Rantlines: Grant the Nanny, Spurs Show How Not to Hire Managers, Marcus Should Stick to Keeping, Swearing Should be a Two Way Street. Plus More

31 October 2007

Well I owe everyone an apology for not getting up the Liverpool v Arsenal blog as promised last night. However life loves to change just when you look set to have a routine down. For those who haven't heard yet, my old man found out tonight that next Monday he's going for a heart scan and it's looking very likely that open heart bypass surgery within the next three weeks. As I have always done, once I have more information to pass on to you I will but it looks like we're heading to the watershed moment I've been dreading for months. I also have a little bit to tell at the end of this. To those who already know I thank you for your support and for those who don't know...well it's the perfect tease.

It's been a while since I've gotten around to one of these, but the plan for my blogging in the coming months and years to come are (and this is by day)...
Saturday and Sunday: Blogging as many games as humanly possible. Sunday night once the RSS Feeder updates with all the match reports, posting them like I was doing at the end of last season.
Monday: Rantlines from the weekend matches.
Tuesday: Finish off match reviews. To the games I am unable to get to, they will now also get some attention.
Wednesday: If there are Champions League matches going on, I will quickly recap those before hitting the rantlines again. If there aren't any Champions League matches going on, Well it will just be one long night of rants.
Thursday: Match previews that will be included with the EPL Talk Newsletter. It is highly recommended and you can sign up for it here. What will be different from what goes into the newsletter? Well I will be posting what I think the results will be along with why I think so.
Friday: Final set of rants for the week.

Now with that long preview out of the way, let's get on with the rants.
Avram Grant needs to learn one rule rather quickly. If you are saying that you are not there to babysit players, that's exactly what you are doing. Now granted these men are adults, however the last thing they want to be compared to is children. Quotes like "Look, we are talking about professional players. They need to handle everything - we are not baby-sitters of the players." are only going to give the media and other clubs all the ammo they need to just rip your club to shreds. It's the kind of line that could prevent players from coming to you club, and certainly will be used by clubs looking to take players from you. A second rule Grant needs to also quickly learn is would be to not fight battles with players in the court of the press. It's blatant double speak when your are saying your not going to discuss your players in public, yet in the same paragraph discuss matters players have at the moment. Either speak openly, or keep your mouth shut and keep things in house. Trying to play both ends against the middle never works.

If your a manager and looking for a job, would you even consider Tottenham after the way Martin Jol was sacked? How in the hell does it get leaked to the press before you've spoken to the man that he will be let go. And to continue that point, how in the hell do you not tell him directly the second you find out about said leak he is being let go? How would you like to be sitting on the touchline and get a text message from a friend telling you that you have been sacked the second the game is over? That has to be the ultimate betrayal that your own boss doesn't have the balls to tell you that your time has come at the club. And then to the final point, how would you like to know that the second the club isn't satisfied with your results they will start openly flaunting their next appointment? Spurs, congrats on earning every manager's mistrust in the world.
Now let's get on with the new manager Juande Ramos. Boy it must have been some kind of wake up call when you are told to either shape up or get the hell out. It should never be so obvious to someone coming in from the outside that players are not playing to the standard that had gotten them into the UEFA Cup. The manager's first order of business coming in should never be to have to do a double session. The manager's first order of business should be seeing the players being professional about the task at hand, not having to see who has the fitness of a pub league player.

A little note to Reading keeper Marcus Hahnemann, I wouldn't be bothered too much about getting a new contract when your giving up the number of goals in the manner your giving up. Look you just signed a new contract at the end of last season and at 35 years of age, be thankful someone is willing to give you a rolling 1 year contract until the end of 2009. Why are you bothering about getting more money when your allowing 7 goals and 4 goals in games? Yes you can blame the defenders all you want and for the most part they have left you in no mans land, but until you can start helping your club at least secure mid table success (or keeping your side in games like Brad Friedel is doing), shut up about money and play some bloody football. Reading management has publicly stated that they aren't in a rush, and nor should they be.

I am absolutely livid at this one. Referee Danny McDermid has been charged by the FA with swearing at a manager and it looks like he will be getting the Clattenburg/Styles treatment. Yes it is the right thing to do, but why are players not getting booked for dissent or getting retroactive punishment for cursing at these same officials? The last time I checked, players managers and referees are professional, and being able to get your point out in a professional manner should be of the up most importance. If you watch a game of basketball, about 80 percent of the time if the player gets busted cursing at an official, it's an instant technical foul. I honestly feel that if you are caught by the official swearing at them, it should be an instant yellow card no ifs ands or buts about it. The only way this charge will make any sense is if it begins to happen from now on. It's high time these microphones are digitally recorded. At least then players who are swearing can be booked and the evidence picked up. Once these players know they will be booked for swearing at the officials in the same vein the referees are going to get retroactively charged for swearing at players/managers, they will stop faster than a Drogba dive.

Quick Rants:
So Micah Richards has been injured in Manchester City's Carling Cup fixture with Bolton. Not good for England and even worse for Manchester City as Richards has had to cover two positions lately. If Garrido is the best they have at left back, City are going to be set in free fall. Let's hope Richards isn't seriously injured.
So Harry Redknapp is back to his usual tricks? You would think he would learn by now that trying to tap up players is only going to get you in serious trouble.
Gareth Barry gets a testimonial at the age of 26? First off congrats at staying at the club for as long as you have, second off don't ruin it by leaving for another club. Your a rare breed staying at the same club for as long as you have and wouldn't be nice to know you stayed at the same club your whole career to go somewhere else.
I have to give Fernando Torres all the credit in the world. I'm totally shocked he loves sitting most of his games on the bench, then comes in when he isn't at full fitness, and then gets injured again! Look I know your trying to quell the rising tide of people who are slagging off Rafa's rotation policy, but when your injured isn't the best time to be telling the world that everything is peaches and cream.
Carlton Cole, I know you think you finally believe you can live up to the potential everyone knows you have. Just don't go and get yourself injured now.

So to make the announcement I teased at the top. The Third Half Podcast will be debuting very soon. What will The Third Half Podcast be all about? Simplistically it is going to be a bi-weekly no nonsense look at the Barclay's Premier League and beyond. A perfect compliment to the interviews done on the EPL Talk Podcast. So you ask yourself how is this going to be different from other podcasts online? Simple, it's going to be the most honest brunt analysis of the events at the weekend, cutting through the BS to get to the heart of the news, and a look at the other leagues around Europe and Major League Soccer. I would like to thank both Michael and David James for agreeing to being co-hosts on one of the shows and I am looking at one other EPL Talk Community member to be a co-host on the other (could you please send me your email address again). Once everything is in place, I will be announcing a debut date.

That's all the time I have for tonight. Remember all feedback is welcomed and appreciated. May the debate begin~!


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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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