AVB: Make them Squirm!..
Following AVB wise or unwise criticisms of The Daily Mail journo's and our former owner. Several of our players have come out in support of their manager, which for some reason, I actually believe their motives to be positive and not some politically based spin, to take the heat off of the current situation, whilst also making themselves out to be good guys in what could still be an increasingly bad situation.
I suppose it is fair to suggest that Alan Sugar isn't respected for his knowledge of football, whilst also being happy to offer his opinion, regardless of whether it is popular or correct. Similarly, newspapers are there to attract readers and spark opinion, so should we or more importantly AVB really take note issue with their words? Personally, i have read articles from Ashton and Samuals, Two writers I actually quite like, but there does smack of there being an agenda against our manager. In the case of Lord Sugar, perhaps he should stick to firing wannabe's on the TV, as opposed to discussing his taste in managers. This is of course the same owner that appointed Christian Gross and George Graham to the Spurs hot seat. So how does he really qualify?
What these people may be saying and writing may well have some validity. AVB is leading us into playing some dreadful football, whilst losing 6-0 is clearly a mini disaster, however what counts in reality is whether the players are still playing for their manager and embracing his ideas. Lose the players and he is doomed, but do the players still enjoy working with him and retain belief that given time, all will be good and the team will achieve success?.
History has often shown a manager close to the sack, only to turn things around and achieve huge success. Wasn't Fergie heading for the chop, before Mark Robin's scored an FA Cup goal against Notts Forest? Howard Kendall was heading for defeat against Oxford, but for a Kevin Brock suicidal back pass allowed Adrian Heath to score a late equaliser, which is widely heralded as the start of Everton's great run of success in the 80's. Perhaps AVB isn't quite at the one game from the sack position yet, but the point is that managers can and do turn things around, either with time, vision or that little piece of fortune. At this stage, I have no issue with my manager sticking up for himself and his players, in fact I quite like it.
Of course the jury is still out, and the next three games could make us forget all our supposed woes or see us chanting for the head of our 'useless' manager. Who knows which way things will go. Having three players publicly back the manager is good to see, though we could still have a few dissenting players in the dressing room that is bringing the whole mood down and perhaps it is those voices that have a greater effect on the team than a few cheer-leading for the media. The thing is that for now at least I actually believe that Vertonghen, Sandro and Dembele are being truthful, after all, one isn't playing every week, the other is playing out of position and the other is supposedly about to ask for a January move. All of course suggested by the same media that are hailing AVB as a flop!
The reality is that the team hasn't been playing beautiful football and we have lost a few games. Happily so have most of our rivals, so if this is our mid season crisis, perhaps we should be pleased to still be in touching distance with the top four and who knows, with lessons learned and the players really, and not just verbally backing their manager, things could just prove to be ok in the end. I have always felt that the true test of a quality manager is whether they learn in adversity and and bounce back stronger and wiser. This is the time for AVB to prove his worth, and though I have to confess to sitting comfortably on the fence, I would love to see him turn things around, even if its just to read and listen to these so called experts squirm and worm their way out of their past comments...