Louis van Gaal – Simply Red, but mainly just simple
“I am not a god. I am a simple manager,” was the call from a clearly exasperated Louis van Gaal just after he stepped off the team coach at White Hart Lane on Sunday. As the game unfolded, it turned out that he was right; he is now a simple manager, in more than one sense. Ultimately his Man United team was lucky to escape with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Spurs as the floodgates opened in the second half and the Dutchman seemed unable to conjure a way out of the turgid football that had invited the home team onto his charges. The vibrant, positive spirit with which Tottenham play could hardly be more opposed to the dreary, listless malaise that seems to shroud the United players every time they take to the pitch. This particular contrast clearly wasn’t missed by the journalists in attendance at the post-match press conference. When asked by a reporter whether he regretted choosing Manchester over North London when he had the option back in 2014, he snapped, “It is a little bit pathetic you asked that. It’s easy to ask that but, OK, you enjoy yourself.”http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/36010012
Fair enough – enjoy ourselves, we will.
It may well have been a slightly mischievous question to pose but if you look at van Gaal’s consistently hostile approach to reasonable questions from the press over the last couple of years, I think it’s time to take the piss a bit. Live by the sword and all that, eh Louis?
Now, such a result as Arsenal had at the weekend would normally draw at least a dedicated paragraph for this blog but I don’t think the latest episode requires more than a couple of sentences. All that needs to be said is that Wenger praised aspects of his side’s “resilience” and “spirit”; yes that is the same side that surrendered a 2-0 lead at West Ham.
Moving over to the other side of London, it was probably nigh on impossible to escape Alan Pardew’s grin as Crystal Palace finally registered another league win. The result seemed to change a lot for Pards who immediately reversed his philosophy on the award of penalties. On Norwich’s penalty claims, Pardew commented, “It was a robust challenge from Damien Delaney, to say the least. We had the best referee in the Premier League and he didn’t say it was a penalty so I’ll go with that.” A significant change from the manager who questioned the validity of Liverpool and Watford being awarded penalties against his team because it was apparently too early or late in the game. Apparently the refs can now be trusted to make these decisions.
Finally this week, I’m going to draw your attention to a manager who should be commended for his services to turd polishing, not just this weekend, but throughout his tenure as Everton boss; Roberto Martinez, come on down. This weekend’s 1-1 draw, against a Watford side that has struggled to maintain its focus on the league with an FA Cup semi-final looming, could prove to be the final straw for some Everton fans. According to Martinez, “Another day we would have scored the winning goal.” What day would that be exactly, Roberto? One of the 21 other match days this season on which you have failed to win? Even for the Spaniard, who seemed to be the master of illusion with the media for so long, time seems to have caught up.http://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/apr/09/watford-everton-premier-league-match-report His excuses are becoming ever more limp as the weeks go on and when your team is sitting below West Brom in the table, you need some pretty strong answers. Martinez doesn’t have them, he’s got to go.
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