The weekend is finally here and it’s been another hectic week in the world of football.
From Handbags between Jose and Conte, to Coutinho finally making his big move to Barca, The Bulldog is here to put the footballing world to rights and he’s also thrown in a few tips for good measure!
Marin O’Neill to Stoke, really?!
It just proves that Owners haven’t got trust in youth. They’re not looking outside the box, and they’re all nervous about making the wrong decision. They always seem to play it safe and appoint managers who’ve managed in the Prem before, have been sacked plenty of times before and who might have done OK before, but the frustration for me is that there’s nothing different – they’re just sacking a manager, replacing like-for-like with a bloke who can shoot a rocket up the players’ backsides in the hope of getting points on the board.
You can’t tell me Stoke are considering Martin O’Neill for the longevity of the club!! The pure and simple reason why they go for the same old managers every time is because they want to stay in the Premier League. End of.
For me, there are a number of problems with that. Firstly, it’s not guaranteed that the same old managers are going to keep them up, secondly, it’s telling me that the Chairman hasn’t got a lot of ambition and thirdly, from the outside, it’s blatantly obvious that the owners have got no interest in creating a footballing identity at the club.
Look at what Lee Johnson’s done for Bristol City, Nuno Espirito Santo at Wolves or Gary Rowett at Derby. You can even look at the way Japp Stam’s Reading have been playing – he was one of the greatest defenders we’ve ever seen in the Premier League and he’s being overlooked, despite his side playing some awesome football.
There’s so much British talent and when you look at the continent, it’s a joke, yet the same old names keep getting brought back. I only watch the Premier League, The Championship and then a little bit of La Liga and I’ve plucked those four names out. The Germans, The Dutch and Scandinavians to name a few, are technically, streaks ahead of us – imagine who Stoke could have brought in from Europe!
I’m going to put my neck on the line here: I don’t think these older Chairmen know who they’re looking at and if I’m being completely honest, I don’t think they understand football. Just because you’ve got coin, does not mean you know the first thing about how to run a football club.
One former owner I played for in particular springs to mind. I’d try talking football with him and he’d just go off on one and chat random b*****s. He didn’t have the first clue about football – absolute nut case! He might have known how to run the club as a business, but not as a football club.
Some Chairmen have accepted that they might not know enough about the game, so employ a Director of Football. If you ask me, these blokes are very good at dodging bullets and they’ve got a lot to answer for when it comes to the success, performance and identity of the club.
Now, if the owner knows nothing about the game, you’ve got to question how good the director of football is, because really, it’s him that is making all the big decisions and we probably see this conveyer belt of Premier League Managers, because they’re taking the bullet for the owner’s cronies who are making the wrong decisions.
These guys need to sit down with the Chairman and ask him exactly what he wants: Longevity? A Certain Style? Survival? Do you want to make money early or sell the club in ten years’ time? Then you’ll gauge what the Club is all about and what needs to be done to meet the Owner’s needs.
I just think owners have a quick skim over a CV, think ‘oh yeah I’ve heard of him, he did alright at that club’ and then go with it. They look at business structure rather than football foundations, which is the wrong way of looking at it.
Coutinho Makes His Move…
Countinho has finally gone to Barca then, hasn’t he! £147m… unreal! An absolutely unreal amount of cash. The trouble is, the whole Neymar issue well and truly put the cat among the pigeons.
PSG just went “That’s where we’re at boys, come and follow us or we’ll blow you’s all out the water!”, and people have had to move with them.
Agents aren’t stupid either; they know how much clubs get from their sponsors and from bums on seats. They work it all out and turn up to a club with a figure in mind, knowing that their player will generate a certain amount of revenue. I’m telling you now, Van Dijk’s agent would have said to Liverpool: “you’ve got X, Y and Z – how is my player not worth £75m?”
Clubs used to have it all their own way, but the agents are on it now a days and there’s no room for the clubs to barter.
Ryan Sessegnon Has Some BIG Choices To Make…
Speaking of big moves, Fulham youngster Ryan Sessegnon has got an important decision to make at some point in the close future, with clubs like PSG, Manchester United and Spurs all showing interest in him and I’m not surprised.
He will have agents circling like vultures and if I was the boy’s Old Man, I would be adamant that he solely focuses on his football. Nothing else is important at this stage and the best thing that he can do is to keep producing on the field.
I’d be taking care of all the press and the agents snaking around trying to force a move which is money, rather than football orientated. I’ve been around it too long – I’ve seen it happen to too many people.
His family have got to know where is best for the boy, then see who’s really interested in him. The problem you have now is that the lad’s development depends on how the manager at the time wants to play… but there’s one problem with that: the manager could only be around for two seasons before he gets fired.
Jose won’t be at United forever, Pep has already set his retirement date. So a manager might sell the club to him with good intentions, stating where and how he’s going to play, but I’d be thinking “hold your horses, Son – you might not be here in two years’ time”. These are the tough conversations that Ryan and his family have got to have with each other as well as the clubs.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice position to be in, but difficult choices have to be made. If you ask me, he’s got to go to a big club like PSG or United if they come in for him, because he may never get the opportunity again. With all due respect, Spurs aren’t at the same level as those clubs, so he could go there, it might not work out how he’d expect and then he’d have blown his chance to sign with the big boys – you can always step down, but you can’t always step up when it suits you.
‘Little Man’ Syndrome…
This war of words between Conte and Jose is embarrassing if you ask me. What are they on about, the pair of idiots?!
They definitely don’t like each other, they’ve got big egos and they’ve just got carried away – well let me tell you two something: it ain’t all about you, so slow yourselves down.
At the end of the day, the players wear the football boots, they will dictate how their teams perform, so what are they getting involved in this playground stuff for?
We’ve been here before with Jose when he was at Chelsea, haven’t we?! Look what happened there, that didn’t end well for him.
These players aren’t idiots…Speaking from experience, I’ve had managers who have tried playing mind games and you’re sitting in the changing room going “What’s that donut doing? What’s he on about?!!”.
These two muppets even tried to reel Pep in the other day and he was having none of it! He’s too cool for school and the other pair want to sort themselves out and get on with the football.
They are two fully grown men, managing Chelsea and Manchester United, for God’s sake – it’s embarrassing!!
Any weekend bets?
If you’re having a flutter this weekend, you’ve got to be backing Son to bag against Everton. He is such a strong, clinical player and I’ll be backing him to score first at Wembley on Saturday at 9/2 with BetBright.
Bournemouth are a side who are struggling this season and drawing against Wigan last week would have done their confidence no good at all. They’ll give Arsenal a good game, but I think a 2-0 Arsenal win at 25/1 is deffo worth a couple of quid!
I CANNOT WAIT for Pep’s boys to visit Anfield on Sunday – what a match for the neutral! Unsurprisingly, I’ve backed City to win this one, 1-3. Just looking at prices, I’d bite BetBright’s hand off for them to win at 13/10. My bet of the weekend though is Man City to win and BTTS which is 5/2 – get on that ALL DAY LONG!
Have a good weekend everyone,
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.