Not missing you
Roy Keane was a fabulous player who dragged Manchester United to some stunning results by virtue of his immense presence and demands of perfection. But it should also be remembered that he was a snarling menace to referees who treated red cards and suspensions as an occupational hazard, walked out on his Country during a World Cup and on one particular occasion, went out to deliberately injure another player. On becoming manager at Sunderland he is said to have ruled by fear and when the going got tough, he quit by text message. That probably explains why the Irishman was described in one paper this week as ‘a brilliant footballer but revolting human being’. Keane may be loved by the football glitterati and TV pundits who seem to be able to forgive even the most serious transgressions but if he never surfaces in the game again, I’d suggest that there won’t be too many people laying awake worrying about him.
Incy Wincy talent
Paul Ince suggests that there is a vendetta against former Manchester United players who’ve become managers in the Premier League. He’s dead right when arguing that his managerial talents in the top flight shouldn’t be judged on just 16 games but as for a vendetta I’m not so sure. The harsh reality is that fans don’t like watching their sides playing poorly and getting beat. That’s why he and Roy Keane (whilst still in charge of Sunderland) have copped it from the terraces and the media. With games coming up against the likes of Stoke, Sunderland and Manchester City, Ince has the perfect opportunity to buy himself some time and get the boo boys off his back. But anything less than a couple of wins and all talk of vendetta’s will be irrelevant as you can’t have a campaign against a man no longer in a job.
It’s a funny old game
There must be very few industries where failure to perform is rewarded with a better job. But hats off to Juande Ramos who has procured one of the best gigs in the game. After leading Spurs to their worst ever start since their inception, he was given the heave-ho in October and yet turns up in charge of Spanish giants Real Madrid less than 2 months later. It should be remembered that Ramos first came to Spurs’ attention after leading Seville to back to back Uefa Cup wins and doubtless he’ll feel more comfortable back home in Spain. And should he turn round Madrid’s ailing season, what would that tell us about Ramos’s abilities as a manager, the state of the game in Spain or, perhaps more importantly, the ‘immediate success culture’ of the Premier League?
There’s been a lot written this week that players are fair game to be booed because they earn tons of cash, drive a round in big cars and go out with surgically enhanced WAG’s. Pish. Players are booed as an act of intimidation by opposing supporters and sheer frustration by fans of their own team. Did Emmanuel Eboue get a fair crack of the whip when he came off the bench against Wigan? Probably not. But by all accounts he wasn’t playing all that well and having been charged a kings ransom to get through the turnstiles, the Arsenal supporters were making their feelings known. Short term it worked, they got their way and Eboue was removed from the action. Long term it won’t do the player, his team mates, the manager or the club as a whole any good at all. But supporters being a fickle lot, a goal line clearance in his next game or winning goal at the other end and he’ll be back in the good books once again and all will be forgotten. At least until his next clanger.