Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Pardew For England

+ Financial Ambitions and Freedom Of Speech.

Pardew For England. #AprilFools

1) Pardew For England

Back at the beginning of October, Crystal Palace were sitting fourth in the league (ahead of Leicester City on goal difference) and Alan Pardew, getting a bit carried away with his own ego, was talking up his England manager ambitions.

Fast forward six months and after picking up 3 points from 12 league games (3 draws and 9 defeats), Crystal Palace finally achieved their first league victory of 2016.  Not surprisingly, Ian Wright and all the other members of the Alan Pardew Appreciation Society were strangely quiet during this run of form, but you can rest assured that they'll no doubt be out once again in force singing Pardew's praises the next time Pardew achieves his traditional tri-seasonal five match unbeaten run. #PardewForEngland #irony

2) Financial Ambitions

As I mentioned last week, Newcastle United recently announced a rise in profits to £32.4 million, an increase of £13.7 million, which coincidentally was pretty much the same figure that they slashed off their wage bill. #YouGetWhatYouPayFor

When announcing the increased profits, managing director Lee Charmley commented...

"We appreciate that at the present time, football results and not financial results are what our supporters want to see from us."

At the present time?  Er, no!  I think the word you're looking for is 'always'. #priorities

At the present time?  Seriously, Lee, why do you feel football results are only important 'at the present time'?  So in future, Lee, you think football fans might be heard exclaiming...

"Yes!  We made a £30 million profit!  Get in!  Oh, and we got relegated, but that doesn't matter because it's short term financial results that matter!  Woo-hoo!"

The sad thing is that after cutting the wage bill by £13 million, Mike Ashley had the nerve to claim...

"I think everyone can agree we've had a proper go at it this season."

What sort of deluded world does Mike Ashley live in?  Admittedly, the club admitted in Keegan's court case that they regard lying to the fans as a PR exercise, so whether Ashley actually believes his own comments or not is open for debate.  However, given Ashley's total incompetence at running a football club, and his complete failure to grasp football basics, I wouldn't be surprised if he actually is so far out of touch with reality that he genuinely believes cutting £13 million off the wage bill constitutes 'having a real go'. #deluded #GetOutOfOurClub

3) Freedom Of Speech

The football powers-that-be have always had a poor record on allowing players and managers to speak openly and honestly, and it's this suppression of opinion that has led to a situation where we're subjected to a stream of meaningless interview quotes along the lines of...

"It's a game of two halves."
"We gave it 110%."

When players do speak honestly, they often find themselves in trouble with the FA or their club.  I can understand why a player making a personal attack on a manager could be disruptive and unhelpful.  However, if a player is just admitting that he or his team had a bad game, then what's the problem?  The first step towards fixing a problem is admitting the problem, so why is it seen as a negative is a player acknowledges they weren't good enough?

Leighton Baines recently said...

"I don't feel as though the chemistry is quite there on the pitch at the moment.  We're not performing as a team to the level we know we can or we should be."

Roberto Martinez apparently thought this was unacceptable, as he later said...

"I've had a chat with him ... and he apologised."

What exactly did he apologise for?  Everton have picked up 4 points from their last 6 league games, so you would have to say that Leighton Baines has got a point.  It wasn't as if he was criticising individual team-mates or being disruptive.  He used the phrase 'as a team' and acknowledged that they should be performing at a higher level.  That seems like fair comment to me. #TellItLikeItIs

Similarly, Mesut Ozil upset Arsene Wenger with the following comments...

"Looking at our season so far, we have to be honest and admit that we screwed up ourselves.  We did not play to our potential in the games against the so-called smaller teams. You immediately get punished for that in the Premier League, but we still have a chance of winning the title.  We have to hope Leicester and Tottenham slip up and then make the most of it.”

This upset Arsene Wenger who responded...

"I agree the statement is not welcome.  No matter if it just one chance in 100, we have to believe."

Again, why is honesty regarded as such a crime by some managers?  Wenger rightly argued that they have to believe until the end, but didn't Ozil say the same thing?  He clearly stated, 'We still have a chance of winning the title.'

So what's the problem?  Why are players being criticised for recognising that collectively as a team they haven't done well enough and need to improve?  Why is it such a bad thing when players acknowledge this?  #SweepTheProblemsUnderTheCarpet  Surely the first step towards fixing a problem is acknowledging the problem. #FreedomOfSpeech #ItsNotNorthKorea

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