Tag Archive: F.C. Internazionale Milano

Will we see Louis Van Gaal managing in the Premier League soon?

By Laurie Fitzgerald

It was announced earlier this week that Louis Van Gaal would be leaving his position as Bayern Munich manager at the end of the current season.

The German giants find themselves lying in fifth in the Bundesliga, and although they remain in the Champions League, the club has decided to act in the long-term.

People may view this as a disappointing end to his tenure, but it could lead to the Dutchman finally taking charge of a Premier League side for the first time in his illustrious managerial career.

While this campaign hasn’t gone according to plan for Van Gaal, it shouldn’t be forgotten what he achieved with this group of players last season.

The 59 year-old guided Bayern to a domestic double, capturing the Bundesliga and German Cup, before almost becoming the first team from Germany to win an unprecedented treble, losing in the final of the Champions League to Inter Milan.

In fact, you can go back over the course of the past 20 years to find examples of Van Gaal achieving great things with some of Europe’s elite clubs.

His six years at Ajax saw the Amsterdam side clinch some astonishing success, with a UEFA Cup in 1992 followed by Champions League triumph a few years later, not to mention three Eridivisie titles in the process.

He left Ajax in 1997 to take charge of Barcelona, and managing one of the world’s biggest clubs seemed to prove effortless for Van Gaal.

Barca won back-to-back La Liga titles under his stewardship, and added a Spanish Cup to go with them before becoming manager of the Dutch National side in 2000.

When he returned to club management five years later, his decision to join Dutch side AZ Alkmaar raised eyebrows.

However, Van Gaal led AZ to only their second ever Eredivisie title in 2009 before moving on to Bayern in the summer of that year.

When you look back on what Van Gaal has achieved in club football over the past two decades – winning national titles in every club job he’s had – it does make you wonder why a Premier League side hasn’t offered him the opportunity to manage in England.

It may have something to do with the two biggest criticisms of Louis Van Gaal; his relationship with the media, and the patience required of his reigns.

In the past he has had strained relationships with the German, Dutch and Spanish media, and with so much emphasis placed on the image that a Premier League manager maintains, having a turbulent partnership with the English media would not be advised.

Especially if he’s not getting results; it is often suggested that Van Gaal does not get the best from his teams in the short-term (despite achieving instant success with Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.)

The last thing a boss in England’s top flight is afforded is time and patience. If he doesn’t get his teams going from the off, then Van Gaal would not last long.

But we don’t know if this is the case until he’s given the chance to prove himself. For a manager that has succeeded for so long in European football, it’s about time we see what he can do in the most popular league in the world.

So what do you think? Would you like to have Van Gaal at your club? Would the Dutchman be able to last in the Premier League? Let us know what you think


By Tony Alvarez

Following today’s announcement from Brazilian superstar Ronaldo that he is to retire from Football with immediate effect, many fans and sections of the media are celebrating his glittering career.

   Despite numerous injuries Ronaldo has represented some of the World’s most illustrious clubs and has won many major honour that the world has to offer, he is one of only two players to be named the World player of the year on three occasions, a winner of the World cup in 2002 a runner up in 1998.

 In domestic football Ronaldo represented Cruzeiro, PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, AC Milan and finally Corinthians scoring 326 goals in 466 club games a record bettered by no one add to this his 62 goals in 97 appearances for Brazil.

 He also boasts the record of being the highest scorer in the history of the World Cup with 15 goals, no one could argue that the man had an illustrious career but is it to early to call him a legend or as some people have suggested the player of a generation.

  For me a legend who is someone who is well regarded way after his playing career has finished, with Ronaldo’s goal scoring there is little doubt he will achieve legend status in the future.

However it’s the player of the generation tag that I simple cannot agree with and this may be controversial but for me Ronaldo does not possess the ability that Lionel Messi does.

 Now I am sure in counter arguments people will argue that Messi’s scoring record does not match Ronaldo’s he has never won a World Cup or competed at the top level for the amount of time that Ronaldo did. But people must remember that like Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi is not an out an out striker this makes his scoring record all the more impressive, he is not generally injury prone which it certainly cant be argued that Ronaldo was and offers more to a side than just goals.

I am aware that any counter argument would also point to the fact that Ronaldo was proved in many countries and for many different clubs where as Messi has only shown his ability in possibly the best club side ever.

So whilst for me the man more affectionately known as “the fat Ronaldo” will be consider as a legend for me he is not the player of his generation.

What do you think? Can Ronaldo be considered a legend? Is he the player of your generation? Do you consider Messi as a better player than Ronaldo was or does he need to prove himself in another side? Will anyone ever best Ronaldo’s World Cup goal scoring record? Let us know your thoughts….

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By Tony Alvarez

Following reaching an agreement for termination of his contract with European Champions Inter Milan due to poor performances and negative comments about the board, rumours are circling that Rafa Benitez could find himself back in charge of Liverpool in the near future.

Benitez, who won the Champions League and the FA cup amongst other things during his 6 year spell as manager of Liverpool, agreed the termination just days after winning the World club cup.

With many fans of the Merseyside giants wanting rid of current manager Roy Hodgson due to poor performances, poor signings and a seeming lack of inspiration, the availability of Benitez has come at a convenient time for the fans who want Hodgson out.

Although towards the end of his reign at Anfield Benitez was not loved by Liverpool fans due to many of the same reasons that are causing fans to call for Hodgson’s sacking, there is now a “bring back Benitez” campaign which has included banners hung outside the club ground.

In a poll by Liverpool fans’ website Empire of the Kop, more than 66 per cent of followers want to see Benitez replace current gaffer Roy Hodgson.

Although the board have given no indication that they are not happy with the direction the club is going under Roy Hodgson it has often been seen in the past that the voice of the fans can have a big influence on a Chairman’s decisions.

Benitez, who still has a home in Liverpool where he has returned to following the loss of his job at Inter Milan, has not commented since he has become unemployed and it is unclear whether he would want a move back to Liverpool.

Bookmakers she a move back to Spain as the most likely destination for Benitez, with a sensational return to Anfield priced at 9 to 1, where as I move back to his native Spain priced at 1.73 to 1.

What do you think? Would you welcome him back to Anfield? Can your realistically see it happening? Why do so many fans want him back when they were calling for his head at the end of last season? Leave a comment and let me know

Due to fixtures being postponed due to adverse weather conditions last weekend, there will be no North London Debate this week. Also due to Christmas there will be no article on tomorrow (Saturday 25th Dec) so we will be back on Boxing Day, we hope to see you then.

Merry Christmas from everyone here at Shouts from the stands.

By Laurie Fitzgerald

When it comes to dealing with racism within football, it’s important to notice what are isolated incidents and what are consistently occurring.

While racism may still exist in English football (without having evidence, its difficult to state otherwise) at least there is a concerted effort being made by the national governing bodies (Football Association, Premier League, Football League) with its ‘Kick Racism out of Football’ campaign.

However, the same cannot be said for some countries throughout Europe. One of the worst that suffers from this appalling form of discrimination is Italy.

Its main victim comes in the form of young Mario Balotelli. The young Manchester City striker once again faced racist abuse during Italy’s 1-1 draw with Romania, with about 100 right-wing extreme Italian fans targeting the 20 year-old due to the colour of his skin.

It wasn’t just booing that he was subjected to; there was a banner within the HypoArena stadium in Austria, where the friendly took place, stating; “no to a multi-ethnic national team.”

Now it’s obvious that this is a problem stemming from the minority within Italy. As Balotelli said after the game, “Where I live, the people don’t reason like these people. A multi-ethnic Italy already exists and we can do better.”

But this is not an isolated incident, certainly not for Balotelli. In April last year, he was taunted with racist chants from Juventus fans during a game between his former club Inter Milan and the Turin giants. One of these chants was along the lines of, “a black Italian does not exist.”

The punishment? Juve were ordered by the Italian FA to play their next home game behind closed doors. But are these sorts of punishments strict enough?

By handing such a minor punishment, it indicates to the public that the Italian FA only views it as a minor problem, which is surely not the case. Therefore, the need to get tougher in dealing with these racists is increasing.

While home games behind closed doors will hurt the revenue of a club, attendances aren’t sell-outs at the best of times, with many fans watching Italian football from the comfort of their own homes. The majority of their money is made through television deals.

While harming their television deals may lead to a huge legal battle, how about hurting them on the pitch with point deductions? Surely this will have more of an impact on the clubs to do something about the issue.

When it comes to these extremists, they probably won’t be affected by whether or not their clubs face harsher punishments. But it will make the clubs themselves more determined from preventing them from entering stadiums and airing their sick opinions to those who have no time for them.

Of course Italy isn’t the only country dealing with racism. Who can forget the goodbye that Russian fans gave to Peter Odemwingie when he left Lokomotiv Moscow for West Brom, when Lokomotiv fans unfurled a banner with a banana on it saying “thanks West Brom.” But harsher punishments can help go a long way to stopping racism maintaining an unwanted place within football.

Leave a comment and let me and other football lovers know what you think.

 Please read the comments from other fans and see if you agree with their points.

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