I often wonder how certain individuals get into the position they occupy in the world of football, be it coaches, managers, pundits or ‘expert’ columnists. Often the decisions they make and the words they produce are of such little value that it begs the question of why they are there in the first place. Surely, with the abundance of former players and fans out there, improvements can be made? No?
You have the likes of Steve Claridge on commentary, Paul Parker writing columns on Eurosport, Garth Crooks on the BBC – exactly what is the point of these people? Ever heard them come up with anything insightful, even accurate? And don’t even get me started on Mihir Bose, in his privileged position of BBC sports editor. Is there really no-one better?
But then you look up the food chain, to the boardrooms, and you begin to realise that idiocy filters all the way down from there. How else can you describe the decision to sack two Premiership managers a matter of days after the transfer window shut? Every year it happens, and never has it made sense.
Tony Adams was struggling at Portsmouth, no doubt, but he was forced to sell the likes of Defoe, Diarra, Mendes and Muntari, and was always up against it. Despite this, he seemed to be given time, and was even allowed to bring in a couple of players in January. Yet after just one more game, an admirable and fighting loss to Liverpool at that, he was gone.
Why? Thirteen league games is hardly enough to give him a fighting chance, but chairmen are quick to pull the trigger these days, so in a way that part is not a surprise. But if it was becoming clear that he wasn’t the right man, why wait until just after the transfer window shuts to act? Now the new manager must rescue the situation without the opportunity to make even slight changes, and there are players signed by Adams who a little over a week later are wondering whether they’ve made the right move.
Over to Chelsea, and the continuing saga of ‘who will replace Mourinho?’. The man himself must be chuckling privately to himself – since being sacked his stock has risen with every short reign at Stamford Bridge. Avram Grant was sacked after leading Chelsea to a massive unbeaten league run that almost won them the title, and reaching the Champions League final, and now Scolari has gone after barely unpacking his bags. And he didn’t even start on the back foot as Grant did.
Again though, the new man will have to make do with what he has, and not tap into Abramovich’s fortunes, as the window shut a week ago. They still have no fit wingers (unless you count Malouda, and I don’t, because he’s looking more useless with every passing week), Drogba still doesn’t want to play for them or with Anelka, and they are still an aging side. At least whoever comes in is guaranteed a healthy payoff before Christmas when he is inevitably dismissed.
Abramovich bought his way into the position of power he now occupies, which at least gives him the right to do as he pleases, and explains how someone who makes such strange decisions can be in charge. But the same is not true of the likes of Stan Collymore, who has been employed by the Mirror for a reason I’m yet to fathom. It certainly wasn’t for his intellect, unable to back up his ‘grave doubts’ that Arshavin would turn out to be any good. The irony of Collymore talking about someone failing to live up to their potential seemed to be lost on him.
Football is a world of fools. Would you have it any other way?