Cheerleaders and bottle kickers
There was a time when managers were forced to sit in the dug out throughout the duration of the game with touchline coaching strictly prohibited. I’m not sure when the rule changed to allow them to come into a technical area but certainly my recollections of Jimmy Mullen back in the first half of the 1990s was of a manager sat down.
Now, the behaviour of some of them on the touchline can often be as entertaining as the game, more so apparently if you were at Anfield two days ago.
In the times since the rules changed, we’ve had all types of touchline managers from Owen Coyle’s histrionic waving of his arms to a statuesque Brian Laws and a hands in pockets Eddie Howe. Stan Ternent did what Stan wanted to do in his gleaming white trainers, sometimes up the edge of the area cajoling his players and at other times leaning on the dug out wall.
Sean Dyche, like Laws before him, sees it as a dressing up occasion rather than in track suit (or shorts with socks pulled up). Strange really, they both played for Forest, you might have expected baggy tracky bottoms and a green top.
Our man looks every bit the part. He encourages the players and also holds constant meetings with his right and left hand men Ian Woan and Tony Loughlan, more so when things aren’t going just as well as expected.
From recollection, Stan’s the only Burnley manager who has had a touchline ban. It happened a couple of times, and I’m not sure why, but the first time the club flogged off his place to a supporter to raise a bit of much needed cash.
If I was listing managers in terms of their touchline behaviour I’d have Dyche close to the top. After all, current Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew, while at Newcastle, headbutted Hull’s David Meyler and disrespectful Nigel (Pearson) thought it appropriate to grab Palace’s James McArthur by the throat in one of his collection of Leicester pantomime incidents.
We’ve had no headbutting or throat grabbing this season, as far as I know, but we have seen Antonio Conte winding up Jose Mourinho as Chelsea led Manchester United 4-0 and, of course, Mourinho lasted just 45 minutes on the touchline when United played us recently. He was apparently far from impressed with Mark Clattenburg correctly ruling out a penalty claim.
He was at it again yesterday. This time the opponents were West Ham with Jon Moss the referee. Moss opted to yellow card Paul Pogba for simulation much to the displeasure of the distasteful Portuguese who had a hissy fit on the touchline which included kicking away a bottle.
Moss got the decision spot on, believe it or not, and after carding Pogba he walked over, on the advice of fourth official Anthony Taylor, and invited Mourinho to watch the rest of the game from the stand. He chose not to but went sulking in his office.
I’ve no love for Manchester United, never have had, and I certainly do not like Mourinho at all. It’s a match made in heaven for me and I do think that United have potentially, for a third time, tried to replace Sir Alex Ferguson with a manager who is on the downward slide.
One club on the up right now is Liverpool. I may well have mentioned this before on Up the Clarets, but we remain the only club to have beaten them in the Premier League this season.
Sunderland’s plan at Anfield on Saturday was to defend in depth and then drop even deeper. Jürgen Klopp reckoned they were the most defensive team he’d ever seen. It looked to be working for David Moyes and his team too as they got through 75 minutes at 0-0 before the deadlock was broken.
By then, Klopp had taken matters into his own hands and had become the chief cheerleader. With an angry and frustrated expression on his face he urged the fans to give his team more support. They responded and the team went on to win 2-0.
He’s about as popular with supporters as any manager in the league currently. I recall years ago after Liverpool had won the cup, the fans received a rallying speech from Bill Shankly. Club secretary at the time, Peter Robinson, said that such was Shankly’s power over the fans that if he asked them to storm the Mersey Tunnel and invade Birkenhead they would do. I don’t think Klopp’s reached that level, but he’s certainly heading in the right direction.
The only concerning news for the red side of the city is Germany Calling with suggestions that Bayern Munich, not impressed with Carlo Ancelotti, would like Klopp to take charge.
While Mourinho and Klopp have taken the weekend headlines, on the pitch you could write a book on the lack of defensive qualities at Swansea and Crystal Palace, particularly at set pieces. So poor are Palace defensively that Pardew is now the odds on favourite to be the next manager to go while Bradley, who looks totally out of his depth, is not far behind.
The points at least took Swansea back off the bottom of the league but they remain in the relegation positions with Hull and Sunderland. Palace are out of the bottom three only on goal difference after a run of six successive defeats.
At the other end of the table, the top four all won with Chelsea beating fifth place Spurs. Even now, with only thirteen games played, it is hard to imagine the title winners not coming from that group.
The Premier League’s leading goalscorers, each club’s red and yellow card counts and their average attendances can all be found in Goalscorers-Discipline-Attendances within Season Stats on the top menu.
Gameweek 14 Fixtures
Saturday 3rd December
Manchester City v Chelsea (12:30 p.m.)
Crystal Palace v Southampton
Stoke v Burnley
Sunderland v Leicester
Tottenham v Swansea
West Brom v Watford
West Ham v Arsenal (5:30 p.m.)
Sunday 4th December
Bournemouth v Liverpool (1:30 p.m.)
Everton v Manchester United (4 p.m.)
Monday 5th December
Middlesbrough v Hull (8 p.m.)