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!]

Everyone’s a little Oranje with Envy by groundsman
June 9, 2008, 5:30 pm
Filed under: BBC, ESPN, Euro2008, football, France, Holland, Italy, Manchester United, Romania, Spain, World Cup 2006

A cracker of a performance from the Holland team tonight in their match against Italy.   I was being forced to do some actual work during the match, but even I could recognize the level of play was a welcome change from the uninspired dirge that was the France-Romania match earlier today.  

Over on BBC, I’m guessing the dour men in black (the punditry team) were contractually obligated to compare France to an even more disappointing version of England- though um, I’m sure everyone at home was thinking, “At least they made it that far. ”

So we’re through group C now- have your picks for the winner changed?  I’m still supporting Spain throughout the tournament, but like everyone else- I figured World Cup winner and runner up, Italy and France, would at least make a strong showing.    

Next Up: Spain v. Russia and Sweden v. Greece.  I’m betting on a nice win for the 2004 Euro champs, and a scrappy and speedy match between Spain and Russia. 

Grounds Clippings:

-I’m not going to write about the drama surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo, how much money he’ll make, how furious his current employers must be, and the tactics used to woo him, because I don’t care.  I really don’t.  However, you might- so here’s the latest on that kerfuffle.

Tommy Smyth on ESPN’s soccer coverage makes me come out in a rash.  He panders to only the ignorant consumers of the game, is openly biased, and is possibly worse than any of the guys on Sportscenter when it comes to pessimistic, half assed attempts to encourage Americans to  like about the game.  He has an accent, and understands the offside rule, so he’s set with this gig for life- and I guess he doesn’t feel like he needs to try anymore.  I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.

-For those of you who like a little aural coverage of the tournament and a chance to experience some of the international flavour of the tourney- The Guardian is in the midst of their Football Daily podcasts for Euro2008.  It’s brilliant, and there’s even a bit of video (was anyone else shocked about Barry Glendenning?) thrown in for good measure. 

-On a very similar note: I hate BBC’s 606 show, but I think Danny Baker can be hilarious.  Thus, I encourage everyone to listen to the Euro2008 606’s.  The Beeb may have brought back Steve McClaren, but they made a good call with this decision.

-I keep telling people to go and check out The Offside for their Euro2008 coverage.  It’s varied, it’s funny, and it’s frequently updated.  Why aren’t you listening to me? Go!

-Notice the updates slowing down on this site?  I’m just one pretty lady, working to move this blog over to, where I can have polls, and downloads, and all kinds of bells and whistles.  Also, it is warm and sunny out, and having a kickaround at the park with my neighbors is slightly more appealing than designing a new website right now.  Don’t worry, those feelings will fade soon.  Keep an eye on! I’ll let you know when to officially update the bookmarks.

[Photo courtesy Hispaniola]

Jozy’s Goin’ to Spain by groundsman
June 4, 2008, 5:54 pm
Filed under: football, Jozy Altidore, transfer talk, Villarreal

What an opportunity for the young guy!  Here’s to hoping he’ll make a bigger and better splash overseas than many of his American counterparts.

NEW YORK (AP) — Red Bulls striker Jozy Altidore appeared headed for Villarreal, with the Spanish first-division club agreeing to a transfer deal with Major League Soccer for New York’s teenage forward.

Altidore, praised by some as the United States’ best soccer prospect, still must negotiate a contract with Villarreal before he can join the club, the Red Bulls said Wednesday.

No transfer terms were released but a person with knowledge of the deal said it was worth a minimum of just under $10 million, nearly double the amount previously paid for an American when English club Sunderland bought Claudio Reyna for $5.7 million in 2001.

Despite my purely patriotic devotion to Fulham(erica), I have to admit that many of the American players overseas have a lot of trouble going from being a big fish in the small talent pool that is the MLS, to being a minnow amongst players from Europe and South America where footballers are groomed for top level play at an extremely early age. 

Bottom Line: This could a good move for Jozy, and a great step in his professional development.  Also, I now have more of a reason to pay attention to La Liga.

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.

The New Chelsea Manager? …really? by groundsman
June 3, 2008, 2:10 pm
Filed under: AC Milan, Avram Grant, Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea, football, Inter, Jose Mourinho

Well, well, well… 

LONDON (AFP) – Chelsea have agreed a deal with Carlo Ancelotti’s representatives for the AC Milan coach to take charge at Stamford Bridge, according to reports on Tuesday.

The Champions League finalists have stepped up their search for a successor to Avram Grant, who was sacked last month, and Sky Sports News claimed talks with Ancelotti’s advisors reached a swift, successful conclusion.

However, although the Blues apparently have Ancelotti lined up, Milan have yet to agree to release their coach.

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani insisted at the weekend that the club had turned down Chelsea’s request to hold talks with Ancelotti, prompting suggestions that Blackburn manager Mark Hughes, a former Chelsea player, was the new favourite.

Now it appears Ancelotti, who led Milan to the Champions League in 2003 and 2007 and Serie A in 2004, is back in pole position for the Chelsea hotseat.

Is Ancelotti going to do much better with Jose’s old players than Avram did?  I’m fairly certain one Frank Lampard will let down a rope in the dead of night and shimmy down to Inter to be with his old coach, with Ricardo Carvalho hanging on to his coattails. 


Mark Hughes wants to join Shinawatra’s Man City, and feeling’s mutual

See? It can be done! Aston Villa are promoting a charity for their shirt front advertising

Since when did Jose cease to be special?  I think he’s just going to come up with a better superlative.

Just a few days until Euro2008 begins! I’m still looking for a team to support.  Help a girl out with keen suggestions in the comments section, or make your own decision with this very thorough Euro2008 Team Preview.