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Hibernian v Motherwell - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

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Roker Ramble: Poor Jack Ross gets the boot after 71 days in charge!

Spare a thought for our former manager, who’s left Dundee United only seven games into the season. Also, let’s all breathe a sigh of relief as the transfer window slams shut...

Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Jack Ross sacked by Dundee United

Let’s talk about a former Sunderland manager for a second.

No, not the Loch Ness Knobhead who descended to the depths last week. Sadly, much more friendly Scot, Jack Ross, has lasted barely two pay packets into his latest managerial gig at Dundee United.

Hardly surprising, given the 9-0 trouncing at the hands of Celtic this weekend in which their defenders looked like they had just returned from the Somme.

It does give me pause for thought to see our Jacky boy out of work once more, and to muse on what we actually did to the poor man. Did the events at the end of the 2018/19 season have that much of an effect on him? To be fair, it was a choking episode that no Heimlich maneuver could have rectified, given Sunderland were breathing down the necks of the automatics with a couple of games in hand and only half a dozen or so to go.

Mind you, had we gone up... can you imagine Jack Baldwin in the Championship? I still wake up in cold sweats as Coventry’s forward line ripped him and Tom Flanagan to shreds in that 5-4 back in April 2018.

Dundee United v Sunderland - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group via Getty Images

It still seems that Ross is unable to organise a defence properly; it’s strong work that given the short period he was in charge, he managed to lose both 7-0 and 9-0.

However, there’s a “but” here - I’m strongly of the belief there is (was?) a good manager in there... somewhere. And let’s not forget he was dismissed by Hibs having guided them to the Scottish League Cup final.

You have to fear his next job might be in the Scottish Championship. Now if you think League One is bad, this is.... somewhat worse. Back in 2017 I attended Raith Rovers versus Brechin City in a promotion/relegation playoff with my brother-in-law, a diehard Rovers fan.

Before the game the pub was abuzz with Brechin fans who - genuinely - were delighted by the fact they had filled their 78-seater bus, and that the aforementioned vehicle had actually made it to Kirkcaldy in one piece. On the pitch, it really was a competition between the two sides as to who could be more naff - with Raith eventually deciding the contest after a Jean-Yves Mvoto (remember him?) rickett that let Brechin back into a match they subsequently won on penalties.

Mvoto, if you’re interested, joined Raith’s hated rivals Dunfermline Athletic the following week and subsequently became known as “Agent Mvoto.”

Mind you, there’s something to be said about the family-feel at that level. My brother in law, for example, has his name on the back of his seat. How lovely. Less lovely was Raith’s decision to employ actual rapist David Goodwillie, but that’s a totally different story.

Anyhow, this might all await Jack Ross, and if it does the bright lights of Wembley will feel a long, long way away.

Still, I wish him all the best whatever he does next.

Livingston v Hibernian - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership Photo by Callum Landells/Getty Images

The transfer window slams shut

Hasn’t it been a really funny transfer window? If you had told me last year that Nottingham Forest would end up spending more than £200m in the summer transfer window I would have laughed in your face, repeatedly.

Makes you wonder... if things go well here this season then next year who knows how much we’ll be spaffing on the next Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Maybe we’ll be able to tell Newcastle fans that yes, Mbappe is coming to the north east... to US.

Chelsea on the other hand have spent a similar amount, yet bizarrely seem to have an inferior side. Manchester United are getting themselves all giddy about ruining the career of the next player who’s made the incredibly stupid decision to take up residence in the insane asylum that is Old Trafford. Arsenal meanwhile are doing their thing of signing the players judge not quite good enough for the very top sides.

Meanwhile, Manchester City have laughed in everyone’s faces, kept calm and signed Haaland for a snip - and what a talent that boy is. He essentially has covered opposition defences in honey and kicked them into a beehive.

At the other end of the scale, you’ve got the worry about poor old Leicester. They’ve spent precisely nothing (as of Thursday afternoon, it looks like that might change) and have had the dirty done on them so badly by Wesley Fofana that Alex Neil has rang him up and asked for tips.

In the Championship, it’s all a bit boring really isn’t it? Since 50% of the clubs are seemingly under FFP restrictions, and the other 30% have a wage-to-income ratio of 250%, business is slow. According to Transfermarkt, the highest fee paid is £9.45m by Norwich for midfielder Gabriel Sara - and that’s almost double the next on the list.

Then we have League One where... ah no one cares about that division anymore.

Sunderland v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

News In Brief

  • The jury in Ryan Giggs’ trial has been discharged after failing to reach a verdict. Won’t be commenting on that one then.
  • CAF President Patrice Motsepe has been criticised for visiting the head of the Gabon FA in jail. Pierre-Alain Mounguengui faces up to three years in jail for failing to report sexual abuse within the game - and yet was given a pennant by Motsepe during a trip to Libreville. Wouldn’t think that was too tradeable inside prison.
  • The FA are looking into an incident where a Newcastle United staff member appeared to throw an object at the Liverpool bench following their 2-1 defeat on Wednesday. Rumours are it was the Geordiest of dummies, a Greggs sausage roll.


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