Friday, December 28, 2007

The Managerial Key-Party Continues

One festive day ending, another on the horizon, and lots of footy throughout it all.

With Roy Hodgson’s appointment at the Cottage, everyone is looking at Big Sam as the next one to go.

But if anyone bothered to watch ManYoo’s JV team demolish Sunderland, you would notice Roy Keane’s negative body language. Of course one cannot be pleased with a 4-0 defeat by his prior employer. But Keane looked like he didn’t even want to be there. And who can blame him? He’s been a winner everywhere he’s played, and even last year he won handily when he took over the Black Cats’s reigns.

Yet with the exception of defeating Derby, the squad hasn’t won since September. And that was against Reading, who are poor on the road. Of all the teams that still have hope to stay up (i.e. not Derby), Sunderland have conceded a league leading 38 goals, and are tied with Boro in least amount of goals scored.

If this was any other manager, they would’ve gotten sacked months ago. Yet Keane still has his job. And that’s for two reasons: intimidation and low expectations. Who in the press is going to attack Keane-O and not immediately fear for themselves and their family? I sure as hell would go into Witness Protection if I was the sports editor at the Sunderland Echo or Times. And although his position as manager was a good story, and pundits picked Sunderland to finish mid-table, did anyone actually expect them to be anything other than relegation fodder? With the exception of Kenwyne Jones, their summer acquisitions are suspect or flops.

If things remain the same, I expect Keane to step down sometime in the spring. People like him remain ‘winners’ for a reason. You gotta commend him for what he did last season, and although the jury is till out until the end of the transfer window, don't expect him to be around in May.