Throw The Book At Snides Costa & Mourinho. Stan Speaks….

I watched in disbelief at the behaviour of Diego Costa during Saturday’s Chelsea v Arsenal game.

When the referee isn’t looking Costa will throw an elbow into somebody’s ribs, he’ll chuck his head back and try to head-butt somebody, and if you react, he goes down holding his face and rolling around with the sole intent of getting somebody sent off.

Lots of people have been saying, “Well, Alan Shearer was physical, Duncan Ferguson was physical”. The difference between those days and now is back then you had a Martin Keown or Tony Adams who gave as good as they got. But that physical stuff went on in front of the referee, who would then call both players over and give them a warning.

This is different. He really does make an attempt to hurt his opponents; this isn’t somebody shirt pulling or calling names. This is somebody who is pushing players as far as humanly possible to get them sent off. I think that’s being a snide and he needs the book thrown at him, some serious punishment. I’d more than happily give him a 2 or 3 game ban.

Jose Mourinho needs bringing to book here too. To suggest that people are paying their TV money or season ticket fees to see this type of behaviour is just wrong. I think he’s talking absolute nonsense and his head is gone.

He’s called “The Special One”. He’s won the European Cup with several clubs and everywhere he’s been he brings the smile and tells everyone how great he is – he’s not fit to lace the boots of Sir Alex Ferguson, Shankly, Paisley or Brian Clough.

Brian Clough would take off players during a match if they so much as back-chatted the referee, got a yellow card or for violent play even before the referee got involved! He knew how to discipline his players and teach them to play in the right manner. Jose Mourinho is the exact opposite.

Jose is bang out of order. Diego Costa is bang out of order and they both deserve punishment.

Jose for his comments and Costa for trying to get a fellow professional sent off which, if you’re a footballer, is one of the biggest cardinal sins.

Rodgers & The “Klopp For Kop” Brigade

I’ll hold my hand up and say that I’m a huge Brendan Rodgers fan. I think he’s a very good coach and we’ve seen that in the way he’s developed players like Raheem Sterling and Jordan Ibe.

In theory, I would like to see managers get five years to get a project up and running and to bed a successful team but in the reality of the Premier League that’s not going to happen.

I think it’s fair to judge a manager after they’ve had two transfer windows (summer and January) so they get all of that first season to bed the players in, and then a second season to get those players playing the way you want. Unfortunately for Brendan, he’s past that point now.

I’m trying desperately to hold onto the thought that Brendan is the right man for Liverpool but he’s not going to get the kind of time that Sir Alex Ferguson got years ago. When you’re spending hundreds of millions you should be getting it right after 2/3 years.

If Liverpool are way off the pace of the Top 4 when it comes to the January window, I think the growing discontent among Liverpool fans and the “Klopp For Kop” brigade that are out in force, may well get their way.

It’s easy to understand why the fans and media bring up Jurgen Klopp as the obvious replacement for Rodgers. He speaks good English and the local and national press would love him. Just at a time when it’s starting to feel like pulling teeth watching a Jose Mourinho interview, here is a guy who can make us feel good about English football again.

He’s also got a history of bringing through younger players and of doing some excellent business in the transfer market which is an area which has let Brendan Rodgers down up to now. He’s had a break now, he’s got youth and experience on his side and he likes grand old football clubs that he can weave his magic on rather than a new-money club like Chelsea or Manchester City.

I’m slowly coming around to the idea of Klopp, and I think that FSG and John W. Henry could be thinking along the same lines.

Villa Underperforming

As a huge Villa fan, I want to see Tim Sherwood succeed but performances are just not good enough at the moment.

He’s had one transfer window under his belt with January coming up so by his own rules, as long as we’re not in a serious relegation scrap with six or seven games left (in which I’d think about bringing somebody in with a proven track record a la Sam Allardyce) I’m happy to give Sherwood the chance to get things right on the training ground.

But he needs to get this young group playing. Maybe he needs to change the system to a 4-2-3-1 to make us more defensibly solid. I’d certainly advocate a Ciaran Clark or Alan Hutton, or both of them, playing as holding midfielders to protect the back four and keep clean sheets.

Players like Gestede, Libor Kozak (who’s coming back from injury) and Gabby Agbonlahor need to pull their finger out at the other end of the pitch and start putting in performances too.

This is the sixth year now Villa have been in a struggle and a club of this size, with these supporters, deserves better.