The sports press has my sympathy at times, especially during a World Cup. What do writers, who focus only on the domestic game, have to write about when there’s no domestic game on? Close and pre-season are frequently like this. But during a World Cup it’s especially crazy because even the transfer stories die down to nearly nothing.
But I have no sympathy for those who indulge in the practice of cannibalism, dining out on whatever prey seems easiest, in order to have something to write. Everton are not playing well and so their manager is always going to come under pressure.
For all that, think of how it would feel to be asked if the manager you were about to come up against was the guy in line to take your job. Neither manager will be particularly thrilled at the question, and Ange will treat it with angry contempt if he’s asked it, but Lampard should be particularly piqued, no matter where he is or who the question is coming from.
We understand why Scottish hacks would ask it; they are dying to see Ange depart this country, in the hope that Celtic would disintegrate into a mess.
The English media has always enjoyed watching managers lose their heads, it’s a blood sport they frequently indulge in when it comes, for example, to the national coach.
But this feels low even for them, and the query is an insult to both men. It presumes that Lampard won’t get time to turn things around and that Ange would be willing to stab us, and him, in the back.
Some are writing about this because they have nothing better to focus on. Others are doing it just to make mischief, and we know who they are. Neither party looks particularly good here. It’s just plain wrong. It’s the last thing Lampard should have been asked, and the last thing he should be expected to answer. I’m certain the Celtic boss will agree.