world of football


This is just a mix of thoughts about footie stuff tracking some of the main news items over the last 24 hours or so. Firstly did you hear the 5 Live interview with McClaren today? Very intriguing stuff. That £2.6M pay off isn’t going to last long in chez McClaren clearly and he’s a little bored now so he wants to get back into management. He did that mini charm offensive when the Newcastle and Derby jobs were unfilled, declaring his readiness to listen to any offers. Well ready or not, that didn’t work and now he’s out and about again declaring that he would be happy to work abroad or EVEN in the Championship providing that the club Chairman had a ‘vision and belief’ that matched his own. Oh that’s rich. How I hoped he would end up at Leeds but that’s not going to happen any time soon. I think you’ll be lucky to get a job within 2000 miles of Soho Sq though I’m praying that the Blackpool job doesn’t become available soon.

Poor old Bryan Robson loses his job at Sheffield Utd. Recent results weren’t good and the fans had turned against him clearly – as they did at Boro and West Brom. It’s funny isn’t it? He was an absolute hero at Boro for several years. We were there as team sponsors and the people in the town seemed to idolise him. He delivered them the Premiership (twice) and fantasy football signings that no one else could have delivered. Was it 3 Cup finals too? They’d never seen anything like it and that’s what we’d bought into too. But there came a point when the fans turned and he had to endure the sight of Terry Venables saving them from relegation whilst he had some ‘overseeing’ role. His time at W Brom was like a roller coaster too – saving them from relegation on the final day of the season against all the odds but getting sacked when the following season they went down. He wasn’t able to accept the overseeing role again with the Blades. His short spell at Bradford was disastrous. You’ve got to believe that his reputation as a manger which has as many high points as low ones is going to be destroyed now. It’s not that long ago that he was being talked about as a potential England manager having served as Venables assistant at Euro 96. What bit of the perfect managerial jigsaw is he lacking – the intelligence of Wenger, the raw power of Ferguson, the charisma of Mourinho, the tactical acumen of all of them? Probably all of that. But for all that I like him enormously.

So Blackwell steps into the Sheff Utd breach. It might work; he was there previously as Warnock’s assistant but I suspect Nocker himself will be back as manager inside 12 months.

Sepp ‘the mad hatter’ Blatter has condemned the EPL plans to expand the season by having a 39th game overseas by saying it may impact negatively on England’s plans to host the WC in 2018. The FA had hitherto been neutral on the idea but as soon as The Hatter started talking about 2018 they thought more seriously about the situation and the potential loss of revenue to themselves and with true cynicism have come out tonight and lambasted the proposals. At least they are on the same side as EUFA President, Platini; the President of the USSF; the VP of the Japanese FA; the CEO of the Australian FFed and the President of the Asian FConfed. All of these guys realise the Prem league would make everything and they’d make nothing from the proposed extended league fixtures. I don’t care, the idea is rapidly approaching still-born status and I reckon almost every local UK fan would welcome that.

We’re doing some high-level sponsorship work with Watford FC so their results are v important to us of course. They seem to have overcome their blip phase which is brilliant. But tonight Stoke City headed them at the top of the Championship having overcome a 0-2 deficit to win 3-2 against Scunthorpe I think. This is a fantastic League right now with 4 teams challenging seriously for the 2 automatic slots and momentum seems to rest on a different teams’ shoulders each week. Stoke haven’t been in the top League since 84/85. Blimey. It’s working up to an excellent and exciting conclusion though I’m not sure Ian Holloway will still be there as Leicester C manager at season’s end. Sounds like Mandaric is concerned about how much he is having to spend – usually a signal that the manager’s P45 is nigh…

And so to N London. By all accounts Cesc Fabregas is a closet doughnut fan and also a truly crap dancer according to team mate AddyAb. Good. Meanwhile down the Lane we learn that Ramos and his dietary specialist have changed the food regime significantly and the squad have subsequently shed over 100kgms. The exciting news is that after Tom Huddlestone’s personal donation of 98 k’s, the rest of the squad are hoping to make a contribution too v soon.

Finally news reaches me that Nancy has forgiven Sven his many indiscretions and has recently spent the night with him at his Manchester bolt hole. I’m not sure what she thought of Eastlands and East Manchester the next day but if she stays I’ll never write a critical word about her again. Just for the record I’m not being funny, that’s where many of my family hail from. Nancy does Gorton could make a fascinating film.

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