January 06, 2017

We Need Leadership - and Quick!!

We Need Leadership - and Quick!!


GREAT GRANDAD SHOUTY tells us what's needed



Leadership has always been considered as important within British culture and nowhere is this needed more than in the game of football – be it in FIFA, the FA or, dare I say it, Pools. 

The latest noises to come out of FIFA suggest that the current president, Gianni Infantino, wants to have an expansion of World Cup finals from 32 to 48. Already, the Scots have jumped on the bandwagon hoping that they will finally get a place in the finals. Sorry to disappoint you, Scotland, but those extra places will be given to those nations who provide votes at FIFA elections.

With all the problems FIFA have you would have thought the last thing they’d be concerned about would be fining the English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Ireland FAs over poppies - worn to remember out war dead. And what will happen to the money paid over in fines? Your guess is as good as mine – no doubt it will be used to provide junkets for the FIFA bigwigs. And what are FIFA saying about the doping scandals that have engulfed Russian athletics? Not a dicky bird. They still plough on ahead with staging the 2018 World Cup in Russia. After all, there’s a lot of money involved and that’s what its all about. Who needs leadership like that?
"When men are badly led, they quickly become a rabble!"

Our own FA aren’t blameless either. They are still allowing the Premier League tail to wag the FA dog and, despite noises from government, still plough merrily ahead as though there’s no problem. As it's transfer window time, no doubt agents will be allowed to run amok and create chaos. Already, Premier League games are showing reduced attendances and Sky Television are having to offer reduced packages to attract punters. Dare we think the unthinkable?

Nothing is permanent. Free market economics is great when things are going well but can be very cruel when it goes wrong. Once again, the FA seem to be letting things slide instead of providing leadership.

Which brings me on to Pools. It could be that our League status will be safe again. As I said last month, Newport look as though they will be finishing bottom and may be accompanied by Cheltenham. And, of course, Notts County look as though they may be in freefall. However, this doesn’t mean we can be complacent. Recent winding up orders from HMRC only served to focus the mind on what our financial position could be. As things stand, there seems to too much emphasis on developments away from the playing area.

On the field, there seems to be a lack of direction when things go wrong. If the visiting side take the lead at Pools, you always have the feeling that there’s no way back – they’ll hold on to the lead or even increase it.

Could it be that we lack a manager on the pitch? I always remember that before we got the bog standard Premier League those great managers Matt Busby and Bill Shankly always had managers on the pitch to sort things out when necessary. Busby had Noel Cantwell and Pat Crerand and Shankly had Tommy Smith and Ron Yeats (I once heard Cloughie say that Ron Yeats would kick his own grandmother). And when Cloughie began to construct his Derby team he obtained the services of Dave Mackay – a very tough character indeed!

In those heady days at the turn of this century you could always rely on Micky Barron to lay his body on the line – as would Mark Tinkler. What we’d give to have characters like that in the side now. Yes, leadership is important and in this I’m always reminded of the words of Colonel Nicholson in the film 'The Bridge on the River Kwai'. He said, “When men are badly led, they quickly become a rabble!"