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.