Is he any better?
Mediawatch broadly agrees with Stan Collymore – and his Daily Mirror column – that Watford are a club that has embraced short-termism. And that is where Mediawatch and Stan Collymore bid each other farewell and move in opposite directions.
Stan is angry, you see. And first up is Silva’s replacement:
‘The fact Watford have chosen Javi Gracia to replace Silva disappointments me a little.
‘I mean, is he any better than any of the young British managers in the second or third tier? I don’t think so.’
You also don’t really know, Stan, and neither do we. But the fact that Gracia did very well at Malaga in a top-tier league has at least been noted.
It’s now three months since Collymore wrote that the appointment of Claude Puel at Leicester over British coaches ‘baffled, saddened and angered’ him, so it’s good to see that Leicester (or ‘The Faceless Foxes’, as Collymore called them) being seventh in the Premier League has not put him off.
As for the ‘young British managers in the second or third tier’ who Gracia is ‘no better’ than, here is a full list of Brits aged under 45 managing in the second and third tier: Alex Neil, Lee Johnson, Karl Robinson, Grant McCann, Richie Wellens, Ryan Lowe, Darrell Clarke, Paul Heckingbottom, Neil Harris, Derek Adams, Paul Hurst, Gary Rowett, Paul Warne and Dan Micciche.
The only one that Watford would surely even consider is Rowett, and he has just turned down a Premier League job to sign a new contract at Derby County.
Still, we do like the notion that Collymore has carried out a detailed comparison between the strengths and weaknesses of Gracia and Bristol Rovers’ Darrell Clarke and come up with his hypothesis.
Strong and stable
Next up on Collymore’s hit list is Watford themselves. Our man is not a fan of their revolving door of managers.
‘But Watford are almost Chelsea Lite in their approach to appointing managers now,’ Collymore begins, as if being a mini-version of the current Premier League champions is some sort of insult.
‘Soon managers will be saying, ‘Why would I go there? Why would I uproot my family from Spain or Portugal if I’m only going to get six months?’
‘The better ones will be thinking, “I’d be better chancing my arm with a Wolves, an Aston Villa, a Nottingham Forest. Clubs with twice as many fans in the stadium and a pedigree about them. Clubs who are desperate for a hero who is going to be there for two years or three years”.’
Even ignoring the not-insignificant fact that Watford are tenth in the Premier League and the other three clubs Collymore mentions are in the Championship, which might swing it for a manager, Collymore might have been better picking alternatives who weren’t also basket cases.
Steve Bruce has been in charge of Aston Villa for 15 months, but only one of the six managers before him even made it past their one-year anniversary. Kenny Jackett was indeed given three years at Wolves, but around him they appointed five permanent managers who averaged 22.6 matches in charge each. Nottingham Forest have just appointed their 11th permanent manager since June 2011. This idea that the Football League is a haven for long-termism is nonsensical.
So yes, why would a manager accept a Premier League job at a club that regular changes (and pays off) its managers over a second-tier club that does exactly the same?
Big boys don’t cry
Sorry Stan, but Mediawatch isn’t quite finished there. Another part of his Daily Mirror column focuses on Salomon Rondon’s emotional reaction to seeing James McCarthy’s leg badly broken in two places.
For those who aren’t aware, McCarthy suffered the horrific injury when Rondon attempted a shot and caught the back of the midfielder’s leg. He was visibly sickened, later tweeted his support to McCarthy and will visit him in hospital.
You’re probably wondering how on earth anybody could find something to find fault with here. Well:
‘Broken legs are part of football and always have been, and just as there was no blame on Rondon, so there was no need for any tears from him.’
‘No need for any tears’ might just be the worst advice ever given. Remember folks: death is part of war, so don’t bother getting upset about it.
‘It’s a tough game at times and I don’t want to see the West Brom No. 9 now using what happened at the weekend to McCarthy as an excuse for any dip in form.’
F**king hell. Absolutely speechless.
‘Manchester United say Sanchez will be paid on par with Paul Pogba at around £300,000 week’ – Independent.
‘Standard Sport understands Sanchez will almost triple his current Arsenal salary of £130,000 by taking home £350,000-a-week’ – Evening Standard.
‘Paul Pogba will demand his wages are doubled to match £400,000-a-week recruit Alexis Sanchez’ – Daily Mirror.
‘Alexis Sanchez’s £450,000 salary will create long-term problems for Manchester United’ – Daily Mail.
‘Sanchez will earn £500,000 a week at Old Trafford – more than Paul Pogba and David De Gea combined’ – Daily Express.
‘Alexis Sanchez takes aim at his critics after signing £600,000-a-week deal as Henrikh Mkhitaryan swap is confirmed ‘ – Daily Telegraph.
Conclusion: He’s on a decent whack (and newspapers like to add on bonuses and other fees when it suits).
Smile like you mean it
‘WHY SO GLUM? Jose Mourinho looks fed up despite bagging Alexis Sanchez in transfer coup,’ reads the headline on the The Sun’s football homepage. To which the answer might well be: because I’m just wandering near my London home and someone is following me with a camera.
‘ALEXIS SANCHEZ may have completed a sensational move to Manchester United – but that news still wasn’t enough to raise a smile from Jose Mourinho,’ a ‘picture exclusive’ begins.
‘Maybe the exertions of getting the Sanchez deal through the door had finally taken its toll on the Old Trafford gaffer.’
Or, and bear with us here, maybe a football manager isn’t likely to walk around constantly grinning like an idiot just in case someone with a camera is trying to create a nonsense story for a tabloid newspaper website?
Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London
That said, shout out to John Hutchinson for his valiant attempts to say ‘Jose Mourinho wasn’t smiling’ in as many different ways as possible to boost the word count on that guff piece. Pick your favourite:
‘…that news still wasn’t enough to raise a smile from Jose Mourinho.’
‘…the Portuguese gaffer was snapped looked (sic) somewhat moody.’
‘Jose Mourinho looked glum as he strolled through Knightsbridge in London on Monday afternoon.’
‘He was close to being able to call upon Alexis Sanchez for Manchester United, so why so glum?’
‘Mourinho was seen puffing out his cheeks’
‘Jose Mourinho did find time to poses for a selfie with a workman – but didn’t put much into it’
‘He carried on with his solemn stroll through the streets of the capital city’
‘It was eyes down to the floor at times as Jose Mourinho trundled around Knightsbridge’
‘Jose Mourinho is also likely to sign a new deal at the Premier League club – surely there are a few things to celebrate?’
It’s ‘solemn stroll’, isn’t it?
Bad news, folks
Interesting spin from The Sun on Manchester United being named the world’s richest club. Somehow they make it sound like a bad thing:
‘Manchester United have maintained their status as the world’s richest club – but only just.
‘Jose Mourinho’s side finished top of Deloitte’s Football Money League 2018 with a revenue of £581.2m last year.
‘But they earned just £1.5m more than Real Madrid and, had they not won the Europa League, would have been knocked off top spot.’
Alternative spin: Manchester United managed to remain the world’s richest club – having broken Real Madrid’s 11-year stranglehold in 2017 – despite not even participating in the Champions League. They earned £127.7m more than any other Premier League club.
Headline of the day
‘Wide-eyed Sanchez arrives for first Manchester United training session under Mourinho (and he’s having a special tea to prepare)’ – MailOnline.
Person goes to work and has a cup of tea. Anyone else worried that they’re starting to copy us actual humans.
Recommended reading of the day
Henry Winter on Jimmy Armfield.
Paul Hayward on Jimmy Armfield.
Brian Glanville on Jimmy Armfield.