Leading Article: Don't cry for Gazza

Click to follow
The Independent Online
IF PAUL GASCOIGNE believed some of the propaganda now being pumped out on his behalf then he would never be able to come to terms with Glenn Hoddle's decision to drop him from England's World Cup squad. According to Gascoigne's friend Chris Evans, he is "the kind of player, like a box of fireworks, that you can bring on and change things, against the odds; he always gets it together." Is he? Does he?

It is unlikely that Gascoigne ever possessed these magical qualities. He may have been one of the most talented players in his generation, if not the most talented, but this may have told us more about that generation's abilities than anything else. Either way, it is no longer the case. Whatever the reason, Paul Gascoigne was simply not fit enough to play for England. It is obviously a disappointing thing for him, but it is not in any way unfair. This was a choice made on objective criteria. To pretend otherwise only makes it the harder to bear.

Paul Gascoigne made his reputation by crying during a previous World Cup but there is no need for anyone - not even Gascoigne - to cry about Glenn Hoddle's decision.