Posts Tagged With: Queens Park Rangers

Merlin’s Premier League Stickers of the Week: I Remember When You Played… Chelsea ’98’s Coaches

Following Roberto Di Matteo’s unbelievable end to the season as Chelsea caretaker manager, here’s a look back at when he played as well as his team-mates from circa 1998 who have also tried their hand at management (they’ve all been at it!).

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Featured in 1997/98: Ruud Gullit (Terek Grozny manager; managed Chelsea, Newcastle, Feyenoord & LA Galaxy)

Featured in 1997/98: Roberto Di Matteo (Chelsea caretaker manager; managed MK Dons & West Brom), Gus Poyet (Brighton manager, was assistant at Swindon, Leeds & Tottenham), Gianfranco Zola (managed West Ham, was assistant for Italy U21), Mark Hughes (QPR manager; managed Wales, Blackburn, Man City & Fulham), Dan Petrescu (Kuban Krasnodar manager; managed Rapid Bucureşti, Sportul Studenţesc, Wisła Kraków & Unirea Urziceni), Gianluca Vialli (managed Chelsea & Watford), Steve Clarke (was assistant at Newcastle (& caretaker manager), Chelsea, West Ham & Liverpool), Dennis Wise (managed Millwall, Southampton, Swindon & Leeds)

Featured in 1998/99: Pierluigi Casiraghi (managed Lenano & Italy U21)

[All these (and more…) can be found in the Sticker Archive]

 

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Categories: I Remember When You Played..., Merlin Premier League Stickers of the Week | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday 13th May: Man City, Madrid, Milan & Memories

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you are probably aware that on Sunday 13th May Manchester City were crowned champions of the Premier League in one of the most dramatic climaxes to a title race ever, right up there with likes of Liverpool v Arsenal 1988/89 and the final day of the Eredivisie 2006/07 both of which have featured on Mountain’s Short Thoughts & Bits in recent weeks. Add in the three-way scramble for the final guaranteed Champions League place not to mention relegation battle controversy and it was some end to a truly memorable season.

 

In Spain and Italy the titles were already wrapped up but far from making the final day meaningless, it was still one that will be long remembered…

Real Madrid signed off in style by beating Mallorca 4-1 to end the season on a record breaking three figure points total, topping Barcelona’s record of 99 points from 2009/10, whilst the win also saw them break the record for matches won in a single season.

Their 121 goals scored is also a record (an average of over 3 per game!). Their goal difference of +89 is also a record. Their 16 away wins is also a record. Sunday 13th May was the day that Madrid set down a marker, they didn’t just successfully prise the title away from the current Barcelona team, they redefined what was possible in La Liga and placed themselves firmly back at the top of the domestic pile.

A  Very Special Season

In Italy Sunday 13th May saw four true club legends bring their AC Milan careers to an end in a 2-1 win against Navara. Having each given at least a decade of service (a combined total of 43 years at the club) Alessandro Nesta, Filippo Inzaghi, Gennaro Gattuso and Clarence Seedorf are moving on in search of one final challenge before hanging up their boots for good.

Thank you for Everything

The fab four’s Milan trophy cabinet contains 2 Champions Leagues, 2 Scudetti, 1 Coppa Italia, 2 Supercoppe Italiane, 1 Club World Cup and 2 European Supercups. As Cassano says injuries may have cost Milan the title this season having been leading as late as March, robbing the outgoing heroes of a fairytale ending. The truth however may be far more interwoven with the tale of the departing four as there is of course one man missing from the picture above, somebody who was also at Milan for a decade and was there with them for every single trophy but who found another challenge at the end of last season before it was too late to do so at the top level. That man is of course Andrea Pirlo who was instrumental for Juventus in 2011/12 providing more assist (13) than any other player in Serie A. Milan’s loss was Juventus’ sizeable gain and it seems likely that this may have been the real difference.

Despite having already missed out on the title ‘Super Pippo’ Inzaghi, who scored in the World Cup in 2006 on his last ever appearance for Italy, did not of course disappoint scoring the winner on his final, emotional appearance for Milan…

Elsewhere in Italy another outgoing legend did get his fairytale ending. Sunday 13th May saw Alessandro Del Piero play his final game for Juventus in a match, like Madrid’s, where only a place in the record books was at stake. A 1-3 victory over Atalanta, in which Del Piero of course scored, saw Juve complete an entire Serie A season undefeated; the first team to do so since Capello’s Milan in 1991/92 and the first ever to do so in a 38 game season.

Invincible

Those of you who read my piece on Ronaldo’s retirement last  year will know that these era ending moments in player’s careers give me pause for thought. That piece contained quotes from Del Piero about Il Fenomeno as well as one from Batistuta who said “For me, Ronaldo is football“, well for me (along with Paolo Maldini who retired in 2009), Del Piero is Calcio going right back to my childhood. Thank you for the memories.

Sunday 13th May 2012, quite a day in football.

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Merlin’s Premier League Stickers of the Week: Brits & Irishmen Abroad… Italy (Part 1)

Today it’s a selection of Premier League players who have also plied their trade in Italy…

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If you have a bit of time then take a look at this piece I wrote last year:

Mountain’s Blog – Football Italia: The all-time XI British & Irish footballers to play in Italy

or for a whole website based on English footballers playing abroad see Gav Stone’s Les Rosbifs.

From 1993/94: Ian Rush (Juventus 1987/88)

From 1995/96: David Platt (Bari 1991/92, Juventus 1992/93, Sampdoria 1993-95), Mark Hateley (AC Milan 1984-87)

From 1997/98: Paul Ince (Inter Milan 1995-97)

From 1999/2000: Robbie Keane (Inter Milan 2000/01)

[All these (and more…) can be found in the Sticker Archive]

Categories: Brits & Irishmen Abroad…, Italy, Merlin Premier League Stickers of the Week | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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