The mid-week premiership matches were a welcome distraction from the work routine. Getting comfortable on the couch, I tuned into Portsmouth and Chelsea at Fratton Park just as the lineups were being presented.
Portsmouth’s Paul Hart was labeled as a “Caretaker Manager”; fair enough, was my thought. Then mighty Chelsea was introduced and their latest addition, Mr. Guus Hiddink, was labeled as the “Temporary First Team Coach.”
I could not help but laugh.
With words like “caretaker” and “temporary” being shoved in our faces, I had to wonder who was the man who made the final OK as to what these guys are called? While each label seemed appropriate, I still could not help but think that a majority of the EPL managers should have something synonymous with temporary put by their names. That would certainly be appropriate as well.
A good niche business in England would be a moving company that specializes in sacked gaffers.
Sackings are the nature of the business. I can think of several managers whose positions are as temporary as Hiddink’s. Barring a complete collapse (which appears unlikely), Hiddink will have the opportunity to take the Chelsea job or leave it in the summer. In truth, Hiddink has a better chance of keeping his job than five or six current managers, probably even more.
So labeling the gaffers could open up a whole new creative outlet for TV producers.
And then there is Newcastle, what do they call them? Here’s a suggestion: Joe Kinnear should be called the “Disabled Temporary First Team Coach,” and Chris Hughton will have to be known as the “Permanent Surrogate Manager,” as he is in his fourth spell as “Caretaker Manager” at Newcastle. He is definitely worthy of a title made specifically for him.
Today’s Shakespeare would write: "What’s in a name? That which we call manager by any other name is as fleeting as the love of thy supporters."