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The Next Generation of Managers - Top 4

  With the season all but over, our attention will inevitably turn towards silly season, the summer transfer window. The rumours are starting to swirl and in today’s world, Fabrizio Romano has probably already reported on deals months ago. However, the focus of this article is on managers. There’s a perception that besides Xabi Alonso, there’s a dearth of elite managers on the market, certainly not any shiny new ones, just the old Tuchel’s, Conte’s and Mourinho’s knocking about. Just ask Bayern Munich how their managerial search has gone. Let’s take a look at my four to look out for.     Andoni Iraola - Bournemouth For long term readers of the Lowe-Down, you might remember my segment on Iraola and his arrival at Bournemouth in my season predictions back in August. That positive endorsement I gave on Iraola is looking pretty good now! Iraola, however, had a slow start to life at the Cherries, but was backed by the board and Bournemouth soon picked up form and Iraola led them to th

Southgate - You're the one?

  Southgate - You’re the one? “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain” – The Dark Knight. We’re not talking about life and death here, much to Bill Shankly’s disappointment, but I’d say it sums up public opinion of Gareth Southgate. Maybe some people never even had him as their hero in the first place.   His appointment as England manager was at best shrewd and at its worst uninspiring. Having had relative success with the England U21s, Southgate’s stint at Middlesborough was so-so and included a relegation in his final year at Boro. Having steered England to the 2018 World Cup, you’d be lying to say you didn’t enjoy that summer. The waistcoat, the weather, the boys in white doing us proud in Russia. Southgate Mania was in full force as England reached the World Cup semi-finals. Six years later and Southgate’s approval rating has dipped significantly. The popular opinion is that Southgate is unpopular. So why is it that England’s most success

Premier League Team of the Season (so far)

  Premier League Team of the Season (so far) As the clock ticks down, the end of the January transfer window is upon us. This day has been synonymous with Harry Redknapp, Jim White and crazy signings that don’t make sense. Unfortunately, we’ve not had that excitement this year. Premier League clubs, wary of breaching FFP rules and actually being punished, have stayed away from glamour signings and today has been a quiet affair. Perhaps somewhere Peter Odemwingie is in his car waiting outside a stadium? A quieter January window and a mini winter break has meant I’ve had the opportunity to take stock of the Premier League season so far. So without further ado, my Premier League team of the season so far. Goalkeeper: Vicario I’m not quite sure we knew what to expect from Spurs’ summer signing. Not many of us had heard of the Italian and so perhaps the spotlight wasn’t on him as much as it was on others like Onana. Well, Vicario has barely put a foot wrong since replacing Hugo Llor

Steve Cooper and NFFC, a love affair on the brink? - Alex Jeffery

  Is the Forest-Cooper fairytale coming to an end? Nottingham Forest fan Alex Jeffery reveals all in this deep dive into Nottingham Forest: what’s going wrong, what’s to come and why Cooper is still the one! ‘If they’re looking for a reason to change it, now would be the time’: Steve Cooper and NFFC, a love affair on the brink? 1 win in 10 and 3 defeats in a row, two of which have been consecutive home losses, has naturally created mounting speculation over the future of current Nottingham Forest manager, Steve Cooper. Sky Sports’ post-match dissection of the miserable 0-1 loss to Everton led pundit Jamie Redknapp to claim: ‘if they’re looking for a reason to change it, now would be the time’. Given the current run – during which Forest’s only win came at the beginning of November against Aston Villa – it seems that NFFC owner, Evangelos Marinakis, faces a simple decision, as Redknapp suggests. But is it that simple? This article will seek to explore the issues that have surfaced t

The Saudi Infuence. What's next?

On 22nd November 2022, just over a year ago, shockwaves were sent around the footballing world. Manchester United announced that Cristiano Ronaldo was to leave the club by mutual agreement with immediate effect. An explosive interview with Piers Morgan where Ronaldo criticised the head-coach, the owners and the club spelled the end to his second stint at the club. He was now without a home and speculation was rife about where he would go next. Real Madrid? Bayern Munich? A return home to Sporting CP? Earlier on that day, Saudi Arabia had just pulled off one of the World Cup’s greatest ever upsets in toppling Argentina. It took Ronaldo until 31 st  December to announce his new club, Saudi team, Al Nassr. His announcement was met with shock, disappointment but also an acceptance. Sadly, we saw it for what it was. A legend of the game, an all-timer, who wasn’t wanted by Europe’s elite and had priced himself out of a romantic return to Sporting CP, deciding to cash in the biggest pay chequ

What a VARCE!

What a VARCE!   A week’s a long time in football. It’s even longer when you realise it’s time for another international break. Yes, another one. In the absence of top-level domestic football, let’s discuss VAR. Specifically, another VAR cock up. To VAR or not to VAR has been a debate ever since it was introduced into our game years ago, and last week saw the debate heighten. So now is the time to look at VAR. The good, the bad, the future. The Lowe-Down. The Controversy: If you’ve been at all locked-in to the footballing world in the past 10 days, you’ll have not been able to avoid the chatter around VAR and the latest blunder. On 30 th September, Spurs entertained Liverpool in what looked to be a barnstormer of a game between two attack-minded and inform teams. However, just like the drunken uncle who ruins the birthday party, VAR stole the show. In the first half, Liverpool forward Luis Diaz ran through on goal, slotted the ball past the goalkeeper but was deemed to be offside and

FPL Fears

As we entered September, the Premier League had just started to get tasty. Arsenal had just beaten Manchester United in dramatic fashion, Chelsea had been, well, Chelsea again, and suddenly news spread around the group chats. Lads, there’s an international break this week. Nothing like watching international football to burst that early season excitement. Then again, watching England provides us with the rare opportunity to watch Jude Bellingham tearing it up and that’s certainly worth tuning in for. The international break is also a time for managers to regroup, replan and ponder their team selection. I’m not only talking about football managers but also the estimated 11.4million managers, including, you and I, that participate in Fantasy Premier League. “FPL” is football’s most played interactive game.  Now, you might be reading this thinking, surely it’s not something to write an entire blog post about? Perhaps that’s correct. The less that’s said about my measly performance in the