Massimo Cellino brought an enviable record of sacking managers with him to England, and he's carried on in style. However, is it just about mad enough to actually work?
Forget that 'difficult second album/season' thing, last year went extraordinarily well. But what about the third season, Brendan? What constitutes success for him now?
Everyone has a mental checklist of how they would like their ideal partner to be. They might not consciously think it, but you all have a list of qualities that you desire, be it sense of humour, dress sense, political leanings, breast/penis size (although don't worry chaps - women aren't too bothered about that last one...), whether they prefer the Sundays or Tin Tin Out's version of 'Here's Where The Story Ends' - that sort of thing.
And so it is with the new Premier League season, which in case you haven't noticed starts on Saturday. Of course, much like a partner for special romantic times, any football is grand, but you like to have something a little special, don't you? There are some things that would make this Premier League season that extra bit special, so here are a few of them.
Louis van Gaal to fail spectacularly at Manchester United
All we can ask for in this world is to laugh. Humour makes even the worst the world can throw at us a little better. With this universal truth established, it would also be fair to say that there would be few things funnier, given the way some Manchester United fans and members of the media have built up Louis van Gaal, for the Dutchman to be an utter disaster at Old Trafford. It's not out of the question, either - he does seem to be making a few curious decisions; with the new season virtually upon us he hasn't seen fit to recruit a central defender despite losing two of them in the summer, and the enthusiasm for his appointment is based a fair bit on the Netherlands at the World Cup, and they were basically a bit rubbish after the group stage anyway. If this all goes badly, hopefully even the most humourless Manchester United fans will be able to see the mirth.
Louis van Gaal to succeed spectacularly at Manchester United
For the neutral, a middle ground isn't really terribly interesting. Manchester United are supposed to be the biggest club in the world, so we want drama, dammit. If Van Gaal succeeds, even wins the title back for Manchester United, then just imagine how arrogant he'll be, if you didn't think he was pretty gosh darn arrogant already. And arrogance, particularly in football, is usually quite entertaining, whether through the arrogant person in question being charismatic with it or them looking like an utter weapon. At the very least, the longer he sticks around, the more chance there is of him dropping his strides and showing the United players his balls, as he did at Bayern. And who doesn't want that to happen?
Dirk Kuyt to sign for Manchester United
Self-explanatory, but that's covered in more detail here.
Sam Allardyce not to change a thing
Profile365 recently covered what a rum old do West Ham keeping Sam Allardyce as their manager, but asking him to change everything is, and the accompanying and uncomfortable sympathy that elicited. If Allardyce really wants to provide entertainment, he shouldn't do it with pretty football, but by doing the exact same thing as he always has, producing teams that are horrendous to watch but sometimes produce decent results - basically raising two middle fingers high and proud, and flipping them towards the Upton Park directors box.
Brendan Rodgers to keep saying silly things
We can probably all agree that, after last season, Brendan Rodgers is pretty good. We can probably also agree that some of the stuff he says is, well, utterly ridiculous. Take his insistence this week that Liverpool proved last term that they could handle the pressure of a title race despite, well...y'know. Very silly, but very entertaining. More of this, please.
Roy Keane to go through the season calmly and politely
Everyone is expecting a blow-up at some point. For Royston to go postal, to snap and beat that lion Villa have as a mascot to death with a corner flag. For him to start flipping tables at a press conference. For him to instruct someone, somewhere, to stick something up their bollocks. But it would be infinitely funnier if everything proceeded calmly, if Keane was respectful to all concerned and humbly took his cards when Paul Lambert is inevitably sacked at some point in the season.
Jose Mourinho to do a press conference nude
Well, there's not much else left for him to do, is there? Cue 1,500-word pieces in the papers about mind games and so forth.
Manuel Pellegrini to say something - anything - interesting
If only because the desperate look in the eyes of journalists as they forlornly try to find something diverting in his post-match comments is tragic, and can't be good for anyone.
An Arsenal player to get stuck in their shirt
So skin-tight are the Arsenal jerseys this season that they simply cannot be comfortable to wear, and someone will inevitably struggle to get theirs off. The image of Olivier Giroud writhing around on the dressing room floor, unable to undress and eventually having to be cut out of it, is arresting, to say the least.
Jeremy Peace to admit he appointed Alan Irvine while drunk
Well, have you got a better explanation?
Tony Pulis to try out a variety of new hats
A fedora, a boater, one of those straw things that boisterous bellends wear at festivals, a bowler, a Slash-style top hat. Just mix it up a bit, Tone, you'll feel better for it. That cap is so last year.
Alan Pardew to pose for Page Three
The small print in Newcastle's coverage agreement with The Sun (which is, it seems, sadly a real thing) simply must include something spicy, so why not this? That way Alan, 53, Jesmond, can tell us what he makes of the Gaza conflict in a pithy-yet-pun-packed soundbite. He could stand with a pineapple covering his gentleman's area. Just a suggestion.
Nick Miller - follow him on Twitter
Far too many references to nudity in this to be honest.- orikoru