Quotidian Quotes: 31st October 2016

“He’s a very experienced player and he’s really strong. And when it matters he finds me and makes good passes so I can score.” – Alexis on what he likes about Sead Kolasinac.

“It’s fantastic. When you look at the video of the game again, you see that Aaron Ramsey is always in the box. Many times he could not finish but this season he is calmer with his finishing and what he did today will give him more confidence. I think there are some goals in him.” – Arsene Wenger loves Ramsey in the box proving beyond a doubt that Ramsey’s forward role is highly encouraged by the Arsenal manager.

“Some people speak too much. You know, calm down, relax. Relax a little bit. Don’t speak too much – speak, speak, speak. You know, relax.” – Jose Mourinho explaining why he made a shushing motion to the fans after the win against Tottenham Hotspur. Mourinho followed that quote up with a pointed attack on United supporters who criticize Lukaku and followed that up with another criticism of United supporters who complain about Lukaku in his programme notes ahead of today’s match against Benfica.

“I think that you are almost deemed as second class because it’s your country today… The Premier League, which is a foreign league in England now. When you look across the owners. You look across the managers and the coaches and you look across the players that that’s exactly what it tis now.” – Sam Allardyce speaking to Richard Keys and Andy Gray about the glass ceiling which Allardyce believes exists for English managers in the Premier League. My apologies for putting you in a room with Richard Keys, Andy Gray, and Sam Allardyce.

Predictions for the Champions League today:

Roma v. Chelsea – Chelsea win
Sporting v. Juventus – Sporting win
Man U v. Benfica – Man U (big win, 3+ goals)


Alexis on Sead passing him the ball – https://www.arsenal.com/news/alexis-why-its-so-tough-against-kolasinac
Wenger on Ramsey – https://www.arsenal.com/news/fans-want-winners-and-kolasinac-winner
Allardyce on the unbearable nature of Englishness – https://www.theguardian.com/football/video/2017/oct/27/sam-allardyce-british-coaches-second-class-premier-league-video
Jose Mourinho telling everyone else to shut up – https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/29/jose-mourinho-manchester-united-fans-romelu-lukaku-tottenham


  1. More received wisdom: in Diego Torres’s biography of Mourinho, he details the manager’s plan for winning big games:

    1 The game is won by the team that commits fewer errors.
    2 Football favours whoever provokes more errors in the opposition.
    3 Whoever has the ball is more likely to make a mistake.
    4 Whoever renounces possession reduces the possibility of making a mistake.
    5 Whoever has the ball has fear.
    6 Whoever does not have it is thereby stronger.

    If we aren’t going to win the League, Gooners and purists have got to hope it’s City over United.

  2. It would appear that England is starting to show some signs of having turned the corner on the youth development front, Euro U21 and now World U17. It’s promising.

    This may rankle Arsenal fans, but I have some – not a lot grant you – respect for Fat Sam. He is/was very good at what he does; take lower to middling English teams and have them over-perform playing a very English brand of football.

    But I also wonder about the question on why British (English) managers are second-class considerations for top clubs. Who was the last great English manager, Sir Bobby Robson? A part of me thinks Eddie Howe is overrated, but what might Brian Clement do at a “big” club?

    I think part of the problem too is that the British superstars of yesteryear, like the Nevilles, Scholes, Adams, Keown et al don’t dive into management and work their way up the hard way. This means the Howes, Monks, Dyches et al are representative of English coaching but they lack the gravitas to manage top players. If you’re a superstar from Argentina come to the Premier League, are you going to listen to Sean Dyche tell you about football? It’s like the stories of Benitez’ time at Real where the players made fun of Le Diez, the number 10, because Rafa had never played at their level. Here comes Zidane, arguably a lesser manager but gets better results because he has the stature that top players will respect.

  3. “I think that you are almost deemed as second class because it’s your country today… The Premier League, which is a foreign league in England now. When you look across the owners. You look across the managers and the coaches and you look across the players that that’s exactly what it tis now.” – Sam Allardyce

    That’s pretty hilarious. It far more likely that British managers aren’t as good as the non British managers, who’ve probably worked in a few leagues and speak a few languages to boot.

    And as for the players, while it’s not exclusively for the benefit of British players, the homegrown quota suggests that if anyone’s getting preferential treatment it’s the mostly British players getting it.

    And as for Sam himself, it seems like he’s been given lots of chances at different clubs to show what he can do for years.

    There’s a great saying that…

    ‘When you’re used to privilege, equality feels like oppression.’

    My heart bleeds for you Sam.

  4. Tim,
    Wenger is schizophrenic when it comes to what he wants from Ramsey. For proof, consider his comments after the Chelsea game, where he praises him for being more disciplined and implies that keeping it simple, working on his touch, etc, are more important for Ramsey than focusing all on goal scoring.

    1. Yes agreed. I do remember those comments. I think the only thing this proves is that there is no clear direction from the manager. His compliments to Ramsey seem to follow the results rather than any specific objective that was laid out for him.

      1. Maybe that’s more telling than all else on Wenger’s coaching philosophy. No instructions, just comments after games. On Ozil, March 2014:
        “I would like him to find the right balance between being a provider and finisher,” he said. “At the moment the balance is a bit detrimental to the finishing. But he is pacy, much quicker than people think he is, and with that technical quality and pace, if he gets into the right areas, with the service he has, he can score goals. He wants to score more goals, I am convinced of that.”

        Ozil did say AW encourages him to score more in practice, but maybe that’s as far as he goes.

        “Score more goals.”

        “What can I do to score more goals boss?”

        “You have the quality, you’ll figure it out.”

        1. Ramsey has never been excellent at providing (final balls) for his teammates and over the last three years has become more adept at sucking in those final balls rather than distributing. This is the part I find most frustrating with his game: he’s not really playing defense, he doesn’t contribute to buildup as much as I expect, but he does demand a lot of shots. He’s basically a center forward.

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