DUE to the New Year print deadlines Trevor Watson’s talking sport column will not feature in this week’s papers.
We are, however, able to bring you this week’s column online and Trevor will be back in print next week.
YOU can come out now, that junk about happy this and good will to all men and, being politically correct, women, is finally over.
But you might want to go back in your darkened room because it’s now the January window, when football clubs go berserk, trying to sign players they didn’t want in August.
Heading the list will be genial Harry Redknapp, the boss at Queue Pee Are, standing firmly at the foot of the Premiership. Rangers had a win and three draws in his first four games in charge, which he pointed out was nicely mid-table if carried out over 38 games. Since then three successive defeats are relegation if continued.
No wonder he was upset after the thumping by Liverpool, who themselves are desperate for players. QPR had a man sat in the stands, one Jose Bosingwa, who is said to be on £65,000 a week, and Rangers had an attendance of just over 18,000 for the Liverpool game. If that isn’t madness I don’t know what is.
Harry didn’t mess about on telly after the game. He said: “I don’t want to see players moping if they are on the subs’ bench. Stop moping, if you were that good you wouldn’t be bottom of the league. Get on with it.”
Fair enough, after all in the previous game Harry was suggesting the referee should go to the opticians. No wonder the London press love him.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew soon felt the renowned ‘Curse of Fergie.’ After Man U manager Sir Alex Ferguson had an apparent polite discussion with referee Mike Dean about a Newcastle goal. The referee did not mention the exchange in his report, although it seemed a bit heated, and Pardew suggested that if it had been any other manager, they would have been in trouble.
The response by Fergie was to call Newcastle ‘A wee club in the North East’ and this was perhaps supported when Arsenal stuck seven past the Geordies, so it seems best to keep your mouth shut about the great man because the consequences are serious.
All of this, of course, keeps the newspapers happy and the prospect of Jose Mourinho leaving Real Madrid and returning here again has reporters salivating because they have nothing to do, they just tape what the managers say and scarcely talk about matches.
This is the trouble, there is more fuss over managers than players.
Then again, if you react like Notts Forest, who sacked their boss after a 4-2 win, and Blackburn, who gave their new man 56 days, then there will be talk about the bloke in charge.
Rugby league people tend to sneer at rugby union but Harlequins drew a crowd of 82,000 at Twickenham for a league game against London Irish. It was a poor game but I bet the RL wish a league match could attract that.
Instead we have Salford as the latest Super League club in big trouble, making more nonsense of the licencing business. It doesn’t seem long since Salford ruled the roost as chairman Brian Snape spent freely on RU stars such as David Watkins, Keith Fielding, Maurice Richards and RL stars such as Steve Nash. Only planning regulations prevented The Willows being a top ground. Now Salford have a new stadium and are struggling to survive.
The death on Tony Greig rightly drew much comment. It was mentioned him hammering the fearsome Dennis Lille for four and signalling the boundary himself with a great flourish. Most of us would have apologised for having the nerve to hit him.