"State the bleedin' obvious five minutes each side of an ad break? I can do that"

by Chris Tobin

In the 1980’s within a Britain with huge unemployment and with communities fragmented  the country and particularly Liverpool would find amongst the rubble a new hero, a legend in the making, a self-styled spokesmen for a generation – step forward Yosser Hughes. If at this stage you are unaware of whom Mr Hughes was, and you have left school already, then I would suggest you go back and get a refund on such dearth in education.

Yosser Hughes would go from building site to building site looking for work; with his “Gissa Job” tag-line aligned with “I can do that”. Unfortunately Yosser could not “do that”. The deficiency for most jobs Yosser would attempt to do, was a lack of ability, in essence he was not capable of such a task.

Which leads me on to the Premier League and the specification for a manager’s position within that league, alongside the job of punditry on any of our terrestrial channels in regard to football programmes?

I would suggest that the interview process for a “Football Pundit” position would make much greater viewing than any of the absolute rubbish that those current pundits and so called experts currently put on show.

Alan Hansen regurgitating old tired lines, with the charismatic Mark Lawrenson’s chilled demeanour – not to be confused with an “I can’t really be arsed with all this” attitude. Where experts are more intent on their very own self alluding promotion, where discussion of non-footballing matters swamp the commentary box.

Then we have the Holy Trinity – Mark Bright, Jim Beglin and Andy Townsend. I am not too sure that any of these gentlemen have actually ever had the displeasure of listening to themselves talk but if they did they’d endure complete and utter rubbish, where any actual footballing sense they may have possessed shoots out of the window once the microphone is turned on. It comes to something when shouts for Jimmy Hill to come back are raised.

Most footballers have lived in somewhat of a protective bubble, a bubble which fails to protect their brain cells. They are proficient in the art of kicking or heading a football and at this point we add a FULL STOP. How television executives believe these poor fellas are capable of then holding the public’s attention is perplexing. In the past half-time meant having the opportunity to make a cuppa, it is now an opportunity to turn Adrian Chiles off for 15 minutes and flick through a multitude of channels looking for …….. anything that is not Adrian Chiles.

Now I could go on about a host of others, but I am pretty sure they will be covered in this next segment, which we will entitle “How to get a job in football”.

This close season has seen many managerial vacancies as occurs every season. Along with vacancies we have the same old names linked to these positions. Where Yosser Hughes was not a very good bricklayer or indeed a very good employee for varying reasons chief amongst them being head-butting bosses and bringing his kids to work some of these managers have lacked skills required for those jobs, yet still they thrive.

Roy Keane – A man who this very week slated his fellow countrymen for lacking ability to challenge the greatest footballing nation over the last six years Spain. Remember that Keane is the same player who as good as walked out on Ireland at a World Cup, and a man lacking his very own self-control. Keane continues to be linked to some of the top jobs in football although his C.V. is more akin to a colander with a mass of footballing holes.

Gareth Southgate – Here I was tempted to just put enough said, the journalist in me would not allow such derision, even if it were merited. Southgate is Head of Elite Development alongside Trevor Brooking so he must be good. Like Stuart Pearce another child of the Football Association touted as up and coming managers he is constantly being linked to vacant managerial posts within the English game having failed previously.

Paul Ince – Possibly the most deluded of all those believing they have a capacity to manage at a level above or equal to where they have previously failed most miserably.  Ince is definitely a better manager in his own head than the various sackings suggest.

Alan Shearer – Newcastle legend…well give him the job then.

Steve Bruce – Really how many jobs can one very unsuccessful manager keep being linked to, then passing the interview process and getting said job? This man most possibly is taking Derren Brown to the interviews with him “Look into my eyes” …..”You start Saturday at 3pm Steve”.

The list of these failures could go on and on, club chairmen are as much to blame for encouraging such delusion in those minds – and the LMA – The League Managers Association which encourages the continuity of giving their members jobs, that those members have clearly proved they are not capable of doing. It is an industry like no other where failure is just part of the game.

Where the similarities with both those managers and Yosser Hughes merge, is an arrogance and belief that no matter what they are told, their own incredible ability to think that the job they are doing is a good one, at least acceptable, kicks in. Yosser Hughes was suffering with mental health issues and we excused his behaviour . What is your excuse Mr Keane and Mr Bruce……..

“I can do that”.