Featured Matches
Previous
Burnley
Manchester United
0
0
FT
Game Details
Manchester City
Stoke City
0
1
FT
Game Details
Everton
Chelsea
3
6
FT
Game Details
Atletico Madrid
Eibar
2
1
FT
Game Details
Schalke 04
Bayern Munich
1
1
FT
Game Details
Chievo Verona
Juventus
0
1
FT
Game Details
AS Roma
Fiorentina
2
0
FT
Game Details
Burnley
Manchester United
0
0
FT
Game Details
Manchester City
Stoke City
0
1
FT
Game Details
Newcastle United
Crystal Palace
3
3
FT
Game Details
Queens Park Rangers
Sunderland
1
0
FT
Game Details
Swansea City
West Bromwich Albion
3
0
FT
Game Details
West Ham United
Southampton
1
3
FT
Game Details
Everton
Chelsea
3
6
FT
Game Details
Athletic Bilbao
Levante
3
0
FT
Game Details
Cordoba
Celta Vigo
1
1
FT
Game Details
Atletico Madrid
Eibar
2
1
FT
Game Details
Espanyol
Sevilla FC
1
2
LIVE 68'
Game Details
Bayer Leverkusen
Hertha Berlin
4
2
FT
Game Details
Hamburg SV
SC Paderborn 07
0
3
FT
Game Details
VfB Stuttgart
FC Cologne
0
2
FT
Game Details
VfL Wolfsburg
Eintracht Frankfurt
2
2
FT
Game Details
Werder Bremen
TSG Hoffenheim
1
1
FT
Game Details
Schalke 04
Bayern Munich
1
1
FT
Game Details
Chievo Verona
Juventus
0
1
FT
Game Details
AS Roma
Fiorentina
2
0
FT
Game Details
AS Monaco
Lille
1
1
FT
Game Details
Caen
Stade Rennes
0
1
FT
Game Details
Lens
Stade de Reims
4
2
FT
Game Details
Lorient
Guingamp
4
0
FT
Game Details
Nantes
Montpellier
1
0
FT
Game Details
Toulouse
Evian Thonon Gaillard
1
0
FT
Game Details
Sheffield Wednesday
Nottingham Forest
0
1
FT
Game Details
Brighton & Hove Albion
Charlton Athletic
2
2
FT
Game Details
Derby County
Ipswich Town
1
1
FT
Game Details
Fulham
Cardiff City
1
1
FT
Game Details
Leeds United
Bolton Wanderers
1
0
FT
Game Details
Middlesbrough
Reading
0
1
FT
Game Details
Millwall
Blackpool
2
1
FT
Game Details
Norwich City
AFC Bournemouth
1
1
FT
Game Details
Rotherham United
Brentford
0
2
FT
Game Details
Watford
Huddersfield Town
4
2
FT
Game Details
Wigan Athletic
Birmingham City
4
0
FT
Game Details
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Blackburn Rovers
3
1
FT
Game Details
Colchester United
Peterborough United
1
3
FT
Game Details
Doncaster Rovers
Oldham Athletic
0
2
FT
Game Details
Fleetwood Town
Leyton Orient
1
1
FT
Game Details
Gillingham
Crewe Alexandra
2
0
FT
Game Details
Milton Keynes Dons
Crawley Town
2
0
FT
Game Details
Port Vale
Chesterfield
1
2
FT
Game Details
Preston North End
Sheffield United
1
1
FT
Game Details
Rochdale
Bradford City
0
2
FT
Game Details
Scunthorpe United
Walsall
2
1
FT
Game Details
Swindon Town
Coventry City
1
1
FT
Game Details
Yeovil Town
Barnsley
1
1
FT
Game Details
AFC Wimbledon
Stevenage
2
3
FT
Game Details
Bury
Accrington Stanley
2
1
FT
Game Details
Cambridge United
Carlisle United
5
0
FT
Game Details
Cheltenham Town
Hartlepool United
1
0
FT
Game Details
Mansfield Town
Burton Albion
1
2
FT
Game Details
Northampton Town
Exeter City
1
0
FT
Game Details
Oxford United
Dagenham & Redbridge
3
3
FT
Game Details
Plymouth Argyle
Southend United
2
0
FT
Game Details
Portsmouth
Newport County
0
1
FT
Game Details
Shrewsbury Town
Luton Town
2
0
FT
Game Details
Tranmere Rovers
Morecambe
2
1
FT
Game Details
York City
Wycombe Wanderers
0
0
FT
Game Details
Aldershot Town
Grimsby Town
2
1
FT
Game Details
Alfreton Town
Braintree Town
0
2
FT
Game Details
Bristol Rovers
Halifax
2
1
FT
Game Details
Dartford
AFC Telford United
2
1
FT
Game Details
Dover
Kidderminster Harriers
0
1
FT
Game Details
Gateshead
Chester City
2
1
FT
Game Details
Lincoln City
Torquay United
1
3
FT
Game Details
Macclesfield Town
Eastleigh
2
0
FT
Game Details
Nuneaton Town
Altrincham
2
1
FT
Game Details
Southport
Barnet
0
2
FT
Game Details
Welling
Forest Green Rovers
1
1
FT
Game Details
Wrexham
Woking
1
2
FT
Game Details
Aberdeen
Partick Thistle
2
0
FT
Game Details
Hamilton Academical
Ross County
4
0
FT
Game Details
Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Kilmarnock
2
0
FT
Game Details
Motherwell
St Johnstone
0
1
FT
Game Details
St Mirren
Dundee United
0
3
FT
Game Details
Alloa Athletic
Hibernian
2
1
FT
Game Details
Cowdenbeath
Raith Rovers
1
3
FT
Game Details
Dumbarton
Livingston
1
0
FT
Game Details
Heart of Midlothian
Falkirk
4
1
FT
Game Details
Rangers
Queen of the South
4
2
FT
Game Details
Airdrie United
Stirling Albion
0
0
FT
Game Details
Brechin City
Peterhead
1
1
FT
Game Details
Forfar Athletic
Greenock Morton
3
2
FT
Game Details
Stenhousemuir
Ayr United
1
1
FT
Game Details
Stranraer
Dunfermline Athletic
1
2
FT
Game Details
Albion Rovers
Queen's Park
1
0
FT
Game Details
Annan Athletic
Elgin City
3
3
FT
Game Details
Arbroath
Montrose
3
1
FT
Game Details
Clyde
Berwick Rangers
3
3
FT
Game Details
East Fife
East Stirlingshire
3
1
FT
Game Details
Barcelona B
CD Sabadell
3
1
FT
Game Details
Lugo
Real Valladolid
1
0
FT
Game Details
Real Zaragoza
Osasuna
1
1
FT
Game Details
AD Alcorcon
Girona
1
2
FT
Game Details
Racing Santander
Mirandes
1
2
LIVE 64'
Game Details
Tenerife
Albacete
1
1
LIVE 64'
Game Details
Catania
Lanciano
3
3
FT
Game Details
Crotone
Ternana
0
2
FT
Game Details
Frosinone
Brescia
1
0
FT
Game Details
Livorno
Carpi
1
1
FT
Game Details
US Avellino
Pro Vercelli
1
0
FT
Game Details
US Pescara
Trapani
0
0
FT
Game Details
Varese
Spezia
2
1
FT
Game Details
Vicenza
Latina
Postp
Game Details
Virtus Entella
Bari
0
2
FT
Game Details
FC Erzgebirge Aue
Fortuna Düsseldorf
0
3
FT
Game Details
Karlsruhe
Heidenheimer SB
1
1
FT
Game Details
Tours
Angers
1
2
FT
Game Details
Cambuur Leeuwarden
ADO Den Haag
3
2
FT
Game Details
Dordrecht '90
AZ Alkmaar
1
3
FT
Game Details
Excelsior
SC Heracles Almelo
3
1
FT
Game Details
Heerenveen
FC Utrecht
3
1
FT
Game Details
FC Oss
De Graafschap
3
2
FT
Game Details
Belenenses
Guimaraes
0
3
FT
Game Details
Braga
Estoril
2
1
FT
Game Details
Mordovia Saransk
FK Torpedo Moscow
1
0
FT
Game Details
FK Amkar Perm
Spartak Moscow
2
0
FT
Game Details
FC Arsenal Tula
Kuban Krasnodar
0
1
FT
Game Details
Eskisehirspor K
Konyaspor
2
1
FT
Game Details
Bursaspor
Galatasaray
0
2
FT
Game Details
Istanbul Buyuksehir BSK
Kasimpasa
1
1
FT
Game Details
Mersin Idmanyurdu
Besiktas
0
1
FT
Game Details
Kalloni AEL
Ergotelis
2
0
FT
Game Details
Panthrakikos
Giannina
1
1
FT
Game Details
Panetolikos
Olympiakos
1
1
FT
Game Details
KV Oostende
Racing Genk
1
1
FT
Game Details
KVC Westerlo
Zulte-Waregem
2
2
FT
Game Details
Mouscron-Peruwelz
Cercle Brugge KSV
4
0
FT
Game Details
Waasland-Beveren
Lierse SK
2
0
FT
Game Details
SV Salzburg
SK Sturm Graz
2
3
FT
Game Details
FC Trenkwalder Admira
Austria Vienna
2
1
FT
Game Details
SC Rheindorf Altach
SV Josko Ried
2
2
FT
Game Details
Wolfsberger AC
FC Magna Wr. Neustadt
0
1
FT
Game Details
Sonderjyske
Randers FC
1
1
FT
Game Details
BK Hacken
Mjallby
1
1
FT
Game Details
Gefle IF
Atvidabergs FF
0
1
FT
Game Details
Sarpsborg FK
Odd Grenland
2
2
FT
Game Details
Aalesund
Stromsgodset
2
0
FT
Game Details
Bodo/Glimt
Valerenga
4
3
FT
Game Details
FC Thun
FC Sion Sitten
2
1
FT
Game Details
Lucerne
FC Aarau
1
1
FT
Game Details
Ballinamallard Utd
Cliftonville
0
4
FT
Game Details
Crusaders
Glentoran
1
0
FT
Game Details
Dungannon Swifts
Linfield
0
1
FT
Game Details
Institute
Warrenpoint Town
1
0
FT
Game Details
Seattle Sounders FC
Colorado Rapids
1
0
FT
Game Details
Toronto FC
New England Revolution
0
3
LIVE 58'
Game Details
Montreal Impact
Columbus Crew
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Chicago Fire
FC Dallas
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
San Jose Earthquakes
Real Salt Lake
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Vancouver Whitecaps
Portland Timbers
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
America
UNAM
0
0
LIVE 21'
Game Details
Puebla
Morelia
1
0
LIVE 23'
Game Details
U.A.N.L
Chiapas
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
León
Pachuca
1:06 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlas
Santos
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Prestatyn Town
Bala Town
3
3
FT
Game Details
Ottawa Fury FC
Tampa Bay Rowdies
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Carolina RailHawks
Atlanta Silverbacks
ESPN3 11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Indy Eleven
New York Cosmos
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia La Plata
Godoy Cruz de Mendoza
2
0
FT
Game Details
Defensa y Justicia
Rosario Central
1
3
FT
Game Details
Newell's Old Boys
Estudiantes La Plata
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Nueva Chicago
Argentinos Juniors
0
1
FT
Game Details
All Boys
Santamarina
0
0
FT
Game Details
Boca Unidos
Douglas Haig
0
0
FT
Game Details
Aldosivi
Colón de Santa Fe
1
1
LIVE 46'
Game Details
Altamira
Correcaminos
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Mérida
Celaya
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Irapuato
Mineros de Zacatecas
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Oaxaca
Zacatepec
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Dorados de Sinaloa
Necaxa
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Cruzeiro
Chapecoense AF
0
1
LIVE HT
Game Details
Palmeiras
Internacional
0
1
ESPN3 LIVE HT
Game Details
AA Ponte Preta
Náutico
2
0
FT
Game Details
América RN
Paraná Clube
2
3
FT
Game Details
Bragantino
ABC
1
0
FT
Game Details
CR Vasco da Gama
Avaí
0
5
FT
Game Details
Ceará
Luverdense
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Colo Colo
Antofagasta
4
0
FT
Game Details
Huachipato
Santiago Wanderers
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Fénix
Defensor Sporting
3
4
FT
Game Details
Nacional
El Tanque Sisley
1
2
FT
Game Details
Alianza Petrolera
Atlético Huila
0
0
FT
Game Details
Uniautonoma
Boyacá Chicó FC
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Patriotas F.C.
Fortaleza CE
12:45 AM GMT
Game Details
Cienciano del Cusco
Unión Comercio
2
1
FT
Game Details
Alianza Lima
Melgar
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
César Vallejo
Real Garcilaso
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Juan Aurich
Universitario de Deportes
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
San Simón
San Martin
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
3 de Febrero
Sol de América
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Aragua
Deportivo Táchira
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Dep. Metropolitano
Zamora
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
The Strongest
Universitario de Pando
3
1
FT
Game Details
Gamba Osaka
Albirex Niigata
5
0
FT
Game Details
Urawa Red Diamonds
Omiya Ardija
4
0
FT
Game Details
Tokushima Vortis
Sanfrecce Hiroshima
0
1
FT
Game Details
Cerezo Osaka
Vissel Kobe
1
2
FT
Game Details
Kashima Antlers
FC Tokyo
2
2
FT
Game Details
Kashiwa Reysol
Vantforet Kofu
3
0
FT
Game Details
Nagoya Grampus Eight
Kawasaki Frontale
1
1
FT
Game Details
Sagan Tosu
Shimizu S-Pulse
2
2
FT
Game Details
Vegalta Sendai
Yokohama F. Marinos
1
2
FT
Game Details
Bay United
Orlando Pirates
0
3
FT
Game Details
Free State Stars
Maritzburg Utd
1
1
FT
Game Details
Kaizer Chiefs
SuperSport United
2
0
FT
Game Details
Mpumalanga Black Aces
Pretoria Univ
0
0
FT
Game Details
Santos
Pumas Generalena
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Comunicaciones
Antigua
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Marquense
Guastatoya
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Platense
Parrillas One
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Victoria
Honduras Progreso
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next
Manchester CityManchester City
Stoke CityStoke City
0
1
FT
Game Details
Newcastle UnitedNewcastle United
Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
3
3
FT
Game Details
Oct 6, 2008

Managerial magic and its effects

How much difference does a manager make? Well - I guess it all depends on the manager. A dumb thing to say maybe, but football is a game inhabited by humans, not by abstractions. I've seen quite a few managers this week, having watched four junior games at close quarters here in Spain - two of them involving my own flesh and blood, and I've noticed a few things.

One of them is that when a game is being watched by a maximum of fifty people, it's impossible for the two managers, standing by their respective dug-outs, to both shout at the same volume. Since you can hear almost every word they are saying, one of them eventually gives in to the other and drops the vocal volume, replacing it with gestures or just a sullen silence, depending on the score at the time, of course.

This is not always the case in professional games, when the managers are standing in their allotted square metre, the crowd forming a noisy background behind their heads. You can rarely hear what they're talking about, which is just as well. One of the more vocal managers I heard this week - who was eventually sent off, was so full of sayings and metaphors that he enriched my Spanish considerably - the best one being "Me cago en mi vida!" (I shit on my life!) as the opposition forward broke free from the home defence and shaped to shoot (he scored).

Nevertheless, it struck me as a player and it strikes me now as an observer that the more a manager shouts and gesticulates the more he is indulging in damage limitation, like a teacher who has set up a group task for his pupils, only to find out as the lesson progresses that the groups didn't understand a word of what he was talking about, obliging him to then run around the room patching up the lack of a real game plan.

Is there a proportional relationship between the game's best managers and their lack of dug-out histrionics? Someone should conduct a study into that one, but of the present-day gurus, José Mourinho and Sir Alex tend to keep it fairly under wraps as the match progresses, as does the new kid on the Spanish block, Valencia's Unai Emery.

Well, he's not exactly a kid at 37, but his four years so far as a manager have been disproportionately positive, making him the current golden balls of Spanish football. In a week when world stocks have plummeted, Emery's local value soared even higher when Valencia's oft-troubled winger, Joaquín, came out publicly to try and explain why Valencia are now league leaders only a few months after looking like relegation fodder.

Joaquín, one of Europe's best traditional wingers on his day, was breast-fed by his mother up to the age of six, and confesses that it has left him needing to be loved. You can interpret that one as you wish - since the psychological damage inflicted by having to wander across to your mother at half-time when the rest of the team are reaching for their oranges must have been considerable - but Joaquín didn't feel very loved by Ronald Koeman, and even after the arrival of Emery in the summer he seemed to be on his way to Inter or Roma. Now he's happily gliding down the right wing again, with that curious tubby lightness of touch that he has, like Paul Gascoigne in his Mars Bar days.

Joaquín told the press last week that Valencia are top because "we've got a manager again', which answers the question posed in the first sentence of this article. "And this manager doesn't dedicate himself to the art of messing people around and inventing stuff" - this a shot across the bows of Koeman, presumably.

"It's different in the changing-room now. You breathe a different air. The team's almost the same, but this year we're just playing football again."

Is it all down to young Emery? Could be. When John Toshack was in his second spell as manager at Real Sociedad, Emery was playing in the reserve side as a left-sided midfielder. Toshack liked the look of him and asked the Sociedad B trainer if he thought Emery was ready to step up to the first team. "Dunno' replied the trainer (Salva Iriarte), "but he talks a good game. He'll probably make a better manager than a player', or words to that effect. Indeed, Emery only played five times for Sociedad, making a career of it as a journeyman midfielder in the Second Division of Spanish life, hanging up his boots at Lorca and becoming their player-manager at the ripe old age of thirty-two. In 2006 he went down to Almería, won several press awards as manager of the year and brought them up to the top flight quite unexpectedly. He then steered them to an even more unexpected 8th position last season, during a campaign in which they only lost sight of the UEFA places in the last few weeks.

Emery's further promotion was inevitable, and the chaos at Valencia was crying out for a steady hand. Nevertheless, such a pit of vipers might easily have proved the wrong choice for such a quiet type, with his rather goofy expression and lack of public charisma. As Morgan Freeman remarks to another hard-bitten inmate in the "Shawshank Redemption' as they watch the new prisoners march in through the gates; "I'll give that one a week" - pointing at the gawky Tim Robbins. Robbins lasted much longer, of course, as well might Emery if things continue apace.

This weekend's 0-1 win at Valladolid, managed by José Luis Mendilibar - another of the up-and-coming triumvirate of Basque managers (the other is Almeria's Gonzalo Arconada) was good evidence of Valencia's revival.

Under the cosh for most of the match, they still nicked a win with a goal from the Portuguese midfielder Manuel Fernandes. Looking at the players who took part in the game, the names of Baraja, Angulo, Albelda, Vicente and Helguera seem significant. Helguera spent most of his life at Real Madrid and is no spring chicken, but at the height of the club's troubles last season it would almost have been laughable to believe that the club would be top in the coming October with those players still around.

Albelda we all know about, but Baraja and Angulo seem to have been around for ever, whilst Vicente seemed to have reached a point of no return with injuries. He's still not the player he was, but is a decent enough stop-gap for David Silva, whilst the young left-sided international recovers from a major operation. The old warhorse Carlos Marchena was injured for the game, but he's still very much alive, of course.

Emery has based his conservative revolution around three players, David Villa, the aforementioned David Silva, and the new revelation of the league, the left-sided Juanma Mata, whose surname means "He kills". He certainly does. With Asier Del Horno back, Mata, Vicente and Silva, the squad has a left flank to be envied by most.

Villa has stayed, and whilst Valencia are top of the league, it is less likely that he will go to England in the winter transfer window. If he does, start counting the noughts on the pay cheque. But he's a fantastic player, worthy of all the hype and more. Quite how Valencia managed to hang on to him this summer amongst all the chaos, the revolving doors and the pressure from Chelsea and Real Madrid - to name just two, is something of a mystery, but you never know - Emery's presence might have had something to do with it. Ask Villa and he might tell us, but nobody's complaining now that the club didn't cash in.

So Valencia sit atop the league, sharing the summit with Villarreal, another team with a manager, Manuel Pellegrini, who is from the school of the strong silent types. Anyone brave enough to dispense with the services of one of the world's top players (Riquelme) but still keep a modest outfit challenging for La Liga and marching onwards in the Champions League should be allowed at least some of the credit. Again, the players speak of him in reverential terms (apart from Riquelme), and appear to always know what is required of them.

Emery himself was modestly batting away comparisons of himself with Rafa Benitez this weekend, due to the fact that this is Valencia's best start since the 2003-2004 season when Liverpool's current boss was in charge - but Benitez still divides opinion, despite his track record. At the moment, Emery is on a blemish-free roll.

Another manager with cause to smile is Pep Guardiola, who has answered the critics in his unassuming sort of way. The idea that Barça were full of "tiki-taka" but no goals has been swept away by the events of the last fortnight, culminating in a 6-1 slaughter of poor Atlético Madrid, who were 3-0 down and punch-drunk after eight minutes. Agüero cut a forlorn figure, isolated up front by Atlético's lack of ambition, whilst Messi ran riot. Things can change again, of course - but to question Guardiola so prematurely - as many in the Spanish press were doing - was pretty daft. Real Madrid were held at home 2-2 by a much-improved Espanyol too, which was another reason for Guardiola to smile. Sporting Gijón won too, to get their first points of the season in Mallorca (you read it here last week), but let's stick with the manager theme.

Many people accuse footballers of being a bit thick, but one thing in which they are experts is human nature. At times the suffocating obligation of being with the same group of people, week in week out, under the intense pressure that professional football engenders, makes footballers keenly aware of each others' strengths and weaknesses as human beings. The group thing usually holds together, but when it implodes it collapses in spectacular fashion - as witnessed by the events at Valencia last season.

When he arrived, Unai Emery's every word and gesture would have been subject to the miniscule and critical analysis that footballers are very well qualified to make. The fact that he has come out smelling of roses is evidence indeed that here is a major new name in Spanish football.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.