Moyes, Pep, Poch and Big Sam all have resolutions for 2017
Long-term fans of the Diary will know that at this time of the year, all Premier League managers are required to submit a New Year’s resolution to headquarters: a note, a list, a plan, a hope, a confession … something to see them through the next 12 months of high-octane manager-on-manager action.
We, your humble Diarists, are then obliged to steal and leak them. You’d think they’d have changed the combination on the safe by this point. Clearly, Richard Scudamore isn’t a reader. Anyway, here they all are in table order.
I’ve almost got them. Just a couple more fist-bumps, maybe a skip or two. Sooner or later, somebody’s going to swing for me. And then the moral high ground will be mine … oh, yeah. Let’s keep winning games too.
When I said heavy metal football, I wasn’t talking about the music. I literally want to drop heavy lumps of metal anybody that gets in the way of me or my team and the progress that is ours by work and by right. Goalkeepers, mostly.
Josep “Pep” Guardiola
If only I’d told Johan, all those years ago, that I thought “Pep” was a silly nickname. Then I’d have been fine. Now even journalists use it, and I can’t stop them, no matter how hard I make it clear that I want to hold their faces down in baths of bleach. “Pep, why do your players keep getting sent off?” “Pep, why have all your expensive players been a bit rubbish?” Maybe I should go back to Mexico.
We’ll start at around £100,000 a week below their asking price, and then we’ll increase our offer by £1 each half hour until they get bored and accept their new contracts. I cannot see a single problem with this plan.
There must be something in this room that hasn’t signed a new contract. What about this pot plant? Four more years, and almost as much water per day as you’d get at Chelsea? Sound good? I’ll stick a tie on.
I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and you. And I think to myself: what a wonderful world. I see skies of blue, and clouds of white. The bright blessed day, and th– OH FOR GOD’S SAKE MAROUANE CLEAN THAT UP.
Yes, there are problems. But there are solutions, too, and we’ll get there. The real question for the coming year is: should I start calling myself Ronaldo Koeman? It just sounds cooler. I’ll see what Ross thinks …
Quite fun, all this goalscoring. Can’t think why I’ve never tried it before.
If things keep going well, and we manage to maintain our style and decent results, then when Wenger finally steps down at Arsenal we’ll be absolutely guaranteed to receive the coveted role. Not manager, obviously, But somebody’s got to be the English manager who gets pushed heavily in opinion pieces, only for the job to get given to an up-and-coming Bundelisga coach with exciting ideas about sub-horizontal-counter-counter-pressing, and that somebody can be me.
Don’t get too attached, Claude. Sure, they seem nice. Pleasant. In another world, at another club, they could be colleagues, trusted lieutenants, even friends. But here, no. Here they come and they go and there’s no use taking the time, for heartbreak is inevitable. They are your players. Soon they will be somebody else’s. That’s all there is.
Find where Mike Dean lives. Find where he eats, he sleeps. Find where his children play. Find the shape of his life, his loves, his hates, his fears and his dreams. And then relax, let it all go, and move on. Just a game, after all. No real harm done.
Taking over a new job is always tricky. But I have been genuinely astonished to discover how comprehensive Alan Pardew’s work at Crystal Palace has been. He’s written “This belongs to the King” on almost every discrete object in the whole damn place. It’s going to take months to clean off.
Premier League Diary: Managers' 2017 Resolutions
[Sunderland’s manager submitted a tape recording, which appears to be a series of long, agonised howls interspersed with bouts of sobbing. At one point, he can be heard leaving a message with one of Jose Mourinho’s colleagues, asking about Marouane Fellaini. Then, more sobbing.]
Once relegation’s secured, I’ll go back to wearing shorts. Might as well be comfortable.
Francesco Guidolin. Wait, no, Bob Bradley. Wait, no, an actual mayfly