PLAY IT SHORT: Generation war amongst Man Utd fans; Hammers Cup shocker; Adebayor beanie disgrace; Mourinho champions English game
WEST HAM SHAMBLES AT FOREST
Well done to West Ham United for reaching out to that young fan caught on camera welling up as his team was humiliated at Nottingham Forest. But he wasn't the only one and you fancy Sam Allardyce overlooked such a reaction when considering his team selection. We're not talking about the grown men spouting spite at him from the front row, or those calling for his head on the talkback. It's the young fans, whose lives are centred around the Hammers, that he let down. And perhaps West Ham may not get them back. It was a shambles at the City Ground. Beamed live across the world - primetime in Asia - the performance reflected terribly on the club and also the FA Cup itself. There's no defending it. And with the board assuring skeptics they'll use their new stadium move to take West Ham to a new level, after Sunday's performance, such promises ring hollow.
GENERATION WAR AT UNITED
It's there. There's a rift between the support. And if Manchester United continue to stumble and fumble their way through this first season under David Moyes that rift will only widen. Let's get one thing straight. With Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton inside the boardroom, there's no way Moyes will lose his job this season - nor the next. You reckon United are in crisis now? Imagine if the Glazers went against Ferguson and axed Moyes and his backroom team. It's just not what United are about. The Ferguson legacy was built on patience and that's what the older fans, who can remember the days of Ralph Milne and Billy Garton, will preach. The demands for Moyes' head from the younger fans, who have only known success under Ferguson, will grow louder with every defeat, or even draw. United can stand toe-to-toe with world's biggest clubs, but what has set them apart is a culture of backing their manager - even before Sir Alex. But the Edwards family are now gone. The Americans are in charge and United's culture is on the line. Short-termism or patience? Which way will the United support swing?
BEAST IS GOOD THEATRE
You hope Stoke City manager Mark Hughes was making an idle threat about reporting Sandro to the FA. It was good theatre, good banter from the Tottenham midfielder with his Instagram post warning Charlie Adam that the 'Beast is watching you'. Obviously, emotions were running high after Adam's crocking of Paulinho and the Scot's previous with Spurs. But there was no threat from the Brazilian. And when Tottenham visit the Brit later this season, the Potters can be guaranteed back page status and worldwide coverage, when the game normally would barely rate a mention beyond the local papers. So long as things don't get out of hand, let's not water down the rivalry between clubs and players.
ADEBAYOR BEANIE DISGRACE
Beanie-Gate! If Emmanuel Adebayor did indeed defy former manager Andre Villas-Boas by refusing to remove his hat for a team meeting, then that clear act of defiance is a disgrace from the £170,000-a-week striker. Plenty of goodwill has been afforded Adebayor since he was frozen out by AVB this season. But to act so poorly, in front of the rest of the squad, left his manager with no other choice. Of course, there are always two sides to such stories and Villas-Boas perhaps could've have taken the sting out of the situation with a different approach. But at face value, to act so poorly in front of teammates, particularly the younger ones, is totally irresponsible. At the moment, Adebayor is flying and Tim Sherwood is winning all the plaudits for getting him firing again. But you fancy this is more about Sherwood being anyone other than AVB, rather than any secret man-management powers. The test will come when the form falls away and the pressure to perform increases.
SAINTS HAVE DROPPED LALLANA RIGHT IN IT
What are Southampton thinking with this attack on Mark Clattenburg? All they've done is expose captain Adam Lallana to ridicule. Social media have been unmerciless - and you have to say rightly so. 'You've changed'? Is that it? That's the complaint, minus the odd expletive. You think of the abuse Premier League refs cop from players, fans, managers, pundits game after game, day after day ... sympathy for Lallana and Saints will be in very short supply if they carry out their mooted threat of appealing the decision to reject the original complaint.
MOURINHO THE NEW CHAMPION OF ENGLISH GAME
Great advice from Jose Mourinho over the weekend, urging English coaches to not restrict themselves to home and explore opportunities on the continent. The Chelsea manager, after his celebration of the archetypal Premier League player and now discussing the development of coaches, is really taking over the mantle from Sir Alex Ferguson as the great defender of the English game (he was even talking up Cloughie on the weekend!). And of course, he's spot on when it comes to English coaches working abroad. Paul Clement hasn't looked back since following Carlo Ancelotti to PSG and now with Real Madrid. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is another great example. Yes, he's Norwegian, but a real Anglophile and listening to his post-match interview after Cardiff City's FA Cup win at Newcastle United, Solskjaer had all the patter of any homegrown gaffer. Return to Norway and there's Brian Deane, who didn't hang around waiting for a job in England, and instead took on the relegation threatened Sarpsborg 08. Big Deano guided them to safety last season, describing it as his best moment in football, and is preparing for his first full campaign in the Tippeliga. As Mourinho said, the opportunities are out there for English coaches, they just need the bottle to take them.
BOWYER'S BLACKBURN WELL WORTH REPLAY
Speaking of English coaches, it was a thrill to see Gary Bowyer's Blackburn Rovers rattle Manchester City on Saturday. His kids played without fear. With wingers Ben Marshall and Tom Cairney, the big, young centre-forward Rudy Gestede and the driving Jason Lowe, it was a real up and at 'em Cup tie - and as Grant Hanley's halftime push-and-shove with Chris Taylor showed - they really fancied themselves to upset City's millionaires. You've gotta love the FA Cup. This is what it throws up. A chance for these young players to prove they can live with the best. Bowyer is only 42, but has been coaching at different levels with Rovers for nine years. On Saturday's showing, it looks like he's building an exciting, young, British team - and definitely one to keep an eye on this season.