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Monday, November 07, 2005

Vieira in hot water; Crespo in exit; Rix is one for Hearts

Finally, some titbits. Patrick Vieira has stated in his autobiography some words about Van Nistelrooy, labelling him "a cheat", "a coward", and a derogative term concerning the Dutchman's mother. Very strong, and I sense they are enough for contemplation of legal action against the Juve man. Also in his bio, Vieira mentions the time when the TV camera filmed Roy Keane becoming annoyed with Vieira when the teams met at Highbury in February this year, explaining why he confronted Gary Neville, because he felt Neville had deliberately targeted Reyes at the Old Trafford meeting earlier. So Neville was being warned by Vieira and Keane managed to step out and come across it.

Vieira stated his annoyance when Keane mentioned about the former Gunners skipper playing for France when he was born in Senegal, but yet those comments still didn't shroud his respect for the Man Utd man, his playability and his leadership. But his hatred for VNR is very, very strong, and it is something said to have reverberated around Highbury. Vieira wasn't alone.

Hernan Crespo was missing from the squad at Old Trafford. It was mentioned to Jose Mourinho after the match and he stated Crespo was being rested on his own (Mourinho's) judgement. The Argentinian is said to have been upset over not being included in those considered playable for the Betis game, and that Didier Drogba is favoured much more by the manager, despite Crespo having done well on his appearances. Add to this that Mrs Crespo is said to be homesick (though I sense it is because she misses Milan than appreciates London), then there's a hint of realism to the rumour. This has, in turn, done wonders for Eidur Gudjohnsen's selection.

While Birmingham aim to resolve their goalscoring crisis and table position, Mario Melchiot has apparently stated his intent to leave St Andrews on a Bosman move if the club do not show more enthusiasm regarding his Birmingham future. Perhaps this is untimely, given the circumstances and that the club may have to revise finances IF they were to be relegated.

Hearts appear to have chosen former Arsenal player, Chelsea and Portsmouth coach Graham Rix to fill the manager's position. This after a shortlist consisting of Sir Bobby Robson, Claudio Ranieri, Kevin Keegan, former domestic title and Champions League winner with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich Ottmar Hitzfeld, amongst others. How the appointment of Rix as manager can be justified for a club starting spritely as Hearts is the question.

Rix spent 14 years playing for Arsenal, joined Brentford on loan, travelled across the river to France for Le Havre and Caen and finishing his playing career with Dundee in 1993. He joined Chelsea as the youth team coach and played one game for them during a shortage of available players, ironically against Arsenal in May 1995. He was made assistant manager under Ruud Gullit and kept his position alongside Gianluca Vialli. Chelsea won the FA cup, the League Cup and the UEFA Cup. He was convicted of unlawful sex with a 15 yr old girl, and six months later returned to Chelsea in his previous position, where Chelsea won the FA Cup again in 2000. Vialli was the manager at the time and Rix departed when the Italian was sacked.

He went on to coach Portsmouth a year later and was sacked in March 2002, replaced by Harry Redknapp. Joining Oxford United as caretaker manager in replace of Ian Atkins in March 2004, he took on the role in full a month later but was relieved of his duties, due to poor results, for a position elsewhere in the club in November 2004. He is said to have left Oxford in March this year, presumably after an initial 12 months probation period had passed. Ray Wilkins gave Rix his backing for the Hearts position, though I doubt such confidence could be installed into the parents of his 15 yr old victim. The chances of the Yorkshireman keeping a run of consistent wins at the club will be heavily scrutinised, not by Vladimir and Roman Romanov, but by the fans.



Blogger BlindJak said...

Hearts appointment of Rix seems a bit funny to me and can only feed into the suspicions and conspiracy theories surrounding Romanov’s intentions for the club. You look at some of the names considered Sir Bobby, Ranieri, Keegan and in particular Hitzfeld and the name Rix just does not compare.

Has Romanov simply out in a man who will be more pliable and puppet like as he will fear for his job a he knows he won’t be able to automatically walk into another should he get sacked?

There is a possibility that Romanov genuinely thinks that Rix is the right man or more likely could not tempt any of the other candidates into accepting the role but it does leave you wondering.

11/08/2005 8:43 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

I wonder what it means to the Hearts fans. I would be very concerned if Rix was appointed at Liverpool. He has served his time, whether appropriate enough or not, for his conviction and therefore is available for any role within the football world in particular.

But is he motivational enough for Tynecastle at a time when they are currently sensitive, after three key staff departures, and making the most of their SPL challenge? He was part of the success under Chelsea (under Vialli, who, I still find, should not have been sacked at the time) yet could not exude that success into Portsmouth and Oxford. Would the players wish to listen to and find inspiration from a convicted sex offender??

Rix could keep Hearts going, despite his past history, or he may not. That is the risk Romanov is prepared to gamble on. But if you have a shortlist such as there was, and then find a manager who hasn't featured recently enough in any capacity within the Championship, much less the Premiership, it is once again a questionable move. Yet does Romanov care?

If he does, why not bring in a more successful manager from the shortlist, to match his claim of wanting success at the club? He wants to have an ultimate say in all dealings, it is his money after all.


11/08/2005 9:21 am

Blogger BlindJak said...

You can't help but get the feeling that if Romanov is on the up and up and not out to stitch the club up for financial gain then he is a megalomaniac ala Ron Nodes who is eventually going to appoint himself manager.

Maybe there is a grand design but I’d be no one but himself see it at the moment.

11/08/2005 10:12 am

Blogger T said...

I share Blindjak's and Redsman concerns over the strategic decisions being made by Romanov. On what terms did Rix accept the job?

11/08/2005 11:18 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

I'd wager on something similar to that offered at Oxford, an inital 12-months period of probation, given six months for improvements then another six months walking the plank. Overall, if it is Romanov pulling the strings, then he is the overall managing editor of the squad. Rix is in a capacity of coach to justify having one to take the flak. Can't help but feel he is a potential pinata, without the sweets. I hope to be proven wrong.


11/08/2005 12:41 pm

Blogger Abdul said...

Hmmmm....Rix applied for the managers post at the hot-bed of British football last week: Crawley Town...and this week he ends up at Hearts.

11/08/2005 6:08 pm

Blogger said...

Rix also applied for the Partick Thistle job but the board couldn't bring themselves to appoint him due to his history.

Romanov either wants to flatten tynecastle and build houses or bring in cheap eastern european labour and sell them on for a profit.

More inlikely he wants to do both.

Hearts fans were promised a big name and Rix anit it.

Also gives us Hoops fans some great material to work on for our songs the next time we visit tynecastle!!!!!!!

11/08/2005 6:30 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

lordofthewing, I can only imagine!

I can also imagine a roll of Lithuanian players being brought into the squad, I believe this was the case previously when Romanov took majority shareholding, that he considered signing them. No disrespect to Lithuanian players, but they do not currently hold high market value. How I understand the appointing of Rix is he merely selects who plays, while a yet-to-be appointed director of football will deal with signing and selling players. That is Rix gets to chose what to eat off the plate that Romanov chooses to give him.

Rix: "Seven years ago, I made a mistake and, once I realised I had made a mistake, I held my hands up and accepted my punishment. It was a tough time for me and my family, but does it mean I have to be punished for the rest of my life?"

It can do, I am afraid to say. It depends on the mistake.

"I don't know who the new director of football is. I have said to Roman who I think will be a good choice, but Mr Romanov is the man with the money."

That is fundamentally clear.

Roman Romanov: "We are looking for someone with experience, who understands football and who can spot a good player."

That seems to exclude Rix's qualities almost immediately.

"We have a coach who is experienced and who has the respect of those he played with and those he has coached. I can understand the feelings of some Hearts fans. But, in Russia, we have a saying that a man that's beaten by life is worth two that are unbeaten: which means that someone who has made a mistake is capable of becoming a better man."

Perhaps. A newly constructed Russian maxim? 8th century Buddhist maxim say: "hear no evil, speak no evil, and see no evil." You don't hear, see, speak, you do well in job.


11/08/2005 10:52 pm


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