By Avenell Dave
What do Phil Brown and Tony Pulis have in common?
They’re both managers of northern teams who have only been in the Premier League for a season and a half.
They’re both managers whose methods or behaviour (making players sit in the centre circle for a team talk, singing when their top flight status is confirmed or just simply coming to blows with squad members) are questionable to say the least.
They’re both managers who have won no major trophies and never reached a major final.
Why? Because they’re not very good.
Brown may be something of a novice but he is already on his second job and hardly done enough to suggest he deserves a chance at a bigger team.
Only recently his future was in doubt due to Hull City’s rubbish results this season (until recently).
Pulis has been sacked for gross misconduct as Gillingham and moved around the lower echelons before joining Stoke for a second time, where he relies on winning home games at a ground which is permanently beset by a gale and the slingshot throw of Rory Delap. Plus a few bruiser players who couldn’t string three passes together if they tried.
In case you have missed it, both Brown and Pulis have been critical of comments Arséne Wenger made in midweek following the crazy match schedule and Mick McCarthy’s decision to rest the majority of his first team for the trip to Old Trafford.
Wenger was well within his rights to proclaim his frustration, regardless of whether anyone agrees with him.
Teams come to Arsenal to put up a fight and I’ve never known a team play a hatful of reserves against us in the Premier League.
If others don’t agree with him, that’s fine, it’s a game of opinions.
But for the likes of Pulis and Brown to ridicule someone who has changed the face of football in this country for the better just smacks of Little Englander syndrome.
I've heard Wenger say before that if you go into any match expecting not to win, you may as well not be in this job and you may as well not turn up.
How true. A manager who resigns himself to defeat is hardly setting much of an example, however long the odds of victory.
When the going gets tough, when you need to upset the odds to overcome the hurdles in front of you, in football as in life, I know who I'd want beside me and thank God he remains the manager of The Arsenal.