Now that is more like it. We do love a weekend that pulls out some folk that have been magnificent and some that have been not so magnificent. And, as a result, you get quite a nice list to peruse over a coffee today.
#1 Tony Pulis
Tony knew his time was up, and he handled himself professionally in the post-match guff after Chelsea had hammered his now former side 4-0 at the Hawthorns. All the signs were there. The fans had had enough. The foreign owners had bothered to make a visit. His team had just been battered. The real signs were there before the Manchester City game though, when Pulis cleverly announced that “fine, we’ll do it your way” to the fans and moved away from a team based on a watertight defence. “People say we are boring,” moaned Pulis before getting the bullet, “but there have been nine goals here in the last two games”. Yes, Tony, yes there have. Problem is old boy, WBA only scored two of them. Now go and battle Ryan Giggs for the Wales job, eh?
#2 Sam Allardyce
You’ve got to respect the self-confidence in Big Sam. He’s never managed a truly “big” club despite him looking in the mirror before bed each night and telling himself he’d win the league with Real Madrid no bother at all. He was sacked by the Uniteds of Newcastle and West Ham. Granted, Sunderland would not be in the mess they are in now if England had not come aknocking, and we all know how that turned out for everyone. But Everton wanted to speak to him, despite all this. Sam definitely wanted to speak to them, I mean the club has a bit of cash and David Unsworth is already laying the foundations of a dour midfield and knocking it long. But just because Everton didn’t call him back 20 minutes after the interview and offer him the job he was “withdrawn” from the race. Damn you Marco Silva, you are ruining it for everyone.
#3 West Ham Fans
I kinda feel for the Hammers fans and I kinda don’t. I feel for them because they have a bunch of charlatans running the club, who have been in the game for 20 years and done precisely sod all with Birmingham and West Ham. The fans have been evicted from their spiritual home and dumped in an athletic stadium. They’ve been lumbered with David Moyes. It’s not a great time to be a West Ham fan, frankly. But then that sympathy starts to slide away when you hear that enough of them have been phoning 999 to claim an emergency for it to make the national news. West Ham struggling is not an emergency folks, it is a fact of life.
Oh he is back, he is completely back. “Lions recover faster than humans” he announced when being interviewed after his second debut for Manchester United against Newcastle United. Rob Elliot clearly didn’t read the script, saving Zlatan’s acrobatic attempt to score on his return. It wasn’t quite Eric Cantona returning, but it wasn’t far off. Say what you will about Ibra, we will miss him when he is gone.
#5 Vincent Kompany
Generally it is accepted that Vinny struggles to get through 90 minutes nowadays. He knows this himself, which can only explain that tackle against Leicester City after 90 seconds. With John Stones joining Nicolas Otamendi on the sidelines, Kompany will now need to play more than once a week, which almost guarantees he will be injured by the time you open the first square on your advent calendar. Still, at least City have learned to defend without him.
#6 Chris Coleman
Putting his genuinely excited to be there press conference to one side, how good does Chris Coleman actually think he is? It is one thing turning Wales into a semi-respectable footballing nation when you have Gareth Bale to select once in a while, but thinking you can turn Sunderland around? Madness. To cap it all off, the West Brom job came up hours later and he’d have probably had a shout at that. Coleman will look back on the Wales period as his Golden Time and pretend Sunderland never happened.
#7 Gary Megson
The original Ginger Mourinho is back, even if it might be for one game only. And the WBA fans thought watching PulisBall was bad…