Letter: Gazza: the moral

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Sir: You say ("Don't cry for Gazza", leading article, 2 June) that Gazza's reputation as the most talented player of his generation "tells us more about that generation's abilities than anything else". This comment puts into perspective England's hopes in the coming World Cup

That an unfit 31-year-old with a nicotine, alcohol and kebab dependency is so vital to the team demonstrates the weakness both of our national squad and the game in this country. The tears of the nation are not for Gazza, but for the dearth of real footballing ability in this country. Hoddle's sacking of our only really creative player has merely brought this sad reality into sudden, sharp focus.

There are hundreds of "fit" players in the Premiership for Hoddle to choose from and he, like Graham Taylor, seems to prefer industry to art. With Gazza in the squad we still wouldn't win the World Cup, but I, for one, would prefer to lose with style.

MATT PASTERFIELD

London N1

Sir: Suzanne Moore takes an article spread across four columns (Comment, 3 June) to tell us that Gazza is not a good role model for young men It is true that some young men get stuck in perpetual adolescence. So do some young women. It is true that some men abuse their partners. So do some women. I look forward to Suzanne Moore's (surely) forthcoming article on bad role models for girls.

JOHN TIPPLER

Spalding, Lincolnshire

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