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What all 20 PL managers want for Christmas – and what they’ll end up with

Christmas is a notoriously hectic time for football managers, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the festive season.

Just like the rest of us, Premier League bosses will have woken up on Christmas morning and wondered just what was waiting for them when they tore open wrapping paper and stockings.

But what do the league’s top bosses actually want for Christmas? And what will they actually get?

Of course this is an extremely serious question, and so we sat down for all of five minutes to try and work it out.

Here’s what the Premier League’s best and brightest can expect to be enjoying today, ahead of the Boxing Day round of matches.

Enjoy.

Mikel Arteta (Arsenal)

“Mrs Brown’s Boys? Really?!”

What he wants: Just for everyone to calm down, really. Pop a bit of Morcheeba on, sit cross-legged for a bit, talk to each other. “But David doesn’t really mean those things, Mohamed.”

What he’ll get: Who knows at this point? If the Boxing Day game against Chelsea featured red cards for Hector Bellerin, Joe Willock and Rob Holding for a second half ritual sacrifice of Kai Havertz would anyone really be surprised any more?

Dean Smith (Aston Villa)

“Two words, four syllables…”

What he wants: Jack Grealish to have a quiet one in front of the telly, animated film, doze on the sofa, turkey butties, bed by half 9.

What he’ll get: Some HMV vouchers from John Terry.

Graham Potter (Brighton)

“Oh God I’ve eaten too much”

What he wants: Danny Welbeck and Adam Lallana to go back in time and stop their injuries before they happen. A watchable TV drama, a celebrated scientific breakthrough and a chance of finishing top half.

What he’ll get: Vinyl. Lots of vinyl.

Sean Dyche (Burnley)

“No more peanuts, please”

What he wants: No presents, it’s for the kids really isn’t it? Little drop of sherry before his dinner, also known as ‘the main event’.

What he’ll get: Socks. Because he needs them.

Frank Lampard (Chelsea)

That’s the hand you make as you’re about to dive in for some more Celebrations

What he wants: Some £400 t-shirt he saw Christian Pulisic wearing that he can totally still pull off.

What he’ll get: Some £400 t-shirt he saw Christian Pulisic wearing that he can totally still pull off.

Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace)

Someone forgot the parsnips

What he wants: For people to stop making cheap jokes about his advanced age in jokey online articles like this one.

What he’ll get: Slippers.

Carlo Ancelotti (Everton)

“Thanks, but I’ve got one of these at work”

What he wants: A day filled with song, laughter, the finest Italian wines and all the meats. I mean all of them.

What he’ll get: Something presented to him by a beaming Duncan Ferguson that is wrapped in newspaper and duct tape and oh my god did it just move…

Scott Parker (Fulham)

There are two types of people, those who dress up on Christmas Day and those who don’t

What he wants: The entire male grooming section at the Boots in Putney Bridge, but he doesn’t want to ask for it so a voucher will do.

What he’ll get: A turtleneck he’s already got.

Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds)

“What time’s the Queen on again?”

What he wants: Something so utterly inconceivable that you and I, mere mortals, would have absolutely no idea how to even begin to understand.

What he’ll get: Some sort of new bucket with his face on that he can sit on during matches. It will not go down well.

Brendan Rodgers (Leicester)

Roasties are done

What he wants: Some more books for the collection. Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Joe Wicks.

What he’ll get: Just the Joe Wicks one.

Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)

Pigs. In. Blankets.

What he wants: Just for everyone to have a wonderful time, really. Oh and the head of Chris Wilder.

What he’ll get: Probably some sort of award.

Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)

“They posted us a card and we forgot to post them one!”

What he wants: Lionel Messi to text him back.

What he’ll get: A lovely bit of knitwear he can keep on wearing until way too late into the season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United)

“Oh wait, batteries NOT included?!”

What he wants:Now 100 Hits: 90s No.1s on CD and, if available, cassette tape.

What he’ll get:Manchester United duvet and pillowcase set.

Steve Bruce (Newcastle)

“Alright, one more”

What he wants: For you to stop making jokes about the nose, okay. It’s just a nose, people have them.

What he’ll get: Some Sports Direct vouchers.

Chris Wilder (Sheffield United)

“Sinatra was swinging, all the drunks they were singing…”

What he wants: Any room in Welbeck and Lallana’s time machine?

What he’ll get: Not a mention on this list next year, at this rate.

Ralph Hasenhuttl (Southampton)

“No I love the hat, really. Thanks.”

What he wants: Bubble wrap for Danny Ings, or failing that more gilets he can give to Danny Ings to wrap him up in. To protect Danny Ings, basically.

What he’ll get: Doesn’t really matter. He’ll just smile at whatever it is and accept it gratefully.

Jose Mourinho (Tottenham)

“Reckon the Grinch was onto something, y’know”

What he wants: RESPECT!

What he’ll get: Jurgen Klopp’s autobiography from his soon to be sacked Secret Santa.

Sam Allardyce (West Brom)

“I could have had Christmas off.”

What he wants: To go big on Christmas Day. Bucks Fizz by 9, first course at 1, asleep in front of the telly by 5.

What he’ll get: Sammy Lee waking him up by excitedly banging on his door at 6am to see if he’s opened his presents yet.

David Moyes (West Ham)

“Only Fools and Horses is on!”

What he wants: “How was your Christmas, David? Get up to much?” “Nah, not really.” Bliss.

What he’ll get: A present from David Gold and David Sullivan that he dare not open.

Nuno Espirito Santo (Wolves)

“But mum, her slice was this big!”

What he wants: To never have to set eyes on Lee Mason ever again.

What he’ll get: Probably Lee Mason. Haunting his dreams. Forever.

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Six Premier League managers have changed mind on five substitutes details Klopp


Jurgen Klopp insists a growing number of Premier League managers are pushing for five substitutes to be allowed in matches.

The EFL announced this week that its clubs would be able to make use five subs in matches as of this weekend.

But the Premier League, despite introducing a rule to allow five changes during 2019-20’s Project Restart, reverted to three subs for 2020-21, even though the rest of Europe’s major leagues continued with the added amount.

Some bosses have been outspoken on the subject, insisting that it hands an unfair advantage to the league’s bigger clubs.

But amid this season’s compressed schedule and with an increase in muscle and fatigue injuries, discussions have been held over allowing five subs to be used for the remainder of the campaign.

At a Premier League meeting on Wednesday, managers discussed the situation, with Klopp confirming a number of opinions have been changed.

Klopp has insisted it is about player protection

“People need to understand football players. People say: ‘Oh, but they earn this much.’ It’s not about that. They earn that much because they are so special,” said Klopp, speaking to Jamie Redknapp for the Daily Mail.

“There are actors who are brilliant but will never be James Bond. But as a James Bond, you earn more than others. With football, it’s the same. So many people play football and the best of them earn more. But that doesn’t make them more robust for everything in life. On Wednesday we had a meeting between all of the managers and it was so important.

“Before the season, some people thought it would be an advantage for us, the people who said we should stick to five substitutions. But it was never — and I can promise you this, I’m a Christian — it was not for one second about having an advantage.

“All the other countries did it. Italy — Juventus, Inter Milan, they have the biggest squads, but still the other clubs said, ‘We need five subs.’

“Six managers changed their minds. We need it. For the players, not the clubs. December and January in a normal season is brutal. We know that. But this year, for the Champions League and Europa League clubs, October is like December. November is like December. December is still December, then January, then February.

“We all agree we want to play, 100 per cent. But it’s little adjustments.”

Liverpool have been bitten by injuries more than most, with Virgil van Dijk joined on the long-term injury list by Joe Gomez during the international break – an injury England boss Gareth Southgate was down to the current packed schedule as much as anything else.

Klopp continued: “It’s not about me. It’s not about Liverpool. It’s about player welfare. Nothing else. The problem is if you ask the players, they say, ‘I’m fine!’ Because players always want to play. Always. Until they are injured.”

Champions Liverpool face table-toppers Leicester City on Sunday.

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Premier League managers fume, latest VAR talking point and PPV fallout continues


Premier League managers have been left unhappy with this month’s international treble header.

But the fixture list will be even more punishing in 2021 when World Cup qualifying starts in March with another treble header during the domestic title run-in and amid big Champions League knock-out ties.

The World Cup qualifying draw takes place next month on December 7 in Zurich when England will discover their Group opponents for a place in Qatar in 2022.

It is a completely new-look qualifying campaign with three dates set aside in March and another three in September with countries drawn into Groups of five or six.

There are also dates in October and November while the winners of the Nations League Group matches will go into the Groups of five with the Nations League finals played in the spare dates next autumn.

The fixture schedule over the next 12 months is unprecedented and will only heighten the big clubs’ calls for five substitutes to be introduced while Gareth Southgate must harbour concerns about player fitness and his big names being released.

FA officials took a bit of stick for re-arranging the friendly with Ireland after Australia pulled out but the TV contract meant they had to play another game and UEFA also want countries to play the same number of games so no-one gets an advantage.

Jurgen Klopp has lamented the fixture schedule

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SKY’S excellent co-commentator Alan Smith hit upon another talking point in an interesting week for VAR while on duty for Leicester’s win over Wolves.

There are different guidelines for VAR and referees to check video footage on handballs and red card offences. Referee Anthony Taylor gave one of penalties in the game after consulting a pitch side monitor for a handball against Wolves defender Max Kilman.

Refs are supposed to watch replays of red card offences at real speed so they can judge the intensity of challenges. Taylor was questioned by several pundits why he watched a slo mo of Kilman. But handball decisions can be slowed down to see where the ball hits the arm.

Sky crossing over to Stockley Park during that game also caused debate as it appeared hub commander Neil Swarbrick – who is one of three along with Mike Mullarkey and Adam Carter – was carrying out an inquest into the handball. But it was a pretty standard chat.

Leicester benefited from a contentious penalty call

ONLY the BBC could launch a new women’s football podcast on the premise of the host slagging off the media for misquoting, taking quotes out of context and using pieces just for clickbait.

Players Podcast host Bex Smith said: “As sports people, we are at the media’s mercy.” All of this is fine and she is entitled to her view apart from the fact it seems to completely overlook that the BBC is part of the media unless they have explained it differently to her.

Or maybe the BBC simply do not trust their own journalists to do the show anymore.

The BBC have launched a women’s football podcast

THE fall-out from the Premier League’s pay-per-view debacle continues.

It cropped up again this week when Prem chief executive Richard Masters was quizzed by the DCMS Select Committee as to who was to blame for the £14.95 shambles.

Sky and BT Sport are furious that they have been painted as the bad guys, are unhappy with the Premier League and it remains to be seen whether it will have a knock-on effect in the next round of TV rights negotiations which are due to start soon.

Industry insiders are expecting TV companies to push back for various reasons after the pandemic and pay-per-view has become a real sore point.

The pay-per-view decision has not been well received

UEFA have different coronavirus protocols to those used in the Premier League.

Some appointed Covid officers have to wear full body suits to protect themselves while in stadiums for Champions League and Europa League games.

THIS year promises to be a bumper Christmas for sports books with Andrew Cole’s Fast Forward the latest excellent autobiography to be released.

Alan Brazil’s recollections have sold really well so far, Stuart Pearce’s Euro 96 story is out and plus the likes of James Haskell, Geraint Thomas, Andrew Flintoff and Marco Van Basten have also got new books on the shelves.

Arsene Wenger’s self written autobiography was the hottest release of the year, has had mixed reviews because it was not the warts and all book we had hoped for. But it has still sold very well and topped quite a few charts.





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Managers of the celebrity wardrobe | The NY Journal



Antonio Esteban studied to be a makeup artist. Son of Mexicans, from the Jalisco area, but born in California, Esteban met Inessa Shak while he was training in this trade, who over time has become his partner in Style PR, one of the companies dedicated to public relations in the world of fashion in Los Angeles that represents designers and dresses celebrities.

Esteban knows like few others what Jennifer López, Beyoncé, Kylie Jenner, Thalia or Sofía Vergara want to wear when they step on a red carpet, record a video or have a Zoom conference in these times of COVID.

Creating his company was not what Esteban had in mind when he graduated, but when he started working a little over a decade ago he saw that in the photo shoots he had little control over the work. “First the photographer decided, then the creative director, then the stylist, and finally the hairdresser and makeup artist,” he explains, “now it has changed, but then it was like that.” That lack of control over his work left him dissatisfied.

But one day opportunity knocked on his door. A stylist canceled his participation in a photo shoot and before canceling it Esteban offered to replace him. “I had designer friends and I asked them to lend me clothes, they did”, he remembers that the photographer worked with him and sought their opinion and he liked that. That day she decided that she was going to make the leap to styling.

He worked for two years, but he admits that he was not used to not having regular work because some days he was very busy and others not. So she connected with Shak, who was a makeup artist, and they decided to start a styling and public relations company. “With an office, doing the things they enjoyed doing, I styling, she makeup, we met many people and opened without experience.”

When describing his business Esteban says that his clients are designers. They hire your company to interact with the stylists of the stars and they wear their clothes, it is one of the most effective forms of advertising. “My second client is the stylist, I can call Kylie Jenner’s stylist and tell her that I have the perfect dress or shoes for her, with her measurements, with the color that suits her,” she describes.

Esteban explains that in public relations matters what they do is make the designer known once a celebrity wears their clothes. Many of the creators he works with are from the Middle East, well known in that area but not so much in the US.

This part of the business, Esteban laughs, that they were a bit of a surprise when they had the first great moment of the signing shortly after launching it.

“We opened in November and in January Sofía Vergara, who then premiered her show and it was her first Golden Globe, chose our dress,” she says. Esteban says that he did not really know until an hour before what he would wear and when he saw her on the red carpet they asked him “did you send the press release?” “And I said, what is that?” “We didn’t know much about it,” he admits after saying that they immediately remedied it by hiring a specialist.

The measure of how important personal relationships are to your business is given by the story of how you came to represent your first designer. “I was watching the Tyra Banks show, The Next Top Model and they each had a guest designer. There was one Filipino based in Dubai that I loved. His name is Michael Cinco and I sent him a message on Facebook saying that I loved him and that I would like to work with him in the future ”.

When after a year he decided to open, being very new and having no references, he was unable to attract clients but decided to send a message to Cinco, acknowledging that he had no experience or anything to teach him but wanted to start. “He said, Where do I send you the dresses?”

And that’s how she started with the 10 dresses she sent her. One of them was the one that Sofía Vergara used and the business began to roll.

This designer, whose main work is the use of glass, arrived at a time when Lady Gaga marked the style with her somewhat heterodox appearances. The stars wanted that type of clothing and Esteban and Shak’s firm specialized in that niche by contacting other designers from the Middle East. “I made myself known with that angle.”

Over time you already know the styles of the most sought-after stars. He says that he does not ask anyone for anything but that everyone knows that he is available 24 hours a day if they need him. When a star can’t find a dress at the last minute that he wants to wear, has lost his suitcase on a trip or for whatever reason, he has a solution. “This service is something that counts.”

To the designers, who contact him because they know what he does on Instagram on many occasions, he tells them how they have to work to make dresses that Beyoncé or Jennifer López want to wear, for example. Issues of sizes, colors, fabrics. Esteban already knows what they want to wear, he understands his wardrobe. Some do not make sizes larger than two and Esteban says that this way they lose business. “Stars are constantly changing size,” he says.

COVID-19 has changed his business in a way. There are no festivals, no awards season and things have changed a lot in fashion.

That’s something you count on. He says that he has to adapt to a fashion that changes every five years at the most, but this time what has occurred is a change due to illness. His firm in which 15 people have worked has been reduced to six. In the last few months they are starting to pick up speed again because videos are being shot, stars want to look good on zoom calls or TV sets and from time to time there are award ceremonies.

In five years he sees himself expanding his business to stylists and makeup artists, although for now he is focused on managing his company in the era of COVID and closely following social trends. “The stars, some want to continue with the glam.”

Entrepreneur lessons

  • Customer service is key and everyone deserves the best. The assistant stylist today is the most influential stylist tomorrow. You have to treat everyone well.
  • Do not settle in the way you do things, you have to change, adapt and recreate.

  • Don’t stop thinking of ideas to add to the business model.

  • Every failure is the first step to an achievement

.



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Lampard claims he is treated differently to other managers because he is English


Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says he believes has been judged differently in comparison to other managers and revealed people close to him questioned his decision to take the job at Stamford Bridge.

After one season as the manager at Derby County, Lampard was hired by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to lead the team in 2019.

With a transfer ban hanging over the club, Lampard put his faith in the academy and provided a pathway to the first-team for players such as Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

And Lampard’s trust was rewarded as the Blues qualified for the Champions League and reached the FA Cup final.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard

Lampard is the only English manager among the top six which brings its own pressure and expectation.

Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League clash with Krasnodar on Wednesday, Lampard was asked if he felt he is judged differently from other managers and said: “I think possibly, yes; I think when I got this job a lot of people were questioning me getting the job.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard could be a busy man come January
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard feels he’s treated differently

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“A lot of people told me ‘are you sure you want to take it’ because of maybe opinion. And I think when sometimes people can be very quick to form opinions straight away, for whatever reason, and being a young English manager with one year at Derby some of that I understood.

“But at the same time I think sometimes we just have to judge people on face value, like we do judge any manager; it doesn’t matter where you’re from, I think all managers should be judged the same.

“I was pretty proud of what we managed to achieve last season in terms of coming in the top four, in fact I thought we could have actually done even better than that for different reasons. But I was happy with that.

“I can’t get swung on opinion though, because if you do that managing a Premier League team if you look at opinion and read and listen to everything, it will affect you every day.

“So I just have to do the job as well as I can. And hopefully, the opinions will speak for themselves.

“I’m certainly very pleased I took the job. I’m very proud to manage this club every day.”





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Collymore on why Guardiola cannot be considered one history’s top 10 managers


If someone gave me a really intensive driving course and then handed me the keys to Lewis Hamilton’s car I could make it drive fast round a track.

Likewise, if someone gave me a billion pounds to spend on a football team, the odds are I could make it function well.

So if Pep Guardiola were to win the Champions League with Manchester City this season it’d simply be par for the course.

And if he were to leave the Etihad on the back of it next summer then he still wouldn’t have done anything in England to convince me he is the greatest manager of all time, as some under-30s would try to have me believe.

In a decade or two, I don’t think we’ll even look back on Guardiola as one of the top 10 managers in football history.

Top 20? Yes. But top 10, no. No.1? Absolutely nowhere near.

Guardiola during the weekend draw with West Ham

To be considered the best you have to have taken a sleeping giant that has been swamped by its rivals and turned them into a club which dominated domestically for nearly two decades and won two Champions Leagues, as Sir Alex Ferguson did at Manchester United.

Or taken a provincial club and players, and turned them into English champions and two-time European Cup winners, as Brian Clough did at Nottingham Forest.

What Don Revie did with Leeds would arguably put him in the top five, as would Jock Stein’s achievements with Celtic, and we’ve not even mentioned Bill Shankly or Bob Paisley.

Nor have we got to Arrigo Sachhi, Udo Lattek or Johan Cruyff.

Lest we forget, Guardiola hasn’t reinvented football, he has just applied his interpretation of what Cruyff did at Barcelona.

Guardiola twice bested Ferguson in Champions League finals

He has produced some stunning football with City, Bayern and Barca, yes, but the latter was his club in his town, and he inherited one of the greatest midfield pairings in the modern game and arguably the greatest player ever to play football.

At Bayern, he won three Bundesliga titles but the Champions League eluded him and they won it before and after his time there.

It wouldn’t surprise me if City didn’t win it for the first time after he has gone and not necessarily in his style.

When I’m judging managers, I like to see how they get on when the chips are down, as they are at City right now with their injuries.

And what we’re seeing from Guardiola’s side is one brilliant performance, one average and one not so good, which is less than you’d expect from a so-called super-motivator.

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If Guardiola is as good as people tell us he is then, with the back-up players he has got, his side would still be beating teams left, right and centre.

But they haven’t, and that’s why I can only go so far as to say he is a very, very good modern manager.

But he’s someone whose legacy, right now, does not compare with those of Clough and Ferguson.

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Prem managers stay in jobs longer than rest of Europe’s top five leagues


Premier League managers stay in their jobs for the longest time in Europe’s top five leagues.

And, incredibly, they stay twice as long in the Premier League as compared to Serie A, according to a major new survey on football management.

The study by research firm RunRepeat looked at data from the last decade and 815 managerial spells from the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and Ligue 1.

Premier League managers get an average of 69.4 games in charge compared to Serie A where managers last an average of 34.1 games and, incredibly, 44 managers have lasted less than ten games in Italy’s top division.

December is also the most dangerous month for managers as it is when they are most likely to get sacked according to the survey.

Premier League managers are more secure than their European counterparts

Survey author Vyom Chaudhary admits that the data and results on English football have been “skewed” by Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger staying in their jobs for so long.

Former Manchester United boss Ferguson and ex-Arsenal boss Wenger managed 1033 and 828 league games respectively. Without these two cases, Premier League managers average 56.1 games, thus putting Ligue 1 on top with 58.2 games.

Chaudhary said: “Serie A and La Liga have provided the least amount of stability to its managers during the past decade. 

“Ligue 1 and Premier League sides are comparatively patient with their managers and refrain from making mid-season changes. 

“What was even more striking about Serie A was the fact that relegation-threatened clubs often make multiple managerial changes in a single season. Our analysis suggests that the majority of these changes end in failures.

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“When it comes to relegation battles, Premier League clubs are more likely to make good managerial decisions than their counterparts in other leagues.

“The January transfer window might be controversial, but it plays a major role in managerial recruitment. Clubs forced to make mid-season managerial changes are most likely to do so during the months of December and January.”

The study also reveals the following:

  • Threat of relegation and being stuck in a relegation battle is the biggest reason for change.
  • Premier League clubs are most likely to make good managerial decisions in a relegation battle – leading to clubs staying up.
  • There is a direct link between changing managers in December or January – because clubs that do then go and buy in the January window.
  • August is the safest month for managers, although both Marcelo Bielsa (Lazio) and Stefano Pioli (Palermo) left their jobs without managing a single game.
  • The majority of the sackings during the off-season are made by top-half clubs, while the bottom-half clubs have dominated the sackings during the regular season.





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Frank Sinclair leads calls for black managers to be given equal opportunity


For Frank Sinclair, visibility is one of the key factors in tackling racism in football.

Of the 90 Premier League and EFL clubs in England, only four are currently managed by coaches from a black or ethnic minority background.

The pathway for former black players to managerial roles is still strewn with barriers, while their white counterparts have no such obstacles.

Former Chelsea, Leicester and Burnley defender Sinclair is in a new role as head of coaching development with League Two Port Vale, passing on his knowledge to the next generation.

But the 48-year-old wants to see more done to ensure greater representation for black managers and coaches, and to afford them the same equality of opportunity as their white colleagues.

Sinclair has been appointed head of coaching development with League Two Port Vale

“What I do see is a lot of lip service and a lack of action,” said Sinclair.

“When I look at my black peers who’ve played the game and gone into coaching and management, there are so many I think ‘have they really had a fair opportunity?’

“Take Paul Ince, who captained England and played for some of the biggest clubs in the world, but had to start his managerial career at Macclesfield Town.

“Then, in recent times, others are getting better opportunities higher up, when you look at Steven Gerrard at Rangers and Frank Lampard at Chelsea, who had similar careers to Paul.

“There just seems to be an imbalance in the opportunities black coaches are getting, when they finish playing and go into coaching and management – the visibility is poor.

Ince began his career with League Two club Macclesfield Town

“Unless we get equality of job opportunity, it’s always going to be difficult for black coaches to inspire the players playing now, who are thinking of going down that same route.

“If they can’t visibly see it, it’s not encouraging them to say ‘I’m going to go down that route and get into coaching and management.

“If you can’t see it, it’s very difficult to have that ambition.”

It is not just in coaching and management where there is a lack of diversity. At the very top positions at the FA, UEFA and other administrations, there is little or no black representation.

“Look at what Paul Elliott has done at the FA, at governance level and for equality in the game,” said Sinclair.

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“But when he attempts to get on the board, one he’s supported for so many years, and he’s voted against being a board member, that sums up the lack of inclusivity at the top of the game.

“It’s okay to be helping out, encouraging or advising on matters of diversity or a lack of representation in the game, but they’re reluctant to make these people equal.

“Until that happens, there’s always going to be a problem.

“Until the likes of Jason Roberts, who is doing unbelievable work with CONCACAF, is able to join UEFA, they’re never going to know what he’s gone through and why he’s on a mission to strive for diversity.

Sinclair would like to see black figures given transformative roles in UEFA

“As much as we talk about it, unless you’ve experienced racism, it’s very difficult to have empathy with what it really feels like and what needs to be done to deal with it.”

Sinclair who won the FA Cup, League Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup as a player, cited Port Vale as a progressive, forward-thinking club with a commitment to diversity and equality.

“There’s a handful of clubs you can look at, in terms of their coaching staff, the way they’re set up, and say ‘there’s diversity there’,” said Sinclair. “I’d include Port Vale in that.

“From having a black head of coaching and an Asian head of the academy, it was something I wasn’t aware of, but these things need to be cherished and talked about.”

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Football UK

Premier League managers ‘banned’ from speaking about controversial PPV deal


Premier League managers have received a gagging order on speaking out on the controversial pay-per-view deal in action this weekend.

The new plan to charge fans £14.95 to watch a game of football on television will be in action this weekend.

Matches not originally picked for TV will require fans to stump up the cash.

The first game to broadcast on the service will be Chelsea’s clash against Southampton at 3 pm on Saturday.

Manchester United’s visit to Newcastle later that day will also require fans to pay up.

But managers have been told they cannot talk out about the new plans, whether they agree to its inception or not.

Managers have been told to talk up the urgent need for fans back at stadiums instead

According to the Daily Mail, the Premier League has written to all 20 clubs telling them that first-team coaches should avoid the topic if questioned.

Instead, they have insisted they should demand fans be returned to empty stadiums as soon as possible.

Leicester were the only Premier League club to vote against the measures brought in.

Managers are likely to have a variety of opinions on the Premier League’s plan, while most fans are unanimous in their verdict.

It has been seen as opportunistic, greedy and downright immoral to demand supporters pay more money to watch their team during a time of financial uncertainty.

With many already forking out to pay subscriptions to Sky and BT Sport, the added costs – seen as extremely excessive, at that – are likely to drive more people away than bring them in.

Premier League managers will be banned from talking out about the new controversial PPV plans

How the added revenue is yet to be decided between clubs, which is likely set to spur a major debate.

Some of the fee will be paid to broadcasters Sky and BT Sport, while the Premier League’s Top Six are demanding a bigger share.

They argue that they will bring in more neutral fans to watch but without any detailed proposals, it remains to be seen how the income will be divided up.





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MLB

Rival AL East managers dish on ‘must-watch’ Yankees-Rays ALDS


The Orioles were 20-22. That hardly sounds great. Except Baltimore had lost 115 and 108 games the previous two years. So this was a prediction-defying record two-thirds of the way through a season expected to be bizarre.

Baltimore awoke on Sept. 11 just 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the final AL playoff spot and about to face a revealing corridor: Four vs. the Yankees and five vs. the Rays split by a three-game set with the Braves.

The good Oriole news: Baltimore went 2-1 against Atlanta. The bad Oriole news: They went 1-8 vs. the Yankees and Rays.

t“We definitely know them,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said by phone about the Yankees and Rays. He laughed. “The schedule can get a little bit suffocating in our division.”

The Orioles played 20 games this year against the Yankees and Rays. The Blue Jays played 22, including losing twice in the playoffs last week to Tampa Bay. Hyde and Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo have been on the job two years each. Thus, they have combined to manage 80 games against the last two AL East champions. Throw in Ron Roenicke, Alex Cora’s Red Sox bench coach in 2018-19 and the interim manager this year before being dismissed at the end, and you have well over 100 games the past few years against clubs that were set to begin a Division Series on Monday night that Montoyo called “must-watch TV.”

The trio of AL East managers described the monster of playing both teams, centering on all the problems created by the length of the Yankee lineup and the depth of the Rays pitching.

Hyde summed it up like this, “We have a tough time outscoring the Yankees and we have a tough time just scoring enough runs against the Rays.” Or as Roenicke said, “This is basically offense vs. defense: The Rays great pitching — both starters and relief. And the Yankees with that big offense.”

Yankees vs. Rays ALDS MLB Playoffs 2020
Charlie Montoyo, Brandon HydeGetty Images (2)

The Orioles actually had taken three of four from the Yankees earlier in September, but of the Sept. 11-13 four-game series (there was a doubleheader), Hyde said, “I thought the Yankees, the last time we saw them, were the best team we saw all year.”

The three elements that make the Yankees elite in Hyde’s view were on display in that series:

1. Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka started the first two games, which the Yankees won by a combined 16-1.

2. The Yankees won the last two low-scoring games 3-1 and 2-1 with their bullpen throwing 8 1/3 innings of two-hit scoreless relief. Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman pitched in both games and Hyde said of that duo, “They are ridiculous. Really, you have to figure out how to have a lead to keep their leverage guys out of the game.” 3. The lineup, at that time even without Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, “is just tough to keep down, especially if (Gary) Sanchez is hitting.”

Baltimore’s pitching did far better against the Yankees in 2020 (13 homers and a .742 OPS allowed in 10 games) than a disastrous 2019 (61 homers and a 1.018 OPS in 19 games). Still, Hyde said, “they can hit a three-run homer any time from anywhere in the lineup. Their power is ridiculous. They are never out of a game.”

Montoyo said, “Against them, I am always thinking the third time around the lineup. Oh, there is (DJ) LeMahieu again. Your starter better be on if you think he is going to get them three times. If you have righty relief that is good against their righty hitters, that is something. But when they are healthy, like now, that lineup is just tough.”

The Rays have oodles of power righty relief to follow a trio of starters that Hyde praised this way, “(Tyler) Glasnow and (Blake) Snell are surefire No. 1 starters. And then (Charlie) Morton is a No. 1 on most teams. That’s three top of the rotation guys that all have plus stuff. You better bring your lunch pail for that. Then go to a bullpen that just doesn’t give up many runs.

Each of the managers mentioned a below-the-surface area that they thought could factor into this series:

— Hyde kept returning to the equation that makes the Rays so tough to score against: “They don’t allow many homers, they don’t walk many and they have lots of strikeouts.” Tampa Bay’s pitching was in the top seven in those categories. So Hyde noted it is hard to string together hits to score runs, but also hard to homer to produce them quicker. “So when you have second and third and one out and don’t score against them, you do end up wondering if that is ever coming around again in the game.”

— And homers may be tougher to come by. Roenicke was back home in California and observed the weather was unseasonably warm and that it would help the ball carry at spacious Petco Park. But cooler weather was due later this week and could negate power if the best-of-five goes long. “The Yankees are such a different offensive team at home. They have so many righthanders who can just inside-out a homer to right (at home). That will be tougher (in San Diego).”

— Montoyo said not to downplay that rosters are 28 men rather than 25 or even 26. “The bench is really loaded (for Tampa Bay). If you start a lefty (like J.A. Happ or Jordan Montgomery), they will play Brandon Lowe and Kevin Kiermaier, but another five lefties will be sitting on the bench waiting for you to bring in your righty reliever. And they will go to it quickly. The theory there is why wait to use your pinch-hitters against the elite late-game relievers. They will try to gain an advantage no matter where you are in the game.”



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