2 out of 3 ain’t bad

Published: Tuesday, 28 July 2020

It was Bruce Gyngell, who I’ve spoken of in previous posts, that taught me to remind people of the things you get right. Your achievements, if you like. Bruce was the Aussie genius that saved TV-am from going bust in the 80’s - although the Rat got the credit!

Bruce couldn’t understand why we Brits were always so shy about a success. His thinking was ‘if you don’t enjoy it and remind people - what’s the point?’ He was correct. So here goes!

Two out of three ain’t bad. And I was 12 months out with the other. I’ll come back to that.  Regulars know exactly what I’m talking about - relegation. 

Norwich were certainties. Their policy was evident from the outset - enjoy it and don’t bankrupt the club. Daniel Farke has admitted as much. He’s been criticised for saying it, but, I don’t have a problem with that philosophy. Norwich will never be able to compete with the big boys so what’s wrong with bouncing about between the Championship and the PL? There were some great moments this season - beating City for one - but they’ll enjoy next season just as much if they’re winning games and pushing at the top again. There’s nothing like the thrill of seeing your team to win. To get up next year they’ll have to do it excess of 25 times. Brilliant. Good luck to them. There could be many more enjoyable weekends to come rather than the long hard winter they’ve endured.

Bournemouth were also certainties for me. The decline at The Vitality started the season before last. They’ve been poor since around about Christmas 2019. They simply don’t win enough games doing things ‘the right way’ - whatever that is. They’re too ‘nice’ - just like their manager. It would be good for both parties if they went their separate ways now.

Howe did a wonderful job saving the club from relegation out the Football League - and then driving them to the PL - in two separate spells let’s not forget. But he spent a fortune doing it. They were fined for breaking FFP regulations after going up to the PL and they’ve continued to spend - the vast majority of it on bad players - which is the main reason they’ve been relegated.

At one time Howe was being touted as a future England/Arsenal manager. He needs to challenge himself again and prove to us that he knows what he’s doing. And Bournemouth need a fresh face at the helm.

I predicted Brighton would go - or Palace, if they couldn’t hold onto Zaha. Had they not got points on the board before lockdown they would’ve been in trouble - even with him. I love Roy - but I suspect there’s change coming at Palace as well. Oh - well done Graham Potter. I was wrong about Brighton.

I was 12 months out with my prediction Watford would go. Watford fans were furious when I said they were heading for the drop - but I wasn’t wrong - my timing was. You can’t run a club like the Pozzo’s do and expect success. Their primary objective is to make money for themselves - not worry about Watford, or any of the others clubs that they own The clubs are cash cows. You can’t keep going to the well as they do and not find it dry one day. I don’t like their business model. Watford deserve better. It’s a family club with higher principles than the Pozzo’s and their ‘yes’ man Scott Duxbury display. Sacking Nigel Pearson as they did was a disgrace. I’m glad I pointed out one of the reasons that they may have done it - to avoid paying him a bonus if they stayed up. That notion disgusted people - and quite rightly. They got what they deserved - relegation. Some of the goings on at that club must have Graham Taylor spinning in his grave. Now there was a principled man.

As pleased as I am to see Watford go - I’m equally so that Villa survived, although as a Coventry fan I know I shouldn’t say that!  But I am. Villa is a proper club. Magnificent stadium. Fabulous training facilities - and all of it thanks to the late Doug Ellis.

They too spent big - largely on a collection of rubbish from Belgium. Who was responsible for that? I suspect we’ll find out in the next few days. My next question would then be - why? I’ve been given a few answers -  but I can’t share them.

Dean Smith deserves another go at it, but he’s got to be solely in charge of recruitment now.

It might surprise you to here I’m glad West Ham survived as well. I’m chuffed to bits for Moysey. He too must now be in charge of buying. Time to take a step back Mssrs Sullivan and Silkman.

The Newcastle saga rumbles on, and it’s good to see one or two of the Nationals catching up with what I’ve been telling them about the deal. Here’s the latest. The Saudi’s will try again after shooting themselves in both feet. I originally said one foot - but it was both. Hiring Phillip Hammond to lobby is part of the new strategy although why they’ve chosen him I don’t know. He’s about as popular in the Tory party as I am in Newcastle! I still can’t work that out mind you - all I’ve ever done is tell you all the truth and I’m the only one prepared to do that. Surely you can see that now?

Henry Mauriss is still at the table. If he wants it - it’s an open goal. Ashley is a willing seller - Mauriss has to get his deal done. Simple. There you go. As your beloved Rafa might say ‘facts’.