Rantlines: New Managers, Grant Needs to Keep Mouth Shut, Benetiz in Glorious Backtrack, Jose for England, And More

28 November 2007

First off I would like to apologize for not finishing the match reviews as scheduled. Sometimes life gets in the way of a good plan, plus the fact that one cannot live off VCR tapes forever. Hopefully in the very near future I'll have a DVR where I can store all of the games off TV for quick and easy viewing. Then after the new year, it's after securing a laptop. Hopefully everything comes in due season.

Onto the first topic of the day obviously being two new managers appointed over the course of the American overnight. In what has to be one of the biggest boneheaded decisions ever from an international manager, Alex McLeish left the Scotland post...for the comfort of Birmingham City. The excuse, the Premier League being too much of a lure to get back into club management. I'm sorry but I'm calling balderdash on this one. McLeish, do you not realize you could have gifted any club job right now after the dramatic turnaround you performed with the Scottish National Team? It also seems to me that when your bosses reject a 700,000 pound approach that it isn't the best time in the world to be quitting the job your doing in the first place. Your also taking over a club that is only one point away from the drop zone at present and with the way the bottom eight looks right now, you could be in for the fight of you life...just to keep the lure of Premier League football alive. Bottom line McLeish is you could have cherry picked your next job in club football and the fact you rushed into Birmingham City's job tells me that your heart was never in it as manager of Scotland, and that is simply a bloody shame. Tradition can only get you so far.
The other appointment this morning comes from Pride Park, in that Paul Jewell has agreed to take on yet another daunting task that could see him in an early grave (or at least with more gray hairs), the Derby County job. The man who kept Bradford City and Wigan in the Premier League has been given the task of keeping Derby in the Premier League one more season. If there was any man in the country, if not the globe, that could give Derby County any shout of staying up, it's Jewell. There's just something to the man that gives players belief that the impossible is truly possible. And let's face it, if Derby stay up from the start they have had, it's going to be Jewell's finest hour. Say what you want about Bradford City's great escape, but this Derby County side has never looked Premier League standard. Paul Jewell though at least will be tactically savvy enough to know that if they go zonal at the back they won't be conceding goals, and if they play with the pride and passion they did in the second half against Chelsea, the relegation dogfight could yet again be the story of this Barclays Premier League campaign.

Avram Grant simply amazes me at times. I know Jose Mourinho said some weird things to invoke reactions from the media, but this one from Grant takes the cake. I want anyone to please explain this quote to me ""I don't blame the players for questioning the referee because the decision was unfair. The players did it in the right way by going to the referee...The FA need to be a bit more reasonable. I'm thinking about speaking to the FA but I want to do it in a positive way. We need to do something. For 30 seconds they said something and then the game continued. What's wrong with that?" WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT, YOU HAVE THE GALL TO ASK WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT? Where would you like me to begin Grant, the fact that it's blatant intimidation, brings the referee's decision into disrepute, makes your players look like screaming little brats that were told they couldn't get that chocolate bar at the check out counter. The sadder thing is I could go on with those. I cannot believe the gall Grant has even though Chelsea didn't get the most aggrieved call on the day. Just ask Derby County fans what they think of their goal that was disallowed. Ask them if they didn't feel their hearts collectively getting ripped out. Ask them if what they felt like when Chelsea got their second goal on a questionable no call? Ask them if they didn't feel like just blowing their brains out? The fact of the matter is your very lucky Michael Essien didn't get a five match ban for that pathetic punch and if the FA had any backbone, Chelsea would see the three points they earned at Pride Park lost for a second, yes a second, charge of failing to keep control of the players under contract. Do us all a favor Grant and shut up. Your starting to make Jose Mourinho's comment about omelette's make sense. It is simply not right to crowd a referee.

Boy did Rafa Benetiz backtrack or what. Was it the fact he's saw the writing on the wall and decided he better make peace? Either way Rafa is now saying he wants to stay at Liverpool and bring the side glory. Did you finally wake up and realize that all that money you've spent (and some could claim wasted) hasn't come good and you don't want to be branded a failure for never winning the Premier League. I also wonder if he realized that these two particular managers have had quick trigger fingers for giving managers the sack in their American jobs and decided that he better pick it up. Look Rafa, despite the fans looking to back you tonight, they will soon forget you if your given the sack and someone else comes in and does a better job.

I have to give Sir Alex Ferguson some credit for a change. Why you may ask, because he has come out publicly and backed Jose Mourinho for the England job. The two may not have been the best of friends against each other on the pitch, but at least someone has the forthright to realize that not many people will want the job, or be able to deal with the English media in the manner that Jose can. It also helps now Jose is coming out and almost daring the FA to hire him. All I'll say to you Jose is be careful what you wish for. While you are a natural fit for the job, you are in a position you can choose any managerial job you want. Don't rush into a job is all I'm saying.

Quick Rants:
The 'thank you captain obvious statements' of the day. Spurs fear Berbatov will be gone in January. Like the money you will get for him isn't going to be tempting enough, the table position doesn't help either. Didier Drogba feels Chelsea need to win in order to show Euro credentials...in Norway. Yea like your performance at Stamford Bridge wasn't the best in the world. Gareth Southgate finally admits he isn't bullet proof and needs results, not like sitting one goal above the drop zone will make you open your eyes to that realization...or the fact your in the same boat as Avram Grant. And Sir Alex Ferguson tells his players they need to win silverware before they can be considered great, well winning another Treble would help that fact as well.

So David Moyes, over a month after the fact, is charged by the FA because of comments he made about Mark Clattenburg? Are you only doing this to appease Sir Alex who you had to charge as well? It makes that FA look like they are playing favorites, something they shouldn't be doing.

Only four percent in England think they have a legit chance at the 2010 World Cup, talk about the most obvious reactionary poll in the history of polling. Then again, all polls can be manipulated to show whatever result they so desire.

Before I go, I would like to take a few minutes to answer a question I've gotten from a few people. That question being 'why have I decided to also start blogging on CSRN'? Well the answer to that question is quite simple really. Why would I say no to more exposure and having my blog mentioned on national over air radio? I was graciously asked and when your given an offer like that, it's just too hard to say no.

Until I write again, may the debating begin!

Note: Please post any comments here.

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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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