Events have been moving rapidly since Liverpool FC decided that the time had come to part company with the unfortunate and unloved Roy Hodgson: not just the temporary appointment of Kenny Dalglish, or the controversy over Howard Webb’s refereeing of their FA Cup match at Old Trafford, but today’s news that Steve Clarke is to become First Team coach.
Is it such a big deal? I think it is, not least for current Reds’ assistant manager Sammy Lee. Clarke assumed that position at Newcastle United, West Ham and of course at Chelsea under José Mourinho. Were I in Lee’s shoes, I’d not have much confidence of being in post much longer.
And what of Clarke’s old mucker Mourinho, now in the – by definition – hot seat at Real Madrid? Well, Real hosted Villareal on Sunday last, not convincing in the first half and eventually prevailing 4-2 thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick (the same player scored two of the three goals the previous Monday in the away win at Getafe).
Mourinho, whose side are just two points adrift of leaders Barcelona – although the Catalan side have a goal difference seventeen better – was in typically enigmatic mood after the match, observing that “everything I do is misinterpreted” when discussing his game plan and substitutions.
Of course, it’s never easy to tell when the former Chelsea boss is being totally serious. But if his team fail to catch and overhaul Barcelona, he will not keep well at the Bernabeu. Fabio Capello won Real the title and then got sacked.
Is John Henry ambitious enough to want a Special One for his new acquisition? Let’s see what happens after the end of the season.