The Groundsman’s Shed

Luiz Felipe Scolari- A Man in the Pub’s Profile by groundsman
June 12, 2008, 4:40 pm
Filed under: Chelsea, EPL, football, football manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari

Thanks to those of you who commented on the previous entry concerning your thoughts on Big Phil Scolari’s appointment as Chel$ki manager on Wednesday.   Those of you who don’t know much about the international manager may be able to flesh out some sort of a picture of the kind of club manager he’ll be with these quotes from readers, forumers, pundits, proper journos, and players alike. 

Or you’ll just have to wait until August to see how well this latest schooner is going to sail.  ‘Til then, let’s see what folks have to say:

“Terrible appointment. It look like Abramovich is trying to prove conclusivly the adage too many cooks spoil the broth. Too many advisers, hangers on and politicians . The Chief Exec should have been left to get on with the job. I don’t think he will last the whole of one season.”- Paul (Commenter)

“he has never managed european club teams, he hasnt managed a club for 7 years, and he doesnt speak english. but something tells me he is the guy for us. I think he will be brilliant”- Jonathan (Forumer)

“”He’s got a fantastic CV and he’s doing a brilliant job at the moment for Portugal… I think he will be popular. I think the only thing is – and I’m not sure how good his grasp of English is – that he will have to learn the language pretty quickly. But Fabio Capello has done that and I think once Scolari does that he can communicate his thoughts to the Chelsea fans and they will listen to him and love him. He’ll be as controversial as Mourinho.” –Scott Minto (Fmr Chelsea Player)

“If he gets around to punching someone a la Euro qualifiers, I’m down.”-thedameofextratime  (Commenter)

“The fascinating aspect is the methods Scolari will adopt at Chelsea. Roman Abramovich…has taken the remarkable step…of conceding tacitly that he might have been in error. The pragmatism that was apparently odious in Mourinho must be in fashion once more.” –Kevin McCarra (The Guardian)

“I am happy to see that the majority of fans seem to agree with this appointment but of course some will always complain.   Lets get behind the new manager … whether he was your personal choice or not, he is the man now, lets not waste time complaining and give him a chance to prove himself at the club.  I say thank you to Abramovich and Kenyon for getting Scolari.” -Steve (Forumer)
“He’s a pragmatist, with an exceptional ability to simply get things done. Beyond that, he can be abrasive (though he has tried to mellow of late), his personnel choices are sometimes dubious and, sometimes, he gets the big decisions wrong (Portugal did contrive to lose to Greece twice at Euro’ 04). But hey, nobody is perfect.”- Gabriele Marcotti (Sports Illustrated)
Need more?  Of course you do.  Here’s The Telegraph’s A to Z of Phil Scolari

Your Take: Scolari Moves to Chelsea by groundsman
June 11, 2008, 6:53 pm
Filed under: Chelsea, Filipe Scolari, football, football manager, Phil Scolari, Portugal

The current and soon to be former Portugese national team coach, Luiz Filipe Scolari, is going to Stamford Bridge starting July 1st.


Your thoughts?

I’ll post the most coherent responses later tonight.

[Photo: AP/Yahoo!]

More Manager Notes: Sven Goes to Mexico by groundsman

MEXICO, June 3, 2008 (AFP) – Sven Goran Eriksson was named Mexican national coach on Tuesday in place of Hugo Sanchez, announced a member of the selection committee Jorge Vergara.


What a shame, as I am a USA MNT supporter- but I really rather like Sven very much.  Good on him for taking another international role, since you get a nice paycheck and most of the year off.  That said, they take their footie as seriously in Mexico as they do in England, so this should still be another fairly heavy gig.

Meanwhile, back at Shinawatra’s ranch- Blackburn’s Mark Hughes could be at Manchester City by the end of the week if the blues pony up a 5 million pound compensation for the Rovers. 

No, not really. by groundsman
June 3, 2008, 2:40 pm
Filed under: AC Milan, Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea, football, football manager

About 10 minutes after posting this entry, I went to The Guardian’s website and saw this:

“Ancelotti denies Chelsea Link”


…mmhmm.  We’ll see.

“What the hell is Capello doing?” (also titled “Captain Becks is Back”) by groundsman

I knew this would happen.  I said it, you thought about it, and now it has happened.  England manager Fabio Capello is handing the captain’s armband back to David Beckham for Sunday’s match against Trinidad and Tobago.  Now before everyone comes over all outraged about this being a terrible sign or a step back in the wrong direction, we need to take a look at Wednesday’s match against the USA:

I was at that match, and while I did enjoy my time there and the majority of England supporters were incredibly friendly and polite,  the live competition itself was only slightly more interesting than watching on television because of the pathetic abuse shouted at the few hundred USA fans from some younger England supporters.  Seriously, a chant like “your mother is your sister” or “when have you won a world cup?” can and was easily deflected with,

“You think we really hate ya, but you couldn’t beat Croatia- huzzaaaah, England.”

or “Come on Macedonia!” 

Even a simple, “Whatcha doin’ on your summer off?” was enough to make some of the England fans near us go quiet, look upset and then just call the whole lot “gay”.  I was however very proud of the USA fans for refusing to take part in the Mexican wave, because a) it’s stupid b) if the ball is in play, your eyes should be on the field c)neither team had much to cheer about as they both played like shit.

Which brings me back to the original topic: why is Beckham captain again?  The answer: Why the hell not?  It has become painfully obvious that the England team still need his crosses, as they really are the exact same team from 2 years ago.  Yes, Beckham was never particularly mobile, but as his teammates still lack the ability to pass to one another whilst running with the ball at the same time,  that’s not really an issue.  Also, the team was the “Golden Generation” with Beckham and the management of Sven Goran-Eriksson, so why not make Goldenballs lead out the team again?  They’ve already gone back to the old English 4-4-2, and Peter Crouch is getting playing time- the only difference between now and World Cup 2006 is that everyone agrees that Owen Hargreaves is a really good player.

The Bottom Line: Capello is probably just doing this to show that Beckham will be a part of his upcoming World Cup campaign.  Also- he’s demonstrating that he’s willing to do just about anything to make the other players work a bit harder during meaningless friendlies.

Read more from The Guardian here.

Avram Grant: Yet another rich unemployed person by groundsman

So he’s gone, then.

As I’ve said before, I don’t think he has much to be ashamed of- it’s been an incredibly tough time for both himself and the players- but surely he also knew he’d be getting the sack after a trophy-less season.

  So what’s next for Avram?  …do you really care?  I still like the man because I’m a sap who loves an underdog, but to be honest- I’m not bothered.  He is now a very rich, jobless, and pressure-less man.  I say, go to Miami and put up your feet for a bit, Avi. 

I do care quite a bit about what’s next for Chel$ki.  This rather alarming article from the Guardian says Jose Mourinho is being considered again for the position, and club owner Roman Abramovich has been attempting to woo the Special One with the lavish gift of a 2 million dollar Ferrari.  Is there anything that man can’t solve with vast amounts of money?

…no, no there isn’t. 

Nonetheless,  it still appears that former Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard will take over the club, despite murmurs involving the usual names of possibly-soon-to-be unemployed rich people like Sven-Goran Eriksson or Guus Hiddink.

Chelsea fans (and anyone else)- who would you like to manage your club next year?  Did you really despise Grant, or was that all paper talk?  If you did despise him- was it because of Mourinho’s untimely exit, or did you really feel that he was just bad at his job?  How would you feel if Mourinho came back- and do you think Abramovich would be off his case this time around?

Is Real Madrid really that amazing?? by groundsman

Real Madrid have 31 league titles to their name after today, despite some shaky performances.  We don’t really keep up with the Spanish leagues over here in The Shed, but after watching Barca in the Champions League (“pretty pass, pretty pass, pretty pass, d’oh!”), and seeing Villareal play, it does seem as though there isn’t a lot of meat to the top league in Spain.  Those of you who watch that league week in and week out– is Real Madrid really that much better than the rest? 

Grounds Clippings:

David Beckham scored twice in the Galaxy’s 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake on Sunday.  The match report says Beckham’s goals were the only shots on goal in first half for Los Angeles.  Wow.  That team is really, really terrible.  I mean really terrible.  Good Lord.

-Movin’ on Up! West Brom and Stoke are going up to the Premier League!  I had a whole article written about what Stoke would bring to the Premiership, but I haven’t gotten around to editing it.  Fulham is a step closer to staying in the Premiership, while today’s opponents Birmingham City could go down right back down to the Championship if Reading and Fulham both win their matches.

-Will Hersey over at The Observer is shaking his fist in the general direction of these Top Ten Worst Football Managers.  Agree? Disagree? 

You can win a date with Patick Vieira.  Seriously.  If you’re not into a former Arsenal man, you can always have some referee (Anders Frisk).

[AP/Bernat Armangue]