Gary Rowett – A Shocking Sacking!

We all know that in modern football the shelf life of a manager is a short one, a couple of bad results and you’re pleading for your job but when you do a tremendous one, you do not expect to be lining up down the Job Centre.

This is exactly what has happened to Gary Rowett at Birmingham City in the past week.

His services were deemed surplus to requirements on Wednesday and he was immediately replaced with former Chelsea man, Gianfranco Zola.

The news broke shortly after lunchtime and was met with disbelief by most, The Blues are outside of the Championship Play-Off places on goal difference and had just beaten Ipswich 2-1 the previous evening.

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Sadly Rowett’s dismissal is everything that is wrong with the game today. A club financed by foreign money, in this case Chinese backing, has decided that they want to be able to market the club.

They clearly didn’t see the Bromsgrove man as “celebrity enough”, who cares how good he actually is or has been though right!? I mean he is no lovable Italian with 35 international caps is he. Zola, however – has managerial failures on his CV, the former defender has nothing but glowing success.

Birmingham had just been beaten 8-0 by Bournemouth in 2014 when Rowett was appointed to a club 2nd bottom of The Championship, in just over 2 years and having spent just an estimated £4m he has turned them into top half challengers. Let’s remember this season has “big clubs” Newcastle and Villa for the league’s mainstays to contend with.

Rowett’s Record:-

Played – 106

Win’s – 32          Draws – 32          Losses – 32          Win % – 39.6

He leaves the club in a far more stable position in the table whilst attracting the fans that Carson Yeung reign had driven away. The fans are understandably upset by the way in which their new board has behaved but the “supporting your club regardless” mentality will take over and they will get right behind their new man Zola.

There is no doubt that Rowett will be back in the game soon and he appears to have all the right attributes to manage at the highest level, let’s hope his next club treat him with the respect he deserves. It also needs to be said that the 42 year old turned down advances from other clubs whilst in the job at St Andrews, this is where loyalty gets you, terrible.

The FA and LMA should all be stepping in and distancing themselves from assisting Birmingham City in any future endeavours whilst under the current ownership. Fit and proper owners who know, football people…definitely not!

Sorry Birmingham City fans but any football purists now want to see you lose and your new owners to be taught an expensive lesson.

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FIFA FIFPro World11 2016

December has arrived and that can mean only one thing, yep it’s time to crack open those advent calendars!

In other news, it’s also the month where the FIFA shortlist for the “team of the year” is released. In case you missed it, the full list is below:-

GK’s

Claudio Bravo, Gianluigi Buffon, David De Gea, Keylor Navas and Manuel Neur.

DEF’s

David Alaba, Jordi Alba, Serge Aurier, Hector Bellerin, Jerome Boateng, Leonardo Bonnucci, Daniel Carvajal, Giorgio Chellini, Dani Alves, David Luiz, Diego Godin, Mats Hummels, Philipp Lahm, Marcelo, Javier Mascherano, Pepe, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva and Raphael Varane.

MID’s

Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Andres Iniesta, N’Golo Kante, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Mesut Ozil, Dimitri Payet, Paul Pogba, Ivan Rakitic, David Silva, Marco Veratti and Arturo Vidal.

FOR’s

Sergio Aguero, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Antoine Griezmann, Gonzalo Higuain, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi, Thomas Muller, Neymar, Alexis Sanchez, Luis Suarez and Jamie Vardy.

The list virtually appears to have been decided with eyes closed as most would have selected the named 55 players with a few minor tweaks. Our massive congratulations however go to Jamie Vardy, who (we hope doesn’t mind us saying that he) looks quite out of place in this company. His 2015/16 performance fully merits his place.

The FIFPro World11 is decided by the players, for the players. It collates the votes from roughly 25,000 professional players in 75 countries. Each vote contains 1 goalkeeper, 4 defenders, 3 midfielders and 3 forwards.

That’s right, even this award has moved away from footy’s traditional 4-4-2 to reflect the modern-day game, it won’t be long before we have a “holding midfielder” of the year award…you heard it here first!

The final team will be announced in Zurich on 9th January 2017 so we thought we’d cast our votes early and name our best 11:-

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Now obviously this is purely opinion but leaving Lionel Messi out of any selected XI requires some logic and our reasoning is pretty simple. The Argentine superstar is forever receiving accolades but he fell short where it mattered over the last few months, mainly when it came to his country. We chose Gareth Bale in his place thanks to his Champions League win and the superb leadership of Wales in the Euro’s.

One thing is for certain, is that whoever the chosen side is – that they all have been deserving in their own individual right and it’s fair to say that the ultimate combined XI would take some beating!

Image created by using Lineup11 app.