John Giles: Why Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola have been exposed as powerless in the last week
I’LL bet Pep Guardiola had nothing to do Manchester City halting their bid for Alexis Sanchez at £20m, as I'm sure he would have topped any...
I’LL bet Pep Guardiola had nothing to do Manchester City halting their bid for Alexis Sanchez at £20m, as I'm sure he would have topped any...
There is now a serious issue of trust between hardcore fans of the Ireland senior team and Martin O'Neill over his willingness to talk to Stoke about...
I was very surprised and disappointed to see that Arsene Wenger was happy to pick Alex Iwobi in the team which drew against Chelsea in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final in midweek.
I’VE had a question in my mind about Liverpool for a few years now and whether they can still be considered a big club. It was answered for me...
Jack Wilshere looks hungry.
There is no greater insult that Jurgen Klopp could aim at the FA Cup than sending his two best players to Ghana 24 hours before a derby tie. What is he thinking?
WHEN it comes to the affection and regard Manchester United supporters have for Paul Scholes, he has enough in the bank to last ten lifetimes. In this area, Jose Mourinho is running a big deficit.
WITH every passing week, Pep Guardiola’s halo gains definition and Jose Mourinho’s horns grow longer and sharper.
I wonder if Harry Kane feels the way I do about the latest record he has broken? I wonder if he thinks about Jimmy Greaves and not Alan Shearer when he's counting his goals?
I reckon it was a couple of years back when I first spotted something in Dele Alli which made me wonder about him.
THE end of an era is coming at Arsenal and nothing makes that more certain than the fact that they have been hiring staff. New faces like Raul Sanllehi and Sven Mislintat have arrived to “help with recruitment”.
Mike Ashley wants just one thing from football. Sales. If his sports goods are selling well, he...
AROUND this time of the year, the pantomime season kicks off but I reckon Jose Mourinho and...
At any time up to ten years ago there’s a good chance that David de Gea’s willowy frame would have seen him discarded by the orthodoxy of the day.
MAURICIO Pochettino faced a barrage of queries about his book this week, linking it with Spurs’ dismal form since it was published but nobody asked the obvious question. Why did he write it?
I’LL bet there won’t be many Everton fans, heading to Goodison tonight to watch their team take on West Ham, who started the season expecting to be in a full-on relegation battle by November.
I've reached the conclusion that if Jurgen Klopp found four new defenders tomorrow, all with gifted with great ability, that Liverpool would still leak goals.
PAUL Pogba is a modern day idol for many kids around the world but in purely football terms, I don’t think he’s a very good role model for young players at all.
THERE has been a definite change in mood in the country since Monday night, when Denmark gave Ireland a lesson. Martin O’Neill’s position is now being questioned and that’s no surprise.
When the dust settles on this bad beating from Denmark, missed opportunities will be the dominant theme, I’m sure of that. Not in this game though. This was a mauling.
MISSED opportunity or a good away draw? Time will tell but there’s more than a niggle at the back of my mind telling me that Martin O’Neill and Ireland will look back on Copenhagen with regret.
WHEN I try to get into Martin O’Neill’s head and put some substance on what he does to trigger players to perform the kind of heroics which have delivered some truly memorable results, my mind always settles on Brian Clough.
The more the days go by, the more certain I am that Jose Mourinho wants out of Old Trafford as soon as he can find a way to sign on the dotted line for PSG.
If Martin O’Neill can put his finger on where Christian Eriksen is and what he is doing when he ‘goes missing’ in a game, he can go a long way to removing the threat of Denmark’s most creative player.
OVER the top criticism is nothing new in football but I thought the response to Spurs' defeat by Manchester United set a new standard in foolishness.
When Alex Ferguson gave his damning "it's only Spurs" assessment of the threat posed by a club which has rarely delivered success to match expectations, I'll bet there were very few who didn't nod their head in agreement.
THERE’S nothing crueller than football when it comes to taking optimism and ripping it to shreds. Right now, it’s Merseyside’s turn to be miserable.
I must admit, I never saw Kevin de Bruyne as a man who could be a midfield general and control football matches in the way he has been doing for Manchester City.
JOSE Mourinho will have plenty on his mind after Manchester United’s Champions League win over Benfica last night.
Spare a thought for Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp who watched key men take a hammering during the international break - but the greater damage was done to Liverpool.
WHEN a manager walks his own road, the sense of satisfaction when success arrives is sweet. Only he truly knows how he did it. The rest of us can only watch and try and understand his thinking.
He takes the stick when it goes wrong but he takes the credit when it works out. Martin O’Neill’s big game magic is still working.
The most important thing about Friday night’s match against Moldova was that Ireland got the necessary win.
FEAR is the greatest enemy for Ireland over the next four days but Martin O’Neill and his players have nothing to be afraid of against Moldova tonight. Get that game right and they can carry momentum to Wales.
This isn’t the first time I’ve found reason to grit my teeth where Dele Alli is concerned . He has a streak in him which is, to be blunt, nasty.
I take my hat off to Gareth Barry and his longevity. He’s a rare bird but as ever, I’m appalled by the attempt to airbrush a century of history out of the picture.
ANTONIO Conte had a stroke of luck when Romelu Lukaku ended a bitter internal debate at Stamford Bridge during the summer by declaring his intention to sign for Manchester United.
WHEN a manager reaches into his bag of excuses and can come up with nothing more than blaming players, he’s in trouble. Jurgen Klopp is in that place now.
FOR those who would anoint Pep Guardiola as the most likely winner of the title, I would urge caution. Inconsistency in defence is the theme of the season so far and Manchester City are not immune to that failing.
BACK in my day, the chance of two managers meeting in mortal combat at the side of the pitch was non-existent.
IT would be a sad day indeed if Irish football ever felt it had anything to learn from Robbie Savage.
Football managers often make comments after a defeat which don’t make much sense. After Ireland were beaten by Serbia, it was Martin O’Neill’s turn to raise eyebrows with his words.
IT is deeply ironic that one of Ireland’s best performances in the Group D qualifying campaign to date produced the worst result.
MANY club owners out there watching Arsene Wenger’s torment are probably feeling a bit smug about his predicament.
Wide open spaces at Wembley came to Antonio Conte’s rescue and underlined how big a job Mauricio Pochettino has on his hands this season to find big results at home.
At this time of the year when Celtic run their annual Champions League gauntlet, it is always worthwhile to tip the hat and acknowledge a job well done.
If I thought there was any point, I would love to sit for an hour with Roman Abramovich and talk about football with him. He wouldn’t like what I’d have to say but it would be worth his while.
THERE is a clear message emerging from this summer of transfer madness which shows no sign of letting up. Every club in the world is a selling club now apart from a stellar half dozen.
PEP Guardiola stands alone as the new Premier League gets ready to rumble into gear.
I have to admit, I’m weary with this debate about Wes Hoolahan and annoyed that Martin O’Neill cannot see what is obvious to me and many others.
I’VE said for many years that Ireland is blessed with an honesty and hunger in its footballers that is unusual and should be cherished.
ARSENE Wenger had a chance to walk away from Arsenal with his head held high, a winner again and his reputation intact but he could do it because he’s a fanatic.
THIS was the season when a good, knowledgeable football man with old school values won the Premier League and made an old pro like me happy. Take a bow, Antonio Conte.
I won’t miss Sam Allardyce.
NO frills and for once, no need for any excuses. Jose Mourinho’s big gamble paid off and now he’s bought himself some breathing space.
After events in the Manchester Arena on Monday evening, it is almost indecent to talk about Jose Mourinho and the Europa League final.
THE Premier League season draws to a close on Sunday but unlike other years, there is not a lot left to be decided and there won’t be much in the way of excitement.
It was sad to see White Hart Lane, a ground I loved to play in, crumble under the wrecking ball but I thought Spurs handled the day and marked the occasion with a touch of class.
John Terry is not everybody’s cup of tea but I have no hesitation in nominating him as one of the greats of English football and I mean all-time greats.
It's a great victory for football that N’Golo Kante has been acclaimed as the Player of the Season. Against the tide of fashion, a true midfield general is the top man.
This is usually the time of the year when Sam Allardyce climbs onto his soapboax in the middle of a relegation battle.
FOREIGN owners have a lot to answer for. Scattered across the divisions after a decade of poor stewardship are so many big, old clubs with fans who have been betrayed.
I’ve come to the conclusion, with a heavy heart, that Cristiano Ronaldo’s extreme selfishness could be his greatest strength.
EVERY time I hear Ray Winstone’s hardman voice encouraging me to bet, but bet sensibly, I have to laugh. If everyone did that, betting companies would go out of business.
Jose Mourinho could not have argued if Gabriel Jesus marked his comeback with a winning goal in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford.
When fate hands you a gift, it would be foolish to reject it and Jose Mourinho has fallen on his feet when it comes to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Jurgen Klopp is smart enough to understand the layers of irony which Cristian Benteke exposed at Anfield when he came back to haunt Liverpool.
I never, ever thought that one day, I would see the title Director of Football used in the same sentence with Arsene Wenger and Arsenal.
My father used to say that with football managers “all their geese are swans”.
THERE are many out there who still believe that Leicester City’s players betrayed Claudio Ranieri and that every forward step in the Champions League simply underlines the notion.
NOT long after Jose Mourinho shocked everyone involved in football with his disgraceful verbal attack on Dr Eva Carneiro, the word which I felt best described his state of mind was “tormented”.
NO matter what way you add up the season to date, Antonio Conte has done a better job of management than Pep Guardiola.
As big derby looms, Everton boss reflecting his struggles back on any target he can find.
UNDER normal circumstances, the visit of Iceland would hardly be a game to set pulses racing.
So much has been made of Ireland’s injury list in the run up to this huge World Cup qualifier that you’d think Martin O’Neill was down to bare bones.
GARETH Bale has a bit to go before I would call him a great player. It seems to me that he needs to get away from Cristiano Ronaldo to make the final step.
THE Etihad will not be a place for faint hearts tomorrow for those who like their football nicely balanced between the art of defending and the joy of attack.
If you want to know the reason why Chelsea are looking good for a Premier League and FA Cup double and Jose Mourinho is crying in his soup, compare and contrast N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba.
I was more than delighted to hear that the English FA has finally decided to bite the bullet and bring in touchline technology to help referees. It has been successful trialled in Germany and next season, we will see TMOs in action for Cup games.
Football is dripping with sentiment and it can be a terribly destructive thing and sometimes influences big decisions which should be made in a cold-hearted way.
About this time last year, Pep Guardiola announced that he was leaving Bayern Munich to manage Manchester City. Not surprisingly, Manuel Pellegrini wasn't a bit happy with that.
Sometimes in football, two wrongs actually do make a right.
THE hype around Wayne Rooney and China is over for now but it won’t go away. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he moved there in the summer.
THEY had to do it. It’s cruel. It’s sad and it’s shocking but it was inevitable that Leicester City would sack Claudio Ranieri.
There is now an overriding sense of sadness about Arsene Wenger among all those who love football. Alex Ferguson is the only great manager that I can remember to escape the certainty that all stellar careers in management end in failure.
IT’S sad to see Arsene Wenger as he is now a tormented soul, raging against failure but unable to anything about it. For such a great man of the game, it was, of course, all but inevitable that it would happen this way.
WHILE watching Jurgen Klopp struggle through the last six weeks, my mind wandered back to Brendan Rodgers and the Anfield transfer committee. They haven’t gone away you know.
Claudio Ranieri won a title last year because he had the sense not the meddle with what he found when he arrived. Now he’s trying his best to manage and that’s his big mistake
Pep Guardiola turned a corner this week.
THE best thing that happened for Antonio Conte last night was Watford doing him an unexpected favour by beating Arsenal at the Emirates.
LAST week I read what Marco van Basten had to say about the future of the game and his many suggestions about how football could be improved.
IT was all going so well at Newcastle but Rafa Benitez is showing the early signs of a man afflicted by a complaint many in his position have suffered from before. Meddling.
There is a delicious irony in the pursuit of Diego Costa and the response of many commentators in England who have been looking down their noses at Chinese money as if it is somehow less worthy than the Premier League’s.
FOR some time now, I’ve been watching Chelsea’s growing football loan business with growing interest.
FOR a number of years I’ve been worried and angry about the emasculation of the FA Cup and predicted that eventually, the competition would be diluted almost to irrelevance. We’re nearly there now.
Now we have a real title race to get our teeth into. Take any one of six with Chelsea still the racing favourites.
Pep Guardiola has rewritten the rule book on what it is to be a great football manager. He is an independent thinker who wants to control every element of his career.
It had to catch up with Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins eventually.
Bryan Robson is long enough in the game to know that winners write the history books and at a club like Manchester United, selective amnesia is in force when it comes to David Moyes.
These are precious days for football managers. Snatched between intense periods in the schedule, it is a time to take stock and give key men a rest.
Football is a rolling examination of the character and ability of managers and players. On Tuesday night, Arsene Wenger’s team was set a test by Everton and they flunked it.
Pep Guardiola is at a crossroads and the decisions he makes in the next few weeks and months will define his time as Manchester City boss.
HE is a fascinating man with a singular vision of how the game should be played but I would be driven to distraction if I was a player working under Jurgen Klopp.
It's a big surprise to me that Ronald Koeman is struggling so much at Goodison Park. I expected a lot more from Everton this season.
If I was a parent of a child with a gift for football in Ireland, I would be looking at events in England surrounding Barry Bennell with horror and deep concern.
For a man who prides himself on deal-making in the transfer market, Daniel Levy is on the brink of making the biggest mistake of his life with Harry Kane.
ALEX Ferguson was once asked about his methodology when it came to buying a player at Manchester United. He always made a point of taking a look at pictures of the lad’s parents and he explained this by using two examples – Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney.
I have an awful lot of time for Seamus Coleman but I have to take issue with something he said after Ireland's great win in Vienna.
THE last time Ireland beat Austria was in 1963 at Dalymount Park and I was there. But it was a 0-0 draw in Vienna a few weeks earlier came to be known as the ‘Miracle Match’.
When Alex Ferguson took a shoe to David Beckham and then issued a public dressing down after he missed training to go shopping, he had plenty of justification for his actions.
The League Cup is a great ready reckoner to assess the level of desperation being experienced by a manager at any given moment in the season.
Antonio Conte and Chelsea made a statement against Manchester United which should make Roman Abramovich and the fans very happy indeed.
PEP Guardiola thinks he has discovered something in football which everyone else has missed but he’s wrong. What he’s doing is all about pride.