Chelsea FC – The Runners & Riders to be Roman’s New Man

In this edition we look at the contenders to be the next manager through the seemingly revolving door at Stamford Bridge.

This however is all based on the assumption the Guus Hiddink does not, as expected remain in the post beyond this summer.

There is still a possibility for Hiddink to repeat the success of 2009 and deliver the FA Cup but this will not convince him or the board to extend the current agreement.

Antonio Conte

Currently in charge of the Italian National team and leading his country into Euro 2016

Conte only signed a short 2 year contract with the Azzurri and is free to leave as soon as Italy’s tournament is over.

Guided Juventus back to the top of Serie A and won 3 successive titles, laid the groundwork for current team before his resignation.

Available and no compensation to be paid.

Chances of being appointed  8/10

Antonio-Conte.jpg

Diego Simeone

The hot tempered Argentine would certainly bring personality to England should he choose to leave Atletico. This may all depend on impending transfer embargo’s and how far Spain’s big two strengthen their position in the coming months.

Would he be excited for further touchline battles with Guardiola and Jose? We say he’d thrive on it.

Although he currently doesn’t speak English and very loved where he is.

Chances of being appointed  7/10

Manuael Pellegrini  

The outgoing City manager has handled himself with superb dignity in the few weeks since his current club decided to publicly announce he is being replaced. Certainly a different style and grace than Mourinho.

A chance of 3 trophies still up for grabs before he leaves, but the blue side of Manchester are generally far from convincing.

Won’t be short of offers but is he the man for the Bridge? No way.

Chances of being appointed  3/10

Massimiliano Allegri

The 2nd Italian on the shortlist. Allegri has continued Conte’s fine work and taken Juve to the next level. The Champions League runners up of 2015 have just held Guardiola’s mighty Munich to a draw in the 1st leg of this year’s last 16 tie.

Putting together a team containing Pogba, Khedira, Dybala and Morata is something that the Premier League can only dream of at this moment in time.

2 x Serie A titles and 3 Italian cups with 2 different sides shows he has what it takes.

Ultimately though…Would he leave Turin at this moment in time? We don’t think so.

Chances of being appointed 5/10

Jorge Sampaoli

Currently out of work the former Chile manager is fresh from guiding the host nation to the Copa America. A penalty shootout win over Argentina was Vidal, Sanchez & co’s 1st South American title.

Turmoil with the recently elected President of the Football Federation of Chile led to his surprise resignation.

He does have a similar language barrier to Simeone that he would need to overcome.

He’s also perhaps struggle to command the respect that has seen previous bosses lose their position.

Another who is available and commands no compensation

Chances of being appointed 4/10

Diego-Simeone

All things considered we would love to see Allegri come to Chelsea, He could turn the club back into title contenders and clearly has the ability to attract the top players in Europe.

Massimiliano has quietly gone about his business at the Old Lady whilst overseeing his team play with intensity and style.

We don’t think we will get our wish however and fully expect it to be a straight shootout between Conte and Simeone.

Whoever gets the nod, all the best as you will be the trigger happy Billionaire Russian’s number 12.

Antonio Conte Image Sourced from; www.huffingtonpost.com
Manuael Pellegrini and Diego Simeone Image Sourced from; www.metrofmonline.com

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Ticket Prices; The Cost of Being a Fan

This week has seen the much published Liverpool £77 ticket walk out and subsequent retraction by the club’s owners.

Well done Liverpool fans but I fear it won’t be long until we see and hear the same old story.

Fans are no longer fans in the eyes of most clubs… they are customers.

They care not for the generations of families that have arrived season after season, the children of fans that are born to be future fans or for how much it costs the average person to attend the game they love week in week out.

P160206-090-Liverpool_Sunderland-600x400

I have been to grounds all over England and Scotland, seen some of the best / worst teams and paid anything from £10 to £50 for the privilege.

Play this Primary School game of “match them up” and see if you can get the matches and ticket prices correct (answers at the bottom of the page)

All recent games that I have been to

Game Ticket Price
Scotland v England (2014) £20
Man Utd v Sunderland (2015) £30
Man City v Crystal Palace (2016) £50
Stoke v Sheff Wed (2015) £45
Motherwell v Dundee United (2014) £27

The variances and statures of these games isn’t massively varied in terms of importance or indeed location but as you can see the prices are up to £30 apart.

With the global branding and money TV generates, the Premier League clubs do have a certain luxury that most do not, they will have fans arrive from all over the world and pay the prices just to say they have been to The Emirates, Old Trafford etc.

The envy outside of the top tier is obvious and growing with the imminent influx of the “new TV money” from next season. They however do not help themselves:-

Selected Fixtures For 13th Feb

League One – Colchester v Swindon £27

League Two – Morecambe v Oxford £24

National League – Grimsby v Boreham Wood £18

SPL – Hearts v Patrick Thistle £28

These and most other clubs outside the BPL have thousands upon thousands of empty seats each week, why not charge a lower price and attract more fans?

We all love a couple of pints, food, a programme and this is all before travel and in some cases hotel charges.

Football is now a day out that has to be planned and budgeted for in advance and this is extremely saddening.

As much as we all need to be following the lead set by some of the Anfield faithful against Sunderland we know we can’t stay away from our teams and will generally pay for the privilege to go… win, lose or draw.

Hopefully many Chairmen and boards will be pro-actively looking for solutions in the near future.

Football without fans is nothing!

Bayern-Munich-Fans-at-Arsenal-V2

Answers as promised, were you right?

Scotland v England (2014) £50
Man Utd v Sunderland (2015) £45
Man City v Crystal Palace (2016) £30
Stoke v Sheff Wed (2015) £20
Motherwell v Dundee United (2014) £27

Liverpool fans image sourced from; www.thisisanfield.com
Bayern Munich fans image sourced from; ftw.usatoday.com

Live TV Footy – Are we being entertained?

With the cost we are being asked to pay to watch football on TV these days I think it’s fair to say we expect a good level of entertainment for our hard earned £.

Watching the bore fest of Liverpool v Man Utd got me thinking…Just what are we paying to watch?

united-fan-sleeping

For anyone not a nerd like as myself, the players on show were bought by the North West giants for a combined total of £449M!!

They managed 5 shots on target and a passing averages equivalent of a part time side. Yes there will be the odd 3-3 or as the past weekend has shown a rare 5-4 but on the whole do we feel like we have enjoyed those 90+ minutes with the 0-0’s or “tactical” 2-1’s.

Sky and BT Sport are battling between themselves for supremacy. Major meetings take place to discuss who gets what game and at what time it will be played, bear in mind this is catered for the TV audience and not the fans travelling to the games (another story for another day). The 3 main leagues shown by the TV companies mentioned are The Barclays Premier League, La Liga and the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership.

I’m sure if I asked most to name the most “entertaining” the BPL would be the easiest and possibly most argued for answer. So is this correct?

Below is a basic breakdown of games shown, goals scored, shots on target and red cards dished out. I believe the latter 3 are the key to basic entertainment for the neutral TV viewer.

Premier League Total
Games Goals Shots On Target Red Cards
93 238 894 11
Average 2.5 Goals PG 9.6 Shots PG Every 8.4 Games
SPL Total
Games Goals Shots On Target Red Cards
27 80 248 7
Average 2.9 Goals PG 9.1 Shots PG Every 3.8 Games
La Liga Total
Games Goals Shots On Target Red Cards
141 485 1231 44
Average 3.4 Goals PG 8.7 Shots PG Every 3.2 Games
  • The Premier League gives us the lowest goals to game ratio
  • However does provide us with the most attempts on target
  • La Liga loves a red card with one being shown nearly every 3 games
  • The Spanish game provides us with nearly an additional 1 goal per game and before you ask….Barca & Real have featured in only 20% of the games shown
  • The Scottish Premiership performs very well in comparison, despite being considered “poor standard” by most

Sam-Nicholson-Hearts

So I urge football fans to shun the Swansea v Watford’s of this world and cast your eye to Partick Thistle, Eibar, Hearts and Getafe.

You may be pleasantly surprised in the quality you watch, entertainment it provides and potentially learn a bit more about other countries leagues to impress your mates with down the pub.

Happy watching!

Manchester United fans image sourced from; www.talkingbaws.co.uk
Hearts image sourced from; www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football