Darren Moore wins Manager of the Month and gets relegated on the same day in conclusive proof that award is cursed
Peter Coates nails it
Peter Coates has suddenly moved up my personal list of owners in football I like. With perfect timing, hours before Southampton’s huge clash with Swansea City, Coates declared that “I should have sacked Mark Hughes sooner”. That is the kind of talk this website likes, no, bigger than that, loves, Peter. Well done and thank you.
But you didn’t and you are relegated. Therefore our days of talking about you are somewhat numbered.
Sparky probably had bigger things on his mind, anyway. Especially the fact that Southampton had to make a dramatic last-minute switch of hotels. The Marriott in Swansea, where Southampton were due to be staying, came down with a mysterious virus at the weekend yet Hughes’ people were only notified on Sunday (which considering it was a Bank Holiday weekend probably meant Tuesday morning). With the news that smells as off as the West Ham lasagne, Southampton made alternative arrangements to stay in Cardiff (possibly hoping some of that Warnock magic might rub off on their own gaffer). Southampton’s press officer could not be reached for comment, probably wishing the whole utterly overblown story and conspiracy theory (not condoned here at all) would go away so they could concentrate on getting the three points.
Mind you, Sparky wasn’t letting it go in his pre-match presser, was he? “They’ve actually done as a favour as the Swansea Marriott is the worst we stay in” beamed out to millions of people on Sky TV. Great PR, eh? No advertising is bad advertising and all that.
All this drama was, as expected, far better than the football on show but we will come on to that in a second.
Although I’d been hoping for a draw all day I knew mid-afternoon that a result was going to happen that would relegate West Bromwich Albion.
How did I know? No, it wasn’t through my Asian bookmaker but through Twitter. I noticed that Darren Moore had won Manager of the Month. The may as well have awarded him a nail and a coffin and told him to do the necessary because that was the moment WBA were finished.
However, it is clear Mooro wants to learn from the best so it was nice to see him follow in Peppy G’s footsteps and have a photo with the entire WBA staff which will be a nice memento for them after about 50% of them sadly get laid off in the next few weeks.
The result? Southampton beat Swansea 1-0. This means Mark Hughes is now above both Swansea City and Huddersfield Town and with the goal difference in their favour, they look safe. My tiny little brain cannot work out a combination of events that see Southampton down. Balls. Swansea City play Stoke on Sunday and, presuming Huddersfield don’t get a point tonight against Chelsea, they will need to either better Huddersfield’s result on Sunday or win by two (or maybe three) goals more than Huddersfield do against Arsenal. That is, of course, if Huddersfield beat Arsenal. Clear? No. Me neither.
Mauricio Pochettino’s English is now at the point where he can talk complete bullshit and keep a straight face. The Poch claims that had he been offered Tottenham’s current predicament going into the last two matches of the season, he’d have taken it. Really, Poch? Surely your ‘current predicament’ is that you were cast iron guarantees for Champions League football next season and you’ve started playing so badly that Chelsea will catch you. You’d have taken that, really? Spurs need a win and a draw by Sunday to get the chance to become the “Greatest Team in the World” again next season by hammering Real Madrid again, or something.
Arsene leaves Arsenal the gift of Wilshere
I’d forgotten Koscielny had got injured against Atletico. He is out for six months now, it turns out he ruptured it. That sounds nasty. He’ll probably be even worse when he returns. Mesut Ozil has also played his last game for Wenger because he has a sore back. But don’t worry Arsenal fans, Jack Wilshere is likely to sign a new deal. Because Arsene loves you, remember?
Arsene has had “lots of offers” but is unlikely to manage in England next season. What is looking more likely is a General Manager role at Paris Saint-Germain but the look in Arsene’s eyes tells everyone he wants to stay as a manager. He’s not ready to finish yet. Give him the Dortmund job or something.
Juventus to save Alvaro
Juventus have watched Alvaro Morata this season and been delighted to see how he has struggled in English football as it means they can whisk him back to play in black-and-white. Surely they need to sign Cesar Azpilicueta too though as that is the only way that Alvaro seems to score these days. Juventus are still thought to be leading the race to take Anthony Martial off the hands of Manchester United.
Mind you, they both could well be rocking up to find that title-winning boss Max Allegri might have done one to Arsenal as he seems to have nudged ahead of Luis Enrique to take over from that French fella who outstayed his welcome.
In other news, Javier Hernandez will be allowed to leave West Ham because it hasn’t really worked out well for anyone whilst Michail Antonio has seen how Crystal Palace have turned Wilf Zaha and Andros Townsend into proper footballers and fancies a bit of that himself.
Although they are going to sign Jack Butland from Stoke City, Liverpool are being linked to Pepe Reina coming back to Anfield to keep their bench nice and full.