With the sacking of Paul Clement earlier this week, the number of Premier League managers losing their jobs is increasing at a striking rate. It was on this very day last season, the 22nd December, that Alan Pardew became the second manager to fall victim to the axe, joining former Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin. What is it about this season that has already resulted in the departure of no fewer than 6 managers? High expectations? Poor performances? Brexit? Trump? Your guess is as good as mine.
I must admit however, when West Ham and Everton announced Moyes and Allardyce as the successors to Bilic and Koeman I was unimpressed. I figured I had more chance of seeing the former duo on an episode of Rogue Traders than Match of the Day. Picture the scene: Big Sam, the enforcer, standing alongside ‘Moneybags’ Moyes, threatening someone’s nan with eviction because she couldn’t afford to pay for a dodgy boiler that they themselves installed not two weeks before. Classic stuff. Alas, the world (or at least, the BBC) will have to wait for such an episode to air. In the meantime we’ll have to settle for some light-hearted Doctor Who Christmas special, inexplicably devoid of corruption and greed I’m sure. Sad. Very sad.
Now that I think of it, Paul Clement wouldn’t be out of place flogging a used Nissan Micra to Sharon at number 9, or selling a Volvo to Darren who lives above the chippy. Sadly, I can’t see a place in Rogue Traders for poor Ronald Koeman – he doesn’t look like he has it in him to do one over on old Barbara. Perhaps he’d be more suited to a game show – he could bring Gylfi along to ‘The (multi) Million Pound Flop’, or perhaps, considering the form of his late Everton side, ‘Pointless’ might be a better fit? In fact, given Big Sam’s impact at Goodison Park, I’ve decided Koeman would be most at home on ‘The Weakest Link’, sweating nervously under the gaze of Anne Robinson.
As for Frank de Boer, his experience of the Premier League lasted about as long as Tony Pulis would have done on Love Island. The Dutchman is now nothing more than a distant memory, joining Remi Garde in the pile of managers everyone subconsciously agrees to forget – a football equivalent of Shrek the Third or Grease 2, two films that incidentally feature just as many goals as de Boer’s Palace side managed to score this season.