This weekend’s post-match press conferences had an unerring sense of resignation to them, especially for two of the Premier League’s now former managers.
Looking back at what we now know to be his last interview as Liverpool manager, even the typically ebullient Brendan Rodgers seemed to lack real conviction in the words coming out of his mouth. Having so brazenly praised the unity and positivity of his squad even after the direst of defeats, the briefing he gave the BBC at Goodison Park was one of a man who knew his time was up. Aside from the obligatory reference to the squad’s ‘outstanding’ mentality, Rodgers was off colour. When asked about the pressure he was under, the Northern-Irishman cited the rebuilding job that still needs to be done at Anfield, ‘whether it’s me or someone else.’ Looking at that choice of words it seems that he knew he it would be someone else’s job. I can’t help but wonder though, if the news of his sacking was delivered to him in one of those mystery envelopes.
On the subject of foreseen farewells, Dick Advocaat’s final words as Sunderland manager were ironically some of the most positive he will have uttered all season. Unlike Rodgers though, I bet he couldn’t wait to get out. If a 2-2 draw at home to West Ham is the best things have got by early October, he’s probably right to get back to his wife and their flower collection.
Now, onto a regular, and I get the feeling he’s going to have to contribute more to this blog now that Rodgers is out of the game – Mourinho. Having seen Arsene Wenger threaten to walk out of a press conference if he was asked again about his comments on the cushy job at Arsenal, Jose then decided to turn his ire onto referees this weekend. Prompted by Falcao’s unsuccessful penalty claim in the midst of Chelsea’s defeat to Southampton, Mourinho embarked on defining hypocrisy. Complaining that referees this season have been biased against Chelsea and are ‘afraid’ to give his team decisions, he then called for special treatment, asking the officials to give his team a break because things aren’t going their way. Suck it up Jose, sympathy is going to be in sort supply. I believe that will be 1-0 to Mr Wenger this weekend.
So, in the coming weeks two new managers will enter the fray, to walk the rickety bridge of the post-match interview. On a purely selfish note, I’m hoping one of them is Nigel Pearson. If there’s one thing the Premier League has lacked so far this season, it’s a grown man asking a room full of adults if they are flexible enough to consider themselves an ostrich. Go on Sunderland, do the honourable thing.