Friday, May 2, 2008

Trashcan Sinatra and the Rat Pack

As LB mentioned earlier this week, Citeh have been shit since I gave them the five star treatment in January. So shit, in fact, that Sven Goran Eriksson was fired this week by his despotic boss, despite the fact that he had Man City challenging for European places until March, and brought in a serious infusion of talent to the side. Neither Man City's players nor its celebrity fans are taking this very well. At least Sven will have more time to appear on Setanta with the Special One.

The Guardian reports that there was a near mutiny in the City dressing room, lead by influential defensive stalwart Richard Dunne:

The idea put forward by City's players involved embarrassing Thaksin in his native country by refusing to take part in a game against a Thailand Premier All-Stars team on May 17, as well as a match in Hong Kong against a South China Invitational XI five days later. The players, who are due to leave on May 14 and perform a series of promotional duties such as opening a new club shop, asked Eriksson what he thought about them putting together a letter in which they would refuse to travel without him in charge. Though grateful, Eriksson was against the idea, believing it compromised the players' own positions and would do no good anyway.

Since then it has emerged that, farcically, Eriksson might still be in charge of the tour anyway, for no other reason than Thaksin does not believe he will have a new manager in place, his first choice, Luiz Felipe Scolari, being contracted to the Portuguese football federation until the end of the European Championship.

The players, meanwhile, are still staunchly behind Eriksson but have accepted that they should not do anything that breaches their own contracts. Nonetheless, it is likely they will be far more reluctant to satisfy Thaksin's requirements than they have been in the past, most recently when Joe Hart and Darius Vassell were asked to record a video message saying how much they were looking forward to visiting Thailand. The clips were shown at a press conference to promote the event in Bangkok on Wednesday.

It is also clear that whoever replaces Eriksson will have his work cut out winning over a group of players who are so united behind the current manager and that it is quite conceivable Dunne will have left the club. The Republic of Ireland international has only a year left on his contract and, though he has strong emotional ties with City, he is said to be closer than any other player to Eriksson and disillusioned about the direction in which the club are going.

I'm very proud of the players, willing to make a political statement on a trip that should be about whoring, whoring, and more whoring. But even though Sven has talked them out of a mutiny, it appears that all is not right in the blue half of Manchester. And I'm happy to report that my beloved Arsenal may benefit. The Times notes:

Arsenal are hoping to capitalise on the unfolding chaos at Manchester City by preparing a summer bid for Michael Johnson, the England Under-21 midfield player. Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, is becoming concerned that Mathieu Flamini, who has partnered Cesc Fàbregas in central midfield for most of this season, has had his head turned by interest from abroad and will not be signing a new contract at the Emirates Stadium.

Yes! Signing Michael Johnson will completely make up for losing Flamini and Hleb to big spending Italian clubs. When I originally heard this rumor, Micah Richard's name was also bandied about as a possible target for Arsene. But now it appears he may be headed across town instead. Plus Arsene would never, you know, make it rain for an English youngster. Even though the backline was a huge problem this year. Arsenal are also in the race to sign Gareth Barry, but apparently we don't have the financial firepower to compete with Man United and Liverpool. You know times are tight when you can't outspend a club up to its ears in debt run by a good ole' boy from Dallas.


Mike Georger said...

for as terrible as hicks is, at least he hasnt fired anyone (yet) and isnt a huge human rights abuser (not out of the question though im sure)

Precious Roy said...

I don't know... Hicks is making Ron Washington manage the Texas Rangers.

Mike Georger said...

speaks volumes for the pirates that washington was hired over john russell

*slams cock in door*

strong like bull smart like tractor said...

Hicks also inflicted us with "Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankee", so hasn't he abused all of our rights?

Ian said...

Gentlemen. Let's not get carried away on some tangent about why A Rod is completely fucking over your fantasy team right now? Ok?

The Fan's Attic said...

To be fair, Hicks has wanted to fire Rick Parry, but he doesn't have the authority.

Mike Georger said...

well the argument could be made that parry probably should have been fired at several points in his career (dont take that as defending hicks)

sven in no way deserves to be fired

Keith said...

Pool better be willing to pony up at least Crouch and Finnan if they want to take Gareth off our hands.

To quote Martin O'Neill "We are not a feeder club"

The Fan's Attic said...

you'll get crouchaldinho and riise and you will like it.

Mike Georger said...

how is selling off a 27 year old making someone a feeder club

now if we put in an offer for young maybe that quote would make sense

so go ahead and do that rafa

Keith said...

Yes, he's 27, but he's going to be the English captain soon and he is a Villa product through and through. Furthermore, if Villa are going to meet the goal of regular CL participation (i.e. overtake Liverpool), then we can't go selling our best player and engine room to last team in the Big 4.

And Fairway Riise? No thanks.