clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Manchester City v Aston Villa - Premier League

Filed under:

Roker Ramble: Premier League clubs decide it’s time to start pressing the big red panic button

Sacking season is in full swing in the top flight, Conte channels his inner PDC and West Ham don’t understand the meaning of “suspended”.

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Sacking season is here!

Off with their head! Sacking season really is cooking on gas now!

Well done, Aston Villa and Norwich. They’ve followed on from Spurs (Nuno was a dead man walking) Watford (standard) and Newcastle (injustice), in getting rid of their gaffers with decisions that could charitably be described as ‘hasty’.

You have to hand it to the owners of both clubs, who you would imagine are the type of people to cash out a £1 accumulator for £2.83 – despite the fact only four of 10 results are coming in, and the possible return is £175. In short, they can’t handle the pressure.

Brentford v Norwich City - Premier League
Farke said my pies tasted like sh*t
Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images

Don’t forget you just need to be better than two other teams (because let’s face it, you’re already streets ahead of Eddie ‘Thunderbirds’ Howe’s rag tag bunch of miscreants).

Villa have already appointed Stevie Gerrard, in a move that will cause dogs across Birmingham to start acting very strangely during his press conferences. Good luck to the fella.

Norwich, meanwhile, look like they’re going for Frank Lampard. I had heard rumours of Steve Bruce, so it’s a shame he’s missed out on this one. You can’t deny, that would have been a delicious prospect. The man so maligned by the Toon army bagging a spawny-yet-devastating last-minute victory to send his former side hurtling through the trapdoor when they meet with five games to go. We then see him tear up to the directors box to rub copious amounts of Coleman’s mustard in the eyes of Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Gendoussi, who didn’t quite look up from his ‘PIF lads’ WhatsApp group he’d been glued to for 90 minutes to dodge Norfolk’s answer to napalm.

Still, we can but dream.

West Ham’s Pizza gets sliced

You know those situations where you think “I wish I’d thought of that?”

Well West Ham’s under-21s have found a novel way to get kicked out of the Papa John’s trophy - by playing a player, Ajibola Alese, who was suspended after receiving two yellow cards in the previous group games.

Hilariously, it wasn’t like Alese came on as a last minute substitute, he played the full 90 minutes. You’d have thought he might have said.

Northampton Town v West Ham United - Pre-Season Friendly
Er, Ajibola, what are you doing on the pitch?
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

As a result, the Hammers were docked three points, putting them third in the group. Consequently, poor old Colchester United received the hospital pass of a bye to the next round.

Still, food for thought for next year possibly. This competition really is the football equivalent of Christmas songs in November: unnecessary, annoying and pointless.

Il Ketchup è Vietato

Just what is it about Italians and ketchup? Is it some sort of slight on what my Italian pal calls the ‘Church of Pasta?’ Or did Antonio Conte just get on the blower to Paolo Di Canio before he took the Spurs job? (If you did Antonio, don’t take any more advice from that man.)

Also, poor old ketchup. It’s not like the players are inhaling a Fray Bentos pie before kick off, injecting themselves with pork scratchings, or performing a colonic irrigation with Ben and Jerry’s is it?

Cambridge United v Fulham U21 - EFL Trophy
Step away from the sauce, Harry
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Whatever the reason, one of the first things Conte has done is to ban the condiment (along with mayonnaise) from the corridors of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Apparently, it’s about a “weight” issue in the squad, though all I can now think about is Harry Kane hooked up to a Hellman’s drip in the treatment room in a state of semi-consciousness.

I don’t want to go all footballing dinosaur here, but you do have to question just what impact it will have on Giovanni Lo Celso’s ability to execute a five-yard pass. If he can’t do it, he can’t do it, know what I mean.


Fan Focus: Huddersfield fan Matt talks about facing Sunderland, Pritchard & gaffer Darren Moore!


Starting XI: One change predicted for Sunderland tonight against Huddersfield!


Match Preview: Sunderland v Huddersfield Town - all you need to know ahead of kick-off!

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

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report