Where are they now? Gritty English Football Managers

Written by Paxton Quigley

Thursday, 18 October 2018

image for Where are they now? Gritty English Football Managers
Mike Bassett gives a team talk

You remember the days when managers had real football names? Ron, Gordon, Harry, Joe. What do we have now? Maurizio, Marco, Rafael, Nuno, Jose, even bloody Claude. Do me a favour. Where have they all gone?

The Spoof has complied a list of favourites and rogues:

Mike Bassett, England Manager. Erm, yes we know he doesn't actually exist apart from in the 2001 mockumentary of the same name where he was played by Ricky Tomlinson, but Bassett has all the attributes you expect from a real football manager. Clueless, northern, uncouth and prone to violent outbursts and expletive rants when things don't go so well. A gent.

Ron Atkinson. Liam Daish once confided to a journalist that Big Ron considered himself the best 5-a-side player at Aston Villa only for Ron to tell the same journalist in an interview that (guess what?) he was the best 5-a-side player at Aston Villa. Ron became renowned for being the first manager to regularly play three black players in his team at West Brom, known as The Three Degrees (Laurie Cunningham, Brendan Batson and Cyrille Regis). Unfortunately his TV career crashed when he was recorded using the N word about Marcel Desailly. Those pesky microphones. Tsk! Tsk!

The late Graham Taylor, famously known as Turnip Taylor during his three year England rein. Who can ever forget the TV documentary which followed Taylor and his coaching team during an expletive ridden World Cup match when he complained that Carlton Palmer had scored, saying Palmer was disobeying instructions to stay back and should not go so far forward?

East End geezer 'arry Redknapp has only recently departed from the management scene, but who can forget his breezy wide-boy style as he did the management rounds? He managed AFC Bournemouth, West Ham, Portsmouth (twice), Southampton, Tottenham, QPR and Birmingham. In his second spell at Portsmouth, Harry managed to win the FA Cup in 2008 but walked out to join Tottenham in October the same year. He seemed to lose the plot at Tottenham when he was touted as England manager, failed to sign a new contract, and was sacked in 2012.

The late Brian Clough. The best of the bunch. Who else could have taken a small-town team, Nottingham Forest, to win two consecutive European Cups (in 1979 and 1980)? Clough is one of only four managers to have won the league with two clubs (Derby and Forest) and numerous league cups, but never the FA Cup. Renowned for his abrasive and opinionated managerial style, tatty green sweatshirt and love of brown envelopes, Cloughie's drinking got the better of him and he retired when Forest were relegated from the Premier League in 1993. He always had a visceral dislike for German teams saying "I hate the Germans, they killed my dad". Who could blame him for that?

Gordon Lee was appointed Everton manager in January 1977 after having won promotion for Blackburn Rovers in 1974-1975 and leading Newcastle to the final of the League Cup a year later. While at Rovers Lee was reputed to have refused to buy players from the south, saying that he only wanted gritty northerners, not effete southerners. On another occasion on an Everton pre-season tour of Morocco he was asked how he was enjoying his visit to Africa to which he responded "Africa? We're not in bloody Africa are we?" Everton sacked Lee in 1981. A cult hero at Everton, he's sorely missed.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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