Man City marks Mancini milestone with QPR win

Updated 02 September 2012
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Man City marks Mancini milestone with QPR win

LONDON: Reigning champions Manchester City celebrated manager Roberto Mancini’s 100th Premier League match in charge with a 3-1 victory at home to Queens Park Rangers yesterday.
Yaya Toure gave City a 16th minute lead at Eastlands when he scored from close range following a corner.
But Italian boss Mancini would have been fuming when QPR, managed by his City predecessor Mark Hughes, equalized against the run of play in the 59th minute.
England goalkeeper Joe Hart could only parry a fierce drive from Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora headed into an empty net.
But parity lasted just two minutes with Edin Dzeko heading in an excellent Carlos Tevez cross.
Argentina striker Tevez put the result beyond doubt in stoppage time when he deflected in Dzeko’s wayward shot.
Earlier, Andre Villas-Boas was still left searching for his first win as Tottenham Hotspur manager after a 1-1 draw at home to Norwich.
The Portuguese boss, after several fine saves by Spurs keeper Brad Friedel kept the game goalless, saw his side take the lead when Mousa Dembele, signed from Fulham this week, scored on his club debut in the 68th minute.
But, as happened in their draw with West Brom, Spurs conceded a late equalizer when Robert Snodgrass scored five minutes from time at White Hart Lane.
And Villas-Boas’s day got worse when substitute Tom Huddlestone, only on for seven minutes, was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Jonny Howson.
This result will only increase the pressure on Villas-Boas, sacked by Chelsea last season before Spurs’ London rivals won the Champions League, to prove he can succeed in England.
“We are very disappointed with the way we have played,” Villas-Boas told the BBC. “The players are down, we lacked the sharpness we needed and perhaps allowed some anxiety to creep into our game.
“I understand why the fans are frustrated. No one wants to draw two games at home like that but we will repay their faith.” Swansea missed the chance to go top of the Premier League after a 2-2 draw at home to Sunderland.
They fell behind when Sunderland’s £12 million striker Steven Fletcher seized on a loose backpass from Swans defender Ashley Williams to put the visitors 1-0 up in the 40th minute.
But Swansea were level ahead of the break through Wayne Routledge before Scotland forward Fletcher restored Sunderland’s lead in the sixth minute of injury time.
Swansea though made it 2-2 when the in-form Michu headed in his fourth goal this season in the 66th minute.
But five minutes later the Swans were down to 10 men when defender Chico was sent off for a wild challenge on Louis Saha.

However, the result was overshadowed for Swansea by the broken ankle suffered early on by Wales fullback Neil Taylor.
West Brom’s impressive start to the season continued with a 2-0 win over fellow high-flyers Everton.
Shane Long gave the Baggies a 65th-minute lead before Gareth McAuley sealed victory eight minutes from time.
Andy Carroll made an immediate impact at West Ham as the £35 million Liverpool reject inspired his new club to a 3-0 win over Fulham at Upton Park, setting up goals for Kevin Nolan and Matt Taylor either side of Winston Reid’s effort.
But the England striker’s debut was marred by a hamstring injury Hammers boss Sam Allardyce reckoned would rule him out of next week’s World Cup qualifier away to Moldova.
“I think almost definitely that he is out of the England squad but we will just have to pray that it is not too severe,” said Allardyce.
Wigan and Stoke shared the points in a 2-2 draw.
Shaun Maloney’s penalty put Wigan 1-0 before Stoke equalized through a penalty of their own five minutes before half time, with both spot-kicks awarded for handball.
However, four minutes into the second half Wigan were back in front when striker Franco di Santo scored.
Stoke though made it 2-2 though Peter Crouch’s header 14 minutes from time.
Sunday sees newcomers Southampton at home to Manchester United, Liverpool play Arsenal and Newcastle face Aston Villa.


Why even the #WengerOut brigade should lament Arsene Wenger's exit from Arsenal

Updated 21 April 2018
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Why even the #WengerOut brigade should lament Arsene Wenger's exit from Arsenal

  • The Frenchman revolutionised the game in England across all leagues, not just the Premier League.
  • After initial success he found the going tough in the second half of his reign, but will still go down as an all-time great.

Over the past few seasons it has been fashionable to view Arsene Wenger as some sort of figure of fun — a man living in the past, left behind by the modern game, but too stubborn to realize it.
In time, though, even the most ardent, frothing-at-the-mouth #WengerOut believer would have to agree that the Frenchman will go down not just as one of the best managers Arsenal have had, but also among the greatest in English club football.
As with any caricature, there is a hint of truth in the picture created, crude as it sometimes is. Yes, Wenger’s past few years at the Emirates have been painful to watch. Yes, he was stubborn when it came to both activity in the transfer market and belief in his methods and tactics. Yes, it is fair to say he leaves the club, on the pitch at least, in a bit of a mess. And, yes, he should have left two or three years ago.
But if there is one thing that any sane fan should remember about Wenger’s 22 years as Arsenal boss, it is this: He was a game-changer, a manager who oversaw not only a revolution of the Gunners, but also of the English game.
As soon as Wenger landed in England in 1996, he banished Arsenal’s Tuesday drinking club and munching of Mars bars — in their place came stretching sessions and broccoli. Hardly profound or radical in today’s game, but this was the era when change in English football invariably meant no pies and pints on a Friday night.
The technical, passing, possession football that is now the norm for any side with ambitions to remain in the Premier League, let alone win it, and the idea that eating vegetables rather than a tub of lard would help player performance, were brought in by Wenger alone.
He won the double in his first full season in charge, signed unheralded foreign talent such as Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Viera — who went on to become world-class players — and created teams that were a joy to watch, culminating with “The Invincibles” of 2003-04, who won the Premier League without losing a match.
The irony is that the one-time revolutionary ended up being viewed as a throwback, a stuck-in-the-mud anachronism; a manager who harked back to a time when playing with the owner’s chequebook was not seen as the only path to success and when paragraphs were favored over 140 characters.
And that perhaps explains why so many Arsenal fans seemingly wanted him gone: Wenger is not of the Twitter generation, of instant opinions for the 24-hour news agenda and of hype over humility. The man who was once seen as the future stuck to principles that were deemed as belonging to the past.
It is clear there is a lot of bad blood at the club — a ridiculous Facebook post by an Arsenal fan claimed Wenger’s announcement he was leaving made it the “greatest day in Arsenal’s history.”
But for all the bluster and nonsense, Wenger’s legacy will be that of “The Invincibles” — one of the greatest club sides of modern times; of beautiful football played at pace and with artistry; of being a decent, yet flawed, man who was never anything but articulate and courteous.
Having been in charge of Arsenal for 22 years, he is undoubtedly the last of a kind, and in the era of trigger-happy owners, short-term fixes and sensationalism over stability, that is something everyone, even the #WengerOut brigade, should lament.