Will Scolari Be A Match For Fergie?

In terms of management, while Rafa was on a one-man crusade in the press to have Drogba hung last season, Wenger was busy concentrating on the moral wrongdoings where spending money was concerned and Grant was apparently undecided whether to big himself up or dish out the silent treatment, Fergie kept his focus on the big prizes. And having added a second European Cup to his 10 United titles last season, I’ve no doubt the Scotsman will be more than ready for whatever battles lie ahead in the coming one. But with a new face added to the mix, will the man from Govan come out on top again?

Like him or not, there’s no denying Fergie’s had phenomenal success at two clubs, both domestically and in Europe. His signings of Hargreaves, Nani, Anderson and Tevez last season not only saw him win his second European and domestic double with United (yeah ok, technically 1999 was treble) but also saw him achieve this with two different teams – the man knows how to put a side together – and he just keeps doing it. From bringing them in as rough diamonds to turning them into the polished gems that sees clubs like Real Madrid trying every trick in the book to prise them away, SAF keeps getting it right. Don’t let the lessening rants and the apparent mellowing with age fool you – he might well be in his ‘twilight years’ according to some but he still has the same hunger for success as any up and coming manager – probably more. And if anyone is a master of the mind games, this is the man. So is anyone likely to unseat this Old Master next season?

Well, having joined Arsenal in 1996, Wenger managed to do just that (albeit temporarily) in only his second season in charge with a Premier League and FA Cup double. However, in the years since then, Wenger’s trophy tally hasn’t kept up the same momentum as his adversary’s. His true credential’s as a challenger to Fergie seem to have dwindled further recently, with a transfer policy that’s seen players seeking moves away and no evidence of a queue outside the Emirates of players wanting to get in. And whilst his lads certainly know how to sweep a ball around the pitch, they appear to lack the one thing their manager always has done when faced with a battle – character. In fact, in a direct reflection of their manager, they lose their heads – handbags, pizza, you name it, they’ve thrown it. Will this be the year they come of age or will heads continue to duck in tunnels?

I’m not sure this article is really the place for Rafael Benitez but seeing as, as England’s fourth best team, Liverpool have to be included by default, we might as well humour them. But let’s be honest, will Rafa really present a realistic challenge for Fergie next season? Enough said. Will he go up against him in the press maybe? Given how his use of the press against Drogba bit him squarely on the arse last season, you’d have to assume the Spaniard might’ve sussed that mind games just aren’t his forte. Still, we could all do well to remember, this could be Liverpool’s year.

So finally that brings us on to the big four’s newest addition and what sort of challenge he might present to Fergie’s wish to see out his last couple of years at United in style. Having won a World Cup, the pressure to succeed won’t be anything new to Scolari, although the pressure to succeed in Europe might be. He might have a few South American trophies to add to that World cup but his direct opposition has all the accolades when it comes to Europe and the Premier League. So what will he have to offer in terms of a fight? Well, ignoring the obvious pugilism jokes, Scolari, by all accounts, takes the same authoritarian-come-father-figure approach as his rival and the players clearly respect knowing exactly where they stand with him. But I’ve a feeling Scolari will be as much of an opponent off the pitch as on it and the relative peace Fergie, Wenger and Benitez enjoyed following Mourinho’s departure might seem like a lifetime away once the season (or Scolari himself) kicks off. He’s no stranger to confrontation but having previously turned down the England job because of press intrusion, it’ll be interesting to see how he copes with every single detail of his management being raked over to extremes by England’s finest attempts at journalism.

While Fergie and Wenger are old hands at dealing with, and even manipulating the British press to their own advantage, this is something Benitez showed last season that even he hasn’t got to grips with yet. So how will the Premier League’s novice fare when it comes to using the hacks in what for Wenger and Fergie are the customary battles of will in the press? I’ve a feeling Big Phil, having already done all but drive Ronaldo to the nearest airport – and then denied as much as a word in his former player’s ear – will relish the battles to come and a regular war of words is the very least we can expect. Whether he’ll come out of it victorious or not is surely another matter?


5 Responses

  1. I think Scolari would do fine in England. He has the knowledge, experience and character to outclass any manager. With the talent pool he has at Chelsea he will do wonders anyway.

  2. By The End of the Season , that question, will most certainly be answered.

    2008/09 season is just over a month away. Fantasy Premier League is up and running again.

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    Lets See Whose Fans are the best when it comes to football judgement.

  3. A match for Fergie? behave

  4. Course he will……Queiroz has already fucked off shitting himself

  5. Or maybe CQ just fancies himself as being able to do the job Scolari couldn’t at Portugal…?

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