There are times when I have difficulty sleeping.
I’m an insomniac, and so there are times when I lie awake for hours staring at the ceiling because I know that closing my eyes and trying to drift off is an exercise in futility. I have tried all manner of things to combat this.
Lately I’ve discovered that audiobooks help. Plugging in my headphones and listening until I zone out completely is proving to be a useful tactic, though it’s not a fool-proof one.
Last night I slept like a baby. All the way through until morning without a single instance of waking up in the night or anything.
It was a peaceful, restful sleep of the sort I’ve been needing for weeks.
I’m listening to a great audiobook right now – Dr Sleep by Stephen King, no pun intended – but it was not that which put me out because that’s a great title and I give it my full attention; no I am almost certain that this was down to Keith Jackson.
Because last night one of his columns ran under this headline; “Ange Postecoglou Celtic exit fears ease as Thomas Frank emerges as Tottenham next manager frontrunner.”
My mind, apparently, needed to be put at ease on this matter.
We all needed comfort, and that can only have come from a Scottish tabloid hack who has been part of the rumour machine this whole time. We needed him to set aside our terror at a prospect which he and his publication raise over and over and over again.
So maybe I should be grateful to him for it. Because although I may mock – and of course I am mocking right now – maybe there is a part of my brain which really has been stressing out over this matter for months, and I only needed his calm reassurances.
The thing is, if you were reading that story from Jackson for those assurances there really isn’t much to be had, because his principle contention – that the guy they want is Thomas Frank – isn’t close to being accurate. I don’t know where he plucked that name from but he’s miles from the reality. Ange would be on the short-list first.
The list of names around the Spurs job is almost bewildering. Pochettino would be an obvious candidate and he wants it, and the Spurs fans for the most part would love to see it happen.
Luis Enrique is linked, heavily. Thomas Tuchel, as this blog has already written, is being whispered about down in London, and is in the running. There is even talk – although I suspect that’s all it is – of Oliver Glasner, the manager of Eintracht Frankfurt.
Sergio Conceicao, manager at Porto, is drawing attention.
So too, after knocking Arsenal out of the Europa League, is his counterpart at Sporting Lisbon, Ruben Almorim.
Spurs are scouring the earth for the right guy, and I don’t know where Jackson plucked that name from but he is the only person reporting it, although some sites are starting to pick up on his ludicrous exclusive. But overall, it’s nuts.
Read this nonsensical line.
“Levy has a track record for appointing proven winners but is facing a backlash from fans after the high-profile failures of Jose Mourinho and Conte.”
Who are these “proven winners” Jackson thinks he’s appointed?
If there are so many of them why’s he only listed two “high profile failures”?
Jackson writes everything at the level of a school paper wannabe who can’t do research and can’t afford a fact-checker.
“Postecoglou was linked with the Spurs job on Tuesday,” he writes.
Yeah, by his newspaper.
He claims that those links emerged south of the border, but I scoured reports down there for actual information and even amidst all the speculation – which is all any of it was – the only places where Ange was mentioned were caveated by the “Spurs may turn to …” type of qualifier should they not get one of their main men.
They will have a long list of top candidates, and plenty of interest in the job.
“Although Postecoglou remains in the mix, well-placed sources down south believe Frank to be Levy’s early Tottenham favourite,” he writes. Sources? That he has south of the border?
Christ, this guy doesn’t know what’s happened on his own doorstep.
Imagine writing that after telling us that “Celtic’s fears have been eased …”
I can tell you now nobody at Celtic was losing any sleep over it.
My own lack of sleep these past few weeks is probably as much to do with worrying that Succession gets its final season right as they are over anything else … concerns over whether Ange will be at Celtic next season have barely entered my mind.
Still, Jackson apparently thinks we are all much more relaxed today because of him, because of his assurances, because of his exclusive, more filled with holes than Swiss Cheese.
I can give him an assurance of my own; I didn’t need him to tell me any of this.
I just listened to the Celtic manager and the words that came out of his mouth.
That man is planning for the next campaign in Glasgow, not London or Leeds or Merseyside or Birmingham or Wolverhampton or any of the other places these guys manage to dredge up stories about.