Sunday, January 15, 2006

Lee Hendrie for Aston Villa (vs West Ham United), 15 January 2006

Aston Villa fans must have been delighted to discover this morning that Sven has been busy touting their club to apparently wealthy Sheikhs in Dubai. The good news for the FA and for all England fans is that apparently Sven wouldn't dream of walking out on his £4.2m a year contract to manage England until after the World Cup (he is under contract until 2008). After the World Cup he would be available for the simple matter of £5m net and a three year contract.

£15m to manage Aston Villa? Is he mad? Surely that's not enough? I'd want double that.

Ah. But Sven has a plan: his best pal David Beckham is apparently itching for a way to leave Real Madrid and return to the Premiership. A London club would be ideal, naturally, but Sven was confident that he would be able to convince DB that Birmingham was as close to Beckingham Palace as London, if not closer. He then offered to ring up the England captain on the spot to sound him out.

Sound enticing? The Sven and David Beckham dream team at Villa Park?

No. It doesn't to me either (and to be honest I'm struggling to see someone of David Beckham's gargantuan opinion of his own brilliance contemplating playing for the claret and blue. By 'London club', I'm pretty sure he'll imagine Arsenal or Chelsea. Or maybe AC Milan. That's just outside the M25, isn't it?)

That's not all the information that a few glasses of champagne managed to extract from Sven.... apparently Wayne Rooney grew up in a very rough area, Michael Owen wasn't that keen on going to Newcastle but they offered him a shitheap of money and *gasp* Rio Ferdinand is a bit lazy.

No shit Sherlock.

It would clearly be ridiculous and counter-productive of the FA sack this clown in a World Cup year, but it surely has to be a question of when now. I have some sympathy with him over the intrusions into his private life by the tabloid press, but to be so openly disloyal to his employers - at least twice - is surely too much.

Then again, in showing such a total disregard for the small matter of his contract, is Sven really behaving any differently to anyone else in football?

Of course, if he comes back in July with the World Cup trophy, I'm sure all will be forgiven.


On an almost completely different subject, whilst watching Match of the Day last night, I was struck how much the current incumbent in the dugout at Villa Park has put on a bit of weight recently and is starting to look like a gerbil. Or is it just me? These pictures are from 1976 and 2006 respectively.... what do you think?

Maybe he always has?


El Tel said...

News of the World - why bother, in a world cup year? Not helpful to anyone - and like the idea that Sven would be planning to move on should be surprising to anyone. Also, he's the England manager, he's got a lot of time on his hands, he fancied a trip to Dubai, I don't see the big deal. Maybe if Faria had still been around he'd not have been suckered like this... (imagine crude word play here)

Related to the Villa aspect of this, I thought Doug Ellis being 'flattered' by the implication kind of suggested that the old man missed the point. The reason that Villa would be the best team to invest in is because to be quite frank they're one of the most consistently under-performing operations in top flight football. Not very flattering.

And on a final note, the young O'Leary looks like the backward brother of Nick Cave.


Lord Bargain said...

I'm not sure Sven is perfect, but I feel some sympathy for him. Under his tenure, we have turned into a genuine contender for major international honours with a squad of players respected the world over.

Anyone out there suggesting you wouldnt have done what Sven did if conned in that way? Do me a favour.

And, more importantly, whatever you think of Sven's footballing abilities, lets line up the replacements if he gets sacked, shall we?

Bookies favourite: Steve McLaren, a man about to drag Middlesbrough into the Championship despite huge talent at his disposal. Sam Allardyce? Ooh, lets lob endless long throws into Peter Crouch. Alan Curbishley or Paul Jewell? Really?

unless they get Jose, and he'd have to be potty to take it, Sven's the man for the job for me.

oh, and David o'Dreary? Twit.

SwissToni said...

which huge talent has McClaren got at boro then? Mark Viduka? He's just huge, isn't he?

Why does Sven's ultimate replacement have to be English? If there's no obvious English candidate, then look somewhere else - dur.

It's a shit job though, and no mistake.... unless you win something. And if you win something, you should quit immediately whilst the going is still good. They'll get you eventually. No question.

And for the record, I don't think that everyone in the same position would have done the same thing as Sven. He has acted without care or respect, and I don't think everyone is like that. Big talk over champagne and lobsters. Is it really too much to expect that on £4.2m a year he might keep his thoughts to himself for once and stop touting himself around for other work. Football being what it is, he could have managed England to their most humiliating run of defeats ever and someone would be desperate enough to offer him a job and throw good money after bad.

I will agree with you on one thing though - to some extent having a manager as dispassionate as Sven has enabled us to look at the team with a little more detachment and to realise that we do have some talent in there. Do you remember when England squads were most notable to see which strange selections had been made? Nowadays there is so much stability that the joke is often made that it's harder to get out of Sven's squad once you are in, than it was to get into it in the first place. I think this is generally a good thing. However we could do with a bit more of an obvious 'Plan B'. Throwing your best players onto the pitch in any old formation isn't going to work unless the players in question are prepared to swallow their own egos and play for the team - which some of our lot don't seem prepared to do. Gerrard for one, Beckham for another....

We are one of the best teams in the world, but I don't see us consistently beating the other best sides in the world. We might get lucky this summer, but at the moment my prediction would be more heartache and defeat to an ultimately superior team. I'd very much like to be wrong.