Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
The team’s playing shit
So I’m sacking you
Relationships are tricky, unpredictable beasts – especially when at least one of the parties involved is a woman or a football club chairman. Valentine’s Day inspires one of two broad feelings in the heart of those who have known love in their lives. Either you’re still in love and you get to see all the depressed, single people who are reminded of their loneliness, making you glad to be with someone on this day, even if the honeymoon period is long gone. Or you are single, in which case you’re probably fantasising about that one previous relationship which sucked less than the rest and are manipulating your own memories to convince yourself it could still work. If only she’d unblock you on Facebook and drop the restraining order. Ho-hum.
Mick McCarthy falls in to the later category after being dumped by Wolves chairman Steve Morgan. The forthright Yorkshireman/Irishman will most likely spend the week moving through the five stages of grief in his very particular way.
Denial: You’re not sacking me, are you? Oh, you are. That’s fair enough. We’ve been rite shite of late.
Anger: I can’t bloody believe I’m going to have to manage in the bloomin’ Championship again.
Bargaining: Hello, is this Ken Bates?
Depression: Oh God, I thought Wolverhampton were grim.
Acceptance: I’ve accepted you’re all a bunch of c****.
So who’s next in line for the old heave-ho?
Betting wise, Harry Redknapp is quite likely to leave his post in the near future but he’s going to be the one doing the dumping. For a long time now the Londoner has been eyeing up what he deems to be the hottest piece of ass in the country, the England job. Having done the male thing of making Capello so miserable that in the end he was forced to do the breaking up, she’s back on the market and Harry has already begun to make his move. Whatever your feelings on the necessity of basic mathematical literacy you have to admire Redknapp’s ability to have his current beau continue profess her unrequited love for him but at the same time being prepared to stand aside for someone better. He must be a divil in the sack.
Lacking the lovable personality of Harry Redknapp isn’t Andres Villas-Boas’ only problem. Having hooked up with the most demanding club-chairman in the Premier League, Roman Abramovich, the former Porto manager looks to be paying the price for his youthful exuberance, believing he was ready. Chelsea, under Abramovic, is the Naomi Campbell of romantic entanglements. And AVB is in over his head. His time at Porto was mere puppy love but a relationship like this needs an experienced Romeo to survive its uncompromising demands. Heartbreak looks to be looming for the seemingly not quite as Special One.
What on earth has gone wrong for Owen Coyle and Bolton? A seeming match made in heaven, last season it was doe-eyes and whispering sweet nothings as he whipped the team in to shape and banished all lingering memories of Sam Allardyce. Big Sam may have been dull but he at least he was reliable, an ugly comparison brought up during fights. When the unhappy times run for as long as the good times it may be time to call it a day. Coyle has some serious wooing to do if he wants to avoid being single before the season ends but have the players fallen out of love?
At least Coyle got to enjoy a honeymoon period, poor Steve Kean has been fighting not to be dumped from the very start. The inexperience of the Venky’s is clearly such that Kean has been able to win them over with promises of better times ahead. The players have been rallying around just enough to keep him in a job but he’s been hitting above his weight from the start. Which is saying something when the object of his love is Blackburn Rovers. It won’t last.
One that has lasted because of the Catholic marriage style arrangement agreed to at its inception is Roberto Martinez’ affair with Wigan. When he enticed him from Swansea, Wigan owner Dave Whelan promised he wouldn’t sack the Spaniard before the end of his contract even if they were relegated. So far, despite more bad times than good, Whelan has been determined to see this one out to the bitter end like the most loyal of wives. Martinez’ contract runs out at the end of this season but will he survive until then?
Others who may need a night out in a strip club with the lads before May include Alec McLeish, who has been a perfectly decent partner but the Villa fans are demanding more glamour, forgetting they’re from the midlands. Kenny Dalglish is going through a very rocky patch at the moment and he needs to offer up something sparkling to make up for recent transgressions. The Carling Cup should do it. Love is rarely as exciting the second time round but both sides want to make this one work so he should be heartache free until the summer at least.