R.I.P Natural Wingers?

Seamus Coleman is the epitomy of the modern day full back Seamus Coleman is the epitomy of the modern day full back

If you’re a football fanatic like me and were born in the late 80’s like I was,I am sure when you were growing up you would have been accustomed to the formation 4-4-2. With that formation there would always be 2 wingers 2 full backs and 2 strikers, with the other postions as normal.

In recent years though it must be said that I have noticed a change of mindset by managers in regards to the formations they use, and in particular the failure in my opinon to have a natural winger or wingers in their sides.

I would like to give you a example of a team of my childhood that had ‘out and out’ wingers- Manchester United. United in the 90’s were well known for having a 4 man midfield, there were 2 wingers in David Beckham and Ryan Giggs, and there were 2 central midfielders in Paul Scholes and Roy Keane. Many argued that, that Manchester United’s midfield was the best of it’s genration- but times have really changed.

Modern football has changed it has to be said, and it seems like the once ‘sworn by’ 4-4-2 is a thing of the past. I want to put forward the example of Barcelona, the Catalans have never used 4-4-2 from my understanding, the Spanish giants have 2 excellent full backs in Jordi Alba and Dani Alves. These 2 players love to ‘bomb forward’ and for Barca it works to great effect, the holding midfield player usually Busquets would fill in the vaccant holes left by his colleagues ventures forward.

Continental football has been like this for a ‘while’ and Barcelona I am sure are not the only side to use this model. Barcelona’s fierce rivals Real Madrid do have ‘natural wingers’ in their system in Christiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale it could be argued- but even with these 2 players they can ‘cut inside’ as well.

If you look a bit closer to ‘home’ Chelsea don’t operate with ‘out and out’ wingers, and if this season is anything to go by the Blues haven’t needed to- they have been breath taking at times with their build up play. I can’t think of many sides who have natural wingers, with Ronaldo and Bale being obvious exceptions. Bale himself as we all know was actually a full back converetd into winger, but the ex Spurs man spent his last season ‘behind the striker’ and it was to good effect as the Welshman was top scorer for Tottenham. Bales’ team Ronaldo as we have seen with his days at United was a exceptional winger, he does tend to drift more ‘centrally’.

Football is a very competitive indusry-which goes with out saying, and managers I am sure are always looking to ‘new methods’ to have the edge on their rivals. The days of ‘4-4-2 as we once knew it’ have changed, now the 4-4-2 has been ‘evolved into a ‘4-4-2 diamond’ ,managers such as Brendan Rodgers, Sam Allardyce and Roy Hodgson are managers who have used this system. Just to clarify for you folks a ‘diamond’ is a 4-4-2 formation where the midfielders postions make a diamond if you were to look at it on paper-if that makes sense. The ‘diamond’ will have a player off the strikers with a play protecting the defence and 2 wide players

In all scenarios the player who is seen as the ‘out and out winger’ ( I know England and Liverpool involves the same player- Raheem Sterling) the results have been startling. Last seasons win at Old Trafford for Liverpool is an example of the ‘4-4-2 diamond’ being used to great effect, in that game Raheem Sterling was nothing sort of sensational.

West Ham have put Stewart Downing at the top of their ‘diamond’ formation, to brilliant effect. Downing has got more assists already this year than he did than the whole of last year. As much as it pains me to say it- the ‘4-4-2 formation of the past’ is a ‘dying breed’.

The role of wingers in the modern scene isn’t as we know it either, players such as Mesut Ozil and David Silva get put out wide but neither of these players aren’t natural wingers. They’re in short supply I am afraid, wingers such as James Milner and Matt Jarvis spend their times these days on the bench mainly.

The days of John Barnes going on one of those maisy runs beating ‘the full back’ at ease have gone I am afraid,these days we have Everton full back Seamus Coleman who is having a excellent season with the Toffees it must be said. The Republic Of Ireland international has been nothing sort of sensational at right back and at left back England international Leighton Baines has been brilliant.

For football pursists like me, the delcine of natural wingers is upsetting- but hey if your side has full backs like the 2 I just mentioned is it really that bad?

Younis Khan Breaks The Record In Emphatic Pakistan Win

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There is no greater achievement in life than exceeding targets, Younus Khan that’s the case. The former Pakistan cricket captain yesterday broke the record for most centuries scored by a Pakistani batsmen in test match cricket.

The Right-Handed batsmen has now scored 26 centuries in 92 tests, passing former captain Inzamam Ul Haq’s 25 centuries. The T20 World Cup winning captain achieved the record feat having played 20 games less than the Pakistani legend Inzamam.

Thankfully for Khan his achievements were in a winning cause as Pakistan won the 1st test against Australia by a mammoth 221 runs. Pakistan batted 1st in Abu Dhabi ( The Neutral Venue where Pakistan play their home games) and posted a daunting 454 all out. Younus Khan and Sarfraz Ahmed who is getting a big reputation in Pakistan both making centuries.

Fifties by Asad Shafiq, captain Misbah Ul Haq and Azhar Ali, made the difference as Australia’s bowlers struggled. Steven O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon who was the star of the Ashes whitewash, both took sever punishment from Pakistan’s batmen as both bowlers conceded over 100 runs in the overs that they bowled which were 30 overs and 37 overs respectively.

Australia got their reply off to a good start, their opening pair put on 128 for the first wicket. The opening partnership ended as Chris Rodgers was bowled by Rahat Ali for 38. From that point on for Australia sadly they lost wickets at regular intervals and were eventually all out for 303. Not a bad effort for the first innings- but the Aussies had a 150 run deficit to deal with, how they wished that they could have built some big partnerships in their innings.

Several players made ‘starts’ for Australia but with a 151 run deficit after the first innings, the Aussies knew the task in hand was going to be tough and so it proved. Pakistan proved to be just as destructive in their second innings as they were in the first as Younus Khan helped himself to a record breaking hundred. Khan was supported by Ahmed Shazhad who made a very impressive 131 at the top of the Pakistan batting order. The Asian side declared on 286-2, setting Australia a world record 438 to win.

The Aussies got their run chase off to a disastrous start as 4 wickets fell before 50 runs were on the board for Australia. Despite positive contributions from Chris Rogers who made 43, Steve Smith who made 55 and Mitchell Johnson who top scored with 61 for Australia, the Aussies fell woefully short as Zulfiquar Babar in only his third test claimed a impressive 5-74 off just 31.1 overs.

Pakistan will be looking for wrap up a series over Australia for the first time since 1994, for Australia this latest defeat means they have lost 9 of their last 14 tests in away games against Asian opposition. Australia will be looking to restore some pride after this very heavy defeat, the second test starts on Thursday.

ayyazmalik.com Talks Tactics

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They say in music the 2nd album is the hardest album to make,such an analogy could be used with Manchester City. The Citizens were last seasons premier league champions, their title was fully deserved with a near flawless home record and the fact that City scored over 100 goals in the season always helps.

The Blues though have come into this season a shadow of the side of last season- a bit harsh you may argue as the season is still very young where there are a lot of twists and turns still to go. It maybe harsh to say but the reigning champions don’t seem as solid this year than they were last year, a case of ‘finding the 2nd album difficult to make’. Manchester City suffered the same fate when they won the title with Roberto Mancini, the next season as defending champions they surrounded their title with a real wimper losing the title to bitter rivals Manchester United by some 11 points.

This season The Blues are 8 points behind Chelsea already, and unfortunately for City the West London club don’t seem keen to let their lead slip- which must be a worrying sign for reigning premier league champions.

Lack of personnel is one reason The Blues are struggling, City just didn’t do enough in the transfer market, they must have known the other sides will strengthen, but Man City still failed to strengthen. The main issue I want to talk about here though is the tactics of Manuel Pelegrini. The Chilean manager who is known as the engineer due to his qualification as wait for it…. an engineer, is clearly a clever man- but I can’t seem to get to grips with why he doesn’t play David Silva further up the pitch in a ‘free role’.

The Spaniard is a ‘magician’ on the ball and Silva showed us that he has a lethal left foot- just ask Adrian the West Ham goal keeper. In the 1st half of the game against West Ham David Silva was put out wide and looked like a lost sheep, when Pelegrini changed his formation and put David Silva further up the pitch it was clear to see that the 28 year old seemed at ease with his game.

Defending isn’t a part of David Silva’s game, nor should it have to be. I know what you’re thinking- the modern players need to defend and attack, people will look at Jose Mouriniho’s sides as an example- but David Silva won’t be the same player if he has defending to worry about. Look at Real Madrid for example and Christiano Ronaldo, the 29 year old isn’t in the Real team for his defensive work lets just say.

Manchester City if they are to succeed they need to put their best players in the best positions ( I know it’s stating the obvious but Manuel Pelegrini has stubbornly put the Spaniard out wide). Silva’s predicament reminds me so much of Mesut Ozil of Arsenal who is another player in the wrong position. The 28 year old needs to be behind the lone striker,Manchester City need to be better numbered in midfield. More numbers in midfield would mean dropping a striker which would regrettably have to be Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian has played pretty well- but at a club like City someone is bound to miss out and be sacrificed as part of tactics .

The player to fill that hole on the left should be James Milner, Milner is such a work ahollic and could look after the defensive side of matters while Silva can do what he does best and that’s making clever passes to the centre forward. Cesc Fabregas links well with Diego Costa and if David Silva can create a similar relationship with Sergio Aguerro, than maybe City might well just claw this deficit back. With the modern day full back ‘bombing forward’ at any given opportunity, it’s important that there is some one there to cover, James Milner in my opinion is one of the best players in the premier league to do that job.

Will The ISL Bring To The Football World What The IPL Did For Cricket?

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It’s a well established fact that India as far as the global economy is concerned, India is a financial super power, it’s the 2nd biggest economy to China if I am not mistaken. As far as the global sporting is concerned India will be looking to make the same kind of impact in the global sporting market like they have in the global economy.

In October the inaugural Indian Super League is to begin, the tournament itself will feature some sporting legends such as former France Euro 200 winner David Trezeguet, former Italy World Cup winner Alessandro Del Piero and a name familiar to Liverpool fans ( Champions league winner Luis Garcia).

India have the already successful Indian Cricket Premier League played on it’s shores and it’s been a overwhelming success. The key to the success of the cricket premier league is the way it’s been marketed, global superstars of cricket always participate in the tournament.

The Indian Super League bossess have to bear this in mind, if the concept is to get off the ground. Not many might know this but the ISL did try to launch several years before but due to financial issues had to be postponed.

When I think of the Indian Super League I can’t help but think of Major League Soccer ( In the USA) , both at the moment are leagues that don’t get as much exposure as football leagues in Europe for example.

Having said that though I feel it’s quite apparent that the infrastructure is there for the ISL to blossom, the ISL is known as Hero Indian Super League, the motor giant giving the Super League some financial backing.Hero have signed a 3 year deal with the Indian league, after initially struggling to get the league formed due to finical restraints this is great news that Hero have signed such a deal.

The IPL organisers have marketed the TV rights brilliantly, the premier cricket tournament is screened around the world. The Indian Super league have been very shroud as well and appear to have taken a leaf out of their IPL counterparts book .Star Sports the Indian broadcaster will screen the football matches in India ,while Fox News will screen matches in Australia, Eurosport will cover matches in Europe and Star Sports UK will screen matches for the UK audience.

The organisers of the Indian Super League have covered all areas it seems, in another good marketing touch the ISL have decided to hold the inaugural tournament from October to December. Sometimes it’s best to go for the tried and tested option and the organisers of the ISL have most definitely done that.

Tesco Of Very Little Help

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For many years they have been the face of supermarkets in Britain, with the simple slogan ‘every little helps’ – but the team at The Speaker take a closer look to see if the same can still be said after the supermarket giant has been recording a loss in sales for the last 3 years , which lead to chief executive Terry Leahy to step down before his 14th anniversary at the supermarket chain.

Sir Terry had been in charge at Tesco from 1997 to 2011, where he had built the retailer into the worlds third largest retailer – but since Mr Leahy’s successor (Philip Clarke) has come, he has oversaw 3 years of falling sales in the UK, in the 1st week of June this year Tesco reported a 3.7% slide in like-for-like sales it’s worst quarterly figures for 40 years.

In Sir Terry’s time in charge in the 14 year period, Tesco was known as one of the supermarket heavyweights – and with Tesco stores on every street corner it seemed, ‘the machine’ that was Tesco was ever growing. Ventures into the clothing market followed where the supermarket had stores which didn’t sell groceries and only sold clothes, a Tesco mobile network has expanded where the price of their mobile phone tariffs were beating more known competitors like o2 and Vodafone in some areas.

A venture into the USA followed for the ever expanding supermarket, despite many a public protest of the rate of growth of Tesco and that ‘there were to many stores in our city’, the supermarket pursued with their plans never the less. The Tesco brand seemed to be going one way – and that was up.

Unfortunately for Tesco the venture in America didn’t take off – and back home discount supermarkets Lidl and Aldi were closing the gap on their bigger rival. With the UK in a recession both retailers based their marketing on saving the ‘customer money in troubling times’. Aldi with their very aggressive ‘swap and save advertising’ really starting have an effect on Tesco.

With political turmoil in The Middle East, Tesco’s stance on buying products from Israeli manufacturers left a few customer unhappy – which lead customers to go to other supermarket stores who opted to not make such a stance. Whether it be good business sense or a genuine humanitarian decision Tesco could have potentially seen the effects of making such a stance.

In efforts to improve their fortunes, former Unilver turnaround specialist Dave Lewis will be starting on Monday 31st August 2014 ( a month earlier than planned). Lewis succeeds Philip Clarke who quit in July shortly after issuing his 2nd profit warning.

Tesco’s new boss could bring in measures such as bringing in a chain to compete with discounters, one to target the mid-market sector and a third to challenge the up market sector. Tesco has been the face of the Uk supermarket for some time – but has lost ground on it’s rivals in the discount retail sector, how ironic is it that Tesco’s former chief executive left Tesco and joined rivals B&M a year later in 2012. They say ‘if you cant beat them join them’ and in Sir Terry Leahy’s case that seems to be the case.

Apple Iwatch Review

The Apple Iwatch despite its sunning looks, doesn't offer anything really different to what their rivals are offering.
The Apple Iwatch despite its sunning looks, doesn’t offer anything really different to what their rivals are offering.

How do they do it? How do Apple market their products in such a way to make them enticing, even though they always seem to be a step or 2 behind their rivals. Apple are going to release the eagerly anticipated Iwatch , and what can be said about there watch already is that it’s bound to be popular, after all it’s made by Apple. The Californian company have come into this market very late as you already know. Apple’s rivals Samsung and Sony Respectively, have already released their versions of watches several years earlier with similar features to what Apple are boasting of now.

The Apple Iwatch has all kinds of apps on it, but none of them seem to be that new or ground breaking. My brothers Smart Watch has apps such as Whatsapp on it, Apple boast of different coloured straps with all the colours of the rainbow available, again Apple’s rivals already give the consumer that option.

What potentially sets Apple apart from it’s rivals is that they know how to market a product. Apple could make a Alarm Clock and their marketing team would know how to make cues run miles long out of retail stores. With the example of the Iwatch it self though , the looks of the watch device is a thing of beauty, and the sheer elegance of the way Apple designs it’s products is something to be admired.

Maybe it’s a bit hypocritical then for me to criticise Apple as I am writing this review with a Apple Laptop . Even in that sector (laptops/ tablets devices) Apple’s functionality may not be as good as it’s rivals, but the looks are something which some may define as beauty itself.

If reports are to be believed the Apple Iwatch will be roughly about $149-229, but with the launch date rumoured to be late 2014 that figure could easily change. With no real ground breaking functions or apps, but there are handy little touches such as senses that collect data of sleep activity for example and you will also be able to keep track of calorie consumption. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear alternative will provide the alternative to this who aren’t as keen on Apple products. The Korean manufacture is expected to release their latest instalment of their Gear range earlier than their bitter American rivals.

What you can’t understate is the prestige of on Apple product, with the example of my laptop, I know that there are better alternatives out there in the market, but the prestige of it being an Apple product made me decide to get the laptop that I did.

What I would say is that if you like Apple products, and are a die hard fan of the Californian manufacture then the Iwatch is for you, if not then there are manufactures who have the same product and functions wise it is better than the Apple. It’s like owning a sports car- you know it doesn’t make sense getting one – but life doesn’t always work with making logical decisions.

Iphone 6 Review

The Apple Iphone 6 is expected to take the mobile phone market by storm.
The Apple Iphone 6 is expected to take the mobile phone market by storm.

Have you ever been to a social convention where you waiting for your friend or family member who is unbelievably late again? Maybe not the best analogy, but the Iphone 6 has that simliar kind of feel to it – always being the last one to the social convention, technology wise.

So it begs the question then why is the Apple Iphone 6 getting a lot of hype about it. The American company informed the world with a glitzy presentation early in September that there new Iphone 6 is soon to hit the shelves. With the release of a Iphone ,cues outside Apple’s many stores in the Uk is guaranteed to be a campsite for many die hard fans, where some have reportedly been waiting for days and have camped outside stores.

That proved to be the case when the Iphone officially launched , many retailers and experts have forecasted that the demand of the Iphone 6 is going to be very high. Apple IPhones look gorgeous, most don’t deny that but it’s prehistoric features such as 128gb in built memory leaves a lot to be dseried, how Samsung and other Android manufacturers will say that there phones had this sometime before the Iphone 6.

The 8mp camera is hardly revolutionary, Sony’s phones already have that. The touch sensor feature which integrates Apple’s new Ipay system is a good touch, shatterproof glass is another good touch,If only my Iphone 4s had that. With an Iphone 6 is that what do you really look for in this phone to have the best functions out there? The kind of people that the Iphone is targeted always seem to be more of the fashion conscious. Colours such as Gold, Space Grey and Silver emphasises the point that iPhones tend to appeal to the more fashion conscious rather the technology conscious.

A Gold Apple Iphone? that would make me the best of us tempted to cue at a Apple store for days on end, myself included . The new Iphone comes with 2 different screen sizes ( 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch which is a similar to Samsung’s galaxy Note 3). In Apples case they will be looking to hit the right note with consumers, and in Apple’s case they always seem to do just that.

Is Football Back In The Dark Ages?

Malkay Mackay is to be investigated for the alleged racist texts sent to former Colleague Iain Moody
Malkay Mackay is to be investigated for the alleged racist texts sent to former Colleague Iain Moody

Football is blessed with a unique gift – a gift where it can unite a nation together, and how it stands up for social justice. For example has many regulatory bodies that are trying to eradicate the evil disease that is not only in football but society itself- racism. Campaigns such as Respect which is backed by Europe’s governing body Uefa- and there is also Kick It Out which might be better known in England.

Thankfully racism on is decreasing in football – but in recents events football has developed a bit of a ‘dark side’. Reports have emerged that a leading contender for the vacant Crystal Palace job Malkay Mackay is to be investigated for sending texts messages to former head of recruitment at Cardiff Iain Moody. Moody was recently appointed sporting director of Palace – but has since resigned.

It has also been brought to the public eye that former Cardiff manager Mackay had sent messages of homophobic nature, anti- semetic nature, racist nature and of a sexist nature. Although the 42 year old Scot has denied the allegations, the evidence seems quite damning.

The Sexist remarks involve a Oxford- Educated sports lawyer called Carly Barnes, it has been revealed. Moody and Mackay it has been alleged that in appropriate comments have been made about the 39 year old. Carly Barnes currently represents Malta’s 2 most prominent football players Michael Mifsud of Coventry City FC and Justin Harber of Sheffield United. The comments made against her are unjustified, the 39 year old academically is successful and professionally.

With these appalling acts coming to public eye – and past sexual discriminations of Richard Keys and Andy Gray (the Sky Sports presenters) , also the head of football Sepp Blatters rather inappropriate remarks about women shorts. The team at the Speaker investigate to see if football has gone back into the ‘dark ages’ or had never truly emerged from it in the 1st place.

Organisations like the BBC deserve to be commended on many levels, great credit must go to them for employing female football presenters on ‘male programmes’ such as Match Of The Day ( that is not intended to be a sexist comment, historically male presenters and pundits have appeared on the show).

The organisation deserves further credit for employing Jacqui Oatley a female commentator, sadly the commentators 1st appearance on the mic was a sideshow and the fact that she is a women proved more interesting for journalists. Never the less Oatley gave a accomplished display behind the mic, and the rest as they say was history.

Football in a harsh reality is a male dominated sport maybe due to a few stigmas that are attached around women – and also a few ridiculous comments made by head of football Sepp Blatter. The Fifa president rather inappropriately suggested that women should wear ‘tighter shorts’ to ‘increase viewers’ of the women’s game.

Comments like that show that women’s football or should I say rather football’s attitude towards women playing it needs to change. Women in football is a ‘strange’ issue, football in certain instances is very welcoming to women. High profile clubs such as Chelsea have a female in the back room staff, football clubs are appointing women coaches – but then issues like the Malkay Mackay saga happen, the Andy Gray and Richard Keys episode as well (both men made a sexist comment about a co presenter) thankfully both were duly sacked.

In 2006 then Luton Town manager made a highly inappropriate remark:
“She shouldn’t be here, I know that sounds sexist but I am sexist.
“This is Championship football. This is not park football. What are women doing here? It is tokenism – for the politically correct idiots.”

This outburst lead Newell to be charged, as much as organisations like the BBC are doing all they can to change sexist stereo type, unfortunately the harsh reality is that it’s not going anytime soon.

As for racism, unfortunately this has come back to the fore. Luis Suarez racially abusing Patrice Evra (the Uruguayan was banned for 8 games), John Terry racially abusing Anton Ferdinand (the Chelsea defender received a 4 game ban and a £220,000 fine), another incident which is not as well known is Ahmed Mido (the then Middlesborough striker) receiving Islamophobic taunts from supporters and most recently which has come to light in Malkay Mackay ‘scandal’ is that the former Watford boss called his Malaysian employer Vincent Tan a C***k, and people wonder why Asians don’t get involved in sport?

Football needs a reality check – and although it’s a ‘few mindless individuals’ and not a majority, those individuals are never the less ruining the image of the ‘beautiful game’ . If people carry on like this the ‘beautiful game’ could become the not so beautiful game.

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT THE FUTURE IS ENGLISH?

Nigel Pearson has excelled this year as manager for Leicester City, the Foxes are back in the premier league after a 10 year absence
Nigel Pearson has excelled this year as manager for Leicester City, the Foxes are back in the premier league after a 10 year absence

Football clubs these days tend to appoint overseas managers,Chelsea and Fulham to name some.Here at ayyazmalik.com we’re going to analyse to see if premier league clubs and more football league clubs in general maybe missing a trick by not appointing English managers.

What we will make you aware of is the talented managers who are in management at the moment, but might not be getting the recognition they deserve.

If we look at the premier league for example, where there is Steve Bruce managing Hull, we can quite clearly see the success they are currently enjoying this season. The Tigers are on course for their best premier league finish in their history and will be playing in a domestic cup final,Jose Mourinho can’t boast of that this season.

The former Huddersfield,Birmingham,Crystal Palace,Wigan and Sunderland boss does have a respectable record where ever he has been and although 53 year old is a bit more of a mature manager now, his CV is not bad at all and does deserve recognition of his achievements as a manager.

Then we have the example of Tottenham Hotstpur, they started the season with a foreign manager (Andre Villas Boas) and unfortunately for the Portuguese he got sacked in December after a few heavy defeats.Spurs replaced the former Porto and Chelsea coach with Englishmen Tim Sherwood.

The former under 21’s boss of Tottenham started off his reign as first team manager well, and crucially rejuvenated maverick forward Emanuel Adebayor. The Togolese striker was a non starter for A.V.B and looked like he was going to leave the North London club, but Sherwood to his credit with good man management has helped Adebayor get back to the form the football world knows he is capable of.

Although the 45 year old isn’t the youngest for a manager these days, I think it’s impressive how he has improved the teams fortunes and got them scoring more goals.

Speculation has been on going about Sherwood’s future, but he has shown his capabilities to a degree as a manager. If the 45 year old does lose his job however (which would be harsh) then I feel this Englishmen shouldn’t have a problem to get back into management.

At times this season he has been outspoken,criticising players through the media,but with Tim Sherwood you can see a manager who is very passionate and cares for his team.

In the championship we have Leicester City,who are managed by former Hull City manager Nigel Pearson.The 51 year old again is a bit more of a mature manager, but he does deserve credit as the Foxes agonisingly lost out in the play offs to Crystal Palace last season.

Pearson has had 2 spells as Leicester city, and has been consistent in both spells,the 51 year old is a talented manager but maybe isn’t getting the recognition he deserves, maybe because he isn’t in the premier league.With the Foxes promoted,and hoping they have a good season next season that should change.

This year Leicester in the championship have been a breath of fresh air,they are also the leading scorers in the championship and are already promoted to the premier league and it looks like they’re going to be promoted to be as champions.Sven Goran Eriksson wasn’t able to do that.

Second in the championship is Sean Dyche’s Burnley,the Clarets weren’t expected to get this far and have shocked many,myself included.With the ‘deadly duo’ upfront (Danny Ings and Sam Vokes) Burnley are with touching distance of being in the premier league again.

What makes the feat all the more impressive is that they have out performed sides such as QPR,who have spent heavily on bringing players in.Impressive home form and a good team spirit, the Clarets deserve to be where they are.

Again we look to the championship to emphasise the talented English managers that are in management, but not might get the credit they deserve.

I am referring to of course Steve McLaren, referred to ‘as the wholly with a brolly’ after England failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

A lot has changed since then and the 52 year old has enjoyed success abroad with FC Twente in Holland, where he won the domestic tittle.

Difficult spells at Wolfsburg and then Notts Forest then followed ,but its at East Midland rivals Derby where McLaren again has showed the football world he is a talented football manager.

There is also league 1,where Wolves Manager Kenny Jacket has impressively got Wanderers promoted at the 1st attempt and as champions.

Like Tottenham Wolves initially went for the foreign route when they appointed Stale Solbakken, but that appointment wasn’t successful as Wolves from being a premier league side to a league 1 side. Kenny Jacket though looks like the man to improve Wolves’ fortunes.

Also in league 1,a special mention deserves to go to Lleyton Orient manager Russell Slade. The 53 year old has been at Brisbane Road for 4 years and the O’s are in the play offs after a impressive season. Impressive cup runs through out his tenure as well shouldn’t go unnoticed, the 53 year old Slade has shown his capabilities at this level and has shown he does deserve a crack at a higher level.

I can’t write a article of this nature and not mention Rochdale manager Keith Hill.The 44 year old has had 2 spells at Spotland, and in this spell with Rochdale he looks almost certain to get them promoted again.

44 year old Hill is the youngest of all the managers we have profiled, but he has shown that he is a very talented manager. Keith Hill’s time at Barnsley after having a good 1st spell with Rochdale was disappointing and till this day is a black mark in his cv.

A good 1st spell though at Spotland,Hill’s time at Oakwell shouldn’t over shadow the success he has had at Rochdale.

So football league and premier league chairmen take note, you don’t have to look for a foreign manager all the time as we have shown you in this article there is talent ‘right on your door step’ so to speak, and in Derby’s case its proof in the pudding.

IS IT TICKA TOCKA FOR ‘TIKA TAKA’?

Gerrardo Martino faces uncertainty over his future after a tough season for Barcelona's standards
Gerrardo Martino faces uncertainty over his future after a tough season for Barcelona’s standards.

If David Moyes’ start at Manchester United has been hard, its fair to say Gerrardo Martino it hasn’t exactly been a stroll in the park for the former Newell Old Boys manager. Here at ayyazmalik.com we take a closer look to see if the so called ‘tika taka’ style of football is to blame for the apparent failures of Martino this season.

The ‘tika taka’ which seemed to come into prominence in the trophy laden era of Pep Guardiola. Neat intricate passing,with good ball retention and not to forget to mention the very high pressing up the pitch, Barcelona were most teams nightmare. So you think with Tito Villanova carrying on the good work that Guardiola did, it would be hard to see where the problem is.

Fast forward a season, and Barca are third in La Liga and are out of the Champions League after being knocked in the Quarter final stage by La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid. Its not all bad lets not forget to mention that this year in La Liga its the closest tittle race in at least 20 years and as it stands at this current moment there is 3 points separating 3 teams (although Barca’s rivals have played a game less as it stands at this present moment). Wednesdays Copa Del Rey final does give them a chance of a trophy, so its not that bad but with Barcelona comes expectancy.

In tighter games this season they have failed, the matches Atletico Madrid and Granada. The Grananda game in particular Barca seemed to have no answer to the La Liga strugglers’ defensive shape where they lined up with ‘ 2 rows of 4’the Catalan giants couldn’t break them down and looked like never scoring in their 1-0 defeat to the La Liga strugglers, who ended a 3 game losing run with this shock win.

What seems apparent is that other teams (for example Liverpool and Bayern Munich) have taken the ‘tika taka’ playing system and improved by giving it more flexibility and not being afraid to have different formations. A prime example is when Bayern Munich came to Old Trafford and didn’t start with a ‘out and out forward’ but at the Allianz arena they did.Barcelona don’t have this player and thats maybe to there disadvantage, the Granada game again a example of Barcelona needing to change things, towards the of the game to be fair Barca tried to get more crosses into the Granada box, but unfortunately for the Catalans Lionel Messi is a ‘giant in stature and not in size’. Barcelona have lacked a plan B in games where its really mattered and thats one of the key concerns for Barca.

Iniesta,Xavi and Pedro for example are the epitome of ‘the Barcelona way’ but with no Champions League trophies in 4 seasons a club of Barca’s stature don’t take something like this lightly. Whats needed is ‘a slight tweak of their current playing style, where teams like Bayern have bigger players who are good athletes, Barca on the other hand have ‘small players and can and have been vulnerable on set pieces’, further emphasising the effect Carlos Puyol’s absence has had on the Catalan giants.

Barca might have to against ‘their football philosophy’ but thats part of having a ‘plan B’.The fact that Barcelona have had this transfer ban due to the Neymar affair ‘isn’t the worst thing in the world’ because this will prompt them to go and pick players from the famed La Masia academy, and that can’t be a bad thing.Barcelona are the founders of ‘tika taka’ and their model is being used by different clubs, so obviously there is still life in this system yet. Barcelona will be back Europe, rest assured this great club always bounces back from disappointment.