Shearer Says: “Gary won’t need telling by anyone that Valencia is different to anything he’s ever done, but I really wish him the best of luck”
Klopp’s arrival can turn Liverpool into title contenders this season
Liverpool are on fire at the moment and look like a well-oiled machine. Klopp has got his message across to the players very quickly and they are performing for him. They look good going forward and they are reinvigorated. It doesn’t bode well for Newcastle on Sunday unfortunately!
It was great to see Daniel Sturridge back on Wednesday. He’s had horrific injury problems which have resulted in him missing more games than he’s played for Liverpool. He will be delighted with his return. The manager now has a decision to make on whether to start him on Sunday or to bring him off the bench later in the game. It’s a very good option for the manager, the sort of decision any boos would like to make.
Klopp has been a breath of fresh air ever since he has come to England. He has a positivity about him and it seems as though he has been around his players for a long time. They all look to be really enjoying playing for him and for Liverpool. Before he came in, they had gone stale but he has reenergised the whole football club in a short space of time and the results are proving that.
I’ve said it before but no team seems to want to win the Premier League this season. City, Arsenal, United, obviously Chelsea, the way results have been going for these teams, none of them have stamped their authority on the title race. Liverpool are battling on all fronts under Klopp, going well in the Europa League, semi-final of the Capital One Cup and results are going well in the league, so yes, they can get into the title race.
Hopeless Newcastle must end unacceptable performances
For Newcastle, there are no positives to take at the moment. The performances have been hopeless, embarrassing, and there has been a lack of commitment and effort. They won’t get away with that against Liverpool. Things have to improve. It’s ok getting beat because everyone gets beaten but their last two performances have been unacceptable. If that happens again on Sunday, then no doubt the fans will let the players and the manager know what they think.
Wenger’s transfer inactivity causes pain again
Every season I am asked to analyse Arsenal’s chances of winning the title and every season I look at their squad and I feel it is lacking in depth. I have read all sorts of theories into why they are picking up injuries. Ultimately though, small squads mean that their best players have to play too many games and are more likely to pick up injuries.
It seems to be a combination of injury prone players and them not being diagnosed or treated properly. You would have to think the club are looking into that internally. If it happens for a season or a couple of seasons, you may think well they have been unlucky. But when it is happening season after season, as it is with Arsenal, then they will surely look into it because something is clearly not right somewhere.
Arsene Wenger does not seem to be very active in the transfer windows compared to the other big clubs in the league and that is why they have not won the title in so many years. They are more than capable of beating anyone on their day because they have some fantastic players but over a season of 38 games, a lot of Arsenal’s problems come down to injuries to key players, and ultimately that ends up costing them the biggest prize.
Neville faces massive task at the Mestalla
I was surprised when I read Gary Neville was appointed Valencia manager this week, because I was looking at how the odds had been cut for him to take over at Fulham. I wasn’t surprised that he has taken a management job though. I don’t think he has hidden the fact that he wanted to go into it. He saw his TV career as a short-term move before going into management.
Gary won’t need telling by anyone that it will be a massive change for him. I don’t know whether he is going to be a success, I hope he is. It is totally different from anything else he has ever done. He’s gone abroad so it may even be harder than taking a job here. He’s going to be away from the media glare of this country though and away from the pressure of the Premier League. It is a massive jump from being an international assistant but I really wish him the best of luck.
What Gary will find is that it will be difficult to understand some players’ mentality because he was a winner. He gave everything he had and got the best out of his ability. Players are not always the same as the manager.
Mind you, he’s done something right already, it was great decision by him to make sure his brother stays in charge for the Barcelona game this weekend and then he will take over next week, good move!
If it all goes well in Spain he could end up as the next England manager. The natural progression from being the assistant manager of England should be to maybe one day take over as the manager. Otherwise, what is the point of having an assistant if they are not going to be looked at as a future England manager? It all depends on how he does at Valencia now but it will be interesting to see how he copes.
Agents unlikely to change their money-making system
A lot has been said about agents this week and from my time in football, I have seen good and bad agents. The fees they earn are so excessive now. In most cases, there is more than one agent involved. There so many people making massive money from it so there is going to be little appetite to make any changes. I would guess that a lot of players aren’t aware of the fees being charged by the agents anyway.
The role of a good agent is the get the best financial deal for their player. They have to try and make the move as smooth as possible and without any hiccups. Maybe there is a case to say that there should be a set fee and if the player is happy with the way their representative has handled the move, then they can pay their agent a bonus.
Murray a worthy SPOtY fab but why no Bale or Root?
I have to say I was surprised that Gareth Bale was not included in the Sports Personality of the Year shortlist for 2015 after leading Wales to Euro 2016 and his continued success at Real Madrid. I cannot believe Joe Root is not in the line-up of 12 either. He was superb in the Ashes and is the number one ranked Test batsman in the world right now. That was the biggest surprise for me!
Andy Murray is probably the most likely winner again as he has carried Great Britain to Davis Cup success almost on his own, but then you also have to consider Jessica Ennis-Hill who made an unbelievable comeback to her sport. It looks between those two unless the support base behind Lewis Hamilton turns up again.
See me on reality TV – No way!
I’ve been watching I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here through my fingers as usual this year and it’s definitely not something I’d ever consider doing! I love to watch Ant & Dec on the show, they are just great at the way they present the programme and the little one-liners they come up with. They are good friends of mine and they are always badgering me about giving it a go. I also have Anton Du Beke whinging at me to come on Strictly and be his dance partner but that won’t happen either!
Vicky Pattison is doing alright in the jungle and she is flying the Geordie flag so I can safely say I won’t be popping up on the programme or on Strictly in the near future, no thanks!
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