I’ll admit it, whilst trying to think of something witty to open an article about Baron Silas Greenback’s (aka Avram Grant) return to English football, I got a bit lost in the statistics of the Danger Mouse villain’s record as manager at Chelsea. This is why we’ve ended up with a) a rubbish title to the article, and b) an opening paragraph explaining why it isn’t making you laugh. I can only apologise for this.
The thing is though, after trawling through various statistics about wins, losses, draws and other stuff that people with no interest in football would rather burn their eyeballs than bare witness to, it appears that Greenback wasn’t actually a bad gaffer. In fact, he was quite good.
In the 32 Premier League games which Abramovich allowed him to sit in the hot-seat (whilst stroking his fluffy white caterpillar, and trying to find the exact post-box on Baker Street that his arch-nemesis had set up camp in) his record was as follows; 23 wins, 7 draws, and only 2 losses. That translates as 76 Premier League points, which is certainly a very good haul to ask your evil crow-henchman to gather up and put in your dungeon.
In fact, if you take his average points per game (at this point I’m aware that I will have lost a few of you who don’t care much for statistics. I expected this, which is why I put a picture on the left to distract you), and multiply it by the 38 games that he would’ve had at his disposal, had Chelsea decided to fire Mourinho before the start of the season, The Blues would’ve collected over 90 points that season.
Manchester United won the league with 87 points so, yes, I am essientially saying that The Baron would’ve won the Premier League at his first attempt. Factor in a Carling Cup Final (stop sarcastically saying “ooooooh!” back there!), and being a penalty-competent centre-half’s width away from winning his Russian owner’s very own holy grail, the Champions League, and future historians will be scratching their heads as to why this man was given his P45. Especially when he’s been balancing football management with world domintation. It’s a tough juggling act to one minute have to send tins of exploding custard to every address on the planet, and then the next have to face the media after a 1-1 draw with Birmingham. Very tough indeed.
That was the problem with Greenback though. Like most evil super-villians, he was media shy, and he also looked like a super-villain should look. All toady and green, with a wheezy little laugh. Those very same historians will soon understand the reason for his dismissal when they see a picture of him. They’ll realise that he never stood a chance because Joe Public is never going to want an evil toad-creature as manager of his club.
Evil toad-creatures are simply not cool or funny enough when interviewed by Garth Crooks on Match Of The Day. As a result, these fans will put completely unrealistic performace expectations onto the manager’s shoulders. So will his chairman. Expectations so high, that all of the achievements stated above will simply not be good enough. If Greenback had been a man with nicely combed hair, who answered every question from Garth with a witty quip about a man walking into a bar, I’m sure those acheivements would at least have earnt him another season at the helm.
His demise was inevitable though, and is probably what drove him to steal a growth serum to create giant chickens that could take over the world. Probably.
Thankfully though, The Baron will have to reign in all that harebrained plotting now, as on Wednesday afternoon he accepted the Director Of Football role at Portsmouth. Just like his last job, this appears to be an interim position. On this occasion, however, it’s an interim position in the boardroom, and it looks very much like it’ll be Paul Hart who will end up biting the bullet. This should pave the way for Greenback, ironically for a super-villain, to step in and save the day.
Pompey fans, if it does happen, and you switch on the TV to see Greenback stroking his caterpillar whilst giving monosyllabic answers to Geoff Shreeves, in a press conference that he has rigged to interrupt every channel in the world, don’t dispair. He may not be pretty, and may occasionally be side-tracked by plans to destroy all the world’s signposts, but you can’t argue with his record during his last stint in the Premier League.
Plus, he looks like a cartoon character. So just think of all the songs you could make up.
Written by Eddie: Eddie’s Football Blog.
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