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Left shaking by Brown revelation

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Dan Walker | 16:35 UK time, Tuesday, 13 October 2009

After last week's biscuit bonanza, I am going to try desperately not to talk about food in this latest entry into blogville. It'll be hard, but I'll give it a go.

Phil Brown was on last Saturday's Football Focus show. I used to see him regularly when I was a reporter in the north-west and he was Big Sam's number two at Bolton. I've always found him to be a man who loves his football.

Anyway, after the programme we had a bit of a chinwag about Roy Keane and Phil told me about an incident that had happened back in October, 2006.

Roy had only been in charge of Sunderland for about six or seven weeks when his side had come up against Hull, where Phil was working as Phil Parkinson's first-team coach. The Black Cats absolutely mauled the Tigers that day but only won with a goal from Ross Wallace right at the end.

In the manager's office afterwards, Phil was surprised to hear Roy give him and manager Parkinson some advice on how to sort out the Hull defence.

Keane's view was that the system Hull played left too much space in front of the back four. Sunderland's plan had been to exploit that area, so Keane advised the two Phils to switch to three at the back and sacrifice a man in midfield, where they were strong enough already.

Phil Brown chats on his phoneHello, is that Roy?

To my surprise, the two Phils listened to Roy's thoughts, thanked him and made the change for the very next match, an away game at Southend in midweek. It took the team a while to get used to the new system, but they eventually won 3-2 before drawing the next game 0-0 and then beating Wolves 2-0 at home.

I was amazed by Phil's story because I had always thought that football managers were rather stubborn when it came to who they picked and where they played them.

I remember being at Anfield when a group of fans stayed behind to try to persuade Gerard Houllier that Bruno Cheyrou was not the 'next Zidane' they had been promised. Despite the protestations, Cheyrou kept his place in the side. As did Eric Djemba Djemba and Kleberson at Old Trafford, even though everyone watching - other than Sir Alex - seemed to think they were not doing what it said on the tin.

I told Phil I was amazed he hadn't told Keane politely to get lost, but his point was that he always tried to listen to advice... whoever it came from. He said that even if I decided to make an observation about the way his team were playing, he would listen and check whether it was useful and/or relevant.

So could I produce an insight that a Premier League manager would find helpful?

My mind went back to the only two bits of coaching I can remember receiving. Mr Avery was in charge of our Hazelwick school team and would always shout: "Give it, Danny. Give it early, Danny!". Then at Sheffield University, our coach Neil Pearson, once told me that he wanted me to hit my free-kicks with "a bit more northern swaz". I'm still not entirely sure what that is, but I didn't think this was the sort of thing Phil was looking for.

But what advice would you give a manager if he asked you for it rather than you having to shout it from the stands? Would you try to go all technical, talking about formations and tactics, or would you just tell him to stop doing something that annoys you?

When I first started commentating on football, I used to cover Stockport County a lot and the then boss, Andy Kilner, would walk between the dugout and the touchline about 4,000 times a match.

On the way from the dugout, he would clear the contents of his left nostril and on the way back give the same treatment to the right side. There was no digging going on it was just the classic finger-on-the-opposite-nostril-and-blow-hard technique favoured by footballing types the world over. Once I'd noticed if for the first time, I couldn't stop looking at him and it started to rile me. Mr Kilner never did ask me for advice, but - if he did - I would have told him to call time on the nostril thing.

So if you've got any advice for managers, let's hear it.

I was also impressed with Robbie Savage's appearance on last weekend's programme - despite his inexplicable choice of ice-white trousers. Last time I interviewed him was during his stint at Leicester. He finished that particular chat by hurling a custard donut at me. It will come as no surprise to learn that I ate it.

Anyway, in addition to his extensive knowledge of the game, I was impressed with Savage for the very reason he is aware of his limitations. If you've got that going on, the chances are you won't end up with a head the size of Texas.

Finally, I'd like to finish by apologising for my wobbly foot on Friday Focus last week. My brother was the first to point it out to me. During my 11-minute chat with Steve Wilson my left foot was having, what looked like, a touch of the shakes. I think I counted eight involuntary movements before I had even asked Steve a question! I have been training the said appendage all week and, hopefully, the problem will never resurface.

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  • Comment number 1.

    it was an excellent wobbly foot

  • Comment number 2.

    I missed the wobbly foot, but saw the ice white trousers... niiiiice.

    My advice would be to Arsene Wenger. I'd say, "Arsene, whenever one of your players is about to do something remotely dodgy or underhand on the pitch, don't look away. Instead, stare directly at the incident and absorb the images into your brain. Then, when questioned on MOTD you won't have to endure the embarassment of not having seen the incident."

    I'm not sure he'll take any notice though...

  • Comment number 3.

    My advice is to hack the said foot off Danny boy.

    You have a face best suited for radio, stick to that...

  • Comment number 4.

    Nice effort again Dan mate. No biscuits, but still managed to sneak a donut in, Mmmmm donuts

    Things to tell managers.
    Arsene Wenger - Pay a visit to Specsavers
    Phil Brown - lay off the sunbed for a while
    Rafa Benitez - Look up the word "FACT" in the dictionary
    S.A.F. - Be careful what you say about referees
    David Moyes - don't let Homer Simpson get so drunk in your bar
    Carlo Ancelotti- Get some eyebrow relocation surgery
    Kevin Keegan - You're not a messiah, you're a very naughty boy
    Maradonna - Have a word with the man upstairs & ask for another "helping hand"for his managerial career

  • Comment number 5.

    I think everyone who knows a decent amount about football would have a thing or two to say to Diego Maradonna regarding his team selections.
    Also maybe tell SAF not to abuse referees so much, he's a great man, but his comments seriously damage the integrity of the game.
    If I put a lot of thought into it I'm sure I could come up with some more..

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm 50 now and always been a rubbish player although I really loved playing. In secondary school I played a match one Saturday, thought nothing of it and the teacher (Cyril Sampey?) during the next weeks training decided that with my back to goal I had been a genius at laying the ball off to my team mates. We practiced my new found skills and of course with the spotlight on me I made a complete and utter xxxx of myself.
    The next match I scored a 'goal' from the half way line on the break but just as the other team were about to restart he called the ref over, told him I was offside, and the 'goal' was disallowed.
    Clearly this has not had any impact on me after nearly 40 years.
    On a serious note though I think too much pressure is put on young players of all abilities, at all stages in their development and by lots of people coaching them. Long live footsal I say! Let kids enjoy themselves.
    I reckon I could have been the forerunner of Messi. If only Barcelona scouts had been at my finest game. Nice one Cyril!

  • Comment number 7.

    Things to tell managers 2
    Ron Atkinson - Always check to see if the mic's on
    Mark Hughes - My car's worth 100 quid, but you can have it for 3 grand.

    Sorry, I'll give someone else a chance now.

  • Comment number 8.

    my advice would be, go to the stands and pretend you are not the manager, then look at the team you picked and see how they are playing, keep pretending its someone elses will see what everyone in the stands sees.

    b) do the jack charlton thing, get away from it completely. Come back with a clear head.

    c) Retire now and take up pizza delivery.

  • Comment number 9.

    #4 Very good.

    Steve Coppell - Never become a Butlin's Red Coat

  • Comment number 10.

    SAF - give Real their 80mill back and bring back the gelled tumbler.
    Rafa - grow a proper beard
    Carlo - enroll Drogba on a drama course...
    Wenger - invest in some contact lenses if you dont wanna wear glasses

    Sheffield uni eh? my home town..'a bit more northern swaz' - put your back into it son!

  • Comment number 11.

    Arsene- Tell the truth about incidents.
    Rafa- Don't criticise managers who are obvioulsy more experienced and talented than you.
    Sir Alex- Spit out the darn gum!
    Phil Brown- Spend six months in Siberia to lose the tan.
    Martin O'Neill- Dress more intelligently for post-match interviews.
    Carlo Ancelotti- Buy a Jose Mourinho blow-up doll as a Christmas present for the squad.
    Neil Warnock- Take an anger management course.
    Gareth Southgate- Stop looking like an abused puppy when you're interviewed after you're team has lost.
    Gianfranco Zola- Keep on smiling!
    Roy Keane- You're a manager now, get used to the pressure.

  • Comment number 12.

    You ate a custard doughnut? What a waste of my license fee! Surely the BBC could have put the said donut (I'll now join in the Americanization) as a lead role in eastenders (no doubt it's acting ability is on a par with others in the show) then the beeb could have paid it £5m a year to do a 2hr weekly slot on radio 2 and then maybe get it on strictly dancing!.... Instead you ate it. I am apalled at this waste of my tv tax!

    Advice for managers - take more bungs- u r only likely to be in the job 5 mins so buy some unknown norwegian for £5m and get a nice fat kickback on it!

  • Comment number 13.

    Be nice if Keano could impart some of this knowledge to the Ipswich back-line in the not too distant future !

  • Comment number 14.

    Zola - Stick in the little guy
    S.A.F - Keep up the good work
    Rafa - Stop cracking up you look an idiot
    Arsene - Should of gone to Specsavers

  • Comment number 15.

    hilarious, 50 million who know better that every footballer and manager in the world and only 14 people reply with silly advice.......

  • Comment number 16.

    For Phil Brown: nice to see an even light skin colour despite the fact that these wet southerners don't know how searingly bright the sunlight is here in Hull. Just ignore this flak and concentrate on the team and the tactics. Phil! Phil??? Are you listening?????

  • Comment number 17.

    Mark Hughes - Stop buying strikers, you have enough now
    David Moyes - take a leaf out of Hughes' book, buy a striker
    Alex Ferguson - don't criticise a manager for calling local rivals a small club and then do the same thing yourself
    In a similar note - Jordanuk90MUFC - Be careful when you use the word "idiot" if your grasp of the language is so poor. It's should HAVE gone to specsavers. What could "should of gone to" possibly mean?

  • Comment number 18.

    Hey nessy76,

    I am dying to know what is wrong with 'Should have gone to ' in grammatical detail please.

  • Comment number 19.

    collie 21, there is nothing wrong with 'should have gone to', thats exactly what nessy76 was saying, he was stating that it is the right way to say it, not 'should of gone to'!!!maybe read things a bit better next time?????

  • Comment number 20.

    We're correcting one another's grammatical errors now? Very strange, especially as this is a blog about football and shorthand reigns supreme online. But oh well!

    Advice to managers?

    Rafa - Buy a striker. But not Heskey. One that can score goals.

    SAF - Relax and don't explode everytime any decision goes against/when you lose a game. Be gracious in defeat. You're undoubtedly the best manager in the world - learn some humility!

    Phil Brown - Under no circumstances and I mean NO CIRCUMSTANCES take a half-time teamtalk on the pitch. Big mistake.

    Harry Redknapp - If you want your team to finish higher than 6th in the coming seasons, be sure to invest in players who aren't currently at the oh so successful Portsmouth.

    Steve McClaren - Learn to speak English properly before attempting dutch.

    Roy Keane - Stop messing around with the scary beards and facial expressions. They're either going to give you or your players a heart attack one of these days.

    Martin O'Neill - It's probably worth taking the 'Europa League' seriously, as it's your best bet of European silverware for a good few seasons yet.

    Alex McLeish - Buy Kris Boyd. No, really, make sure you get him this time!

    David Moyes - If you want to win anything this season make sure Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is on the pitch at all times. Even when you're not playing.

    Fabio Capello - Please, please, please, PLEASE, stop playing Emile!

  • Comment number 21.

    Kevin Blackwell - You should probably just give up now. Football's no place for a man who is in essence just an egg with a face.

  • Comment number 22.

    21# love the irony in that user name and comment combination...

  • Comment number 23.

    My advice would be to Harry Redknapp - Don't make your captain a player who blows hot and cold and should be fighting for his place against Defoe rather than alongside him. And maybe give Ledley a season off. He's going to need a walking stick soon...

  • Comment number 24.

    The only advice I would give managers is this: If your last game of the season has no importance, do what we did on our last game on Sundays. Play everyone out of position for a half. Put a striker in goal, wingers at CB etc. It is quite fun and it also gives everyone an idea how difficult each others jobs are.

  • Comment number 25.

    Rafa - Ditch zonal marking, it doesn't work... never has. Oh and start showing some emotion when we score...

    SAF - Grow up and stop spitting the dummy you're 60 odd, not 6

    "Big" Sam - Don't try to kid yourself that not getting a penner changed the course of a game that you got walloped 6-2 in... they could have scored ten!!

    Phil Brown - Go to the doctors and have the growth that masquerades as an earpiece surgically removed.. for good.

  • Comment number 26.

    Coyle your doing everything right
    try to bring another holding midfielder in Jan !

  • Comment number 27.

    My advice would be to Sam Alladyce

    1. The game is called football not headball try and play on the ground
    2. When 1 of your players takes a quick free kick on the ground try not to berate him for not hoofing it in to the box.
    3. Take that bloody thing out your ear
    4. When your side has been comprehensively beaten and given a footballing lesson (a la Arsenal) please do not constantly moan about 1 decision which would have made no difference to the result whatsoever.
    5. whilst chewing gum please keep your mouth closed (it's not big or clever.

    Thats it for now but if i think of anymore i will let you know.

  • Comment number 28.

    Maybe the fact that Roy Keane was also using his 'stare' and shaving his head at the same time contributed to the Hull management team taking his advice....

    Paul Hart... Don't let the door hit your **** on the way out...

    Every manager... Let Sol Campbell rot with his 40k a week demands... please.

  • Comment number 29.

    Don't know if anyone has mentioned this further down, but that method of blowing your nose that you some cumbersomely described is known, at least on the Western side of the Atlantic, as a 'snot rocket'.

  • Comment number 30.

    Tony Mowbray,

    Drop and them promptly sell Scott Brown. We don't need midfielders who can't pass, shoot or cross and who singularly fail to make any timely runs into the box duiring games to assist our wingers. People who complain about Mcgeady giving the ball away, look for the amount of times Brown provides an option in an attacking position when the ball is in the wide areas, Celtic's strongest area of the team. Very very few.

    Drop and then promptly sell Stephen McManus. Honest big chap who I admire for his determination and drive, but for God's sake, captain of Celtic?

  • Comment number 31.

    to all managers: Never listen to fans. It's one thing if Roy Keane gives you advice, but you've got to draw the line. And never listen to shaky-foot man.

  • Comment number 32.

    To Phil Brown. Keep up the good work. I enjoy nothing better than watching your side get humped on match of the day & long may it continue.

  • Comment number 33.

    To Rafa Benitez: Stop selling our good players. Sell the rubbish ones
    If you have to pick Lucas, stick him on the centre circle and tell him not to move - damage limitation
    To all premier league managers: Try to beat Man Utd - they aren't that good and 50% of their wins come from teams being afraid of them or trying to scrape a draw.
    Harry Redknapp and Martin O'Neill: When you are beating Man Utd, don't try to sit on the lead and see out the game - they'll eventually score if you stay in your own half. Carry on playing your game and they'll have no answer.
    Alex Ferguson: Keep picking Gary neville. He's REALLY good.
    Mark Hughes: Good job - you've surprised us all!

  • Comment number 34.

    The best advice anyone could give to anyone else, regardless of station, is this: judge any advice you receive on the quality of the advice, not the quality, reputation or status of the giver.

  • Comment number 35.

    To Ronmanager learn that yes Manchester United are THAT good as their position over Liverpool shows ;-)

    To Rafa maybe learn that a two man team will NEVER win the league!

  • Comment number 36.

    To Kihiro87

    I'm sure Spurs have regretted buying Defoe, Crouch and Kranjcar from Pompey such terrible, terrible players and such a waste of money huh?
    Of course they havent contributed to getting them where they are now have they?

  • Comment number 37.

    My comment would be to managers who struggle to break down teams who put 11 men behind the ball. The simple fact is that the opposition only do it as they are scared of the opposition. Therefore, if the opposition are sitting back, run at them, don't just stand around waiting for a magic hole that will never appear. Liverpool players take note!! Make them even more scared as best you can, the more frightened opposition players are, the more likely they are to make mistakes and act like Rio Ferdinand on international duty!!

  • Comment number 38.


    back to the good stuff i see and not many mentions of cakes or buns this week and back to the football, well mostly apart from that doghnut Robbie Savage...............incident (see what i did there)

    My footy manager says to me every week for corner kicks "stand on the goalkeeper, you will get 10 goals a season doing that" I have played for my team 4 seasons and have scored maybe 3 goals from a corner doing this!

  • Comment number 39.

    Phil Brown should give Roy Keane some advice on how to get promoted rather than getting relegated. Play three at the back maybe, Roy? XD

  • Comment number 40.

    I'd say just one thing-


  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    Keane advising Brown? Blind leading the blind, if you ask me.

  • Comment number 43.

    I missed the wobbly foot. lol!

  • Comment number 44.

    Benitez - International duty is not a chore, it is something players aspire to. Let it be.
    Fergie - You can be honest when the team plays poorly, you've earned the right by now.
    Iain Dowie - Avoid the camera at all costs.
    O'Neill - Eye-bulging coupled with the disguise at whether you are furious or just plain excitable is difficult for any interviewer to read / audience to decipher.
    Wenger - Speculate to accumulate.
    Allardyce - Is it worth the premature heart attack you seem to be closing in on nicely?

  • Comment number 45.

    #37 - spot on.
    & Also Rafa do a bit more to convince me that you aren't merely a top-of-the-range robot.

  • Comment number 46.

    My advice to every manager would be to take note of the way Wenger handles the press and TV interviewers..
    He knows that it is pointless trying to defend his players actions, he knows that the press and public will see countless replays of any incidents, make up their own minds and in the case of the press, print what they wish. Wenger merely exchanges "NO COMMENT" for "I DIDNT SEE IT".
    He then does the job he is paid to do and takes the appropriate action in the privacy of his office.

    I would also advise Zola to carry on enjoying watching Wengers side, to learn from them, to keep the dream of managing a team that can play such football, but realise that to play as they do, you need the players with the ability and understanding of his footballing concept.

    It has taken Wenger about 15 years to create a side that play as they do...Walk before you try running....

  • Comment number 47.

    phil brown. you beleived your own hype. singing to the fans after failing to muster a shot against a reserve utd side in the biggest game of hulls history is not something to sing about. what a plank

  • Comment number 48.

    advice for capello

    1.All england players make mistakes,their not italian.
    2.All england players cannot defend,their not italian.
    3.All england players especially rooney are not intelligent,their not italian.
    4.It looks like Portugal and Argentina are going to make it to the finals so best look forward to going out on penalties in the quarter finals.
    5.David James is 40 next year,same age as Dino Zoff when Italy won the world cup in 1982. If we can avoid players being sent off and not missing penalties we have a good chance. Simples!

  • Comment number 49.


    Kevin Keegan - You're not a messiah, you're a very naughty boy

    best thing on this page, quality!

  • Comment number 50.

    gerryguk... Throw Maloney into that mix and you are basically saying what I say most weeks when I go to the games... we got rid of a indisciplined midfielder in Gravesen but lord it up of Broony??

  • Comment number 51.

    #12 Boomshakalak

    I rather feel that your 'Americanization' is an Americanisation in itself.

  • Comment number 52.

    Re: 32 - BiSCho - please go back to school. I assume you live about 500 miles from the team you "support" - maybe you'd like to share that with us before embarking on a primary-school slanging match.

    Dan - nice piece - and particularly to see Phil get a bit of air-time. He's had more downs than ups, but at least he's the manager of a genuine local team, as opposed to the "we've got more money than Tescos" collection of opera singers in the top five or six.

    It seems a bit strange to me that managers in the stratosphere of the PL can get away with appalling behaviour every week, whereas managers of lower clubs, where the real heart and soul football is, have the past errors dredged up every time they're even mentioned.

    My advice to the presenters and commentators, like you, would be: show a bit less fear in the face of Sir Alex, Wenger, Benitez, and the rest of them, and give more time to managers like Phil Brown, who have to work with budgets that are small-change compared to the "top" collection of billionaire weekend fun brigade.

  • Comment number 53.

    The advice I would give a manager is appoint Mourinho as number 2 and buy Messi, Ronaldo, Kaka and Rufus Brevett.

    I would also appoint Frank Sinclair as my own goal coach.

  • Comment number 54.

    Try looking at the world rich list & arrange an appointment with a bored sheikh who hasn't bought a club yet.

  • Comment number 55.

    One piece of advice for all managers. Make there be at least one training session a week where the players can only pass with their weaker foot. There's really no excuse considering the pay they get.

    In a similar vein, advice for Capello: make all the right wingers in the squad (or possibilities for future squads) watch a video on repeat of Beckham crossing the ball from deep, from the by-line and under pressure from defenders. There is no excuse for the likes of Lennon who trains alongside Beckham every England squad to not be learning something that should be a basic requirement for any winger, especially when the best in the business is right there!

    Also for Capello, make the England midfield watch footage on repeat of Xavi and Iniesta keeping the ball for Spain and Barcelona.

  • Comment number 56.

    I'll start with the top manager Dan
    Mr Capello must use Gerrard as a sub only.
    Before there is an avalanche of posts from outraged Stevie G fans, please let me explain.
    Gerrard is an excellent player of top quality, and influences LFC's performance significantly over the seasons in the Prem. Because he is so influential at LFC, he has a tendency to 'hog' the ball and try to play (although this aspect has improved) a hollywood pass too often, and so possession is lost.
    In more demanding international games, particularly against the top teams, his individual talents and skill are not sufficient to make a significant impression. He needs to change his mindset and be more of a team player at this level. There is no doubt of his talent. I think Mr Capello, may be aware of this situation, as Gerrard's placs in the national side was was maybe uncertain.
    Time and time again we have seen England struggle against so called 'inferior' opposition', maybe these opponents play within their limitations and are difficult to beat.
    Can Gerrard be reprogrammed to tailor his game for international duty, will his ego prevent a revision?
    Whatever happens over the coming months, I don't think we can expect Gerrards comparatively disappointing form at international level to change.
    He is a good player, no doubt, but he must ensure that he does not lose possession, and employ greater judgement in his decisions. He is playing with much better players than at LFC (apart fron Fernando and Yossi), despite what Rafa may think. He needs to show them the respect their abilities demand.
    I think Mr Capello is on the case.

    Apologies for a serious post Dan, but the midfield debate is far from over.

  • Comment number 57.

    Yeah! Gerrard as sub, Ashley Cole to right back and Wayne Rooney in goal !

    Make it so, No. 1 !!!!!!!

  • Comment number 58.

    @49.....Cheers 'Arry me ol' china.

  • Comment number 59.

    thanks dan. When you mention sav and his limitations, do you mean his limitations as a footballer, a poor footballer. what did he say/do to acknowledge this. he certainly is no david platt

  • Comment number 60.

    phil brown is a taupe idiot

  • Comment number 61.

    I'd tell certain managers not to always go abroad for a quick fix, especially if your going to bring in average players from abroad when you could just play an..... well average homegrown player from within!!

  • Comment number 62.

    60: tomefccam - crawl back under your stone. You're not funny and you didn't even mention which shade of taupe PB is supposed to be.

    Can we talk about football? Or philosophy? Or quantum physics? Anything but the pathetic attempts of half-wits like tomefccam to divert us into Phil Brown's sun-tan. And learn to put capital letters for people's names, tomefccam, and all the other ludicrous grammatical mistakes you keep making should really be sorted out. Spot the idiot - I don't think it's Phil.

  • Comment number 63.

    I would advise Fergie that the Glazers are not "excellent owners" on the basis they let you waste money on Berbatov and pay you handsomely and that most fans would rather if we had to suffer them that you didn't fawn over them at every opportunity.

    Open your eyes and look at the price increases they have inflicted on your fan base. Look at the lack of working class young lads in the ground, the ones like you used to be and note the decaying atmosphere and finally be honest, is a Wigan player and a crocked Michael Owen really how you'd chose to replace Ronaldo finances permitting?

  • Comment number 64.

    offtothepave. i'm not submitting any form of publication, so i'll format it in terms of efficiency, which may include spelling mistakes and poor grammar but that it for speed only.

    saying that phil brown is a taupe idiot is merely an observation, anybody who comments on this, well that is their opinion.

    dan's blog mentioned both robbie savage and phil brown in order to provoke opinion, which I provided. you have failed to do this, and instead placed critique on my entry...who's the idiot?

  • Comment number 65.

    Bellion -Wonderland

    Yeah you're right mate. Fergie yet again is doing a terrible job!
    I mean fancy being 2nd in the league already ,compared to where United were this time last year!

    I think you will find it doesnt matter if a player comes from Wigan or Molde in Norway, i presume you didnt have a problem with Solskjaer!

  • Comment number 66.

    All managers if a player can't miss the first man with the firt 2 f kicks/corner get someone else to take them please!

    If a player turns away when someone has a shot don't pay them that week for being cowards. One hand covers the face the other the Colemans and you face up to it. No one has died yet (i hope) from blocking a shot.

  • Comment number 67.

    Words of advice to Rafa Benitez,

    Spend money on quality not quantity, hoping one of them will turn out to be the next Rush is not how you win the Prem. Everyone knows Torres is your one 'saving grace' and the only reason your not fired, yet. Give Benayoun the starting position, he's proven and earned it. Send Lucas back to Brazil, please. Don't buy injured players unless you have adequate cover. Stop pretending your still "confident" because you know your close to being fired, better hope Aquillani turns out to be a Xavi Hernande-esque player or your gone by next year.

  • Comment number 68.

    Oh, and Man U. fans, Everyone knows you miss Ronaldo. And sorry to tell you what you already know, Ronaldo is better and more important than Rooney. Everyone in the world (except the ppl in england) know it.

  • Comment number 69.

    Rafa: Get Rid of Lucas, he's terrible, buy another striker, and either shave or grow a full beard

    Arsene: Learn a better english phrase than "I DID NOT SEE THE INCIDENT"

    SAF: Quite being a Hypocrite, don't slate one manager for saying something and then say the exact same thing a few months later

    Ancelotti: Shave off your eyebrows so that i don't have to see them so high on your face anymore

    Capello: For gods sake stop playing Heskey......He is an untalented Donkey

    Roy Keane: stop pulling faces because you are scaring the kids

    Dan my friend this was an excellent blog! Keep it up

  • Comment number 70.

    All managers, and indeed players, need only listen to one piece of sage advice that will transform them from Sunday League cloggers to worldwide celebrities.


  • Comment number 71.

    Dan - I have been reading your blogs since week one and not one has been a boring read - So keep up the good work! I don't often get the chance to see Football Focus (with it being football day), and with two young children, Sky+ is far from the easy option! It's a shame BBC don't have it on the old iPlayer.
    If I had to chance to tell a manager one thing. I'd tell Fabio Capello to look at the Gary Cahill's of the world before resorting to the Rio Ferdinand's.


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