Football Diary

by Patrick O’Connor


THE race to find the next superstar is so intense that clubs will go to almost any length to snap up potential.

Take Premier League side Everton, they have just committed a reported TWO MILLION POUNDS to sign a 15 year old lad from League strugglers Bradford City.

Midfielder George Green will become a full-time member of Everton’s youth set-up next summer.

Everton’s academy director Alan Irvine said: “He has got good potential but at the moment that’s all it is.”

Bradford’s head of football development Archie Christie told the Bradford Telegraph & Argus: “This is one of the highest deals ever for a 15-year-old from a League Two club. But George is the best I’ve seen in his position at his age. He could become another Wayne Rooney or Paul Gascoigne.”

For Everton’s sake let’s hope so. According to the Argus, Everton will pay Bradford an initial fee of £300,000 with the deal structured to include further bonuses for appearances, new contracts, potential international appearances and a bumper sell-on clause from any future transfer fee.

Swindon Town’s Italian manager Paolo di Canio was a controversial figure as player and he’s still grabbing the headlines.

After a recent 2-0 defeat by Macclesfield in which Matt Ritchie had a penalty appeal turned down after staying on his feet after appearing to be clipped by the goalkeeper, di Canio was outspoken in his response.

He told BBC Wiltshire: “ From now on I will tell my players to dive. From now on I will bring in a different culture because this was a red card and penalty. I’d prefer that they risk getting a yellow card for simulation. My team are the only ones who do not dive somewhere around the field. It’s not fair but it’s the only way to receive something.”

Not a happy bunny

Liam Daish, manager of Conference club Ebbsfleet, has taken on the chin the news that his 26 year old winger Ricky Shakes will miss crucial games against Gravesend and Luton.

Shakes has been called up to play for Guyana in World Cup qualifiers against Barbados and Bermuda.

Daish told BBC Radio Kent with more than a hint of tongue in cheek: “ Barbados and Bermuda, or Gravesend? It’s a tough one to call.”

Both Daish and Di Canio are managers currently in work but the football industry is noted for the short shelf-life of the men in charge.

Indeed Premier League and Football League clubs spent almost £100m changing their managers last season, according to figures released to the BBC by the League Managers Association.

LMA chief executive Richard Bevan said: “We want to move away from managers being judged on their last three results. In fact, when results take a downturn that is when the club should support its manager even more, not jump for the quick fix.”

According to the LMA, Championship managers who were sacked in 2010-11 had an average tenure of less than a year.

The average was 1.33 years in League 2, 1.67 years in League 1 and 2.07 years in the Premier League.

The average length of time it takes a sacked manager to get another job is currently 1.63 years. Almost half of first-time managers are never appointed to a second management position.

Sign him up…sign him up…sign him up – an unknown goalkeeper with an Argentinian fourth division club is in the spotlight after saving FIVE penalties. And the icing on the cake was the fact that he also netted himself in the penalty shoot-out.

Marcos Fascanella was playing for Excurionista against Argentino de Merlo in a cup match which finished 1-1 after extra time. His heroics were certainly needed for his team-mates weren’t great shakes themselves when it came to penalties and only won 2-1.