Sportingo.com’s Mark Apsotolou brings daily coverage of the Premier League’s hottest gossip.
A lot can happen in the matter of a few days. OK, not everything was hunky-dory at Stamford Bridge, but now Jose has been replaced by a manager who hasnâ€™t got the qualifications, let alone experience to manager any Premier League club, let alone one of the top in the world. And it appears that a mass clear-out is on the cards – with John Terry is in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Apparently Mourinho is well and truly miffed with Chelsea captain John Terry for his role in the manager’s departure from Stamford Bridge last week (The Observer). According to this source, Jose holds Terry personally responsible for charges levelled by Chelsea’s board of directors that he had lost the support of his playing staff after the draw with Rosenborg, which ultimately led to the Special One feeling he had no choice but to fall on his own sword (not literally, of course).
This has led to rumours that the England captain may be on his way out as well with Arsenal, among others, being on the prowl for his services (various). These rumours seem pretty baseless and although Terry would grace any defence I would be mightily shocked if he were even on Arseneâ€™s radar as his current backline seems to be doing just fine. However, if Petr Cech became available I am sure that would be a different matter entirely, as Arsenal are probably only a top-quality goalkeeper away from being a pretty much perfect side.
Former tearaway Jermaine Pennant is apparently on his final warning at Liverpool (News of the World) and will have to be on his best behaviour in the coming months if he wants to stay at Anfield. The one-time Arsenal bad-boy, who was pointlessly sent off in Porto, is said to have angered Rafa Benitez to such an extent that he has given Pennant his last chance to prove to himself and the club that he is a reformed character.
Pennant has come on leaps and bounds in the last 18 months and is on the verge of an England call-up. Even though it was a silly dismissal I would urge Benitez, knowing that he reads this column every day (believe what you will), to take a step back and ease up on the 24-year-old as he is one of the keys to the Merseysiders’ success.
Poor old Martin Jol – it seems that Daniel Levy simply does not have any time for him any more. Apparently the Spurs board were so keen to approach Jose Mourinho for the â€˜soon-to-beâ€™ vacant position at White Hart Lane that he contacted his agent FIVE times soon after he departed Stamford Bridge (various).
Apparently the offer on the table to the Special One was Â£5million a year and Mourinho was told he could name the length of the contract from one to five years. Now that seems like a good deal, and I am not sure if Jose is mulling it over, but if I were Jol I would storm into the chairmanâ€™s office and ask for the same contract or offer my resignation. Of course, that is only if the rumour is correct, and on this occasion I believe it may hold some truth. Having said that, maybe the five calls were in fact about some other matter totally unconnected to the managerial position – much like that circumstantial meeting in Seville.
Just how undermined can BMJ get? I think it is becoming more and more absurd how the current manager is being treated, and it doesnâ€™t seem like this treatment will cease until Jol decides to also fall on his sword (again not literally).
West Ham boss Alan Curbishley has spoken of the similarities between Craig Bellamy and Paolo Di Canio (various). Curbishley, who had the great Italian on his Charlton books, said: “The one thing that really used to rile Paolo was unprofessional behaviour in training. That’s the only time you hear Craig get angry in training. He trains like a Trojan – and expects everyone else to.”
Just how does one train like a Trojan? And if someone did train like a Trojan surely this would involve not getting angry and shouting at fellow players -more likely sitting very quietly inside some kind of horse-shaped device. But seriously, it seems that Bellamy and West Ham are a match made in heaven right now and it is good to see the Welsh star being talked about in footballing terms once again, rather than in reference to attacking someone.
There has never been any doubt about his talent and now the maturing man is beginning to see that it is far better to let his feet do the talking (not literally, of course!).