Monday, 4 February 2008

Stantastic Logic at Work

"I'm the boss, I'm the gaffer and at the end of the day what I say goes." Steve Staunton. Fool of a gaffer.

Well I hope y’all have underfloor heating cos it looks like hell just froze over. Does that even make sense? To be honest, I don’t care, because in a world where Steve Staunton can find a new job nothing makes sense. Leeds United fans if you thought the club had seen lows before – relegation, fish tank controversies, Brian Deane, Dennis ‘OompaLoompaLumpityDoo’ Wise – today truly proves that if there is a god then he hates you. He really hates you. He hates you so much that Stan is your new assistant manager. A horrible fate indeed.

Stan has made himself very busy today; fresh from getting his first job in club management that stretched beyond lining up cones and giving out bibs, he’s started to slag off possible new Irish manager Giovanni Trapattoni. Plenty of news outlets have centered on the differences in both men’s management records (Trapattoni’s fantastic; Stan ‘did the double’ over San Marino) but to me the greatest piece of tosh in amongst the former Irish gaffer’s quotes came with the idea that ‘we Irish are something a little bit different’ as a reason why Traps couldn’t manage us.

How are we different Stan? Are we unique in that Irish players only understand a high-tempo long ball game? Because that’s all you thought of them in the away games against Slovakia and the Czech Republic anyway. Back when Shay Given was repeatedly asked to hit Kevin Kilbane on the head for someone to run on to. When it didn’t work the first ten times Stan, what were your instructions? ‘Well sure, they’ll hardly expect us to do it again the second half will they?’ Genius. Stone cold genius.

Do the Irish understand how to outfox a Welsh central midfield containing a Championship player and some dude from the MLS? Apparently not, that’s why you played two holding midfielders against Wales at Croke Park. A mighty intellect this man, mighty.

What about the myths off the field? That we like a pint? Certainly we do, but Robbie Keane scored 31 goals in the last calendar year while treading a fine dietary line at Spurs. He scored four goals in the entire qualification series for Euro 2008; three against San Marino at home and one in the pointless group finale against Wales where Don Givens brazenly used only one holding midfielder. The cheek of it Stan; but sure at least Keane and everyone else could have a pint when you were manager.

Whatever Stan ‘understands’ about the Irish players led to shambolic training sessions with him huffing and puffing in practice games. It led to tactical incoherence and column writers stumped at finding words for each new low for Irish football. That Trapattoni might make the players understand there’s a better way of doing things might just be beneficial you’d have to think. Can’t see a defence that he sends out conceding six to Cyprus over two games.

Staunton also slagged off the Italian’s knowledge of our players and their talents, or "what they're all about" as he puts it. Is this the Steve Staunton who played Andy Keogh – a striker – at right wing; Steve Finnan – a right back – at left back; John O’Shea every bloody where; Joey O’Brien – a full back – as the midfield anchor; not to mention Kevin Kilbane as a centre forward when San Marino were level with us in injury time?

It really is hard to sum up my lack of respect for Stan when it comes to management; how could anyone have an ounce of it for him after Ireland’s glib showings in the last qualifying tournament? His tetchiness and frankly irritating assumption that the crowd was on his side rather than that of the press was also disgraceful. It wasn’t about sides; we all knew you were doing a terrible job Stan. The press anxiety in every column was due to Staunton’s ineptitude, not some paranoid agenda. Let’s face it, all the press had to report was his feeble mumblings and idiotic decision making. That was damning enough without any window dressing.
Stan is a small man. A small petty man. Bloody hell, thinking about it, he might just fit Leeds like a glove. But now, alas, as I write, it seems Trapattoni will stay in Austria and Billy Davies is one of the favourites for the Ireland job. Dark times all round, particularly for Irish Leeds fans.

Later folks, JJ

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Craptown Dave said...

Leave Stan alone you bully.

JJ said...

Craptown dave I am not a bully, I am a vessel of truth. And a judgemental heavy drinker. But mainly a vessel of truth.

Mark said...

JJ - you're a vessel of something alright....