The Long Ball Tactic

Claridge addresses nation: part 2!

Posted in Claridge addresses nation by mike on November 4, 2009

If, like me, you’re tired of Ask Jeeves since they got rid of Jeeves then brought him back and think Google are getting a bit too up themselves then salvation comes, as usual,  in the form of Stephen Edward Claridge.
I like to think of BBC Sport’s ‘Ask Steve’ feature as a kind of special, purpose built footballing internet search engine. For instance, if you were a fan of Leicester City and wanted to know how Edgar Davids might do at your club you could try typing into Google:

Hi Google, I’m a Leicester fan and I was wondering what do you think of the possibility of Edgar Davids coming to the club? Do you think that he will be fit enough even though he’s been out of football for 18 months? Or do you think he’s just a publicity stunt?

As you may expect you get a series of footballing websites and blogs that don’t go very far towards answering your question. However, if you were to go to Ask Steve on BBC Sport and type in that very same thing (replacing ‘Google’, with ‘Steve’, to avoid confusing the mercurial journeyman) you would find (after waiting until the next Wednesday) a wholly different and more comprehensive answer (providing your question was chosen), perhaps along the lines of

If the deal happens and Davids were to come and take the mick and swan around then that would split the dressing room quicker than anything.

Take that Google!!

You can even use Ask Steve as a subtle way to advertise yourself to would-be employers, as this cheeky Humberside-based scamp did this week:

Hello Steve, I asked you a few months ago about Mike Newell at Grimsby – I cannot believe what a disaster he turned out to be! Where now for the Mariners then? Personally I like the sound of Dean Windass as our next manager and what did you think about England women’s coach Hope Powell being linked with the job?
Dean, UK

I’ll just streamline that with the subtle self-promotion bits left in:

Personally I like the sound of Dean Windass as our next manager.
Dean, UK

Incidentally, I’ve always thought ‘the sound of Dean Windass’ would be a bit like this.
(I only write this in the hope that Deano himself will post on this blog slagging me off, as I heard him ring into BBC Radio Humberside this week to slag off presenter Guillem Lloyd after Lloyd said Windass was putting pressure on Phil Brown to get sacked – come on, Deano!)

The Sage of Sport is immune to this, though, and carries on coolly

With Hope, I’ve got to say that when I heard about that, it wasn’t for me.
She has done very well at her level and in her environment but that is a million miles away from the Football League.

A million miles. A million miles. I wonder if Steve Claridge knows who Hope Powell is? Or what a mile is? Either way there’s some break-down in logic there that I can’t quite get my head around.

Hope Powell – football manager
Grimsby Town – football league club (nominally)
Distance between the two – 1,000,000miles

It seems Ask Steve may still be a little behind Google in the maps stakes. I wonder what his reasoning could be?

A female manager would start out being on such a back foot. If I was a player and my club appointed a female manager then I wouldn’t instantly write her off but I would have been sceptical to say the least.

Ah, he’s sexist.

If something like that was going to happen, then it would be with a female coach. She could be a great coach and the management side of things wouldn’t matter because she wouldn’t be on the front line

To be fair to Steve, he does raise at least a serviceable point in that the problem with a female manager would probably not be about how good her tactics were but how keen the players would be to have a female in charge.

Sorry, that got a bit serious there.

As for Dean? I know him and I like him – although he’s not everybody’s cup of tea!
I’m not sure about him as a manager but some of the most unlikely players have made very good managers. The Grimsby job is a fantastic opportunity for somebody, anyhow

Dear Dean Windass,
Even Steve Claridge (Steve Claridge!!) can only find “unlikely” as the kindest thing he can say about your prospects in football management.
The Long Ball Tactic
(come on Deano!! The comments sections just down there!)

It is a super club

league two

The Long Ball Tactic would like to apologise for any pro-Scunthorpe United bias that may have come out in the course of writing this article.


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