Saturday, October 14, 2023

Tough At The Bottom


Most footie fans do not like the International Break weekends of which this weekend (today is Saturday 14 October) is one. I have a suspicion that most footballers don’t like them either, Scott  McTominay, for one, after his spectacular free kick goal was outrageously ruled out when the VAR officials and a prancing fusspot of a referee determined that Scotland taking the lead in Seville against Spain was not in the script. Jordan Henderson may be the exception here as at least he managed to get away from Al-Ettifaq FC in the plastic Saudi Pro League where he’s not enjoying life at all except for his £700k a week salary. Football managers definitely don’t like International Break weekends as they divide their time worrying about whether their star striker will return crocked or whether the club chairman will take the opportunity to sack them. It’s tough at the top. But it’s tougher at the bottom.

Sheffield Wednesday, bottom of the Football League Championship. Manager Xisco Muñoz sacked ten days ago after ten matches. New manager Danny Röhl appointed yesterday.

FC Cartagena, bottom of La Liga 2. Manager Víctor Sánchez sacked after seven games. New manager Julián Calero appointed two weeks ago.

Stanley Strollers FC, bottom of the Watney Cup League. Manager Graeme Cook retains the full confidence of, er, Graeme Cook. 

Stanley Strollers FC are my Premier League Fantasy team and along with my fellow managers in the Premier League, I will be worrying about whether my star striker returns crocked from international duty even if I am spared the prospect of the club chairman (i.e. me) taking the International Weekend break as opportunity to sack the manager (i.e. me).

Diligent as ever, I shall be taking in this evening’s game at FC Cartagena where they take on Real Racing Club of Santander in La Liga 2 which, unlike the EFL Championship, has a full fixture list this weekend. Admission fees have increased this season at the Estadio Cartaganova by an outrageous third which means forking out a whole twenty euros for an upper tier seat behind the goal. Thinking about it, I could probably fly to a Cartagena home game from Manchester for similar cost to attending a Category A match at Hillsborough. Danny Röhl has certainly got some work to do to make the Hillsborough option more attractive.

Next week, my efforts will be focused on moving Stanley Strollers FC away from the bottom of the table although an optimist would say that we are already a top seven team and they wouldn’t be wrong. 

In the meantime, vamos a Cartagena to discuss tactics. That cerveza isn’t going to drink itself.

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