Pellegrini says they were forced to choose weak team for Chelsea game

Manchester City suffered a devastating 5-1 defeat to Chelsea yesterday at Stamford Bridge and it happened not because Blues were in their best form but for City’s strategy to field a weaker team for the game. It is still not clear why they chose to play with rather young players and whether it has anything to do with the timing they were asked to play the game in since according to City manager they were not happy with a Sunday showdown especially when they needed to play crucial Championship draw with Ukraine in less than 24 hours and Manuel Pellegrini did want to his side to tire down playing a FA Cup game and not to forget City is already missing six players to respective injuries. If we look at the team composition, Manchester side played with, they carried as many as five young players which is possibly the first time they did so in the season.

Talking about the game and how come they lost the game to rather Stamford Bridge underdogs who are out of form this year, Pellegrini said in the post-match news conference, “We are forced to do it. Unfortunately we couldn’t play another day. We couldn’t have more players fit for this game so we knew before the game it was a very difficult chance to continue in the FA Cup. But if anyone didn’t want to put the game in the current day we couldn’t do anything about it. If we play on Saturday it’s better for us and to play for England in the Champions League.

“The second thing is we have six players injured and we don’t have more than 13 players so we cannot take the risk to have another injury in the players we have. And after that we play against a very good team with six young players — that’s why they won.”

Although, Chelsea scored the initial goal but visitors shredded their lead in less than two minutes thanks to 19-year-old Faupala who helped City resist the hosts until half time thereafter. But second half proved lethal for Manchester giant when they conceived four back to back goals taking the score five down to one. Talking about the course of the game and how it went against them, Pelegrini added, “I feel we made a very good 45 minutes and we equalised the game. After that, in five minutes we threw away the game because we conceded two goals too easily — especially one on the counter-attack and one on a set-piece. Of course, after that they played well and scored more goals.”

Van Gaal recalls Alex’s unsuccessful start on English soil, bets for his survival as ManU boss

Whenever a new manager joins a side, he is never expected to deliver overnight, in fact, there have been cases when new boss took months to settle down in the new climate but if we talk about English premiere league expectations are quite high over here and every time a new boss lands onto the top post, fans want him to deliver right from the next day and when he fails, his countdown starts rolling back. This is something that is seen every year happening with almost every league side who fails to sustain a respectable board ranking and Manchester United is one of them. Although, Van Gaal, who joined Old Trafford last year, is the one who is having firsthand experience of what English soccer is all about. Unlike his previous assignments on European turf, Dutchman is finding no way to rescue his image after persisting failures to take Red Devils on the top of leaderboard. The biggest problem former Real Madrid boss is facing on his first English assignment is his innovative field spread by placing key players on unorthodox positions and then not able to convince fans about his strategies.

Talking about the hanging sword on his neck and if he is going to be replaced soon after current setback, he replied to the reporters, “Remember the first years of Fergie. You’ve spoken with Ed Woodward? Why they have to deny? I don’t interfere neither. So why the club has to deny that, when you are creating stories? Okay. So you didn’t speak to Ed Woodward, not with the Glazers and you are inventing a story. And then I have to answer this question. I don’t answer this question. And I shall repeat myself every week. Now I have to say that you are getting the sack tomorrow. What is your name? Then I can announce your name also. Look at your wife, maybe you have children or a nephew or something. Okay, write what you want to write. Maybe you remember also the first years of Fergie.”

Amid all the rumors, it would be interesting to see if he could persuade his bosses and buy more time to deliver, while on the other hand, reports suggest former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is all set to take on the pressing job. Let’s us wait to see if Van Gaal lasts his current spell or it is Mourinho who is asked to capitalize his long Premier League experience!

Mourinho has the backing of whole team: Asmir Begovic

Jose Mourinho seems to have been riding high on sympathy these days after his sacking rumors are flashed by the leading sports dailies. Even though, fans are standing behind him but according to close club sources, he is given two more games to prove he can revive Blues board ranking by the end of this year else he will be asked to leave the side. If we look at the social support in favor of highly demotivated Portuguese, there is a positive vibe everywhere which is forcing club owners to wait and watch the developments especially after hearing the pleasing chants to keep him with the side. Blues recent loss to Stoke by 1-0 could have been the last affair for the former Everton boss had fans not raised the slogans in his support despite being just three points above of relegation zone. Apart from team performance, Mourinho is fighting to deal with his tolerance and has already been booked for abusive remarks over referees on two occasions this season including one stadium ban and if he does not take care while delivering public statements, he could land in more trouble. Interestingly, club did not send anyone for media brief in his absence which happens to be the second time in last three games that there was no one from management to answer media questions in post-match new conference.

Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic reiterated team support for their captain notwithstanding what is being flashed in the media. He said, “Jose Mourinho did the prematch talk at the hotel and that was it. (Any action) is out of our control. We are behind the manager you can see that from our performances. We think he is the right man and someone we work hard for. His spirit and his presence is always there, we wanted to get a result for him.”

Stoke manager Mark Hughes also believes more time should be given to the underperforming boss who has been a terrific performer last year, he said, “We have all been in that situation, you just have to keep winning so the focus goes elsewhere. I have had similar situations and sometimes you go under. Jose Mourinho has enormous credit at Chelsea, he has delivered trophies and surely people should cut him a little bit of slack.

“I see no reason why they should make a change but there is always focus in the Premier League.”

Give Rooney freedom and some time: Meulensteen

Manchester United FC

If you are a star player with lots of expectations from your manager, fans, and whole world you obviously come under performance pressure and if you fail to deliver, your confidence deteriorates to a new low and this is something that seems to be happening with Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney who has recently been struggling to recollect his form. Though, none of his bosses are showing any dislike over his lack of score yet it is easy to guess how things would have been going on behind the curtains. To overcome this pressure, even Rooney is doing his best by ignoring media rumors about his form. However, according to former club coach Rene Meulensteen, he should be given more time to heal his confidence and collect his form back which is a necessity for anyone facing the same problem. But English soccer is way too different than other parts of the world where you can enjoy freedom to deliver your best, here in central Europe; you need to deliver earlier than your competitor if you want to secure your place in the side.

Rooney could only secure two goals in last fifteen premier league games which is a shocking record for someone who is going to celebrate his twelve years long association with the Red Devils. His performance is affecting whole team badly and United had to leave its top board space within days staying on the top. Meulensteen said talking about the United show and how they are being impaired with skipper shoddy form, he said, “You can’t throw it all at Wayne himself, it’s a combination of a few things. Wayne is an adventurous player who likes to have freedom on the pitch, to roam around and get involved and find his own way to get into the game.

“I think at the moment he’s a little more restricted, he doesn’t always get the ball when he wants it and where he wants it. Manchester United are going through a transformation from the style Sir Alex Ferguson liked to play. He wanted to play with a lot of creativity, a lot of freedom and, at times, risk, but now under Louis van Gaal it’s much more calculated. It’s more about working your way up the pitch, it’s more laboured and more pedestrian.”

Defending Rooney, he added, “Wayne’s stats in the derby may have looked poor, but a lot of players’ stats also looked poor. But I do feel that he is not totally himself when I see him play at the moment.”

Mourinho refuses asking his future assurance again and again


Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is not a kind of mentor who easily digests failures and that is why when he has failed completely to defend Chelsea’s league title, he is finding no place to hide hence exhausting his frustration with his outspoken behavior. Knowingly, he has already been sanctioned for confronting with referees two times this season and now when media is highlighting the story of his sacking, Portuguese seems to be losing his temper again. Recently, when his sacking news first broke into the media, Blues owners issued their support for the second term serving boss, though did not clearly said they will continue with the former Everton boss and Mourinho took it as their promise to keep him on the top club post. Again, taking about his future and if he will be heading the side after Roman Abramovich clarification, 52-year-old expresses his happiness and satisfaction over boss’ encouragement and refuses asking for it once more. This is actually not the first time a manger is heading for sacking but since it is Mourinho who has already experienced this phase of professional career, even media is carefully publishing stories that go against him.

Talking about his morale at this stage when North Londoners have lost seven of last fifteen games, former Real Madrid boss said, “My general situation is fantastic. I have a day off tomorrow, I have a fantastic family, I can sleep well every night. And Thursday is one more day like I have in the last 15 years of my life. If I have to blame someone it is the ones who tell the manager ‘I don’t want to take it’ and run away.” While adding about the meat he still has in the team and their morale that seems to have gone down off late, he said, “(We have) a lot of quality, a lot of attacking quality, a lot of attacking football and emotional control. Everything was good apart from the penalty shootout. I think in the first half it should be 3-0 or 4-0.

“Honestly, you think the players are not with me and didn’t give everything to win the game? That is really sad; not sad for me but sad for the players. That is a lack of respect to the players, not to me. For me it would be a fantastic situation if the players are against me, I can say we don’t have results because the players are against me.

“I think what some people write and say is really bad for the players and because most of the people that does that, they were players. Maybe they think my players are like them when they were players.”