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A nation so rich yet experiences unprecedented poverty,extreme deprivations,infrastructural decay,unimaginable looting culture all deeply accentuated by an unbelievable indifference typified by the ruled populace obviously emanating from cowardice,disunity and hypocrisy are the perfect recipe and prerequisite for a speedy inevitable disintegration.        For over 5decades nothing has worked,the people seem accustomed to d pangs of hunger,sufferings,darkness, and massive unemployment. Despite earning trillions annually, and no visible projects at enhancing the living standards of nigerians the nation is still indebted to over 44 bndollars. An obviously incapable president is steering d ship of the nation to sinking points. Question is,what legacy would we live for our unborn generation? Aren’t we breeding a new syria yemen or libya? Wont it be shameful if we all lament after bloodshed which could have been averted . I forewarn before its too late.

Manchester United – A succession conundrum

Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson (SAF) turned 70 last December and will have been managing Manchester United for 25 ½ years by the end of the current 2011-12 EPL season. The success he has achieved over that period is second to none and he’s now seen has a father figure for the English premier league – after becoming its most successful manager in history. It is no secret that SAF is closer to the end than the beginning of his stewardship at Old Trafford. The debate of who his successor will be has been raging and a plethora of names have been suggested over the years. As the end edges closer, I thought I should add my own opinion to the debate.

 If one considers the astute way – if we ignore the humongous debt – the Glazers have managed Manchester United since their takeover of the club, it is safe to guess in all likelihood that there will be a new manager at Manchester United as early as the 2013-14 season but no later than 2014-15 football season.

 From the names that have been dropped in the hat within the last few years, I think only three are realistic candidates by my estimation. I have selected who these realistic three are and will discuss why I think they have a better than average chance of being SAF’s successor. In selecting these three I considered the following yardstick, yardstick’s necessitated by SAF’s incredible success: 

Proven man-management skill

Proven technical/tactical skill

Proven ability to develop young talent

Strong relative success

Long-term commitment

 In my order of preference, at number:

 3.       Jose Mourinho – Jose is a complete maverick. His success in the last 8years can only be rivalled by Pep Guardiola. He is a true winner, winning titles and cup competitions at every club he’s managed. His work at Porto and Chelsea evidences his man-management skills. His players played for him and were willing to die on the pitch for him. He employs several tactics to get his players psychologically ready for matches, sometimes redirecting the limelight or media focus/backlash to himself to shield his players from criticism or scrutiny, especially when they perform below expected standard. Some argue that he hugs the limelight a little bit too much. This probably holds weight if one considers the different spats he had with media in Italy and the political tangles he got himself to at his current club Real Madrid. Currently he seems to be having his way at Real Madrid but at what expense? Whilst he successfully engaged the media in England – using it to his advantage most times, same cannot be said of his relationship with the media in Italy and Spain. Perhaps the favourable relationship he enjoys with British media will work in his favour were he to succeed SAF, this remains to be seen and can only be cautiously accepted as fact as he spent less than 3 years in England before departing Chelsea.

 His coaching, technical and tactical skill is exemplary as displayed in every team he has managed. He’s not one to baulk at making substitutions or tough calls within the first 10mins of a match if he thinks it will improve his team’s chances of winning. Until he became manager of Real Madrid, his coaching skill was unquestionable but as losing to Barcelona became a norm, doubts began to creep in, with Madristas voicing their dissent severally after recent defeats. Until very recently, Real had never beaten Barcelona in the league since 2008 and their last win at Camp Nou in April 2012 was the first since 2007. Guardiola seemed to always have the better of him and his players. The several defeats to Barcelona remain the only dent to his perceived excellent technical and tactical skills. It remains to be seen how he’ll fare against them in the post Guardiola era. There is no doubt that Jose is technically and tactically equipped to succeed at Old Trafford. He will however need to not employ his effective football tactic too often if he is to get the backing of Stretford End.

 As great a coach Jose has been, his inability to develop and nurture young talent has been a great splotch on his impressive CV. Besides the success he enjoyed at Benfica and Porto, he seems to always rely on ‘buying’ success by splashing out significant sums on big name/established players or on working for chief executives who wouldn’t baulk at splashing the cash. Jose is not known to be one that develops talent. In recent history, the only player he’s had the opportunity to develop into a huge talent is John Mikel Obi. Some argue that he ruined the career of the young Nigerian international and that Obi had the potential to become the “new Patrick Vieira” when he was wrestled by Chelsea away from Old Trafford but that Jose converted a potential never-before-seen box-to-box midfielder into a defensive sideways passer, others argue that au contraire, Mikel has become one of the finest defensive midfielders of his generation – and gave Jose the plaudit for that. The fact that this debate rumbles on suggests that Jose’s ability to nurture and develop young talent remains doubtful. The faithfuls at Old Trafford expect young talent to be nurtured and for great young players to come through the club’s excellent academy, something SAF excelled at during his tenure at Old Trafford. This is clearly a negative in Jose’s possibility of replacing SAF at Old Trafford.

 Conclusion – as great a coach and manager Jose is, he comes with a baggage. Drama and sometimes silly antics seem to follow him everywhere he manages. He always wants to set an “us against the world” siege like mentality up at the club he manages. This I do not believe is suitable for a manager of Manchester United. There’s also question about his ability to commit long-term to any club. Jose as spent a maximum of 3years at every club he’s coached at. It is unlikely that the trend will change at Manchester United. Bu his antecedents, I can predict that Jose will probably spend a maximum of 4years at Old Trafford and will then offer himself to be the next England manager after the expiration of Roy Hodgson’s contract, following which he’ll accept to be his native Portugal’s national manager following the end of his contract with England and then call time on his career. Whilst it is unlikely that we will ever see the type of longevity set by SAF again, Manchester United need a manager that will commit at least the next 10years of his career to the club. Jose, in my opinion based on the above is not the man to succeed SAF.

 2.      David Moyes – David celebrated 10years as manager of Everton FC in 2012. During that time, he enjoyed some success – qualifying Everton for the European Champions league in 2004-05, Uefa Cup in 2007-08 and leading them to the FA Cup final in 2009. Besides SAF and Arsene Wenger, Moyes is the longest serving club manager in the English Premier League. In modern day football, that is a rarity.   

What David achieved at Everton is worthy of praise and emulation considering the tight budget and financial constrain he had to work with. He couldn’t have achieved these successes without being a good coach and a good man-manager – getting the best out of his lean squad. With his team, you always know what to expect. His team work hard and are always well drilled. Sometimes they play great football too. It is unfortunate that Everton under Moyes never won anything has some football pundits believe they should have won something and that Moyes deserves a trophy for his efforts.

 David appears to have a good eye of spotting talent. He has unearthed quite a few during his time at Everton, with the most famous being Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. This ability to spot talent is directly responsible for the success Everton enjoyed under his continued stewardship as he was able to buy relatively better than average players at a real discount – some of whom (Joleon Lescott, Wayne Rooney, Mikel Arteta etc)he sold on for significant profit. This ability to spot talent and nurture them makes him a serious contender as Sir Alex’s replacement.

 Conclusion – On paper, Moyes looks like a shoe-in to replace Sir Alex. He’s proven that he can commit long-term, he’s not fazed by challenges, has some technical skills, a good spotter of talent and that United’s academy will be in good hands were he to become SAF’s successor. However, despite all of his successes at Everton and the above impressive CV, doubts remain about whether he possesses the winning mentality required to win a league or one of the cup competitions. David should have one a cup competition during his time at Everton. He’d had more than enough opportunity to have done that. For reasons unknown, his team always come up short at the crucial period. His teams’ performances have also been volatile. Sometimes they start strong and finish with a wimper or start really bad and finish strong, they always seem to dip in form for no clear reason. SAF on the other hand had displaced the Old Firm’s stranglehold in Scotland thereby proving he can see a winning run through to the end – the strength of his mental resolve was without doubt. This weak mentality at crucial points is what may deny Moyes this opportunity of succeeding SAF. In my opinion, he comes really close at being the only successor but just falls short.

 1.     Josep Guardiola – Pep, as he is mostly referred to has been one of in not the most successful club manager within the last four years as manager of Barcelona FC. Besides being a successful manager, he also had a successful career as a footballer for Barcelona and Spain. Pep is regarded as one of the deep thinkers/philosophers of football. His commitment to the game is completely total. He lets the game consume him – perhaps a bit too much as this contributed to his departure from Barcelona and perhaps the best job in football.

          Pep’s man management skill is irrefutable. It can be clearly seen in the way his players love to play for him. Throughout his time as manager of Barcelona – only arguably once did a spat with one of his players (Zlatan Ibrahimovic) get into the public sphere. For a club of the magnitude of Barcelona, that takes some doing as the team is filled with stars at every position on the pitch. Of course some of these stars owe their stardom to Pep as he exposed them to the world and coached them to be world beaters. The real feather in Pep’s cap is his management of arguably one of the greatest if not the greatest ever footballer – Lionel Messi. Pep’s management of Messi also confirms his technical and tactical ability. This is besides his success at improving the total tiki-taka football played by Barcelona to a level never before seen in the world and perhaps beyond its progenitor Johan Cryuff’s dream. By switching Messi in to the middle as a false nine, Pep unleashed the talent of Messi to the world with very devastating effect.     

         Prior to becoming the coach of FC Barcelona’s senior team in 2008, Pep was the coach of Barcelona B for one year. He won the B league that year using players such as Pedro, Thiago, Dos Santos, Cuenca, Tello, Adriano, Bojan and a plethora of others – he successfully introduced most of these young starts to the senior team. This supports the fact that Pep appreciates young talent, he knows how to work with young talent, and he knows how to nurture young talent. With Pep himself being a product of Barcelona’s world famous La Masia academy, the academy at Manchester United will be in very capable hands were he to become the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson.

          Conclusion – with Pep’s recent announcement of resignation from the Barcelona coaching job effective this summer and then announcing that he was going on a year’s sabbatical from football, it seems the omens are aligned for Pep to take over the mantle as manager of Manchester United. Since I do not believe that a vacancy exists at Old Trafford for at least another two years, Pep can take a full year as sabbatical away from football and use the second year to study the set-up at Old Trafford as well as the likely relationship he can develop with the owners of the historic club. I believe this is a win-win situation for both Pep and Manchester United. Manchester United is already a well set-up club with amazing training facilities, excellent academy, great stadium, great fans and massive history. Pep would find it very easy to settle down at the club as long as he doesn’t mind the weather!!!

 This write-up will be incomplete without mentioning the fact that long-term commitment may be a negative factor in appointing Pep as SAF’s successor. By spending just four years as coach of Barcelona, some will rightfully suggest that Manchester United need someone that can stand the heat and for longer. Pep’s case isn’t helped by the fact that his predecessor would have spent 27years as boss of Old Trafford – longevity that helped cement Manchester United as one of the greatest if not the greatest football club in the world.   

         As I cannot predict how long Pep may stay at Old Trafford were he to accept the job, I think I may just have the solution. The Glazers can ask Pep to pick Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as his assistant. Ole is already proving himself to be a one-to-look-out-for manager in the future by winning the Norwegian league in his first season as manager of Molde FC. Ole always had technical ability. It was this ability that made him a game changer every time he came on as a sub for Manchester United. By appointing Ole has Pep’s assistant, the club can guarantee at least 10years of stable club management should Pep depart Old Trafford after spending similar number of years like he did at Barcelona. It will also make for a smooth transition of managers, something that will be almost unavoidable in appointing SAF’s successor.

          So there you go, Josep Guardiola plus Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to be the new team at the head of Manchester United. I believe this to be the best

Abdullahi Olakunle Mustapha
Aliyu aliyu pls go watch dat game u said rafael was poor again and tell me if jones in his wildest imagination will play like rafael! Aliyu wat did jones do all thru today? He can’t cross, assist nani in d normal one-two between. Our full baks and wingers culd not happen bcos jones can’t dribble a single player. Go chek wen nani passed d ball to him and jones crossed wen he had acres of space to drive in and deliver a low cross. Truth is he can’t. Aliyu why do we extol players like panucci,zambrotta,cafu, alves,leonardo, and co it was obviously for their attackin instincts far more than their primary role as defenders. U remember how we both scream and lose our voices wen carlos would control a 50yards pass wit a toe and shoot from midfield ,what was he? Aliyu gone are d days for mediocres and average players who rely on team play to blend. Aint u tired of english untalented lots? Haba alihon, out european performance have been dismal despite dominatin on d local front simply because we played mediocres. Now city bought deeply talented players and we had no attempt on goal for 90minutes. So pathetic. Players like jones,carik,cleverley aint instinctively talented players like iraola,lorente,and those spanish youngsters dominatin d laliga. Aliyu time is up for mediocres and if fergy don’t leave now or go buy really talented players , then city will begin to dominate and create a new era like any other club who toe their way. We have only dominated bcos we played low quality teams and our european performances have shown we aint world class.from 1998 to 2008, we won d epl title about 6 times but barely got to d ucl final and were just d luckier side to have won just like in d 1999 finals wen we had no shot on goal until d 90th minute. Let’s go buy deeply talented players and stop expecting a carrik and cleverley to form d crux of an ambitious team. Trut is we have been too lucky at times and still feel d most one sided ucl finals I have watched was rome in 2009 and wembley 2011. Jones at best shld be a central defender where only strenght and size is mostly needed not wen u expect any creative tin to be done wit d feets. Check my blog tomoro. This was wat I waited for all these years,a team dat wilkl have foreign talented players since english players have proven beyond reasonable doubt that they are at best mediocres. How do u feel watchin those spanish clubs play? Bilbao held my breath 4 180minutes and was clapping unconsciously at their sublime skills. Time for a change man. Sell all who can’t pass d ball 30yards and make a reasonable run. Barca have shown d world dat size, and strenght are secondary in football

Yesterday at 00:40 · Like · 1 · Remove

After 25yrs at the helm of affairs at d plum job at manchester united, sir alex ferguson has dominated with impunity the local scene winning almost all times and choosing to let it go when he deems fit,or so it seems. Hence an epl title is no news at old trafford. This is in sharp contrast to his team’s performance in european competitions. With an unimpressive two championship titles in 25yrs,its evident there is a huge difference in performance on the two fronts and the reasons are not far fetched. From the late eighties when milan paraded wat pundits view as d most talented squad of all time, milan dominated the scene with their robust play,extremely gifted players, and a sound coaching crew making them set records which till date is unequalled by any in d game’s history. 56games unbeaten streak extending almost two full seasons, before a faustino asprilla freekick gave parma a hard earned victory breaking their glorious runs of victories. Then juventus,barca,madrid and bayern all had glorious campaigns in europe with english clubsides winking in the dark all the years. Manchester united won at camp nou in 1999 a victory that reminds us again that its not all the time the better team wins, as till date it still baffles pundits how united created two aerial challenge in the last minute and scored two goals in a game they should have been long buried,providence you might say. One wonders why fergy has not had a successful european campaigns all along, simple answer is the EPL clubs are mediocres and offered little challenge thereby making the united team less competitive at a bigger front despite been the most successful english side. Truth is manchester united have not been spectacular all along except on rare occassions. Too many average players with low skills on the ball, can’t dribble two or more players in tight situations,and mostly depend on team synergy, long balls, and the extreme hype enjoyed by the english press. Have manchester united produced a player of xavi or iniesta in midfield in the last two decades? No. Even paul ince whom archie Mc.pherson described as being always inches away from the ball when the german machine ran rings round them in wembley in 1996 and since then the quality of the EPL is reflected in the national team of england. How on earth would a fan prefer a phil jones to a very skillful rafael da silva?,or a cleverley to anderson? Unskillful players will make u cry on a day the team’s tactics isn’t workimg. Same goes for a box striker who struggles to control the ball and will score many goals with majority tap in sitters and can’t contribute to the team when it is struggling.little wonder no english player have ever been adjudged to be the best in the world despite having a history of playing the game for centuries. Its logical to know that inzaghi,crespo,trezeguet,nistelrooy, and their likes will have the best goal per game ratio but will not even make it to the top five best players in a european season. Its no coincidence or wrong assessment because truth is we are fans of the game because of players like ronaldo dalima, wayne rooney, elber,henry, zidane,ronaldinho,bergkamp,rivaldo,kluivert,gascoigne,and lots of other tremendously skillful players who keep you on your edges week in week out while they played. All one need do is go watch the clips of these players and we will know that a striker should not and will never be judged only by the number of goals he has scored only but also by his creative ability to leave indelible marks on the minds of any who ever watched him play. All I need do is close my eyes and imagine da lima at his best and I still scream unconsciously but can hardly remember any clever move made by a nistelrooy or inzaghi despite painting europe with goals. English clubs need to look outside their shores for concrete reinforcements and make the EPL a new brand which parades great talents and will play attractive football devoid of too much physical play,running even when not necessary and the long balls which gives the opponent a 50percent chance of winning it as compared to the barcelona brand which ensures the ball is glued to your feet to the disgust and impatience of your opposition.I look forward to a much better performance from english clubs next season where talent will take priority over strenght and physical football.

Earthquake, tornado,pithch tremor,or any adjective you engage to qualify the decider to the premiership title for the 2011/2012 season will never be an over emphasized one. At the magnificient commonwealth stadium which was renamed etihad will witness the greatest encounter of all time between these two clubs,manchester united, the undisputed kings of the english game, and a highly rejuvenated and motivated city side laddened with sublimely talented players. Tonight city will go for the jugular knowing fully well that a victory of any kind will put them on top of the log with two games to go and united, the defending champs will at worst hope to avoid a defeat and win their subseqent games to win the title for an unprecedented 20th time. The key players tonight will certainly be wayne rooney popularly refered to as WAZZA or the WHITEPELE by the vociferous english fans, and Carlos tevez who mancini admitted regretting not having him all through the season owing to an avoidable and needless dispute which kept the striker away for 6months and immediately kicked off where he left it banging in goals with unimaginable poaching instincts. Surely,tempers will fly, and obviously andre marriner will have his hands full tonight as any questionable call will generate unending controversies and acrimony that can last the fans a lifetime. Where will the pendulum swing? The next few hours will answer that billion dollar question. Off I go to grab my drink and nervously grab my seat to watch this gruelling encounter

The recent trading of accusations by antagonists of clubs which refereeing decisions favored is highly uninformed and brash and lopesided. Can all the clubs bribe all the referees and even all fifa federations? We know the problem is the quality and dearth of able and competent referees. From manchester united,to german national team,england,arsenal,chelsea,barcelona are few of the endless list of teams that have benefitted from this endless blunders by the supposed umpires. I am a big fan of sepp blatter but am a critic of his seeming political manouevrings of critical problems bedevilling the football world. Today england have won a world cup they don’t deserve,barcelona pride themselves as the indomitable champs despite horrendous decisions seeming to always go their favor. Lots more abound, and astute lovers and followers of d game have voiced their downright condemnation for dis shameful displays which if not checked will bring the world’s most loved sports to disrepute.joseph sepp blatter has played with our sensibilities at all times when the call for foal mouth technology was echoed,and will sing the tune and even get companies submit bid only when seeking reelection. When bribery scandal rocked FIFA prior to his reelection bid,ten companies submitted various modified models as to how this menace can be curbed; alas nothing yet two years on. About two decades or less when competent referees abound,likes of anders frisk,kim milton,nielsen,ali busayn,and graham poll,decisive errors were minimal to the point of non existence. Infact pirluigi collina and massimo busacca were too accurate to a fault,and as such a lot of their decisions will have to be shown on replay before u agree wit them. Little wonder it took mauricio pochettino fraction of a second to clip micheal owen’s leg and to the amazement of all collina blew a hotly contested penalty which was resolved by the experimental video replay team 10)rs ago. He was spot on,almost never wrong, and the football world still wished this models were around to steer the game out of this quagmire. If non human factors will make deserved winners not losers who cares how long the game take or how computerised it is? Who cares!! Enough of this injustice and I call on all lovers of the game to lend their voice to prevent the only thing we adore from untimely extinction.