The great unpredictability of football shows itself yet again this weekend.
On Friday night Championship Millwall defeated Premier League Aston Villa.
Arsenal, one of the classiest sides in English and indeed European football, scrape through with a win against lower division Brighton and Hove Albion.
Non-league Luton beat Premier League Norwich, at Carrow Road, for the first win by a non-league team over a top division English club in the FA Cup since 1989!
MK Dons, a team with a great cup history (but wait a minute – does that now belong to Wimbledon FC) defeat Premier League QPR, who have just broken their transfer record buying an £8 million player. And they beat them at Loftus Road too!
The European Cup holders, Chelsea, defeated Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Benfica in the last 12 months, but can only escape with a draw from Brentford of League One.
Liverpool, one of the most successful teams in world football history, go down to Oldham of League One.
Leeds United, of the Championship, overcome Spurs from the Premier League.
And in Scotland, Celtic, odds-on favourites to do a clean sweep in Scotland, and in the last 16 of the Champions’ League, come unstuck to Saint Mirren (who are at least in the same division!). (And I can imagine a “Smart” man who is jigging delightedly at the prospect of a Hampden final for his beloved Buddies!)
And finally, in the League, the most successful club in the history of world football, with more money than any football team in Scotland, with more fans than any other team in Scotland, with a wage bill higher than that of all but 1 or 2 of the other 41 teams in Scotland, with a squad full of full-time players, and with many who have played international football, draw with a team of part-timers from Montrose.
Any one of those results would qualify as a “coupon buster”. That is why, no matter what the games might look like on paper, the matches have to be played on the grass!
Hail to the great unpredictability of football!
Mind you, the one predictable result is that a number of the managers of the unsuccessful sides will not make it to the end of the season, and for the rest there are undoubtedly calls on the phone-ins for them to be sacked.
No matter how unjustified, I have heard or read calls for each and every one of the managers mentioned below to be sacked following their sides’ games this weekend.
I have therefore decided to run a poll! Who will be sacked first? Not who ought to be, but who will be. Please note the choices should come up in a random selection – there is nothing to be read into the order in which they appear!
Posted by Paul McConville
NB For some reason, despite my best efforts, the poll will not allow me to include Arsene Wenger as one of the candidates. Maybe because his team actually scraped a win? Feel free to mention in the comments if you think he should get the vote.