Chelsea Doctor I Believe
The papers have been full of Jose Mourinho’s awful treatment of Chelsea’s doctor, Eva Carneiro. Having been called on by the ref to give treatment to a fallen Chelsea hero, Mourinho considered she’d been too keen to get on and help, meaning his player had to come off unnecessarily. He launched a foul-mouthed tirade at her at the time (this is football after all) then banned her from attending matches and informed the press his medical staff needed to understand football better.
Leaving aside that this seems like as clear-cut a case of constructive dismissal as you’re likely to see, Mourinho needs to understand his medical staff better. If a player is injured and needs help, it’s vital the doctor gets there as quickly as possible. People have died on football pitches. If there’s a fault, it’s in one of his players feigning injury and being caught out. Next time swear at your players and tell them to stop rolling around Jose.
Of course, Garry Monk, the manager of our opponents today Swansea City who were also Chelsea’s opposition when all this took place, may have a point when he says the whole thing was cooked up by Mourinho to deflect attention away from Chelsea’s performance. Swansea were good value for a 2-2 draw at the Bridge and will be tough opponents today, despite our good recent record against them.
Root of the Problem
The FA announced this week they’d be spending £260m over the next four years on grassroots football. Slightly less impressive is the fact that they spent £200m over the same period just gone. So although the increase is 30%, £15m extra per year is insignificant when the money is spread over the whole country. Worse, the FA say they’ll find some of the money through redundancies, though they don’t give the impression of being a cash-poor organisation.
Is the point of the FA to try to improve the quality of England internationals over the next decades, the problem they fixate upon? I’d say it’s to look after our game, whose glory is in public mass participation, not in the amount of cash earned by those at the top level, or the quality of play served up by them. Football has been losing amateur teams and leagues steadily for years and the FA’s main purpose should be to reverse that by all means necessary.
Huffing and Puffing
Hot on the heels of Coventry manager Tony Mowbray saying loanee Adam Armstrong hadn’t been coached in his time at Newcastle as Mowbray would coach a striker, Cardiff manager Russell Slade has said Sammy Ameobi can improve his fitness and strength.
That can’t be regarded as anything but a failure for how our players receive physical conditioning. It’s another pointer that our new coaching setup can’t be anything but a massive positive for us.
Our Feet Have Voted
One statistic stood out from our opening league fixture at home to Southampton last weekend – the attendance, in excess of 49,000. After such play was made at the back end of last season of the reduction in attendances this is a massive blow both to those organising the protests against Mike Ashley, and less significantly to myself after giving up my ticket in the close season. There can no longer be any suggestion that the attendance figures include many season ticket holders who’ve stopped attending, as happened in the Spring. This was the first game of the season and it can safely be assumed no season-ticket renewers were staying away.
I wouldn’t dream of criticising the thousands who’ve made the decision to keep going. It’s just a fact of life. It looks like Mike Ashley’s televised promise, the signings we’ve made, the changes in the coaching staff and the appointment of the new manager has been enough to persuade people to return en masse for another year. Where this leaves the Ashley Out protest groups in anyone’s guess but it would seem back to Square One is the best those of us who sympathise with them can hope for.