'Arry enters the press room following the QPR defeat and insists all is okay.

by David Sweeney

Spurs, England and Redknapp

The media adoration of Spurs has correctly died a rather prompt death seeing as the nations’ darlings have only managed to muster 6 points from their last 9 league games and in that time have also embarrassingly crashed out of the FA Cup to their London rivals Chelsea.

I’ve never been a big fan of old honest ‘Arry; from the way he openly declares his interest in other team’s players during press conferences to the way his bright red face twitches and sags in a similar fashion to Droopy and as you can imagine I particularly hated every minute of him over achieving with Tottenham earlier in the season. While I appreciate how far he has taken them it now strikes me as the perfect opportunity to rip the future heir to the England manager’s throne to shreds.

After slipping to yet another defeat, which incidentally saw Spurs drop out of the top four, Redknapp claimed that his side were unlucky and that they were camped in QPR’s half throughout the second period. While the second statement maybe is true to some extent the first half is total rubbish. There was no desire, no creativity and when Rangers were reduced to ten men Spurs simply could not get past them, which seems to be a recurring theme in any match that ‘Arry’s boys participate in. There must be a reason for their sudden capitulation in form and I believe it is a mix of two things: Redknapp’s ineptness in terms of tactics and the fact he has the England job dangling right in front of his nose.

Despite continuously, and at times aggressively, denying his obvious reputation as a ‘wheeler dealer’ the facts are beginning to stack up against him with regards to his current crop. Suppose he does leave Spurs in the summer, take a look at what he will leave them with…. one recognised striker in the shape of the out of sorts Jermaine Defoe. Adebayor will inevitably return to City before being moved on elsewhere, Saha’s contract is only until the end of the season and he strangely flogged Pavlyuchenko in January. Their two keepers are over the hill with Friedel aged 40 and Cudicini ages 38 with the error prone Gomes completely frozen out.The defensive unit is poor; Kyle  Walker is good and young granted but Dawson and King seem to be made of glass whilst Gallas is past it. Nelson is only on a contract until the end of the season whereas Bassong and Corluka were loaned out in January and Assou-Ekotto’s footballing ability is almost as bad as his hairstyle. Fair enough their midfield is good (with the exception of the over rated Scott Parker, god I hate Scott Parker) but if they don’t get into the top four then Bale and Modric will without doubt, want out.

He had reasonable success with Pompey before he left them in a terrible position and now it seems he is doing the same with Spurs, yet this guy is still the man to lead our nation? Let’s take a look at his terrible tactics and see why the FA should appoint somebody else. He almost religiously, barring injury, sticks to a group of around 14 players who have a viable chance of being selected. This is all well and good at the start of the season and results reflected this as many of the ‘weaker’ Premier League sides, especially with Spurs at home, were swept aside. However as the long season began to take its toll on the small group, results nosedived. I suggest it is down purely to them burning out and Redknapp’s insistence on playing an open 4-4-2 against any opposition has left them exposed. It’s almost as if he knows no other way and maybe he doesn’t. His side seem incapable of grinding out scrappy wins and his gung ho style in recent weeks has backfired big time all accumulating to make him unable to arrest the slide his side have suffered during the Easter fixtures. According to most of the media they’ve been the best team to watch all season with their free flowing attacking football. Free flowing attacking football? They have failed to score an away goal for over 400 minutes, I despair, I really do.

Despite my views on who should take the England hotseat it looks like Spurs fans will only have to tolerate ‘Arry for four more games before either receiving an unsurprisingly modest cheque from the FA as they embark on a new era at the Lane. For me a funnier story would be that the FA have decided that they don’t want him anymore, leaving his Spurs post almost untenable meaning that he’ll probably be sacked by Levy anyway, and will be left to contemplate just how badly he messed both his club and himself around in his quest for personal glory at the expense of tactics, training and just about everything else.

Manchester City Fans – ‘Respect Mancini’ Petition

Although it has been doing the rounds for a good few weeks now, I have bided my time before giving these self important City fans a mauling for starting, quite frankly, an absolutely ridiculous internet ‘campaign’ for manager Roberto Mancini to be respected more by the media. I mean come on, what an absolute farce. Can you imagine one of the respected football journalists or even the likes of Gary Neville or Jamie Redknapp reading a petition signed by 1,578 people and thinking, ‘Wow, I better give that man some respect now’. Who are these deluded fools trying to kid? I’m inclined to think (or at least I was hoping) it is a joke by some mischievous United fans, as surely most City fans aren’t such self important attention seeking idiots. The petition is unsurprisingly ‘smalltime’ and comes across as similar to the ‘Save our Sven’ campaign, which failed to make any impact whatsoever. What these people need to realise is that starting these internet petitions solves nothing in general; my respect campaign for Bobby happens at every game when I sing his name loudly several times over accompanied by around another 30,000. Less than 2000 names on a petition looks feeble in comparison.

Although I do support Mancini and think he is well on his way to getting it right at the club, instead of ‘fighting’ for people to respect him, perhaps it would be better served to start an online petition to “Ask Mancini to develop a Plan B and improve City’s Away Form”. For me, that would be more fitting.

One of my ‘twitter followers’ obviously ruffled by my criticism of the petition challenged my view and condescendingly attempted to put me down or rubbish my opinion. What is this a case of –  seeing who can shout loudest about their point of view? It’s impossible to ignore or trivialise the number of people who are not happy with Mancini and if this petition goes any further all it will do is create clear factions in the ground which is certainly not wanted. I am all for supporting our manager but I’m not for a totalitarian regime where criticism is banished which is what some of these people appear to want. I mean, what were these people doing when City were terrible? We got slated every single week and rightly so. Also the paragraph to encourage your signature reads ‘Show your appreciation for Roberto Mancini and let him continue with his job as manager of Manchester City FC next season, the final year of his contract. We have come so far. Let Roberto Mancini finish the job he was brought to do , whether we finish 1st or 2nd in 2011-12 and see out the final year of his contract with the club next year.’ That to me sounds like a plea to the board to stick with Bobby but what gives these idiots the right to challenge what the Sheikh and Al Mubarak do? They have singlehandedly transformed this club into a European superpower – they could sack Mancini and put Mr. Blobby in charge and I would still be grateful to them. Obviously they are not so stupid and have shown no signs of sacking the Italian, so that brings me back to my first point – why the petition? I can only assume it is to massage a very small group of internet warriors’ egos and as a City fan it makes me cringe.

Macc Town

Macclesfield Town are on the worst run imaginable. Since December the 31st they have not won a single game and that coincides partially with the appointment of Brian Horton who took over on March the 19th. Although Horton cannot be attributed too much of the blame it really is a sad state of affairs for a side’s supporters not to taste victory in almost 4 months. As Macc slid to yet another sorry defeat, this time away at Bradford, thoughts must have turned to next season and the growing inevitability that they will be playing Conference football and trust me there will be big pressure on them to stay up next year in a league that is almost on a par with League Two. With the board’s apparent lack of desire to financially back their manager, The Silk will face the same problems next year as they currently do. Horton has took on a job made impossible by the injuries and players being sold without his say-so. On such a bad run it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if they go down a major upheaval of the playing staff is needed, merely to consolidate next year.

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