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.
“Oh yeah, people go on about Titanic, Titanic… Let me tell you something about the Titanic, people forget, people forget that on the Titanic’s maiden voyage there were over 1000 miles of uneventful, very pleasurable cruising before it hit the iceberg!” – Alan Partridge
The Titanic may have been built in Belfast but its home port was Southampton and like a few footballers and managers, they really should have stayed put. This week however, a few may be scuttling for the lifeboats and floating debris as the culmination of three years of the footballing equivalent of very pleasurable cruising comes to an end with the resignation of chairman Nicola Cortese and possibly resignation of manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Cortese took over at the Saints as the consigliere of the Liebherr family, the Saints’ owners, while they languished in League One. Two promotions later and with the Saints on the cusp of the Europa League places, still in the FA Cup and with more highly coveted youngsters than Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Cortese ups and quits and throws a grenade into the camp. All Saints’ rivals are now licking their lips at the possible disruption, still in the transfer window and suddenly, this week’s lunchtime trip to Sunderland takes on even more significance beyond the obvious.
Their hosts are enjoying something of a mini-revival following their shock victory over Man Utd in the league cup the previous week with a 4-1 hammering of relegation rivals Fulham last week with Adam Johnson looking like the player he was at Middlesbrough and Man City and not the feckless, fey passenger his Sunderland reputation has belied. How long he keeps it up will be the main factor in their relegation fight you feel as if you’re looking for goals from Jozy Altidore, I’ve got a bridge in New Jersey you might be interested in.
Man Utd themselves get their chance for revenge next week and have a taste for it after beating Swansea in the league, days after losing to them at home in the FA Cup. For all the talk of a United crisis, they have still won six out of seven and go to Chelsea on Sunday in better heart, especially if Rooney and Van Persie can come back into the team. Arsenal and Man City look to have routine home wins lined up against Fulham and Cardiff respectively.
Despite being half way through the transfer window, the bigger, more eye catching moves have been conducted by MLS teams rather than EPL, something of a first and it was surprising to see no EPL team in for Michael Bradley, as he would be the perfect defensive midfielder in this league, speaks English and could easily adapt. Jermaine Defoe did have offers to stay in the EPL, specifically for West Ham so the fact he chose Toronto is another feather in the cap for the North American continent’s league.
As the pressure and results start to turn in the next couple of weeks though, I don’t imagine this situation to stay the same despite Hull making a valiant attempt to create the most mundane front line in history signing Nikica Jelavic from Everton and trying to bring in Shane Long from West Brom to accompany own plank Danny Graham. Top of my exclusive TYAC panicometer are Norwich and West Ham – who I imagine will be about to blow stupid money on inadequate footballers but let’s see.
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.