Amidst dubious reports that fashion plate/antiques magnate Gerry Francis might be a legitimate candidate for the England job, the Fiver’s Sean Ingle and Barry Glendenning ask the most obvious question, “why?” Not in so few words, of course.
They say if you wait long enough, everything eventually comes back in fashion. Try telling that to Gerry Francis. Since the mid-1970s the former Exeter, QPR, Bristol Rovers and Spurs boss has persisted with a spiky-on-top-and-long-at-the-back mullet that looks like a hedgehog flattened by a 4×4. And while flares, platform boots, shoulder pads and Noel Edmonds have all come and gone and come back again, the Francis mullet has been taken up by just three people: both Chuckle Brothers and Chris Waddle.
As a manager, Francis (above) was equally backward-thinking – which is why the Fiver nearly choked on our organic quinoa when we read that he’s a “serious candidate to be part of the new England management set-up”. According to today’s Lahn’s E’nin Stannah, Francis has been “sounded out” about a job at the FA and “could be installed on a full-time basis to work with youth and U21 teams and possibly senior players”. So, in other words, he’s Howard Wilkinson with worse hair.
What the pacemaker-wearing suits at the FA see in Gerry (© Fiver Crowbarred Gags Ltd) isn’t clear. He was useless at Spurs, where he blew £3.75m on Ramon Vega, £2.6m on John Scales, £4.5m on Chris Armstrong and £4.2m on Ruel Fox before resigning with the club heading for relegation. He then resigned as QPR boss with the club heading for relegation, before resigning at Bristol Rovers with the etc and so on.
In other extremely hard-to-believe bits of managerial news, former Aston Villa/Derby County boss/Springsteen devotee John Gregory claims he’s in line to take over Hungary’s national team. And in the “what the fuck” department, Welsh side Merthyr Tydfil are said to have made an offer to Paul Gascoigne to serve as their player/manager, this in spite of Gazza’s recent 39-day reign of error at Kettering Town. Writes the Western Mail’s Steve Tucker,
Sure, it would put bums on seats for a while, rather in the manner the Elephant Man put bums on seats at a Victorian freak show.
And one can only imagine what current caretaker bosses at Penydarren Park, Jeff Eckhardt and Paul Evans, must think of the whole thing: “Sorry lads, you’re losing your jobs and we’re bringing in Coco the Clown instead.”