As the Premier League grinds to its annual halt, it continues to throw up more bonkers stories and gaffs that make it the most entertaining league in the world. This week, we’ve had reports of a major manager-player bust-up at a struggling club, one Frenchman whose popularity is dwindling by the second and an action that epitomises the word ‘half-wit’. Anyway, here’s your Half-Wit of the Week shortlist:
3. Burnley fans
There’s ways of showing support for a former player but this isn’t the way to do it. Earlier in the season, Brighton’s Gaetan Bong accused former Burnley striker (now at West Brom) Jay Rodriguez of racism with comments that appeared to refer to the Cameroon left-back’s breath. After weeks of investigation, the FA concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to accuse Rodriguez of being racist towards his opponent. However, the FA maintained that Bong’s complaint had been made in completely good faith and encouraged others to report any discriminatory comments or gestures in the future.
The view that some football fans took was that Bong had falsely accused Rodriguez of racism and was an attempt to sabotage him in public. Others also called for Bong to be punished for making false claims which is totally unacceptable because the problem is that people don’t like speaking out if they experience racism anyway, and this will just discourage that further. When Brighton travelled to Turf Moor to play Burnley last Saturday, the home crowd booed Bong at every given opportunity and the south coast club have since accused some Burnley fans of monkey chants. In comparison to other occurrences on this list, it’s a lot more important but I didn’t feel like it warranted the attention. Seriousness over, let’s continue.
2. Claude Puel
Losing the support of the fans and the players is bad enough, but losing 5-0 to a team managed by Roy Hodgson is something else. Puel was sacked by Southampton last season because his football was incredibly boring to watch, reducing some Saints fans at St. Mary’s to tears.
This season, he’s taken over Craig Shakespeare’s attempt at managing at Leicester and has steered them away from any relegation worries. However, after a bright start, that familiar sound of yawning returned to the Premier League behind a Claude Puel dugout and the King Power Stadium has been sent into a slumber since winter ended as fans wait impatiently for the end of the season. Their demise reached a climax, you’d hope, with a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Hodgson’s Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday and that defeat did no favours for the Foxes’ fans unrest with their manager.
1. David Moyes
After strolling to a 4-1 defeat against the Champions Manchester City, more bad news came out of West Ham on Tuesday when it was revealed that not only had Moyes kept his job, but he’d had a furious bust-up with senior striker, Andy Carroll, at training on Monday. The result of the confrontation was that Carroll was sent home with Moyes trying to exert the little power he has left in order to resolve the situation.
The Hammers sit deep in the relegation mire and desperately need each and every player on side and performing in order to get out of the mess they find themselves in. Sending Carroll home and disrupting the dressing room further certainly isn’t the way to put out the fire but rather paper over the cracks. Moyes has suffered quite the fall from grace, if you can call it grace in the first place, since leaving Everton for Manchester United five years ago. He’s taken Ferguson’s champions to 7th, a European-quality Spanish team to the bottom half and was the man that took a dire Sunderland team, who now find themselves in League 1, down. At this rate, his current club could find themselves in a division below with a 60,000 seater stadium.