Friday, 21 September 2007

Out in the cold

JJ here,

We need to talk about Jose….

Well, it was this or talk about Stephen ‘Daddy Dick’ Ireland which wasn’t really going to stretch much beyond slagging him off for being sad enough to be on Bebo. So here goes.

There’ s any number of things that could happen from here (not with Daddy Dick but with Jose) and Sky Sports News, the BBC, Football365 and every broadsheet have been wetting themselves over what will become of Chelsea and Mourinho in the coming weeks, months and years.

In amongst the mess there is one certainty. Despite the talk of many of the players, we can be fairly sure there will be no mass exodus. Lampard might go and we would all thank the heavens if he went to Spain or Italy and finally got found out for the fundamentally flawed midfielder we all know he is. But otherwise?

Essien; Malouda; Drogba, Cole(s), SWP and more? Nah, these guys have contracts far too large for most clubs to take them on; even sides like the Milans or Real Madrid would struggle to prise them away. In any case, players, as Johnny Giles always points out, are fickle creatures. If they are picked they will play, they will be happy and they will throw their “full support” behind the new manager.

Even if Avram Grant proves to be the “muppet” that the Chelsea fans who staged a protest at Stamford Bridge last night think he is, these players won’t leave. A top class coach will be brought in if the season goes pear-shaped and before you know it, the players will talk about how they’ve “always wanted to work under Capello/Rijkaard/Hiddink/Klinsmann”. John Terry – at Chelsea since he was a ball boy there – won’t leave the club either.

As for Mourinho being on the open market, I had a bit of an odd thought and one that no doubt will raise a few eyebrows. I actually think this could bring excellent pressure on Alex Ferguson and Rafa Benitez in particular. Okay he might take charge of Portugal for a while, or maybe some Italian club, but while Mourinho may not plan to return to England, he may be tempted in the coming years.

Think about this, what if Rafa Benitez wins nothing this year? A second or third place finish and out before the semis of the Champions League (which is about as much as most expect anyway). How much patience would the American owners have when there is a manager who has won the Premiership out there waiting for a new job? Even Ferguson might feel the pressure.

Okay, it’s far more unlikely than Rafa, but United’s ‘hardcore’ booed Fergie off the pitch only 18 months ago against Blackburn when reports of his demise filled as many columns as Jose is now. Nothing won this year, a bad start to next for United; it’s not outside the realms of possibility. Matt Busby and Alf Ramsey are two famous examples of managers who thought they would decide when they would leave only for the crowds to turn against them. Brian Clough decided when he would leave Forest… and did so once they were relegated.

With Mourinho available and with the general feeling towards him being grudging respect, were he appointed at either United or Liverpool I can’t see too many protests. It happened it Italy whenever Fabio Capello decided he wanted to leave a club – going to Roma and Juve after AC Milan – so why not now?

On a final note, the news that Roman Abramovich might have more of a say in team selection also guarantees some funny moments for the rest of the season. For one, we now know that Chelsea will have two up front every time Drogba and Shevchenko are fit and while it might not become as bad as things are at Hearts, a chairman running a team will never end in a good way. Let the madness begin.

There’s a possibility of a podcast tomorrow though it depends on how well we feel after getting absolutely mangled tonight with a few mates. We’ll be watching Ireland’s glorious exit from the egg chasing world cup so will have to drown the sorrows. If not, we’ll be back into the swing of things come next Thursday.


Anonymous said...

20 million to just stop doing your's a completely alien world

JJ said...

Madness, how feckin bad did they want him gone? I'd say Jol will end up with a free kit and some HMV vouchers at best.

Anonymous said...

What'll Stan end up with(or is this just wishfulthinking that Delaney 'll bite the bullet)? A copy of Management for dummies and a spot in celebrity big brother.

JJ said...

Six pack of King (Tayto for Bobby as he's "world class") and a debut stand up gig at next year's FAI awards.

Stan: "Why did the RTE pundit cross the road?"
Crowd: "We dunno"
Stan: "You tell me."

Insert tumbleweed here... still though he'll be in a development period, so give him four years and he'll get it right surely.

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