Well, it’s been a turbulent couple of days in the football circus. It seems that thanks to BT I can no longer receive Soccer Am, Sky Sports News and, most critically, Soccer Saturday on my regular digital channels. Oh thanks BT – I don’t suppose you could have secured access rights for your bloody pensioners amidst your glee at capturing sign-up rights for Sky’s Sports channels. Nah.
So Fabio finally made up his mind this evening and waved goodbye to Theo Walcott, Scott Parker, Tom Huddlestone, Michael Dawson, Darren Bent, Leighton Baines and Adam Johnson. Umm. Which means that Shaun Wright-Phillips, Emile Heskey, Matthew Upson, Joe Cole, Gareth Barry, Michael Carrick and Stephen Warnock do make the World Cup squad. Umm again. I don’t know about you but it’s slightly disappointing don’t you think? He’s clearly gone for the guys who have proved themselves to him in the past over current form – something he said wouldn’t happen. I suppose when it comes to the crunch moments managers always tend to play the percentages. It’s easy to be an armchair manager without the expectations of a nation on our shoulders but one or two of his decisions today have left me bemused.
What do you make of the appointment of Rio Ferdinand as England’s captain for tonight’s match against France? For one thing it shows yet again that Capello is his own boss. I admire the fact he’s dropped Terry from the role because he didn’t think his recent haranguing of the referee was appropriate behaviour for an England captain. It doesn’t necessarily mean Terry’s forever out of favour; as with Beckham’s re-selection for this squad (and after being dropped at Real) he’s prepared to be forgiving and pragmatic once the players have learned their lesson. It’s a bit schoolmasterish but hey, after the indulgence by Sven GE and the faux mateyness of Quiff McClaren, it’s exactly what these over-paid, self-absorbed and irresponsible footballers need. I don’t think anyone’s going to cross this guy lightly.
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.
Well 2-1’s alright I guess. What do you reckon 6 out of 10? What did we learn from tonight?
Well here we are about to witness a new England managerial period under Sr Capello. To be honest I’ve been impressed with Capello’s no nonsense approach; banning hangers-on and WAGS from the hotel, games of golf, filp-flops and insisting on all eating together, punctuality etc all seem eminently sensible. I’m not sure about the use of surnames – these are grown men after all (well some of them) but anything’s better than listening to McQuiff’s sickening faux mateyness, referring to Stevie G, JT etc. How was that ever going to inspire respect? Continue reading
So after acting like a prick-tease for the last two weeks Jose Mourinho has finally confirmed that he doesn’t fancy a fling with the FA. Only after a lot of heart-searching you understand. Do me favour Jose, we all know you’ve been flirting like crazy with a big European club since leaving Chelsea and now they’ve taken the bait. It can’t be long before you ‘re in bed with them. Who’s the lucky one to get the special one? Well the talk in the sports bars is that it’s down on their luck AC Milan but I’ve been advocating the real deal Real Madrid for months (see my premonition about his sacking in the posting ‘Forecasting’, 21 Sept). So we’ll see eh! Continue reading
Well I know ‘arry Redknapp was a lot of people’s choice for the next England manager but surely that’s unlikely following his arrest yesterday by Fraud Squad detectives investigating alleged corruption in football. I heard Harry’s press conference earlier where he explained that he was simply questioned about the financial payments made between the agent Willie Mckay and the player Amdy Faye which he fervently denied had absolutely nothing to do with him, his CE Peter Storrie, former Chairman Milan Mandaric nor his club Portsmouth. I can absolutely believe him and his annoyance at the timing of this but you sense that the FA, who were themselves caught scandalously with their pants down only recently, will steer clear of appointing any manager with the slightest whiff of trouble about them. So no chance now for Harry (sadly) nor Big Sam and no way back for El Tel, Sven and Glenn. It’s looking like a 2 horse race for me O’Neill or Capello unless you know something I don’t….