Dead Men Walking

By , Posted on 22nd February 2012 - Posted in: Football News, News

Buses are like women. You wait ages for one to come along, then when it does you can’t climb on board unless you’ve got the right money. Or something. No, hang on, it’s people and buses isn’t it? Oh I don’t know. You get what I mean though. Something’s like something else and nothing happens for ages and then loads of it happens all at once. Like women, or people. On buses that all turn up together.

Ok, start again.

The top Premiership clubs change their managers as often as my local bus driver changes his miserable expression, that is, very rarely. Yes, that’s what I was trying to say. But guess what? My driver was smiling this morning. And he’s had a shave. It can mean only one thing. An unprecedented period of turmoil threatens to engulf the Premier League’s big boys this summer. Bosses are going to get fired (that’s bosses,not busses).

Well not all bosses. The Spurs’ boss is getting hired, not fired. It seems ‘Arry’s a shoe-in for the Ingerland job. Even if Spurs claim a top four spot, or mother of all miracles the title itself, is there anyone out there who doesn’t believe the gaffer won’t be donning an FA blazer at this summer’s Euros? (joke I heard – ‘Arry’s happy to take on the Euros, as long as they’re delivered in unmarked, used notes).

We can accept the odd managerial vacancy is always likely to pop up in the top echelon, particularly while Roman Abramovich pulls the strings at Chelsea (and doesn’t Andres Villas Boas look increasingly like the archetypal ‘dead man walking’?), but Spurs, Chelsea and … well, Arsenal too? Hmm.

Arsene Wenger’s star appears to be rapidly on the wane, wallowing as he is in a sea of delusion about  the unholy mess he’s been concocting at the Emirates. Whatever it is it’s not what Gooners have been promised, that’s for sure. Years of indulgence in a policy of nurturing young talent have just yielded a seventh consecutive season without a pot to piss in. Revisionist levels about what exactly constitutes success in today’s game have surely plumbed new depths with Arsene’s declaration this week that ‘finishing fourth is as good as winning a trophy’. Er, frankly, if you’re an Arsenal fan, it’s not Arsene. Will he be given a specially minted trophy if Arsenal beat Spurs next weekend?

How did it get to the point where an urbane, sophisticated French intellectual looks like a jaded old blagger alongside Harry Redknapp?

And what of Liverpool? I wrote in my last blog entry that Kenny Dalglish’s position, in the wake of the gooey mess that is the Luis Suarez affair, must surely be considered ‘difficult’. I suspect success in delivering a cup or two will smooth out any problems the American owners may have with him, but even so. One more miscalculation and it could be curtains. Or am I the only one who thinks Kenny may actually walk away in the summer? I mean, does he need all this hassle?

Throw in the clinical ambition of Manchester City‘s Arab owners – who surely won’t tolerate missing out on the title this year no matter what – and it’s fair to say we could have a right managerial merry-go-round this summer. Would any of us expect Roberto Mancini to still be in the job next season if he screws this up now? Only Sir Alex at Man United looks secure, and even he’s just announced that he’ll be off in a few more years.

The only other manager at the right end of the table who has any right to feel comfortable right now is Alan Pardew at Newcastle. Even there, the owner’s track record suggests a mental episode of some kind may well be imminent and when Mike Ashley blows he blows big. I wouldn’t be laying down too many roots in the north-east if I was in that job (and by the time you read this I might be in the job. I’m one of the few who hasn’t had a go yet).

Buses. You can’t live with ’em and you can’t live without ’em. Or is it women, or is it bosses? Whatever. I’ll be keeping an eye on my driver tomorrow for more clues.

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