DEADLINES, the bane of the printed media . . .
Having backed the appointment of either Glenn Hoddle or Alan Curbishley in last week’s column, in less than an hour of filing my copy, I received information from a reliable and credible source that former Maccabi Tel Aviv boss, Oscar Garcia Junyent, was the preferred choice to eventually (more on this later) succeed Gus Poyet in the dug-out at the Amex.
Clearly, this information is popular in a number of quarters as Oscar’s price at the bookies at the time I received the tip was 10-1 with certain firms but, aside from his time in Israel, the ex-Barcelona youth team coach now finds himself the odds-on favourite for the position.
The 40-year-old Spaniard clearly has an impressive CV as both a player and a coach, working with Johan Cryuff for two years prior to his tenure with the youngsters at the Camp Nou.
But, if Oscar is the next man in charge, when will he take up the job?
The on-going Gus Poyet saga is in danger of turning the Albion into the laughing stock of domestic football, although Joe Kinnear has certainly upped the stakes this week.
On the face of it, the only thing missing from Monday’s disciplinary hearing was Sir Brian Rix dropping his trousers.
According to the LMA statement on Monday evening, the club were fully aware that Gus Poyet could not attend the scheduled hearing but he instead informed the club that he and his representative could come to the Amex on Thursday (today).
With what the LMA are stating, I’m struggling to work out why the club carried on with the hearing on Monday when they knew Gus wasn’t coming?
The only thing it managed to do initially, prior to the LMA statement, was to put Gus’s stock even lower with the massed ranks of the supporters.
I’m also having trouble working out just what he is supposed to have done, given the fact that there’s more than 500 pages of evidence?
And, with that kind of potential evidence, any chance of a way back is a dead duck, which, given what Gus has done for the club since his arrival, is regrettable on both sides.
The Albion countered on Tuesday night by putting out a statement saying that the LMA statement of the previous day was both inaccurate and unfair. As I understand it, the club will be taking this further once the other matter is settled (I’d imagine the solicitors will get two holidays out of this year, rather than just one).
Hopefully, today (Thursday) and possibly tomorrow will see some progress and perhaps even some closure and the club can move on with a new man in charge.
Pick up a copy of this week’s paper to read Harty’s full column.