Sunday, December 16, 2007


Footballers have never been renowned for being that bright but this week saw an above average barrage idiotic comments from the players and managers of the national game. It started with the appointment of an Italian coach to manage the England football team, which really ruffled the feathers of the useless English coaches that clog up the game and have not won a Premiership trophy, let alone a Champions League trophy, between them. Paul Ince was the pick of the English guys with:

"We have got enough managers in England who could do just as good a job."

They do the job so well in fact that none of the top four clubs in the country have an English manager, and you would have to go back to Roy Evans and Glenn Hoddle nearly ten years ago to find a time when they did.

Our Scottish cousins then got in on the act with this choice quote from David Moyes:

"I just don’t know how the Italians would take it if Sam Allardyce or Alan Curbishley got the Italian national job and took all their staff from England to work there thinking those people were better suited."

I think the Italians would be a bit miffed, not because Sam and Alan are English, but they have never won anything significant as managers. In fact, Sam is famous for getting Bolton into Europe, and Alan is famous for taking Charlton to the Premiership. Not exactly feats of an international class manager.

So what if the English manager is not English? Most of the Premiership is not either, which is probably why it is now regarded as one of the best leagues in the world, and our head of state has not been English for the best part of 1000 years. Quite frankly, I'm starting to think we should give the Prime Minister's job to a foreigner; they could not be any worse than what we have currently got, or are likely to get in the future.

Finally, Phil Neville claimed last night that Everton are always last on Match of the Day. Brummies know that it is of course Birmingham City who are always last on Match of the Day, and indeed last night, the Blues were last again despite it being Alex McLeish's home managerial debut against Reading; but the former Scotland manager taking charge at home in Birmingham is hardly going to excite the London and Manchester based BBC. Of course, Blues were always last on ITV's flagship footie programmes the Premiership, but at least they had commercial reasons for the running order. The BBC is supposed to be above market considerations and be unbiased.

Remember, it is thanks to the unique way they are funded.


Unpremeditated said...

Ah, not long now until a 1-0 win by England elicits scathing comments from the pundits about Capello's lack of footballing "heart", conveniently forgetting that proper footballers and managers prefer to play the game with something called "skill".

Louis said...

I cannot think of anything less English than us winning a game of football with skill.

Colin Campbell said...

Parochial thinking is world wide. Scotland got rid of Bertie Vogts, not because he was German, but because he was crap. The same kind of debate has taken place here in Australia, where god forbid a Kiwi has been appointed coach of the Wallabies. Lots of harrumphing, but it is basically the same thing. Just win baby. The next World Cup is in New Zealand and the local knowledge will be pretty handy.

Louis said...

What I find strange is that it seems to be sport specific. When Duncan Fletcher was England cricket coach and the South African World Cup Winning Rugby Coach was touted to replace Brian Ashton, there was no problem. Indeed in cricket, there was a time a couple of years ago when it seemed most of the test sides had coaches from another country.

Perhaps it only matters when the sport is deemed important by the culture at large.