Sports Letter: Real embarrassment

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The Independent Online
Sir: The horror of Monday night's Cutting Edge documentary on the last 18 months of Graham Taylor's reign lay not so much in his liberal use of the F-word but in the portrayal of a management team driven by sentimentality and self-pity while lacking any sign of intellectual rigour or common sense. The conversations between Taylor, his players and his management team reeked of nothing more elevated than the squabbling and chivvying of a group of 14-year- olds in a school playground.

As the programme led us through to England's failure to qualify for the World Cup, it gradually became apparent that the hope we had continued to invest in Taylor and his charges right up until the San Marino game was placed in people who were never equipped to deliver.

Here was a man whose only response to the failures of his own man management was to berate anyone who came within shouting distance of the bench during the game with the Netherlands. In particular, we were left to squirm at the sight of Taylor informing a linesman that the match officials were responsible for 'getting me the sack'. It did not appear to occur to the England manager that his fate had always rested in his own hands.

And now that he has gone, what lies ahead? There is little to encourage the average supporter in the behaviour of the Football Association over his successor's appointment.

Yours faithfully

JOHN PRESTON

Riding Mill, Northumberland.

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