Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “I think the board know it, I know it and the fans know it. We need one or two more players to put in the team and if we get them then we are in good condition to win trophies at the end of the season and, if not, there might be problems. If we have two more players in the squad, we will have a good chance.” – Felipe Scolari.
Runner-up: “I am thinking about playing in Italy. My dream is to be coached by Mourinho. Italian football is the best in the world and the most intelligent. Every player wants to play in Serie A, because Italians are the masters of football. I really like Inter. I have always liked them from when Ronaldo played there. Massimo Moratti has always assembled great teams and Inter can win anything with the players they have. I will not hide myself and in future I would love to play for Jose Mourinho at Inter.” – Anderson.
Today’s overview: Like a vulture circling a carcass, the Sundays clammer around Paul Ince wondering how long the Guv’nor has to go before he is forced out at Ewood Park.
Frank Warner is found packing the Guv’nor’s bags, writing that “Blackburn boss Paul Ince is set to be the next Premier League boss to be sacked after another painful home defeat yesterday.” Also waiting for Ince to leave Ewood Park is Alan Nixon, who suggests that “Paul Ince wants five games to save his job as Blackburn boss… but will be sacked in the next 48 hours.” Paul Wilson hopes Ince sees out the bad times, arguing “as for Ince, it is to be hoped Blackburn stick by him. They were the ones, after all, who insisted he was the right man despite a lack of coaching badges. And further support is offered by Rod Liddle, who argues “the Premier League has become obsessively short-termist, fans and directors more fraught and volatile than ever before. Largely, one assumes, due to the fabulous money at stake.”
On Sunderland, there are 33 serious applicants for the vacant manager’s job according to Michael Walker, yet the People’s Steve Bates claims “Peter Reid last night emerged as the shock candidate being lined up as Roy Keane’s successor at Sunderland.” Roy Keane’s departure is still making the headlines though, with Hugh commenting that “abandonment of his job at the Stadium of Light cannot be dressed up as anything other than an abject flight from the first threatening challenge of his brief managerial career. This was a case of the Kevin Keegans without the tears.” Yet the more juicy story on the Black Cats is served by David Walsh, who reveals that “under Keaneâ€™s management, Quinn was not welcome in the dressing room or on the team coach.”
Rob Shepherd gives a new insight into why Roy Keane walked out on Sunderland – “Apparently, when Keane met Ellis Short, Sunderlandâ€™s Texan majority shareholder, it seems he wasnâ€™t best pleased when Short told him bluntly, that where he came from, if sports people donâ€™t get results they get the sack. Keane had no time to be lectured about his credentials or a Premier League season where three wins on the spin turns a club from eyeing the Championship to thinking about a European place.” And finally on the Mackems, Ian Bell goes on the offensive against Tony Cascarino for the pundit’s public outburst against Keano – “I never thought much of Tony Cascarino, to be honest. I half-heard, once or twice, that he deplored Keane. Then I heard that the Great One did not give an expletive.”
Robbie Keane may soon have to find himself a new club too, as Joe Bernstein reports that “Rafa Benitez could be calling time on Robbie Keane’s Liverpool career in January after the Â£20million striker was forced to watch yesterday’s victory from the bench.” And the suitors are already lining up, with Chris Bascombe sensationally claiming that “Spurs are trying to re-sign Liverpoolâ€™s Robbie Keane.”
In other news, Didier Drogba and Joe Cole’s futures have also been thrown into doubt, Rob Beasley reporting that their “contract negotiations put on ice as the global credit crunch hits Stamford Bridge,” while Piers Morgan goes public in criticising Sir Alex Ferguson (who slammed the columnist for calling for Wenger’s head, only for Morgan to retract his knee-jerk reaction) writing “as for you, Sir Alex, unlike most of the people you successfully bully, I couldn’t give a monkey’s cuss what you say.”
After his foul-up in the UEFA Cup, David James writes an brutally honest article in the Observer – “Looking at the headlines on Friday morning about our European defeat, it seemed that the old ‘Calamity James’ tag was back again. As my psychologist says, you’re only ever one incident away from being back where you started.” And keeping with Pompey, Jamie Jackson writes that “Portsmouth takeover by a South African consortium is back on with ‘negotiations taking place and at an advanced stage'” but should it go through Tony Adams job could be in jeopardy. And the South Coast side have a replacement manager lined up, Aidan McGee reporting that “Avram Grant is set to be offered a return to Fratton Park as a group of South African investors move closer to sealing a cut-price Â£50m takeover of Portsmouth.”
The News of the World deliver their usual Sunday gossip, David Harrison confidently penning that “David Villa’s record Â£52million switch to Manchester City will move a step closer when his agent jets into England this week.” In a second article, Harrison insists “Manchester United midfield ace Anderson wants to play for Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan.” While the Mail on Sunday’s Bob Cass claims that “Stewart Downing is poised to sign for Tottenham Hotspur in a Â£12million January transfer window deal.”