The Lead

Quite often in the press, managerial sackings are treated like layoffs in some sort of downtrodden industry. He worked so hard for them, it’s a real shame. I don’t know how to pick up the pieces after this.

I mean, no one likes to lose their job. It’s terrible, shocking, alarming, and it puts one’s entire career into question. But getting sacked in the football managerial trade is not the same as being sacked as a factory worker. First, most factory workers don’t receive severance packages that in some cases exceed what many workers will make in a decade. The Telegraph‘s Paul Kelso for example wrote about Roberto Di Matteo’s severance arrangements:

If the club follows recent precedent, it will continue to pay Di Matteo for the remaining months of his contract rather than offer a single lump sum. Di Matteo signed a two-year deal with a break clause after the first season in July.

No one takes a mangerial position in football with the expectation they will be around long enough to have a statue unveiled. Moreover, Di Matteo will almost certainly not be out of work for long, having won an FA Cup and a European Cup as a caretaker manager. He may not work in the Premier League, which is a shame for him I suppose, but work is work, and as ever with the cycle of life in football management achieving promotion with a lower league club tends to guarantee some what of a step up shortly thereafter. And even if Di Matteo crashes through the floor at every club he managers from here on in, he’s almost certainly guaranteed lifetime employment. Paul Jewell, among the worst managers in Christendom, still managed to find work at Ipswich three years after destroying Derby County. Failing that, there’s always TV.

Anyway, today Mark Hughes got the sack at QPR. Few surprises there. Even less surprising is the likely return of Harry Redknapp, continuing his London club merry-go-round. This may put me in line with the shouting mouths at talkSPORT, but I do think this makes good sense. Hughes’ footballing approach—which emphasizes a very physical style of play that requires his players to tread a fine disciplinary line—never meshed well with a team with the kind of players at Rangers. As Michael Cox wrote on today:

He is a good reactive manager, able to stifle the opposition with intelligent tactics in one-off games, but has struggled in winnable games because QPR don’t have a natural way of playing.

Additionally Redknapp tends to do best with clubs eager to spend to succeed, and QPR owner Tony Fernandes’ has some fairly outsized plans. If anything, it reflects well on the club for sticking with Hughes until this point.

But don’t cry for Hughes, Argentina. The truth is, with a score of opportunities ahead of him, he’ll never leave us.


QPR sack Mark Hughes. Redknapp may be new replacement.

Murder charges laid against two men over Spurs fans attack.

FA informs UEFA of anti-Semitic chants during Spurs vs Lazio game.

Sir Alex Ferguson renews rivalry with Benitez.

Referees union may seek compensation from Chelsea for Clattenburg.

Arsenal renew sponsorship deal with Emirates.


Juventus may start without Bonucci against Milan this Sunday.

Antonio Conte fully prepared for Milan. Will take the struggling side very seriously in Sunday’s game.

La Liga

Tim Stannard has all the previews to this weekend’s La Liga games.

Xavi says Vilanova doing better than him and teammates expected.

A look at why Real Madrid is the most successful Champions League club in the history of the competition.


BVB’s Neven Subotic will face old team FSV Mainz this Saturday.

A Summary of yesterday’s Europa League action.

The secret to Freiburg’s success this season.

Bit and Bobs

FIFA doesn’t grant Drogba early loan exemption.

In case you missed it. Here is an interview with Joey Barton, expressing his political views.

Daniel Taylor argues why Chelsea should apologize to Mark Clattenburg.

Clint Dempsey showered with free Nike gear (video).

Thanks to Alima Hotakie for compiling today’s links.