Saturday, June 10, 2023

Christmas wishes for managers

Graham Fisher in Editorial, General Soccer News 24 Dec 2010


Breath of fresh air

On Christmas Eve I thought I would look at what some of the managers in football might want to receive as a present. I hope they all get what they want and have a really happy festive season.

Avram Grant
The West Ham boss looks so miserable with life most of the time and to be fair I suppose he has good reason. He had a great season with Chelsea, missing out on the Champions League by just one slip of the foot, and found himself sacked.

He went to Portsmouth and found the club in financial meltdown and got relegated.

He then went to West Ham in the Summer and found life not a great deal better than it had been at Pompey. Still, at least he has had the total support of his board…

Being one game into a three match ultimatum whereby he has to win a game to keep his job, the next few days could be even more miserable than usual.

For Avram Grant I have a simple wish. Three points.

Rafa Benitez
Last season Rafa Benitez seemed to lose the tenuous grip he held on reality during his time at Liverpool. His increasingly strange ramblings culminated in his infamous rant about Sir Alex Ferguson. You really had to wonder if he had thought about what he was going to say before he said it.

Now at Inter, he seems to have fallen into similar habits. His amazing ‘back me or sack me’ press conference earlier in the week was tantamount to handing the Inter President Massimo Moratti a loaded gun and telling him to take aim.

For Rafa Benitez I would love him to receive a personal advisor who might just stop him from opening his mouth when he really should keep it closed.

Arsene Wenger
The Professor is one of the finest managers to have ever worked in English football. Over the years I have changed from finding him to be an irritating, frustrating, blinkered and arrogant boss into having the utmost respect for him.

I love watching his team play football as they play it the way I think it should be played. Having said that, I am getting a little concerned by his constant preaching of his side being young and learning all the time.

For Arsene, I would love him to receive the knowledge that everyone else seems to have. He needs a goalkeeper, a ball winning midfielder and a goalscorer to have any chance of winning the league!!

Ian Holloway
What a joy Ian Holloway and Blackpool have been so far this season. He has been humble and excited and refreshingly ambitious, positive and honest.

His team have played attacking and free flowing football and have achieved remarkable results.

A couple of seasons ago Hull started well but faded away horrendously after Christmas. I think Holloway and Blackpool may be made of sterner stuff.

For Ian Holloway I wish for a second half of the season just like the first one.

David Moyes
The Scotsman has done a wonderful job at Everton but even he has struggled to turn things around this season. He has worked with a comparatively small budget over a few years now and achieved fantastic results. The win at Manchester City on Monday and the spirit shown by the players, all went to prove what a top manager he is.

His time at Everton may be coming to an end and it would be terrible if he bowed out of Everton on a low. He deserves one of the top jobs.

For David Moyes I wish either a huge amount of money to buy some players or a job at a top club.

Malky Mackay
Some of you might not know who Malky Mackay is. He is the very fine young manager of my beloved Watford.

He has done a fantastic job with a young group of players in difficult financial circumstances.

There are rumours that there may be a takeover of the club early in the new year. As we have seen, a new owner often means the exit of the old manager.

For Malky I wish for new money from a new owner and for him to keep his job. He deserves a chance.

Alan Pardew and Steve Kean
Two men trying to do a job with one hand tied behind their back.

I wish for them a thick skin and a whole lot of luck. They are going to need it to last the season!

Sam Allardyce and Chris Hughton
Two fine managers who didn’t in any way deserve to be sacked.

I wish new jobs for them and enough success to show the owners at their former clubs what stupid decisions they made.


Graham Fisher



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