Jimmy wasn’t winning matches


On 18th of December Charlotte Independence announced that Jim McGuinness would be head coach for the 2019 season. The North Carolina side play in the USL Championship regarded as the second tier in the American soccer pyramid after MLS. The Glenties man signed a three year contract with Charlotte and after an impressive apprenticeship at Celtic and Beijing Guoan. Working under: Brendan Rodgers, Ronny Delia, Neil Lennon and Roger Schmidt in various capacities, gave him the fortitude to take on the task as head coach. I will address what went wrong during his tenure.

Success in Gaelic football

His time as Donegal Bainisteoir led to impressive spell in the  county history with three provincial titles and one All-Ireland. Titles were impressive but the process was far more intriguing with McGuinness ability to utilise his sport psychology background .Creating cohesive group willing to push themselves to the limit in search of that elusive All-Ireland. His successful playing career in inter county football gained respect straight away, allowing him platform to implement his vision. I see both Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho in his time as manager of Donegal. Guardiola playing career with Barcelona helped him  by commandeering players from same La Masia background. His understanding with players facilitated quick transition into his philosophy .  Mourinho  endeavour to win whatever the product on field resembled .Donegal style from the  2010-2014 had its detractors especially after the famed game against Dublin.

USL Championship

The  USL Championship comprises of two Eastern and Western conference with eighteen teams each.  Without relegation and ten spots per conference making postseason time is usually granted. Play-off system should allow managers/head coach time to establish themselves throughout the duration of the season. Despite the format McGuinness first foray into management was short lived and questions will be asked why so. Getting the right players through the door is crucial component of management. initially links to his previous employers proved fruitful with loan signing of American Andrew Gutman and Mark Hill from Celtic.  All new additions needed time to acclimate to new team and manager. Replacing Mike Jeffries was always going to be difficult but not insurmountable task. His history as sole head coach of Charlotte since their inauguration in 2014 meant there was of course a loyalty and safety with him.

The unforgotten ex

Mike Jeffries shadow loomed over McGuinness as he became the general manager of Charlotte; though of course  his presence initially would be seen at outset as mere guidance and to help McGuinness in his role. Alas unfortunately  it offered Charlotte owners a quick and experience alternative.  The former manager relationship with experience pros of Martinez brothers and Jorge Herrera make the transition pretty easy after the dismissal. The tactics under Jeffries focused on ball retention and his style probably suited the roster more than philosophy earlier in season. Before McGuinness took charge of game he discussed his desire to play a high intensity style reminisce of Klopp’s gegenpressing. Charlotte forward line included Enzo Martinez, Alex Martinez, Dominic Oduro and Jorge Herrera; high calibre players especially in the USL Championship but maybe not particularly suited to high intensity press.

Nightmare Start

Season started in March 2019 and first two games offered entertainment and spirit with 3-2 defeat to Indy Eleven and 3-3 draw with Atlanta Utd 2.First and only win didn’t arrive until sixth match. As first time manager in a different country maybe it was expected the slow start and starting lineup rotation. One win in fourteen games obviously isn’t good enough for side with more loftier ambition.  The style resembled neither an gegenpressing focus or possession based play. The positive draws against stronger opposition was followed by dour draws and defeats against teams supposedly inferior . The exit of the US cup which is basely equivalent to the English FA Cup was another mark against new head coach. A semi pro team from Florida shocked the independence to advance on penalties. A nil-nil draw to bottom side  sealed the decision to reinstate Jeffries .

The ex returns

The change in management led to instant six game unbeaten run in honeymoon period but eight game run without a win demonstrated a lack of overall depth and quality. Jeffries side ended in 13th place considering he took over with them 17th in table with meager points total its plausible to think playoff position was achievable. The new season USL season under Jeffries started with away win. The Jack’s militia as Charlotte fan group is known will hope for postseason return.

Fan insight

Through Twitter I was able to get opinion of fans who kindly answered my questions on Jim McGuinness reign. They were obviously skeptical about appointment as most football fans would be with  first-time head coach. His success in management was in entirely different sport.  But unlike maybe other football fans American support isn’t as toxic and support of this new man and approach were embraced.  They failed to see definitive pattern of play emerge .The fans I spoke too believed that roster should have performed better especially with return of Enzo Martinez from MLS; Uruguayan failed to score during poor start to season.  The return of former head coach was welcomed by the supporters in quest to salvage the season and make late sprint into play-off positions. The lack of direction and experience were sighted as clear reasons to act sooner rather than later.


In short I felt it was probably right move by Jim to take the position. Factors like previous manager  being still involved curtailed his journey. The roster probably should of been good enough to clinch 9th or 10th berth into first round of postseason. The ceiling for the team was probably first round win in postseason. I watched a few games during the 2019 season and I agreed with fans regarding a lack of style. The experience will have taught him many things and I hope he gets another chance at  a manager position or at least stays in the coaching side of the game. Success didn’t follow Jim McGuinness to Charlotte but at least he demonstrated that he is game for challenge of  stepping into hot seat of professional club. The experience will no doubt hinder him in short term but I believe that his soccer odyssey isn’t over.

Irish Premier league bets — coryobrienblog

Finn Harps v Dundalk Ollie Horgan wasn’t best pleased with officials in loss to Cork City, disallowing Harps goal after injury to Cork City keeper left men from Donegal bemused They face stern test against champions Dundalk, who themselves need a bounce back after enthralling loss to Shamrock Rovers. Travelling to Ballybofey probably isn’t game […]

via Irish Premier league bets — coryobrienblog

Irish Premier league bets

Finn Harps v Dundalk

Ollie Horgan wasn’t best pleased with officials in loss to Cork City, disallowing Harps goal after injury to Cork City keeper left men from Donegal bemused  They face stern test against champions Dundalk, who themselves need a bounce back after enthralling loss to Shamrock Rovers. Travelling to Ballybofey probably isn’t game they would pick and in tough conditions regards surface might not suit them. Ollie has his team defensively sound with solid 5-4-1, he will hope to keep it tight and use their height from throw-ins and corners to pressurise Gary Rogers goal. I can see Harps scoring and creating difficult for Louth side. Betting wise its hard game to call. I don’t feel confident to back both teams to score and Dundalk win and under 3.5 goals on boylesport might be best bet.

Bohemians v Shelbourne

Another Dublin derby this week with two sides having decent season  Both defensively solid with clean sheets in opening 3 to 4 games  Shelbourne bringing in experience players has solidify already good core of players. I think it will be low scoring affair and i will bet no team to score 2 or more on boylesport at 2.05

St Pats v Cork City

The home side will probably be disappointed with another poor start to campaign . Cork City will be galvanised by their first win but Neil Fenn has massive job to keep rebels away from relegation. Both teams look toothless going forward but i think the styles will make it more open game. St Pats win and under 3.5 goals 1.83

Waterford v Derry City

The men from South east will be happy to have points on board but going to be long season  Derry City had very impressive win against Bohemians and Devine unearthed some decent loan signings  That point at the death against Harps has ignited some personal and posituonal changes which will help going forward  Its straight Derry City at evens for me.

Sligo Rovers v Shamrock Rovers

The battle between the two Rovers will see if side from Tallaght have drop off after magnificent win over Dundalk. Liam Buckley side pointless and goalless so a good performance and goal might be seen as good momentum for them  Shamrock Rovers win and over 2.5 goals 2.10 at Boylesport’s

First Division thoughts

I see Galway beating Wexford

Cabinteely beating Shamrock Rovers comfortably.

Drogheda United beating UCD

Cobh v Athlone draw

Longford edging Bray



Other English League bets

  • Brentford v Derby under 2.5 goals 1.90
  • Leeds v Swansea both to score 1.72
  • Luton win 2.05
  • Millwall v Hull City both to score 1.83
  • Nottingham Forest v Preston over 2.5 goals 2.10
  • Reading win 1.95
  • West Brom V Blackburn over 2.5 goals 1.72
  • Blackpool v Portsmouth  both to score 1.80
  • Southend v Rochdale over 2.5 goals 1.95
  • Crawley v Cheltenham over 1.80
  • Salford v Leyton Orient over 2.5 goals 1.85

English Premier League

Southampton v Man united

Manchester United initial optimism seems to have evaporated after losing 2-1 to Palace; Southampton on  other side kick started their season by beating Brighton 2-0. Southampton is side I ‘m not too high on due to their defence on giving me a lot of confidence. I think due to the fragile nature of United it will need to respond in right manner. Rashford should strive against  this defence and if Martial can continue in same form of first two than United should get the win. My bet for this game is over 2.5 goals at 1,90

Chelsea v Sheffield United

Both to score the bet at 1.95 on bet365.  Blades are in my opinion are blunt on offence but with Chelsea not being as solid due to lack of experience in central areas. Think it will be 2-1 or 3-1 to home side.

West Ham v Norwich

Goals, goals, goals  is what I see. Norwich with their pace at full back position and Pukki movement means Norwich look like side which will provide a lot of entertainment. Over 3 AH  goals is definitely a look from betting angle. over and BTS is only 1.72. Norwich to score in first half is 2.10 a bet I’m angling towards.

Manchester City v Brighton

City look even stronger this season and scoring goals at ease.  City win and over 3.5 goals at 1.80 should win. 3-1 and 4-0  probable score.

Leicester v Bournemouth

Not betting but over 2.5 goals and Both to score evens.

Newcastle Utd v Watford

Under 2.5 goals 1.80 bet365


Football bets Saturday 16th of August

Arsenal v Burnley both to score 1.95

  • Arsenal will be up against direct and physical contest.
  • Burnley 3 goals in first game add confidence.


Norwich v Newcastle  Pukki anytime 2.30

Newcastle play three centre backs and this type of forward is dangerous has he will get between the backs like he did against Liverpool.

Luton  v West Brom over 2.5 goals 1.80

WolfSberger v Mattersburg over 2.5 goals 1.72

Sparta Rotterdam win 2.37

Slask v Cracovia over 2.5 goals 1.95

Ural v Krylia both to score 1.90

Zenit to win to nil 1.90

USL Soccer bets

Pittsburgh Riverhounds versus Swope park Rangers is the first match on the list; Eastern Conference pits some fairly strong teams against lesser teams. The Riverhounds -1.5 AH will be the bet when the markets show on the bet365 site. Swope Rangers have added a few experience players to compliment the youth but against in-form home side who will look to overpower the youngsters on set-piece plays. Riverhounds not the best side offensively but have improved in this regard lately.

Tampa Bay Rowdies against Birmingham legion will another game which I will look to bet on home side. Impressive displays in recent games gives me confidence in them being able to overcome another MLS affiliate side.  -1.5 AH when bet365. I have bet -1.-, 1.5 at 1.750 but might look to go in on them at bigger -1.5 price. I also took them on the half-time market to win first half at 1.83.

Nashville against Bethlehem Steel is my biggest bet though certain factors worry me but I think home side will make it five wins from five. Rios and Winn have impressed me in last two games. -1.5 AH at 1.975

Other bets:

Colorado Switchbacks draw no bet 1.83; very good home team.

Memphis v North Carolina over 2.5 goals 1.85

Saint Louis home win 2.15

Reno -1 on AH at evens.


Treble on Tampa, Pittsburgh and Nasville just over evens.




European football bets

Over 2.5 & Yes Napoli v Fiorentina(Total Goals/Both Teams to Score) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
2 Sampdoria Frosinone v Sampdoria(Full Time Result) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
3 GIF Sundsvall Orebro SK v GIF Sundsvall(Full Time Result) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
4 Malmo FF Ostersunds FK v Malmo FF(Full Time Result) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
5 SK Sturm Graz -0.5,-1.0 Admira Wacker Modling v SK Sturm Graz(Asian Handicap) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
6 Yes St Polten v FC Salzburg(Both Teams to Score) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
7 Over 2.5 & Yes Genk v Anderlecht(Total Goals/Both Teams to Score) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
8 Over 3.0,3.5 ADO Den Haag v PSV(Goal Line) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
9 VVV De Graafschap v VVV(Full Time Result) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
10 Ajax & Under 3.5 Ajax v FC Groningen(Result / Total Goals) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
11 Willem II & Over 2.5 Willem II v Excelsior(Result / Total Goals) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
12 Yes Wisla Plock v Miedz Legnica(Both Teams to Score) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
13 Over 2.5 Wisla Krakow v Lechia Gdansk(Total Goals) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
14 Chojniczanka Chojnice Chojniczanka Chojnice v Stomil Olsztyn(Full Time Result) 15/09/2018 None
To Run

UK football bets 3pm

Over 2.5 Bristol City v Sheff Utd(Total Goals) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
2 Yes Millwall v Leeds(Both Teams to Score) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
3 Middlesbrough Norwich v Middlesbrough(Full Time Result) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
4 Derby Rotherham v Derby(Full Time Result) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
5 Sheff Wed Sheff Wed v Stoke(Full Time Result) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
6 Yes Swansea v Nottm Forest(Both Teams to Score) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
7 Sunderland Burton Albion v Sunderland(Full Time Result) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
8 Yes Fleetwood Town v Accrington Stanley(Both Teams to Score) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
9 Luton Luton v Bristol Rovers(Full Time Result) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
10 Over 2.5 Rochdale v Gillingham(Total Goals) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
11 Walsall Walsall v Doncaster(Full Time Result) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
12 Over 2.5 Wycombe v Oxford Utd(Total Goals) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
13 Carlisle Carlisle v Tranmere(Full Time Result) 15/09/2018 None
To Run
14 Lincoln City Macclesfield v Lincoln City(Full Time Result) 15/09/2018 None
To Run

Premier League football bets single bets

Tottenham v Liverpool

Both to score and over 2.5 goals 1.95 Bet365 (1 Unit)

Chelsea v Cardiff

Harry Arter to be booked 2.37 Bet365 ( 0.5 Unit)

Chelsea clean sheet No 2.20 BET365 (0.5 Unit)


Manchester City v Fulham

Asian handicap Fulham +2.5, 3.0 1.9.20 BET365  (1 UNIT)


Newcastle United v Arsenal

Arsenal win 1.90 BET365 (1 Unit)

Mo Diame to be booked 5.50 (1 Unit)

Lean Palace, Leicester and Manchester Utd and Unders in all three but no bet.