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Waddle waxes lyrical

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Dan Walker | 06:01 UK time, Thursday, 14 October 2010

We have all returned safely from our Football Focus expedition to Sheffield Wednesday. The Hillsborough trip bought back plenty of memories. I was a student in Sheffield in the late 1990s and used to pay £5 to sit in the uncovered wedge between the North Stand and the Leppings Lane end. Back then, Wednesday were in the Premier League.

As I mentioned last week, Wednesday were chasing league titles and reaching cup finals in the early 1990s. They also boasted a squad filled with internationals... and four of England's starting X1. But then financial mismanagement left the club millions of pounds in debt and controlled by the bank manager.

Players came in on huge wages with no clause in their contract to cover the club against relegation. When Wednesday subsequently dropped out of the Premier League, they were crippled by the wage structure and - like many - took another hit when they gambled on the new ITV digital deal at the start of the millennium.

There was much better news for the club on Friday night when they were able to announce fresh investment, starting with £2m to keep the Inland Revenue at bay until the end of the season.

Some have suggested the announcement was timed to coincide with our arrival but - although it sounds nice - I think the club and the bosses at the bank have more important things to worry about.

Following the news, chairman Howard Wilkinson talked to us about the start of a new era, while manager Alan Irvine spoke of his relief that, at long last, he might be able to talk football instead of finance.

Speaking to Alan Irvine and Chris Waddle in the Hillsbrough changing roomspgSpeaking to Alan Irvine and Chris Waddle in the Hillsborough changing rooms

One of the questions I often get asked is about how much extra technical stuff we need to do Focus live from a ground. The answer is not much.

In fact, at Hillsborough on Saturday, the whole team was housed in our little truck just outside the ground. In there was the editor, director, production assistant, graphics dude and a couple of people who run VT - they are in charge of all the video pieces that you see on the show and any material that needs to be turned around on the day.

It was great to get Chris Waddle on the show. He is still genuinely loved at Sheffield Wednesday and there are not many people who did not enjoy watching him in his prime.

He arrived at the stadium at 1100 BST so I had a good opportunity to chat to him beforehand and he has some fascinating views on the game. His main bugbear is the attitude of the modern-day footballer.

When he was a professional, he said team-mates would get to training early to join in any banter. Everything - whether it was eating dinner or throwing paper at a bin - had a competitive edge and they enjoyed each other's company and playing in the same side. Today, the wage packets are much bigger, the headphones far more prevalent and many players seem happy sitting on the sidelines.

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Waddle reckons that if you asked each manager in the country how many players in their squad genuinely love the game of football they would tell you only two or three.

Waddle says the answer to the modern malaise is to use an incentive-based payment system. "How does a £1,000 win bonus motivate a player on £80,000 a week?" he asked.

For Waddle, a much lower basic wage should be allied to larger bonuses for winning games, reaching finals and winning trophies. If the modern player is motivated by money, then at least make them work for it, is his view. Interested to know what you think.

Mark Lawrenson was on top form on Saturday - despite being caught eating a bacon sandwich on air. Calling Tom Hicks and George Gillett "buffoons" seems to have gone down well with Liverpool fans. Michael Vaughan's revelation that he declared early against Bangladesh in 2005 so he could watch Sheffield Wednesday's play-off win over Hartlepool was well received by some of you, too.

Waddle also mentioned in the Focus Forum that he still occasionally turns out for an over-35s side in Sheffield. Imagine playing at right-back after a dodgy curry the night before and seeing Waddle running at you and doing that funky step-over.

This could start an interesting discussion on former sport stars past their sell-by date that you have either seen in action or played against.

I once played six-a-side football with former Manchester United and England winger Gordon Hill. He could not run but just sat in the middle of the pitch controlling the game and firing the ball in the back of the net.

At half-time, he asked us which corner we wanted him to score his goals in during the second half. We picked top left and he promptly bashed in another six before an embarrassed opposition were eventually spared further humiliation by the final whistle.

So send in your anecdotes on that one and also questions for Alan Hansen, who will be joining Lee Dixon on the Focus sofa this weekend. We will be looking ahead to the first Merseyside derby and reflecting on a week in the High Court for Liverpool.

Martin Keown has spent the day learning to be a referee as we take a look at the art of tackling, while Eduardo will be telling us about life at Shaktar Donetsk and taking on former club Arsenal in the Champions League. We will also find out how Roberto Di Matteo does when he faces West Brom supporters for a fans forum.

As ever, the best way to keep across the programme is to find me at twitter.com/danwalkerbbc

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Great blog Dan, I think Chris has a very good point about player motivation nowadays, but unless the Premier league association steps in to put a cap on basic wages, which in turn might make the Premier league to foreign imports, then do you see any way of implementing Chris' suggstion?
    One question for you, of the team packed full of internationals at Wednesday, was the honourable Mr Waddle your favourite?
    Cheers

  • Comment number 2.

    Sorry, that was meant to say 'less attractive to foreign imports'.

  • Comment number 3.

    Chris is right about the pay issue. Just how many players are really motivated by the love of the game these days? Not many.
    The EPL cannot put a cap on player's wages due to EU law. If by some legal sleight of hand they actually did this then there would be a talent drain away from the EPL.

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm exiled in Melbourne and unfortunately I haven't played against any ex-footballers, but I've played indoor 5 a side over here a few times against a team which contained a certain Mark Phillipoussis (he is a massive bloke by the way). Anyway I did take great delight in nutmegging him a few times...

  • Comment number 5.

    One question you could ask Alan is how is he getting on with his Fantasy Football team this season? With all due respect, he doesn't usually do very well!

    It's not just the high wages per se, it's the high wages at such a young age as well. I'm sure many of them think they have already "made it" when they get their £20k, £30k or whatever at the age of 19 (in the top flight obviously) and go down the car showroom to buy their baby Bentley or whatever the vogue is these days. What's left for them to aspire to when they get such riches straight away?

    It seems virtually impossible to do anything about it sadly, that horse bolted a long time ago, and I don't think the door to the stable can be closed, let alone locked.

    Caractacus Potts

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Dan,

    I have often suggested the same type of wage and bonus structure as Mr Waddle, but it is unfortunately unworkable.

    One of those ideas which are gret in theory, but unworkable in practice.

    Mark Lawrenson calling G&H "buffoons" on air is simply one of those self-promoting opportunities which come along when you have an audience. Most people know it, think it, and say it anyhow ... they simply do not have a large audience to sound off to. Nothing particularly "clever" about it in my opinion. Don't get me wrong - I do not blame him for expressing his opinion.

    I don't get to see the show here in South Africa, but enjoy readig your blog.

    Cheers,

    Mike

  • Comment number 7.

    I think Waddle's comments about players loving the game is more likely to be true the higher up you go. Ifyou looked at players in Leagues one and two, many there may realised they're not likely to rise above their level and earn the fortunres of Rooney, Gerard etc, but still play for the love of the game.

    Good blog though. Always liked Waddle, and he's a great pundit now - unafraid of expressing a heart-felt opinion.

    Should grow the mullet back though...

  • Comment number 8.

    Waddle is bang on.. just look at the refresher course Carlos Tevez has given people in some players views on the game..

    His other comment on wage structure is hardly trail blazing though.. we all know this would maybe make some players work a bit more.. The Bundesliga is steadily getting more notice as becoming the league it maybe used to be in terms of entertainment.. and its maybe no coincedence that quite a few of the teams readjusted their wage structure to a similar one mentioned above.. It will take the usual catastrophe for Fifa/Uefa/The FA to make the desired changes that have to be made.

    Dan looking at Paul Fletchers blog is Boro's bad form and troubles a possible contender for a Focus story soon (apologies if it has already been done and I have missed it)

    Jackie Moon

  • Comment number 9.

    The standard of the Premier League is much higher now due to the increased money on offer which is the bottom line. Players are overpaid but the competition in the top sides is high and if you dont cut it you will be got rid of. Saying only 2 or 3 players in a side care about the game is such a nonsense and an insult. Very few players get to the top without caring or hard work.

  • Comment number 10.

    #3 "The EPL cannot put a cap on player's wages due to EU law"

    If this is the case, how does the rugby league 'Superleague' wage cap work? Is it a case of there being a wage cap for the squad as a whole rather than individual players and this is how they get around it?

  • Comment number 11.

    Thanks Dan,

    In the Sheff Wed England internationals, are you including Andy Sinton?

    i'll tell you a story about a CURRENT premiership footballer turning amateur!

    Kevin Nolan had scored a hat trick in the championship the day before turning out for his Dad's team Nicosia back in Liverpool. He came on as sub, played centre back under some kind of pseudonym and scored two goals. Apparently he does this quite often, anybody else from the Liverpool area witnessed this?

    Surely he's breaking a lot of rules by doing this, Chris Hughton couldn't be happy if he knew?

    Bobby Petta

  • Comment number 12.

    Dan.
    Good show last week - nice to see Wednesday getting some positive press for a change! Thank you.

    Disappointed that no mention was made of the fact that our fall from grace was overseen by the now chairman of the Premier League, Dave Richards. Given the outcry about Liverpool last week and the continued call for the EPL to bring in some form of financial boundaries for clubs, I feel it's well within the public interest (and last saturday was a perfect opportunity) to know that the man who has to sign off on such constraints has himself been responsible for the fall of what used to be a good and profitable Premier League club.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    Dan, thanks for your efforts with the blog. Enjoyed Football Focus last week too. Thought Jon McClure did a good job as a guest. His line about how his music career would have been nowhere today without Chris Waddles's "Diamond Lights" was very funny.

    Peter Atherton

  • Comment number 15.

    I played with Hillegom, a team in Holland, made mostly of Irish, Scottish and English, we played against William van Hanegem, a former Dutch international and European Cup winner in the 70's, he was about 55 at the time, never ran much, but controlled the game with such ease with his touch and vision, he was like a matador,beautiful to watch, played because he loved the game. Luckily not the rest of the team were as good, we won 2:1, we had a great team then, never gave up, always played with great heart .
    He was a pundit on the TV, used us as an example of team spirit after one of the national teams performance, that felt good, Hillegom 5 for ever!

  • Comment number 16.

    I totally agree with the idea of a "low" basic wage and then a bonus/appearence fee system to garner desire and an appetite to play. The way finances in the game have grown, and how ridiculous the whole life of a pro is was highlighted to me last week when I attended a mental health conference in Barrow in Furness where Neil Ruddock spoke (he is a big old unit) he said that he went from Spurs where he was on £1000 a week to Liverpool on £16000 per week in the mid 90s. Coupled with that he was given a car, never had to book a hotel room, table at a restaurant etc as this was all done for the players by the club. His problems really began when he left football and had to "grow up!" This was eased by the cheque for £500,000 tax free he received when he retired at 35, from the PFA! That was 15 years ago! What must be happening now!?!?!

    On the playing with or against former greats in the twilight of their career or once they'd retired. I had the "pleasure" of playing against Nigel Clough when he was player manager of Burton. He barely moved out of the centre circle but still ran the game, his control and range of passing were a joy to behold (if anything can be a joy when you are on the wrong end of a 4-0 pasting!)

    Ralph Milne

  • Comment number 17.

    I was playing for my work 11-a-side team about 8 years ago. Waddle was friends with someone on the opposing team. He came on in the second half and scored from the halfway lane. The referee disallowed the goal for some reason that I can't remember. Waddle scored from the halfway line again five minutes later.

  • Comment number 18.

    There was a good Chris Waddle anecdote I read many years ago talking about his experiences playing non-League football. Basically, he'd go into games still thinking he was playing top flight football as a tricky winger. He'd come up against some massive lump of a centre back, lower his shoulder left, then jink right, then duck back down the left again.

    Only to run into the defender, who hadn't been quick enough to read the dummies in the first place. Smack. Top quality bloke, Waddle, happy enough to laugh about himself too.

    Darko Kovacevic

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi Dan! did you taste the local relish when you were in Sheffield?

  • Comment number 20.

    #10

    Yeah, I think in Superleague that the wage cap is based on the whole squad. It is also a voluntary agreement by the clubs with the Union. Legally, they could exceed the wage cap, but they would be subject to penalties levelled by the union because these were part of the initial agreement between all parties.

  • Comment number 21.

    'You'll never beat Dan.Walker!'...another fine piece and great Hillsborough show by the way!

    Add Chrissy Waddle to Lord Sugar on candidates for a new F.A. board - some real sense being spoken, although was he one of the four England internationals you mentioned playing for Wednesday that 'came in on huge wages' leading to the financial mismanagement or was that later? Some could also argue his 'Diamond Lights' celebrity excursion was a precursor to many players extra-curricular activities today taking them away from footie?

    Ask some of the managers who come on focus if they can do something about banning the headphones and hats sported by their players on arrival at grounds and during interviews..most companies have dress-codes, why shouldn't they? The revolution has to start somewhere comrade! I remember Arsenal being ridiculed for turning up at Wembley in suits for their F.A. Cup semi with Spurs whilst Gazza's lot wore shell-suits. How standards have slipped.

    Possible documentary on the often forgotten effects of the ITV digital debacle woud be good :)

    Pat Sharp

  • Comment number 22.

    Great blog again, Dan.
    Whilst I agree with Chris Waddle's comments, I don't think there is any way in this day and age that players - and more so agents - would agree to sign contracts that are bonus/performance related rather than a massive basic wage. What happened to the old YTS schemes where kids would clean boots and sweep the stands? Bit of a throwback admittedly but surely it would keep them grounded rather than becoming much like how Stephen Ireland described the kids at Man City these days when he signed for Villa.

    Anyway, off for bakewell tart and tea - small pleasures.

    Tony Agana

  • Comment number 23.

    Dan,

    I enjoyed the FF segment -- you towered over Chris Waddle (isn't he 6'2" himself?!) -- and the recent one showing behind the scenes at the BBC football studio.

    Wednesday's fate has been tragic but not unique. The Owls were fantastic to watch in the 1990s (two cup finals in 1993 against the Gunners, shame they couldn't win one) and then undone off the field.

    Like other posters, I don't know whether it would be possible to control professional players' wages in the current climate because another club will simply offer a player a better contract. Football seems to defy common sense at the moment and, as someone who loves watching, playing, and talking about it, I think the sport's commercialisation -- how many times do we hear a club referred to as a "brand" or "business"? -- is eroding the game's appeal. The shenanigans at Liverpool are absolutely soul destroying and I'm not just talking about the team's form.

    Sorry to be a downer, your segment was great. Waddle is a legend!

  • Comment number 24.

    Hola Dan!
    My story of an ex-pro is not mine but happened to my brother about 20 years ago. He was at Bobby Charlton's soccer school one summer and was sat cross-legged listening to the teacher when the great man himself strode onto the playing surface. He asked for a volunteer to go in net while he pinged a few shots in. My brother eagerly stuck his hand up and was placed between the sticks (minus gloves). Sir Bobby let fly with one of his trademark strikes and our kid manages to palm it over the bar. When he recovered himself, hands stinging, Sir Bobby walked over ruffled his hair and without a word and walked on. My brother said it was the greatest moment of his footballing career (doubt Sir Bobby thinks the same though, he failed to mention it in his autobiography anyhow).

    "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan

  • Comment number 25.

    Alot of players still love the game, but when Wayne Rooney is annoyed at being subbed, the papers go through him for throwing a wobbly. Who do we think should get all the money made out of this business, the players are the talented ones that people are willing to pay to watch, and willing to pay to have their shirts on their backs. If you dont like the EPL then vote with your feet.

  • Comment number 26.

    Played in a 6 a side tournament in Swindon a few years ago only to find myself face to face with Swindon Town's Wembley '93 hero and legend Paul Bodin.

    I nutmegged him and ran on to chip over to my mate to score - good times!

    Then, as I was running up field once more, I was hacked down in true 80's/90's defender fashion by the legend himself. "That's for the nutmeg" - Cheers Paul!

    I used to work with his daughter too! Hi Stacey!

  • Comment number 27.

    DO NOT CAP THEIR WAGES

    Seriously, if we cap the wages for young footballers they would become sensible, hard working and maybe even half decent footballers and where would that leave us all. We would have nothing to moan about and maybe our national team might produce a few players capable of beating the minnows of Montenegro.

    We do two things well in this country and that is losing at football and moaning about it, dont take that away from us with wage caps.

    Victer Meldrew

  • Comment number 28.

    @ no3 :- The Aviva Rugby Premier League have a wage cap, as do the lower echelons of League Football, so I don't believe that the EU would have anything to say on the matter if the EPL Decided to impliment a Salary Cap.

    Might help the English National team a bit if there were more spaces for English players to once again play at the top, pulling players up from Grass Roots level and at Championship, Div 1 and 2 teams

  • Comment number 29.

    Dan,

    If it sounds like a sheep, feels like a sheep, looks like a sheep and is infact a sheep, it doesnt mean its definitely a spanner,

    But its better to be safe then sorry so Ill go get help,

    Oh and DONT MOVE!


    and please, if you never listen to anything I ever say again, listen now...

    Beach Towels





    Baron Bomburst

  • Comment number 30.

    Those who listened to Waddle on the radio during the World Cup, and then watched the MOTD panellists during that same competition will overwhelmingly agree that Waddle expressed views that would upset players, could you say the same of the MOTD team ? No

    Waddle went to France to better himself, how many of our golden generation have cut the mustard abroad ? No, the Golden Goose that is the Premiership is too cosy, the money is too easy, that is one of the reasons why we are garbage at international level, most of our lot cant even pass a ball let alone control it, and yet in the hype that is the Premiership they are lauded as Superstars and fawned on as "world class"

    MOTD needs livening up, Waddle should be on there.

    Football needs bringing back down to earth, salary caps are not going to come in, Turkeys dont vote for Christmas. the only way football will return to its roots is when subscriptions for football matches start to fall, attendances at the big clubs start to diminish. It will come, just wait until next week when all the cuts in spending are announced, far from being at the end of a bumpy ride, the roller coaster is just beginning. Football at the highest level smugly believes it has rode the storm of the economic downturn. It may have ridden the first few waves but when things like VAT get to 20% and the cost cutting measures begin to bite, yes peoplle will look for outlets from the gloom and sport is one of them but nonetheless people will start to be selective and if it aint value for money they will turn their back.

    Football the business is beginning to turn nasty, just ask Liverpool fans, or Portsmouth fans previous, or Man U fans when the Sir Alex cant continue to work miracles with his players attitudes and the tide turns there.

    Waddle speaks a lot of sense, a lot to which the average fan can relate, can I suggest most of his media colleagues usually talk Twaddle

  • Comment number 31.

    #29
    But if it sounds like a cow, feels like a cow, looks like a cow, and is in fact a cow, does it mean its definitely not a screwdriver?

    Auric Goldfinger

  • Comment number 32.

    In principle low weekly wage + big bonus is great.

    In reality? The concern has to be in a football world where players are all too keen to already cheat their fellow professionals, the referee, and the paying fans, who can imagine the lengths some (many?) players will go to in order to win a game and therefore an extra wodge of cash. Cue even more cynical fouls, diving, harassment of referees.....

    A sad indictment of our times not just football I am afraid.

  • Comment number 33.

    hehehe,

    the worst thing about the headphones is that you know they are all listening to n-dubz or some other poor quality R&B.

    no doubt they consider themselves stylish but tracksuit and headphones is not a good look.

  • Comment number 34.

    Wasn't it around 1992 when they had Cantona over on trial.

    Imagine if they'd have snapped him up, the next few years could have been a lot different for Sheff Wed.

    I don't think they had enough to be title challengers but a combo of Waddle, Walker, Woods, Cantona and Hirst wouldn't have been bad.

    Jez Quigley

  • Comment number 35.

    In answer to the posts about wage caps. Superleague and Premier Rugby (union) have a salary cap for each club. So in theory you can a player anything you want, but you have to pay all your players within the limit. For example if you have £10m wage cap, you can pay a player £9m a season, but you'll only have £1m to spend on the other player wages.

    Although I agree with a wage cap for clubs, I am a little apprehensive about it. Will smaller wage packets for players mean better facilities and cheaper tickets for fans? Or will the clubs simply pocket the money themselves? We all know that players were paid peanuts in the past (hence why some used to have to get public transport to and from games). Even though the clubs were raking in the cash from gate receipts.

    The question really is would we prefer the money in the player's pockets or in the Chairman, Chief execs, shareholders pockets etc?


  • Comment number 36.

    I spotted the man who is responsible for Wednesdays downfall. He was on the Wembley pitch on Tuesday!

    As commented by Rich_owl I'm also dissapointed this is rarely pointed out, especially given the outcry surrounding the liverpool owners.

  • Comment number 37.

    #31

    Different kettle of fish all together!

    Infact if it looks like a cow, smells like a cow, feels like a cow and is a cow its actually a bucket full of cod.


    Doctor Snuggles

  • Comment number 38.

    With you shortly brothers and sisters.

    Rufus Brevett

  • Comment number 39.

    #35
    The big concern is that because football is such big business in England, the moneymen won't want to lose their grip on all the cash coming in. Ironically, general problems in the economy with all their consequences, may be the only entry point for supporters to take greater control as the businessmen suffer. However, there rarely seems to be a shortage of foreign businessmen with cash, or debt, ready to come in and take over.

    All the focus is on money, winning as soon as possible, etc - all short-termist but many supporters don't seem to care too much as long as their team keeps winning. A more equitable solution would be to have much more supporter involvement (again like Germany) where clubs can't just go and do their own thing to the possible detriment of supporters. The tickets could then be brought down in price, etc.

    I just think its probably gone too far down the road unless a massive sea-change takes place.

    Gordon Gekko

  • Comment number 40.

    As Toon fans can testify, Obafemi Msrtins' "antics" typify the ignorance, greed and profligacy of modern footballers.

    But I recommend that advocates of wage-capping read the mighty Brian Glanville's "Goalkeepers Are Different": 'twas ever thus, my friends.

    Ronnie Blake.

  • Comment number 41.

    when i saw the title "waddle lets rip" i was kind of hoping to see a video of some kind

  • Comment number 42.

    "36. At 11:36am on 14 Oct 2010, SharpElbows wrote:
    I spotted the man who is responsible for Wednesdays downfall. He was on the Wembley pitch on Tuesday!

    As commented by Rich_owl I'm also dissapointed this is rarely pointed out, especially given the outcry surrounding the liverpool owners"

    Sharp it won't get commented on because the BBC is too scared to criticise David Richards, he holds too much sway at the FA and hence can influence TV rights

    As an asie will Liverpool fans stop putting all the blame of Hicks & Gillete for the downfall of LFC - they deserve their share of criticism for the financial structures used to fund the purchase of LFC but they did provide finance to buy new players, pity Rafa was so incompetent in spending the money!!

  • Comment number 43.

    #37
    So if it looks like a chicken, smells like a chicken, feels like a chicken, and is a chicken, does that mean its actually a giraffe?

    #41
    I won't even dare to ask what video you were hoping to see... there is one embedded in the blog though?

    President Palmer

  • Comment number 44.

    Martin2647,

    I guess the point is that had Hicks and Gilette bought the club with their own money, rather than RBS' money, then Rafa would have been spending/wasting Liverpool FCs cash rather than the banks. Agreed that the accusations about Hicks and Gilette not supporting the manager are riduculous. How much did they pay for Keane, Pennant, Johnson, Aquilani, Torres? How much money does SteveG/Reina/Carragher earn? I saw some numbers last season that Liverpool had spent pretty much the same amount net on tranfers than ManU (players bought minus players sold) since Rafa had been in charge...

  • Comment number 45.

    right, for all the "looks like, feels like, smells like" posters.... it was the yetti, it even tasted like one

    can we stop mentioning liverpool this is a blog about waddle,

    and dan, can you ask hansen to just go away and give his job to waddle who seems more than competent to do it.

    there....

    Atticus Finch

  • Comment number 46.

    played against Lee Sharpe for my Saturday league team and positively bossed him around the park as we were both playing centre midfield. Dont think he liked it when i tackled him and the ref gave a foul to us, he moaned about it and i sharply replied 'Its not celebrity love island now'

    also played against John Sheridan at 5 a side and he refused to shake our hands at the end calling us 'cheats' as we won 10-9 in a play off game to get promoted.

    Played against Ralph little (the guy from the royal family) at Goals a 5 a side venue in Bardford.

    Its teams like Blackpool who are doing well through a good team spirit.

  • Comment number 47.

    44. At 12:19pm on 14 Oct 2010, Rich_Owl wrote:
    Martin2647,

    I guess the point is that had Hicks and Gilette bought the club with their own money, rather than RBS' money, then Rafa would have been spending/wasting Liverpool FCs cash rather than the banks. Agreed that the accusations about Hicks and Gilette not supporting the manager are riduculous. How much did they pay for Keane, Pennant, Johnson, Aquilani, Torres? How much money does SteveG/Reina/Carragher earn? I saw some numbers last season that Liverpool had spent pretty much the same amount net on tranfers than ManU (players bought minus players sold) since Rafa had been in charge...
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Despite what must have been an amazing night for LFC supporters, I wonder whether winning the CL in 2005 is one of the worst things to happen to that club in recent years.

    It has blinkered the views of Benitez' poor management and ultimate destruction of a squad filled with overpaid expensive signings.

    People forget, yes it was a great cup run, but over the space of 38 PL games that year, Liverpool finished 6th. They were knocked out of the FA Cup by burnley.

    Yes they won an FA cup a year later, and again went on a good cup run in 2007 to the CL final. But other than 2009, never looked like becoming a big time force.

    Mascherano, Alonso and Torres were huge successes, but two of that trio has left, and one looks as though he doesn't want to be there. Gerrard wanted to leave in 2005, a month after lifting the CL Trophy.

    I dont think that between 2002 - 2010 one FA Cup and one CL Trophy is acceptable for a club of Liverpool's stature. Both won on penatlies also.

    2005 has failed to make Liverpool fans realise, they should look closer to home. Benitez took the club backwards in a big way.

    Dustin Diamond

  • Comment number 48.

    Excellent blog Dan - 25K a week and 40K a win might sharpen the mind!!!
    Strangely most normal people would get motivated on 25K alone.. infact 2K a week would do it for most of us..haha!
    As to facing ex stars - more years ago than I care to remember I played right back at Plainmoor for the SW Journalist against a Dennis Waterman X1... a still playing John Gidman (Villa by then I think) was on the left wing and a fairly active Bruce Rioch left mid field... boy can Rioch strike a ball - I was to dumb to get out of the way... and saw a lot of John Gidman's back!! Still it made me stop smoking!!!

  • Comment number 49.

    Hi Dan, very interesting as always. As a season ticket holder at Hillsborough I still find it fascinating that we sing about past-players (Chris Waddle, David Hirst and especially Roland Nilsson), and it's a real shame more current players don't have the same rapport with the fans. Maybe that is down to the growing distance in fan-player relationship. It was interesting to hear Waddles thoughts.

    The show on Saturday was great as I sometimes feel as an SWFC supporter that the club is forgotten by the majority of the media, and the disaster is what we are mostly remembered for.

    I'm just starting my dissertation on Economics in football, and one area I will be covering is the salary cap debate and how we could look at American sports as a successful role model. Is there anyone at the BBC you know of who could throw some light onto the debate, as I am intending to get the views of experts and professionals in the field.

    Thanks alot,

    Petter Rudi

  • Comment number 50.

    Some great stories about playing with/against former pros, hope I have the pleasure myself one day!

  • Comment number 51.

    Dan,

    Good blog as usual, I would be interested to know if you have any plans to get martin keown(or someone else on the team) to actually referee a sunday league match or similar.
    As a referee myself i think it would be beneficial when it comes to criticism of referees which i think is far too common in todays football.
    If the commentators and pundits could actually understand the process of making that split second decision during a game then they might give a seconds though before they immediately criticise the referee. A subsequent article on the subject would also inform non referees how difficult the job can be especially as a lot of the decisions make depend on the individuals perspective.

  • Comment number 52.

    Ok

    Let’s see what we’ve got here then.

    IL76 #1 the honourable Waddle was indeed my favourite. Top bloke, top winger.

    Surreybloke123 #5 I am not sure Hansen makes that many changes to his team throughout the season to be fair. Excellent sign off by the way... up there with the very best.

    HotdogSalesman #6 I think you are being a bit harsh on Lawro there but glad you enjoy the blog.

    Grimois #7 He is like the Samson of the punditry world – imagine how good he would be with a full mullet.

    Mikey #8 the time is definitely right for Boro. I think it’s about time we knocked on their door again. I don’t think they were too keen on talking to us last time. We shall see.

    Manos_de_Piedra #9 Understand where you are coming from remember that Waddle spent most of his life in a dressing room and still has his finger on the professional pulse.

    Tomefccam #11 Yes pal. In ’94 I think it was Woods, Walker, Sinton and C Palmer with G Taylor ignoring Waddle.

    On the Kevin Nolan side of things... I haven’t heard this but I have known of a couple of players who’ve had a cheeky game even though their contract doesn’t allow it.

    A couple of people have mentioned Dave Richards and why he didn’t come up. It’s a difficult balance between concentrating on SWFC but also appealing to the wider football audience. I was hoping one of the guests would bring him up in an answer but I think you are probably right... he was worth a question.

    JuggernautFC #14 Glad you liked the contribution of Big John McClure – I thought he was spot on. Good laugh but a proper fan.

    Joe #15 that sounds like the sort of thing that stays with you. Some players always look class – however old they are.

    Ottski #16 Great tale about Ruddock. It does make you wonder about the sort of figures around today. I can imagine Clough stroking the ball around like a genius... did you try and tackle him or just watch?

    Ady #17 that might just be my favourite story... you see the other side of things from thoult #18.

    Hold on, there’s somebody at the door!

    Grotbags

  • Comment number 53.

    win bonus' may work, but i think you will find that players will start demanding to leave poorly performing clubs when things arn't going well rather than trying harder to win.

  • Comment number 54.

    JoC and KirkstallOwl, your both right, and both points can be formed into one in a way. The money the players earn now disassociates them from the working class roots of the game and so the fans at the same time. The headphones seem to me like a rude, anti-social step taken by the players to ensure they don't have to interact with fans or regular folk on the way into the stadia, further disassociating themselves. Gone are the days when England had intelligent players like Beardsley, Waddle and Barnes that fans could identify with. The game is worse for it in my opinion. Here's hoping that academies enforce an education upon the players coming through, I love that Sporting Lisbon will drop an academy player for their next game if he is behind on his work. Can't imagine the same happening in the UK.

  • Comment number 55.

    Perhaps they should get footballers at each club to present themselves to supporters each month, and answer questions, explain their performances. That might help bring them back closer to the fan's and maybe, just maybe, make the footballers a little less insular than they currently are whilst tucked up in their mock Tudor mansions or riverside apartment.

    Season ticket holders should also get a share in the club so (not a silly minority share) so that a broader spectrum of opinions is taken into account by club boards and chair(wo)men.

    Truly Scrumptious

  • Comment number 56.

    Don’t panic... it was a man with a curry house menu. £7.95 for a chicken korma seems a bit steep!

    1867_waddle #19 always conquer the hendersons big man... the relish of kings!

    JoC #21 I think the real problems started after that with the Vim Jonk, Regi Blinker and Orlando Trustful type signings. Brian Laws tried getting rid of the huge headphones at Burnley but his request fell on deaf ears!

    James_Mags #22 the good old days... YTS and bakewells. Perfect.

    SaintRider #24 that is one for the grand kids. He didn’t half hit them Charlton... I bet he’d even be able to rattle one in with a Jabulani!

    Greg #26 You nutmegged a pro? No wonder he brought you don’t. I tried to dribble round John McGinley once in a 5-a-side game and he elbowed me in the adam’s apple!

    Ecasino27 #27 “We do two things well in this country and that is losing at football and moaning about it, dont take that away from us with wage caps.” One of the great points of our time.

    #29 Andy Connor there.

    John #30 Waddle not twaddle is a solid slogan! I do think he is a great pundit and has never been afraid to ruffle a few feathers. His 5 Live rant after England went out was top draw – angry and insightful.

    Tomefcam #34 I think the legend was that Trevor Francis wanted to see him play on grass rather than Astroturf and in the mean time he was snapped up by Leeds. Is that true?

    magicDarkshadow #35 good knowledge

    messien #41 ha! Slightly misleading.

    Dave Richards definitely has some questions to answer... if he ever came on Focus we would be more than happy to ask him.

    Signori #46 wins this week’s name dropping award. Some impressive work there big man. Particularly enjoyed the line to Lee Sharpe.

    Eggythegreek #48 When you see a pro strike a ball properly you realise how rubbish you really are don’t you? I remember Lawro ambling up to one at Fulham last season and pummelling it home from 25 yards with about 10% effort.

    KirstallOwl #49 Delighted you liked the show. I think David Bond or Robert Peston are the chief football finance warriors but I think Liverpool will keep them busy until 2015. If you wanted to talk about what rugby league have done then George Riley is your man. He is a rugby league warrior and a top bloke.

    Colerainefan #51 I think you will enjoy the Martin Keown piece this week. Good idea.

    I can’t remember who made the point about Waddle being loved by the fans but maybe, as Steveat #54, points out – if we had a few more of those in every side we wouldn’t worry so much about how much they are getting paid.

    Keep the comments coming comrades.

    Francis Drake

  • Comment number 57.

    Can you ask Waddle if he's going to re-release Diamond Lights? Thanks

  • Comment number 58.

    "Dave Richards definitely has some questions to answer... if he ever came on Focus we would be more than happy to ask him."

    Dan

    Dave Richards is seen as the root cause of Wednesday's fall. But the questions run deeper than just Wednesday....how can someone with a poor track record be subsequently knighted and have such influence over the game in England

    It suggests the administration of the game is not in capable hands but somehow I doubt the BBC has the stomach to pursue such a line of enquiry with a serious piece of investigative journalism, a few questions on FF wont do

  • Comment number 59.

    I don't remember England being any better in Waddle's time when players were paid less money and the Premiership wasn't full of foreigners. We were extremely fortunate in Italia 90 to make the semi-finals by scrapping through against the mediocre Belgium and Cameroon - all other England performances in major tournaments whilst he was in the side were abysmal. Indeed Waddle himself was always found out at international level and unwillingness to track back and defend caused problems for the rest of the team.

    Arsene Wenger (someone who's opinion is worth listening to unlike any pundit on Radio 5 other than Jimmy Armfield) summed up Waddle best when responding to Waddle's comments that "Theo Walcott lacked a footballing brain" with "it's better than not having a brain at all".

  • Comment number 60.

    Dan, dan the magic man. If rumours are to be believed, you went to Japan and came back with a sun tan.

    Anyway, moving on. Good blog as always. Where was the food though! Not sure about the whole salary cap idea. I want the best players playing in the PL and to get the best, you've gotta pay them more than the rest.

    Farmer Boggis

  • Comment number 61.

    In 1981 played against the late geordie Armstrong former gooner winger in Harstad Norway only time I got near him was to shake his hand at the end of the game

    In 2000 at african nations cup in Accra Ghana I watched Sir Bobby Charlton play for the british high commission against a local side,he tore them to bits playing just one half ..........he was only 62ish at the time.Dirt pich no markings and the no 12s running the line real old sunday footie stuff ,but it wasnt beneath the great man.

  • Comment number 62.

    As far as I understand the freedom of trade etc allows employees freedom to earn whatever they can get. Rugby Lqe cap is to do with percentage of wages to gate receipts. Salary cap could be an informal agreement by EPL teams but who would agree to this? City NO Chelski NO any team who can pick up a world beater for free and pay more to compensate NO. Not going to happen. Don't blame the players, blame the people willing to put this cash in their pockets.

    Kirby Pucket

  • Comment number 63.

    Questions for Hansen:
    1) Do you actually like football and enjoy talking about it?
    If answer to above question is Yes follow with...
    2) When will you start showing the viewers of Match of the Day some respect and actually take time to analyse a game effectively and come back with interesting insights not trawl out the same tired cliches that you have for the past 15 years? (Power, passion, what every defender hates is oot and oot pace)

    Nice blog by the way and I vote to get Chris Waddle onto MotD least we would get an interesting opinion.

  • Comment number 64.


    Good blog Dan.

    Present day footballers earning fortunes have nothing in common with the everyday man anymore. Football legends like Stan Bowles for example would quite happily have a drink with you in the pub. Todays football players have a cornered off section in some shit club in London and you have to have fake tits to be invited in.

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 66.

    I have wondered for some time how much players really care at club level whether they win or not and whether it is just down to the money.

    Very few players are fans of the clubs they play for and, at the end of the day (to coin a phrase), it is purely a job to them.

    This crossed my mind when watching the England team play with such a fear of failure in the World Cup this summer. Suddenly when they feel some pressure that it actually matters they suddenly can't perform.

    I certainly agree some kind of wage cap in line with the NFL is needed. The Premier League is fast becoming an opportunity for (mainly) top foreign players to get rich and forms no basis for creating good homegrown talent for the England team. If this doesn't stop we're never going to win anything at a national level.

    Thought Saturday's Focus was excellent entertainment. Also enjoyed Waddle's anecdote on-line about him and Gazza pinging balls over the brass band at Wembley with disasterous consequences!


    John Candy

  • Comment number 67.

    #64
    I suspect that one might get removed swiftish... fair point though, maybe I'd better paraphrase before it gets deleted.

    64. At 2:20pm on 14 Oct 2010, Superranger27 wrote:

    Good blog Dan.

    Present day footballers earning fortunes have nothing in common with the everyday man anymore. Football legends like Stan Bowles for example would quite happily have a drink with you in the pub. Todays football players have a cornered off section in some "pants" club in London and you have to have fake "appendages" to be invited in.

  • Comment number 68.

    Nearly forgot...

    Mr Cholmondley-Warner

  • Comment number 69.

    Last season a player from Forest Green Rovers....not even remotely famous but one of our lads recognised him (must have been the only Forest Green Rovers fan anywere!) turned out for a team we were playing against in the Somerset District Cup.

    He only played 15mins before he was recognised then ran off the pitch. In that 15mins he'd scored 4! Turns out he was a ringer (obviously) but later it was revealed he'd been out injured for FGR for 2 months.

    We went on to draw 4-4 and complaints to the FA I've been told resulted in him having his contract cancelled at FGR! Seemed a terrible waste for a lowly District game!

  • Comment number 70.

    Wolves fan here. Mick McCarthy's squad is definately old school. He has gradually assembled his squad that are motivated only by playing, with his 'young & hungry' policy. Any players with an ego or are motivated by greed have been weeded out. This obviously suits the chairman & owner, cause our squad are/were mostly 'nobodys' from the lower leagues or non league that are cheap to buy & cheap to pay!



    But, this policy does severely restrict the quantity of players available that fit Mick's criteria, especially when trying to establish ourselves in the Premier League. I think its pretty clear no one would ever come to the Wolves just for the money!

    The downside is although Wolves are a team of highly motivated, organised grafters they are totally reliant on hard work rather than just skill or flair. Their commitment & style of play is now seen as cynical or anti-football & wrongfully gets labelled as dirty.

    The truth is though, unless you can fill the team with the high maintainace players Waddle refers to, the equation is simple. Attractive football = Relegation.

    As for former pro's I've played with...I had around 10 years playing with Jim Arnold. Although he was Everton's keeper, he was an excellent outfield player & never once played in goal for us.

  • Comment number 71.

    DAn
    RE: Cantona at Wednesday - you got it pretty much spot on. After destroying everybody else in 5-a-sides during a snowy 2 weeks trial, Trev offered him another two weeks trial so he could see him (French league champion, 20-odd international caps) on a real pitch. Wilkinson at Leeds offered him a contract, and the rest, as they say..

    Graham Hyde

  • Comment number 72.

    #56 Dan wrote: 'I think the real problems started after that with the Vim Jonk, Regi Blinker and Orlando Trustful type signings.'...and his me thinking that going Dutch always saved you a bob or two, maybe not on Oranje Wednesdays! ;)

    'Brian Laws tried getting rid of the huge headphones at Burnley but his request fell on deaf ears!'...how the puns are rolling now, but his old boss Brian Clough would have soon nipped that insolent behaviour it in the (ear) bud...ba..dum..bum..tish!

    Billy Ray Cyrus

  • Comment number 73.

    I'd take Waddle a little more serious if he hadn't of recorded that awful track with former spuds team mate Glenda, (Hoddle and Waddle sounds like names of Donald Duck's nephews)

    And if you see him again could you please inform him that the word is penalty and not pelanty, thanx.

    Ludwig von Drake.

  • Comment number 74.

    Another great blog Dan, only bettered by some belting sign-offs... Dustin Diamond and Hacksaw Jim Duggan have taken things to a new level.
    I don't always agree with Waddle, especially when he commentates on ESPN games but at least he'll say what he thinks and give his reasons.

    The Dude
    http://scottssportsandsocial.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 75.

    I was just going to post the same thing H2H...

    Djamolidine Abdoujaparov

  • Comment number 76.

    The story about Cantona is true. It had been snowing heavily so Wednesday had been training on astroturf. Trevor Francis said he'd have to see him play on grass before he'd consider signing him. Cantona wan't happy and took his ball and went to Leeds. I watched Cantona play in a Wednesday shirt in an indoor tournament at Sheffield Arena just before he left. How different things may have been eh?

    Jimmy Saville

  • Comment number 77.

    74. At 3:54pm on 14 Oct 2010, Scott John wrote:
    Another great blog Dan, only bettered by some belting sign-offs... Dustin Diamond and Hacksaw Jim Duggan have taken things to a new level.
    I don't always agree with Waddle, especially when he commentates on ESPN games but at least he'll say what he thinks and give his reasons.

    The Dude
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Me too with Waddle, come accross a bit stupid to me at times.

    Glad you enjoyed the named sign offs

    John Secada

  • Comment number 78.

    I wonder if anyone could come up with a top 5 articulate/literate footballers (English) of the last 25 years... could be a tough ask.

    Charlie Croker

  • Comment number 79.

    78. At 4:17pm on 14 Oct 2010, Surreybloke123 wrote:
    I wonder if anyone could come up with a top 5 articulate/literate footballers (English) of the last 25 years... could be a tough ask.

    Charlie Croker
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    How about Fat Frankie Lampard, of Brentwood private school. Apparently he showed MENSA capabilities in some tests doen at Chelsea.

    Clark Carlisle is apparently quite intelligent too, although he's terrible to listen to.

  • Comment number 80.

    #64, know what you mean, but there are still exceptions. You see Jonas Gutierrez out in Newcastle quite often, and he's always happy to have a bit of banter with you, rather than shying away in the VIP section of the horrible bars. While I've seen him, Joey Barton and Danny Simpson in a positive light off pitch, I've seen far more who won't engage with the general public and look to avoid any form of contact with fans.

    Also, what a legend Cantona is. Read a great article about him recently and his interesting career in France afore he signed for Leeds, good banter.

  • Comment number 81.

    #79, did Shaka Hislop not also do an internship at NASA back in the day?

    On the Waddle front, he's absolutely spot on when it comes to footballing intelligence. When in the past we've had players like him and Hoddle and Barnes and Beardsley and Gascoigne and Platt et al, now we're left with a dearth of intelligent players. Loads of power and pace and grit and determination, but virtually no guile and craft.

  • Comment number 82.

    Re: #78 - Not sure on that but David James heads my list of daft current footballers. He'll never use a simple word or phrase when a longer one will do and comes across a bit silly really.
    I like John Hartson as a pundit and Stan Collymore will always speak his mind, often before using it... He previewed the recent United v Liverpool match as a real Lancashire derby, classic.

    Kavana

  • Comment number 83.

    On the subject of playing with pro footballers.
    I played beach football with philippe Mexes about 8 years ago. He was absolutely amazing, he had surprisingly quick feet. He tore everyone to shreds, which you don't expect from a centre back, as we don't realize just how good they are. We were staying at the same hotel in Mauritius as him and me and my dad had a game of snooker with him too. my younger brother, who was about 8 at the time, kept asking him for money to buy drinks, not realising who he was!

  • Comment number 84.

    On a different note, yet somehow related, there's a bloke I work with called Terry. For some reason I keep referring to him as Terry Nutkins in meetings, could someone help with some amateur psychoanalysis please?

    Matt Tracker

  • Comment number 85.

    #84
    Do you wake up feeling like an otter? (not figuratively but metaphorically?)

    Johnny Morris

  • Comment number 86.

    #84

    Has he had some of his digits bitten off by animals?

    Dominic Diamond

  • Comment number 87.

    #84 Stevat.

    Sounds to me like your suffering from David Bellemy Syndrome, it's not a weally weally sewious condition so I wouldn''t wowwy, eh sorry, worry too much.

    I hope this helps.

    Sigmund Fraud.

  • Comment number 88.

    #87
    Love the sign-off... was that a Freudian/Fraudian slip?

    Dr Doolittle

  • Comment number 89.

    Erm Dan, it should be SIR Francis Drake.

    Great blog though, even if it is about the piggies!


    Saruman The White.

  • Comment number 90.

    It was intentional, mate.

    I'm as qualified to give a psychoanalysis as certain members of the England squad are on the right to lecture on moral fortitude.

    B.O. Baracus.

  • Comment number 91.

    #85 I've felt otterish before, haven't we all though?

    #86 Not sure where you work, but we don't hold hands in meetings, and sandals are strictly forbidden.

    #87 Thanks Mr Fraud, perhaps you can tell me more about what I should expect by way of symptoms. Where would you refer me to ratify my ravenous requirements?

    Pat Sharp

  • Comment number 92.

    While living in Costa Rica from 2001-02, played football with the 1990 Costa Rican player of the year. He had been due to play in Italia 90, when Costa Rica beat Scotland, but he got injured. He kept calling me `England` even though we spoke in Spanish. I thought it not a good idea to tell him that I am half-scottish.

    Some years prior to that, I coached a boys team. We went on a tour of Portman Road in Ipswich. George Burley was the manager at the time. John Wark (ex Scotland and Liverpool) was part of the coaching set up, and it was he who was our guide. Top bloke. Near the end of the tour the boys had a little match indoors. John Wark joined in and blasted a shot towards goal which hit one of the kids in the mouth. Blood and tears flowed! As a Liverpool fan...oh how I wish I was that boy. (Trying to explain to his mum afterwards was a bit tricky though..."But it was John Wark! He won the European Cup in `84!!!)

    Ferdinand de Bargos

  • Comment number 93.

    Good point there Chris Waddle. Also, where have all the natural ball players like Chris Waddle gone? Are they getting it drummed out of them at a young age?

  • Comment number 94.

    #90
    I know ;-) Thats why I did the dual spelling. Very good though, made me smile.

    Captain Jean Luc Picard

  • Comment number 95.

    Nice to hear the story about Gorden Hill, I'm old enough to have had posters of him on my bedroom wall!

  • Comment number 96.

    Well, I TRIED to play against a pro...

    On holiday once as a kid, I was playing 7 a sides with a load of the other Brits staying at the Spanish complex when I noticed Peter Grant (then of Celtic) hanging around.

    As the only football anorak present, I recognised him & tried to persuade him to join in. When I wouldn't take no for an answer, I was very politely asked to "f#@* off, ya little runt."

    Rather pleased to watch you get fired by West Ham, West Brom & Celtic, Peter.

  • Comment number 97.

    I agree with Chris, too many average players pick up huge wage packets and put in mediocre performances. That has contributed heavily to the financial problems a lot of clubs have found themselves in, Pompey are a great example- if their players were paid on a win/bonus system then when it went wrong their players would have been paid far less. Success gets rewarded, failure punished. I reckon cap wages at £10k a week (more than enough for anyone to live on), but allow bonuses to be unlimited. I have no issue with good players, who make their clubs huge swathes of money, being rewarded for success, but if they are paid no matter what the result and have little or no affinity for the club they are at then what is the incentive to play well.

    Professional football is results driven. It's about time a wage structure was put in place to reflect this.

  • Comment number 98.

    Good evening all.

    Let’s have a little gander here.

    Martin3647 #58 I was being slightly tongue in cheek with regards to Richards. I was not meaning to down play your point but I disagree about the BBC being incapable of serious investigative journalism.

    YorkshireKnight #59 good point

    Manilabomber #61 Sir Bobby Charlton is getting some serious love on this blog. Good stuff.

    JT #63 not sure I will be asking those questions on Focus but thanks for making your point effectively.

    Superranger27 #64 somehow you still survive the moderator. Apart from the swearing you make a solid point. I can only assume the comment still lives because #65 must have been off the scale!

    Krysis #69 I’ve have been happy with the 4-4 and forgotten about it.

    Holloway2Holland #73 and jacksofbuxton #75 you’ve picked up on the 2 chinks in Waddle’s armour... Diamond Lights and ‘pelanties’.

    Hold on.

    Flash Gordon

  • Comment number 99.

    Me again...

    1867_waddle #76 Talking of if onlys... wasn’t it Darko Kovacevic who went to Real Sociedad for 1 million from Wednesday and then went to Juventus for 16 mills 6 months later. That extra 15 would make a big difference now!

    Stevat #81 # “guile and craft” are you David Pleat?

    Scott John #82 ‘speaks his mind, before using it’ is quality. I’m going to nick that and palm it off as my own.

    Darren_fletcher_footbal_genius #83 good tale as is the John Wark madness described by Robokopthe3rd #92 .

    Blogcritic #96 not the biggest Peter Grant fan then?

    Can I just draw your attention to perhaps the greatest run of signoffs ever from #86 onwards.

    Dominic Diamond
    Sigmund Fraud (intentional)
    Dr Doolittle
    Saruman The White
    B O Baracus (again I believe intentional)
    Pat Sharp
    Ferdinand de Bargos

    It’s almost magical. See you soon.

    Ming The Merciless

  • Comment number 100.

    #96 - call yourself a football anorak?

    peter grant wasn't fired by west ham, he chose to leave as he was offered the manager's job at norwich. however, following a miserable 12 months he resigned leaving the club in the relegation zone and starting to look pretty cut adrift (despite it only being october).
    Followed a spell out of coaching he joined west brom as first team coach as part of Tony Mowbray's management team. When Mowbray went to Celtic Grant went with him (resigning from West Brom to take up a new job).

    As poor a manager as he was for Norwich, to give the guy his dues he's only been sacked once, by Celtic - although it would be twice if he'd not decided to jump before being pushed out of Norwich.


    Spencer Prior

 

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