clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Roker Ramble: Argentinian coach has gun pulled on him by player who wanted more game time!

José’s feeling the love in the North East, Harry Kane has a biological advantage, Spurs have got the size all wrong and Tim Cahill is back - as long as he doesn’t do that punching the corner-flag thing... It’s this week’s Roker Ramble!

Manchester United Press Conference
You’re a little blurry....
Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images

I think José may be feeling the love. That, or he’s on dope - either way he’s not acting in character. True, he’s just signed a contract extension at United so he’s probably feeling pretty good about life right now, but to lose one nil at Newcastle and then imagine that Rafa’s players must be feeling ‘beautiful’ for their experience plants him in close proximity to a tree with arms outstretched and a glint in his eye.

He also mentioned how happy he was to be in ‘Mr Robson’s stadium’ - it’s just as well he didn’t look up at the clouds at that point, otherwise there could’ve been a second coming.

He’s also advocating an award for good behaviour for managers:

The fourth officials could all vote and, if they did, I am pretty sure I would win.

Is that right bonny lad?

This season I have not created one problem to one fourth official, apart from my red card at Southampton.

Kind of sounds like there was a problem there.

Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League
What the f*** are you looking at?
Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

It’s all nonsense of course – José is the master of deflecting criticism and this came across as a ruse to avoid discussing just how abject his team was against Newcastle. And they were shocking. But what I don’t understand, is why? He’s been there long enough to have stamped his mark on the team, certainly spent enough money and by all accounts has got the players he wanted. So why are they losing to Newcastle and looking as morose as they do?

Three months ago, they looked like a team on the up – Lingard and Martial were banging them in for fun, goals were coming from midfield, Pogba looked as though he could be bothered - yet, now they look about as animated as the English curling team in Pyongyang.

Manchester United Training Session
And this is my portrayal of the futility of struggle...
Photo by Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images

Lingard in particular was spectacular for a period – especially his goal celebrations, which were taking on a life of their own. None of your funny-handshake nonsense a la Spurs here – each one was like it’s own little Japanese Noh play. Individual, creative, with a different story every time. I felt that he was trying to tell us something. He still looked like a plonker of course, but it was entertaining.

Which is what United are not at the moment. So is it the introduction of Alexis Sanchez that’s having an impact? Well, he pisses me off - so I wouldn’t be too happy - but Lukaku was faltering before Sanchez came, as was Pogba. Jones and Smalling looked as inept before his arrival as they do now, so I think the blame has to be laid firmly at José’s feet.

Manchester United v Huddersfield Town - Premier League
Tell me again how your shorts got that dirty?
Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images

I don’t think he knows what his best team is or how they should play. I don’t think he gets the best out of his players, or has the confidence to let them play to their full ability especially against the big clubs. And I think that he’ll keep buying new players in an effort to try and solve the problem rather than trying to improve the ones he’s got now. I also think that he’s going to be earning a minimum of £15 million a year for the next few years so he probably really doesn’t care that much.

However, one of Manchester United’s shining lights and someone who doesn’t get as nearly enough credit as he deserves has got to be Antonio Valencia. A survivor of the Ferguson years and every manager since, he turned down a chance to go to Real Madrid and instead signed for United in 2009.

This season he’s passed 200 games for the club. Described as ‘quiet and shy’ by Ferguson, he’s one of those players that has buckets of talent which he doesn’t let his ego get in the way of. He’s a proper professional.

Manchester United v Sunderland - Premier League
A proper professional. Which one?
Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

If you build it they will come...

83,000 people were packed into Wembley for the north London derby at the weekend, a new premier league record, and that wasn’t the first time that Spurs had broken the record this season. Crowds of 82,000 for the Manchester United game and 80,000 for Liverpool also set new records - a pity, then, that the capacity of New White Hart Lane is only going to be 61,000.

Perhaps not so clever now, Mr Levy.

Work Continues On Tottenham Hotspur's New Stadium
Tad on the small size if you ask me....
Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

So – Harry Kane or Sergio Aguero? Both men are extraordinary talents at the peak of their game, but who is the best? Well, Mauricio Pochettino - as you’d expect - has no doubts:

If you have the personality to score 100 Premier League goals, it is because you have big, big balls.

Well, I’m going to have to go with Aguero I’m afraid. I’ve got an image in my mind that I’m struggling to shift right now.

And Tim Cahill, 62 - ex-Everton, New York, Shanghai, Melbourne and probably Peckham - is now back where he started at Millwall, and he’s very excited:

It’s hard to put into words what it feels like…

But he’s going to try...

Once you go over that white line, you get a nervous sensation back that I had when I was a 16-year-old when I first signed here.

Millwall v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship
And this is how it all went wrong the last time....
Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

Luckily I think someone has just been prosecuted for all of that stuff, so it should be a lot better this time around.

And, it’s not just bad results that get you the sack. The manager of Belgian side AS Fontainoise was fired for making players take a breathalyzer before a match:

With this, he lost the dressing room. I’m not sure he had a right to do that.

However, it could’ve been worse. The coach of Argentina’s Escuela Presidente Roca left after a fringe player pulled a gun on him and demanded more game time:

He resigned for his own safety. This is a first for us.

Glad to hear it.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report