Overthinking and over-reacting to situations is the human way but when it comes to football something clicks in a person that makes things comical, ludicrous and rarely sensible. That being said after a jam-packed weekend of empty stadiums in Europe, there were bound to be a few hare-brained ideas.
Dean Smith for Manager of the year
The Daily Mail deployed three experts, who shall not be named, to discuss things and one of them happened to be manager of the year candidates with Dean Smith’s name coming up.
SC Take: Talk about an overreaction. Now were Aston Villa in running for a Champions League spot then this wouldn’t be that far of a reach. But at the moment, the Villans are seven points behind Chelsea with eight games to go which doesn’t seem that big a margin, now does it? But they’ve got four teams ahead of them in better positions to get there and all four have been far more consistent than Villa.
Now the argument that the Daily Mail’s experts make is the improvement that Smith has made on a team that survive by a point, and a hawkeye error, last season. It’s a good argument but the better one, if you ask literally anyone else, would be the stupendous improvement that David Moyes has made. Remember those four teams above Villa battling it out for a Champions League spot? The Hammers are a part of that pack and have been for most of the season. Definitely manager of the year material there especially since they finished 16th last season.
Harry Kane needs to stop doing everything else and just score goals
Harry Kane has scored 34 goals in 53 England appearances and has 162 goals in 238 Premier League goals but Stan Collymore believes that the England captain needs to stop dropping deep and start scoring more.
SC Take: Let’s put all that in perspective. Kane is on par to become the first player to break Alan Shearer’s Premier League goals record. Many believed Wayne Rooney could do it but the former Manchester United forward finished his career with 208. Kane is about 46 goals behind that tally and is definitely on par to break Shearer’s record given that he is 27. Now as for his presence amongst England’s top scorers, Kane is a mere 20 goals off Rooney’s record there and could break it with almost 20 caps faster than the Derby County boss.
That’s if one takes the fact that it could take Kane 50 caps to score 20 goals after he scored 34 in 53. You do the math but as far as Kane’s goalscoring goes, there is absolutely no problem there. What is the problem, is the fact that this season, the 27-year-old has started assisting far more than anyone expected him to with 13 to his name. That’s more than either Bruno Fernandes or Kevin De Bruyne have managed which combined with the fact that he has 19 goals and is in pole position for the Golden Boot race is just impressive. Now, what was the argument again?
Lowest ranked nations should play amongst themselves to qualify
The latest international break saw quite a few upset with the fact that international football is still a thing but it also saw Gary Lineker claim that “We’ve reached the stage where the lowest-ranked nations should play amongst themselves to qualify for the right to play at this level”.
SC Take: It seems karma loves biting back. No sooner Lineker started the debate, international football bit back and how. Malta, Europe’s fifth weakest association by FIFA’s ranking, drew 2-2 to Slovakia, Luxembourg beat Ireland, North Macedonia beat Germany and the list goes on. It seems that there is some reason to stop the underdogs from ever having a chance to beat the big-dogs or maybe that’s just the paranoia seeping in.
Either way, a statement like that, from Lineker, is a definite overreaction to the fact that England thrashed San Marino during the international break. Sure, it’s bound to happen again but how else do you expect the underdogs/smaller countries to improve if they only splash about in the same pond? They need a chance to come head to head against the sharks of the world in order to truly test their mettle and as more than a few proved, they’ve got what it takes.
Sam Allardyce is the greatest English Premier League manager
After the biggest result of the weekend, Chelsea 2-5 West Bromwich Albion, there were bound to be a few reactions but a select few on the interweb have taken things a bit too far.
SC Take: Is Sam Allardyce the greatest English Premier League manager? Not if you consider the Scottish as English although too many people don’t which doesn’t really leave too many options. But even then, you’ve got Kevin Keegan, Sir Bobby Robson, Kenny Dalglish and a few others to name although don’t discount Big Sam’s achievements. He has never been relegated in his managerial career which is quite a feat when you consider the teams he has managed over the years.
The real question though is can he keep West Bromwich Albion up? Because if he does, somehow, manage to do that especially given their current position on the league table then there might actually be an argument to be made for Big Sam being the greatest “English” Premier League manager. Sheesh.