tick tock

Hey what’s that sound,? Listen….it’s the clock ticking……on Avram Grant’s time as Chelsea manager.   I haven’t done a football posting for ages but couldn’t resist it this morning after reading that Chelsea are to appoint the Ajax coach Henk ten Cate ( which looks like an anagram of ‘The Canteen’ – spelt with the alternate K on Dutch days) as AG’s assistant. Actually his title’s not quite clear. Variously he’s described as Assistant Manager, Head Coach or Avram’s Deputy. Maybe it’s all those. Whatever, it looks like he’ll be taking control of  first team training and shaping team tactics. He’ll also be paid £2m a year, twice what Avram’s on. Tick tock tick tock.

Of course Avram already has an assistant in Steve Clarke. Now apparently Steve’s not a happy bunny but Chelsea want to keep him for reasons of ‘continuity’. OK. They also apparently want to recruit Jamie Redknapp as a 3rd assistant to act as a ‘conduit’ between the players and the management team. And why not. Presumably Jamie’ll be on £1m pa or so too for that challenging role. I’ve a mind to apply for an assistant’s job too, maybe as chief chronicler of dressing room banter.  Helping to capture playful chatter like  ‘hey Claude, in the movie Chelsea, Chelsea who’d play Avram? Larry Grayson ! Spot on Makka. Lamps, who’d play Ken Bates? Sir Dickie Attenborough! Good one Frankie. Hey Didi who’d play Roman? Stan Laurel ho, ho. Nice one my son’. It would be a tough job but I feel up to it Mr Kenyon and it’s a critical role.

Just how many assistants does it need to change the light bulbs in the Chelsea dressing room eh?

On another note I see that  Sepp the mad hatter Blatter has been pontificating again. He’s campaigning for there to be a limit on the number of foreign players in any one team. He suggests the quota should be fixed at 5.  Of course this flies in the face of current EC  labour legislation which allows for the free movement of workers across national boundaries. But Sepp’s going to take on the Strasbourg mandarins arguing that ‘footballers aren’t workers’. Never has the man said a truer word.

It’s actually not a bad idea in my view as it make the nurturing of home-grown talent essential.  Of course one manager in the Premiership has already stood up to argue  against the idea. Any prizes for guessing who?  Sorry it’s too easy; Arsene Wenger. He believes that  selection should be based solely on merit irregardless of nationality. It’s a principled point of view, like laissez-faire and Free Trade. But English football isn’t the same as the Liberal party; it’s more important to the soul of our nation and needs protecting. If you think I’m  talking rubbish, check out how many English guys play for the Gooners tomorrow. You’ll be counting them on the fingers of your feet.



3 thoughts on “tick tock

  1. Hi PP

    He did let Feo have a run out!

    BTW, the reserves look like this;

    Mannore – GK, Ita, 19
    G Hoyte – Def, Eng, 17
    Rogers – Def, Eng, 18
    Simpson – Stk, Eng, 17
    Steer – Def, Eng, 17
    Van Den Berg – Mid, Hol, 18
    Merida – Mid, Spn, 17
    Barazite – Mid, Hol, 17
    Ogogo – Def, Eng, 18
    Gibbs – Mid, Eng, 18
    Dunne – Mid, Eng, 18
    Szczensy – GK, Pol, 17
    Lansbury – Mid, Eng, 17
    Emmanuel-Thomas – Mid, Eng, 17
    Murphy – Stk, Eng, 17
    Watt – Mid, Eng, 16
    Ayling – Def, Eng, 16
    Eastwood – Def, Eng, 17
    Nordvelt – Def, Nor, 17
    Bartley – Def, Eng, 16
    Blackwood – Def, Eng, 16
    Cruise – Def, Eng, 16
    Sunu – Stk, Fra, 16
    Vela – Stk, Mex, 18

    So, in summary, 24 players, 16 English, 2 Dutch, 1 Italian, 1 French, 1 Norwegian, 1 Spanish, 1 Polish and 1 Mexican.

    I know these won’t all make it, and we seem to have a fair few English defenders in there, but it does mean that just around the corner is a wave of English players schooled by Wenger and Liam Brady heading for a Carling Cup competition outing.

    Looking back over the last few years, and with better fortune we could have seen Jeffers, Sidwell, Bentley & Pennant all featuring regularly in the side, and young guns like Ryan Smith (now at Millwall), Fab Muamba (at B’ham) and Graham Stack (GK at Reading) on the bench.

    Often, and rightly so, the club are criticised for overseas players, but they have made a huge investment in the last 10 years in local talent, and it is Wengers stated claim to bring them into the squad a’ la Hoyte & Walcott.

    For most Arsenal fans it will be a great weight from our necks when he does have a side with 50% English players in, although we do remember back to previous halcyon days when we were Irish & Scottish (both of which would fall foul of the Blat-meisters new world) mostly, with a few Geordies and Scousers thrown in for luck.

    Until we do get a better balance of English players we’ll just have to suffer the poor standard of football we have become accustomed to!

    Vive la Gooners


  2. hi pgob
    sorry for delay in replying; it’s been a busy extended family time.

    anyway points are well made. my only thought is this, that wenger (and he’s not alone) has said on several occasions now that he’s got no responsibilities to the England situation – in fact it’s an inconvenience to him.

    couple that with increasing foreign ownership at all out top clubs, gooners aside – for now, and there’s a huge disinclination amongst the people who run the premiership now at Board and manager level to think about, care for, protect and nourish the game (which rewards them so handsomely) at international level on behalf of the England team.

    Who are the English managers/boards who remain in support of the national team – Birmingham, Wigan, Reading, Boro? That’s about it. Heaven forbid if the future is in their combined hands.

    Maybe Wenger will bring all those English lads through but his track record suggests he will discard them as soon as a better aspiring top class international player at an affordable price comes into his view. It’s in his genes to buy the almost finished article overseas. And who’s going to tell him on the current board or any future Board that it’s a short-sighted policy? They love the success he’s brought the Arsenal. Does Keith E worry that McClaren’s got no-one to call on now at centre back for this week’s critical matches v estonia and russia. does he f*ck.

    there’s the rub pgob.

  3. Hi PP

    Don’t worry about the delay, family is always first.

    I do take on the comments you have made, and indeed my earlier post is somewhat tongue in cheek, and you are spot on that so many managers/owners don’t give a tinkers cuss about the national side – and will rightly point to the fact that they only get tired and injured players back out of any international game – look at the fun that ol’ moonface is having now with the ‘fit’ again Owen.

    In Wenger defence, albeit somewhat limited m’lud, he did try to focus on Pennant (who seemed too interested in booze and totty to toe the line), Jeffers (who quickly became a pox in the box rather than the fox he was supposed to be) Sol (who doesn’t know if he is a man or mouse) and Cashley Cole (who was lured away by the ManU reject commercial director, hopefully destined for a flyover foundation any time soon) and he placed a lot of faith in Hoyte last year (albeit he has now gone for Sanga instead, maybe due to the p[ower of his hairdo!).

    The case rests, although I too share the concerns.

    Pip Pip


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