Gary Neville announced as interim boss of Leicester as Ranieri walks out!

It was two months ago that Gary Neville’s poor start to life as Valencia boss started looking like serious trouble. A 0-1 defeat at the hands of Sporting Gijon meant that Neville’s side were still to win a league game since he took charge, and despite an encouraging Copa Del Rey victory three days before against Las Palmas, it was not looking good.

However, a few weeks later a 0-4 win against Rapid Vienna put Valencia into the last 16 of the Europa League, and it felt as if Neville’s reign was just getting going. But more poor results followed and after they went crashing out of Europe on away goals to Athletic Bilbao, they were left with only one thing to focus on – a relegation battle.

Of course, whilst they still may stay up, their 0-2 defeat to Celta Vigo proved to be Gary’s final chance, as he was sacked by dear friend Peter Lim. Neville’s first managerial roll of the dice had failed.

But, whilst everyone pointed to the vacancy at Aston Villa as a possible next destination, no one expected Claudio Ranieri, undoubtedly manager of the season, to walk out of the club following a bust up with a number of key players including Jamie Vardy, Danny Drinkwater and Wes Morgan, leaving a vacancy at Leicester of all teams!

Both Ranieri and Leicester are yet to release a statement, although numerous Leicester players were overheard complaining about training methods, and while this may seem weird, the fact that Gary Neville has already been appointed without hesitation this morning is even weirder.

Neville will be the interim manager, according to our sources, as Leicester look to line up the possible candidates for the job next season after Neville’s reign.

These candidates could include Remi Garde, David Moyes or Manuel Pellegrini, but the largely unknown Elcitra Ekaf is considered a possibility, along with Etad eht ta Kool, both managers currently managing in Saudi Arabia.

For now, what’s in store for the next few months at Leicester City remains to be seen, but for now, we’ve got a lot to look forward to!

Manchester United v Liverpool Rivalry #2

On the 17th January this month, English football’s most famous fixture will take centre stage at Anfield once again, and although the two most successful teams in the history of the English game might not be the forces they once were, the Manchester United v Liverpool derby has never lost it’s sensational thrill.

Although being located fairly close to each other, this game is so much bigger than a local derby. A rivalry built on success, it takes precedence over the respective derbies against Manchester City and Everton, and that takes some doing as there’s much more than three points at steak in those games.

As Ander Herrera said before United’s meeting with local rivals Man City earlier this season “This game is huge, but I know that for the fans, the game against Liverpool is bigger”.

In 1977, the two sides renewed rivalries in the FA Cup final, with title winners and European Cup finalists Liverpool going in as favourites, but, as we all know in the FA Cup, anything can happen, and it was Manchester United who prevailed 2-1 winners. Stuart Pearson put them ahead with a powerful near post finish, but that was cancelled out by Jimmy Case who showed terrific skill, agility and finishing as he made the score 1-1. The winning goal came due to a huge slice of luck as Lou Macari’s shot was deflected in by his own team-mate, Jimmy Greenhoff.

11 years later, United the underdogs again, clawed their way back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 after a last gasp equaliser from Gordon Strachan rescued an important point for the Red Devils. United skipper Bryan Robson had opened the scoring early on as he rounded off a well worked move, before Liverpool turned things around either side of the break, starting with a superb team goal scored by Peter Beardsley followed by goals from Gary Gillespie and Steve McMahon, the latter being a stunning strike from almost 30 yards out. But, United rallied in the form of a deflected Bryan Robson strike before Strachan finished with composure for the late equaliser.

More recently in 2009, the two sides were the two best teams in the English game, and despite an early penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo, goals from Fernando Torres and Andrea Dossena aswell as a Steven Gerrard penalty and a Fabio Aurelio free-kick turned the game on it’s head as Liverpool completed a shock 1-4 win at Old Trafford.

Two seasons later, despite a brace from Steven Gerrard, Dimitar Berbatov stole the headlines with a stunning hat-trick. His first was a clever header, before a sensational over-head kick was followed by another good header.

The most recent meeting was also a classic, as all eyes were on Manchester United’s new signing, Anthony Martial, the world’s most expensive teenager, costing around £36m. The Frenchman started on the bench, and watched his new side take a two nil lead after a well worked Daley Blind goal and a terrific penalty from Ander Herrera. Then Liverpool’s Cristian Benteke gave them a life-line with a superb over-head kick to make the score 2-1. Step up Anthony Martial. Just minutes into his debut, the 19 year- old waltzed around the Liverpool defence before slotting the ball into the far corner, displaying great skill and composure in the process.

No doubt in the calibre of Real Madrid vs Barcelona and Boca Juniors vs River Plate, Liverpool vs Manchester United rarely disappoints.