BBC BLOGS - Robbo Robson
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All the fun of the farce

Robbo Robson | 12:13 UK time, Friday, 23 January 2009

Why is it that some clubs appear to spend season after season with a gun aimed firmly at their own feet?

While me and the boys at the Blue Bell enjoy Chelsea choking and Rafa's hissy fits, get riled by Fergie's fantastical claims of bias, and simultaneously drool and sneer at the fragile beauty of the Wenger boys - none of them are quite so reliable for copy as those regular back-page herberts, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and me old favourites Newcastle United.

Now I've laid off the Geordie bottlers since KK was replaced by JFK. Desperate times call for desperate measures but the appointment of Joe Kinnear seemed beyond desperate. I mean how many barrels would you have had to look in before you found the one he was at the bottom of, eh?

And yet, the man's shown plenty of bottle, and made Gordon Ramsay sound like a blinking nun in the process. He's probably had a few choice F-words for his players too: feeble, fractured, full of sh....ocking performers. But you'd have to pulp the Amazon jungle to get enough paper to cover the cracks in that squad.

Who would have thought that two of Kinnear's charges would be squaring up to one another? About as predictable as Kelly Brook having to stop being a judge on Britain's Got Talent. The way N'Zogbia's been whinnying about leaving, you'd expect to see his name on one of them Golf Sale placards any day soon.
Joe Kinnear and Phil Brown
Cursin' Kinnear doesn't help himself though, and to have got called into the FA three times to explain his conduct is pretty poor, although he's got the perfect excuse for his behaviour: 'I'm Newcastle United's manager! Any human being would react like this!'

Kinnear and me beloved 'Arry have both resorted to the same excuse just recently - previous regimes have left this club in tatters. Governments love this excuse 'n' all.

Both of them have been within an ace of telling the world that their players are utter garbage. I think Harry would happily stick half the squad in the back of a lorry and tip them on to his garden to feed his marrows.

White Hart Lane? More like No Heart Lane. A bunch of fancy chancers that make Alves look clinical. Bentley is the benchmark. You wonder how much precedence practice takes over, say, his hair. The lad needs a Brylcreemectomy and a wake-up call.

In a couple of weeks I expect Redknapp to be talking about Darren Went. Deadknee King and Woodgate look about as solid as soup and Gareth Bale could be replaced by a hay bale without any noticeable difference.

If there was any justice in the world, Burnley'd be in the final and you'd struggle to find a Spurs fan who'd disagree.

That a club that can splash cash around like they do and still end up with a lumpen mess of a side that couldn't find each other in a phone box on a cloudless day is a wonder of our times. There's going to be a summer sale that'll make Woolworths clear-out look like an average day at Harrods.

Then there's Citeh. I'm fed up of it already. Confusion has followed Kakatastrophe. So far the signings have been well underwhelming - yeah I know Ben Watson and Marlon King on loan isn't going to bring the bunting out on Boro's boulevards but we haven't got King Flaming Midas as our owner, have we?
Craig Bellamy
They've signed Craig Bellamy though! (Apparently you get seven Bellamys to a Kaka - that can't be good value.) They've also got Wayne 'I'm the second best English left-back going but I can't get a game and I stayed there for five years' Bridge and de Jong, who last time I checked was a holding midfielder.

Maybe he's there to keep hold of Robinho and stop him flouncing off home when he feels like it. Perhaps they'd have more success if they tried to find a Brazilian lad called Batmaninho to keep the boy wonder in check.

Not content with having one flaky handful on their books, it appears Drogba's the latest to be linked with City. Crikey. It'll be like herding cats if the sheikh gets everyone he supposedly wants.

Of course, City and Spurs'll be all right in the end cos the money's going to see them through. Newcastle on the other hand... well it's not like the owner, ermmm... whatsisname... Mashley?... Cashley?.. Thing is you never see him around anymore and it's a shame cos he was so convincing when he was playing Micky Fourbellies on the touchline.

Any road, he's not giving Kinnear unlimited resources to bail out the barcodes and with the players busily handbagging each other, the road to the Championship looks a short one.

But while these clubs are good copy, the stories are wearing thin. Yeah I know I just got 800 words out of the potty lot of them but wouldn't it be good if they all sank down a peg while they got their houses in order?

It's not going to happen, though, is it? It's about as likely as a street party for George W Bush. Those of us with some romance in our bones in these ultra-cynical times had another chunk of it chipped out by Burnley's failure to counter cash with hard work and heart.

Still, if I think back to them heady Boro days of Juninho, Ravanelli et al, I have to say there was a bit of narkiness in there as well.

What we wouldn't give for a bit of slapping in the players' car park or an expensive, unpredictable prima donna lighting up the pitch and mincing off to Majorca cos we can't buy his mate too. A dour and dogged fight against relegation isn't all it's cracked up to be.


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