The Professor and the Swede
An interesting match this weekend, no doubt.
It's a head to head i've been intrigued about seeing for quite a while - our very own Lord Wenger versus Sexy Svennis, the much maligned former England manager now in the hotseat at Manchester City, who has, by all accounts, got them off to a flyer.
I think everyone plays these kind of things out in their head - who would come out on top between so-and-so and whatsisface, and what would it be like if they ever were to met.
And despite what Sven had to endure during his time as England manager, there is no doubting he is a manager of some pedigree, having spent some number of years coaching in Italy at the highest level - he is certainly nobody's mug, and I think that the way he has got City off to a flyer is indicative of that, though there are a number of factors possibly contributory to this - the increased surge of optimism at City with the new investment, the new players, the high profile manager - this must feel like one of the most exciting seasons to be a City fan in years.
Of course, everyone thinks we will run all over Man City, that they will come to play attacking football, and that we will be too much for them. I do not think it will be as straightforward as that -as mentioned before, Sven coached in Italy for a number of years, and I think he will come to The Grove with a very clear idea of what he wants to do, and i have a hunch it will be to keep it tight, offer us little in the way of chances and try to get us on the chin with a sucker punch, all in the classic Italian style. Especially seeing as this is a very new team learning to play together, they will surely need to keep things steady and secure before trying to play too much of an expansive game, much in the way a certain Mr Mourinho did when he first took over the reins at Chelski, and was charged with the task of getting several new players to instantly achieve results. I can see Sven going about the start of his tenure at City the same way.
I think this weekend's encounter will be an intriguing affair, not necessarily an open affair, but a possible game of cat and mouse. I am of the opinion that we will win, but it might not be as easy as some folk might think...