Premier League managers eh? Sometimes it seems like they have a shorter shelf life that a Waitrose salad. It wasn’t more than two minutes ago that Craig Shakespeare was rescuing Leicester’s season from Claudio Ranieri and Ronald Koeman was guiding Everton to seventh place in the league, and yet here we are, the clocks haven’t gone back yet and they’re both sacked.
Leicester, I think, have to be very careful who they bring in because they just don’t seem to have the same spirit that sustained them for so long. The fact therefore that Chris Coleman has thrown his hat into the ring must give them a warm feeling in the nether regions and a carte blanche to reassure their children that ‘everything’s going to be ok’.
They have a problem - last week they were the first pick against the wall but now, with the demise of Big Ron, and an arguably better club to run, prospective managers are going to take any approach from Leicester as a stand-by whilst waiting to see which way Everton jump.
Unless you’re little Neville. He only wants to manager Everton. He’s not interested in Leicester (he’s probably seen enough of Gary Lineker to last him a lifetime) unlike Ryan Giggs, who would like to manage either. Or both. Funny then that neither club have expressed an interest in either of them yet. Perhaps they should get a job actually managing first to prove that they can do it?
And I still don’t understand what went wrong at Everton – Koeman did a good job at Southampton, proving he could work in the Premier League. He did a good job in his first season at Everton, especially bringing the youngsters through, and then he spent £140 million and now they look like the cast of ‘Escape to Victory’. He seemed to adopt the Michael Jackson approach to shopping - just buy everything you want without a clue as to what you’re going to do with it.
And after all the debate in the media, the opinions, the rhetoric and the chest-thumping, the most noticeable quote from the whole Everton melee came from Steve Claridge on Radio Five Live:
The fans have just given up reacting.
Apathy is too strong a word but they look like they've had the guts knocked out of them.
After nine games, two of which they won? Do me a bloody favour.
I really feel sorry for Jordan Pickford - out of one thankless, hopeless position straight into another, and he still continues to perform.
Talk about character-building - he’s going to be some player, that lad.
So, two vacancies, and who’s going to fill them if it’s not going to be the class of 92 or the Welsh wizard? Well, the Spock look-a-like Claude Puel seems a favourite for Leicester, and he did a good job for Southampton but was sacked anyway. I’m guessing it was because he had the personality of a goldfish. Is he the one to motivate them back up the table?
Names associated with Everton are a little higher up the food chain – Carlo Ancelotti, Marco Silva, Thomas Tuchel, and according to one paper, David Moyes – good luck with that one lads. But there’s only one name that’s constantly associated with both clubs, and that’s Sean Dyche.
It’s easy to see why, given what he’s achieved at Burnley, but I’m not so sure. I think he’s more of a one club man in the same way as Eddie Howe is and - David Moyes was. And, can anyone tell me why there are no black players in the Burnley squad? I’m not saying anything, just an observation.
Still, I bet Ross Barkley has a smile on his face at the moment.
So, what about Stoke? They’ve had an almost identical season so far, level on points with Everton, and yet there’s no mention of Mark Hughes’ job being on the line? Why not? Surely if you apply the same criteria to his position as Koeman’s, then he’s gone?
However, there’s French toast, there’s Melba toast and then there’s Slaven Bilic, and I think if Koeman hadn’t been sacked so quickly then Bilic would’ve gone by now as well.
As it is, he’s been given ‘at least two games’ to improve the results. Given that his next game is against Spurs at Wembley, albeit in the Carabao Cup, and then away to a resurgent Palace, this looks like a water-treading exercise until the managerial shake-up settles down and West Ham sees who’s left standing.
And talking of Spurs – what happened to the funny hand-shakes? They put four past Liverpool and not once did they celebrate by looking like complete berks - perhaps they’re starting to take it seriously.
Liverpool, on the other hand, made up for that with yet more woeful defending after which Jürgen Klopp declared:
It wouldn’t happen if I was on the pitch.
And after losing to Huddersfield, José came out with:
I heard Ander Herrera in his flash [television] interview saying the attitude and desire was poor. Oh my God, when a player says that, or a player feels that, I think they should all go to the press conference and explain why – because I cannot explain that.
Why can’t he explain that – hasn’t he been working with them all week? Isn’t it his job to get the team prepared for the match so that they rock up in peak condition? And if it still isn’t going to plan, don’t they have half times so that he can put it right? If I was paying the man £15 million a year I’d be asking him why the attitude sucked, not the player.
And as for Liverpool, they haven’t been able to defend ever since Klopp took over and he’s done nothing about it. Mignolet is prone to errors, hardly surprising given the Keystone Cop defence in front of him, but the only tactic Klopp has tried is to bring in Karius as a replacement - and he couldn’t catch a bus.
Neither manager handles the downside of the job with much grace or dignity. In fact the best at commenting on his and his sides own failings is Slaven Bilic, possibly because he’s had the most practice, but personally I think it’s because misery is his natural state and one which he’s become accustomed to. Long may he continue!
Best story of the week comes from the Italian leagues where midfielder Giovanni Liberti was banned for:
Urinating in the direction of the away end while making vulgar gestures at his genital organ.
The Club President immediately jumped to his defence:
Once again, we find ourselves faced with injustice. The player was adjusting his shirt.
Just a poor camera angle then I guess.
And Arsene Wenger was 68 on Sunday – and the big coat came out for the first time this season. I wonder if he's entitled to the winter fuel allowance?
And with my football team second bottom of the Championship, and my hockey team bottom of the Eastern Conference, special mention has to go to Ryhope C.W. who beat Harrogate Railway Athletic 10-1 in the first round of the FA Vase and now face City of Liverpool FC in the second round. Haway the Lads!
South Shields? Who're they?