|Hodgson, aka The Manatee,
as seen in this stock photo from 1937.
A short international break this week and some interesting matches to look forward to on Wednesday, but before we start worrying about that distraction we've still got the continuing fallout from Saturday's debacle at Stoke to worry about. So on that happy note, let's start the week off with some of the things being talked about in the wilds of the internet:
* So, I'm thinking it would have been nice if somebody had bothered to look at Roy Hodgson's away record managing in England before hiring him? Because I really do think a stuffed panda posed to look as though it's chewing a lacquered stick of bamboo sat squarely in the middle of the technical area could manage a better away record than he has in his six seasons in the English top flight.
Because he has 13 wins away from home in those six seasons. And that number is hugely inflated by his very first season with Blackburn (before he got them demoted, then) when he managed five wins away from home. After that early high-water mark he's managed a blood-shittingly awful eight wins on the road in five seasons in England. Hodgson: catch the excellence. Or the ebola. He really might be more like catching ebola.
* I've been known to bang on enough about some of the less reputable corners on the rumournet before, so when Goal.com comes up with one of the better, more insightful pieces in reaction to Saturday's match from a reporter on the scene who manages to come through it all looking fairly neutral, it only seems right to point it out:
Perhaps more worrying was the manager's demeanor after the game where he talked like a man who would have been happy with a point at a time when his side needed to bounce back after a disappointing draw in midweek, even appearing content with his team's display – an unconscionable opinion, surely, to fans of a team that little under two years ago took a title race down to the wire with a tactical blueprint designed to get the maximum out of its two brightest players.
Well, there you go, then. Sounds about right to me at least.
* So, you decide to have him play three full matches in a week and your star striker picks up a knock? I know, I was shocked, too, since everybody knows Fernando Torres' reputation as an iron man whose minutes you don't have to manage. With his stellar injury record I'm sure nobody could have foreseen something like this happening.
* And a possible answer to unsavory rumours that Jamie Carragher followed up his hoof-fest on Saturday by cursing out traveling supporters who were chanting Dalglish's name after the match, as he claims to have shouted only at one fan who made a lewd gesture directed at him specifically. I know athletes are never supposed to rise to bait from the stands, but if this is what really happened I have a hard time being overly bothered by it. Of course, it still doesn't change that I'm rather bothered by his on-pitch displays so far this season and think he's doing more harm than good at the moment.
* Oh, and the BBC has video of Hodgson reacting post-Stoke, for those of you who like to spend time in morgues poking dead bodies with sticks... or something. I'm saying it's unpleasant and that I won't be held responsible for any harm suffered either by you or by electronic devices and/or appliances near to you should you choose to watch it.
A quick reminder to take a stab at the Roy Hodgson caption contest and to give your opinion on yesterday's poll if you haven't already (and given the whole "posts on a non-matchday Sunday" thing, there's a decent chance they're new to you). If there's anything else you think needs sharing let everybody know about it in the comment section while we lie around and hope this is all just a bad, post-Hicks and Gillett hangover that will lift any minute now...
And today's phrase of today is: "World leaders pledge ceasefire in currency war at the G20 summit in Seoul, South Korea." Because why the hell not?