Taking on the role of manager of a top flight football club is a precarious task to say the least. Even the most respected managers can get it wrong, while the incompetent can be sacked in the blink of an eye. While some managers seem to have what it takes to turn a team around and keep it successful, here's 5 football manager appointments that came as a big surprise to both fans and pundits alike.
1. Paolo di Canio – Sunderland
Putting the controversial former Swindon Town boss, Paolo di Canio, in charge of Sunderland caused anger amongst the fans of the Black Cats right from the start. Due to Canio's links with fascism, the Vice-Chairman resigned and the Durham Miners Association removed its banner from the ground. Taking
The January transfer window opened on Saturday for clubs in England, Scotland, Germany and France with expectations of a high spending round dependent on early sales to set the merry-go-round in motion.
Transfer windows open today in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, with Turkey following tomorrow and Ireland on Thursday. Switzerland’s window doesn’t open until the 16th, Poland’s on the 18th and Romania’s not until the 26th.
Premier League clubs have until 11pm on February 1st to complete their transactions, but high spending by the title (and Champions League) contenders, fueled by massive TV revenues and particularly poor first halves to the season from Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool, will be the determining factor in whether the total
For almost ten years now, the question about the best player in the world has had one of two answers: Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. If you round up 100 football fans and ask them who they view as football's best player, 50 would say Ronaldo while the other 50 would say Messi.
While the likes of Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero and Neymar have all cut the gap between themselves and the top two, it's still hard to make an argument that any of those players are ready to replace either Ronaldo or Messi on football's throne.
The question as to who is the game's best is usually answered, for the time being at least, with the naming of the 2015 Ballon d'Or winner - although that is unlikely to change the mind of those Ronaldo or Messi fans who feel there is no doubt that
The draw was made in Paris on Saturday 12 December 2015.
For the Euro 2016 match schedule click here
Republic of Ireland
Updated 14th December 2015 at 10:51 AM by Veritas
Over recent months, we hope you have enjoyed the blogs that have been compiled on our behalf by Steve Sands.
We can now reveal that he wrote them while valiantly battling against a serious long-term illness.
Sadly, despite his enduring good nature, Steve has lost his brave battle and passed away peacefully earlier this week.
As regular readers may well have gathered, he was a devoted Hull City supporter.
After taking his first tentative steps on to the Boothferry Park terraces in the 1970s, Steve loyally stood-by the Tigers through the many years when they plunged into previously unknown depths.
As the saying goes, a friend in need was a friend indeed.
The reward was following them on the incredible journey to the
On Saturday Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy scored at Newcastle United thereby equalling Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record for scoring in ten consecutive Premier League games.
Ruud Van Nistelrooy set the record playing for Manchester United between 22 March 2003 and 23 August 2003 and, coincidentally, his tenth game of the run was also at St James' Park.
But, as we all know, football wasn’t invented in 1992, and Vardy still has plenty of targets to aim for.
In the pre-Premier League era, Stan Mortensen scored in each of Blackpool's 11 games in the top division (old League Division One) between 3 February 1951 and 7 April 1951.
That was part of the sequence when he scored in all 15 league games that he played in for the Tangerines between 23
Whilst Premier League sides continue to thrive by pulling in huge amounts of revenue each and every season thanks to ticket sales, lucrative television deals and merchandising, things aren’t quite as rosy in the finance departments of many teams in the lower tiers of English football. Accumulated debt in the Championship reached a staggering £1.1 billion last season, nearly double the amount England’s second division currently generates in revenue, so what gives?
Despite pulling in £646.4 million in revenue this year to date the Championship is still struggling with ever increasing debt problems and it’s Bolton Wanderers who have topped the red table as they stare worryingly at their £182.1 million bill. This alarming figure
Updated 30th October 2015 at 06:32 PM by Veritas
Whilst Chief Executive Richard Scudamore says the Premier League will not accept a betting partner and against the background of horseracing’s move to banish betting companies who don’t contribute to the sport, we look at how fully embedded sports betting sites are in the Premier League.
The Gambling (Licensing & Advertising) Act which came into force a year ago requires gambling operators that provide facilities for remote gambling or advertise to consumers in Britain to obtain a licence from the Gambling Commission with the stipulation that the Commission would “not normally license such operators unless they have a British facing business and currently either transact with British customers or have a clear business plan for doing so in the future.”
As Chelsea prepare to host Aston Villa on Saturday, in what is a should win game, the big question is why the Premier League title holders sit 16th in the table midway through October – ten points behind league leaders Manchester City.
Jose Mourinho seems to have taken to blaming everyone for Chelsea's poor start to the campaign, from match officials, the FA to a supposed rat in the camp leaking information about team selection and tactics.
The odds for the ‘special one’ to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post are as low as 4/1 at the moment with only Steve McClaren and Saturday’s opponent Tim Sherwood seen by the bookmakers as being at greater risk.
But what’s the real reason for the decline in form?
Updated 17th October 2015 at 01:00 PM by Steve Sands
September proved to be the start of the sacking season for football managers, as owners and chairman got twitchy following their club’s disappointing start to the season. In turn this prompted the managerial merry-go-round to be cranked up to full tilt.
This is a topic I’ve tackled before, but it never fails to intrigue and baffle me in equal measure, as managers are either sacked after a ridiculously short time in charge or are dismissed despite being in charge during a successful campaign the previous season.
Early in September Peterborough United became the first English club to sack their boss, sending Dave Robertson packing after the League One side won just one of their opening six games.
Robertson had lasted just four months at the
Updated 7th October 2015 at 09:17 PM by Steve Sands