Is there any other business where failure is rewarded so well?

Published: Monday, 23 October 2023

Did you see Pochettino? His team had just tossed away a win and there he was at the end of the game laughing and joking with the opposition coaching staff. Honestly, I couldn’t believe it. What on earth was funny about Chelsea’s capitulation at home v Arsenal?

The Mail picked up on what I’d said post match on beINSPORTS, so some of you will be aware already about my views after watching Pochettino on the pitch after the final whistle. What was he thinking? Perhaps he wasn’t thinking? If he had been, surely he’d have understood how Chelsea fans felt after seeing their team toss away what could’ve been a season defining win? How angry they were. And there he was chuckling with his mates, who now work for Arsenal.

Chelsea have been piss poor on Pochettino’s watch. He’s been asking for time and understanding. Really? Time and understanding from fans who are fed up to the back teeth of watching a once-mighty Chelsea descend into ordinary. And they’ve been paying top dollar for the privilege. No. I’m sorry. He was bang out of order.

What he should’ve done was leave the scene of the crime double quick - get down the tunnel to the dressing room and wait for his team so that he could let them know exactly how he felt. How angry he was. But perhaps he wasn’t upset at all? And maybe that’s the problem? Perhaps it doesn’t matter enough? Mind you - why should it?

Pochettino has become a rich after delivering little more than mediocrity in his managerial career. Remember - this was the man who finished third with Spurs in a two-horse race against Leicester. He always comes up short.

I said in my first blog this season that the jury was out. I’m still not convinced by him. Does he care what people think? Probably not. He’s already rich beyond his wildest dreams - another sacking and he’ll be able to buy half of Argentina.

What other business rewards mediocrity and failure so well? Graham Potter is another one. He hasn’t lifted a finger since he was sacked by Chelsea. I guess they’re still paying him and he doesn’t have to while they are. When Chelsea are done - Potter will also be filthy rich, but why not take another job now? Doesn’t he want to prove his doubters wrong?

Poch and Potter aren’t the only two of course. There are others. And it’s not so much them earning the money that bothers me. Good luck to them if they can. I just want to see them hurt a little bit. Show respect - respect for people that spend hard earned money and want to see their team provide 90 minutes of joy and relief in really trying times.

Football’s extravagances will be accepted by fans if their team make them proud. If they enjoy watching them. If they feel their spend is good value. But not if those representing the club appear all too happy to accept failure every week.

I can’t think of another business where failure is rewarded so richly. It’s got to hurt a bit more guys. If it doesn’t - walk, laughing all the way to the bank no doubt.

On the subject of Chelsea - why is it that the proceeds of the sale of the club to Todd Boehly still sit in a U.K. bank account? The money was supposed to be for humanitarian purposes in Ukraine. You’ll hear a lot guff from the U.K. govt about why they haven’t yet released it - none of which rings true. Just get on with it James Cleverley. You’re out of time and excuses.

I was pleased to see Roy Hodgson speak as eloquently as he did on the subject of gambling. This, of course, after Sandro Tonali and his Italian team-mates Nicolo Zaniolo and Nicolo Fagioli were caught gambling on games.

We don’t know the minutia of what happened nor what the outcome of the Italian FA’s investigation will be but punishment will follow for Tonali for sure - just as it did for Fagioli. Of course punishment will follow and that will satisfy most observers. But will it help? As Hodgson argued before Palace’s game at Newcastle - probably not.

As I’ve said here previously - football has a cavalier attitude towards gambling, happily taking money from the big bookies - to the point of becoming reliant on it in some cases - yet frowning on individuals who fall prey to the advertising onslaught that’s designed to encourage them to gamble recklessly. It’s madness. Football can’t have it both ways. It’s time to distance itself from the odious creeping influence of the gambling companies.

What’s the reason for the takeover delay Sunny Jim? What a mess. Are we convinced that Ratcliffe’s bid for Utd will ever actually happen? Does he really think that Utd fans will tolerate the Glazers staying firmly in control of the club despite his potential investment? And I read that he’s actually borrowing money to make it happen - using loans from Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan according to Nick Harris in The Mail on Sunday. Incredible. Absolutely incredible.

I can’t finish without paying tribute to a man who lit up an entirely different era at Utd - Sir Bobby Charlton of course.

What a man. What a player. What an ambassador for both his club and country. We will never see his like again.

I can’t top the many words that were both written and spoken about him over the weekend. I just want to say this - thank you Bob. You lit up my childhood and helped me fall in love with football. And I wasn’t alone.