Comments for en-gb 30 Sat 23 Aug 2014 17:19:53 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at kkandnathan This post has been Removed Wed 25 Nov 2009 08:44:52 GMT+1 Michael Gray reply to no 41Haha that sound about perfect to me. Good memory. Tue 24 Nov 2009 19:17:59 GMT+1 Michael Gray reply to no 33How could i forget my debut......That story has been told a few times in my household over the years so thanx for getting in touch. Derby beat us this season so you can call that payback. Tue 24 Nov 2009 19:00:50 GMT+1 Michael Gray reply to no 32Adam johnston is a top player who you should enjoy watching every week. I do agree with you in that he isnt far away from being called up for England but will it happen while he is playing in the Championship? Tue 24 Nov 2009 18:57:39 GMT+1 Michael Gray reply to no 30Absolutely. Pulling on that white shirt for your country was something very special to me and will live with me forever. Every player is diffrent and have there own reasons for retiring early. I can only speak for myself and would never turn down the chance to represent my country. Tue 24 Nov 2009 18:54:52 GMT+1 Michael Gray reply to no 28What would you like me to talk about then FLOOCH !!!It must be easy to write a very short reply like yours. Any suggestions? Tue 24 Nov 2009 18:50:36 GMT+1 Michael Gray reply to no 24At the time when me and kev were in the squad he was really flying. I always think if you are a striker and you get your chance then people judge you on goals. Im sure if kev had got his first then plenty would have followed. Tue 24 Nov 2009 18:47:56 GMT+1 Michael Gray reply to no 23Thans for replying and your honest comments. If you have ideas on what i can write about then let me know. im always open to suggestions. Tue 24 Nov 2009 18:44:43 GMT+1 Michael Gray reply to no 18Yes i make sure i go out of my way to speak to the youngsters, Not just the young lads who are already in the team but the players who want to break in also. Hopefully the experience i pass on holds them in good stead and maybe one day they can do the same. Tue 24 Nov 2009 18:42:00 GMT+1 Michael Gray reply to no 15It has crossed my mind a few times over the last couple of years. Call me a home boy but this is my bread and butter and where i was given my opportunity to learn my trade. Family means a lot to me and i wouldnt get to see much of them if i was away. Tue 24 Nov 2009 18:36:50 GMT+1 Michael Gray reply to no 4I have to be honest here. It has to be the world cup without a shadow of a doubt. Its every young boys dream and i would go as far as saying every proffessional footballers dream also.When i was in the england squads i was to cought up in enjoying it myself to look at others but from what i saw in training and playing in the games they all looked like they wanted to be there. Tue 24 Nov 2009 18:28:13 GMT+1 Michael Gray reply to no 3I think there will always be a question mark over glen johnson when it comes to defending but going forward as a fullback he is one of the best in the world.As for darren, there are some great forwards at the moment and they all seem to be playing at the top of there game. He is doing all he can and more to push for a world cup spot and lets hope he gets his rewards. Tue 24 Nov 2009 18:23:18 GMT+1 Michael Gray reply to allHello everyone,Firstly can i say sorry for not being able to reply for the last couple of weeks as there was a fault when i was trying to sign in. Im up and running again now so i will do my best to reply to your questions. Tue 24 Nov 2009 18:18:22 GMT+1 notdolly Post 13: Read post 12 again slowly and think about your response. Tue 24 Nov 2009 13:45:28 GMT+1 Rob Michael, these blogs really are a great insight into the life and mind of a footballer and do yourself, and The Owls by association, great credit. They're articulate, well-written and honest, long may they continue. Mon 23 Nov 2009 12:19:57 GMT+1 jcwester Michael, I happened to be on the terraces on that pleasant night in Budapest (is my memory correct?) And I do recall you doing one of your trademark stabbing runs/overlaps up the left-hand side and pulling a really fast cross that swooshed through the penalty area and didn't get latched on to by our forwards. I also clearly recall you having the ball at your feet with one of the Hungarians close opposite you, and you try to do a little dance on your tiptoes to fake him, and he cheekily did a little dance back. That's so, isn't it?Evidently, I'm enjoying your blog. Thanks. Sun 22 Nov 2009 17:38:07 GMT+1 helfastbhoy 39 , just for the record, I along with many, lost interest in your comment after the fourth word. Why not brush up on your grammer and sentence structuring if you are bored?Anyway, what an honest and fresh blog. Keep it going Michael. Sat 21 Nov 2009 20:47:35 GMT+1 Paul Crabdey For a brief England careers, this is a very long blog. Lost interest on paragraph 2. Sat 21 Nov 2009 18:20:02 GMT+1 boils Even as a Newcastle United fan, I thought that was a good blog. Heart-felt and honest. Thanks. Sat 21 Nov 2009 17:02:16 GMT+1 yoponz This post has been Removed Sat 21 Nov 2009 14:59:45 GMT+1 Howard Nurse Unfortunately, a technical problem has prevented Michael Gray from logging in and responding to your posts. This will be fixed in the near future and normal service should resume. Apologies for this. Sat 21 Nov 2009 10:53:57 GMT+1 Russell Mould MichaelGreat blog. I remember being at the Sweden match and (as a Sunderland fan) being very proud that you and Super Kev were involved.Nice to hear a player for whom playing for his country means everything instead of these days when most of the top players have to pull out of the squad due to a 'knock' or 'slight strain'. Or the likes of Carragher who retire's from international football at such a young age because he's not first choice. Sat 21 Nov 2009 10:16:59 GMT+1 Rhinoswellies @28. Have you ever posted anything remotely interesting? Didn't think so Sat 21 Nov 2009 00:58:00 GMT+1 Ian Bagnall Hi great blogI have followed your career with added interest since your debut against my beloved Rams, when I managed to crash into your parents on the A52 (Brian Clough Way) after the game which as I recall Sunderland managed to steal the points from! My wife spent ages on the phone to your mother one night, as she (my wife) was pregnant, as was your sister, I think. Best of luck for the rest of your career - just don't inflict anymore damage on the Rams!!Ian Fri 20 Nov 2009 22:16:15 GMT+1 Skotty-boy Good Blog Gray. When you say it is highly unlikely a Championship player playing in the England squad, does that mean to cant see Middleboroughs Adam Johnston being drafted in to fill England's ever-problematic left midfield position, even if merely as a squad player in the World Cup? Fri 20 Nov 2009 21:03:50 GMT+1 Spaced Invader Great blog - what a forward line-up England had back in 1999!! Fri 20 Nov 2009 20:10:21 GMT+1 bringmethehorizon Having that experience with England, would you say that was the summit of your career? And what are your thoughts on players like Carragher and Scholes retiring early when they still had a chance to make it.Finally, what about players like Stephen Ireland, who just plainly seem to not care about playing for their nation? Fri 20 Nov 2009 19:54:05 GMT+1 Geordie2004 Yeah, this whole 'Keegan bottles every job!' theory really is a load of bull, to put it bluntly.-Newcastle United (the first time): He was basically told to either sign a new contract or walk there and then. He wanted to go at the end of the season, and had told the club this in the summer, so he reluctantly left there and then. He was basically forced out as part of the club being floated on the stockmarket as far as I'm concerned, so this was hardly bottling it, now was it? Bad decision on the club's part.-Fulham: He left to take the England job. Did he quit? Sure, but I don't think anyone would blame him for that under the circumstances, I know I don't. He wasn't the first person to do it, and he won't be the last. I don't see how leaving one job to take on a much bigger one (no offence, Fulham fans) can count as bottling it...-England: He essentially decided he wasn't good enough for the job and that he couldn't take the team any further. I guess you could call this bottling it, but that's a pretty pessimistic view in my mind. As Deats80 points out, I admire him for this decision instead of just holding out for a pay off if/when he was sacked.-Manchester City: He told whoever their chairman was in January (I think?) that he would be leaving at the end of the season when his contract expired. The chairman told him that he may as well just leave there and then. Basically a sacking in my view, so again, he didn't bottle it. Can't really blame the chairman for that, things weren't going well for City at that point.-Newcastle United (II): He was basically forced out, I'm not going to bother being the billionth person to dissect this one. Again, hardly bottling it.Oh, look at that, 1 case (at most, and a highly debatable one at that) of actual bottling it throughout his managerial career. Hardly a serial bottler, is he? *rolls eyes*Now, what I will say against Keegan is that his constant habit of claiming that every job he gets will be his last one in football management really annoys me, because it's always a load of political PR rubbish. Still a very good manager, though, if you ask me... Not a great manager because he never won any major trophies, but his achievements at getting teams who were seriously in the doldrums into a decent state of health again, particularly at Newcastle, show that he does have quality as a manager. Plus he always played positive football with his teams, and I applaud him for that as well.Oh, and spare me the whole 'Another blinkered Geordie' rubbish, it's getting tiresome. Fri 20 Nov 2009 19:27:14 GMT+1 flooch Has Gray ever said anything remotely interesting? Fri 20 Nov 2009 19:22:52 GMT+1 Zell182 Good blog, a nice read. I was going to make a comment about Heskey but LABSAB9 seems to have beaten me to it. Fri 20 Nov 2009 17:54:15 GMT+1 Phil Kevin Keegan can't win, can he? People say he was a rubbish manager but lets look at the facts...a) He took Fulham to the Premier League from Division 1 i believe it was... so 2 promotionsb) He took Newcastle from a team that were destined for Division 1 (saved them going down) and then got them promoted to the Premier and within a whisker of winning the league. No Newcastle manager has come this close since.c) He managed a poor England team and when he realised that he wasn't up to the job he walked away. I ADMIRE him for that. He didn't stay where he wasn't wanted. He walked and it taked a bigger man to do that than just stay and wait for a pay off when you get sacked.d) He walked from Newcastle this time because he was FORCED He won a court case saying it was constructive dismissal. He didnt just walk away.Man City was his biggest blip, thats for sure. But his managerial record or 'loyalty' are not what most people try to make out.But at least most people are willing to say what a nice bloke he was - i like him more so for that rant at Fergie, classic!!! Fri 20 Nov 2009 17:21:37 GMT+1 PepeXabiBarnes anyone else dislike the england team intensly? Fri 20 Nov 2009 16:52:27 GMT+1 malaymac Mickey, it's marvellous that you got to play for your boyhood heroes and represent your country. Surely that's every little lads dream come true.However with the benefit of hindsight, do you feel yourself and Kevin Philips were not given a fair or realistic opportunity to establish a regular place in the national team ?Certainly in Kevin Philip's situation, there's a lot of folks thinking he was treated very unfairly despite his predatory skills in front of goal and golden boot recognition. Fri 20 Nov 2009 16:42:33 GMT+1 Geordie2004 Newcastle fan here in peace. :DTo be honest, I haven't really liked your other blogs that I actually bothered reading. But I liked this one a lot. You picked an interesting topic, and it was well written. And you praised Keegan, so that gets you bonus points. ;) I'll be sure to read your next blog now. Fri 20 Nov 2009 16:00:56 GMT+1 Ian McCall Great blogg, you are a true gentleman yourself Michael of luck this weekend Fri 20 Nov 2009 15:51:51 GMT+1 BognorRock I'm not a massive fan of Keegan as a manager but I thought he was quite unlucky as a manager of England in that he had a very poor selction of players to pick from, compared to before and since. Apart from Scholes, Shearer and Owen we didn't really have anyone of top class. The likes of Ince, Adams, Seaman & Pearce were past their best and Gerrard, Lampard, Ferdinand etc were young and way before their prime. He was forced to pick players like Nick Barmby, Dennis Wise and Tim Sherwood who wouldn't get near the England squad today. Fri 20 Nov 2009 15:44:32 GMT+1 Jon S me me me Fri 20 Nov 2009 15:09:47 GMT+1 LABSAB9 18. At 2:41pm on 20 Nov 2009, Deats80 wrote:Keegan was one of the nicest blokes ever, i'm glad you think the same Michael. A true gent. Sadly in todays modern game, there are not enough ot his type around anymore.Perhaps he would still be around if he didn't keep "bottling it" and walking out on clubs!!! might be a nice bloke but terrible manager. Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:54:10 GMT+1 Phil I like the club vs country question. Maybe a more 'appropriate' question would be this...Given the chance of England winning (and you playing) Euro 2012 (not as important WC) OR you playing for Sunderland (home town team) and winning an FA Cup, which would you prefer??? As a Leeds fan i'd rather the FA Cup, even if it is devalued nowadays.BUT winning a WC is what i desperately want to see - even ahead of Leeds winning a Champions League. Its something that unites a whole country and even club rivalry can be forgotten for a brief time. Sadly i doubt i will ever see this!Keegan was one of the nicest blokes ever, i'm glad you think the same Michael. A true gent. Sadly in todays modern game, there are not enough ot his type around anymore.Do you ever speak with the younger players to try to give them advice by the way? I wonder if some of the kids know just how lucky they are to be playing for a club like Wednesday? I sometimes think maybe it passes them by a little bit and they take it all for granted (and take the supporters for granted too). I think a wise head like yourself should have a few intelligent words for the youngsters in the squad :) I certainly enjoy reading your thoughts each week, so cheers for that!!! Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:41:34 GMT+1 pidgeGULL Absolutely, but Carra was getting passed over in favour of fourth of fifth choices at the time, he was getting played at right back and he saw the players he was getting picked ahead of in that role (dedicated right back specialists) and decided to give up because the manager wasn't going to see sense. This is the key with Barry, he was always a good player but he wasn't better than Gerrard, Lampard (or Scholes if we're going back that far) and so had to wait, now he's a lynchpin in the side. There are valid arguements on both sides of the fence here but ultimately I think that where England is involved we should always look forwards as there are always youngsters worth looking at, and that some players like to bow out early is fine, a player rejecting his country altogether is a different matter but even that is a personal matter for the players (acceptable with Al Bangura, not so with Stephan Ireland imo).Let's say we were decimated with injury, would you prefer to see Phil Neville called up or Cattermole/Rodwell/Reo-Coker? Actually that's a void question really, who WOULDN'T pick Cattermole right now? Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:40:56 GMT+1 tomefccam 14. At 2:01pm on 20 Nov 2009, pidgeGULL wrote:That's what football is all about, if we all agreed and did not have an opinion what would be the point?I just get the feeling that the England shirt is not as coveted as it used to be. I can understand Carraghers frustrations, but it was upto him to step out of his comfort zone at Liverpool and make the England centre back jersey his own, I know what he can do as a player and what he can offer so this is where my criticism is placed with him. Gareth Barry is an example of what I mean, he was left out in the wilderness for years having debuted years ago. He was tried in all sorts of positions, but he eventually got his chance in centre mid in 2007 and has made himself one of the 1st names on the teamsheet. Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:12:31 GMT+1 Mikey I've never been a fan of Kevin Keegan personally.. but with touches like that you can see why he is so well thought of..Michael bit off topic but have you ever been approached to play abroad now that you are coming to a certain age?? Would playing in the US, Australia or similar ever appeal to you for a season or 2? Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:04:43 GMT+1 pidgeGULL I can see we won't agree, a real Pro with a top attitude. Certainly, but he hasn't faced the frustration (particularly when the players in your natural position aren't as good as you) playing out of position for most of his England career and hasn't been dogged with injuries. On top of being played out of position Scholes was also getting panned in the press at the time. There is no slight meant by these players, who, on the whole, have only retired to pass on the torch. You'd have to be truly pessimistic to think that they don't care about the three lions because they retired from international football. Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:01:58 GMT+1 tomefccam I believe he set it when McLaren told him he would no longer be selecting him, and you can quote him on this. I believe he said something along the lines of never making himself unavailable for selection, something he has since repeated now back in the squad Fri 20 Nov 2009 13:53:16 GMT+1 Andrew Carragher, Lineker, Shearer, Scholes, Adams etc should follow Beckham's example and play for their country when selected and get on with it in whatever position========================================How can you follow an example before it's been set? Fri 20 Nov 2009 13:47:17 GMT+1 tomefccam 9. At 12:51pm on 20 Nov 2009, pidgeGULL wrote:Rubbish, in answer to your first question. Personally I do. however I think he would take an EPL title for Liverpool over the WC. Does that diminish his love of his country? no. It feels like the same old story this season that you happen to pick on Liverpool player to make your point.=========================================================================You quite obviously have got the wrong end of the stick. I was not picking on Gerrad, just citing it as an achievement where Gerrard played a major part in wiining a huge club trophy for his hometown and boyhood team. I cannot recall any other english players who exube the values of their club like gerrard having done this??Therefore, I wonder if Gray, a huge sunderland fan would take an FA cup win for his hometown club, with him featuring in the final ahead of an england world cup winners medal. RE: Linkeker, he did not know he would be finished 2 years down the road, how could he. Plus a lot of players as legendary as Lineker have risen to the occasion for their country whilst playing in lesser leagues. IF England had made USA 94 i could certainly have seen a 34 year old Lineker having been included if he was still available, for sentiment and experience above anything.Scholes was effectively in his peak, and Shearer could conceivably played in 2002 and 2004, being England's and the Premier Leagues top striker. Adams won a Double with arsenal in 2002...Carragher, Lineker, Shearer, Scholes, Adams etc should follow Beckham's example and play for their country when selected and get on with it in whatever position, because there will always be hundreds of other players who would kill for their opportunity. You don't see beckham retiring with all the travel he now has to do, and not even featuring in a recent match, a real Pro with a top attitude Fri 20 Nov 2009 13:37:23 GMT+1 Keiron OShea Again a great post from what I believe is one of the finest Left Backs of the late 90s and early 2000s. Thanks for telling us about what its like in the England camp.ThanksKeironEverton Supporter Fri 20 Nov 2009 13:01:06 GMT+1 pidgeGULL Do you think Steven Gerrard would sacrifice istanbul to win the world cup with england this summer? I don't think so. Carragher stated how he couldn't care less about england, and several players who have retired from interantional football "to concentrate on their club careers" obviously do not think this way. Lineker '92, Shearer '00, Adams '00 Scholes '04 all retired 2 years before the next world cup.--------------------------------------------------------------------------Rubbish, in answer to your first question. Personally I do. however I think he would take an EPL title for Liverpool over the WC. Does that diminish his love of his country? no. It feels like the same old story this season that you happen to pick on Liverpool player to make your point.Carra NEVER said that he "couldn't care less," he said he didn't want to play out of position anymore, he was the third best centre back in the country and felt he wasn't the second best right back, yet he was getting played as a back up right back and couldn't get a game in a central position. While I think Carra is a club over country guy, you are really overstating the difference between the two.As for your other examples... all players left at the right time (except Scholes, which was a case similar to Carra, he's not a left midfielder) and did extend their careers because of it. Lineker was effectively retired altogether in 1992 and went to Japan that year, but he is an England legend and you are a clear fool if you are suggesting he wasn't commited to playing for his country. Fri 20 Nov 2009 12:51:24 GMT+1 Andrew #7That doesn't mean anything. The question was 'given the choice'. Yes it's a players choice to quit international football to concentrate on their club (usually to prelong their career ahead of any loyalty thing) but given the choice who wouldn't rather win the world cup than the FA cup.It's a bit like saying you'd rather win the local pool competition than the snooker world finals (ish). Fri 20 Nov 2009 12:30:17 GMT+1 tomefccam 6. At 11:31am on 20 Nov 2009, Andrew wrote:========================================================================you'd think that wouldn't you. but unbelievably some players put club before country.Do you think Steven Gerrard would sacrifice istanbul to win the world cup with england this summer? I don't think so. Carragher stated how he couldn't care less about england, and several players who have retired from interantional football "to concentrate on their club careers" obviously do not think this way. Lineker '92, Shearer '00, Adams '00 Scholes '04 all retired 2 years before the next world cup.Think about it Fri 20 Nov 2009 12:08:59 GMT+1 Andrew If someone was to give you the opportunity in life to either say you could win the world cup with england as the starting left back, or win the FA cup with sunderland which would you choose.======================================================================A bit of a no brainer I'd have thought. The world cup every time. Long gone are the days where FA Cup Final day started at midday with tv coverage from the air of the coaches travelling to Wembley and the story of how each team got to the final, coverage of the fans on Wembley way in daft hats and banners. That's how I remember the FA cup of 20 years ago. Nowadays the same few teams generally compete these games so a team can play 2-3 of these type of games a season and the excitment of it has been lost. The World Cup Final however is a once every 4 years game of your life and is the pinacle of ANY footballers career.That said I'd love Middlesbrough to win the FA Cup, it'd be mental. Fri 20 Nov 2009 11:31:29 GMT+1 LABSAB9 On the end of my crosses were Alan Shearer, Emile Heskey, Robbie Fowler, Teddy Sheringham, Paul Scholes and Michael Owen. As you can imagine, there weren't many balls going wide or over the bar! It was a special thing to be part of.And what ones did go astray i presume were off the head/foot/knee/shin of Heskey?? Fri 20 Nov 2009 11:28:03 GMT+1 tomefccam Hi Micheal.If someone was to give you the opportunity in life to either say you could win the world cup with england as the starting left back, or win the FA cup with sunderland which would you choose.i think the england shirt is not as appreciated as it should be, you obviously took great pride in the fact you represented your country, and you should do it is a great achievement.Did any of the players in and around the squads you were involved in take the england shirt for granted, and not really appreciate what they had? Fri 20 Nov 2009 11:19:31 GMT+1 pidgeGULL Great blog, having a had a taste of international football, but obviously not as much as you would have wanted (I put this down to style more than ability, we weren't as comfortable with the idea of attacking full backs ten years ago - if you look at how some people talk about Glen Johnson, you can see we're not 100% comfortable with it today either!), can you emphasize with Darren Bent? He clearly wants to do well for his country but it just hasn't clicked for him yet. Fri 20 Nov 2009 11:17:44 GMT+1 Andrew Stoichkov was amazing on Striker on the PS1 and could score from practically anywhere, legs gone or not.Good blog mate, and not a mention of Thierry Henry at all! Fri 20 Nov 2009 11:02:32 GMT+1 Lets all try to get along great blog, really enjoy reading this, keep them coming Fri 20 Nov 2009 10:54:41 GMT+1