The Warm-Up: The Moyes is back in town
David Moyes is back, baby. But Michael Emenalo is off.
TUESDAY’S BIG HEADLINES
Jobs for the Moyes
Ernest Hemingway was credited, probably erroneously, with having written the saddest ever story in six words. “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Roughly a century later, there is a new challenger to the title. “David Moyes: new West Ham manager.”
A quiet, disciplined, religious man, Moyes probably never expected to be working with a double act nicknamed the Dildo Brothers either. But needs must and Moyes has an unlikely chance to rebuild his career after disappointing spells with Manchester United, Real Sociedad and, last season, Sunderland.
What exactly was it about his time at Sunderland which made him such a strong candidate for the West Ham job? The dismal performances leading to relegation? The unerring ability to sap any hope from the club through a series of bleak press conferences? Signing a troop of his ex-players from his former clubs to display a grand lack of imagination? Becoming embroiled in controversy for suggesting to a female reporter she would get “a slap”? If nothing else, Moyes’ time at Sunderland was a success in establishing he had passed his sell-by date.
In fact, Moyes turning up at West Ham would be the perfect flesh-and-blood rejoinder to Sam Allardyce’s claim that British managers are foreigners in their own country and don’t get chances any more, if Allardyce himself wasn’t already holding talks over the Everton job. There are never any shortage of opportunities for certain British managers, no matter how many pints of wine they have necked in dubious circumstances.
So good luck then, Big Sam and Moyesy. But you probably don’t need it. There will be another job along in a bit. Maybe you will even pitch for it on live television.
The eminent Emenalo departs
Michael Emenalo, Technical director at Chelsea is seen prior to the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and ChelseaGetty Images
Sound the alarm, break out the emergency recyclable content, there’s been the annual departure at Chelsea. So Guus Hiddink until the end of the season then a triumphant return for Jose Mourinho? Just how many managers is that Roman Abramovich has worked his way through now? Is Chelsea’s model of constant revolution actually the best way to ensure constant success?
His reasoning was simple: with boys aged 11, nine and seven, he wanted to spend more time at home. As he told Chelsea TV:
"It is entirely my decision and it has come about for very simple reasons. I need an opportunity to get to see my young kids grow and also to step back and reflect on the work I have done here. This is not a knee-jerk decision. It has been on my mind and it has been thoroughly discussed among friends and colleagues. At my age and after 10 years of demanding and gruelling and all-encompassing work, [this] is very necessary."
Reports suggest that disagreements over transfers and the intensifying power struggles between Conte and Abramovich’s key advisor Marina Granovskaia may also have played in Emenalo’s decision.
He seemed a somewhat bizarre and unlikely figure when he first emerged as a person of influence at Stamford Bridge. Why was this random guy who made seven appearances for Notts County suddenly parachuted into the Chelsea set-up? But Emenalo showed himself to be an effective operator and his departure could be a warning sign for the club that stormier times are ahead. As The Times reports:
"Emenalo’s departure could also be bad news for Conte, as he is extremely diplomatic and often acted as a buffer and peacemaker between the head coach and Granovskaia, with whom the Italian has had an at times difficult relationship. While Emenalo grew frustrated with Conte’s seemingly relentless demands for players, he admires him as a head coach and has encouraged Abramovich to keep faith in him."
Prepare the emergency recyclable content!
England lose their Spurs spine
England’s Harry Kane, Harry Winks and Michael Keane during trainingReuters
Tottenham’s 3-1 win over Real Madrid in the Champions League prompted suggestions that England could do a lot worse than transplanting the spine of the Spurs midfield and attack and using all three of Harry Winks, Dele Alli and Harry Kane at the World Cup.
Handily, England have two warm-up friendlies against likely World Cup contenders over the next week, with Germany and then Brazil visiting Wembley. So it is a shame, then, that Harry Winks, Dele Alli and Harry Kane have all been ruled out through injury.
A serious point: why are England persisting with a limited player like Livermore when they have a whole coterie of vastly talented young players, who have swept all before them in various age groups this year? A bit more imagination, please.
IN OTHER NEWS
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the guest of honour as former club Malmo won the Swedish league title at the weekend. Formal procedure dictated that he was supposed to hand the trophy over to federation chief Karl-Erik Nilsson, who would then present it to the Malmo team. Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not hand the trophy over to federation chief Karl-Erik Nilsson.
Andrea Pirlo played his last game of football yesterday. Okay, by the end of his career he might have been more of a meme than a footballer, to European audiences at least, but his was one of the great modern careers. Pirlo decorated Italian and European football with his magnificent passes, winning six Serie A titles, two Champions Leagues and the World Cup in 2006.
We could show you reams of those gorgeous passes from deep, but his converted Panenka in the penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final of Euro 2012 against England stands as a masterpiece of psychological warfare, showing what a clever and classy player he was.
As he recounted later that year:
"The way I took the penalty was really relevant to the match and our win. This changed the course of the match. For me, Hart seemed to be very confident in himself. I needed to do something to beat him. Penalties are a very personal thing but when I saw him move I decided to do that. It seemed to be a psychological blow for us."
IN THE CHANNELS
Michael Calvin has spent the past few years chronicling various aspects of the English game, including managing and scouting. His latest book, No Hunger in Paradise, looks at youth football and has now been adapted into a film by BT Sport. The way football deals with aspiring young talents is a topic worth delving deep into and with access like this, Calvin’s film should be a very valuable insight into the industry.
Er, not a lot as it happens. It’s an international week and the international games haven’t started yet. In lieu of any football, there’s a big tennis exhibition event called 'Andy Murray Live’ tonight at 7:30pm, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s live on Eurosport…
'Alex Chick Live' has been cancelled after Roger Federer pulled out at the last minute, but you can read his Warm-Up tomorrow morning instead.