Weekly Report: Ashley’s Error, Tevez’s Tantrum and Jittery Mick

by Luke Bradshaw

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Just when I thought Prem chairmen were becoming more sensible this happens. I bet Alan Pardew can’t believe his luck. Spells at West Ham, Charlton and Southampton had bright patches but all ended badly, and there are few others who would accept a performance-based contract. From nothing to Newcastle; it’s not quite Joe Kinnear, but not far off.

In the managerial wilderness for being rubbish, and then even in the punditry wilderness for comparing an Essien tackle to rape. Hurry up and get the man a contract.

I feel duped. I’m sure Newcastle fans will have a much better assessment than myself, but I was under the impression Mike Ashley had turned a corner, kept his head down and got the club relatively back on track. It’s as if he got bored with the lack of abuse; maybe he just loves the feeling of having seething Geordies after him.

What Hughton inherited was a club haemorrhaging money, their players receiving hefty wages for lightweight returns. He consolidated, brought them back up impressively, and has led them to mid-table beating Arsenal at the Emirates, and battering their rivals along the way.

Newcastle went down the same year as Middlesbrough. Boro are on their third manager since dropping to the Championship and languish second from bottom, relying on Leroy Lita and Scott McDonald to get goals. Last year they were doing well but sacked their manager early on in favour of a bigger name – sound familiar?

If Newcastle thought it couldn’t get any worse, Freddie Shepherd has come out in support of Mike Ashley.

On a lighter note, Samir Nasri is blossoming into one of the league’s finest players. His two goals against Fulham got Jonathan Pearce very excited indeed. Chelsea continue to get nobody excited other than their rivals, and all West Ham’s excitement after saving their season evaporated at Sunderland. Along Scott Parker, Jonathan Spector could be the new Scott Parker though.

Steve Bruce has harked back to a 1950’s Brazil team by playing all his best strikers at the same time. Roberto Mancini wanted his ten men to consolidate their 1-0 lead and see the game out so substituted his captain. Carlos Tevez was understandably annoyed that he only got to play 90 minutes. And Gerard Houllier had a Liverpool love-in at Anfield but was so busy reminding himself what it’s like to have fans cheering for him, he forgot about his current side and they slumped to a fourth successive defeat.

The news that Qatar has a $50 billion budget for staging the World Cup was far too much for Blatter to resist; and we though Wembley was expensive. Maybe the money is for building robot footballers when the real ones melt in the 50 degree heat. Twelve years from now there will be a World Cup in January.

Favourite thing this week: Mick McCarthy slipping/being frightened by his own thoughts.

Follow me on twitter while I try to convince Mike Ashley I’m qualified to be Pardew’s assistant, it’s worth a try.

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