Football: Bar-stool bosses: They think they could do better

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The Independent Online

IT is worrying that the recruitment of foreign players is ripping the soul out of the club. Their exotic presence has undoubtedly been a drawing card but it's worrying that the development of our own young players is being arrested. Communication (disregarding the one about Dennis Wise being the only one not to speak English) may be a problem. The situation regarding Brian Laudrup has been farcical. He really ought to have stepped from his pram and extracted his dummy. The rotational selectorial policy will spell ultimate disaster and Tore Andre Flo and Gianluca Vialli should certainly be the forward pairing. It cannot be exactly a bed of roses working with Ken Bates, who I suspect is an unsettling influence despite the obvious improvements to the ground. Before it all goes pear-shaped it may be an idea to acquire Sol Campbell and Alan Shearer and work for the eventual takeover of Glenn Hoddle as chairman.


THERE may be a lack of class throughout the team allied to a shortage of creativity in midfield but the glaring flaw is Everton's method. To bring the best out of Duncan Ferguson they desperately need somebody who can get wide and supply accurate crosses. Pumping long balls from deep to his head is simply not working. Available wingers of quality are hardly abundant but somebody like Keith Gillespie would fit the bill. In terms of motivation it would be very tempting to try to secure the coaching services of Peter Reid. He may be ensconced at Sunderland but he has blue blood coursing through his veins. One other crucial off-the-field factor might be a new stadium. Goodison Park has tradition but you only have to look elsewhere - Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Derby - to see how a new ground can revitalise a club. Nobody at those places would want to go back now.


I'D BE asking to see Delia Smith pretty smartly to ask her if she can provide some funds for new players, what with the success of the new cook book and the newspaper claim that she is Britain's most powerful woman. Norwich have gained a lot of publicity since she became involved on the board and she obviously sees it as an investment but we haven't actually got anywhere yet. Having run a boxing gymnasium for years it seems obvious to me that the players' fitness and stamina levels need improving. Norwich players simply get injured too often which can have a dramatic effect on a small squad. Actually, Bruce Rioch's still in a honeymoon period after the Mike Walker regime collapsed but so much more can be done on the training ground to drum into young players like the very promising Keith O'Neill what's required. Fans aren't daft, they know the club has to sell but Delia has to be persuaded we must buy too.


IT WOULD be a pleasure to be manager of the Quakers at the moment because of the progressive chairman, Mike Peden. He has real vision. The main failing is lack of discipline. There is too much niggling, too much pointless talking back to referees by players who should know better, and suspensions could cost us dear. The squad is a good mixture but there is an inflexibility to the 3-5-2 system they play. Against Preston recently the opposition cottoned on quickly to our method and we had no response. There are too many centre-backs and not enough wing-backs which has led to players being picked out of position. I would keep the passing game but would insist on adjusting more to circumstances. Not that there is anything that any manager could do about the recent decision to put special worms on the pitch to try to improve the drainage. It's made us a laughing stock.