Monday, May 23, 2016

A Funny Old Game...

Football, they say, is a funny old game.  In which case former Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal must be splitting his sides.  One minute he's leading United to their first trophy since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, next thing, he finds himself locked out of the dressing room at Wembley, before finding that the team coach has left for the hotel without him.  I think that it was about then that he realised that he might have been sacked.  He really should have suspected when the team arrived in London for the final and he was told that, due a booking error, there wasn't room for him at the four star team hotel and that he'd instead been booked into a Travel Lodge two miles away. Still, he did make that valiant, last ditch, attempt to retain his job by chaining himself to the FA Cup, but finally had to give in after armed police were called to the club's training ground: 'Step away from the trophy, NOW!'   Not that I'm saying that the club handled the situation badly, obviously.

As an armchair Spurs fan I have mixed feelings about Van Gaal - he was seriously pursued by the club as a successor to Tim Deadwood, sorry, Sherwood and, at the time, seemed like a considerable step up, but now it feels like we dodged a bullet - but I can't help but feel that he was treated pretty shabbily by United in recent weeks.  The whole fall-out from the FA Cup win, in particular, was shambolic, with the press reporting that he'd been sacked, even as he was holding the trophy, despite the fact that nobody had told him.  A situation which persisted until earlier today.  I mean, if you are going to sack someone, just do it and have the decency to tell them to their face, rather than leave them in limbo for a couple of days.  Not that Manchester United are unique in their bad handling of managerial departures.  Earlier this season we had Manchester City announcing that Manuel Pellegrini would be leaving at the end of the season and even announced the signing of his successor.  No wonder the rest of City's season turned to shit.  Spurs themselves haven't exactly covered themselves in glory in this department either.  Their handling of Andre Villas Boas' departure was pretty poor and the sacking of Martin Jol in favour of the disastrous Juande Ramos was shamefully handled.  That said, all of the aforementioned did receive pretty sizeable pay offs, so perhaps we shouldn't feel sorry for them.  Then again, money can never compensate for the sheer indignity and humiliation of being dismissed in such inept fashion.



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