A Conversation With Derek Rae is pure football poetry. One of football’s finest voices, Derek always paints a beautiful picture through his commentary. Do you know anyone who can marry the famous poet Robert Burns with football?
From Team GB and the Olympics to all things Premier League including Luis Suarez, John Terry, Robin van Persie, Andre Villas Boas, Brendan Rodgers, Manchester City, mid-level clubs and beyond, Derek discusses it all with an honest perspective. There’s even time to talk a wee bit of Rangers!
Football, soccer, call it what you want, it’s just like being down the pub with your mates.
There’s no doubt Brendan Rodgers will be under intense scrutiny and pressure when the new season starts. Taking over the managerial reigns at Liverpool and following in the footsteps of legend Kenny Dalglish will definitely be a tough task for the ex-Swansea coach.
However, if there is one man who easily wins the gold medal for “Manager Under the Most Pressure” it has to be Andre Villas Boas. Will we see the man who dazzled the football universe at Porto? Or will we see the AVB who failed miserably at Chelsea? As mentioned earlier this month on this site, I don’t believe lightning will strike twice for Villas Boas, who lived in the shadow of the Special One during his time at Stamford Bridge.
Since joining Arsenal, Robin van Persie hasn’t put prolific back-to-back seasons together for the North London club. Is it fair to say he will not have the same success next season and that now is the time for Arsenal to cash in on the Dutchman? How would Arsenal shape up tactically without him? And what is the scoop with Theo Walcott and his unrest? Could Arsenal afford to lose either or both of these players? What has become of the Gunners? What is the identity of this team? Why does everyone always want to leave?
Just a few months ago, Harry Redknapp was the soup de jour in English football. Fast forward a few months and not only did he lose out to Roy Hodgson for the England job, but he was also replaced by Andre Villas Boas as manager of Tottenham. This hasn’t been the only major change of manager in the Premier League. Aston Villa, West Brom, Liverpool and Norwich City have also chosen to move forward with a new coach. Kristan Heneage from ESPN and FourFourTwo joins us for “A Conversation With” where we dig a little deeper and dissect the managerial changes. First up, Andre Villas Boas and Spurs. Will it be another disastrous season for AVB in the Premier League, or will he deliver glory down White Hart Lane? Kick back and enjoy the conversation.
If you are a football romantic, then Andre Villas Boas to Tottenham could end up being one of the potential feel good stories of the new season. If you are a skeptic, then every single sign says Villas Boas will crumble more than an England player during a penalty shoot out.
The former Chelsea and Porto manager certainly has a point to prove on his return to the Premier League. His failure at Chelsea leaves many unanswered questions about his overall ability to manage a team at that level. Many would argue winning the treble with Porto is easier than winning the Premier League with Chelsea. Either way, there is an evident gulf between the two leagues but surely people can respect winning the treble at any level is quite an achievement.
Sepp Blatter mostly puts his foot in his mouth when he speaks. There is no doubt the FIFA President has been highly controversial on many matters concerning the beautiful game. From racism to female footballers and bribes, the figurehead of the world’s most popular sport has been nothing short of a huge embarrassment.
However, despite his very impressive resume of controversy, there is one positive thing Blatter has referred to often and we saw it in abundance this week. The “Football Family.” And my how the “Football Family” has come together following the shocking collapse of Bolton Wanderers star Fabrice Muamba at White Hart Lane against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
What can I say? I’ve been missing in action. I’ve been bad. I’ve had no desire. Just like my beloved team. It’s their fault. They did this to me. This season, they’ve already had me floating towards heaven and then they abruptly drag me into the depth’s of hell. It’s senseless. It’s hurtful. And shameful.
I haven’t even been able to face the blog. I mean it’s not like I write ground-breaking articles. They are merely my football thoughts that hopefully turn into conversations between fellow football fans. It’s just like being down the pub with your mates. But let’s face it. There are times when you don’t fancy going down the pub. Especially when your team recently lost its balls to the enemy.
Gareth Bale saved Tottenham’s blushes in Europe last night with a stunning hat-trick against Inter Milan. Let’s face it. After Tottenham’s first-half display, nobody saw Bale’s second-half performance coming. If Lionel Messi had scored three goals in that fashion, everyone would be lording him today.
Bale was the only Spurs player who didn’t look like a deer in headlights at the San Siro. He turned the travelling fans experience from a nightmare into an almost amazing dream. Still. Well done son. You are without doubt, a future divo in the making. In fact, last night, you officially arrived.
After years of paddling around in the kids pool, Tottenham finally get their chance to dip their large man toes in the big boy pool. Champions League football beckons at the Lane next season. Question is, will they sink or swim? For now, Tottenham fans are not worried about the two-legged play-off in August. For now, they are just happy to have been invited.
Regardless of how they do in their first Champions League tournament, for Spurs fans, this is a monumental time. Not only have they achieved their main objective of the season by qualifying for Europe’s most prestigious footballing competition, they have also surpassed expectations by beating London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea. In seasons past, they always failed against the big boys. Not anymore. This is a new Tottenham.
Football really is a funny old game. Whether you win, lose or draw, as an owner, manager or player, at some point, what you say or how you play can always come back to haunt you. Always!
Just a few seasons back when Jose Mourinho was manager of Chelsea, he made this comment following a Premier League game against London rivals Tottenham. “As we say in Portugal, they brought the bus and they left the bus in front of the goal. I would have been frustrated if I had been a supporter who paid £50 to watch this game because Spurs came to defend. There was only one team looking to win, they only came not to concede – it’s not fair for the football we played.”