Oh…Jimmy Jimmy

Mozza’s new contract

One of the major summer sagas for Albion was James Morrison’s contract situation. After several contracts over 9 years, his final agreement had run down and Mozza was free to leave. We all thought the newly promoted Middlesbrough would be his destination, but it wasn’t to be. He then ended up signing a new contract with us along with a considerable pay rise. Call me cynical, but I believe that if Middlesbrough were interested and would have paid his wage demands, he would be a Boro player now.

By all accounts his new deal is around £65k a week. Personally I don’t think he should be on more than £40k but that may be pre sky money thinking on my part.

Moaning in the media

Only weeks after signing his new deal, he was sending out remarks in the press about being frustrated that he is not playing. This is a guy who got injured in January and played no further part in the last 13 games of the season. We stuck with him through his recovery through the summer, and he has been back to fitness mere weeks before complaining about lack of playing time, and threatening to join Celtic. I know he has been a loyal servant but he is now 30 years old and will need to accept that at some point that he will not be able to complete every game over a full season.

I don’t know why he isn’t being selected. I don’t know whether Pulis still has questions about his fitness, or if Pulis is trying different things now we have our wingers. But to sit out a few games then run to the media complaining is ridiculous and suggests arrogance to me. How about Pocognoli, and Gamboa, and McManaman, and every other bugger who was stuck in the bomb squad down in the dungeon for months?

False promises

When the story came out about Mozza being frustrated at the lack of game time, a lot were defending him, stating that he had been made the same promises that we had about ambitious transfer plans. Sorry, but Morrison is an employee who is paid handsomely – not a fan. We pay to watch our team and he gets paid to do his job and play football. He has been here 9 years. I’m sure over that time he has learnt (like the rest of us) what Peace and our transfer windows are like, and that you shouldn’t base your career decisions on what Peace says we are going to do.

Sorry but I refuse to have sympathy for someone who stayed here because we gave him what he wanted when no one else would. Don’t get me wrong – I have no problem with Morrison as a footballer and he does bring quality to the team when he plays; I just wasn’t impressed with the comments in the media.

Latest thoughts on TP and the board

The Pulis Out camp is growing

People who follow me on twitter will know it has taken me longer than most to join the “Pulis Out” camp. I will admit I was very pleased when it was announced we had got Pulis on board. I never thought he would come into a set up like ours. Here was an established manager who would do things his way, instead of the committee of coaches and other randomers like McDonough doing what they liked. I maintain that the state we were in following Irvine’s departure meant that Pulis was a necessary evil.

Then – up until very recently – I was of the opinion that he is doing his best with the squad we have, and that his remit was to keep us in this league ready for a takeover. Over the past month I have become increasingly frustrated with the things he says and does. The final straw came for me when he started making comments about our loyal fans, who have been here – and will be here – far longer than he ever will.

At Bournemouth the team was fully backed throughout the game. Even through all of our own time wasting that started in the first 15 minutes of the match and aimless balls flying over Berahino’s head. During injury time there was a round of “Tony Pulis – your football is sh*t”, and at the final whistle it sounded to me like the majority were singing it. The interesting thing is that during TP’s reign these types of chants and grumblings were shouted down. Not on Saturday. Even the people who may have disagreed kept quiet. The tide had finally turned.

TP’s media friends

The latest person to jump to the defence of Pulis is Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail. The damage limitation exercise is well underway from Pulis (and the club hierarchy too, for that matter). For me these journalists are being briefed by Pulis to put “his side” of the story across. He wants everyone – including his next potential employer – to know how he has done nothing wrong and it is all that Jeremy Peace’s fault. Yes, we all know that Peace is no angel (and that’s a whole debate in itself), but isn’t a sign of a good work ethic to go above and beyond the minimum expectations? That leads me nicely on to my next section….

“I have done what has been asked of me”

In Pulis’ own words, his remit was to “keep the club in the Premier League whilst maintaining a profit”, which is fair enough. I can see how Peace would want to keep things just ticking over until he could sell us on.

One problem I have with this is about work ethic. I would have thought someone who constantly bangs on about “working hard” would have the motivation to go above and beyond minimum expectations put on him. Just because Peace wants 17th doesn’t mean you can’t personally aim higher. Is this why we did practically nothing after reaching 40 points last season? He could have just let us all know that the season had finished once we reached 40 points and not to bother attending.

Another problem with his side fo the story is all the things that no one asked him or forced him to do. Things such as:

  • Who asked him to sign players like Chester and McManaman and keep them on the bench? (We didn’t have a DOF then)
  • Who asked him to keep bringing Gardner on when we go 1-0 down?
  • Who asked him to instruct Foster to start time wasting in games after 15 minutes?
  • Who asked him to provide the most mind-numbingly boring football in the league?
  • Who asked him to treat the fans like idiots and make irrelevant comparisons with himself and Alan Irvine?
  • Who asked him to disrespect our new owner by never using his name and referring to him like the local takeaway?

If someone did indeed ask him to do these things then yes I agree with Pulis and they are the ones who need to be sacked. But I doubt anyone asked him to do these things.

Lai, Peace and Williams

I think it is obvious to everyone now that Pulis knows his days are numbered. He has become very defensive in his press conferences and interviews. He will never walk away due to his Palace debts so I believe he is trying to goad the board to sack him.

The problem we have at the moment is that we are in leadership limbo. Williams is releasing statements even though officially he isn’t really the chairman until the takeover is complete and Peace steps into his advisory role. Peace will not sack the manager when he will no longer own us past the end of this week, and Lai can’t sack anyone until he has control. If reports are correct then Mr Lai will officially become our main man this week. With relations between Pulis, Williams and the board obviously very strained at the moment, I would hope that we have been very actively looking for a replacement.

 

Hopefully by the end of October Pulis will have sailed off into the sunset with his severance package, and we will have a new manager in place.