x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Rafa, it's your job I'm after

Football managers have it made ... the more they mess up and the more they are sacked, the more they are in demand.

It's been a bleak week in the McCaffrey household as my end-of- contract terms were discussed at Showtime, or the new Orbit Showtime Network as it's now known. About 15 of us are set to finish when the season ends in May and it's something I suppose I can chalk up to experience. Like so many people all over the world, we all sat round feeling sorry for ourselves, reeling off wacky and fanciful ideas for new employment, then returning from fantasyland to grim reality. We need a job.

Luckily I've decided to become a full-time football manager, because it's the only business I know that you can make a complete mess of things, get sacked and paid off, then walk straight into another job much better than the original one. What do they say? All you need is three good sackings and you're set for life. I'm thinking of Brian Laws moving from Championship side Sheffield Wednesday to Premier league Burnley.

You can throw in Alan Irvine, canned at Preston, then taking over from Laws at Hillsborough straight away. Will Rafa Benitez be joining those ranks come the summer, I wonder? The Liverpool manager has politely and coyly admitted he's flattered by the interest Juventus have shown, and it now appears Real Madrid are making waves. Why? Ahead of today's mouthwatering Merseyside derby, I think you'd have found extra prayers from Evertonians this week, not just for a positive result, but to keep Rafa where he is.

They say the Spaniard has terrific support on Merseyside, but I can't help but get the feeling it's all from the fans in blue. If the foreign interest was in David Moyes I could understand, so why isn't the brilliant Scotsman ever linked with Juve or Madrid? Why is the Premier League swamped with foreign bosses, and La Liga and Serie A don't have a Brit between them? Why is there no British boss in the UAE for that matter? I really don't understand.

I chatted with Moyes here in Dubai about it, and he pointed out top clubs always ask for Champions League experience. But how can you get that in England when the 'big four' dominate? What Moyes has done at Everton is nothing short of remarkable, and now he has top men like Mikael Arteta and company on their way back from injury, expect them to climb the table. Everton, as I said in this column three weeks ago, will finish the season like a train.But it probably won't matter to Real Madrid if Everton beat Liverpool today, or if Moyes overachieves again and again, as they won't be calling him.

If Rafa, on the other hand, underachieves again then it's his phone that'll be red hot this summer. Moyes or Benitez? Which one would you take? Personally I don't care as long as I get their job when they move. Football management, it must be the only business I know crazier than television presenting. @Email:sports@thenatonal.ae