Militant Mancunian Che Neville has published the team he voted for in the PFA Awards. There were a couple of choices that raised eyebrows, none more so than his choice of Everton’s stella midfielder, Phil Neville. The observant amongst you will have noticed a certain similarity in the surnames and, lo and behold, they are related. Noting that there may be a certain cynicism amongst his readership, the Bloshy Glazerbuck comments that his choice of his brother is entirely based on his form, noting “I don’t think family comes into it. Everton got themselves one of the deals of the season when they signed Phil last summer. He has not only been a great addition to the team but, as they will have discovered, there is not a more dedicated, committed professional out there.” Well thanks for clearing that up. Personally, I might have believed him if he’d have just admitted he voted for his brother just because he is his younger sibling, rather than some cock and bull story about his professionalism being the clincher for his vote. Let’s face it most of us would plump for our family in a similar position for exactly that reason.
Sunderland avoided relegation today due to adverse weather conditions causing the abandonment of their home clash with Fulham in which, true to form, they were trailing by one goal to nil. Reports of Kevin Ball doing a prolonged rain dance this morning remain unconfirmed but the agony has only been prolonged by one more week as they need to win every game to even have a vague chance of staying up. This should not be ruled out as if Mr Ball has this much power over the weather then anything is possible.
Having instigated the Stevens Inquiry into Bungs, Premier League supremo Dave Richards now finds himself subject to conjecture that whilst Chairman of Sheffield Wednesday he covered up illegal payments made prior to his stewardship of the club. At the time, it is alledged that Richards did not declare the payments for fear that his club may have suffered at best, a points deduction, at worst an automatic relegation. At the same time, Swindon were unjustly punished for similar offences denying the club promotion to the top flight, indeed they were relegated to the old Division Two, a punishment that was reversed upon appeal although the hard earned Promotion to the top flight was still denied. Should the case be proven, no doubt the FA will punish Wednesday with a fine, on the grounds that the offence happened many years ago and Wednesday are no longer in the top flight. This should not matter. Having set a precedent, the penalty of relegation should still stand. Whilst this is harsh, the regime in charge of Swindon at the time was not the same that committed the offences for which they suffered their relegation. This case will be watched carefully to see if the “Old Boys Network” moves to protect their own.
The FA’s search for a new England coach continues unabashed with news the short list for the role may not be quite as short as was widely anticipated. It has emerged that Phil “Tony Soprano” Scholari is being interviewed for a second time this week, as well Messrs McLaren, Curbishley and O’Neill. Commonsense seems to have popped into the room and disappeared equally as quickly. By apparently removing Stuart Pearce from contention, commonsense held sway due to his inexperience although he may well be an England Supremo in the future. Once it had departed the room, the Dynamic Duo of McLaren and Curbishley remained on the list. Whilst McLaren has gained experience by assisting the Walking Gland, he has still only got four years managerial experience, about three years more than Pearce. This is not enough. I would suggest that he is probably the next but one to lead the National Side. I have a lot of time for Curbishley but do not hold him in the same esteem as Allardyce for no reason specifically that I can put my finger on. He comes across as an eminently likeable individual and anyone who has a brother who manages The Who cannot be all bad. However, and ignoring the fact that Ramsey and Robson both came from unfashionable teams, he has not got the requisite experience as either a player or manager; both men mentioned beforehand were seasoned England internationals as players before managing Ipswich Town successfully. By remaining at Charlton, Curbishley has not got this winning record, admirable as his tenure has been. The only other manager who had a similar track record before going on to be in charge of England was Graham Taylor which is probably condemnation enough. Anyway, back to Tony Soprano. I would be interested to see who will come with him. My recommendations would be Luca Brazi as a Goalkeeping Coach, after all he has plenty of diving experience. Second in command would be Michael Corleone who is a solid and dependable successor whilst his brother, Sonny, could be the attacking coach although he needs to watch his temper which could transmit into undue aggression on the pitch. Motivational coach Vito Corleone’s speeches ought to be able to encourage the players to recover any situation on the pitch and any miscreant off the pitch could be made an offer they cannot refuse. Henry Hill would probably be mistrusted, more likely to blab to the nearest journo but I still have not worked out what role Fredo Corleone would play. Perhaps Entertainment Officer would be suitable with all his knowledge of Casinos.
Todays Tunes are from Big Audio Dynamite, Mick Jones musical venture after departing from The Clash. These tracks are from an unreleased album, Entering A New Ride. The disc itself is considerably darker than anything else of theirs I have heard, although it remains distinctly B.A.D. Indeed, Sound Of The BAD, lifts it’s drum track straight from Train In Vain, one of the songs that proves what a good eye for a tune Jones possessed.