Editor’s Note: Guy Bailey will write columns for The Yanks Are Coming throughout the Barclay’s Premier League season where he discusses the happenings overseas in the world’s most popular sports league. Guy offers a unique perspective on the league as a Brit who lived for a long while in the United States before moving back to Teeside in the past year. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow him on Twitter all EPL season at@guyrbailey.
19/12/13 – TTFN AVB, SC & MM
I need you all to kick in $20 because we’re going to make a killing on a new managers book I’m opening – the first to get to the end of the season still in a job. Wenger always being the exception that proves the rule, the longest serving EPL manager is Alan Pardew at comedy club Newcastle. Just think about that for a second.
AVB finally got his marching orders from Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy after a comprehensive 5-0 demolition at home to Liverpool. Levy is the spitting image of The Hitman from the video game series so upsetting him is probably not the best option. I think what did AVB was the scale of the defeats to Liverpool and Man City. If they had been 2-0 or 1-0, he’d still be in post and having defenders like Vertongen missing is not going to help any side. Yes, his expensive foreign signings aren’t firing yet but give the guys a break, from sleepy autumnal Rome and Serie A to the full blown EPL in December experience would be daunting for experienced internationals, not fledgling talents like Erikssen and Lamela. He’s not his own best friend when it comes to apportioning blame for defeats though. He would blame the kit man and the guy who mows the grass before himself which certainly rubs a lot of fans up the wrong way.
As for AVB- he’s really made a living off his Mourinho ties, and truth be told, his Porto team that made him such a hot managerial commodity was stacked: Hulk, Falcao, Souza, Joao Mountinho, Maicon…you get the idea. They were way better than most the teams they played, both in the EURO and certainly in the Portuguese league. So you wonder how much juice is left in his name? He’d do well to head to a smaller pasture and rebuild his reputation (if he can). A high-level job shouldn’t be coming down the pipe.
Steve Clarke was also dismissed, harshly on the surface, from his job at West Brom this week, only a month after winning at Old Trafford – although his 2013 record of only seven wins all year looks less rosy, and breaking news, Malky Mackay at Cardiff has just received an email from the hilarious/horrifying Vincent Tan telling him to resign or be sacked, presumably for wearing the wrong colored tie, and all of a sudden, Newcastle look the model of restraint and stability.
Speaking of Tan, he isn’t exactly the bad guy from the wonderful Christmas film Die Hard, but he has his moments. Die Hard villain honors still fall to Roman Abramovich– which I suppose is fitting, since Alan Rickman is a huge Chelsea fan. Either way, Tan isn’t exactly the guy you want to sit down with to have an egg nog. Rather, someone needs to play the role of Bruce Willis..
Arsenal and Manchester City served up a game so wonderful and exciting that if I didn’t know better, it was done deliberately with NBC purely for the benefit of the American audience. You couldn’t have got a better exhibition of football if you tried in the 6-3 stunner. It simply had everything. The depressing thing for most fans was after watching this treat, I trudged off to watch Middlesbrough lose limply to Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0, leaking their third late goal in as many games and frankly it looked like a different sport.
Pity Fulham who welcome the ominous sky blue machine to Craven Cottage this week for an unwelcome Christmas present. Mackay may have his swansong at Anfield against Liverpool while Sunderland entertain Norwich in a match so critical if it was a movie it would be taglines ‘Black Christmas’. Arsenal try to get the wagons back in a circle for the visit of Chelsea on Monday Night in another title credentials eliminator.
England being England, we play again on Boxing Day (and get it off) with the pick of the games being Man City entertaining Liverpool, Arsenal going to the East End to play West Ham and the battle of the managerless as Spurs entertain West Brom with both hoping to avoid Martin Jol in the secret EPL santa.
Happy Holidays to you and yours, we’ll be back for the 27th, just in time to discuss the silly season.
As noted, Guy Bailey writes on the Barclay’s Premier League for The Yanks Are Coming. Want more Guy Bailey? We highly recommend his new book, Blessay From America, a collection of writings made while living in America, where he married a southern belle and saw his son born, which you can purchase here.