And the answer is, yes, football really has gone mad
- Credit: PA
Oh dear. That not-really-inquisitive cliche, 'has football gone mad?' has been thrown around in the wrong circumstances for years. Sadly, the question is no longer valid, because the answer is so mind-numbingly, and frighteningly, obvious. Yes.
Steve Clarke was sacked by West Brom for failing to fulfil the far-too-high expectations of the owners who were treated to an eighth-place finish last season which was better than a fair-to-middling club (no insult intended) had any right to.
Andre Villas-Boas left Spurs because their chairman was humiliated by big defeats, to Manchester City and Liverpool. Wonder what would have happened had they lost those 2-1, rather than 6-0 and 0-5 respectively?
Those decisions, though, look positively sane compared to what appears to be the imminent departure from Cardiff City of Malky Mackay, who finds himself working under intolerable circumstances for Malaysian owner Vincent Tan Chee Yioun.
Malky upset Tan when he expressed the hope – not a solid intention, but hope – that he could bring in three new players in January to help Cardiff stay in the Premier League and protect his owner's investment. Instead of admiring his ambition, Tan misquoted Malky – a popular footballing tool – and appeared to have had a light bulb moment, when he realised he had the ammunition with which to fire his manager.
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Look at what Malky said: 'It would be great if we can bring in three quality additions to the squad. I would look to strengthen all three departments in terms of a defender, a midfielder and an attacking player. I will talk to my chairman (about January) who will then discuss it with his board of directors and our owner and I will take my lead from them. It's up to them then what financially they want to spend in January. I've got my lists of players, whether they be permanent targets or loans for various positions. We've got to try and strengthen again.'
It's hardly a war of words; rather, it's a phony war created by one man, who has now allegedly told Malky to quit or be sacked.
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It should be a clear warning shot for other clubs' supporters.
Football is changing. Some club owners are losing control. They are firing at random, they are upsetting fans, they are distancing the media and at the same time compromising a free press. They are in danger of becoming megalomaniacs, obsessed with power, money and purchasing popularity.
It will end in failure, and the fans will suffer.
Quote of the week, without a shadow of a doubt, goes to Tim Sherwood.
The former Norwich City player is in caretaker charge of Spurs and had his first outing in midweek when they lost 2-1 to West Ham in the Capital One Cup quarter-final.
Afterwards, Sherwood was asked what it was like being in charge of footballers.
'I sleep like a baby – the other night I woke up four times in the night crying,' he said.
It made a change from some of the stuff managers come out with post-match when, perhaps, they have other things on their minds. Like their jobs. Goodness knows what it is like being in charge of footballers - one or two over the years have been bad enough at fielding questions - so having to lay down the law to someone who thinks he knows more than you do about the game, could be problematic.
Never been fast on my feet, but the speed at which sport moves amazes me. Managerial departures are becoming far too much of a norm for my liking, but we are oh so quick to pull the pedestals from under our sporting stars' feet.
Andy Murray may have been named BBC Sports Personality of the Year, for what that's worth (was it ever in doubt?), but I tip he will continue to lurch from hero to zero faster than you can say Wimbledon champion, while Sebastian Vettel's prize for totally dominating the sport of Formula One last season was abuse from some supporters who got bored - because the others weren't good enough to catch him.
England retained the Ashes in August, and a little over four months later lost them again and are now unofficially the worst team ever. They hardly had time to celebrate; the two series were squashed together, rather than played biennially, so it wouldn't interfere with the 2015 World Cup, which Australia will co-host with New Zealand.