Life of Ryan



I caught that documentary the other night on the 4-match spell Ryan Giggs had as interim player-manager following the late season sacking of David Moyes at Manchester United earlier this year. If you can recall there was a lot of media and pundit/player commentary at the time saying that the board at Man U should award the permanent job to Giggs and pass the club baton on ‘within house’ having seen the external candidate (and Sir Alex’s personal choice as his replacement) fail abysmally. After all he was the Premiership’s most decorated player, scorer of over 150 goals and a real one-club player having appeared for ManU almost 1000 times over the last 22 seasons. It’s hard to dispute the logic of the argument. Then I watched the film…

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another interview

Well the Mike Parry-Sir Bobby Robson interview seemed to go down OK so I thought I’d follow up on a couple of the suggestions for further guests. This time a spoof BBC interview conducted by the master of the convoluted question Garth Crooks and the ever available Graham Taylor whose penchant for stating the bleeding obvious is obvious to everyone except the BBC it seems…

‘Good morning everyone this is Garth Crooks here and my guest today is Graham Taylor, ex Watford (twice), Aston Villa and England manager of course. Good morning Graham – indeed is it acceptable to say that at a time approaching noon or would a simple welcome Graham be more appropriate to the time (which as I speak has just turned midday I notice) Graham? Er what was the question Garth? Actually I haven’t asked one yet Graham – well I did in so far as enquiring about the most apt way to introduce you, though it was slightly rhetorical in its phrasing. Ah, right Garth…an awkward silence ensues. Continue reading

hats off in the premiership

Well things are shaping up in the Premiership and it’s time to pay some dues I think. So hats off to:

– Pesky Heskey for scoring that late equaliser last night against Russia FC. They’ve doggedly pursued Man U but I can’t see them overhauling the reds now. Good on yer Emile (that’s twice this year you’ve brought a smile to my face)

– Avram ‘Hannibal’ Grant. I was sure he was dead man walking when Chelski were playing that crap football earlier in the season and they recruited Henk ten Cate as his assistant on apparently double Grant’s salary. But to be fair he has kept Russia FC in the title chase, in the semis of the Champions League with an opportunity to avenge the defeat to Liverpool and he’s matched Mourinho’s Premiership first season points achievements (minus a trophy of course) and maintained their undefeated home record. That’s not bad for a guy nobody rated. Of course it could all go tits up before season’s end but let’s not be churlish.

– King Kevin. Yep I’ve been slating the guy quite a bit since his 3rd coming, doubting whether he had anything in him as a decent manager any longer. I was forecasting possible relegation for the Toon and KK’s dismissal but he’s turned it around. 3 wins and a draw in their last 4 matches are not to be sniffed at and they have rescued the season. I still think that game against Fulham was a clincher. If they’d lost that I reckon a deep fog would have descended on the Tyne but they won the game – KK’s first victory and the spirit and the confidence returned instantly. He’s got a huge re-bulding job to do there and he’ll never recruit some of the best players in the world again (well that’s Dennis the Menace’s job now) but he’s got them going in the right direction.

– now that Newcastle have steadied the ship, I think a big hand is deserved for Messrs Hicks, Gillette, Parry and Benitez for turning a great club into the Premiership’s latest circus. It’s like watching the scouse version of Phoenix Nights. The co-owners detest each other and one wants the Chief Executive to resign. The CE hates working for the Americans and is trying to do a deal with the Dubai consortium he thwarted in the first place. The manager distrusts the CE and believes the owners don’t understand football at all. The owners and the CE don’t rate the manager and tried to tap up another guy for the role who’s never managed another club in his life. First Leeds, then Newcastle and now Liverpool. Such fun – unless you’re a hapless fan of course, in which case it must be a living nightmare. It only needs that dodgy Chairman of Man City to get extradited for corruption and embezzlement for the next Billy Smart’s to be created. Don’t you think the FA or the Gov’t should start to consider the possibility of denying overseas entities the opportunity of owning our major football clubs? I don’t know how you prevent it when clubs are publicly traded companies but it needs to be considered IMHO.

– Gareth ‘Jumpers’ Southgate. I’m starting to think he’s got the makings of an excellent manager. As ever hats off to Steve Gibson for his foresight and backing. Mind you he did also appoint Steve McClaren as manager which just proves that you can’t be right all the time.

– Paul ‘camcorder’ Jewell for showing the Derby fans that going down isn’t all bad.


the best looking football managers of all time

It’s hard to get through to any serious commentary on the Mourinho/Chelsea situation because of all the female gnashing over the departure of the hottest guy ever to grace the screens of MoTD. Everywhere you turn are women eulogizing about his gorgeousness. I saw some stuff on GMTV this morning which made me blush. I don’t know who the old bird was they had on the couch but she was positively orgasmic in her breathy descriptions of the guy. They brought on some male models in 3 of his classic outfits – the track suit (she quite liked that), the Armani suit (she was squirming now) and finally the grey winter coat and scarf (yes, yes, yes Jose!). Steady girl. Yesterday morning on straight-laced Victoria Derbyshire’s phone-in show on Radio 5, one woman caller, when asked to relate her favourite Mourinho memory, just drawled hotly ‘he’s just so dirrrty.’ Even Victoria giggled and in her deepest slow voice simply offered us ‘oh i know’ and left it hanging there for a few seconds. Just the silence of women imaging how dirty he could be…..oh Jose.

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sven and big sam

Here’s a thought. Sven’s off to the industrial north west to the Eastlands stadium where the most exotic manager they’ve had was probably Mel Machin. I know they are owned by the Thai guy now but it all seems so incongruous for the urbane sophisticated former manager of Lazio, Benfica, Gothenburg, Sampdoria and England to end up in Gorton (my father’s p.o.b).

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