Congratulations and celebra…
‘Huddersfield need 14 new players this summer’ – Tony Cascarino, The Times, May 30.
Nothing like landing down with a bump.
Give us a chance
Writes Stan Collymore in his Daily Mirror column on Tuesday:
‘I like Jaap Stam and David Wagner, and it’s nice to see some younger, fresher names cutting their teeth as managers.’
You can sense the ‘but’ coming…
‘So I was delighted that their Reading and Huddersfield sides reached the Championship play-off final. In Wagner’s case, I’m certain he’ll be part of a rising trend of clubs appointing men who once assisted the so-called super-managers.’
‘So-called’. Collymore’s disdain really is majestic.
‘But I’d also love to see British managers of a similar age to them given the same chances by clubs in and around the play-off places.’
Erm, Stam and Wagner weren’t appointed by clubs ‘in and around the play-off places’, Stan. They were appointed by clubs in 17th and 18th in the Championship, who had failed under British managers Brian McDermott and Chris Powell. The reason both made the play-offs is at least in part due to the excellence of their managers. Very few clubs in the play-off places appoint new managers, by the very definition of their decent league position.
Still, Collymore is right about British-born managers not getting appointed in the Championship. After all, since Wagner was appointed by Huddersfield only Paul Lambert (twice) Dean Smith, McDermott, Lee Johnson, Neil Warnock (twice), Nigel Pearson, Paul Trollope, Owen Coyle, Alan Stubbs, Garry Monk, Steve Bruce, Steve McClaren, Kenny Jackett, Warren Joyce, Ian Holloway, Paul Warne, Tony Mowbray, Gary Rowett, Graham Barrow, Mark Warburton and Harry Redknapp have been given jobs in that division. Keep fighting the fight for justice.
The Arsenal transfer warchest: An update
Mediawatch has long been impressed by Arsenal’s point PR leaks over transfer targets, so it’s wonderful that, on the day of Arsene Wenger’s meeting with the club’s bigwigs, more names are added.
Arsenal fans may remember that in May 2013, Gonzalo Higuain, Stevan Jovetic, Rene Adler, Kevin Strootman and Maxime Gonalons were mentioned by the Daily Mirror’s John Cross. In April 2014, Karim Benzema, Lars Bender and Morgan Schneiderlin were mentioned. In May 2014, Antoine Griezmann, Mario Mandzukic and Tom Cleverley were mentioned. In May 2015, Petr Cech, Ilkay Gundogan, Yohan Cabaye, Nabil Fekir and Raheem Sterling were mentioned. In March 2016, Victor Wanyama, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Toni Kroos, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and John Stones were mentioned.
By March 2017, Cross had more names. Alexandre Lacazette, Kylian Mbappe, Marco Reus, Ross Barkley, Moussa Dembele, Jack Butland, Joe Hart, Jordan Pickford, Kieran Tierney and Jose Gaya were all noted as targets. That took the list up to 31, with Cech the only one to sign.
By Tuesday morning, and with Arsenal again presumably in need of a quick PR win ahead of a difficult board meeting, that list reaches 35. Cross mentions that Carlos Bacca, Riyad Mahrez and Thomas Lemar are targets in his column on the new contract offers to Alexis Sanchez and Mezut Ozil. Added to March’s list, that’s 13 players. Anyone want to guess how many Arsenal will sign?
Had a good run
‘When you’re looking at the pantheon of foreigners who have come into English football — whether it’s managers or players — and you’re thinking of one person who has been synonymous with the Premier League and added so much to our game, it’s Wenger,’ writes Stan Collymore in his Daily Mirror column.
‘His record, his longevity and the way he has conducted himself speak volumes of the man.’
Interesting that Collymore would choose to praise Wenger’s longevity, given that it’s only two months since he wrote that Wenger should have been sacked by Arsenal in 2007. Yes, that’s a year after the reached the Champions League final.
David Moyes: If at first you don’t succeed
‘David Moyes looked jaded and defeated months before he quit Sunderland. He now needs to take a few months off before visiting training grounds at home and abroad to see how some of the younger managers are doing things. Then, like when Steve McClaren went to Holland, I’d like to see him take a job in a different environment where he can fall back in love with football’ – Stan Collymore.
Maybe not La Liga though, David. They remember your performance in a ‘different environment’ from the last time you tried it.
‘Somehow it did not seem right that Fabio Capello was enjoying Wembley’s media facilities at the FA Cup final in his role as a Fox Italia TV pundit after being so unhelpful to the Press during his time as England manager’ – Charlie Sale, Daily Mail.
Yes, how dare an individual working as a member of the media use the media facilities at Wembley? Why didn’t anyone at Wembley kick Capello up the arse and send him on his way? After all, those spaces should be reserved for people who have columns used to miaow at Gary Neville.
That’s not quite how it works
‘Per Mertesacker should be Arsenal’s player of the year after his performance against Chelsea. He might be big and slow but the German slotted into the back three brilliantly on Saturday and had Diego Costa in his pocket for much of the game. Considering he had not played a full game all season it was an astonishing performance — he came in and was so at ease’ – Tony Cascarino, The Times.
Yes he was, Tony, and Mertesacker thoroughly merited the post-match praise he received. But here’s the thing: Player of the Year should really be decided over the course of the year, not one match. Alexis Sanchez wants a word, and he looks grumpy.
‘Ooooooo, you bitch’ quote of the day
“He’s [Arsene Wenger] on £8m a year but Arsenal’s junior coaches are on 30 grand. Chelsea’s coaches are on £90,000. Take £7m, Arsène, and give them all a rise. It’s not like he’s using the money to throw lavish parties for his friends because he hasn’t got none” – Tony Adams’ latest charm offensive, with the emphasis on offensive.
Next week: “I know you are, I said you are but what am I?”
Worst headline of the day
‘Arsenal fans trolling Tottenham hard after Huddersfield Town’s promotion to the Premier League’ – Daily Mirror website.
That’s a news story on the football homepage of a national newspaper based on a few tweets from Arsenal fans pointing out that Huddersfield have won three league titles, the last of which was in 1926. The Mirror used to be ok…
Recommended reading of the day
Jack Gaughan on Moston Tigers.
Sid Lowe on Ernesto Valverde.
Nick Wright on Athletic Bilbao.