. So, the very next game, Messi dribbles through the opposition, goes up to the goal, flicks the ball up and heads it in before turning to look at his coach and holding up two fingers.

Harry Redknapp bought a player from Enfield called Carl Richards for £10,000 and went down to the ground to pick him up. Carl popped inside to pick up his stuff and say his goodbyes leaving 'Arry with his mate. "What are you signing him for?" said the mate. "I'm ten times better than him. I've got 26 goals this season, he's only got 12. I'm different class than him. Why don't you sign me?" Redknapp told him he would keep an eye out for him and think about it. Richards turned out to be useless, then, after a few terrible games he asked Redknapp if his mate could have a trial. "Is he is as good as you, Carl?" Redknapp asked him. "No, he's not as good as me, but he's decent," Richards replied. "Well tell him not to f***ing bother then," Redknapp snapped. The following Saturday Bournemouth traveled to face Crystal Palace and Richards mentioned to 'Arry, "my mate, the one who wanted a trial, he's playing for Palace today." Redknapp was delighted to hear that, thinking they would have no trouble with him. "Three goals later I realised Carl wasn't much of a scout either," said Redknapp. "His mate's name? Ian Wright." *just to note Redknapp tells this story but there seems to be little actual truth to it.

Gareth Southgate showed his ruthless side when he took charge of Middlesbrough, his first role in management. He called a big meeting of everyone, even tea ladies, employed by the club and gave a serious speech about how he was the manager now and they were to refer to him as gaffer or boss rather than 'Southy', 'Gaz' or any other nickname that had been used. The atmosphere was really intense and beyond the capacity of the 'Romford Pele' Ray Parlour to bear, so he tried to lighten the mood by saying, "alright then, big nose." Parlour said later: "I'm not sure if it was a coincidence or not but a week later I was driving a removal van back down the M1."

Arsene Wenger may have been a legend, but, according to Ray Parlour, he was convinced to sign Igors Stepanov by the players, who were merely playing a prank on Martin Keown: "Arsène was so clever at identifying great players to come in. But there were one or two gambles that didn't quite come off. In the summer of 2000 a player turned up on trial at our pre-season tour. He was a tall centre-half. Now, Martin Keown was always worried about people coming in to steal his position. If we had a centre-half on trial, Martin would say he was useless. This big guy from Latvia, Igors Stepanovs, turned up. He was a unit, but seriously, he was not up to standard. A few of us were on the bench watching as he played in this trial game. Stepanovs is out there and every single pass he made, the boys started applauding, just because we knew Martin would be getting a bit steamed up by it. Dennis Bergkamp was sitting behind Arsène and kept doling out these compliments about this defender. 'Great header! Unbelievable tackle!' Igors kicked this one ball 20 yards away from where it was meant to go but it still went to one of our players so we all stood up clapping. Martin's muttering: 'He's not that good.' He started to point out where he missed a tackle or a header. That night we went for dinner and laughed about it as we were only trying to wind Martin up. We all knew Igors was nowhere near the standards set by Tony Adams, Martin and Bouldy. But Martin is such an easy target because he bites. Once someone bites it's too tempting. Dennis seldom missed a trick because Martin would kick him every day in training. He always came out with a blinder to explain it to Dennis: 'I'm just getting you ready for what you are going to face in the match.' Martin was a great player, a great character, a great winner. I think we all cared so deeply. When we got back to the training ground at London Colney a week later we had a surprise though. Igors was sitting there. I said: 'What are you doing here?' 'They signed me. Four-year contract.' Incredible. Arsène didn't know we were just trying to tease Martin. He just kept listening to us heaping praise on this player. And if Dennis Bergkamp stands up and says: 'What a player,' Arsène would be entitled to take a bit of notice. I suppose it looked like a bargain at around £1m. No disrespect to anyone from the lower leagues but Igors was a yard behind us on the pitch, it was like taking my brother to training. The next thing we know we've got the biggest injury crisis we've ever had at centre-half. And the only fit centre-half we've got is Igors and who are we playing at the weekend? Man United at Old Trafford. Going into the game our back four looked a bit dicey really. Oleg Luzhny, Gilles Grimandi, Igors and Ashley Cole, who had to go off at half-time. Dwight Yorke ran us ragged. Seriously, it was humiliating. They scored the first goal and we managed to equalise. We thought: 'OK, we'll take that.' And then all of a sudden the goals started pouring in and we were 5-1 down by half-time. There is a massive walk to the tunnel at Old Trafford and you could see Arsène was fuming. He hardly every swore or shouted but he did that day. I remember doing the long walk to the tunnel alongside Dwight Yorke and he asked: 'Where the hell did you get that centre-half from?' 'Look, it's a long story ...'"

Written by Tris Burke July 16 2018 07:13:07

 

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