Premier League focus: The BFC view (3)

Posted on December 12, 2009

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*Article originally appeared in When the Ball Moves

Spats between players and managers have been all the rage recently. Even discounting Jim Magilton’s bust-up with Akos Buzsaky, which we no longer have to pay any attention to, what with it being in the Championship and all, there’s been enough to go round. Gary Megson, it was claimed, went eyeball to eyeball with Jlloyd Samuel, only days after Tony Pulis and James Beattie had a stand-up row. Isn’t it nice to see our relegation rivals falling out so badly? We must all be thankful that this lack of festive cheer hasn’t spread to Burnley, but would we really know about it even if it had. Owen Coyle talks a good game, everybody’s always said that, but I’m beginning to wonder why he doesn’t just pre-record his post-match press conferences to save him some time. Who knows, he might be throwing tea cups and pulling Graham Alexander’s hair out in the changing room, but we’ve never heard about it. He seems calm and collected every minute of the day, and if it means we’re saved having everything dragged through the mud by player discord and the occasional head butt, then it’s certainly a good thing. Part of me hopes Coyle does scream at the players every now and again, the novelty factor would be enough to make them step up a gear now and again. But here’s hoping we can keep avoiding the turbulence our rivals have to endure.

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Old Tyrone Mears has come out saying he hopes his little international screw-up won’t cost him a chance of a career with England. Now I like Mears, he’s been a quality signing for us, but isn’t he jumping the gun a little bit. There are a few right-backs ahead of him in England contention, and he hasn’t quite set the world alight in the years before he arrived at the Turf. The “Mears for England” shouts that occasionally ring out from among the Burnley following must be, I think, ironic rather than serious. We’ve had a great start to the season, compared with how people expected us to do, and some players have been playing out of their skins. Mears and Wade Elliott won’t, I’m afraid be going to South Africa 2010. Thank God people haven’t started touting Clarke Carlisle or Stephen Jordan for Fabio Capello’s squad (yet). We’re in the Premiership, and we’re doing great, but let’s have a tiny dose of realism somewhere. I consider myself proud that we have within our squad a striker that has scored for England every single time he has played. David Nugent, take a bow.

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I was happy to see Ryan Giggs get Sports Personality of the Year the other day. At least it went to someone who has excelled over many years, and been someone that young people can really look up to. I was sure it would go to Jenson Button, this year’s ‘big thing’. I’m glad the public looked beyond that this time. How often in the past has the latest British hero turned out to be not quite all he was cracked up to be? Johnny Wilkinson barely walked again after his World Cup heroics, and Andrew Flintoff has had problems of his own. Lewis Hamilton’s tax dodging antics don’t serve to make him the best role model around. Giggs has been at the top level for basically my entire life, always loyal and always brilliant. There should be more like him in the game, and it is poorer for the fact that there are not. On a slightly lesser scale, our own Graham Alexander is a bit of a role model himself. Commitment to whoever he plays for and a determination to keep himself playing at the highest level possible for as long as possible mean he is somebody that people can really look up to.

Oh, and why is it called Sports Personality of the Year when everybody who wins it is as boring and dour as Big Fat Sam Allardyce after the inevitable Bastards defeat?

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Posted in: Sport