Tag Archives: successful

Former MP Sir Irvine Patnick, who was accused of smearing Liverpool fans after Hillsborough passes away

MP who blamed Liverpool fans for the death of 96 people at Hillsborough passes away

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UPDATED:

09:18 GMT, 31 December 2012

The former Conservative MP who helped smear Liverpool fans after the Hillsborough disaster has died.

Sir Irvine Patnick, who was a source for a Sun story criticising the supporters' behaviour in the tragedy, died yesterday aged 83.

He was the MP for Sheffield Hallam from 1987 to 1997.

Sorry: Sir Irvine Patnick was knighted in 1994 but has since apologised for his involvement in the Hillsborough cover up

Sorry: Sir Irvine Patnick was knighted in 1994 but has since apologised for his involvement in the Hillsborough cover up

A successful businessman before becoming an MP, he was knighted in 1994.

There had been calls for him to be stripped of his knighthood since his role in The Sun's coverage of the disaster was made clear by the Hillsborough Independent Panel in September.

Amid widespread revulsion at the police cover-up which sought to shift the blame for the tragedy to the fans, Sir Irvine said in September he was 'deeply and sincerely sorry' about his role.

Justice: The families of the 96 who died at Hillsborough have fought tirelessly for the truth to come out

Justice: The families of the 96 who died at Hillsborough have fought tirelessly for the truth to come out

Tragedy: 96 Liverpool fans were killed during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough

Tragedy: 96 Liverpool fans were killed during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough

He said he had passed on police information that was 'inaccurate, misleading and plain wrong'.

Ninety-six Liverpool fans died in the crush at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final with Nottingham Forest.

A statement issued by his family to the BBC said: 'Sir Irvine Patnick OBE, died peacefully on 30 December 2012, aged 83, in Sheffield.

Smear: Irvine was a key source in the Sun's story that blamed the behavior of Liverpool fans for the tragedy

Smear: Irvine was a key source in the Sun's story that blamed the behavior of Liverpool fans for the tragedy

'He was a much loved husband of Lynda and father of Suzanne and Matthew.

'He'll be sadly missed by his brothers and by all his family and friends.'

How Nolberto Solano convinced Harrogate Town goalkeeper Mark Cook to move to Peru

From Harrogate to Peru… How Nobby Solano lured Mark Cook to a land of beaches, jungles and needles in unspeakable places!

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 25 December 2012

Think of the more peculiar transfers in British football over the past 12 months, and Barnet signing Edgar Davids or Robert Earnshaw going on loan from Cardiff to Maccabi Tel Aviv might spring to mind.

But it’s fair to say the deal that saw Mark Cook, a goalkeeper with non-league Harrogate Town, join the biggest club in Peru takes some beating.

The link in this rather unlikely scenario is Nolberto Solano, the former Newcastle United midfielder, who until recently was manager of Club Universitario de Deportes, Peru’s most successful team and one that fills its 80,000-capacity Estadio Monumental for local derbies in Lima.

Tall order: Mark Cook is not certain he will stay in Peru

Tall order: Mark Cook is not certain he will stay in Peru

Solano knew Cook from his time as reserve-team keeper at Newcastle and a brief spell together at Hartlepool. Still, moving to South America was the last thing on Cook’s mind when he received a call while training at a gym in Newcastle in July.

'Nobby was in Peru,’ he recalls. ‘He was looking for a goalkeeper and wanted to know my situation. He said it was a hot country with nice beaches, nice weather and nice food. I thought, “that’ll do me!” ‘Obviously I was bit anxious about what Peru was going to be like — I knew absolutely nothing about Peruvian football — but I said yes straightaway even before I’d asked my girlfriend.

'Harrogate are a brilliant club but I wanted to be playing full-time football again.’ Within a month the 24-year-old Geordie had swapped the Blue Square Bet North for Peru’s Primera Division. However, even though Solano and his friends had taken care of the paperwork, they forgot to warn Cook about what to expect at the airport.

A far away land: Cook training with Nobby Solano in Peru

A far away land: Cook training with Nobby Solano in Peru

'Nobby’s very famous in Peru and knows everyone in Lima,’ says Cook, who played under Shay Given and Steve Harper at Newcastle. ‘So some guy tapped me on the shoulder and took me through passport control and customs. Visa stamped, straight through.

'But when I came out of the doors I was surrounded by about 40 reporters. I couldn’t see a thing because there were that many flashes.

'At Harrogate the most media attention I got was from the club’s website guy and one or two local papers.’

It was a similar story when Cook accompanied two of his new teammates to a signing session at a supermarket in Lima.

‘It was crazy. There were thousands of fans surrounding me and the other lads. I had to escorted back to the car by eight security guards which I found weird.’ North Shields-born Cook made his debut in front of 35,000 in a 1-0 defeat to Sport Huancayo at the beginning of September, the first of two Primera Division appearances for Universitario. The second, away to Cobresol, taught him what it was like to play at altitude.

A new start: Cook shows off his Universitario shirt

A new start: Cook shows off his Universitario shirt

‘It’s hard to breathe and the ball moves around really quickly because the air’s thinner,’ says Cook. ‘If you play outside Lima it’s like going to a different country. One time we landed and had to drive three hours through desert, another it was through a jungle.

AND HE’S NOT THE ONLY BRIT TO GO ON AN ADVENTURE…

ROHAN RICKETTS

After spells at Arsenal, Tottenham and Wolves, Ricketts embarked on a world tour in 2009, taking in clubs in Canada, Hungary, Moldova, Germany and Ireland before moving to Dempo SC in the Indian I-League in August.

GRANT HOLT

The Norwich frontman has spent most of his career at various English clubs, but in 2001 he made a brief trip to the far east. Holt signed for Singapore side Sengkang Marine before returning to play for Barrow.

LEE HENDRIE

Hendrie made his name playing in midfield for Aston Villa. But after a series of short spells at clubs in the midlands, he moved to Bandung in the Liga Primer Indonesia.

JLLOYD-SAMUEL

After playing for Aston Villa, Bolton and Cardiff, the 31-year-old signed for Esteghlal in the Iranian Pro League.

TERRY COOKE

After struggling to break through at Man Utd, Cooke moved to Manchester City before finding success in the MLS playing for Colorado Rapids. In 2010, he teamed up with manager Tony Adams at Azerbaijan club Gabala.

NICKY BUTT

The former Man Utd and Newcastle midfielder headed to Hong Kong in 2010, signing for South China FC.

ROBERT EARNSHAW

After falling out of favour at Cardiff, the Wales striker joined Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv on loan in September 2012.

PAUL IFILL

The former Millwall man plays his football in New Zealand. The 33-year-old left Crystal Palace and signed for Wellington Phoenix in July 2009.

The fans are the best I’ve seen and that’s saying something coming from Newcastle.
'Every game they sing for 90 minutes non-stop, jumping up and down behind the goal, setting off flares and banging their drums.

'Until then, the biggest crowd I’d played in front of was 4,000 for Newcastle reserves.’ Universitario finished the regular season in mid-table but faded after the Primera Division split into two separate leagues for the last 14 games.

'They make the rules up as they go along, to be honest with you,’ says Cook.

'I played about six or seven games altogether including friendlies but I only played twice for the first-team before injuring my finger which meant I couldn’t train for two or three weeks.

'As soon as you get any kind of injury they stick an injection in your bum to make you better. Every time. I don’t know what it was. If you were tired, they stuck a needle in your bum. To be fair, the next day you felt brilliant.’

It was after an exhibition game against fierce rivals Alianza Lima in Miami earlier this month that Solano told his players he might be leaving the club. Shortly after returning to Peru, he was gone.

Solano’s departure has cast doubt over Cook’s future at Universitario. He has flown home to the north-east for Christmas unsure whether he will go back for the new season which starts in February.

'I was massively shocked when Nobby went,’ says Cook. ‘He pulled them out of trouble because they were second bottom and struggling, and then all of a sudden it came out that he wasn’t going to be there any more. I’m not sure if he got sacked or he walked away.

'I still have year left on my contract but they’ve got a new manager in now so I need to speak with him and find out what their plans are for me.

'I’m just enjoying Christmas with my family and then we’ll see what happens.’ Cook and his girlfriend Sarah are already missing their 14th floor apartment in the upmarket area of Miraflores, just two minutes’ walk from the beach.

'I always wanted to be a footballer and I thought I would play in the Football League but nothing massive. It never crossed my mind I’d end up in a place like that in Peru.’

Sir Alex Ferguson installed tanning booths at Manchester United

Ferguson installed tanning booths so United players could top up their Vitamin D levels

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UPDATED:

09:38 GMT, 19 December 2012

Read the full Fergie study…

You can purchase the Sir Alex Ferguson case study from Harvard Business School HERE

At a successful club like Manchester United, no stone is left unturned in preparing the players for action – and that even includes their sun tan.

A fascinating study into the methods of manager Sir Alex Ferguson by academics at the Harvard Business School in Boston has revealed that United had a Vitamin D machine installed for compensate for Manchester's lack of natural sunlight.

Ferguson also gave players staggered one-week breaks during the winter months so they could replenish their Vitamin D.

Sunshine indoors: Manchester United had a Vitamin D tanning booth installed in the dressing room at their Carrington training ground (below) so the squad could counterbalance the lack of sunlight in Manchester

Sunshine indoors: Manchester United had a Vitamin D tanning booth installed in the dressing room at their Carrington training ground (below) so the squad could counterbalance the lack of sunlight in Manchester

Manchester United's Carrington Training Complex

The study, entitled 'Sir Alex Ferguson: Managing Manchester United', said the tanning booth was installed in the players' dressing room at their Carrington training ground.

It says: 'He [Ferguson] could talk enthusiastically about the new Vitamin D machine (which perhaps most resembled a tanning booth) in the players' dressing room at Carrington, put there to help them counterbalance the lack of sunlight in Manchester, or his plan for the new season to give players staggered one-week breaks in the winter months to replenish their Vitamin D.'

The tanning booth is one of many secrets revealed by Ferguson in the Harvard study, by Anita Elberse and Tom Dye, including that he doesn't use his notorious hairdryer technique as often as he used to.

Study: The front page of the Harvard Business School thesis

Study: The front page of the Harvard Business School thesis

Insight: The study, by Harvard Business School academics, offers a fascinating in-depth look at the methods of Sir Alex Ferguson

Insight: The study, by Harvard Business School academics, offers a fascinating in-depth look at the methods of Sir Alex Ferguson

It also covers how he prepares his team, the way he conducts his team-talks and how he changes a game's direction at half-time.

Staff at the club have spoken of the specially-modified tanning booth in the changing rooms, which is used about three times a week by each player to top up their Vitamin D levels.

It is likely to be a large Vitamin D lamp, which emits ultraviolet rays to trigger the formation of Vitamin D. It helps bone strength and stimulates feel-good brain chemicals such as serotonin.

The lamps are used to treat people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

WITH 140 DAYS OF RAIN A YEAR, IT'S LITTLE WONDER FERGIE WANTED TO BRING IN A BIT OF SUNSHINE

Manchester has a reputation as being one of the wettest places in the UK, so it's little wonder Sir Alex Ferguson had a tanning booth installed so the players could top up their Vitamin D levels.

The city has an average annual rainfall of 806.6 millimetres (31.76 inches) and 140 days of rain each year, though both are actually below the national average.

Former United players Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez complained about the cold and rainy Manchester climate, but while the former went to sunnier Spain, the latter moved across the road to City.

Premier League chairman come closer to implementing financial control rules

Financial control rules to curb football's lavish spending move closer

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UPDATED:

18:29 GMT, 18 December 2012


Money men: Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour and the rest of the Premier League chiefs may soon be adhering to new rules

Money men: Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour and the rest of the Premier League chiefs may soon be adhering to new rules

English Premier League clubs have moved a step closer to voting on financial controls designed to prevent a new influx of television money from being blown on increased player wages.

Leaders of the 20 clubs who met in London on Tuesday have asked the Premier League to work on two proposals to ensure that the world’s richest league remains financially stable.

The first would be modelled on UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) system and would require clubs to move towards breakeven, while the second would place an annual limit on the how much salaries could increase.

The support of 14 clubs would be needed for any proposal to be adopted.

The Premier League is set for a big increase in television revenues from next season when BSkyB and BT will pay a billion pounds ($1.6 billion) per season for domestic TV rights, in a new three-year deal worth 70 percent more than the current one.

Sales of overseas rights are expected to bring in up to two billion pounds over the next three years.

Wages use up around 70 percent of revenues at Premier League clubs, leaving very little profit for many of them.

Struggle: High wages take up around 70 per cent of revenues at clubs

Struggle: High wages take up around 70 per cent of revenues at clubs

Manchester City last week reported a net loss of almost 100 million pounds in 2011-12 despite winning the top-flight title for the first time in 44 years.

Clubs like City and Chelsea, who won the Champions League last May, have fabulously wealthy owners who have spent hundreds of millions of pounds on building successful teams.

UEFA’s FFP rules mean clubs have to curb their losses or risk exclusion from top European club competitions from 2014-15.

Details of sanctions for breaking any new Premier League curbs have yet to be worked out but current thinking is they should focus on measures like transfer embargoes, rather than points deductions.

Revealed: The first trailer of London 2012 Olympics official film, First

Revealed: Trailer of London 2012 Games official film which tracks progress of 12 first-time Olympians

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UPDATED:

20:59 GMT, 14 November 2012

The official London 2012 Olympics film, First, has released its trailer ahead of the documentary's debut cinema screening later this month.

The film follows 12 first-time Olympians and their bids to take gold in the capital this summer.

Team GB's double gold medal-winning cyclist Laura Trott is among those featured in the documentary.

Scroll down to watch the trailer of First

Featured: The progress of double gold medal-winning Team GB cyclist Laura Trott (centre) is followed in the film, First

Featured: The progress of double gold medal-winning Team GB cyclist Laura Trott (centre) is followed in the film, First

Featured: The progress of double gold medal-winning Team GB cyclist Laura Trott is followed in the film, First

Featured: The progress of double gold medal-winning Team GB cyclist Laura Trott is followed in the film, First

Trott was a revelation in the velodrome as she won the women's Omnium and was a member of Britain's successful team pursuit outfit along with Dani King and Joanna Rowsell.

Other athletes who appear in the film include USA swimmer Missy Franklin and Kenyan 800m runner David Rudisha, tracking their triumphs at the London Games.

Exceptional: The film tracks the likes of Kenyan David Rudisha, and eleven other first-time Olympians

Exceptional: The film tracks the likes of Kenyan David Rudisha, and eleven other first-time Olympians

Golden girl: The USA's Missy Franklin won four gold medals at the 2012 Games

Golden girl: The USA's Missy Franklin won four gold medals at the 2012 Games

Franklin, 17, dominated the swimming events in her first Olympics and won four gold medals and a bronze in the water.

Rudisha ran a near-perfect sprint in the final of the 800m. He broke the world record in a pulsating race and became the first ever man to run his event in under 1min 41secs.

The film will screen in cinemas on Friday November 23 before becoming available on DVD and Blu-ray and digital download on November 26.

VIDEO: Official trailer of First

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Mark Hughes deserves more time, says Rodney Marsh

Fernandes must give winless Hughes more time, says former QPR striker Marsh

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UPDATED:

13:23 GMT, 11 November 2012

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes should wait until Christmas before deciding whether to sack Mark Hughes, according to the club's former striker Rodney Marsh.

The London club returned to the foot of the Barclays Premier League yesterday after they suffered their seventh defeat of a so-far winless season at Stoke.

Speculation continues to mount over the future of Rangers boss Hughes despite public statements of support from Fernandes, who is also the club owner.

Winless: Rodney Marsh believes Mark Hughes should be given enough time to turn things around at Queens Park Rangers

Winless: Rodney Marsh believes Mark Hughes should be given enough time to turn things around at Queens Park Rangers

Marsh, who played over 200 games for QPR, admits the team's start to the season has been poor, but he insists sacking the manager would be wrong.

'I believe you should give the manager until Christmas,' Marsh told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme.

'If you look at any successful team it is always based on continuity and consistency.

'Just look at Arsenal and Manchester United and what they have done with Arsene Wenger and (Sir) Alex Ferguson.

'Yes, they have gone 11 games without a win, but I hate it when owners keep on sacking their managers after a run of bad results.

'Mark Hughes has been under the cosh for the last four games.

'It was only six games into the season when they were saying “Hughes out”.

More pressure: Charlie Adam sealed another defeat for QPR on Saturday

More pressure: Charlie Adam sealed another defeat for QPR on Saturday

Missed chances: Adel Taarabt relected on a squandered effort

Missed chances: Adel Taarabt relected on a squandered effort

'That can't be good for anybody within the football club. I believe in continuity and consistency.'

Although Marsh is confident Hughes can drag the club out of the bottom three, he believes Fernandes made a mistake in sacking his predecessor Neil Warnock.

'I wouldn't have sacked Neil Warnock in the first place,' he said.

'He got them to the Premier League. He was doing a decent job.'

Have some patience: Rodney Marsh thinks Hughes should be given until Christmas at least

Have some patience: Rodney Marsh thinks Hughes should be given until Christmas at least

Fernandes took to Twitter last night to insist QPR are improving under Hughes, but he stopped short of giving his manager a full vote of confidence on the micro-blogging site, as has been the case in recent weeks.

The Malaysian also said next week's game against fellow strugglers Southampton was a 'must-win' encounter, and Marsh agrees.

'Both teams are having nightmare seasons,' Marsh added.

'They are in desperate trouble. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that the team who loses that match will get relegated.'

Gareth Ainsworth named Wycombe manager

Wycombe stick with Ainsworth as caretaker boss lands full-time job at League Two strugglers

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UPDATED:

10:06 GMT, 8 November 2012

Wycombe have confirmed Gareth Ainsworth as their player/manager on a permanent basis.

Ainsworth has been in charge since Gary Waddock was axed at the end of September and has now signed a contract until the end of the season.

Joint-chairman Don Woodward said: 'We knew he would be a front-runner for the job from the moment we placed him in caretaker charge, but his outstanding attributes really came to the fore over the last seven weeks and we feel now is the right time to seal our commitment towards him as the next manager of this proud football club.

Taking the reins: Gareth Ainsworth has been handed the top job at Wycombe

Taking the reins: Gareth Ainsworth has been handed the top job at Wycombe

'Gareth has had to contend with a
terribly unlucky injury list but has got the players working hard for
each other, showing faith in some extremely talented younger players and
reaping the benefits with some impressive results since taking charge.

'His professionalism, enthusiasm and
tactical awareness have impressed everybody on the board and we are all
looking forward to working closely with him to deliver success on and
off the pitch.

'Many things will change with him at
the helm, and you will see a stronger and fitter team emerge and
challenge in every game they play.'

Ainsworth has been at Wycombe since leaving QPR in 2010 after a brief loan spell at Adams Park.

The 39-year-old steered Wanderers to their first home win of the season, against Torquay last month, and has reached the area quarter-finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

Ainsworth told the club website: 'I’m delighted and honoured to be the manager of Wycombe Wanderers. The club has a big history of successful managers and I will be giving it my all to join that list.

'I would like to thank Don Woodward and the board for this opportunity. They’ve put their faith in me and I will work as hard as I possibly can to get out of this current situation, with the long-term aim to bring success to the club.'

Arsenal fans not content with the last eight years – Matt Fortune

Matt Fortune: It's been the same old story at Arsenal for the last eight years

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UPDATED:

00:15 GMT, 25 October 2012

The first eight games of this season have been a microcosm of the last eight years of Arsenal Football Club.

From the sublime (Santi Cazorla) to the ridiculous (Olivier Giroud) to the abject surrender at Norwich.

They currently sit eighth, but no one has pressed the panic button. History tells us they are England’s third most successful club, now housed in the country’s third largest football stadium.

Style: Santi Cazorla has been a superb acquisition

Style: Santi Cazorla has been a superb acquisition

Last season they finished behind the Manchester clubs in the Premier League after their worst start in half a century.

At a time when two of their nearest rivals are benefitting from billion pound investment, and another is led by the greatest manager in world football, third is no bad thing.

From a personal point of view I have been spoiled growing up lavished by success – five league titles, five FA Cups, two league cups, a European Cup Winners’ Cup, plus a handful of finals, including the Champions League in 2006, all of which has been achieved with a style revered around the globe.

My poor old dad, on the other hand, in the first 26 years of his life, ‘endured’ one league title, two FA Cup triumphs and a European Fairs Cup win. And the 80s.

So why is the overriding feeling at Emirates one of frustration Why will Thursday’s AGM feel more like a public execution, with questions becoming progressively more contentious – if indeed they’ve not been vetted – and the roars of the masses ever more disapproving

Have Arsenal fans – perhaps the most patient in the Premier League – persevered with ‘the project’ to the point where entitlement has set in

Who would have thought that when Patrick Vieira slammed home the final penalty in a smash-and-grab FA Cup triumph over Manchester United in Cardiff, that Arsenal’s trophy cabinet would remain under lock and key for the next seven years

Just a memory: Patrick Vieira with Arsenal's last piece of silverware

Just a memory: Patrick Vieira with Arsenal's last piece of silverware

Driven by the admirable philosophy of a man more desperate for vindication than any of those who used to pack the state-of-the-art stadium in north London, Arsenal have been there in body at times but sadly lacking in spirit. Dwindling attendances show the fight is dying in the fans as well.

Of course, the goalposts were moved first by the arrival of Roman Abramovich and then Sheik Mansour in 2008.

Chelsea Russian gold rush seemingly sucked the life out of north London. Champions in 2002, careless in 2003 but still FA Cup winners, and in 2004 all the pieces came into place for an unbeaten season that must be ranked as the finest achievement of any English team in the modern era. Arsenal were Invincible. Now they’re inconsequential.

There have, though, been other excuses. The season before Manchester City were accelerated back into English footballs elite, Arsenal finished four points off the top having led the way until late February, when their season was derailed by the sickening injury suffered by Croatian striker Eduardo.

As the old phrase goes, it’s the hope that kills you.

Derailed: Eduardo suffered a shocking injury

Derailed: Eduardo suffered a shocking injury

Wenger has seemed like a man swimming against the tide from within yet somehow kept his side in the slip stream of the leaders. There is, though, no overtaking. For all he and his band of young and hungry stars have thrown at those around them, they are forever coming up short.

Yet what the Frenchman has achieved against the backdrop of key player departures and the financing of a 400million stadium is nothing short of remarkable.

Liverpool, Everton and rivals Tottenham have all taken temporary residence of the top four, yet all finished outside the top six as well. Arsenal, by hook or by crook (2006 Lasagne-gate), have never dipped below the elite.

From the outside, the shortcomings seem so simple to fix. Speculate to accumulate, throw a bit of caution to the wind. But when Wenger has, he’s been bitten. Andrey Arshavin and Jose Antonio Reyes, his most lavish expenses until recently, both let him down. His caution, therefore, seems understandable.

But at the same time there is a feeling that Wenger treats players and the club like a personal project; the fans come second.

Project: Arsene Wenger does not always operate in what would be the fans best interests

Project: Arsene Wenger does not always operate in what would be the fans best interests

Take the recent trend of playing Aaron Ramsey, a one-paced creative central midfielder, on the right of an attacking three. The manager will say it gives the Welshman a greater understanding of the game for later down his career. The same was done with powerful centre-forward Nicklas Bendtner, deployed wide. Whatever it was the Dane learned, he is now putting into practice elsewhere.

At the top, Alisher Usmanov makes all the right noises and comes stocked with a wallet to dwarf even that of Abramovich. Stan Kroenke makes no noises at all.

Having been labelled ‘that sort’ by current, ageing and forever putting his foot-in-it chairman Peter Hill Wood when the American first began buying his way into the club, Silent Stan is now the leading shareholder and none of the fans have any idea what ‘sort’ he actually is.

When someone from the club does speak out, the sound bites are the same: belief, progress, mental strength. The club even temporarily changed the motto to ‘Forward’. How ironic, then, that last season represented the biggest step backwards of this seven-year drought.

Sales: Robin van Persie is the latest big name to leave

Sales: Robin van Persie is the latest big name to leave

It’s getting tiresome, my red-tinted glasses are steaming up and my patience is at an end. Ivan Gazidis is the focus of much of the wrath, trotting out lines straight from the media training handbook.

Wenger once said he could write a book about the frustrations he experienced during the summer of 2011. So why doesn’t he No-one expects him to air his dirty laundry, just some crumbs of explanation as to why the tweaks so patently obvious to those on the outside have not been made. Only then might patience be restored.

Nothing would give me greater satisfaction than seeing Wenger on the steps of Islington town hall come late May, hands full with silverware, smile plastered across his face. My joy would be for him, not for me. It would be the perfect ‘two-fingers’ to those who doubted him. Including me.

Sir Alex Ferguson replacement known at Manchester United, says Ed Woodward

Some shoes to fill! United claim they have list of names to replace Fergie… but it's under lock and key at Old Trafford

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UPDATED:

15:07 GMT, 23 October 2012

Manchester United have revealed that plans for Sir Alex Ferguson's replacement have already been discussed… and locked in a drawer at Old Trafford.

Vice-chairman Ed Woodward claims the list is known by a select view despite no date being set for the Scot to end his long reign at the helm.

He said: 'We have a view as to what that process [appointing a new manager] will look like in terms of finding a replacement and what type of manager we want and how and when we'll go about it.

Out of work: Pep Guardiola

Out of work: Pep Guardiola

Close to home: David Moyes

Close to home: David Moyes

Wants it: Jose Mourinho

Wants it: Jose Mourinho

'But it's in the drawer and long may it stay in the drawer.'

Names like Jose Mourinho and Pep
Guardiola, as well as David Moyes, have long been linked with the top
job at England's most successful club for when Ferguson eventually moves
aside. However, it remains some way away.

Speaking earlier this year at the celebrations for his 25th year, the 70-year-old said: 'I don't know how long I can last now but if my health stays up I don't think another two or three years would harm me any.

I'm the boss: United boss Sir Alex Ferguson recently celebrated 25 years at the helm

I'm the boss: United boss Sir Alex Ferguson recently celebrated 25 years at the helm

I'm the boss: United boss Sir Alex Ferguson recently celebrated 25 years at the helm
Pack your bags, lads…

Manchester United are considering touring Australia – where Alessandro del Piero and Emile Heskey currently play – and India next summer.

The club would support proposals for a Premier League wage cap.

The Glazers will NOT sell the club for 'many, many years' despite ongoing interest.

United will continue to buy established stars, if that is what Sir Alex wants.

'I think you need stamina in my job. I
am blessed with that. I'll know when I'm not enjoying it and if I got
to a point when I wasn't enjoying it I would definitely do it (retire).

'But I think you always want to go out on a winning note. Hopefully we can do that.'

Quite against Woodward's claims, Ferguson was adamant there have been no discussions about his thoughts on a successor.

'Never discussed it – it is a dangerous game,' was his response. 'At this moment in time there are about half-a-dozen managers doing very well in the Premier League, all the others are fighting for their lives.

'Is that going to be the same in two or three years' time when I'm ready to quit Some may have lost their job.'

Brendan Rodgers is better than Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti, says Liverpool coach

I worked with Mourinho and Ancelotti… but Rodgers is the best, says Liverpool coach

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UPDATED:

10:56 GMT, 18 October 2012

Brendan Rodgers has been hailed as a better manager than Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti by a man who was worked alongside all three.

Glen Driscoll, who is head of performance at Liverpool, was a coach at Stamford Bridge under the club's two most successful recent managers, and took up his new role at Anfield this season.

Both Mourinho and Ancelotti won the Premier League title at Chelsea, while also bringing with them Champions League-winning pedigree.

Reds revolution: Brendan Rodgers has endured a tricky start to life at Liverpool

Reds revolution: Brendan Rodgers has endured a tricky start to life at Liverpool

But Driscoll claims Rodgers uses the best of the pair while adding his own extra special ingredients to his management style.

'All the managers I’ve worked with have their own unique traits – but Brendan has the best mix,' he told the club.

'I still have strong relationships with many of the managers I’ve worked with, and so I mean no disrespect, but Brendan definitely has a unique combination of all the best traits I’ve seen.

'Carlo Ancelotti was very humble and showed a lot of humility – I see that in Brendan. I also see the man-management style of Guus Hiddink and obviously the methodologies of Jose [Mourinho] in him. For me, I feel very privileged and lucky to now be working back with him.'

Reflecting on his time on Merseyside, the fourth occasion he has teamed up with Rodgers, Driscoll explained his pride at being part of a project that could take Liverpool 'above and beyond'.

Real Madrid's coach Jose Mourinho

Paris Saint Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti

Keep trying, chaps: Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelottiare two of the most successful managers in recent European football

He added: 'I’d sat in the opposition dugout here and been involved in some pretty amazing Champions League games at Anfield.

'To finally be sitting in the Liverpool dugout makes me very proud. It was obvious when I came here there is an aura at Liverpool and there is class here.

'The passion around the city and football club is something different. With no disrespect to Chelsea as I had a great time there, enjoyed some amazing moments and still have colleagues and friends there, it just feels the set-up here could really take Liverpool above and beyond.

'It is a privilege to be here and my only focus is to try and make sure we achieve success. I’m 100 per cent positive we will do that.'