Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson still believes the Red Devils have a chance of retaining the Premier League.
Speaking to the BBC following his appointment as a Uefa coaching ambassador on Friday, Ferguson failed to rule his old team out of winning the 2013-14 PL title.
The 72-year-old has watched on from the stands this season, as his predecessor David Moyes has struggled with life in charge at Old Trafford in his rookie campaign. Currently United are 14 points off Arsenal in top spot and many believe they will struggle to finish in the top four.
But not Fergie…
“I’m not writing anyone off,” Ferguson said. “Tottenham have started coming forward a bit now, Liverpool are doing very well, Everton are doing very well, City are doing fantastic and Arsenal are top of the league. With Jose [Mourinho] you expect them [Chelsea] to win games playing ugly, but all these teams are in there. United are in behind chasing. I find it very difficult to pick the top four. I find it even more difficult to say who is going to win the league.”
In the interview Ferguson also rubbished talk that Moyes is running out of time at Manchester United, despite suffering a torrid time during his first season in charge. The Scottish manager, who won 38 trophies during his 26 years in charge of United, admitted he can’t understand why chairman and directors are so quick to fire managers in this day in age.
One thing for sure is that Fergie knows what he’s talking about, as Uefa appointed him as a coaching ambassador which will see him give advice to coaches across Europe and spread some of his knowledge about the game to aspiring managers. A statement on Uefa’s website said that Ferguson will ” continue to attend Coach Education Workshops, as well as UEFA National Team Coaches Conferences and the UEFA Coach Education Student Exchange programme courses, passing on his unique insights to the next coaching generation.”
Ferguson knows the game inside out and if he says United still have a chance to win the title, you have to believe him.
But, not for the first time in his illustrious career, has Fergie’s judgement been blurred by his love for Manchester United and desire to see them succeed?
The hosts badly need to pick up points, though few expect them to do so on Monday. Skeptics, however, will note that Liverpool under Klopp has been giants against the top teams and often lackluster against the other sides.
What they’re saying
Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal on springing an upset: “I would prefer to be Goliath, I would rather be in his position. But during my career most of the time has been spent in the position of David, and we have been able to do some surprises as David. We have done it often, we are working to make more of them. I was kind of the Goliath when I was with Besiktas and Sporting Lisbon, but during those moments Goliath was a little ill.”
Liverpool’s Klopp on goalkeeper Loris Karius: “My favourite solution, always, is that we do it with our boys. They step up, they deliver, they improve. The problem they have is that everyone is watching them (through a magnifying glass) and saying ‘still not good enough!’ I will only mention one name. Everyone talks about him with us and that is Butland. I only saw the game (against Manchester United). Fantastic goalkeeper but was he perfect? No. He wasn’t in that game. But everyone says ‘still better than our boys!'”
It’s hard to see this going in Swans favor at all, though we’ll peg them to keep it close on the score board: 2-0 to Liverpool.
Newcastle United reportedly leads the pack for the former Chelsea scorer, who is struggling to get time at BVB thanks to a glut of fantastic wingers including Christian Pulisic.
Magpies boss Rafa Benitez has a good relationship with the Westfalenstadion set, having taken Mikel Merino off their hands in August. Newcastle currently uses Christian Atsu on the left wing and Matt Ritchie on the right, but Schurrle can play center forward and Benitez may prefer to use the 27-year-old in the middle of his trident.
But they’ll face competition, and HITC says BVB is willing to pay half of his wages on an 18-month deal to keep him reasonable for some clubs. This could be a boon for Spurs.
Newcastle and Stoke City have also been linked with Galatasaray midfielder Papa “Badou” Ndiaye, with the Magpies said to have bid just a bit higher than the Potters but still under Gala’s buyout clause.
And here’s a wild one, according to ESPN: Chelsea’s rumored pursuit of current Premier League scorers now includes Marko Arnautovic. The audacious Austrian attacker cost West Ham around $35 million when his head was turned from Stoke City in the summer.
He didn’t perform well but Slaven Bilic, but David Moyes has been able to get some fine performances from the powerful Arnautovic. Chelsea has previously been linked with West Ham teammate Andy Carroll, Burnley’s Ashley Barnes, and Stoke’s Peter Crouch as it attempts to find a center forward to ease the burden placed on Alvaro Morata in his first Premier League season.
Voted “the best right back” in Europe between 1962-64, the former England and Blackpool captain also had a successful management and broadcasting career.
Armfield was a member of the 1962 and 1966 World Cup squads, though a toe injury kept him from his place in the starting lineup when England won the tournament.
He spent his entire playing career with Blackpool before managing Bolton Wanderers to promotion and Leeds United to the European Cup Final, righting the ship after Brian Clough’s infamous spell in charge of the club.
There’s a statue outside Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road, and the club legend has a stand named after him inside the venue.
While Zach’s night was certainly a memorable one for many reasons, it was Julie that arguably had the better performance — which included a goal in the 19th minute off of a close-range volley.
The USWNT had trailed through 14 minutes, but a combination of goals from Alex Morgan and Ertz in a span of two minutes quickly erased the deficit.
For Morgan, it was her 80th goal for the Stars and Stripes.
Meanwhile, a second-half brace from teenage sensation Mallory Pugh and Crystal Dunn’s finish with nine minutes to play proved to be the icing on the cake for Jill Ellis’ side, who kicked off 2018 with a bang.