September 1, 2006 at 10:22 #3864cormack15Keymaster
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I see Southampton took advantage of yesterday’s busy last-transfer day news blitz to quietly usher Clive Woodward out the door (stays on in a ‘consultancy’ role apparently!!).
It was an interesting experiment and a bold move by Southampton. Part of me wanted it to succeed as the old school footie managers were all very negative about it. Part of me didn’t because, lets face it, he is a bit of a prat when all is said and done.
I suspect that Sir Clive was unable to replicate the transformation he achieved at England Rugby HQ because when he took over the rugby boys were in a real mess and teh sport, generally, was miles behind where it is now in terms of professionalism and fitness. He would have found that the football world was a very different arena where the potential for instant progress was much less clearly defined.
Now that Rob Andrew has got in over his head in the England rugby set up, what next for the rugby knight? Perhaps he could turn his hand to lawn bowls.<br>September 1, 2006 at 13:03 #89473
I really wanted Woodward to succeed at this and become a Premiership manager. Not that I warm to him, but football is so hopelessly closed shop and closed minded.
It may have made strides over the last ten years (and as a Fulham fan I’ve seen the changes in fitness and form with my own eyes) but I reckon there’s still room for loads of step-changes.
I can hear crooked Harry and his dinosaur chums sniggering behind Woodward’s back at his notion of getting more out of throw-ins. But he’s right. Throw-ins are a completely wasted opportunity at the moment. As are corners for the most part. And indirect free kicks. And penalty taking. And beating the off-side trap. And that’s just off the top of my head.
And players may be fitter (and many Premiership footballers unnaturally so to my eyes) but why on earth are so many of them allowed to be so one footed.
When Michael Owen burst onto the scene it was clear that he had found playing at the levels he had been so easy that he’d just been allowed to do the same thing every time he got the ball (and the Argentina goal was just a culmination of that). He didn’t look to have received any actual coaching at all.
It seemed a bit of a shock to him a couple of years later when he had to learn from scratch how to drop the other shoulder, and use his left foot.
Every season players burst onto the scene with a few tricks (Lennon probably the latest) and after half a season and a couple of live matches on Sky, they’re sussed out and sink back to their level of mediocrity. That’s a real indictment of current football coaching in my opinion.
<br>September 1, 2006 at 13:05 #89474cormack15Keymaster
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So where did Woodward go wrong then Tooting?September 1, 2006 at 15:14 #89475Andrew HughesMember
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Agree with some of what Tooting says, but the problem is that its probably too late by the time these players are playing for professional clubs. Young English footballers have the potential ground out of them at an early age by too much football and too little coaching, so that by the time they reach their early twenties, not only are they stereotyped as central defenders, forwards etc, they haven’t learnt any new skills. Hence England’s twice-yearly humiliation on the international stage. Just being fit doesn’t cut it anymore, you need technique and ‘football intelligence’, that is the ability to think about the game, to play in more than one position and to adapt. The average English player is stupid, inflexible and sadly lacking in the basic skills.
Case in point – Walsall v Darlington last Saturday. At one point in the game, Walsall’s new Portugese winger was in receipt of a high cross-field pass, or as they say in League Two, a punt upfield gone wrong. The ball came looping over the pitch at speed. Fangeiro trapped it first time and carried on. It seemed natural. Ten minutes later a similar ball for Darlington looped towards their right winger. Predictably the ball bounced off his shin as he tried to trap it and ran out for a goal kick. English, you see.
By the way, I don’t wish to be seen as a rabid little Englander. It was remiss of me not to mention Scottish and Welsh footballers too. I am happy to state for the record that they are equally stupid.September 1, 2006 at 15:15 #89476Andrew HughesMember
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I always had Woodward down as ‘biting the pillow’ rather than the dust, Corm.
:oSeptember 1, 2006 at 16:21 #89477
Aranalde – I’d agree with "late", but it’s not too late. Hell, I played for my college at tennis when I was 11 stone, fit and young, but I’m a far, far, far better player now at 17 stone and 44.
Jamie Redknapp was quoted the other day as saying professional footballers don’t have anything to learn – seemed to me to highlight why they continue to be as useless as you vividly illustrate.
Corm, the pillow-biter (!) was destined never to be taken seriously by the press, nor by the old pros (especially Harry and cronies), and probably not by any established footballers. Most importantly he hitched himself to an already busted flush of a chairman.
However, I think his consultancy company could well be successful. Watford’s practising of penalties in front of the crowd after games came straight from Woodward. hopefully there’s lots more where that came from.
<br>September 1, 2006 at 19:54 #89478lollys mateMember
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Toots….. I never had you down as being so fat and old!
Sir Clive is still going to be employed by Soton, but only in a consultant type way. <br> Therefore. His services are required, but its a cheaper way for Soton to get his very proffesional input.And seeing as though most football clubs are non self financeing. It makes sence.
The man is cleverer than you think. He won Englands first world cup in a proper sport for nearly 40 years.
Most football fans hate that.
Fact…. England are better at rugby union than football:biggrin:
Its also nice to see an England manager retire, gracefully, and still not get paid until he gets a new job. 13K a week I believe old shagger Sven’s still getting.
A classic example of 2 England coaches. Ones still in demand, (albeit for tennis coaching) the other looser cant get a job.
HAHA.September 8, 2006 at 12:23 #89479
There’s an interesting article in today’s Guardian (sorry don’t have a link) – majoring on Woodward’s time at Southampton.
His side-kick Clifford telling tales mainly but certainly confirms how they were snubbed by the old guard!!
<br>October 8, 2006 at 08:28 #89480LingfieldMember
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Woodward’s critics like Roger Utley (ex England rugby player and coach) state that he was an ideas man who "got lucky" at the rugby World Cup.<br>Let’s face it, rugby is NOT an genuinely global game and the World Cup took place at a time when the southern hemisphere countries were at a low.<br>He was always going to struggle in the closed world of football having been parachuted into the game by Rupert Lowe, a man himself not universally popular within the game in general or at relegated Soton. A top public schoolboy with a stated preference for hockey was not necessarily going to "connect" with fans. Lowe did well to get out of The Dell and into the new ground but didn’t do much for the team.<br>Both have now gone from Soton but Woodward has resurfaced as an adviser for Olympic sports for London 2012. Whether his advice/ methods are accepted in similarly closed worlds at cycling, swimming, martial arts etc and how much he knows about these remain to be seen and are unlikely ever to be conclusively proven one way or the other.<br>Can’t see him ever returning to football but his stock seems to remain high enough for him to get work elsewhere.<br>Whether he returns to rugby with Andrew at the helm despite the current England team’s shortcomings remains to be seen
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