Paul Parker

  • City a better option than Chelsea for Mourinho

    I can see the rationale behind Jose Mourinho returning to Chelsea – he said he wanted to be somewhere where he loved and where people loved him, and they certainly love him at Stamford Bridge.

    But there are several reasons why Mourinho’s next move shouldn’t be Chelsea.

    The first reason is precisely why people think he should return to Stamford Bridge – he’s done it before, he’ll go back and the fans will chant his name. While you could admire the single-mindedness of Chelsea’s fans (unless you’re Rafael Benitez), it’s a bit one-dimensional to think it’ll be a Groundhog Day scenario.

    Back when

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  • Mancini paid price for poor man-management

    Manchester City have sacked Roberto Mancini and I don't think anybody is too surprised. The fans might be upset because he brought them their first FA Cup since 1969 and their first title since 1968 and they hoped they were going to go down the Manchester United route of having continuity with one manager but this decision has been on the cards.

    Part of the reason Mancini has been sacked is because of their poor performances in the Champions League and part of it is being so far behind Manchester United this season and the embarrassing Cup final performance against Wigan but more than

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  • There will not be another like Sir Alex Ferguson

    Paul Parker, Andrei Kanchelskis and Peter Schmeichel with then-manager Alex Ferguson (Getty)

    There was never going to be a good time for Sir Alex Ferguson to retire.

    There would never be a time when the news would not shock everyone – not just Manchester United fans, but the entire footballing community, the entire world.

    Some would never admit it, but even fans of United’s greatest rivals over the Ferguson years – the Leeds United fans, the Chelsea fans, the Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City fans – they all respected Sir Alex. It’s as simple as that.

    The one thing that springs to mind which football will miss most once Fergie goes is his man-management. It’s something he could

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  • The fundamental problem with Jose Mourinho potentially returning to Chelsea is the fact that the club would be falling straight back into the trap of seeking a short-term solution when that is exactly what is not required.

    At the beginning of the season it seemed as though the club were going to build on a strong foundation of talented young players with a bright, ambitious, Champions League-winning coach, but all they have done is slip back into their old ways and it is depressing to see.

    As a club, Chelsea can often be seen to be pretty incestuous and to live in their own world, and to

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  • Lack of English grit could send Newcastle down

    Newcastle United's Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

    Newcastle are now just one place above the relegation zone and have lost their last two home games by a combined score of 9-0.

    They punched above their weight last season and qualified for the Europa League but that is now one of the big reasons why they are struggling.

    The club just didn't need Europa League football. It may only be Europe's second tier competition but you still need a competent squad to deal with that and the Premier League.

    Everything was rosy in the garden when the French revolution began at the club – playing in Europe was a big lift for all those European players who

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  • United must build on success; City need a new manager

    Most of the reaction to Manchester United’s 20th league title was rightly concerned with praising the decision to sign Robin van Persie, and Sir Alex Ferguson’s ability to get his teams playing an incessant, consistent level against the small and medium sides while grinding out close results against the big players.

    So I won’t go there and instead will take a look at possible next steps for both United and Manchester City, who paid the price for failing to add the right players in the summer.

    I think if United want to get the best out of a player like Shinji Kagawa, they needed to sign a Mario

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  • The first thing you have to realise when you are talking about Sir Alex Ferguson is that he is fearless. No one player is bigger than Manchester United. That is why he has lasted 27 years as manager of one of the world's biggest football clubs. That is why he is the most successful manager in the history of the game. No player gets the better of Sir Alex. If they try to, they are quickly moved on from Old Trafford.

    You have to look at the Wayne Rooney situation at United and wonder if agents talk their players out of a club. There are few media reports regarding Wayne this morning. Both are

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  • Margaret Thatcher deserves a minute’s silence

    Being a black footballer in the 1980s amid the era of Margaret Thatcher's rule was very difficult. Having to travel north and play was very difficult because of the abuse you got.

    The football at the time was British and very physical. It was all about being very fit.

    Training was all about cross-country running and pumping weights; things that are probably viewed as wrong now.

    Football was all about blood, sweat and tears. If you went down injured back then and rolled around on the ground, your manager would slaughter you.

    If you went down with a broken leg, the coaching staff would go easy

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  • Sunderland will become a laughing stock under Di Canio

    Sunderland appointing Paolo Di Canio as manager is very much a case of madness meets madness, and the club are likely to end up as a laughing stock as a result.

    The club's owner Ellis Short has taken an extraordinary gamble in replacing the experienced and widely respected Martin O’Neill with an attention seeker looking to make everything about him.

    Short has decided to put the club's immediate future in the hands of an inexperienced and volatile coach whose snap judgements and emotional decisions have been laughable in his managerial career to date.

    Hopefully for Sunderland's sake, Di Canio

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  • Boring England could be headed for the play-offs

    It's a do-or-die game against Montenegro. If England lose tonight, people will be down.

    We'll be headed for the play-offs and they are not easy any more: we could be playing against Spain, or France - depending on how that group works out - and there's also Portugal.

    Good, good sides rarely lose over two legs, as we've just seen with Barcelona against Milan. The game will affect the mood of the country: we still can't write off Poland, and we've got to play Ukraine again as well.

    These days we shouldn't have expectations of beating nations such as these. Many of their players play in top sides

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