Outside the Box: British owners are more likely to trust a British boss – fact!

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The Independent Football

Arsenal's formal transfer into American hands means that of the remaining 10 English-owned clubs in the Premier League, only two have a foreign manager: Roberto Martinez at Wigan is one and the other is Avram Grant, who in January was on the verge of being replaced at West Ham by Ulsterman Martin O'Neill.

On the other hand, the only foreign owner employing an English manager is Sunderland's (American) Ellis Short, with Steve Bruce. Scots are in favour at Manchester United, Liverpool, Blackburn and Birmingham, but the clear implication is that British owners are more likely to trust a British boss.

The number of Premier League managers sacked this season is likely by the summer to match last season's six (the total is currently four) so it will be interesting to see how the balance of natives and foreign nationals looks then.

Heath loves Pottering about

The manager of Florida club Orlando City has said he will be unavailable for the game against Pittsburgh Riverhounds on 14 May if Stoke City reach the FA Cup final for the first time in their 148-year history.

That manager is Adrian Heath, who played for the Potters in two spells, his father having first taken him to watch them as a four-year-old. Heath, who was in the Everton team that won the Cup in 1984, is determined to be at Wembley should Stoke make it, a demand that may be more sympathetically received than at most other clubs; Orlando's majority owner is Phil Rawlins, a Stoke director based in the US.

Great entertainers are a bit Posh

However high they finish in League One this season – and automatic promotion is not out of the question – Peterborough United are destined to be crowned the great entertainers of English football. Going into yesterday's game at home to bottom-of-the-table Plymouth Argyle, they had racked up 94 goals while conceding 68, a total of 162.

The closest challengers, Leeds United (76 and 66), were fully 20 behind. The Posh, who replaced Gary Johnson in January with their former manager Darren Ferguson, still have some way to go before matching their own English record set in the club's first season in the Football League (1960-61) when they scored 134 goals in 46 eventful games and conceded 65 for a total of 199.

That period, for no very obvious reason, was the highest-scoring in English football history; three seasons earlier Manchester City, playing only 42 League games in the top division, recorded the only instance of a team both scoring and letting in three-figure totals.

They scored 104 but conceded 100, finishing fifth in the table after losing 8-4 at Leicester City and 9-2 at West Bromwich Albion.

Taking the Michael

Overheard recently was this comment by a sculptor who has been responsible for several football statues. "Why all this fuss about Fulham spending a bit of money on an irrelevant statue when Chelsea paid £50m for one?"

s.tongue@independent.co.uk; www.twitter.com/@stevetongue

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