There are some of us who feel it is madness to award this season’s Champions League final to Rome when AS Roma are playing in the competition. Although, to be fair, it’s par for the course in the great tradition of Uefa decisions. For a start, if they get to the final they’ll have a huge advantage. Secondly, the fans in Rome, or at least a significant number of them, are violent and disrespectful and don’t deserve to get to see such a big game in their own back yard. And thirdly…….oh hang on. Roma have just been beaten at home by Romanian minnows CFR Cluj-Napoca who were playing third tier football as recently as 7 years ago. Perhaps Uefa aren’t as bonkers as we all believe as on this form, Roma might not get out of the group let alone to the final.
Red rage Guthrie
We can argue about the rights and wrongs of John Terry winning his red card appeal till we are blue in the face, but the simple fact is that if he’d have lost, Terry would have been forced to sit on the sidelines for the same amount of time as Danny Guthrie. How on earth can that be right? Terry’s foul was ‘professional’ for sure but as for being ‘serious foul play’, well not even the appeals board agreed with the ref on that one. Whilst an apologetic Guthrie may not have planned for the result of his challenge, his assault on Craig Fagan was premeditated and committed with malice aforethought. Fagan is now out for 3 months with a broken leg and, in what is a perfect opportunity for the Premier League to make the punishment fit the crime, that is exactly how long Guthrie should be banned for.
Still in the North East, having made enquiries as to the particulars of the Newcastle United sale, we can now pass on some of the requirements the club are looking for in their new owner. Any potential candidate:
Must be on a sound financial footing and understanding of the locals.
Anyone' know any mega rich Geordies with £481 million in change? No, thought not.
Must agree that Kevin Keegan will be re-hired as manager on the day of purchase.
Even when most experts and commentators will tell you that, lovely bloke though he is, Kevin is out of touch with the demands of modern day football.
Must use the phrase ‘we are a big club’ at every opportunity.
Though everyone in the game, not on Tyneside, knows that they’re not.
Must continue to refer to Alan Shearer as a Toon Legend.
Even though Shearer has, quite rightly, been as critical of the club as most other people.
Must be off their rocker to get involved.
No comment required on that one.
One arm Ramos
It’s hard not to feel sorry for Juande Ramos with Spurs currently languishing at the bottom of the table having taken 1 point from the opening 4 games. Mind you, the question that must be asked is this: Is it really the fault of the Spanish coach? And the answer is probably not. OK, he’s the one on the training ground, setting out tactics and formations and he’s the one on the touchline barking out orders. But crucially, he’s not the one in the boardroom deciding who to buy and sell. Spurs may have landed Luka Modric, Roman Pavlyuchenko and David Bentley but they’ve lost Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane who scored 30 league goals between them last season. And all on the say-so of Director of Football Damien Comolli. When are club owners going to get it? If you employ a high profile coach, give him the ammunition to do things his way. Why tie one arm behind his back? Is it really so complicated? Indeed, here’s a new phrase for you: ‘Those who can, coach. Those who can’t become Director’s of Football’.