Age is no limit

Published: Wednesday, 26 October 2016

What a wonderfully unpredictable season we've got on our hands - so far anyway! And my title tip - Mourinho and Man Utd - are doing their best to make me look as much of a mug as I did last season after predicting Leicester would go down! 

How bad were they at Chelsea? Awful is the answer. And despite the fact that they got out of Anfield with a point last Monday, they weren't much better there. 

I read a piece by Mourinho this weekend where he was arguing that all he's got to do to win over United's fanatical support was 'win'. Wrong Jose. Yes, that's part of the formula, but managing Manchester Utd comes with a responsibility to understand the club and 'entertain' whilst winning. Nothing else will do. 

Right now there's a lot of re-building to be done, so I accept that it's a process, but on recent evidence Mourinho looks miles away from achieving either. 

They're missing Rooney for sure. Before you jump all over me, undertake this exercise for yourselves - look at the results with him his season - and compare them to the results without him. He's a leader. He's the captain. He makes things happen. 

And tell me this - what is Ibrahimovic doing to justify his selection that Rooney wasn't? Or Pogba? Or the dreadful, ponderous Fellaini? There's three major problems right there, but Ibra comes with a reputation, Pogba with a huge price tag, so I can understand Mourinho persisting with them, but Fellaini? United really should be charged with bringing the game into disrepute every time they play this lumbering, laborious neanderthal. He is hopeless. Embarrassing. He can't run and he can't pass a ball forward. He can't open up defences and he often can't keep his elbows to himself. He is NOT a Man Utd player, yet he gets in ahead of Rooney? I know Wayne was injured on Sunday, but he hasn't been. 

I'm also wondering if there's another issue? Has Mourinho's magic gone? Have United been duped? I hope not and I still believe the marriage of manager and Man Utd was just about perfect, but Jose has got to lighten up and start entertaining again. We've seen the petulant, spoilt teenager routine and I think it's fair to say we've all had enough of it? How he could complain to Conte about his touchline antics is beyond me. Mourinho invented that act! 

Chelsea were terrific weren't they? I think they finally rinsed Mourinho out of their system. It was a stunning win. Stunning. That's the way to do it Jose - entertain. 

I must say I'm fascinated by what's going on at City. As we all know, it's now five games without a win. That's only happened to Guardiola once before, in his first season as coach at Barcelona. By his impeccably high standards this is a crisis. Locking your team into the dressing room for an hour after the match says as much. 

Super coach? You know my feelings. Good coach, yes. Super coach? Not for me.  Not yet anyway. 

I'm not being churlish, but - with the side he had at Barcelona he couldn't fail. They haven't exactly struggled since he left have they? In fact, there's an argument they're even better now. 

He came up short in Germany. Bayern wanted him to win the C Lge and he failed, however you look at it, and now he's got a job and a half on at City, where. nothing is ever simple. 

Most weekends Guardiola would expect to win in both Spain and Germany. That won't happen in our league. The congestion at the top tells you that and there are no easy wins to be had in the bottom half either. 

Guardiola says he's not for 'changing', that it's his way or the highway. Well I think it'll be the highway for a few on the playing side very shortly - and if he's not careful it might be for him down the line. I've spoken about that dressing room at City before. Yes, Guardiola has made a start in sorting it out, but there's a long way to go yet. 

I'm hearing Aguero's representatives have been asked about the chances of him going to Real Madrid. The answer was 'very good'. That's why Guardiola phrased his answer carefully when asked about Argentinian in his press conference. 'If he leaves this club it'll be his decision' was the answer. There you have it. Aguero isn't the only one that doesn't buy into the 'philosophy'. He doesn't want to be hunting defenders down - he wants to be fresh to snap up chances when they come - something he does very well. 

Asked after the game Sunday what he'd changed at half time Guardiola said 'nothing'. He added 'they (the players) changed their attitude'. Wrong. He changed but didn't want to admit it. He put another forward on and the equaliser came from a long diagonal ball, something that they hadn't been doing in the first half. 

Look, things change so quickly in football that the two Manchester clubs are just as likely to be the only two left chasing the title at the end of the season, but right now not much at either club is going according to plan.

I wonder what the chances are that 'old man' Wenger might just sneak over the line first this season! Wouldn't that be one in the eye for those who write off experience? It's a commodity you can't buy, not even in the big money world of P Lge football.  

Right now age and the sky would appear to be no limit for Wenger. Nor time. He'll leave Arsenal when he wants to and not before.