Then Saturday Comes… the half decent football blog


A HALLOWE’EN TREAT WITH ALL OF THE PREM’S UGLIEST MANAGERS

I’m sure you’re all pooped out from all that trick or treating, but TSC has teamed up with DJ Spoony and Frankie Boyle to bring you a quick review of what some of the footballing world’s most gruesome managers got up to this “Devil Day”.

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STEVE BRUCE WENT LIMBO-ING BUT MISUNDERSTOOD THE RULES

How low can you go, say how low can you go?

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HARRY REDKNAPP WAVED AT CAMERAS WHILE HIS WATCHING HIS COCKNEY WIDEBOY TACTICS NULLIFIED BY A POTENT ARSENAL

harryohhai
“Me go up the road? You’re ‘avin a giraffe, guv!”

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THE POMPEY REVOLUTIONARIES GOT ON WITH BUSINESS AS USUAL

paul hartAfter all that lovely dancing,  there’s only one place to move; the change of fortunes on the south coast since Avram ‘Toad of Toad Hall’ Grant sauntered into town.

Indeed it is quite befitting that on Hallowe’en weekend we should focus on three of the most gruesome faces in football; Steve Bruce, Paul Hart and the Avramanator.

Since Grant dropped his kippah back at the south coast club, they have moved from relegation certainties to a team which looks good enough for a mid-table finish.  Sure, maths geeks may point at the table and note that Pompey are still bottom of the pile, but I disregard their input with the subtle arrogance of bestowed only by portly boys who follow soccer on their respective tellyboxes.

Portsmouth’s successive 4-0 thrashings of Stoke and a frankly scizophrenic Wigan Athletic team were results that have been coming for a long time.  Their new signings have bedded in well (even Kevin Prince Boateng!), and they seem to have uncovered something of a gem with this Dindane chap, whoever he is.  The changing point was obviously the win away at Wolves, and it’s no coincidence that Grant’s return to the dressing room came just days before that result.

Big Av, as he lives to be called, has been a roaring success wherever he has plonked his ample backside in the Premiership, but he still suffers terribly from what used to be known as “Roy Hodgson Syndrome”.  The Oliver Holts of the world will never look favourably on him; you can just imagine The Fat Sweaty Mess Of A Journalist (aka Martin Samuel) tutting ironically as he wheezes out of breath throughout a passionless press conference.

When he does show some emotion he is similarly mocked, for the frankly iconic knee-rocking celebation on reaching the Champion’s League final.  The fact his pose looked a little doddery compared to the admittedly debonair Jose Mourinho was never lost on the press while the Gravanator barked orders at Stamford Bridge.

Yet when he left, Chelsea went to pieces.  “Big” Phil Scolari was exposed as a crackpot, and was sacked within weeks, and the Stamford Bridge club went from 2nd in Europe to 3rd in the Premiership.  All the while, Avram still got no job offers or praise.

Hopefully his return to the set-up at Pompey will rejuvinate the club.  Although it still rancours with me to call them a Premiership club when the likes of Leeds, Newcastle and of course Leicester City sit in the lower leagues, Portsmouth deserve Premiership football more than the likes of Hull, Wigan or the deathly boring Birmingham City.

A good word should also go into Grant’s boss, Paul Hart.  He may have overseen the terrible start to the season but he never panicked and went mental at the pressure (see Brown, Phil).  In Hart and Grant Portsmouth have got two respectable senior figures and will probably do what seemed impossible a couple of weeks ago and beat the drop.

For the record I’m tipping Hull City, Birmingham and Wolves for the drop.

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