Friday, October 15, 2010
Chain of Fools
There is an interview with Alan Shearer in the Telegraph this morning. It is interesting. He says that he has all his badges and would like to manage England, and goes on to explain why he should never be allowed near the job.
According to Al, tackles of the kind that Danny Murphy so deplores, should, in fact, be tolerated…..nay……encouraged…….nay………..applauded. The De Jong tackle was ok, because he went for the ball: that he also intended to take the man is irrelevant; he was always taught to “take everything”. He extols the virtues of hardness and toughness; he likes players who are nasty. Talking about Arsenal he speaks more admiringly of the team of 10 years ago than he does the present one; the reason being the old lot “was an absolute nightmare because of Bould, Adams, Keown, Winterburn and Dixon. You knew in the first 10 minutes you’d get battered.”
He says he admires the great managers, but he also relishes the tale of himself giving a sheeps heart as a present to one of Newcastle’s foreigners who was deemed to lack courage. Great man management, that. He talks, probably correctly, of the fans loving the harder, more physical side of the game and says that a hard tackle generates a louder cheer than a great pass.
He is dismissive of those who say he is not very good on Match of the Day. The only people who are complaining are critics and punters. It’s strange that he values the opinion of the punter when he is applauding a robust challenge, but considers it worthless when it comes to a general appreciation of football, or the art of criticism. He says “I’ve actually played the game and can pick something out that the people watching can’t see like why Fernando Torres is struggling.’’ Well, Al, that’s all well and good, but the problem is, you don’t say anything. You may understand it, but you don’t articulate it, that’s why you are shit.
The bigger, and more important issue though, is his philosophy on the game. It is rooted in the past, deep in the past. The inglorious past. The past that is characterised by failure after failure after failure. Humiliation after humiliation. How does Al explain this? He doesn’t. This is why he should never be let near the England team. He refuses to see that the game has progressed, and has left England in it's wake. Has he noticed how Barcelona and Spain play the game, how Germany have evolved? He probably has, but doesn't see that it has any relevance to us. The man who doles out sheeps hearts as gifts and who was famously ignorant of the existence of