Madrid go for "Third-Choice Chilean"
Dash and darn it.
Despite La Liga Loca and millions of its readers praying long and hard to all things unholy that either Arsene Wenger or Jose Mourinho would be joining the jamboree in Castle Greyskull, Manuel Pellegrini was the chosen chump to claim that his new position as manager of Madrid was a dream come true.
Had either of the clubÃ¢ÂÂs first two choices come off, then the blog could have sat back with a big bag of popcorn and watched the frantic football fun unfold.
A bewildered Wenger would have been crying on the managerÃ¢ÂÂs desk within minutes of his arrival at the Bernabeu, while Mourinho would have been banging Jorge ValdanoÃ¢ÂÂs head on it.
Ã¢ÂÂI (THUMP) am (THUMP) in (THUMP) charge (THUMP) here! Are (THUMP) we (THUMP) clear! (THUMP, THUMP, THUMP)."
"Talk to the hands..."
On a side note, perhaps the best news of ValdanoÃ¢ÂÂs posting as Ã¢ÂÂDirector General and Assistant to the PresidentÃ¢ÂÂ is that the former Argentine international will no longer be writing his frackinÃ¢ÂÂ awful columns in SaturdayÃ¢ÂÂs edition of Marca.
Spain is finally spared from endless pretentious prose on football being a beautiful game that must be cherished, etc.
If La Liga Loca snoozes for even a second at the Santiago Bernabeu next season, then the blog will be writing 'BORED' in big letters on a Post-It note and slapping it onto ValdanoÃ¢ÂÂs forehead.
But itÃ¢ÂÂs Manuel Pellegrini who now holds the nominal role as coach for the next two years (or weeks) and the Chilean is just hoping that the same firing fate that has happened to his predecessors isnÃ¢ÂÂt repeated.
"Remember, Manuel, we don't want to see sh*t on a stick"
Unfortunately, the Chilean coach is none too optimistic on the matter. Ã¢ÂÂIt would be absurd to think that it isnÃ¢ÂÂt going to happen to me,Ã¢ÂÂ mused Manuel to Marca.
Despite todayÃ¢ÂÂs mischievous La Liga Loca headline, Pellegrini is a perfectly fine choice for Madrid. He has proven success at working with young talent as well as handling the more Riquelme-esque problematic players (yes, you, SeÃÂ±or Guti).
However, the role of Madrid manager is more about managing upwards and making sure that the buck of blame doesnÃ¢ÂÂt stop with you when things go all Pete Tong. Something that Bernd Schuster failed to work out.
"We're right behind you, son"
After all, thereÃ¢ÂÂs a reason why the emergency signs on the walls of the Santiago Bernabeu are organisational charts rather than exit-arrows.
Real MadridÃ¢ÂÂs BAP (Blame Avoidance Plan) for this year sees Florentino PÃÂ©rez as the big, fat fairy on top of the tree but with a number of easily disposable branches below him.
Such as the no.1 Vice-president, no.2 Vice-president, Secretary to the Board, Director General, Director General of the Presidency, Sporting Director and Chief Minion - a role played this time round by Zinedine Zidane.
As always, the thorny issue of who will be in charge of the hiring and firing of the footballers is still fairly fluid, with Valdano claiming that Ã¢ÂÂwe will only sign the players that the coach likes.Ã¢ÂÂ
The new sporting director, Miguel Pardeza, feels that Ã¢ÂÂmany of us will participate in making the decisions.Ã¢ÂÂ
Pellegrini himself isn't fussed either way: Ã¢ÂÂDude, IÃ¢ÂÂm just in this for the payoff after six months,Ã¢ÂÂ he didn't say.
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