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Roker Ramble: The Impossible Dream

Carlo off to a good start - but would he make the best musical? Wickham and Elmo still at the top and earning; and taking a penalty crab-style. It’s the Roker Ramble.

Everton FC v Burnley FC - Premier League
Well it works for Jurgen
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Carlo is making all the right noises at Everton, given that he’s only in his first week and probably hasn’t found the canteen yet.

I want to bring happiness to the supporters.

Controversial, but that’s probably why he’s being paid a fortune.

I’m attracted to teams with ambition.

He’s attracted to teams with shed-loads of money.

I know how much the supporters of this club want to beat Liverpool.

He’s done his homework.

In fact, he’s targeted the January 5th FA Cup trip to Anfield as the date to bring the good times back to The Toffees, despite the fact that they haven’t won there this century.

Nothing is impossible.

He may be right, but trying to open a vacuum pack of beetroot without leaving your kitchen looking like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre comes pretty close.

Still, he got a win in his first game, which I think they said he’d done for every club he’d ever managed so he’s off to a good start, but he’s going to have to go some to beat Liverpool at Anfield. In the wake of winning the Club World Cup they put four past second placed Leicester at the King Power, and given that Klopp is renting Brendan Rogers’ old house probably means he’s not going to get the loo fixed as quickly as he’d hoped in the future.

Leicester City v Liverpool - Premier League
And I just wanted to mention that the boilers started leaking
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

You know it’s the holiday period when your mind starts wondering over matters that are not exactly urgent. Or important. Or relevant, realistic or even sensible. Like trying to work out if Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber had to write a musical about a Premier League Manager, who’d they choose?

‘José – The Musical’ has the best title, but I think they’d struggle for subject matter. Sure you could do a big opening number around ‘The Special One’ but when they had to cover his moody period I think the pace would sag in the middle.

Nuno’ you may be able to get away with, but the beard’s a bit too Old Testament, and who would want to base a musical in Wolverhampton anyway?

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City - Premier League
Dreaming of what might have been.....
Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Klopp would probably be a contender and you could certainly get some mileage out of the whole hugging thing, but for sheer weight of material it has to be Frank Lampard.

He’s got the east end cockney rhyming start – musicals love this, apples and pairs, Franz and Liszt, the whole Mary Poppins chimney sweep sort of thing, the early edgy period (sex tape – plot twist), the famous Dad (although I can’t remember his name), the evil Uncle Harry (boo!), the glittering playing career and the TV star wife – who was in... something. Then the big closing number when he returns to Chelsea as a manager which’ll bring the house down.

Lampard – A Journey’ - you saw it here first.

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Jose takes the news well.....
Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Figures released this week reveal that the average salary for a Premier League footballer has exceeded £3 million a year for the first time, and that the average pay for a first team squad member is over £60k per week.

Unless you play for Man City where the players take home double that - £134,000 per week, nearly £7m a year before bonuses. The people who pay that might well be asking therefore how come they’re now fourteen points behind Liverpool who have a game in hand following their recent fifth defeat of the season to Wolves? And the Liverpool players might well be asking for a pay rise largely for the same reason.

It’s difficult not to compare and contrast the current situation with that of Martin Peters, who, when he retired from the game, then began a second career working in insurance for seventeen years to continue to earn a living. How times have changed.

Crystal Palace v Colchester United - Carabao Cup Second Round
Not looking back
Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Interesting this week, from a Sunderland perspective at least, to see both Connor Wickham and Ahmed Elmohamady still playing in the Premier League. Phil Bardsley for some reason is more understandable, and dare I say, ‘acceptable’, but Wickham (apart from a six-week period) and Elmo never really cut it at our place – were we wrong? From what I remember, probably not, some players just don’t fit – like Traoré at Middlesborough and look at him now. However, nice to know they’re both still earning £3 million a year.

Finally this week, a quandary. Why is it that some players, when taking a penalty, start their run sideways? Marcus Rashford does it all the time and others do the same. They stand on the wrong side of the ball, the ref blows the whistle and they side-step or shuffle back across the face of the ball so that they can run up from the proper side to take the kick – what’s all that about? Why don’t they just stand on the proper side in the first place? Are they trying to psych-out the keeper? Get him to commit early? Hope boredom sets in and blows his concentration?

Just looks damn silly to me.

Chelsea FC v Manchester United - Carabao Cup Round of 16
Guess it works after all
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images