Saturday, April 18, 2009

Notable managers in the English Premier League

Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United): Considered by many to be the best, however his primary flaw as a manager showed again this year with the expensive purchase of Berbatov. Ferguson has a history of expensive purchases of great players who either do not fit into his tactical schemes or upset team balance. Perhaps next year, with the eventual resolution of the Tevez affair, the Berbatov situation will be resolved. But, Tevez would normally be a better fit for United and has gotten far less playing time than Berbatov.

Rafael Benitez (Liverpool): A tactical master, whose major flaw has been player development. Liverpool has the team depth to sustain a long campaign and yet has played as if it were a much smaller team.

Arsene Wenger (Arsenal): Derided for dumping all of his established players for younger and inexperienced replacements, and strenuously hampered by injury problems, Wenger has fashioned one of the most formidable teams in the English League, several months too late. Wenger is smart, exceptionally shrewd on the transfer market. His flaw is that he does not exert enough discipline on his players. Look for Arsenal to be formidable indeed next season.

David Moyes (Everton): Impressive indeed. A manager who consistently looks to the future and builds for it. Tactically he may be too much of a traditionalist, since their best period of the season was when all of their strikers were injured -- forcing him to adopt a novel attacking strategy. When his strikers returned, Moyes switched to a more traditional attacking model and Everton's fortunes slumped.

Gianfranco Zola (West Ham): His first season at West Ham has succeeded beyond anyone's expectations. Too soon to see what his flaws are, since most of his problems are out of his control.

Martin O'Neill (Aston Villa): A seriously over-rated manager at a club that is desperate for success. Aston Villa's major problem has been lack of depth -- a problem exacerbated by O'Neill's reluctance to rotate players and develop reserves. Given that he pissed away Aston Villa's UEFA cup campaign in order to secure a top four finish and failed miserably to stay in the top four this is a seriously disappointing year for Aston Villa, given the amount of money they spent on the transfer market over the summer.

Roy Hodgson (Fulham): Hodgson has been rebuilding a club that still plays inconsistently and which only last year barely escaped relegation. Hodgson is consistently underrated.

Harry Redknapp (Tottenham Hotspur): I cannot take Redknapp seriously. He left Portsmouth a shambles. Nine-tenths of his success at Tottenham this season has been the departure of Juande Ramos. While smart enough to recognize how good Modric is, why the hell isn't Pavlyuchenko playing more often?

Terry Polis (Stoke City): Stoke City have been playing consistently all season and have had a comfortable year in the Premier League. Next year will determine if they will suffer from second season syndrome, or will be able to build a long term campaign towards glory in the premier league.

Phil Brown (Hull City): If Hull stay up it will be only due to a run of good form at the very beginning of the season. I expect them to go down next year.

Gianfranco to turn West Ham into a monster?

If anyone can do it, it will be Gianfranco, who has proved himself as a manager with vision.

However, his ability to succeed will depend more on the backroom than the field, with West Ham in serious financial difficulty.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ancelloti to Chelsea?

This looks like a done deal.
An agreement has now been reached with the AC Milan coach, who is understood to have finally made a commitment to leave the San Siro and join Chelsea on a three-year contract.

As part of the negotiations the Italian has been promised the funds to land four high-profile players. The significant spending spree will, also, reaffirm owner Roman Abramovich's commitment after another season of upheaval.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sir Clement Freud dies

Obviously the man was well-loved, but this paragraph had me laughing:
In 1978 he was in China with the more junior MP, Winston Churchill, the grandson of the former prime minister. When Churchill was given the best room in a hotel because of his family, Freud said it was the first time in his life that he had been "out-grandfathered".

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Follow-up to yesterday's post about lung cancer and smoking, if the government was really serious about reducing cancer risk in smokers, it would subsidize nicotine patches (or gum) and push for them to replace cigarettes as a drug delivery system.

The future of the military

Gates is taking advantage of the piracy situation in Somalia (hug your mother, everyone) to change the future direction of the US military. This is another step in a push that started with the budget unveiling to radically alter the future of the United States as a global power.

Right now, it is looking like Obama knew exactly what he was doing when he asked Gates to stay on as Secretary of Defense.

A tough call?

"It must have been a tough call for Rush, deciding what he loves more: guns or CEOs. But I guess we now have our answer."

No More Onion Bags

The Guardian notes the coming end of Tommy Smyth's role as a commentator on Champions League games.

The NMOB blog is great, btw.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I enjoy the football commentary-slash-news at SBI, but many of the commenters are ignoramuses. Every time I make the mistake of reading a thread, I consider removing SBI from my links list. Grrr.

No surprise

Smoking marijuana may increase lung cancer risk. That is, people who smoked both marijuana and cigarettes had a higher risk than those who just smoked cigarettes.

Inhaling smoke is bad for your lungs -- both because of the particulates (pollution) and because of the chemicals.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Departures looks like it will be quite good. To be released May 29th in the US.

Sleep Dealer looks like a next-generation Blade Runner. Looking forward to it as well.