Hi, Paul Blake here again with another look at the past week in the crazy world of football.
In this week’s edition of ‘Blake’s 7’ I argue why Harry Redknapp should not become the next England manager, explain why Luis Suarez should have been booked before kick-off at Old Trafford and explain why McCarthy’s sacking at Wolves is taking the ‘Mick’!
Hold on to your hats; it’s about to get controversial!
No Hurry to Name ‘Harry’ as Next England Boss
The FA should delay the appointment of a new England boss until the end of the season, that’s if they are to make an informed and wise decision about who is the best candidate.
If hindsight is a wonderful thing, then foresight must be even more wonderful. Let’s take a look at who has achieved the most with the least resources, if we are going to select the best man for the job.
First to the English managers, can anyone really argue that Redknapp has outperformed Roy Hodgson on a results v resources basis this season? I doubt it. But then, would we prefer to play in a more pragmatic manner against the World’s best, as we did under Capello (and no doubt would under Hodgson) or go out in a more naïve English blood and thunder style as we did under Keegan and perhaps would again under Harry?
Redknapp’s record is not nearly as impressive as his supporters are making it out to be. A losing manager in an FA Cup Semi-Final in 2010, with a strong Spurs side, against a struggling (almost bankrupt) Portsmouth seems to be forgotten as is the growing wage bill at White Hart Lane, whilst relegations with both Southampton and Bournemouth appear to be overlooked by all those wishing to see Harry in the job.
Two top flight, non-English, managers better suited for the job could arguably be Brendan Rodgers and Paul Lambert who have done excellent jobs at Swansea and Norwich respectively. Both have worked with minimal resources and got the best out of them in the Premier League. Ferguson, Wenger and Pardew should all be ruled out on the basis that they have good resources to draw on and achieve just about what is expected with their clubs.
Perhaps the FA will look further afield to the likes of Gus Hiddink or Jose Mourinho, both of whom would do a much better job than the East-Ender with the cockney swagger and the rosy cheeks.
The fan’s favourite and media darling, Harry Redknapp, is not the best candidate for the England job. I won’t need the benefit of hindsight to prove me right on that score!
Suarez actions ‘ungentlemanly conduct’
Luis Suarez’s rebuke of the hand offered by Patrice Evra was simply ‘ungentlemanly conduct’ and as a result he should have received at the very least a yellow card. It was also a statement of intent by the Uruguayan whose actions spoke far louder than the words written for him in the weak apology that followed.
The implication of his refusal to shake hands with Evra was that he refuses to accept that he has done anything wrong by using the word ‘negro’ to refer to the United left-back. It also implies that he is not prepared to play the game in the right spirit and that he blames Evra for the subsequent eight match ban that he received.
I would like to see players booked for refusing to shake hands before the match and for other actions that could be deemed ‘ungentlemanly conduct’ such as waving imaginary cards on the pitch and cheating.
McCarthy’s Sacking is Taking the ‘Mick’
Perspective is a strange thing in sport and the board at Wolverhampton Wanderers has lost all sense of it.
The expectation for Wolves at the beginning of the season must have been to avoid relegation, and the board will have known that the club would be in another relegation dog-fight in May.
Why then have they made this silly decision to sack the man that got them back into the Premier League and has kept them up there for consecutive seasons?
The answer is simple: it is the unrealistic and unachievable increased expectations of the fans and the board. The club is a poor Premier League club at best and a very good Championship club at worst. Unless there is a massive financial investment and Wolves increase their wage bill significantly, then this will always be the case.
For the size of their club, Wolves are doing fine. Unlike Portsmouth, who risked everything for a sniff of the big time, the financial health of the club appears to be good and like WBA they play their football regularly in the Premier League.
A relegation battle seems a terrible prospect in the short term when most fans can recall the glory days when Andy Gray was knocking them in and George Berry bossed midfield like a marauding Smokey Robinson, but to be honest those days are distant memories and the football world is much changed.
Whilst Wolves’ great history should see them playing regularly in the top division, football doesn’t work that way.
Sacking big Mick, reminds me of Charlton sacking Alan Curbishley back in the ‘naughties’ and look what happened to them! Wolves fans and their board should be careful about what they wish for.
Blackburn flattened by an Ox
The Oxlade-Chamberlain v Theo Walcott debate will no doubt rear its head this week following the former’s great performance against Blackburn last Saturday.
The ‘Ox’ has demonstrated that he is ready to challenge, not only for Walcott’s Arsenal place, but for his England spot too.
I continue to argue that Walcott should be played as an out-and-out striker in a side that could accommodate the pair of them.
By Paul Blake