06 December 2015


By Dr3


Pards recently got a little candid about his frustration with being perceived as second-class. Not his, of his own merit, but of his, as an English coach. Watching Liverpool with English commentary and analysis today, as a non-Englishman, provided a retort; Jordan Ibe. 

Ibe was spectacularly woeful against Newcastle. Every decision was wrong. Every dribble was particularly contrived, and quite frankly spoke to a lack of football-intelligence. He's 20 years old though, so #liveandlearn or something.

But the analysis of Ibe was so effusive and glowing. Unlike Henry's Franglais, the pictures belied an Ibe performance worthy of a Christmas break, as he had "carried" Liverpool. He was direct. The main threat. This was a man-child's performance, when all other Liverpool players were more R&B than heavy-metal, they said. This was the perfect microcosm that Pards needed to see from an outsider's perspective. 

Why is verve more important than awareness? Why does the lack of verve and as such, supposed lethargy, lead to questions of quality? Directness more important than effectiveness? The perception is justifiable. If every English person that is accessible (media is your voice Pards), believes/believed that Zlatan, Ozil, and Berbatov were rubbish at some time, while salivating over the manic headlessness that was Ibe today, then English people being complete football dolts is a fairly decent conclusion. Logical fallacy be damned.

His tone in that interview was sobering, but also illustrated a sort of willful blindness to what is going on around him. It is unfair that young English coaches are not given more chances to manage English clubs (black English coaches??). It is unfair that Roberto Martinez is still touted as a good coach. I can't pretend I don't see why though. Until the 'English' (former players need to stop getting these opinion-jobs) curb the enthusiasm with which they greet verve or talent (like Kane), I can't imagine their obvious nous ever being taken on face-value. Until Vardy and Aguero are not in your same sentence, millionaires won't back you. Until Englishness as a brand dominates football, Andy Carroll will be more Newcastle than Atletico. Perception is reality sometimes, man. Unlike other walks of life though, changing this status-quo is entirely within the grasp of the English. Over to you, Gary. Second-class shouldn't be too low of a starting position

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