64. Maradona

I was born in 1984 and by my calculations that makes me 27 years old.  This then proves that I am in my 20’s and as such have no business or affiliation with the word “old”.  People in their 90’s are old.  Not people in their 20’s, or 30′s, or 40′s, or 50′s.  So it came as a great surprise to me when I was told last night by a dribbling alcoholic that I was a “grumpy old man who was past it”.  Past what remains a mystery.  But after having spooled back through the last 60 or so blogs it is clear that above all else I do enjoy a good moan.  And damn right too.  It’s easy to compliment and praise and be happy, but this runs no risk and can be quite boring.  I like to grouse and lament because it’s funny and, more often than not, true.

So, after promising the slobbering alcoholic that my next missive would be a more cheerful one, I have this to say…

Shilton: “Oi mate, you’ll need mi gloves!” Maradona “No it’s ok, do you have a £10 note I can borrow?”

…Maradona was a rubbish football manager.  Yep, true.  Maradona was not however a poor football player.  He was one of the greatest of his generation, arguably one of the greatest of all time, up there with John Fashanu.  He could even score goals with his hands, which is something that no one else could do, even the referee basked in his glory.  But why on earth did Dubai based football team Al Wasl employ him as their manager?  That’s like employing Paris Hilton to pilot Air Force One.  Ok, she is brilliant at running her hotel chain but that is a completely different profession to flying a Boeing 747 with the President of United States on board.  By the same logic I could be employed as a neurosurgeon.

Maradona’s football management career has been fruitless thus far.  He managed two Argentinean clubs between 1994 and 1995 with no success whatsoever.  Then, after sniffing lots of cocaine, he ended up managing the Argentine national squad in 2008.  His time at the helm there was also fruitless.  He barely got the team to qualify for the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 and oversaw Argentina’s biggest defeat in history, losing 6-1 to Bolivia, a team that play without boots, or even a ball.  He was sacked after the 2010 campaign and before you knew it he was drafted into Al Wasl in May of 2011.

Of course I’m asking you a question that I have already answered.  Why was he employed as manager in the first place?  Why did Al Wasl want to be affiliated with a player whose career was decorated in equal measures of brilliance and disgrace?  Well obviously it was for publicity.  Sadly, he was highly incompetent and as such there has been plenty of publicity, all of it bad.  And now he has been sacked from his post rendering all of the investment completely and utterly worthless.  This is the problem when money is no object; you go out and buy the big main brand that everyone knows.  We all know that if you do your research and you shop around a bit you will always get a better deal.  You cant afford to be impatient.

There are plenty of decent football managers out there who are more than capable of turning a club around, you have to be modest when picking.  Maradona was a poor choice made for superficial reasons.  It’s a shame because the UAE pro-league is in its infancy compared to the highly established European leagues and it has a golden opportunity to do things right.  A football manager is one of the most important mechanisms of any club.  Look at all of the greats over the years, they all had long careers.  As much as I hate to admit it, Manchester United is arguably the greatest club of all time, and Sir Alex Ferguson has been in the captains chair non-stop since 1986.  He was a bold choice for the club at the time of his appointment, but with a little bit of faith he’s proven his worth.  You need to employ a manager who is hungry to win and prepared to work hard for it, not someone who is hungry for tequila and prepared to phone in sick 3 times a week.

So, there’s no hidden message or morals in today’s missive.  It is what it is, me chuckling at the justified sacking of a man who should never have been employed in the first place, and also proving to the dribbling drunkard that my blogs can be far less melancholic and miserable.  Well, depending upon your point of view.

Actually thinking about it, the bloke last night was a big lad with a distinct South American accent… good with his hands too…hmmm…

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