LAWRIE, LAWRIE LAUGHS
Hugo must be squirming in his Mexican recliner. After turning Northern Ireland from the international football equivalent of The Mighty Ducks in to a giant-killing, group-topping, Ian Paisley-taming outfit, Lawrie Sanchez has decided to take the chance to manage in the Premiership with Fulham. Considering that his four games so far have included one win over a uninterested, weakened Liverpool side, a fortunate home draw with Blackburn and two defeats, he can probably count himself fortunate to be given that opportunity at all.
Ian Dowie was out of a job by November 14th last year so Sanchez could technically be back in charge at Windsor Park for the defeat to Spain on 21st November.
IMAGINE HE WAS ANY GOOD
With Scottish football being the Subbuteo equivalent of real football, many a limited player has made his way over the border in classic “big fish/small pond” fashion.
After winning about 436 medals in seven seasons, Celtic’s resident crab, Neil Lennon, will attempt to edge slowly sideways across a Premiership pitch next season.
“Sunderland would appeal to me greatly but it’s only hearsay at the moment,” he suggested as Roy Keane was seen to guffaw heartily at roughly the same time.
But before that he has a difficult cup final hurdle to vault over sideways.
“I’d love to go out on a high, but it won’t be easy against Dunfermline,” he said generously of the relegated club they’ve beaten three times this season.
“I’ll walk away very happy at the end of the season.”
In a sideways manner, probably.
When West Ham signed Carlos Tevez and his goofy sidekick in August 2006 the West Ham fans could sense the dawning of a new era. They dreamt of “Champions” League and jealous internet postings from Spurs fans who would see their club left trailing in their wake. But with one game left West Ham are 29 points off the “Champions” League, 19 behind Spurs and 90 minutes away from relegation.
A lot of clubs think they should already be relegated after the Premier League charged them with breaking transfer regulations but only fined them the equivalent of Frank Lampard’s monthly food bill rather than dock points. With that sort of goodwill flying around it’s no wonder that talk of a plot between Wigan and Sheffield United to conspire and relegate West Ham is in the air.
“People can get together and have these conspiracy theories but I don’t think it has entered anyone’s minds because it is so dangerous,” sighed Bagpuss lookalike Alan Curbishley.
Sheffield United hard man(ager), Neil Warnock was equally dismissive. “It makes good newspaper headlines but I’m just thinking about Sheffield United,” he smirked as his backroom staff faxed line-ups and tactics to 0800-WIGAN.
Taking time off from steaming Carlos Tevez out of his Panini sticker album, wigan boss Paul Jewell said: “We will get people off the hook if we win and send West Ham down.”
I don’t think there will be too many tears shed.
+++ TIGHT SHORTS +++
Sam Allardyce who SENSATIONALLY quit Bolton two weeks ago looks set to become the latest managerial flop at St James Park. Meanwhile Michael Owen is eager to move to Liverpool for 9m, triggering a desperate release clause agreed to by Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd. You would think the Reds would have learnt their lesson from the Fowler return.
Benni McCarthy, the one bright spot on a mediocre Blackburn Rovers season, has intimiated that he’d like to play in the Champions League. I admire his ambition, and he’s a fine player, but what price loyalty?
+++ TWAT OF THE DAY +++
Jamie Redknapp for services to bland punditry and sycophantic behaviour towards Chelsea and his fat cousin, Frank Lamplard.