Todays Tales

“Who used to be known as the best run club in England?” indeed.

A while ago you could have said Manchester United, winning title after title and making the rest of the football world hope that Sir Alex would call it a day soon. More recently, some people have suggested Southampton – a club capable of turning over players for profit like a 1980s trader and doing it all again the next season. A club capable of knowing who their next manager might be seasons in advance because of Les Reed’s super spreadsheet.

Football changes quickly, no?

Manchester United turned to Jose Mourinho, I seem to recall, because he was the only man capable of bringing the Premier League and the Champions League back to Old Trafford. Yes, yes it took Sir Alex bloody ages to win his first title but he didn’t exactly start from the same place as Jose, did he? Last night Manchester United fans watched their side bow out ever so meekly against Sevilla, who never forget would be in the “bottom six of the Premier League”. Old Trafford, the scene of many a classic European night, woke up for the first time when Sevilla took the lead and were probably just settling back in for another snooze when they doubled it. And that, was that. Don’t worry though folks, “this has happened before” according to Jose.

Mourinho “doesn’t have regrets” you see, because United have another big game on Saturday. A big game in your chase for second place, Jose? Come on man, the fans deserve a little bit more than this. His comment about “Liverpool have the Champions League but don’t have the FA Cup” was just bizarre. Even mild-mannered Romelu Lukaku showed more fighting spirit in the post-match chats, accusing some of his United teammates of “hiding” (though he surely cannot have meant Fellaini with his hair and elbows everywhere as usual).

As for Southampton, has someone deleted that spreadsheet or something? Because you appear to be linking yourselves quite heavily with Mark Hughes. Yes, Mark Hughes. You do realise that he doesn’t do very well when managing teams that play in red and white stripes? Has your research extended that far? Stoke City sacked him because they felt he would get them relegated. So, Southampton, please do explain why you think he is now good enough to not take you down? Or, do you think he is the ideal man to get you back out of the Championship? Mark Hughes, as I am sure Stoke and QPR fans will testify, loves bringing in overpaid ex-Champions League winners who don’t give a toss about the club they are playing for. Remind me, Southampton. How exactly does this link to your Academy philosophy? How will Matthew Target feel when he is replaced next season with someone like Fabio Coentrao or another left-back on six times the wages? This next appointment might well be the most important one you make since you pretty much went bust last time. Do yourselves a favour. Don’t give it to Sparky.