Cooney and Black

You say my England team have only had two shots at goal in the whole game. You can use statistics if you want, but I’m not going to talk about them…

Roy Hodgson

Steve Bott byline

STICKING a microphone in front of sportsmen tends to unnerve some of them. Kevin Keegan is reminded constantly of his “I will luv it” rant: Alan Hansen isn’t allowed to forget the time he stated that nothing is won with kids. inspects the foot-in-the-mouth world of our sporting heroes.
SO, Roy Hodgson is attempting to compose himself after England’s somewhat lamentable 1-0 friendly victory over Norway. He is failing miserably.

One journalist has had the temerity to throw into the mix a rather worrying statistic: England have managed only two shots during the course of 90 minutes.

You might think the journo has delivered the ultimate insult. The England manager’s face contorts as he reminds the hack of all the possession his team had and all the pressure they exerted.

“You can use the statistic if you want, but no, I am not going to talk about us only having two shots on goal,” Roy retorts.

How very dare you, Sir!

Roy, 67, was showing his age a bit, too, when he said after that Switzerland game: “Brazil was a kick in the teeth. Now we can pick our teeth up, put them back in and go again!”

Good job Luis Suarez isn’t eligible for England, then.

While we are on the England footballing platform, Michael Owen’s timing wasn’t exactly great, either, when he appeared on the BBC’s football website stating that the nation had lost faith in England.

This was less than 24 hours after the Three Lions had beaten Switzerland 2-0 in their own back yard to record a win in their first European Championship qualifying game against the toughest opponents in the group.

Granted, things haven’t been marvellous for England for the last 48 years when it comes to winning trophies, but they have managed the odd victory. This was a particularly sweet one after all the flak they’ve taken….particularly after their poor showing in the 2014 World Cup finals.

I’m sure Owen would have “loved” to have praised England instead, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t a bit of back-tracking from the former England striker sooner rather than later.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, has been banging on about recovery days and how striker Daniel Sturridge wouldn’t have picked up an injury as he did with England if he had been back at Liverpool.

Why? Because there would have been no club training that day and he would have been on a recovery day.

Well, Brendan, I must inform you that Sturridge was with England not with you at Anfield, Melwood, or even resting up at home.

I can understand you being upset at one of your players picking up an injury and you now having to cope without him, but if you are not happy with your players going away on international duty, just say so.

So many ifs, Brendan. “If my granny had b**** she would be my granddad”- as the amiable Joe Royle once said during one of his Press conferences in his early managerial days at Oldham Athletic.

I have a colleague who glories in the same name as that Master Gaffester, Murray Walker, the motor sport motor mouth who was forever putting his foot in the oil slick.

The number of times that mate of mine was upgraded to the penthouse suite when he booked in at hotel receptions was unbelievable.

That’s because while people laughed at Murray, they also loved him. He amused them. One of his better efforts was at a particularly muddy moto-cross event when he enlightened viewers on the advantages of being in front in such a race.

“You can see better out of the windscreen as you don’t get mud splashed up onto it by cars in front of you.” The leader promptly crashed into several bales of hay on the next bend!

My all-time favourite gaffe, which I’m sure you’ve all heard and I make no apologies for repeating, came from cricket commentator Brian Johnston when he informed listeners: “The bowler’s Holding the batsman’s Willey.”

There was simply no answer to that!

Over and out.



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