You can’t script this stuff. Manchester City fires Manuel Pellegrini, effective the end of the season, and then his Blues beat Paris Saint-Germain to reach the European Champions League semi-finals for the first time in the club’s history.Pellegrini, a dignified Chilean, must have a sly smile on his face.In this age of big money, a football manager’s contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. A blip in team performance can get wealthy club owners like those of Manchester City nervous enough to pull the plug even if it’s due to a rash of injuries.Pellegrini and the likes of Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho know this all too well.The latter two were both let go by Russian Roman Abramovic at Chelsea in the season following wins in the English Premier League. The same thing happened at the same club to Claudia Ranieri, the current Leicester City boss, after a 2004 season in which Chelsea placed second in the Premiership. Truly, he who pays the piper calls the tune.In those situations, only winning is enough.In this context, it seems hardly likely that Louis van Gaal will see out his three-year contract at Manchester United. The highly successful Dutchman hasn’t endeared himself to United with his possession-oriented departure from that club’s traditional winger-based attacking style.The besieged veteran came to United after carrying The Netherlands to within a penalty shoot-out of the 2014 World Cup final. He might rightly claim that he took United back to Champions League football.TOO LATE FOR VAN GAALHis inconsistent United, however, haven’t met the benchmark, set by Alex Ferguson. Fans want him out. From the moans of the United faithful, even a return to Champions League football won’t save the day for Van Gaal.He will have to hustle as his team is fifth, four points behind Manchester City.Six months after his arrival at Liverpool, the charming German Jurgen Klopp is still enjoying a honeymoon at the Anfield home of the five-time European champions. His Reds are currently eighth in the Premiership, two places behind last year’s sixth-spot finish.Yet, the accomplished Klopp is generally viewed as a better coach than the man he replaced, Brendan Rogers. Time will tell.Managerial musical chairs are present in Jamaica, too. For example, Waterhouse Football Club has had two managers already this year.If Raineri’s Leicester can emerge from last season’s battles against relegation to be a real challenger for domestic top honours, then Pellegrini can dream of a triumphant exit.Even though giants Real Madrid and Bayern Munich all remain in contention, scriptwriters in Manchester are probably penning their view of Champions League success.If that happens and if Manchester City meet and beat Bayern, who are currently coached by Pep Guardiola Pellegrini’s replacement as manager at City that would be irony indeed.n Hubert Lawrence has attended the Sydney, Athens, Beijing, and London Olympics.
The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) celebrated the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) in Monrovia last Tuesday.The Day was held at the YMCA headquarters on Broad Street in collaboration with Comic Relief and Y-Care International, UK.The program started with a street parade, followed by an engagement with stakeholders including the Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).Also playing a crucial role were the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), who acted as panellists discussing the risks in disasters, while raising awareness on the importance of disaster preparedness in Liberia.The Day was held under the global theme, “Knowledge for Life.” Participants came from Slip Way and West Point communities, with officials from the Slum Dwellers Association of Liberia (SLUMDAL) also in attendance. Mr. Edward Gboe, national general secretary of the YMCA, who welcomed and recognized special guests, called on the government and citizens to work together to reduce risks and exposures to manmade and natural disasters through effective national policies, and to increase local knowledge and actions.“We are aware of risks to our lives and properties as a result of disasters. Your communities experience different forms of disasters, some manmade and some natural,’’ said Gboe. “We need to see actions by our government, communities and partners in the effort to implement policies and programs that will guide us in how we conduct our activities in an environmentally friendly way.’’In their panel discussions, the director general of the Liberian Fire Service (LNFS), Warsuwah Barvoul, cautioned community dwellers to avoid building on alleyways, and warned parents to stop keeping gasoline and other combustible materials in their homes.Mr. Barvoul spoke on the inaccessibility of fire officers in getting to slum communities during fire disasters in the exercise of their mandates. He further encouraged citizens and the government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities.Other panellists who formed part of the discussion were Augustine Kollie, National Technical Assistant at MIA and Nyenetue Romeo, UN Resident Coordinator.They challenged slum dwellers to take the lead in mitigating some of the challenges that pose risks to their lives as a result of fire disasters.The program also raised awareness on the use of traditional and local knowledge and practices to complement scientific knowledge in disaster risk management.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)