Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Coach of the Year 2010 (+poll)

Posted in Uncategorized by peterbein on December 24, 2010
Carlo Ancelotti

Is Carlo Ancelotti your coach of the year?

Here is Stoppage Time – International Football Blog’s shortlist for Coach of the Year 2010:

CARLO ANCELOTTI: The Italian ended his first full season in charge of Chelsea FC by bringing the English Premier League and F.A. Cup double to Stamford Bridge, something which even The Special One himself was unable to do. Ends the year in the top four of the Premier League and in the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League with the defence of the F.A. Cup due to start in January.

José Mourinho

Is José Mourinho your coach of the year?

JOSÉ MOURINHO: What more is there to say about The Special One? Mourinho masterminded the treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and UEFA Champions League with Milanese giants Internazionale FC and maintains his unbeaten record in home matches which has now stretched into its eighth year. Now at Real Madrid where his team lies second in La Liga and progressing well in the Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League. Could another treble be on the cards in 2011?

Louis Van Gaal

Is Louis Van Gaal your coach of the year?

LOUIS VAN GAAL: The Dutch coach made a slow(ish) start to life with FC Bayern but came good to help his team win the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double in his first year in charge. Also got to the final of the UEFA Champions League but came up against a superior Internazionale team. At the end of the calendar year his team lies fifth in the league and has progressed to the last eight of the 2010-11 DFB-Pokal and last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

Lamine N'diaye

Is Lamine N'Diaye your coach of the year?

LAMINE N’DIAYE: The Senegalese coach helped maintain TP Mazembe’s standing as Africa’s best club side coaching them to a second successive CAF African Champions’ League title. TP Mazembe hammered Tunisian side Esperance ST 5-0 in the first leg of the final and secured a draw in the second leg which helped the Congolese side qualify for their second consecutive FIFA Club World Cup tournament. In Abu Dhabi TP Mazembe shocked the world by defeating Brazilians SC Internacional to become the first side from outside Europe and South America to reach a final.

Vicente del Bosque

Is Vicente del Bosque your coach of the year?

VICENTE DEL BOSQUE: The Spain national coach has helped solidify Spain’s standing as the best team in world football by guiding La Seleccion to their first ever FIFA World Cup triumph, defeating the Netherlands 1-0 in July’s final. This helped Spain become only the third nation to hold simultaneously the UEFA European Championship title and the FIFA World Cup following West Germany (EC 1972, WC 1974) and France (WC 1998, EC 2000). Spain also finishes the year top of their qualifying group for UEFA 2012 and the FIFA World Rankings.

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Champions League – Group Stage Round-Up: Part One

Posted in European Football by peterbein on December 9, 2009
Louis Van Gaal

Can Louis van Gaal win the Champions League again?

This week sees the conclusion of the group stages in the UEFA Champions League. “Stoppage Time” takes a look back at how each group has shaped up, starting with groups A-D today, followed by groups E-H tomorrow:

GROUP A (BORDEAUX, BAYERN MUNICH, JUVENTUS, MACCABI HAIFA)

Bordeaux surprised the pundits with a near faultless performance in group A. “Les Girondins” only dropped two points away at Juventus on Matchday 1 leaving the traditional big boys “Juve” and FC Bayern to fight it out for second place. During the campaign it seemed as if Bayern’s domestic troubles were going to destroy their European ambitions and, with two matchdays to go, Juve seemed to be going through. However the four time European champions from Bavaria still had a chance on Matchday 6, all they had to do was beat Juventus away in Turin. What seemed a tough task proved, ultimately, to be a stroll in the park for Louis van Gaal’s men as they won 4-1 including a penalty goal from Bayern keeper Hans-Jörg Butt. Juventus are now confined to the Europa League whilst Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa couldn’t even score a goal in the whole group stage and, unsurprisingly, remained pointless after six games.

GROUP B (MANCHESTER UNITED, CSKA MOSCOW, VfL WOLFSBURG, BESIKTAS)

As expected Manchester United topped the group in comfortable fashion. CSKA Moscow claimed the second place after a 2-1 success away in Istanbul against Besiktas on Matchday 6. The celebrations were dampened somewhat by the news that two of their players, Alexei Berezutsky and Sergei Ignashevich, were tested positive for banned substances. However UEFA has decided to punish the players rather than the club for what officals of CSKA Moscow called “a clerical error”.  German champions VfL Wolfsburg had a good maiden campaign in Europe’s elite class with Edin Džeko attracting the notice of some of Europe’s biggest clubs with some good performances, most notably against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Besiktas were struggling from the start but a consolation win over Manchester United in Matchday 5 proved to be their only highlight. With players such as Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen showing glimpses of their best “ManU” finished with 13 points at the top of the group with CSKA three points behind. Wolfsburg’s European campaign will continue in the Europa League whilst Besiktas have to revert back to the travails of domestic football.

GROUP C (REAL MADRID, AC MILAN, OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE, FC ZÜRICH)

Before a ball was kicked in this group virtually everybody had tipped Real Madrid and AC Milan, two clubs with sixteen European Cups before them, to qualify for the Round of 16 and so it was proved. The only real blip which the Spanish side suffered was their 3-2 home defeat by the Italian giants on Matchday 3. FC Zürich had their moments too, a 1-0 defeat of AC Milan in the San Siro on Matchday 2 had their fans dreaming of further glory. Sadly for the Swiss champions their double header against Marseille proved disappointing and effectively knocked them out of the competition. On Matchday 6 Marseille still had a chance of progressing but they had to defeat Real Madrid, who were already through, at home and hope Milan dropped points in Zürich. The latter scenario happened as Milan could only manage a 1-1 draw but Cristiano Ronaldo was in scintillating form for Real Madrid scoring twice in a 3-1 win at Stade Vélodrome to send Marseille into the Europa League.

GROUP D (CHELSEA FC, FC PORTO, ATLÉTICO DE MADRID, APOEL NICOSIA)

Chelsea and FC Porto were clearly the two best sides in the group easily seeing off a poor Atleti and a weak APOEL team although the Cypriots were far from expected to qualify for the last 16. Chelsea’s two matches against FC Porto determined the top two placings with the London club winning 1-0 home and away. This was the difference between the two teams even allowing for the fact that Chelsea drew 2-2 away at Atleti and at home to APOEL on Matchday 6 when they’d already qualified. Chelsea finsihed on 14 points two ahead of Porto who some people fancy as a good outside bet in the tournament. “Los Rojiblancos” (the red and whites) of Madrid scraped through to the Europa League going through on their head-to-head record against APOEL. With both teams finishing on three points each after six games Atleti’s away goal in the 1-1 draw in Cyprus proved crucial as APOEL were only able to manage a 0-0 draw in Spain.