'Tis the season to be jolly, unless you work in football management

by Andy Dillon / 01 December 2017, 09:59

‘TIS THE season to be jolly. Unless you work in football management.

It’s December 1st and most of us turn our thoughts to Christmas and the time of year when we realise life isn’t so bad after all. A glow of well-bring gathers round us like a fluffy blanket.

But take a detailed look at the Premier League at this moment and this weekend’s fixtures. It’s a story that would have Charles Dickens licking his lips at the prospect of spreading cold, hard festive reality.

Sam Allardyce isn’t wanted by a large number of Everton fans. He has been in the job for one full day and is already pleading for unity. Not even one game as manager yet and the negativity is in full flow along with the molde wine.

Big Sam is rather like Father Christmas and no, let’s not go there. No, with Allardyce you either believe in him fully or not at all.

His methods can polarise opinion but they work, certainly at club level. But why give peace a chance when it’s easier to protest?

West Ham supporters never wanted David Moyes to replace Slaven Bilic in the first place. Even before kick off in his first game there was a song about Moyes which was far from complimentary and underlined the feelings towards his appointment and the state of their team.

That will only be fuelled by Sunday’s whipping at Manchester City which will only aggravate anti-board feelings even more.

West Ham fans aren’t happy, Everton fans aren’t happy. And tomorrow Alan Pardew takes charge of his first match as West Brom boss - against his previous team Crystal Palace.

It’s a home fixture but these days that only makes it harder. Travelling fans are infinitely more vocal, passionate and disconnected with sensibility, which means Pardew is in for an afternoon of bile, simply because he didn’t do very well in the last few months of his time at Palace.

Pardew really should be back at West Ham. That’s the job he wanted when Bilic was axed and he’s the one West Ham supporters wanted - remembering how he took them out of the Championship and to an immortalised FA Cup final against Liverpool in 2006.

It was such a good game that Hammers fans didn’t give a hoot that they lost on penalties to Liverpool.

Pardew’s in the wrong job, Moyes in the wrong place and so is Allardyce if we go by the barometer of public opinion.

Then we have Rafa Benitez who takes Newcastle to Chelsea tomorrow lunchtime.

Benitez took over at Chelsea when the club was in turmoil; sacking coach Robert di Matteo just a few months after he won the Champions League for them - the first London manager to do so.

The Spaniard was not an easy fit and rubbed up a few players the wrong way - most notably skipper John Terry. He has an abrasive personality - just like Jose Mourinho, who has also seen his popularity among Chelsea fans plummet.

Benitez was brought in as an emergency signing to stop the rot at Chelsea - just like Allardyce and Moyes have been at Everton and West Ham.

He got Chelsea third place, which meant direct qualification for the Champions League and then left. But that won’t stop him getting a bucket load of abuse tomorrow at Stamford Bridge.

Throw in that Pep Guardiola has been steaming into opposition players after WINNING this week, half of all Arsenal fans want Arsene Wenger sacked and now serious questions are being asked about Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham because they are seventh.

And Antonio Conte will be £8,000 out of pocket by admitting a misconduct charge for verbally abusing a fourth official at Chelsea on Wednesday.

Merry Christmas.


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Richie Wellens
(Oldham Athletic)
8th June


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