Tag Archives: city

Off Hops David, who’ll be next of ‘kin’? : 3 most likely Bradford Managers

Following David Hopkin’s resignation from his managerial position Bradford City, The Bantams must search for their third head coach of the season – and they must do so quickly.  

With only 12 games remaining Bradford find themselves second from bottom in Sky Bet League One, three points off Shrewsbury and Oxford who sit in 19th and 20th respectively. City’s goal difference of -17 would arguably make them four points from escaping the relegation zone as the teams above them have a significantly better goal difference. It won’t be easy, whoever they sign, for it is unlikely that those above them will fail to pick up an extra few points before the end of the season too.

Hopkins is the second Bradford boss this season, following the sacking of Michael Collins in September, however Hopkins left at his own accord believing he could not do more than he has to keep the side up. The 48-year-old impressively won four out of five league games in December, earning him the Manager of the Month Award however this was not enough to prevent the recent events, with Saturdays 3-2 defeat at fellow strugglers Walsall, seemed to be the final straw for the Scotsman after only 175 days in the job.

So who are the potential candidates to take Bradford through the remainder of the season?

  1. Simon Grayson

For as long as he is out of a job, Simon Grayson will always be on the Bradford City shortlist. The Yorkshire man has had an illustrious managerial career where he has earned promotion with all but one of the clubs he has bossed. The club he failed to have success with were Sunderland, but sympathy has been given to any manager who worked at The Stadium of Light due to the crisis the club was going through during the last three years where they experienced consecutive relegations. Grayson has openly said that due to the situation behind the scenes ‘no one could have done better’ and he claims he would have saved them if given more time. This provides two reasons why Grayson could accept an offer; firstly that he is brave enough to join a club on the fall and try to steady the ship, but it also gives him the opportunity to follow through on his word that he could hack a relegation battle. Grayson does already have a history at Valley Parade, having played very briefly in 2002. More recently though, Bradford were the last team he managed, taking over from Stuart McCall at a similar time to now in 2018 but left at the end of his short term contract three months later, despite being offered an extended deal. This proves that the owners liked his impact on the club and see a potential in his assets. The only question is would Simon Grayson want be up for the challenge?

2. Hannes Wolf

The former Stuttgart manager is another name that has been hot on the lips of those related to the football club over the past year or so. At one point before Grayson was put in temporary charge in February 2018, Wolf was odds on favourite to succeed Stuart McCall, with the club then in sixth place. At 36, the German has much to offer and already has success under his belt in his homeland. Wolf brought smiles quickly back to the faces of humiliated fans as his Stuttgart side immediately returned to the Germany’s top flight in 2017 by winning the 2.Bundesliga after relegated for the first time in 41 years the season before under a number of his predecessors. Hannes was out of work having parted company with the club after a rocky start in the first division, but was appointed as head coach of Hamburg in October where they sit top of the 2.Bundesliga. Wolf has a great opportunity to win a second promotion in his career and the fact that he is only three months into his job makes it harder to see him at Bradford this season at least. However, he has been highly linked with the job on several occasions due to City’s owner’s connection with Stuttgart and so he will no doubt be on their speed dial! 

This could be seen as a risk for a young manager though, given the position Bradford find themselves in the league and so staying at Hamburg would be the easier option. However, even if Wolf does not come into question with the owners right now, don’t rule him out once the season is up. 

3.Martin Drury

With only 12 games left, a new manager coming into a squad he is not used to and has had no time to gel with could be fatal for Bradford City’s survival hopes. Therefore if there is a chance someone with some insight could take the reigns, even just for the time being, it could be what saves a Bradford side that are expected to do so much more. Martin Drury would be ideal in this scenario because he has been assistant manager at the club since the start of the season. Furthermore, Drury had a very brief stint managing Bradford Park Avenue meaning in recent years he has never been too far from the team. This previous managerial role doesn’t count for nothing either. Drury will have his own methods from his own albeit brief experience, alongside what he will have learnt as Michael Collin’s and David Hopkin’s second man. Drury will also already have a relationship with the players and will be the first man that will see what the previous managers were doing wrong behind the scenes. Therefore, a caretaker role seems a given for the 32-year-old and even if it is a big step in his early career in management, any kind of resurgence from the squad could land him a more long term job. The appointment of Drury also gives the owners a nice and simple way out of jail if they want to find themselves a more experienced manager, as they will then have until the summer to appoint someone full time if they believe Drury is not the man to take them further. This also links with another contender as their previous main target  Hannes Wolf may be more likely to consider his options in the summer when his first season with Hamburg has concluded. Remember, the German seems quite good at getting an underperforming side promoted to where they belong.

Other candidates include the likes of Gary Bowyer, Paul Hurst and Ian Holloway however betting company’s have put the odds pretty high for the likes of these appointments suggesting that at this stage it is anyone’s guess as to who will become Bradford’s boss in order to get them out of the bottom four.

How to solve a problem like Fernandinho? 3 possible replacements

The clock is ticking at Manchester City, not on their time as a trophy-collecting force but on their time to replace maybe the most important cog in the city machine, Fernandinho

The Brazilian Dynamo, now 33, won’t have too many seasons left at the top level and the race is on to find a successor to the defensive midfielder’s throne, City will sincerely miss what he brings to the team and a replacement search is underway.

The Premier League champions seemingly have a world-class alternative in every position apart from the defensive midfield slot occupied by Fernandinho. His part in breaking up plays and starting lightning quick attacks can’t be underestimated and is sorely missed when he is absent from the side. Manager Pep Guardiola has used Fabian Delph and even John Stones in the position to limited success.

So who could City turn to? We look at 3 possible replacements for the Brazilian

  1. Ruben Neves

The most heavily linked player and with good reason, his displays in the Championship last season were very impressive and it’s thought that City assessed Neves in the summer but was maybe hesitant to pull the trigger and needed to see how he fared in the Premier League this season. Well, his season so far wouldn’t dissuade Pep from thinking he could fit into his incredible side, his passing from midfield and also his ability to read the game and break up play is kin to Fernandinho. Neves is also not shy to shoot from outside the box to devastating effect thus adding another facet to City’s already formidable attack. The Portuguese has experience of the Premier League and also the Champions League in his time with Porto, at 21 he has time to adapt to the role if needed. Neves’ signature will no doubt come with a hefty price tag but Manchester City’s power in the transfer market should be able to make any deal happen.

2. Tanguy Ndombele

The French midfielder 22, has caught the eye of every top club in Europe with dazzling displays in Ligue 1 and the Champions League with Lyon, the latter of which saw him come face to face with Manchester City in the group stage where Guardiola had a front row seat to see a possible replacement for the defensive midfield position.

Over the two ties Ndombele was a powerful force in the Lyon midfield, handling his role excellently against the Premier League juggernauts, he moved out of midfield with power and pace, set up chances and was named man of the match by Sky Sports in the 2-2 second fixture. City has been rumoured to have made contact with the French club about a possible move but will need to fight cross-city rivals Manchester United and Italian champions Juventus for the Frenchman’s signature.

3. Douglas Luiz/Ante Palaversa

Could the heir to Fernandinho be closer to home? 2 young talents on loan at Girona and Hadjuk Split respectively have been highly rated by Guardiola and with the Spaniard’s skill at player development, it could save City a lot of money and time if they could fill the role.

Douglas Luiz 20, joined City from Brazilian Giants Vasco Da Gama last season for £10.8m and was a part of Citys pre-season squad before being sent out on loan to Girona in La Liga due to not being able to gain a work permit Much to Guardiola’s displeasure

The manager from Brazil [Tite] and myself know more than the guys who decide he is not able to play. I am so sad and disappointed for Douglas because he could help us, play with us. He has shown many good things in training sessions and the reason why we spent a lot of money to buy him [£10.7m] is because he is a player with a huge capacity to play for us.

Luiz has put in some great displays for Girona, most notably against Real Madrid, his attributes include his physicality and great technical ability along with his reading of the game which makes Douglas a good fit. Should Luiz obtain a work permit Guardiola could give the young Brazilian the chance he will be looking for.

Also in the City ranks is 18-year-old Croatian Ante Palaversa, signed on deadline day in January for £4.3m from Hadjuk Split, the youngster came through the ranks from the youth team at Hadjuk, and is also a Croatian u19 player and captain. At 6″1, size is on his side, he can play in the defensive midfield position and also further forward making him versatile. Ante also has an eye for goal and is strong in the tackle giving the Croatian familiar qualities needed to play the Fernandinho role. Upon being signed in January Palaversa was immediately loaned straight back to Hadjuk Split for the remainder of this season and all of the 2019/20 season so he may be one for the future.

Whoever Manchester City decide to succeed Fernandinho, they have very big shoes to fill, but with Guardiola’s coaching ability and City’s track record in transfers it’s likely they will make the right decision.

Wayne Edge

 

 

MANCHESTER UNITED VS LIVERPOOL – STILL THE BIGGEST RIVALRY IN ENGLISH FOOTBALL ?

A rivalry between two of the brightest stars in the English football galaxy, separated by a mere 30 miles. A rivalry of the ideologies, economics, cultures and pretty much everything that separates the two cities. A rivalry where careers are made and destroyed. It is in fact more than a rivalry, ablood feud with high octane intensity.
Yes this is Manchester United vs Liverpool, where history is written by the day, only to be eclipsed by the night. On Sunday, United and Liverpool renew hostilities as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s red – hot team host Jurgen Klopp’s charges.

But is it still the biggest rivalry in English football ?

Liverpool dominated English football during the 1970s and 1980s , claiming the league title eleven times and the European cup on four occasions during that period. Manchester United , however, dominated the 1990s and 2000s ,winning the Premier league title record 13 times, two Champions leagues, including the prestigious treble in 1999.

When United won a record – breaking 19th league title, their legendary Manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s famous comment provides more perspective to this debate.


“My greatest challenge was is not what’s happening at the moment, my greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their f**king perch. And you can print that”

But with Liverpool still ahead in terms of European glory ,the fight for the much –glorified position atop the perch has never been moreintense.

This Rivalry has seen a lot form the players involved as well.
From Steven Gerrard  Kissing the camera, to former United Striker Wayne Rooney describing how he grew up abhorring the Reds, and Gary Neville’s passionate celebration in front of the Liverpool supporters , this Rivalry has seen it all in recent past.
But the most recent episode of this ferocious rivalry happened when former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was alleged to have racially abused ex- Man Utd defender Patrice Evra in the 2011-12 season. As a consequence, Suarez was banned foreight matches.
And following his return , Suarez had to play United at Old Trafford and the Uruguayan refused to shake Evra’s hand before the match. United won the match much to the delight of Evra and the fans, and as expected Evra celebrated infront of the supporters and made Suarez feel it.

Supporters and Hooliganism :


The two clubs might be the most supported in the world, but matches between them have seen several incidences of hooliganism.
An unidentified Liverpool fan spat at Man Utd legend Eric Cantona and threw a punch at former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson at the 1996 FA Cup final at Wembley as the Red devils walked to collect the trophy.
In 2016, in a second leg Europa league match at Old Trafford , there were crowd disturbances at the stadium – Liverpool supporters ripped seats and fought with United Fans.It was later reported that a Reds fan sneaked a Liverpool banner into the United section causing fury among United Fans.

As the next chapter of this Historical rivalry is about to be written on Sunday, what do we expect ? Goals? Red Cards? Stalemates ?
And is it still worthy to be mentioned as the biggest rivalry of English football ?