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This is the archive for October 2007

Another one bites the dust

After a good deal of umming and aaring, and the dreaded vote of confidence, Martin Jol has been sacked by Spurs. As much as I admire Jol, it's no great surprise, since Tottenham have been abysmal recently, and currently lie in 18th place in the league. It's a shame, since he was definitely a competent manager, but was stuck with a team that was on the slide, and he just couldn't quiet manage to turn things around. The club's board should also be held to account over this though, because their treatment of Jol was disgraceful. While they publicly denied his job was in danger, it seemed the entire world knew otherwise.

Expecting Jol and his team to deliver under these circumstances was nothing short of ludicrous. It was like putting a one-legged man on a tightrope, over a pool of ravenous sharks, and expecting him to pull off some funky break dancing moves. It's theoretically possible, but entirely unreasonable.

But regardless of the rights and wrongs of the dismissal, I do think the Spurs board missed a trick. This was surely the ideal opportunity for the club's ex-chairman Alan Sugar to make a cameo appearance. Just imagine it: Martin Jol gets ordered up to a stage in the centre of the pitch, where Sir Alan is sitting behind a desk, rubbing his beard and pensively glaring at him. He slowly raises his finger in Jol's direction and utters those immortal words: "Martin, you're fired."

Acting the Dida way

Have I missed something, or has someone launched a sportsman's category for the Oscars? That would go some way to explaining the behaviour of AC Milan's Brazilian goalkeeper, Dida in last week's Champions league match against Celtic. Having been lightly tapped on the cheek by a pitch-invading Celtic fan, Dida proceeded to give chase.

If at this point he'd caught him and roughed him up a bit, I think most people would have understood. However, when it became clear he wasn't going to catch him, Dida fell to the ground like a wounded soldier. I'm guessing he thought the Oscar judges were watching, because he really went the extra mile, being stretchered off with an ice pack on his face.

From an acting perspective, it's great to see this kind of commitment (although the indecision at the beginning may lose him points). From a footballing point of view, it's not quite so good. With diving already a fairly regular occurrence, what can we expect to see next? Fake blood, perhaps? Or maybe the next time Dida gets a tap on the face, his head will fall off and explode, thanks to the newly-installed special effects team?