Alan’s Diary: League Cup – The Glums Of Manchester And Mind Your Manners, Sam


Jermain Defoe [Photo: Logan Holmes]2013-2014 Diary continued

League Cup Semis, Defoe To Go?

Monday 5 January 2014

The week begins with two good common sense decisions from the FA; Theo Walcott won’t be charged and neither will Mark Clattenburg.

Two interesting statements from two clubs with their managers under exceptional pressure. West Ham say they are close to getting a striker and hopeful of a centre half. Manchester United say they will make substantial funds available for David Moyes in this transfer window and significantly, in the next. The clear implication is that he is going nowhere. Like their debts if they don’t qualify for the Champions League.

Managerial Merry-go-round.

Ian Holloway, having walked out of Place is apparently walking into Millwall. Really?

Really bad news about Theo Walcott

He has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament. Out for 6 months. Out of the World Cup.  England have to hope Townsend can continue to develop. Bad for Arsenal, bad for England. I wish him well. I wouldn’t wish an injury like that on anyone but I am glad that if it had to happen, it appeared to come from him sticking his leg in from behind/side as opposed to someone tackling him. In other words an unfortunate accident.

Tuesday 7 January

Sadly, the nutters who claim to be fans of both clubs are going to town on each other on social media. What a blight on society they all are.

Sometimes in business you have to be ruthless. If I was Wenger I would offer Liverpool £100 million for Suarez up front now. Or United £30 million for Rooney. He’ll walk anyway come the summer if things carry on the way they are going.

As we are nip and tuck for league position at the moment, Man United news is relevant to my HotspurHQ blogs, so no apologies for my recent references to them since our victory at Old Trafford. Tuesday evening, they lose their third match in a row to Sunderland in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final. Sometimes a picture really does paint a thousand words. These guys look like they found a penny and lost a fiver.

The Glums of Manchester [Photo: Alan Hill]The Glums

Earlier today, newspaper articles were saying that hundreds of millions had been wiped off their value already. They estimated that their income will drop by 20% if they don’t qualify for the Champions League. Of course, the value of your investments may go up as well as down…

Oh no, Moyes is at it again. Blaming the referee for another defeat in interviews. (See previous blog) Last night he said that Evans flying through the air, knee first and high into the kidneys of a Sunderland player did not deserve a booking. He watched Fabio, already booked, stamp on the foot of a Sunderland player and get away without being sent off and watched Ryan Giggs slide the ball into his own net. His reaction? The referee’s decisions are laughable. No. His interviews are. How can the FA fail to throw the book at him? It’s a mistaken strategy. Trying to draw the fire onto his criticism of refs and way from his failure to manage wins from poor performances (Ferguson’s main achievement last season) is not going to help them now.

Wednesday 9 January

West Ham’s owners wrote a public letter of support for Sam Allardyce on Monday. They knocked us out in the last round but seem incapable of beating anybody else. Tonight he takes his team up to the Etihad Stadium for what will turn out to be a 6 – 0 defeat in the rain.

I bet Karen Brady in particular was pleased then, to see that Sam at least made an effort, knowing he was going to be appearing in front of millions, to positively represent the image of the club. He set an example to his players and the children watching. No one wants to be represented by someone who behaves like a slob after all, especially when your team is on its knees and a chance to display a semblance of dignity in adversity is just about all you have left.

Manners Maketh Man

I can just hear my old Headmaster,

"Sit up straight boy."

“Sit up straight, boy” [Photo: Alan Hill]

"I’ve told you before; if you must chew gum, keep your mouth closed."

“I’ve told you before; if you must chew gum, keep your mouth closed.” [Photo: Alan Hill]

"How many more times? When you have finished, wrap it in the silver paper and put it in a bin. Don’t throw it on the floor for some poor unfortunate to clear up after you or get it stuck on their shoe. What’s the matter with you, were you brought up in a pig sty?"

“How many times?….” [Photo: Alan Hill]In the match itself, we have gone from having a West Ham captain who looked like he was looking for a fight to a team that’s afraid to say boo to a goose. They were lucky to get 0. We know how it feels but at least Andre Villas-Boas looked the part as he suffered on the sidelines.

I sincerely hope Andy Carroll can help keep West Ham up if he returns from injury.

At least they have bought a defender early in the transfer window to help. They have apparently chosen a guy who has been relegated in 3 consecutive seasons with 3 different clubs. They should be fine then.

Defoe to go?

Thursday 9 January – In the early hours of the morning, Sky Sports News say that Jermaine Defoe is due to join Toronto for the highest fee ever paid player in the MLS. If that’s true, Spurs will really miss him and his goals. He has been an uncomplaining servant to the club and a regular goals scorer for years. Never the favourite of most managers, who have often preferred misfiring big signings. There were rumours that he would go to Toronto who would loan him straight back to Harry Redknapp at QPR during their close season. We shall see.