A ‘football’ headline for our times
‘Herrera eyes up KFC as Fellaini dines out with his big-haired brother’ – MailOnline.
And yes, it really is just a picture of Herrera walking past a KFC and probably just looking at himself in the window.
Isn’t it a bloody wonderful time to be alive?
And if you thought that was bad…
‘Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus with a hat-trick… but it may not be the kind he was hoping for!’ – MailOnline.
His hat blew off in the wind!
Full-time Welshman and Mail journalist Glen Williams must have dreamed of the day he could write poetry such as this:
‘Jesus was running down the street with his friends, and his outings thus far in the Premier League have shown he can move at quite a speed, causing his hat to blow off in a huge gust of wind.
‘One of the 20-year-old’s friends detoured down a nearby by alleyway to retrieve the displaced headgear as the four friends stopped.’
He detoured down an alleyway! He found the hat! He gave it back to the footballer! It’s the story that just keeps on giving.
Stop, collaborate and LISTEN
First Jamie Redknapp and now Stan Collymore in the Daily Mirror…
‘PEP GUARDIOLA is speaking utter tosh when he says Manchester City are the best team in the Premier League.’
That would have been utter tosh but, well, he didn’t actually say that. He said they were the best team in the Premier League….at creating chances.
But still, Collymore just ‘can’t agree’ with a statement never made by Pep Guardiola.
Cesc and the Toon
But Stan Collymore saves his best advice for Rafa Benitez, Champions League and La Liga-winning manager…
‘Rafa needs a quality No. 10 to play behind Dwight Gayle and another new striker and, if I was Benitez, I’d be telling the Chelsea man: ‘Come and play up here like Kevin Keegan did all those years ago. Be a big hero for 52,000 home fans, weave your magic, and they will sing your name.’
To which Cesc Fabregas would presumably answer ‘But Kevin Keegan wanted to play under his mate Arthur Cox, was crucially from the north of England and anyway, I have just won the Premier League and I can probably join a club challenging for the Serie A title. But thanks for asking.’
Old dogs home
Stan Collymore obviously also suggests that Newcastle sign John Terry and Jermain Defoe, because ex-footballers pretty much always think that football clubs should sign old footballers. He ‘writes’:
‘Managers of promoted clubs always used to make these kind of signings and so often it worked out well for them.’
Like when Harry Redknapp signed Rio Ferdinand ahead of the 2014/15 season and they finished rock-bottom with 30 points?
You would think that Collymore would remember that particular disaster as he wrote this in November 2014:
‘The switch to Loftus Road from Old Trafford was always going to be tougher than it sounded. As a defender, when you get older and the legs start to go a little bit, the pace of the game can become very difficult to handle.
‘And there is also the fact that you have to turn your mind from chasing titles to battling relegation.’
Thanks Stan. We absolutely could not have put it better.
British is best
Talking of Harry Redknapp…and we really must talk of Harry Redknapp when people keep asking him about foreign managers. This time it was BBC 5 Live.
“You put Sean Dyche or someone in at a top-six team, he’s still going to be the top six, and you put any of the top-six managers down at Burnley, they’re not going to do any better than what he done.”
Wow. Well, that’s a start. We have no record of Sean Dyche taking over a top-six side but we do have the quite recent example of David Moyes taking over the actual Premier League champions and being sacked with the club in seventh.
The consensus was that Moyes was out of his depth at United and yet he had copious amounts of experience in the top flight; Dyche has managed for two years in the Premier League and been relegated once.
The idea that the managers in the top six are fundamentally no better than the managers in the bottom six is utterly bizarre. And the idea that Chelsea or Manchester United or Arsenal players would respond to Dyche in the same way they respond to serial title winners Antonio Conte or Jose Mourinho or Arsene Wenger is incredibly naive. And the one thing a 70-year-old man should never be is naive.
We also have no record of a top-six manager taking over a club like Burnley, but we do have examples of foreign title-winning managers Rafa Benitez and Marco Silva taking over lowly clubs from British managers and making them roughly 427% better.
“So it’s getting the opportunity and unfortunately the lads don’t get the chance. They get their coaching badges, now which takes about three years to do and then when the jobs come along, they’re never mentioned.”
In the last 12 months, three of the top six clubs in the Premier League have changed their manager. Would Harry really advocate Dyche getting the Chelsea job over three-times Serie A winner Conte, the Manchester City job over La Liga, Bundesliga and Champions League winner Pep Guardiola or the Manchester United job over Jose Mourinho, who has won titles in four countries? Oh, he would.
Oh and all those men also had to get their coaching badges and two of them managed teams like União de Leiria, Arezzo, Bari, Atalanta and Siena. They didn’t just get handed jobs at Juventus or Chelsea because they had funny names.
We doubt even Dyche himself would consider himself the equal of any of those managers. Should he not get mentioned if a job becomes available at West Brom, Leicester or Stoke (all of whom are bigger clubs than Burnley with British managers), then we can talk about bias against ‘the lads’.
“(Foreign owners) come in, they’ve heard of famous managers from abroad or somewhere and they go and give them the job.”
The ‘or somewhere’ is excellent, by the way. Mars? The moon?
There is no doubt that this happens, and Swansea’s appointment of Bob Bradley and Birmingham’s of Gianfranco Zola were clearly mistakes. But Eddie Howe works under a Russian owner at Bournemouth, Sam Allardyce was appointed at Crystal Palace despite US investment, Leicester’s Malaysian owners sacked an Italian and are about to appoint an Englishman, US owners appointed Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool, US owners appointed Moyes at Manchester United and then Sunderland, Paul Clement was given the Swansea job by majority US owners and Tony Pulis works under Chinese owners at West Brom.
Oh and Birmingham turned to the most English English manager in football history when it all went wrong.
Redknapp is asked whether he thinks it’s because foreign managers are ‘sexier’…
“Yeah, course it is. They think ‘oh, he was so-and-so, he played for him or he managed this club’. They’re not better than what the lads are in reality. They’ve got better players in lots of cases.”
It must be infuriating. It’s almost like these foreign managers have earned the right – by having experience at a similar level – to being considered for leading Premier League jobs. It’s almost like managing Juventus’ team of world-class players might be better preparation for managing Chelsea’s team of world-class players than managing Burnley or Hull. BECAUSE IT IS.
“Listen, it’s not difficult to manage some of the top teams. When you’ve got top players it’s the easiest job in the world.”
And yet Moyes failed. And Louis van Gaal failed. And Andre Villas-Boas failed. And Mark Hughes failed. And Brendan Rodgers ultimately failed.
“It’s when you’re trying to stay in the division, like David Moyes this year, he’s gone to Sunderland. I knew Sunderland would get relegated at the end of the year. That’s not David’s fault.”
Right. It kind of feels like it might at least partly be Moyes’ fault. After all, he took over a side that had survived relegation, lost no key players and then spent about £30m on transfers.
If we can all agree that Dyche has done well to lead a Burnley side to safety, And Eddie Howe for leading Bournemouth into mid-table, can we at least agree that Moyes did really quite badly at Sunderland?
“It wouldn’t have mattered who had gone in there. Moyes is a top manager. You could have put Conte in there and he wouldn’t have kept Sunderland up either.”
Oh bloody hell. We have actually run out of words. Unlike Harry sodding Redknapp.