Secret footballer england,the scarlet letter romance novel,rugby coaching jobs 2014 - Review

23.09.2015
On Wednesday, the facts were that 14 executives and officials of Fifa, football’s world governing body, were arrested on charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering. And now Fifa president Sepp Blatter stands alone inside the tent, spitting out as he has done for 17 years and will do for at least another four after winning yet another term last night.
Of the $5 billion in revenues generated by Fifa from the 2014 World Cup, the organisation posted expenses of $2.2 billion. With three vice-presidents and a number of his executives currently under subpoena by the United States in relation to “rampant, systemic and deep-rooted corruption”, is it possible that Blatter didn’t know that a $100 million corruption was happening all around him in his own organisation over almost two decades?
Blatter’s stubbornness in securing a fifth term as president in the face of countless calls for his resignation is a clear sign that Fifa is his safest option. Once Blatter loses the protection of those closest to him at Fifa, then he no longer has an organisation to defend. And that’s not the place that a 79-year-old wants to be when there are former Fifa employees sat in custody facing 20 years in prison and whom the FBI must believe are going to be keen to talk about a deal at some point. Blatter has sat atop the most corrupt sporting organisation the world has ever seen for 17 years. Aside from the odd jab here and there from English FA chairman Greg Dyke and the Dutch FA president Michael van Praag, it is difficult to remember a sustained attack or questioning of Fifa ethics by anybody of note at any point during Blatter’s reign. It’s alright when Visa win sponsorship contracts that preclude any fans from paying for tickets or merchandise with anything other than a Visa card that fans have had to sign up for on the spot. And it’s alright when you’re securing a bit of extra funding for grass-roots football in your home country. When the story broke, I wished that I’d been the guy following delegates around the world, particularly Blatter.
Allegations of money laundering, bribery and corruption; 47 counts are included in the indictment. And that gives certain football associations around the world, which carry any respect in the game where football is a genuine hotbed, a problem.
Other nations that do not deal in corruption accept grass-roots Fifa handouts, anyway, and hope beyond hope that World Cups and tournaments will somehow, magically, find their way to their shores legitimately on the back of wheeling out David Beckham and pointing to existing infrastructure.
Russia and Qatar, after their respective awards of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals, proved to be a pill too bitter for most of the footballing fraternity to stomach. And yet it has stood by not powerless but gutless in the face of Fifa’s blatant flouting and mismanagement of its power. It is that passiveness towards Fifa from sponsors, footballing super nations and respected giants of the game, including players both present and former, that utterly disgusts me. I think he is probably happy as the man who uncovered the biggest drugs cheat in the history of sport and is more than a little jaded by the 13-year pursuit that preceded it.
Towards the end of that pursuit, David would eventually find a few kindred spirits and those people began to ask difficult questions, at which point the FBI got involved. Blatter isn’t there yet, despite Coca Cola, Samsung, Visa and adidas releasing statements that voiced shock and disapproval using typical cryptic corporate wording. There isn’t a single sentence in any of those statements that makes me think that any of those companies will actually end their association with the World Cup as a direct result of what has happened. The statements read like a piece of North Korean nuclear propaganda threatening one of their sworn enemies. They read as such because Blatter hasn’t run football as a game for the fans for the last 17 years. And somewhere along the way, more than a billion consumers around the world were snared in the net, most without even realising it.
Those kinds of numbers give an organisation, and the man sitting at the helm of it, real power.
Gary Neville, someone who I hadn’t heard a peep from before on the issue of Fifa or Blatter, said last night that the players must lead a revolution against Blatter.
With the collective power of the footballing super nations flexing their muscles in such a way, Fifa wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. In my last book, I set out the case that the footballing nations that truly desire change should get together and discuss their withdrawal from Fifa tournaments en masse. They should create a new democratically elected, not-for-profit body that regulates and enhances the beautiful game.
Waiting for Blatter to resign or die isn’t active change and it is also narrow-minded, given how entrenched corruption is in the Fifa business model.
The evidence may not yet exist to support the conviction but the facts continue to speak for themselves.
Having read Gary Neville’s column it reminded me of am article you wrote a few years back about an (albeit missed) opportunity to literally turn your back on Blatter.
What is clear is that FIFA needs wholesale change but without more arrests I cannot see it coming – players, sponsors and fans just would not boycott the game they love even if it means that they can remove Blatter. The Secret Footballer columnists go head to head in attempting to predict how the Premier League fixtures will end up.
A calamitous display from goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes played a key role in Watford’s 2-1 defeat to Leicester City before the international break.
The Hornets had looked the better side in the first half at the King Power Stadium before Gomes gifted a goal to Leicester just seven minutes into the second period.
A soft shot from Ngolo Kante somehow found its way through the hands and under the frame of Gomes and into the back of the net.
Thirteen minutes later, Gomes bundled over an onrushing Jamie Vardy for a penalty, which the England international rifled down the middle of the goal.
United’s run of just one win in four league games came to an end after a fine goal from Jesse Lingard and a late penalty from Juan Mata saw them win 2-0 over West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford.
In what was the game’s first real piece of quality, Lingard brought the ball down on the edge of the area seven minutes into the second half before showing great technique and composure to find the target. United should have conceded late on, when West Brom’s Saido Berahino inexplicably headed over from close range. Yet with time running out, West Brom’s Gareth McAuley was sent off for a foul in the box and Mata easily beat Boaz Myhill from the spot to seal the win. Chelsea’s season continued to get worse when they fell to their fourth defeat in five Premier League games – 1-0 at Stoke City. With manager Jose Mourinho serving a one-match stadium ban, Chelsea still looked the brighter side at the Britannia Stadium yet failed to beat in-form home goalkeeper Jack Butland. A spectacularly acrobatic finish from Stoke’s Marko Arnautovic eight minutes into the second half was enough to settle the contest. Sitting one place and one point above Chelsea are Norwich, who travel to Stamford Bridge after ending a six-game winless run with a 1-0 home victory over Swansea City. The Canaries had just two victories in six games at Carrow Road this season but, despite having just 33 per cent possession, deserved the three points against an out-of-form Swansea. They secured the win through Jonny Howson after 70 minutes, when he guided in after meeting Dieumerci Mbokani’s glancing header across goal.
Manager Alex Neil will have been delighted to see his side pick up their first league win since the middle of September.
Everton followed up their emphatic 6-2 victory over Sunderland with a 1-1 draw with West Ham United at Upton Park. The Toffees conceded first when Manuel Lanzini’s unstoppable curling strike beat goalkeeper Tim Howard. Two minutes before half time, a spectacular pinpoint pass from Gerard Deulofeu allowed Romelu Lukaku to receive the ball, round goalkeeper Adrian and score against West Ham yet again. A 51-49 split in possession was a fair reflection of the game, with neither side particularly looking dominant. Remi Garde got off to a great start as Aston Villa manager when his new side ended a run of seven consecutive league defeats by holding leaders Manchester City to a goalless draw.
It was clear that the Frenchman’s first step at Villa Park was to add some defensive discipline and organisation and he will have made a good first impression on the Villa fans. While Garde will eventually have to look to win games rather than just contain the opposition threat, it is difficult to argue that it wasn’t the right move against the top scorers in the league. Villa kept their first league clean sheet since the opening game of the season – and without recording a single shot on target themselves! In one of the most one-sided games this season, Newcastle stole a 1-0 victory against AFC Bournemouth at Dean Court. A first-half Ayoze Perez strike was enough to see them pick up just their second league win of the campaign. Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot was an injury doubt before the game yet he was in sublime form in keeping a clean sheet, making a string of fine saves.
Newcastle had just two shots, compared to Bournemouth’s 20, yet their one on target proved to be the difference between the sides. The Magpies looked the inferior side throughout and didn’t win a single corner, compared to Bournemouth’s 16 – a fair reflection of the one-way traffic.
Just under a third of the way through the season, Leicester sit in third place in the Premier League, just one point behind leaders Manchester City. Leicester picked up a 2-1 victory over Watford at the King Power Stadium after capitalising on a suspect performance from Hornets goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes. A weak effort from Ngolo Kante somehow found its way past Gomes for the Foxes to take the lead shortly after half time … before the inevitable happened. Yet the in-form Leicester forward recovered and soon raced away from the Watford defence to be fouled by Gomes and awarded a spot kick. Usual penalty taker Riyad Mahrez handed the ball to Vardy, who emphatically fired it into the roof of the net to become just the second player in Premier League history to score in nine successive matches. Leicester conceded a late penalty, which was scored by Troy Deeney, but Claudio Ranieri’s side held on for their seventh league win of the season. Southampton extended their unbeaten league run to six games after they picked up a fourth win in that sequence with a 1-0 victory at Sunderland. After a goalless first half, Jose Fonte and Steven Davis both saw efforts cleared off of the line. With 21 minutes to go, Sunderland’s Yann M’Vila conceded a needless penalty for a foul on Saints full back Ryan Bertrand. Despite just one goal in the game, Ronald Koeman’s side were firmly in control, with Jordy Clasie in particular reflecting Southampton’s superior quality. Stoke secured a 1-0 victory over Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium, an acrobatic strike from Marko Arnautovic enough to separate the sides. Xherdan Shaqiri was in excellent form as he gave Chelsea full back Baba Rahman a very difficult first half, which later saw Rahman substituted as Chelsea pressed for an equaliser. Yet he was close to giving away a penalty after being rounded by Chelsea’s Loic Remy, who decided to take evasive action, stumbled and lost the opportunity.
Swansea have just one victory in eight league games as their poor run of form continued at Norwich City, where they suffered a 1-0 defeat.
Norwich’s Jonny Howson scored the only goal of the game after tapping in to see Swansea fail to record a clean sheet for the sixth consecutive league game.
Swans’ best effort came from an inventive scoop shot from midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, which struck the top of the crossbar, yet they lacked a cutting edge in a scrappy game.
With manager Garry Monk’s job said to be in threat, Swansea’s performances have dropped off drastically after a fine start to the season.


Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe will have been disappointed to see his side fail to win against Newcastle United at Dean Court, let alone not gain a point.
The Cherries were dominant from start to finish but lost 1-0 to a side that managed only one shot on target.
Their 16 corners compared to Newcastle’s zero was very much reflective of the one-way traffic. Yet Bournemouth’s 20 shots on target, without finding the back of the net, was also reflective of how much they miss the injured Callum Wilson. They conceded on 27 minutes to a strike from Ayoze Perez but goalkeeper Adam Federici perhaps should have done better. West Brom have conceded five league goals in their past two games after letting in 11 in their previous ten. After an uneventful first half at Old Trafford, goalkeeper Boaz Myhill was picking the ball out of his net just seven minutes into the second half after being beaten by United’s Jesse Lingard.
While it was unarguably a fine strike from Lingard, West Brom head coach Tony Pulis will be disappointed at the space in which the United midfielder found himself on the edge of the area. The Baggies had a great opportunity to equalise late on yet substitute Saido Berahino failed to head the ball anywhere near the target from close range.
With time running out, Gareth McAuley was sent off for the Baggies, when he fouled Anthony Martial in the box. Arsenal lie in second place in the Premier League after scoring with 13 minutes remaining to draw 1-1 with Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium. Tottenham deservedly took the lead after 32 minutes when Danny Rose played Harry Kane through to coolly beat Petr Cech in the Arsenal goal.
The Gunners started the game slowly and Kane’s goal appeared to wake them up as they began to find their way into the game, with Mesut Ozil behind their best play. It was a cross from Ozil that saw substitute Kieran Gibbs beat Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris to equalise for the Gunners.
City collected only their second draw of the season, in 18 matches all competitions, in their goalless clash with bottom side Aston Villa at Villa Park.
After losing Wilfried Bony to a hamstring injury after 25 minutes, City manager Manuel Pelegrini elected to replace him with winger Jesus Navas rather than striker Kelechi Iheanacho. But he lost possession as he cut on to his preferred right foot when clean through and then saw a header saved at point-blank range by Villa keeper Brad Guzan. City were dominant against a side that had lost their previous seven league games and will be disappointed not to win when they were evidently the superior side.
Jurgen Klopp experienced defeat for the first time as manager of Liverpool after a late Scott Dann header saw Crystal Palace win 2-1 at Anfield. With former captain Steven Gerrard watching in the stands, Liverpool fell behind after 21 minutes when Yannick Bolasie beat keeper Simon Mignolet from inside the box. Three minutes before half time, a composed strike from Philippe Coutinho drew Liverpool level as they started to look the better side. Yet with just eight minutes remaining, Dann met a Yohan Cabaye cross to see Mignolot make a smart save. However, Mignolet could do nothing about the follow-up as Dann headed home to secure a fine victory for Palace. The transfer of the Brazilian Neymar has been raising eyebrows ever since it went through but now Barcelona have been officially charged with committing tax fraud and forced to pay an extra €13.5million. It won’t surprise you to learn that securing a player through his parents has been going on for years and still goes on regularly. At my first club, there was a very promising young player whose exploits in the youth cup that season had not gone unnoticed by the biggest clubs in the country.
One day, he brought in a bunch of business cards with the names of representatives of each of these clubs on one side and the club crest on the other. Later, his parents would be offered cars, holidays and even houses, all designed to secure their son’s signature. Also, clubs routinely give jobs within their corporate structure to the parents of promising kids. Back at home, Newcastle United are really struggling – despite the 1-0 home win over Aston Villa on Sunday. That will understandably have many Newcastle fans worried given the lack of investment by Mike Ashley in recent times. But the big question is whether or not Ashley still feels like using some of it to bankroll the club? After all, he has invested heavily in Newcastle over the years and has received an awful lot of abuse in the process. He probably won’t get the money back, but you have to be lucky in business, especially the business of football.
When Liverpool bought Carroll to replace Chelsea-bound Fernando Torres, Ashley sent a text to Wise.
As for the manager, Alan Pardew, he seems to take the praise with ease when Newcastle win and finds a lot of excuses that point blame as far away from himself as possible during the tougher times. Now Carlton may have been able to position his mind to accept racist comments on the pitch, through years of experience and simply because he is a strong character.
But what about the talented 16-year-old black kid who plays football lower down the leagues and is being abused every week and simply can’t handle it? What about the black teenager who told me only last week that he wanted to walk off a pitch in Sweden, while he was on loan with a team there, because the crowd were calling him a “monkey”?
Everybody who I speak to believes that these quotes were directed squarely at Jason Roberts, the Reading striker and a man who it is felt among some players talks about racism almost as often as John Obi Mikel plays a sideways pass. People who talk that much about one subject, in the manner that they do, don’t aid discussion. Instead, they risk hindering it, because everybody else becomes too petrified to pass comment.
Nobody is sure what is the right thing to say because they are repeatedly bashed over the head from one side in an aggressive and know-all way. And for me, that is not only a very sad place to be but also an extremely dangerous place to be.
There are a number of questions for the fans of Newcastle United, a few more that have come off the back of a set of financial results off the pitch and the 4-1 hammering of local rivals Sunderland by Crystal Palace, managed by former Newcastle boss, Alan Pardew. The second question is; if the money is set aside for new additions, then has the man best equipped to coach the talent that comes in already left the building? Pardew reminds me of how a top manager acts in the wake of a defeat, a Ferguson or a Mourinho.
A tactical manoeuvre here, a player brought in from the cold, who nobody had ever heard of, there. The Newcastle fans have now caught on to the idea that Ashley’s immediate personal aim for the club is to make sure that he doesn’t have to inject any more of his own fortune to prop it up. I understand the frustrations of fans sometimes, especially with a fan base as large and passionate as Newcastle’s. And that means that when things aren’t going well, or they don’t seem to make sense, the fans feel empowered to do something, anything.
Will the fans change the way that Ashley approaches the running of the club, even if they boycott tomorrow’s game with Tottenham Hotspur? Carver has spent the best part of his tenure to date trading off the safety of the points earned by Pardew during the first half of the season while he takes his eye off the ball to canvass every household in the North-East for their vote. Plenty of managers can do as badly as Carver has done with the same set of players and only a few can do better, even if it seems that the job, given the modest requirements of the owner and the expectations of the fans, is a bit of a hiding to nothing.
The critisism levelled at Pardew from the Newcastle fans came from the same set of requirements from the owner. The club’s form under Pardew on Tyneside reads like a man undergoing a polygraph test and any manager coming in under Ashley from this point on will suffer from the same reading.
The truth is that the sum of what Newcastle could have expected this season was, in all likelihood, a mid-table finish.
Who knows, if the money sat in Newcastle’s accounts now is in fact intended for summer recruitments, then who is to say that Pardew wasn’t the man to kick the squad on? We’ll never know because he wasn’t afforded the opportunity to spend the money that he had helped the club to make. Pardew’s real talent is revealing itself again at Palace and maybe his strongest suit is that he knows how to coach the best out of what are essentially average squads. So for all that, given Pardew’s remit and resources with the club, did Newcastle have the right man for the job in the building all along? It is certainly unfair to lay the blame of the clubs problems on Pardew but there are a number of players who have regressed alarmingly during his time. Carver has lost 9 games since Pardew left, these have been against: Chelsea, Southampton, Man C, Man U, Everton,. Also, which manager would want to work for a chairman with no ambition and little will to spend to improve the team? I agree to a point that any manager is going to struggle under Ashley, but how many Pardew games did you watch, in their entirety? Who would have thought that such an innocuous match between a poor Switzerland side and a marginally better England team would generate so many positive headlines. Following England is like following around a child that keeps putting its fingers in the plug socket, regardless of how many times you tell them how dangerous it is. I will admit that the sarcastic spin from seasoned naysayers, where the national team is concerned, is more often than not about as much fun to join in with as jumping into a freezing outdoor swimming pool. And I also admire how he’s turned himself into a presenter, not only of football but a whole range of different shows in which he never looks out of place. Those goals glossed over the fact that England goalkeeper Joe Hart had to be sharp to keep the score level and the fact that Fabian Delph, making his international debut, should have been sent off after only half an hour.
So, forget that Delph regularly takes to the pitch wearing ice skates, forget that Phil Jones is regularly caught in two minds when defending potentially dangerous situations, forget that Jack Wilshere has a blind spot in his left eye preventing him from playing reverse passes with his right foot to Wayne Rooney, who is standing in the hole in acres of space. What the game did show us was that England, particularly in the second half, were solid, 11 men behind the ball and hard to break down.
It’s very easy for a player in a young team to lose his discipline, chase after the ball and try to be a martyr for the cause rather than sharing the spoils.
And then I had a moment of clarity and, suddenly, I was able to park all the hostile feelings that I have for a few of the members of the England team, having played against them, and rediscovered my patriotism.
None of the Spurs fans in the road that I lived in ever dreamed that Lineker would one day sign for Tottenham, let alone win an FA Cup with them. He’s already surprised me once and who knows, maybe his prediction where England is concerned will turn out to be true and he’ll surprise me once more.
It seems that over the years there have been players that have been incredibly talented but the result is a team that don’t have the collective mentality needed to be competitive at the top end of international football.
Hopefully more success can be had by utilising players in a system that works and is all about the team as a whole rather than the almost galactico approach of shoe-horning in all the name players at the expense of balance. And while I don’t want to be seen as brushing aside his post-playing problems, it’s Gazza revolutionising the way that English kids went about learning the game who I like to think about whenever his name is mentioned.
But, after all that, Gazza is still with us and he remains that most quintessential of English heroes, somewhere between loveable rogue and flawed genius.


I’ve read a lot of comments this week, about the pitfalls that lie in wait for footballers when they finally decide to bow out of the game and that not enough is being done to prevent players going off the rails. This entitles us to benefits such as heavily subsidised coaching qualifications and a whole range of further education.
If an ex-player decides that he wants to turn his hand to a totally new vocation and perhaps go to university, he can do so with the full backing of the PFA, who can help with placements, subsidies and guidance. Cole’s comments were to do with the way that former players who have played at the highest level have to complete the same coaching courses as a person who wanders in off the street from the backdrop of an entirely different occupation. Coaching aside, it was Cole’s comments on how players deal with life after the game that struck me. There is a distinction to be made between those players who, indeed, can help themselves and those who are let down by certain people around them. The way young players are treated like prized assets from a balance sheet is a route cause of problems for players when they hang up their boots.
It is the PFA who have to be more pro-active within dressing rooms to talk about life after playing.
If you stay grounded, appreciating worth and abilities of everyone else, its becomes an exciting challenge whenever you have the opportunity to learn something new.
Making a return to the game at the club, Nottingham Forest, where he made his name, it’s great to see Stuart Pearce back in the football fold. I was reminded of Pearce recently when I saw some footage of a decorated and celebrated US Army Lt General speaking about some key principles he held.
We all know players who can give up on a game and call it an off day after two or three bad passes.
Energy is infectious and Stuart will have brought out that extra per cent or two from players around him.
Pearce’s stare made the papers but his intense application and determination to play his part were the differences that made the difference for him. This will have marked him out as a role model and leader as well as ensure that he often performed to his true potential on the footballing battlefield, showing the way to his impressionable foot soldiers. How many high-potential players have faded away when their first opportunity didn’t quite come to fruition? Looking at Pearce through the lens of the Lt General’s principles for life and the battlefield, I see a man of determination, self-belief, resilience, passion and in possession of a tremendous work ethic. He may not go on to become a world-class manager but I won’t bet against him becoming the best manager he can be.
Instead, he tells me that he simply looks at the facts because the answers are right in front of you at all times. Various stories and anecdotes appear in all my books but I wish I’d done more during my career. Could corruption on that scale really have remained a secret to those who didn’t indulge in it for so long? He has run it, instead, as a vehicle for corporate giants to sell more products to more people.
Do you think Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo need that battle dropped in their laps full time? My anonymity let’s me tell you how it is, from inside the game without the shackles of pre-conception or fan bias. The rules are simple: three points for the correct scoreline, one point for the correct result.
I like opinionated people who tell it like it is and hope you enjoy reading my honest views on the main talking points of the weekend here every Monday. His replacement, Josep Maria Bartomeu, has since gone on record as saying that the actual fee paid for Neymar is in fact €86.2 million, which includes payments to the player and his family. Even the father of the great Lionel Messi was given a job at Barcelona when his son signed for the club. After all, young players need a support network around them in a new area, otherwise they can easily go off the rails. He was too scared to do it because the crowd would have followed him and he’d have been on his own. It is as if they feel they’re going to be held up as a racist, no matter what they say about the subject.
But there has to be a way of engaging and educating ignorant people that would ultimately be better than stumbling blindly from one individual case to another while pointing the finger wildly at anybody in between and scaring the vast majority of decent people into silence. My anonymity lets me tell you how it is, from inside the game without the shackles of pre-conception or fan bias. It could well be that some of the money is paid back to owner Mike Ashley by way of reducing his interest-free loan to the club, which stands at ?129 million. He knows that Newcastle need the Premier League and that he needs to invest in a squad that is praying for the end of the season, having lost their past five matches.
It isn’t a warming trait to have and doesn’t fly in football – not as a player, a fan or anybody else, come to that. And that the profit from the sale of players initially brought in under market value is the way to do just that. Fans are very often shut out of the boardroom and although football clubs are for the most part private companies, they have a soul largely derived from the characteristics of the local population. But what the fans saw was an uncanny ability to turn great form into horrendous form every six or seven games. Some very technically gifted players brought in by Carr have been forced to play long ball football.
It’s the sound of a bandwagon starting to roll ever so slowly towards the next World Cup. I stood in the stands at White Hart Lane as a kid watching him do a very good impression of a highly dangerous striker.
And I’ve been in studios and seen how a presenter is required to juggle several things at once while remaining focused, in control and engaged, more often than not while live on air.
The game threw up one of those beautiful little punchlines that football does so well as Danny Welbeck, recently recruited by Arsenal from Manchester United and recently the subject of unflattering comments regarding his ability from former manager Louis van Gaal, scored twice. That showed a certain level of maturity, especially when Welbeck naively waved the rest of his team forward as he tried to win the ball single-handed from a Switzerland back four that had nowhere to go. And because of that discipline, England were able to reward Welbeck when the time was right as the Swiss searched for an equaliser and were picked off.
If, of course, you doubters don’t drain away all confidence,” Lineker replied later in the evening.
You know what it’s like with social media, it’s extremely difficult not to reply with the first thing that comes into your head, particularly where England are concerned. There are teams that England have come unstuck against that have the collective attitude and discipline that is a leveller against supposedly inferior players.
All this week I’ve been showing members of our youth team YouTube footage of Gazza’s sleight of foot, with varying degrees of success.
OK, it’s not exactly like Messi but, relative to the rest of the players on the field, it was easy to tell that you were watching the best player on the pitch whenever Gascoinge got on the ball. The talent that earnt him an army of admirers has long since gone and the stories that remain, the stories that make him such a popular after-dinner speaker, are as painful to listen to as they clearly are for him to tell. Some of the comments have merit but many of them miss a fundamental point that typically underlies this argument.
I don’t think the football industry necessarily throws them away but they need to realise it doesn’t last forever.
I’d point out that coaching isn’t necessarily all about what you know; it’s more a question of how good you are at teaching what you know to others, and playing at the highest level is no guarantee that a person will be a natural at that. He said: “How can you expect a player who has left school at 15 and went straight into football, who had everything done for him and was paid a fortune, to simply come out of it at the end and live a normal life? It is ridiculous to suggest that some people can’t be helped because, in effect, that would be to give up on people.
Subsequently, many don’t have the life skills to help them adjust to life outside of a dressing room.
I know certain footballers that will go certain places to drink and eat because they get recognised and they love the adulation and that’s fine because its each to their own. I bet he made as many mistakes as other players but I bet he didn’t let it define his game on that day.
Pearce has an inner drive that will have helped him perform on the day and to reach his potential as a player.
By showing them the prizes available for giving your best and never accepting your lot or cruising through life. It’s a long time for the various FAs around the world to go along with the status quo, given the overwhelming conviction that they surely had in their hearts that Fifa was inherently corrupt. Imagine the symbolism for a Messi or Ronaldo to do this on front of millions of people watching on TV. Yes, any manager under Ashley has a hard job, but a more sophisticated manager would have found a playing style to draw more from these players. He stopped in his tracks and looked up to see the three of us standing on our seats waving frantically; then he shot his arms above his head and stuck two thumbs up. No matter how graphically somebody explains their problems, nobody can ever really understand until they’re standing by the edge, looking down at the faces of those (who) led, pissing themselves laughing. So easy to get carried away by culture surrounding football and a false ego is great barrier to asking (and accepting) help when you need it. You start with where people are at and that means less about your own achievements and more about belief in others. Pardew’s fault, in that regard, is that he was always a little too quick to claim the credit for himself when the team won. We’ve flirted with relegation, got nowhere in the cups and have been thrashed more times than I care to remember. He was the player that everybody in our street wanted to be, along with Ian Rush and John Barnes, of course. Finding a legally enforceable way to make an agent act in the best long term interests of their client is a can of worms that is probably worth opening too. It’s sole purpose as a commercial entity is to generate money, operating in direct conflict to the mission statement of the trade union; putting money before its members! A lot of footballers have egos like need to be stroked… and when you finish, there is no-one there to do it. You can’t call agents when the moral barometer is set with the trade union cashing in on its members! The fact that Ashley thinks it’s funny to replace him with Carver does not mean Pardew was the best person for the job in the first place.



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