So Liverpool dropped points against West Brom last night which certainly made for comical viewing. That’s pretty much put them out of contention of being in contention for the top four. It’s a straight fight between Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs for top four (say it quietly, maybe City are in the pack as well). There’s 5 points in it, which I find absolutely incredible considering how bad our season has been so far.
Chelsea are the major disappointment of the season after shelling out a huge amount on some seriously top talent. It just goes to show, if you don’t have someone worthwhile steering the ship, it doesn’t matter how talented the sailors are, you’re going nowhere fast.
A very homo-erotic pre-breakfast analogy for you there…
Arsenal have a bit of an interesting run coming up. Aston Villa is the easiest game we’ll have for a while after Bayern… then the points have to start rolling in. Spurs, Everton and Swansea are must wins… if we make 3 points happen in those games, I’m pretty confident we can make top four this season. Whatever you want to say about Arsene Wenger, he’s usually pretty capable of digging out form when it matters. It’ll be a truly flat achievement if we do make top four because Arsene will feel vindicated that he’s done a terrific job and we’ll face another summer of zero squad tinkering.
Still, I’d rather we made the top four than didn’t. Once you’re out of the elite list of clubs, things become very tough. Look at the scousers… at least our constant transition keeps us in the top four. They’re nowhere at the moment. That doesn’t mean Rodgers won’t get it right at some point, but it does mean Liverpool are unlikely to see a decent European away match until at least 2015.
David Villa has been admitted to hospital in Spain for nephritic colic infection. That’s not what happens when you make love to a roadside animal carcus, that’s what happens when someone posh has kidney stones. Poor guy… he’ll be in a lot of pain… because there is only one way those bad boys come out and it’s not surgery!
In other, more horrible news, Patrick Vieira has been linked with the possibly vacant Manchester City job this summer. I can’t quite believe a club with their resource would opt to make a man of zero management experience their manager. I mean, sure, he’s an inspirational guy, but football management isn’t as simple as picking a side and making a rousing speech. I’d be surprised, but this is football and City, so you can’t rule anything out.
Picking a manager these days is a very tough thing to do. You either go with the established names that come with guaranteed success… your Louis Van Gaal’s, Jose Mourinho’s or Fabio Capello’s… or you opt for someone young, talented with big ideas. I’d imagine if Arsenal replaced Wenger, they’d most likely opt for young and talented. If you make superstars out of players, the chances of you not wanting to do that with a manager is low. I’d imagine someone like Jurgen Klopp would be high on the agenda… however, I have been told he can’t speak English. If Michael Laudrup is still pushing Swansea in the right direction when the time comes, I’d struggle to see past him if we were going to take a chance. He has a reputation big enough to command the respect of any player in the world, he has a great understanding of technology, fitness and tactics… and he has a face that fits a club looking to move to the next level.
People worry that Ivan Gazidis won’t be able to make that decision when it comes to the crunch. For me, I absolutely think he’d be able to make an accurate shot at the next manager. I think he’s been made to look stupid over the past 5 years by Arsene. He has no power, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a brain. That doesn’t mean he won’t do a thorough study into the market when it comes to bringing the next man in. You don’t need to be a footballer to spot talent. How many of the great football writers have played the game? Hardly any. No one ever says… ‘what The Times needs is more footballers writing articles’… quite the opposite. Why would you want Nial Quinn presiding over the next manager? You need people who can look beyond the very basics. I think you need a business style decision. Not a gut feel football decision.
Anyway, that’s my two pennies… and I’m always right.
Have a great day, see you tomorrow for more of the same!