Louis van Gaal made some brave decisions

Louis van Gaal’s Not So Impressive Report Card

With a little more than half the season done, Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United are tenaciously hanging onto their top four position in the English Premier League. THT takes this opportunity to grade LvG’s performance this season so far. Street Cred: A+ Van Gaal and his team have immense amounts of street cred. Van Gaal came to United after having won the top flight honours in three European leagues – the Eredivisie (AZ and Ajax), the La Liga (Barcelona) and the Bundesliga (Bayern Munich) – in addition to winning the Champions League with Ajax and guiding the Netherland National Team to the third spot in the 2014 Football World Cup.So, van Gaal comes with a lot of achievements already under his belt, unlike his predecessor. Coming to his players, most of them have won league gold medals through their tenures at Manchester United and elsewhere. In captain Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Angel di Maria, Radamel Falcao and Juan Mata, […] Read more »

Manchester-United-Amblem

Manchester united 3-1 Leicester city:three talking points

With Manchester United recording a comfortable 3-1 win over Leicester City, lets analyze the talking points of the game as Van Gaal looks to get back to his winning ways in England. Is Van Gaal Still Twitching His Ass? Van Gaal had said earlier that playing with a 4-4-2 formation ‘twitches my ass’ but Manchester United showed once again that they are at their most lethal when they have an extra man in the midfield. “We have won more games playing 4-4-2 with a diamond, but when you analyze the game, we have twitched our ass on the bench.” Having failed to convincingly score goals this season despite boasting of a star-studded attacking line-up, Van Gaal’s Manchester United is at their best without the extra defender playing infront of De Gea. It is true that the 5-3-2 formation affords him comfort, given their rather shaky defence record, but United have failed to really trouble their opponents with this formation as […] Read more »

Garrincha - 1962 World Cup

Garrincha – The flawed genius

The world over if someone were asked to name the ten greatest players to have ever played a beautiful game, the names would be Pele, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo (Brazilian), Franz Beckenbauer, Eusebio, Johan Cruyff, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Michel Platini. These are the players who excelled at their trade and reached levels never seen or imagined before. But if you were to ask a Brazilian who is the greatest Brazilian player of all time don’t be surprised to hear the name Garrincha, a player who may not have been as technically gifted as Pele or Ronaldo but he had the gift of inventiveness, explosive pace, dribbling skills beyond anyone’s ability and a keen eye for goal. Sadly outside Brazil and academic discussions, Garrincha is mostly forgotten despite being a double FIFA World Cup Winner. Like many Brazilian footballers, Garrincha was born in poverty in Pau Grande in the city of Magé; southeast of Brazil and in the […] Read more »

Diego Simeone - Atletico Madrid manager | Atletico Madrid - A Shift in Power in the Spanish Capital

Simeone Most Deserving of 2014 FIFA Coach of the Year Award

The final whistle had blown at the Nou Camp in Barcelona and Atletico Madrid had just achieved the impossible – a singular feat that most believed was well beyond their reach at the start of the season. Proving their detractors wrong had become something of a habit for Los Rojiblancos over the course of the campaign, and the league triumph on the final day was no different. In a performance that typified the spirit they had shown throughout the season, Atleti overcame the loss of Diego Costa and Arda Turan, fighting back from a goal down and then keeping out Barcelona for a full forty-five minutes to win the point they needed to claim the title – breaking, in the process, the decade long duopoly of Real Madrid and Barcelona, by far the biggest clubs in the country. As the players celebrated on the pitch amidst an ovation from a packed Camp Nou, a figure clad in black from head […] Read more »

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Sir Bobby Robson – An Awakening of A Town And The Glory That Followed

‘TheHardTackle Relic’ is a semi-regular column which dusts off the pages of football history. It intends to walk you down memory lane and relive events, players and teams long forgotten. Today we revisit the inspiring journey of Sir Bobby Robson.  Revered in Newcastle and the North East, Sir Bobby Robson is a man who enjoys phenomenal popularity. He means so much to every generation of Englishmen: from his playing days with Fulham and West Bromwich Albion in the 1950s and 1960s, to his twenty England caps and his brilliant management career over the past 38 years, Bobby Robson has inspired generations of fans. In his early adult years he grew-up in North East, and his working life before football in the mines of Langley Park, where he went underground for a year and a half at the age of fifteen. Regarded as the most successful living English manager of all-time, he has been witnessed to some of the most historic sporting […] Read more »

Pochettino's side crashed to another home defeat

Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino And Their Problems

Tottenham have always had an abundance of talent in their squad. However, lack of a tactical manager and an impatient Chairman, who fired the last manager well ahead of time, have resulted in their sub-standard performances. What should Pochettino do, if he wishes to keep his job and bring Tottenham to higher grounds? “This season we are going to beat those Gooners, this is our year, we’re gonna get to that Champions League spot”, is a statement that has been all too common from Spurs fan world over. But come mid way to the season, most Tottenham fans are lurking in the shadows, hoping that they don’t lose another manager. The Lonely Striker Kane has been the find of the season and his introduction into the team has not only sent shivers down the opponent’s spine but also injected into the Tottenham side, some spirit which they have lacked in recent games. However his performance has been credible only when […] Read more »