Todays Tales

So the axe has finally fallen. West Bromwich Albion have sacked Alan Pardew, which is not the shock. The shock is WHY NOW? I mean, up until even three games ago there was a teeny, tiny, toony outside chance that Albion could be saved. Now, there is none. So they’ve sacked him, even though it was obvious he wasn’t going to save them. It was really obvious.

Of all the games that have killed WBA’s season, the 2-1 loss to Burnley was not the worst. Not even close. So the timing is very bizarre, but then the club has become very bizarre. Don’t forget, they gambled their budget on Daniel Sturridge scoring the goals to keep them up but he got injured within ten minutes, obviously.

They are saying that it was “mutual consent” and that Pardew felt he had “taken the club as far as he could”. What, Alan? Down? They weren’t totally screwed when they fired Tony Pulis, but they were when you took the job. Four months. Nine consecutive defeats. The talk of the “shackles being taken off” even more laughable now than it was at the time. Pardew the psychologist needing to get away to get his head right.

Now, Albion have a chance to get it right for next season. They could break the mould and gamble on one of those up-and-coming types who are doing well in the lower leagues. The Cowley brothers, Nathan Jones, guys like that. Or, they will do what everyone expects them to do and opt for a Nigel Pearson or even Craig Shakespeare to lead their campaign from the Championship. If you keep doing the same things, you’ll keep getting the same results, dammit!

Marko Arnautovic is not a Mark Hughes fan. Shock.

“I respect Mark Hughes and what he’s done for me, but I heard some things when he was talking about me and they were not good things.

I’m only doing my job, and if I score against a Mark Hughes team it’s nothing personal. I try to score in every game and I don’t feel sorry for anybody. If we win and I score that’s fine, nothing else matters.

I don’t care what he says. Of course I’m grateful for what he did for me at Stoke when he was my coach, but if he wants to say bad things about me, that’s up to him. I perform on the pitch and I try to let my feet do the talking.”

People in glass houses (Mark Hughes) should not throw stones. To be fair, it is going to be mightily difficult to steal the “worst manager of the year” award from Alan Pardew but Sparky is going to run him close.

Ever heard of Moussa Marega? Nope, didn’t expect you to have. He plays for Porto and he’s valued at £35m because he’s got a few goals this season. I’ll let you guess which clubs are being linked to throwing money in Porto’s direction. Did you get Everton and West Ham? Well done, maximum points for you.

The Hammers also want Rodrigo Battaglia who also plays in Portugal for Sporting. The only snag is that Napoli, Roma and Inter are all after him too so we know how that will end for Moyes.