Sod you Premier League and you truncated fixture list last weekend. Don’t hide behind the FA Cup, you know what the punters want. This week’s Magnificent 7 might be short on Premier League action but it is full of fools, which is just what we like.
#1 Charlie Adam
Oh, Charlie. There was a time where people could accept that fact you were fat and slow because you could ping a ball like not many other and even Sir Alex claimed your corners were worth “£10m a season”. Having recently been on Sky’s “The Debate” show talking up his mental strength and “being able to cope with a relegation battle” Charlie has missed a last-minute penalty costing Stoke City a vital three points and been sent off for a knee-high tackle on Wayne Rooney, leaving Stoke down to ten men for an hour on Saturday and, more frustratingly for the fans, leading to Shaqiri being subbed. Given that Shaq is Stoke’s one match-winner, that is not cool Charlie. Andy Gray and Richard Keys summarised on Bein 11 that Charlie’s “reputation” went before him leading to the red card. Absolute bollocks. It was a needless tackle that left his side up a certain creek without a paddle. That said, given that Adam put Bale out twice for awful tackles, what goes around does eventually come around.
#2 West Ham United
Hey, West Ham United. I know some of your “fans” are complete banjoes but the ones who are not don’t really deserve to see images of your failing squad partying and generally taking it easy by the beach/swimming pool/wherever in your “warm weather training camp” in Miami. Yes, yes I know it might be good for “morale”. But your fans are stuck at home in the snow and pay to watch you be absolute bobbins every other week. Have some respect, at least look like you are working hard.
#3 Alan Pardew
I think we can all agree that West Bromwich Albion are even more doomed now than they were when they felt it was a good idea to sack Tony Pulis without a replacement and then turn to Alan Pardew. Being 1-0 up with 13 minutes left only to lose 2-1 is not how you stage a great escape and the fact Pardew was still in the dugout was curious. One can only assume that the board have decided that they are screwed either way and will put Pardew through the pain of taking the club down before clearing the decks in the summer.
#4 Mark Hughes
As I mentioned in yesterday’s column, it is good to see Mark Hughes actually show some loyalty to a club for once. He obviously still feels terrible for dropping Stoke into the relegation zone this season but has come up with a novel way of keeping his former club in the Premier League; getting Southampton relegated instead. This appointment does mean we can stop suggesting Southampton are a “very well run football club” because there has not been a more panicked appointment since WBA got on the phone to their current dummy. Yes, Sparky got Southampton to Wembley in his first match but don’t forget a League One side played them off the park for the first 45 minutes. Plus, I am still not convinced Southampton would have won that game wearing red and white as that colour scheme and Hughes do not go well together. Mind you, you could also say blue and white is a bad look for Mark as well.
#5 Jose Mourinho
I think we have been here before, haven’t we Jose? The management manuscript for the modern day Mourinho goes something like this; 1) spend lots of money to get a team capable of winning a title quickly, before he upsets them too much. 2) win title in second season. 3) if number 2 has not been completed or looks like it is doomed for failure, start blaming everyone other than yourself. 4) see if blaming everyone improves results, remembering that the worst case scenario is you get sacked and earn £20m for doing so. 5) even when team wins a game, blame the players. 6) repeat until a parting of the ways is inevitable. United are through to the FA Cup Semi Final putting into two of the worst performances at Old Trafford this season in the last seven days. Mourinho dropped Pogba and Sanchez and was far from impressed by the players he did pick. Apart from Nemanja Matic. He loves Nemanja Matic.
#6 Swansea City
Look, Carlos. We like you a lot, alright? But that does not mean we are not a little confused by how you approached Tottenham, without Harry Kane, on Saturday in an FA Cup Quarter Final. Of course, it is more important to stay in the Premier League, but why not have a little bit of a go at Spurs? At least attack them a couple of times? No? OK.
#7 Garth Crooks
Credit to Empire of the Kop for picking up on this one, but is bang on. Garth’s Team of the Week is normally hilarious reading but his comments about Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson were wider of the mark than most of the shooting in his career. “All the more impressive considering he has only played a handful of games for club and country”. Right then Garth, that’s the player with over 200 career first-team appearances and 20 international caps then, is it?