is a long time in football. Just ask ex-Southampton manager Mark Wotte.
takeover by a Swiss billionaire would put an end to the chaos at the club,
Daily Echo's excellent coverage has seen
new stories published on its website almost hourly.
Yet not even
in the high-octane and wildly fictional universe of Kiefer Sutherland vehicle 24 would Wotte's circumstances have changed as quickly as they did
Wednesday, when Markus Liebherr completed his takeover of the club, Wotte
described himself as: "Delighted and very relieved," adding that there
was "no indication" the new owners were going to change the manager.
Thursday morning, Wotte told the Echo that Liebherr was: "exactly what we
need for the long term."
club) are not going to take quick, overnight, decisions," he noted.
out he was right. The club did not wait that long, and yesterday afternoon
Wotte had been sacked. Small wonder, then, that Wotte said he was
"speechless" at getting the push.
hardly blame the new ownership for wanting to bring in their own manager, especially
as Saints went down to League One during Wotte's
tenure, but the Dutchman has been treated particularly shabbily.
week he was given a new contract, and he had been a vocal supporter of the
somebody could have done was to cancel his Thursday press conference in order
to stop him looking like a prize chump.
if Southampton were a well-run club, they
probably wouldn't have spent the
early part of the summer flirting with extinction.
One man who
will not be dispensed with so easily is goalkeeper Kelvin Davis, who has turned
down an offer from West Ham to stay at St Mary's
and play in League One.
On a day
when Rafa Benitez accused players of being motivated by money, it was
encouraging to see a player show some loyalty.
pick up a whacking great cheque from the Hammers for carrying Rob Green's spare gloves, Davis said he felt "as
responsible as anyone for the club's
position" and wanted to
continue playing first-team football.
Wotte's experience, however, that is
not to say Davis
won't be sacked next week.
- - -
Real Madrid's incessant parading of
megabucks signings at the Bernabeu is clearly getting to Barcelona, whose
president Joan Laporta was at his haughty best yesterday.
the arrivals of Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo at Real, Laporta harrumphed: "We
make Ballon d'Or winners, others
have to buy them."
happens, the Catalans' only Ballon d'Or winner this decade is Ronaldinho, who was not
so much made by Barcelona
as bought for around £20 million.
this year's likely winner, Leo
Messi, has been at the club since he was 13, he was hardly plucked from the
back streets around Las Ramblas either.
case, Laporta's pomposity was
punctured by his admission that Samuel Eto'o
has imposed his own brand of radio silence, and is presently uncontactable.
Laporta said: "I have called him a
couple of times but he hasn't
answered his mobile. I don't know if
he has changed his number or whether he's
lost it, but I would like to speak to him."
one of two things. Either he has made a daring submarine incursion into North
Korean waters and has gone quiet to avoid detection.
Or he is
working out just how big a set of alloys he will be able to afford if he
City's offer of £250,000-a-week after tax.
case, he doesn't want to speak to
Laporta, who might want to consider affixing the Cameroonian's mugshot to milk cartons across Catalonia in an attempt to find his missing
- - -
Eto'o is just concerned about having
his calls hacked by the News of the World.
phone messages from Sir Alex Ferguson and Alan Shearer are believed to be among
the calls taken from PFA chief Gordon Taylor's
mobile, according to this morning's
While this explosive
issue threatens to blow up in the Sunday tabloid's
face, ED is struck by the futility of raiding somebody's
they expect to find? Was Fergie going to dramatically admit that he has the
body of a mermaid? Or would Shearer break down and tearfully wail 'I should have gone to United!'?
not. You know why? Because they were answer phone messages, the most awkward
and uninformative mode of communication this side of Twitter.
Far from leaving
any juicy revelations on Taylor's phone, Ferguson's message probably sounded like every other answer
phone message ever left, that is to say, this:
rustling sound) ... Er, Gordon, it's
Alex. Just retuning your call from earlier, not sure if we can ... oh look,
never mind. If you get this, call me back. Or else I'll
give you another bell later ... Speak soon then ... It's
Alex. Sir Alex. Fergie ... (more rustling and beeping, before line eventually
not worth the £700,000 the Screws paid Taylor
out of court.
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "We did go back again for Barry, but as I said. it is
all about money, money, money. It is as simple as that." Rafa Benitez
reveals it was Manchester
City's extensive collection of Abba CDs that saw Gareth
Barry choose Eastlands over Anfield.
VIEW: It has been a dismal summer for Serie A, but Internazionale are about to
go on a splurge, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. They are set to bring in Ricardo
Carvalho, Lucio, Wesley Sneijder and Marek Hamsik. So there you go.
After an untimely reminder that Australia
are quite good at cricket, England
will attempt to stop the Mongrels building a match-winning total in the first
Ashes Test at Cardiff. It's live from 11:00 UK time.