Pochettino won audition for Man Utd job: Noteworthy points from footie weekend

Pochettino has been on United’s redder for a while (Agency Photo)

1- Nasri signing a major coup: Early signs are that West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini has clinched a major coup in signing Sami Nasri on a free transfer.

In his first competitive game for eighteen months, the former Manchester City midfielder provided the assist that torpedoed Arsenal. Throughout seventy minutes of action, he was the creative force with his visionary passing.

Hammers record signing Felipe Anderson is more explosive but Nasri is the one with a delicate touch. They’re going to be a double act to behold.

2- Pochettino won audition for Man Utd job: If Sunday’s game between Spurs and Manchester United was an audition between Mauricio Pochettino and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer for the Old Trafford managerial seat, it was won by the Argentine!

Ignore the 1-0 final score line. The result had little to do with the Norwegian and everything to do with Red Devils keeper David De Gea’s eleven point blank saves. In future Solksjaer must devise a strategy to protect his keeper better. Winning matches with 30 per cent possession is not ideal auditioning for a permanent job.

3- Positive energy/love have place in soccer: The return to form of David de Gea, Paul Pogba and Marcos Rashford is testament to the influence of positive energy on player output.

All three were abject for Jose Mourinho but are playing out of their skin for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. We have witnessed such energy before in Chelsea’s march to a Champions League and FA Cup double under Roberto Di Matteo.

If Solksjaer continues to spread the love, United could end season with silverware of some description.

4- Mesmeric Messi is a machine: Lionel Messi’s goal in Barcelona’s 3-0 victory over Eibar took him to a staggering 400 Primera Liga goals.

That’s phenomenal when you consider that the English Premier League record is 260 (Allan Shearer), French Ligue One’s all-time top goal scorer is Jean Marin Papin with 156 goals and Serie A’s record stands at 275 (Silvio Piola). Only Gerd Muller’s 365 goals for Bayern Munich come close. We are truly blessed to have watched the Argentine legend in his prime.

5- Definition of world class: The most misused and misunderstood phrase in the beautiful game is ‘world class’.

The great Sir Alex Ferguson courted controversy when he named Ryan Giggs, Eric Cantons and Paul Scholes as the only three world class players he ever managed.

So what is world class? In my estimation, before a football commentator refers to a player as world class, he must be among the 25 best footballers in the game.

The definition should also encompass the three best players in each position in their generation. For example, the three best number 5s right now/in this generation are Gerard Pique,  Sergio Ramos and Virgil van Dirk. All three are therefore world class defenders.



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