Frenchman Damien Comolli is expected to receive his marching orders very soon after Spurs’ appalling start to the season. The club’s Sporting Director (no, I haven’t got a clue what that means either) is set to offered up as the sacrificial lamb as coach Juande Ramos is barely 12 months in to a 4 year contract at a cost of £4 million a year. Getting rid of him would be mighty costly. Amazingly, even if Comolli does meet his Waterloo, it’s reported that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is keen to keep a two-tier management system in place, although the job title of Sporting Director may be changed. To what I wonder? Superfluous Director? Executive in charge of letting all our best players go to other clubs? Chief Executive with special responsibility for signing tat? Martin Jol was none to happy with the Tottenham hierarchy in his time as coach at White Hart Lane and now it’s the very same set-up which is doing no favours for the under fire Ramos. When will Levy learn that while a system may work on the continent, simply hiring continental personnel is nowhere near the same.
Harry Redknapp was bang on when he described the Aston Villa ‘fan’ as a moron for injuring the assistant ref in the Villa v Portsmouth game at the weekend. First off, there’s no place in the game for such idiots and if the Midlands club discover his / her identity, they should be banned from Villa Park for life. Secondly, in the current financial climate, who the hell can afford to chuck away 50p?
Last week it was the poisonous Jeff Powell in the Daily Mail having a go and now Sir Bobby Robson, writing for the same paper, has weighed in with his opinion on the David Beckham ‘cameo caps’ affair. Robson, who this column has tremendous respect for, suggests that international caps are easier to win these days (they are) and that Beckham is no Bobby Moore (whose record of 108 caps he’s approaching) or Bobby Charlton (whose record he equalled the other week). But, can you remember Beckham ever publicly stating that he’s the equal of these two greats of the game? No, nor can I. Powell, meanwhile, had another pop this week arguing that Fabio Capello is simply indulging Beckham. I would argue that if a coach picks a squad and then asks a player to do a job, for no matter how short a time, it is Capello who is indulging himself. And with 4 wins out of 4 in competitive matches, who are we to find fault? Capello is doing his job as best as he sees fit and so for that matter is David Beckham.
What a cracking Champions League game last night. A full stadium of noisy and hostile Turkish fans, Fenerbahce straining at the leash to get at their English opponents and a young Arsenal side keen to show off their attacking and counter-attacking prowess. Chances galore, 7 goals, fantastic atmosphere and a tremendous advert for the game as a whole. Shame really that the match was hidden away on ITV 4. On the main channel, ITV’s bosses had decided to go with Manchester United (yawn), at home (yawn) against an under strength Celtic side (yawn, yawn). United barely got out of third gear and strolled to a 3 – 0 victory. With their hugely impressive European record at Old Trafford, there was about as much chance of a close encounter or upset last night as there is of Wayne Rooney replacing Daniel Craig as James Bond. Of course, live football is a ratings game which is why ITV always show United when given the chance. But in entertainment terms, there was only one game that deserved top billing last night. By the way, the commentators on ITV 4 were Peter Drury and David Pleat with Matt Smith and Robbie Earle in the studio. Their performances were like the game – exciting, pacey and fun. Meanwhile, their colleagues on ITV 1 produced a display that matched the game they were watching….very dull and all too familiar.