Thursday, 8 January 2015

Various topical football ramblings!

So Newcastle, after four years of Alan Pardew's glorious leadership, are finally in that no-mans-land of caretaker-ship, with John Carver trying to emulate Garry Monk. In fairness, Monk seamlessly carried on from the good work of both Michael Laudrup and Brendan Rodgers, with Carver doing a pretty good Pardew impression himself so far. All is well!

Back in reality, Remi Garde and Christophe Galtier are among the managers on the Ashley hitlist, with Graham Carr's French fetish seemingly extending to managers. I keep saying managers, my bad - Head Coach. It can at least be applauded, the honesty. After seasons of speculation and Pardew working with tied hands, in a way this is a step forward. Any new incumbent knows exactly what they are in for. I've always thought that a decent coach would have done far better, and this is hopefully the time where that "wisdom" can be backed up.

In other French news, Arsene Wenger has finally buckled and signed a defensive midfielder. What's that you say, he's 17? Not to worry, he'll fit right in. One can only hope that Krystian Bielik is a titan beyond his tender years, as the Gunners sorely need some defensive steel. Or any kind of steel. At 6 ft 2, it's a good start, although the niggling feeling remains that this will be a signing for a future Arsenal manager to benefit from, either via a massive sell-on fee, or the maturing of a hopefully crucial piece of the title-challenging jigsaw.

The tearful Steven Gerrard eulogy is in full swing, with Scousers up and down the land spewing forth gushing words of the time where he walked on water, before turning this water into wine, drinking it, and beating up a man outside a nightclub on CCTV. In that order. It seems conveniently forgotten that, while he has contributed some useful goals this season, most of them were either from the penalty spot or the various free-kick spots (not to knock those spectacular occurances). Gerrard is worth remembering and appreciating, as he enters the Elvis stage of his career in LA, but Brendan Rodgers should see this as an opportunity to finally open up a key spot in a midfield that has been severely lacking in energy at times this season. If he even survives the season and summer.

As Ched Evans continues on his merry way around the various lower division clubs, cap in hand, Oldham are the latest club to tell him, yes, then 80% maybe, then no. Leaving aside the moral quagmire of whether he should be allowed to play football for a living again, surely Oldham in particular should have known what they were getting themselves into. That their board of directors/management thought their fanbase would be any more forgiving than that of Evans' former club was naive, to say the least. It is unforgivable that those board of directors, and one of their daughters, were threatened in quite explicit terms, but it should never have been brought to that stage. A word of advice to any club thinking of signing Evans - do it 100% behind closed doors, announce it, and live by the consequences. To invite public speculation into the matter will see the same sorry saga rumble on and on.

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