A lot of Shakespeare’s work has the character known for deceit, backstabbing, double-crossing and being a bit of a half-wit killed off in the denouement. Leicester City’s board are clearly fans of the historic playwright and finally brought the curtain down on the character involved in deceit, backstabbing and double-crossing by sacking their very own Shakespeare.
Personally, I felt October was a little late as I had him down for leaving on a Midsummer’s Night, but that turned out to be a dream of mine. Shakey is now Bard from the King Power (which in itself sounds like a character name). He is believed to have taken the news almost as badly as Richard Keys, giving the board a Roundhouse kick to the Globe(s).
Puns aside, albeit briefly, people might feel it is a little harsh on Craig Shakespeare considering their fixture list at the start of the season and the fact they have not been outclassed at any point. But then, the very same people can cast their minds back to the fact that the board also kicked out the man that won them the league after a similar length of time the following season, and the man that saved them from relegation the season before that. You could almost argue they know what they are doing, even if they are yet to convince Lord Lineker of Leicestershire.
The usual faces are now being linked to the post. In no particular order, Carlo Ancelotti, Roberto Mancini, Alan Pardew, Sam Allardyce, Martin O’Neill, Chris Coleman and, er, Sean Dyche will have better odds than Tales’ very own Alan Curbishley who is expected to be 16/1.
It turns out Liverpool were playing a very clever game on Saturday against Manchester United, who themselves it turns out were showcasing their new “bus partner” MegaBus with their tactical approach to the game. Liverpool were saving up their goals for last night’s trip to Maribor who saw the ball enter their net 7 (seven) times. No English team has been to Maribor and done that apparently, which is a classic example of how Liverpool roll. 2-0 would have done gents, and beating Maribor by seven doesn’t get you any closer to solving the conundrum of defending set-plays or beating teams that sit very deep against you.
Harry Kane will have pretty much sealed the deal with his performance at the Bernabeu. The striker may not have scored the goal himself, but he definitely put Varane off. However, it was Hugo Lloris that may have well leap-frogged the Tottenham goal-getter to the top of Madrid’s shopping list with his performance. Cristiano Ronaldo has already demanded that Zinedine Zidane find a new man between the sticks and Hugo was on his shortlist. Watch it happen, watch it happen. Serge Aurier continued his incredibly scattergun approach to life in a white shirt by conceding the penalty from which Ronaldo scored his 2056th goal for Real.
Elsewhere, Manchester City did what they needed to do early against Serie A pacesetters Napoli. Gabby Jesus and Raheem Sterling both scored again before City thought it might be appropriate to practice some proper defending as they’ve not had to do a great deal in the Premier League and, well, Stoke City don’t count. Ederson saved a penalty and City held on for a 2-1 win, meaning their route to the next round looks pretty simple.
That noise you can hear on the other side of Manchester is Jose Mourinho performing one bad boy of a U-turn. With Jose now claiming that the only future in football is “tomorrow” and that he is now NOT prepared to commit to signing a new deal it is easy to believe that yesterday’s “slip it into the press” tactic that he “deserves” a bumper pay rise to “commit longterm” has backfired somewhat. I would love to think that United accepted that they needed to sacrifice their principals briefly to bring in Mourinho to sort out the shithouse that Moyes and Van Gaal had left, before binning him off in 2019 and bringing in someone just a touch more adventurous. If that happens, I take back every single word I have ever said about Ed Woodward.