Saturday, 14 February 2009
Somehow it feels appropriate, it being Valentines day, to be talking about affairs of the heart. However, these particular affairs are managerial and corporate ones, rather than any type of love interest. As JFK falls under the knife for a triple heart bypass, he joins a lengthy list of unfit NUFC staff in the treatment room. Its probably the least surprising 'injury' of the whole of the season.
For all his legion of faults, JFK does wear his heart on his sleeve (no pun intended), he shows his emotions (just ask the Daily Mirror journalist) and no doubt this all adds to the pressure. He's not a spring chicken and he had a past history of heart trouble. So, when the reports came through last week that he'd been taken to hospital prior to the WBA game, all sorts of alarm bells started to ring in my head (maybe that's tinnitus though). I also would guess that the club has had some inkling of this - why else did Colin Calderwood turn up at SJP a couple of weeks ago? It may be just my suspicious nature, but he was appointed first team coach... If so, what has Chris Hughton's role? His job title may be Assistant Manager, but it didn't make sense to to me at the time. After this weeks news it all has become so much clearer.
Perhaps the club should be congratulated for showing some foresight, some secession planning. Or maybe they just got 'lucky'. There has also been some other media deflection this week, with Llambias, the Managing Director making his first set of prouncements. I've complained about the poor media relations in the past, and maybe this is the first steps to try and do things properly. Perhaps, the twelve bore has been removed from the foot of NUFC for a while... I just hope that that the club remember that its still loaded.
In the meantime I read one of the best posts about the state of NUFC from a national journalist that I've seen in a long time - have a look at this, if you haven't already seen it. I agree with (just about) every word.