A lot of manager movement this week eh? I know there is big news at Chelsea, but I’m going to start with West Ham. So Big Sam Allardyce has been installed as The Hammers new boss. He hasn’t had a great track record lately after the Newcastle debacle a couple of seasons ago now and I wonder if he will be able to do anything with a team that is clearly in disarray. The team has already lost the firepower from last season with Demba Ba moving to Newcastle and I think its only a matter of time before they also sell Scott Parker and Carlton Cole. With these three players gone, its hard to see how West Ham will be able to get back up to the Premier League again any time soon. Allardyce is a decent manager, theres no doubt about that but I just think there are a few problems in the Boardroom with squabbling between owners and a distinct lack of ready cash to invest in new players for the coming season. Hard times for The Hammers I think.
Also in The Championship, Nottingham Forest have bagged themselves an ex England manager to try his hand at securing that elusive top flight place for Forest. Steve McLaren is the man they have gone for this time around after Billy Davies was let go at the end of the season. Forest is a club with a proud tradition and so many time they have run out of steam towards the end of the season.Personally I’d like to see them make it into the Premier League once more; they appear to be a well run club with a good fan base and one or two key signings this season may see them make a good challenge for honours in the second tier. I think it might be a good move for Nottingham Forest. The man has done reasonably well since being booted out of England. He won the Dutch Eredivisie with FC Twente, but he let that success go to his head a little and moved on to Wolfsburg in Germany and didn’t have a great time of it. Time will tell if he can do well at Forest. I think a playoff spot for his first year in charge would be doing well.
Lastly today I have to talk about the biggest move so far. Chelsea has a new manager!. It finally happened and the man we have picked to lead back to greatness is… 33 year old Andre Villas-Boas. Yes you heard me, hes 33! the same age as Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba. Don’t let his tender years fool you though, this is yet another of Sir Bobby Robson’s protegés when he was manager at Porto. A club, by the way, that Boas has just left after leading them to last year’s Portuguese title UNBEATEN! A feat only ever done once before in Portugal. Personally I think this is a great appointment. He knows the club because he was a scout here when Jose Mourinho was manager; a role which he then took on at Inter Milan, again under The Special ONe’s tenure as manager. There are many comparisons being made between the two managers and I can see why, the history is very similar and both young in age. I don’t read much into the age argument, Pep Guardiola was just 4 years older when he took over at Barcelona and look at that team now.
All the numbers fit very well. Success for him will be measured in two ways. How much time he has to get it and whether he can control the egos in the dressing room. The likes of Drogba and Anelka may not take so kindly to someone their own age bossing them around… I would like to think that he will be given time to build a squad of his own at Stamford Bridge, I am sick and tired of managers being fired purely because they didn’t win the Champions League. Now is the time for a fresh start with a new guy at the helm, with new ideas and fresh blood in the squad. Stability is now the key.
Next week I will look at some of the key transfers that have gone through recently including a big one at Manchester United just today. Until then, thanks for reading.