Dan’s the man?
Just imagine for a moment that you were the top man at a public company. After 2 or 3 years of relative stability, you decide to dismiss the chief executive and replace him with a continental style management system. Twelve months on, and your favoured trio have made a complete balls up of everything. Productivity is down and worryingly, you are now lagging behind a number of companies that you normally outperform. Chances are that the shareholders to whom you answer would get rid of your appointees and probably you as well. Of course, Daniel Levy doesn’t have to worry about such annoyances. Despite being the man who took the disastrous decision to dismiss Martin Jol, who delivered back to back 5th place finishes in the Premier League, and coming up with the idea of replacing him with Ramos and Poyet with Comolli more powerful than ever as Sporting Director, he remains as chairman of Spurs and managing director of ENIC. Interestingly, the man to who he has turned to save Tottenham’s season, Harry Redknapp, doesn’t hold with many of Levy’s European style ideas. When taking over as manager, ‘Arry made it perfectly clear that he’d be picking the players he wanted at the club and it would be the chairman’s job to go out and buy them. Levy’s grand plans have been removed at a stroke. And there are many in the English game who’ll be thinking about time too.
Doh – Dowie
Iain Dowie’s appointment as manager at QPR was always a strange one. With the club’s mega rich owners and grand plans, Dowie didn’t seem, well for want of a better phrase, sexy enough. And sure enough, 12 games in to the new season, he’s gone. Not good enough apparently. This is despite having a more impressive win ratio with Rangers than with any other club he’d previously managed. Just goes to show that tons of cash can’t buy you common sense or indeed patience. Getting a club out of the Championship isn’t like a qualifying lap in Formula One – it doesn’t happen in a matter of seconds. It takes time, dedication and planning. Messrs Briatore and Ecclestone might just have to get used to that.
Kiss me quick
What is all the fuss over players kissing their shirts and club badges? What’s the argument – that it incites rival fans? Absolute tosh. Everyone in the game knows that modern players are over paid mercenaries who have about as much loyalty to their fellow man as a female black widow spider after a bunk up. It’s an empty gesture, to find favour with their own fans, nothing else. As for the opposing mugs on the terraces, you’d imagine for instance, that Everton supporters might have guessed by now that Wayne Rooney isn’t one of the family any more after he left the club, joined another one, took to wearing a red shirt not a blue one and insists on helping his new side beat his old one a lot. Do they really only get it when he kisses the Man Utd badge?
It’s ridiculous for Joey Barton to speak at this stage about becoming a role model for kids, not matter how surprisingly eloquent his interview was when he came up with the idea. He’s done far too many bad things in his career to even begin to go down that road. But, and boy it’s a big but, if he keeps his nose clean, stays off the booze, ditches the unsavoury hangers-on, delivers on the field and keeps his fists to himself for the next 3 or 4 years, then people might just start listening to him. Everyone deserves a second chance. This Barton’s fourth or fifth. If he takes it, it just might become one of the most incredible stories the game has ever known.