26 October 2008

All of a sudden I felt brushed by the wings of something dark

What can one say but - whoa. I mean, who saw that one coming? Something had to be done, of course, but seriously, Portsmouth - Sam Allardyce?

At least that's according to goal.com, about whose trustworthiness in this kind of story I know nothing. (Five Live did mention it as well, though.) If true, expect the average quality level per Premier League team to dip shortly. More importantly, it means Arsenal will have one more bogey team. At least Sam will no longer be on the ITV settee playing Sancho Panza to Andy Townsend's Don Quixote as the latter makes a fearless attack on officials who apply the offside rule properly. He's going to have to go back to displaying his ignorance of the rules in post-match press conferences like a normal manager.

Portsmouth's desperate, inexplicable pursuit of Allardyce has had far-reaching consequences: poor old Arry Redknapp has been sensationally forced of Portsmouth. Luckily, a vacancy had opened up more or less simultaneously over at Tottingham, allowing AR to miraculously save yet another team from from relegation.

Actually, this is truly terrible news because it turns Wednesday night's Arsenal-Spurs game into a particularly fraught one for the Gunners. They may suffer from the effects on Tottenham of New Manager Bounce as Spurs' emaciated waifs try and impress their new boss. In this scenario, David Bentley scores a 30-yard screamer in stoppage time to inflict upon Arsenal their first north London derby defeat in the league since before the Napoleonic War, and Arsenal will be left to concentrate on preparing for their agonising defeat in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Even if Arsenal win, even if they thrash Spurs, it won't be quite as satisfying as it could have been. If only Daniel Levy could have restrained himself for just a few more days, it could have been Arsenal delivering the final blow to the Ramos era. All he's gone and done is spoil the fun.

Worst of all, it has made my Sideshow Bob analogy pretty much redundant. Does Levy not read this blog?

The whole episode does have one happy result though: it has condemned the director of football concept to the bin. It's bad enough having the continentals - your Spaniards, your Frenchies, your Argies - flooding the English game with their diving and whinging and impeccable technical ability. But the attempts to do away with the good ol' English-style manager have been a step too far. If these "modernisers" had their way, we'd all be buying straight bananas by the keelo-whatsit in pavement garlic cafés from snooty waiters wearing berets who only accept those ridiculous Brussels banknotes with pictures of ugly bridges on them which they probably only got the chance to build because Britain rescued them in the War. Ooray for Arry!

Barely believable Flickr image by dgolfrabbit.


Rob Marrs 26/10/08 8:49 PM  


Thanks for the comment over at leftback. I'm not sure that Harry is a good appointment for Spurs... he might keep them up but I'm not sure that, in the long-term, this will help Spurs. They need someone to stay, have the confidence to build a squad and mould the club in their etc. Harry won't do that - it isn't in his nature and he's too old.



Fredorrarci 27/10/08 11:46 PM  

I think that's a very good point and not one I'm sure I've heard raised yet (which is kind of understandable given Spurs' short-term problems), apart from on today's cartoon at Studs Up.

Someone on the Guardian's football podcast brought up the matter of how Redknapp amiable dealings with the media may have coloured their judgement of his abilities (the Venables Effect, I believe it's called). I'm yet to be fully persuaded either way on this.

As a paranoid Gooner, though, my views on Spurs are probably not to be relied upon as objective analysis. I'm dreading Wednesday night...

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