TRUE15 LUKE 1977 Voucher (1)



Often this blog is the preserve of Premier League managers but every so often a player goes out of their way to force the door open. Take a bow, Joleon Lescott. The centre half’s idiocy shouldn’t have come as a surprise given his post-thrashing car tweet earlier in the season, but surprise us he did, this weekend. In the wake of relegation there are few words that can comfort long-suffering fans but, rather than handing out glib platitudes that would provoke nothing more than a shrug of the shoulders, Lescott actually tried to turn one of the most pathetic demotions the Premier League has ever seen, into a positive. “Now it’s confirmed maybe it’s a weight off the shoulders and we can give these fans what they deserve.”

Yeah, because it’s been clear that the weight of responsibility has been such a heavy burden on the Villa players’ shoulders all season.

Rarely has a team looked like it gave less of a shit about winning games, so god only knows what they’re going to serve upJolenLescott now that there is mathematically nothing to play for. He seems to have forgotten, or not be bothered, that a lot of people are going to lose their jobs as a result of performances on the pitch and a lot of small businesses will miss out on contracts and revenue as a result. But don’t worry, Joleon, you go out and give the people what they deserve now that all of that undue pressure is off.

Talking of unsavoury affairs, Sam Allardyce went into full Cheshire cat mode following Sunderland’s victory at Norwich on Saturday. The post-match press conference was a masterclass from the Big Sam school of smugness. Sparking Alex Neil’s ire by claiming that Norwich didn’t handle the pressure as well as his side, Allardyce was like a kid at Christmas, thankful that his players, at long last, had not let him down on the pitch. However frustrating it may seem though, it is hard to challenge a certain degree of smugness after a 3-0 away win at a fellow relegation rival. If you’ve got it in you, an afternoon like that is certainly going to bring it to the fore.

Meanwhile, over at Stamford Bridge, nothing seems to be coming to the fore apart from a realisation that Chelsea aren’t likely to recover from their current woes as quickly as many may lead you to believe. Interim manager Guus Hiddink shed some light on the depth of the club’s problems when he stated it would take “reasonable work” to get Chelsea back challenging towards the top of the league again. That, from an interim manager who is desperate to keep the club’s leadership sweet, is as good as admitting there is a hell of a lot to do. The squad is thin and ageing, without any real youthful exuberance bursting through and grasping the opportunities that have been left by the first team’s woeful under-performance this season. Antonio Conte will have his work cut out next year and Hiddink knows it.From one club that seems to be sleepwalking into the summer, we skip to another that is gathering pace the longer the season goes on; Liverpool. One defeat in the last ten in all competitions has seen an optimistic mood return to Anfield and an away win at Bournemouth for a youthful side has given the fans even greater hope. After the match, Jurgen Klopp was chomping at the bit to praise his young players, having witnessed them “running for their lives – it was nice to see.”

Its not hard to see where the Liverpool players get their energy from either. I sometimes think that Klopp could talk about freshwater fishing in his post-match press conferences and everyone would buy into it hook line and sinker because of the raw energy that comes with anything he says. It may well wind up his fellow managers but this approach is certainly starting to have an impact on the way Liverpool play and it is, sure as anything, more exciting than listening to Roberto Martinez saying his team did everything right, but win, for the umpteenth time. Long live ‘heavy metal’ football.



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