Thank goodness, the International break is over and we can once again return to the staple diet of watching overpaid, backstabbing, barely talented diva’s serve up the occasional bit of quality as opposed to a select handful of miscreants deliver even less entertainment in the name of FIFA friendlies and World Cup qualification. It has come to pass that the majority are now more interested in betting on which players have been injured and watching the subsequent post international break meltdown of red-faced, greying hypertensive coaches blame every sod bar themselves for their team’s abject performance on MOTD come Saturday night. At least the referees and lino’s will get an easier ride at Old Trafford this weekend as a result.
But prior to this international hiatus being closed over like the career of a talented youth prospect under Mourinho and we return to normality, the break in proceedings has realised the chance for me to remove some of my emotion around Ranierigate. Furthermore, if I am to be true to my schizophrenia when analysing the period since Shakespeare and his merry band of laggards brought their coup d’état upon Claudio, I can now see this was a masterstroke. The quids-in owners didn’t want to be seen as the bad guys obviously, so they must have relished witnessing the mutiny take place, all they had to do was pull the trigger when it was all said and done. Much akin to being mugged by your mate, and then have him chair your restorative justice session. Amazingly the players have turned it around and are now bound for mid table mediocrity come May, albeit having lost credibility in the eyes of the neutral as well as most of the games since August. Miraculously they still have a slim (but improving with every minute) chance of progressing in the UCL. Whether you believe in Shakespeare’s innocence or subscribe to an altogether more clandestine vulpine piece of aggressive Darwinism, Claudio’s departure has as a bi-product landed Shakespeare the gig, which in turn has seen a phenomenal return to form and if that weren’t enough for the owners the coaching wage bill has been shredded by about 80% until the end of the season. As a boss of any company in the dire position, Leicester found themselves, you’d be happy with this type of result, wouldn’t you? So as the dust has been polished away with an ample application of Mr Sheen let’s not forget that a man such as Ranieri who delivered miracles was allegedly done over by the people he placed faith in and inspired. After all, it is nearly Easter. But I promised no emotion today so jog on Claudio.
Is it also a coincidence that a similar passion play is being acted out 86 miles due South at the Emirates? The differences are that Ozil and Sanchez who I will now refer to as Shakespeare’s Sister, not content with wanting to leave the club also want to ruin the man at the helm. So as Alexis declares he wants “Success in London” we can expect both he and his dogs to be bouncing through Parson Green to the tune of “You’re history” come June. Ozil, on the other hand, is somewhat less ‘in demand’ by the masses and you don’t need a UEFA Pro License to suss that equation out.
For some reason, many feel less perturbed by Arsene’s plight in comparison to what was endured by Claudio. Perhaps it is because he is still in post? Although this feels like a quasi-managerial existence at best. I have visions of Wenger returning home every night after a 16-hour day putting his heart and soul into the club, dropping his bag in the hall, hanging the ankle length trench duffle on a life-size replica of himself and retiring to a single seater leatherbound recliner to write his own, very long and illustrious footballing epitaph as the melancholy tones of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Everbody Knows’ drones in the background. However, we all know he gets home DM’s a few hacks about a contract extension and then tunes into Piers Morgan’s Twitter feed and chuckles the night away. Which in itself deserves a spot on the New Years honours list. Damn it, no emotion allowed. Moving on.
Further North Jose is once again looking to buy a League title, not satisfied with acquiring titles at Porto, Chelsea, Internazionale and Real and claiming that he is the best coach on the planet, the miserable one is now looking to purchase Griezmann, Mertens, Kimmich, Dier and of course Neymar. Well, it’s easier to buy than train talent I guess? That lot should total about £320M but with Ed Woodward in charge of commercial affairs, it could be closer to £500M or £0. However, in a late twist, the Old Trafford faithful have been stabbed in the back by their non-returning prodigal son CR7 who has encouraged Neymar to stay at Barca and compete to become the world’s best player. He has a point in that it ain’t gonna happen under the Miserable one is it?
On unrelated matters, CR7 was also delighted to unveil the bronze statue of a young and slightly drunk Geoffrey Boycott yesterday at Madeira Airport. And speaking of general confusion just as Schweinsteiger was ejected from Old Trafford faster than Rashford handing in a transfer request our US cousins continue to embrace the Make America Great Again ethos a touch over exuberantly as a journalist asked whether Sebastien could help the Chicago Fire lift the Word Cup. Is this so unbelievable or ridiculous given FIFA are still in charge of world football? Moreover, after a 22-month internal investigation (man that is a long time to have a scope up your arse) into allegations of criminal misconduct, bribery and corruption in football only realised 2.5 Million documents worthy of further investigation. I think we can assume if the money is right there’s every chance an MLS side will lift the Jules Rimet in the not too distant.
Finally, Alex Iwobi from the lofty position of having scored 6 goals in 56 appearances insists Arsenal must improve their big game record and given they haven’t been able to hit a barn door with a banjo against their rivals maybe just maybe master Iwobi should try a little harder himself.
See no emotion at all.