Vincent Ralph takes a closer look at some of the managerial sound-bites from the latest round of Premier League matches.
Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay, after his side’s 3-2 win against Manchester City:
“The belief we had today, against the best team in the league, is something we can take into next week and the week after. We deserve to be here.”
On the basis of yesterday’s performance from the Bluebirds, they most certainly do! That City manager Manuel Pellegrini said after the game that few teams would win at the Cardiff City Stadium this season said it all. Mackay’s side were outstanding from first whistle to last, and while games like yesterday’s won’t always go in their favour, it is important the manager instils that sense of belonging in his players.
Cardiff were tipped by many to struggle this year, but a combination of belief and ability should see them just fine come May.
Hull City manager Steve Bruce, on the challenge ahead:
“If we are going to make a fist of it in the Premier League this season we are going to have to be good without the ball.”
Hull’s 1-0 win over Norwich was hard-fought and tactically-astute. That the Canaries had 54% of the possession means the Tigers could have a long season ahead of them. But if they remain as resolute as they did on Saturday their campaign could ultimately prove to be a successful one.
In essence Bruce was being a realist. But football tactics are as much about your efforts when you don’t have the ball as when you do.
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce, after the 0-0 draw against Newcastle United:
“Playing away from home, and the home team having zero shots on target in 90 minutes, shows our defensively resilient qualities today.”
I’m sure he didn’t mean it as an indictment on Newcastle’s misfiring front-line, but in a single sentence the West Ham boss summed up one of the many concerns for the Magpies this season.
Not a single shot at home against a side they would expect to beat is hugely concerning.
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino, talking about Sunderland’s early goal:
“We were asleep in the first three minutes. It is not acceptable and I take responsibility for it.”
Yet again the Saints’ manager impresses with his candour. While many would blame their players for the lapse in concentration that led to the Black Cats’ early strike, the Argentinian shouldered the blame. As the man in charge, it is his job to ensure his side are performing as they should be.
Bosses quick to blame others, take note. Pochettino impresses more every week, and I expect his Southampton side to react positively in the months ahead.
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert, after his side’s 1-0 loss to Liverpool:
“The lads have been brilliant and we are going to keep doing what we are doing.”
Another manager who continues to say and do the right things is Paul Lambert. Having embedded his ethos at Villa Park, the Scot is reaping the rewards.
Villa may have lost two of their opening three games, but no one has had a tougher start. Manchester United can bemoan their early fixtures, but the Villans' triple whammy of Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool would have left many clubs with nothing to show for 270 minutes of effort.
image: © joncandy