Three men walk into a Spanish bar. One’s Tony Adams, one’s Kieran Richardson and the other is Nigel Reo-Coker. I must profess that I don’t have a punchline for that joke (or indeed most of the jokes that I come up with) but if that first sentence doesn’t catch your attention then quite frankly nothing will. Yes somehow Tony Adams’ has landed himself a job as manager of La Liga relegation strugglers Granada and his first bold move is to bring in Kieran Richardson and Nigel Reo-Coker on trial. I think its fair to say we need to unpack just what is going on here.
Tony Adams’ credentials can’t be questioned. He captained Arsenal for over a decade and was clearly one of the best centre-backs of his generation. His record as a manager, however, is not quite as glowing. His one-year spell at Wycombe Wanderers saw them relegated to League 2, and he only picked up 10 points in his 16 games in charge at Portsmouth a few years later. The next natural move was a job in Azerbaijan which again only lasted a year. So how does Tony Adams, an abject failure of a manager who hasn’t coached in 6 years land a job in La Liga?
Well, Adams was Sporting Director of a club in the Chinese Super League, and that club happens to be owned by the Chinese owners of Granada. On an unrelated note, Granada were the first club in La Liga history to produce a starting 11 containing 11 different nationalities earlier this season. So Adams was appointed due to his connections with the Chinese owners.
Granada are in deep trouble in La Liga, seven points from safety with seven games to go. So who do you call upon to get you out of this relegation mess? Of course its Kieran Richardson a man who has been relegated twice in his last three full seasons. Richardson is hot off an exhilarating 6 games spell at Cardiff City earlier in the season so obviously at 32 still has plenty left in the tank. He’s also got eight England caps, which is definitely down to his ability and not the fact he played for Manchester United during the period he received all those caps.
Do Do Do Nigel Reo-Coker Do Do Do. Apologies I had to get out of the way. Big Nige has been plying his trade in the MLS for the past few years but has not played regularly in a European top flight since 2011/12 with Bolton, when yes you guessed it, the Trotters were relegated. And similarly to Richardson at 32 years old, I’m sure he’s got loads left in the tank.
So I’m sure to wish all the best to Tony Adams and his incredibly questionable signings and I look forward to seeing how Adams does in the Spanish second tier next season. I mean he’ll definitely stay for that, won’t he?