After spanking Man Utd, Arsenal start again. So do Chelsea

From Rajesh Manikoth : tale of two managers

Hey Myles,

Wonderful game against Manchester United.

You said swarming, I say swimming – like the heady Highbury days of Pires – Henry – Bergkamp – Freddie.

Here is something I posted at my new place:

Reproducing the entire text below:

The success and failures of Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho could not be more different. As their personal feud rumbles on, they ironically face heightened high levels of scrutiny from all quarters at the same time and rightly so.With financial support not being a problem any more, Wenger’s ability to fashion a league winning side is continually challenged. The criticism is increasingly from within the fan base, while the outside world watches the indulgent ways of an ‘eccentric’ manager.

Mourinho on the other hand has a different sort of a problem today — the ‘serial’ winner who has had the worst start to a league in his career.

While everyone focuses on the problems with the squad at hand, it is evident that it is Mourinho’s self-admitted obsession with himself and winning that is catching up eventually.

Mourinho’s obvious weakness has been his inability to build a sustainable side — bringing depth to the squad through players on a budget, rotating the squad and grooming young talent. That is where Mourinho has routinely been found out, but couched through a recognised performance metric of winning trophies and his ability to move to the next ‘big’ club.

There are only that many ‘big’ clubs and he has come a full circle with Chelsea. His desperation to hold onto the job came through pretty clearly in his scripted post-match ramble with Geoff Shreeves after the Southampton game.There is much for the two managers to learn from each other but their individualities prevent them to do so.

Can either of them turn the tide?

Frankly couldn’t be arsed about Mourinho; except that he never recovers from this current slide.

It gets tricky when I try and formulate my expectations of Wenger. I have tended to break down my expectations of any sporting event through three distinct questions:
1. what I hope for,
2. what I think will happen, and therefore,
3. what I think should happen.

I do hope Wenger proves all his critics wrong and scores a league win.

I don’t think it will be done, unless there is some sort of sustained miraculous awakening from within the players, as Theo alluded to yesterday after the game. We heard the same after the solid 0–2 win at Manchester City last season — but the resilience eventually came undone at some point.

What I really think Wenger needs is disruption from the ‘eat, sleep, finish 4th’ rhythm, as someone said, that he has settled into. A step in that direction would be not to qualify for the Champions League knockout round and struggle through Thursday nights.

No doubt the Wenger — Mourinho feud will continue long into the season as the Premier League circus picks up steam, and we will all be here feeling alive and venting our emotions.

Myles says:

Through August, I felt quite detached from the Premier League.

Before going on holiday, I wasn’t bothered about the causes of Chelsea’s meltdown, just thinking about swimming in the Adriatic and scoffing cherry strudels.

While we were there I heard that Manchester United had hammered Liverpool 3-0.
That didn’t surprise me because I knew Rodgers was living on borrowed time.

Right now, I might need a week to get back into it.

October to May is a long time and Euro 2016 follows.


I reckon the Premier League needs new personalities on the field. But there aren’t any.

However, Jurgen Klopp’s arrival is welcome.

Can’t wait to see his starting X1 at Tottenham. Very keen to see which eleven he picks, who he takes off at the Lane, who he puts on from the bench.

Those eleven names will tell me more than anything Klopp’s said in his entertaining press conferences

Being a Slaven Bilic fan, I love seeing West Ham doing well.
Slav knows a player and was sure Payet would make a huge difference to any team.

2015-16 is still an untold story with some new actors in the mix, like Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace.

We know what Arsenal and Man City are likely to do but we don’t know what Palace and West Ham and Southampton will do. Football is very unpredictable and that is why I don’t gamble a lot.

If I was a less impulsive blogger, I’d just make observations here, rather than predictions.