WHAT short memories the fickle folk of football have.
A year ago Owen Coyle walked out on Burnley to cries of Judas – prompted by the fact he was throwing in his lot with local rivals Bolton.
Brian Laws moved in despite having had a miserable time at Sheffield Wednesday, who were subsequently relegated. As, of course, were Burnley.
Now Brian’s been turfed out of Turf Moor, and the clarets have replaced him with Eddie Howe, who was doing sterling work at Bournemouth.
Howe, an affable and very able chap, appeared on Sky TV a week ago pledging his loyalty to Bournemouth, surrounded by jubilant fans drowning out his every word with cheers of untold thanks.
Forty eight hours later he was doing an about turn!
Now I haven’t heard any cries of Judas hurled in his direction, partly because he’s performed wonders in leading the Cherries onwards and upwards since they were threatened with extinction not so long ago, but Bournemouth’s fans must feel exactly the same way Burnley’s supporters did when Coyle defected.
I actually don’t blame Coyle or Howe.
They have a right to improve their standards of living and move for greater salaries to “bigger” clubs just like any employee in any industry.
When managers are treated shamefully a la Avram Grant, Chris Hughton etc, etc, you can understand any football manager making hay whenever given the opportunity.
Fans have to realise that the most insecure job in the world leads to this sort of “make it while you can” mentality.
There’s never a guarantee that a new man brings a change of fortune – just ask Roy Hodgson – and I find it scandalous that unsuccessful managers walk away with bulging pockets, but their avaricious attitudes have been spawned by directors making illogical decisions.
SO David Beckham may play a practice match for Spurs – well what a big deal.
What will LA Galaxy say of their stellar employee if he gets injured, just as he was last year in a short loan spell at AC Milan?
My guess is they won’t be too pleased.
I cannot understand the attraction to Harry Redknapp of a fading player who has to be back for the MSL on February 10 – in case you’re not counting that’s 22 days from now.
Yes, Becks may be good in the dressing room, yes he may sell a few shirts, but he might also upset the player he replaces for two or three games, and for me the overall package is simply not worth the trouble.
But then I’m not a football club director. Thank God!
NAT LOFTHOUSE once came to my cricket club at Baildon to deliver an after dinner speech.
He was the epitome of the word gentleman. Immaculately turned out, courteous and opinionated he was one of a rare breed.
Mention Bolton Wanderers and members of my generation will come up with one name – Lofthouse, the Lion of Vienna.
Just like Blackpool (Matthews), Newcastle (Milburn) and Preston (Finney) he was their all-time icon.
Jimmy Armfield, another icon, if not quite as symbolic as Stanley Matthews at Blackpool, said Lofthouse was as tough as they came on the field, as well as being quick and a lethal goalscorer, yet the thing that struck me about Nat was that he didn’t look muscular or particularly powerful.
He had a great leap and scored many of his 255 league goals with his head. His England record of 30 goals in 33 games was incredible and yet he wasn’t an automatic pick!
His passing at the age of 85 is a great loss for all those who had the privilege of knowing him.