If football management was a board game you’d imagine that by holding a ‘scheduled visit’ card and throwing a six, you could get rid of your uninspiring and under-performing manager and trade him in for a new one - which is exactly what West Brom did this week.
Chinese owner Guochuan Lai, was present on a scheduled visit for the 4-0 demolition by Chelsea at the Hawthorns after which he must have thrown a six because Tony Pulis joined the growing ranks of managers playing musical chairs in the Premier League.
Pulis couldn’t have been surprised - West Brom haven’t won a game since Live Aid and play a brand of football so dull it could bore you during a cardiac arrest.
What must have been annoying though is getting sacked by a 4’ 6” Chinese bloke who looks about 12 years old. It must be like getting disowned by your grandchildren.
But his seat won’t be vacant for long, with Alan Pardew lined up to step into the breach and make West Brom the Premier League powerhouse that will enable Mr Lai to sell all of his housing development contracts back in China. Someone should tell him he should just go back to bribing people like it’s always been done - it’d be a lot more reliable.
Also welcoming a ‘scheduled visit’ was Swansea, hosting one of their American owners.
Having thought that Bob Bradley was the man to cement Swansea’s Premier League status, one wonders what he makes of Paul Clement’s impression of a dead man walking. For now however the dice must have been kind to Clement, although with Tony Pulis now single and unattached, the odds are not exactly ever in his favour.
And it starts to get more complicated.
Everton are desperate, allegedly, to sign Marco Silva from Watford and are promising exclusive use of the Z Cars theme and an Angry Birds cheat sheet to lure him away.
Do Swansea get rid of Clement now and make an offer for Pulis given that Watford may need a new manager later this week – or are Watford just a little bit more sophisticated in their managerial search techniques than plonking for the first name they can think of?
So what happens if Everton don’t get their man? It looks very much like they’ve painted themselves into a corner.
Allardyce was keen, despite stating that he’d only be interested in international roles now, but has since ruled himself out, arguing that it had dragged on for too long - otherwise known as ‘my ego won’t take being second choice’.
Which is exactly the stance that you’d expect Sean Dyche to take – Everton have been without a manager for a month now, so if they don’t get Silva who’re they going to turn to?
Well, if Sam wanted another international challenge, he’s got a wide choice at the moment with Scotland both vacant – and possibly the two Irish sides too.
Apparently Martin O’Neill is less than happy with the treatment he’s received following their exit from the World Cup qualifiers and murmurs have started of an O’Neill and Keane partnership turning up somewhere in the Premier League, which could be interesting.
But Silva will go to Everton because they’ll pay huge sums of money and Watford will get someone in to keep them up this season and then look to rebuild again next summer – because that’s what they do. The whole Premier League management circus is an intriguing side-show to the actual game, however - it’s not so much ‘Game of Thrones’, more a game of throw-ins.
Now in place for a whole week, David Moyes must be feeling like one of the league veterans given the current climate, and hopefully it’s been an uncomfortable week for the man.
He’s been all over the media of course, with a slew of sound-bites admonishing himself from any blame – for anything. But what blew me up was the following:
I came back (from Spain) and I made a poor choice of club.
How dare he - how dare he blame Sunderland for his attitude, ineffectiveness and lack of effort whilst our manager.
His recent behaviour has turned him from a man I disliked and had no respect for into one I actively wish misfortune upon, which puts him into a very select club alongside Boris Johnson and Michael Gove.
Luckily he seems to have found the club he deserves. The fans have turned on the board and the players, although Moyes claims to have known nothing of it:
I was surprised, I didn’t know there was anything there before.
Which makes you either an idiot or a liar, bonny lad - although I’ll settle for both.
And the fans have been warned by the police to stop ringing 999... to complain about their team. A tweet from the Essex Police Control Room stated:
Ringing 999 because @WestHamUtd have lost again and you aren’t sure what to do is not acceptable! It is a complete waste of our time.
Needless to say, West Ham United is one of the sub-plots of the season that I’m most looking forward to. Their next game is at home to Leicester, and if they lose that, they then have fixtures away to Everton – possibly with Silva at the helm, then Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal. They’d better put the Samaritans number on the front of the programme methinks.
No one would argue that the eulogies and praise for Pep Guardiola’s City team aren’t deserved, but he’s admitted this week that his team are facing a crisis.
It comes after news broke of John Stones hamstring injury, which tweaked against Brazil and leaves him out of action for six weeks. Pep doesn’t have a replacement.
We don’t have a big squad.
Really? One of the richest clubs in the world, with one of the most lauded managers in the game – and he doesn’t have a Plan B?
One of your starting eleven gets injured and it’s all weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth? He should get a bloody grip - he’s been here long enough to know how the English season works.
And Zlatan’s back – as if he’d never been away:
If people knew the real injury they would be in shock that I was ever playing.
Clearly the injury wasn’t to his ego, then.
And finally - John Lasseter, founder of Pixar Studios, head of Disney Animation and director of the first two Toy Story movies will take a six-month leave of absence after confessing to unspecified “missteps”.
In his press release he stated:
I especially want to apologize to anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape, or form.
Jurgen Klopp was admitted to hospital this week for an unnamed ailment. My money’s on anxiety attacks.