It’s hard to imagine that there was once a world where sacking Ray Wilkins meant Chelsea threw away their Premier League challenge. Yes, Butch was that ingrained in the Chelsea way that his removal was possibly the first sign that the players ran the dressing room and not the managers. He was respected, he was almost loved and some were even talking about him being involved in the England set-up.
Well, it’s 2017 now and boy have things changed.
Ray Wilkins, former Chelsea, United, Rangers and England captain, went Peak Brexit on Sky Sports News slamming the impending signing of Victor Lindelof by Manchester United. Because, basically, “he’s done nothing, absolutely nothing!”
Wilkins went on to claim that Michael Keane of Burnley would be a far better option than the Swede because “we know young Keane can play in the Premier League”. Ray was clearly fuming at the thought of more Europeans coming over here and taking “our” jobs and chose to overlook some of the facts.
So, Ray, my dear boy. It appears that young Lindelof has actually won more at the age of 22 than you did in your entire career of passing the ball sideways or backwards. Victor has 12 Swedish caps already, mainly due to the fact that he has won Liga Nos with Benfica (you know, that small little team in Portugal) three times, won the Portuguese Cup another three times and won the U21 European Championships with his country.
Young Keane, incidentally, plays for Burnley (admittedly, the same number of letters as Benfica and both start with a B) and has won the Championship. It is probably worth mentioning, again, that Michael Keane used to play for Manchester United and they sold him because they didn’t think he would be better than Chris Smalling or Phil Jones. Yes, they thought he was that bad. So bad in fact, they didn’t even bother inserting a buy-back clause meaning he will cost around £25m as opposed to the £30m that Lindelof will set Jose back.
Wilkins was furious that every time United sign “a European” it starts with a 3. That’s not exactly true now Ray, but I cannot be bothered to go back over the last few signings and remind you of their actual fee. But, have you noticed that bang-average English players seem to be going for slightly inflated prices? Let me give you an example – Michael Keane of Burnley is going to cost £25m even though he has one year left on his contract. That is madness.
So Ray, go and sit next to Paul Merson in the Sky studio, talk about how it wasn’t like that in your day and wear your Wally of the Week hat with pride.