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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Gissa a job

My favourite detail of the Newcastle United story regards Alan Shearer. Unnamed sources say he is too "happy with his job on Match Of The Day" to wish to be the manager at this moment.
His job? Let's get this straight. What this means is that rather than working twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week in all weathers, in the pitiless glare of public scrutiny, dealing with spoiled multi-millionaires with less loyalty than attention span, standing still and taking it while thousands of people chant abuse at you, knowing that your kids will come home crying from school because of what some kid said about you in the playground, knowing that unless you're very, very lucky you will lose more than you win and most Sundays will be spent in the pit of black depression, relieved only by strong drink or a gambling addiction, having to make sure than you are accompanied by a bodyguard in public in case some drunk spits abuse at you in the supermarket car park, knowing that your painstakingly acquired professional judgment can be undone by the bounce of a ball, the decision of linesman or the side of the bed that a superstar got out of this morning; rather than doing all that you'd take a high six figure salary for spending Saturday afternoon in a warm dry studio watching highlights of the Premiership, putting on a clean shirt and saying "he'll be disappointed with that" for a full five minutes before going out to dinner.
Really, call punditry on Match of The Day anything you like, but don't ever call it "a job".

17 comments:

  1. You missed the bit that's specific to this example: the huge gamble he'd be taking with his own legacy - that incredible local-hero status he's built up over a number of years and hundreds of goals, strengthened by the brave refusal to sign for Man U in order to pursue trophies with The Toon, all of that... gone in an instant when it becomes apparent that standing next to Glenn Roeder for a couple of games while he's injured doesn't qualify him for a career in management. He's got a lot to lose.

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  2. Oh, I don't think he wants the job at all. Like Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson and Gary Lineker, he doesn't want any job at all. He wants to play golf. His problem is that his ego loves the idea that the Newcastle job is his if he did want it. The thing that ex-players miss most of all is the glory.

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  3. Once the BBC's coverage of Premiership matches passes to ITV, he'll soon think again.

    It takes a certain sort of former footballer to continue his involvement in the game solely from the comfort of a comfy pundit's chair.

    Exaggerated it might be, but the recent story of Alan Hansen apparently asking a TV company for extra money for heating, after they filmed him in front of his own fire, sort of rams the point home.

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  4. ...but the easy joke is that he's a Scot comes so quickly to my mind. Sorry.

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  5. Anonymous5:55 pm

    Actually, it's a Scottish TV pundit thing. One half of a double act was at IPC for a TV Times cover shoot 15 years ago. He wanted to outdo his colleague by wearing an Armani jacket. Everything seemingly went to plan, so it was raised eyebrows all round when a claim for the damage to the jacket - and nothing less than funds for an exact replacement would do - was submitted.

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  6. That's a splendid sentence David, nearly the whole piece. Said with some feeling, I think. The thing that does irk me about Shearer the football God is that he allows his name to be used to undermine managers at Newcastle. He could easily have put a stop to it, by stating that he has no intentions of managing there, until he gains some experience elsewhere or whatever. Instead he stays shtum, allowing the speculation to go on ad infinitum, because it appears to boost his ego, while hovering like a black cloud around whoever the manager is and will be. Even now, it is 'friends' who are saying he is not interested. How convenient, and how miserably weak and selfish. How can one be a so called 'pundit' while apparently being unable to speak clearly and publicly about the one question people would actually like him to answer (as opposed to waffling vague generalities and indulging in schoolboy banter with 'the lads').

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  7. Not meaning to be too cheeky, but is what Alan Shearer calls a job that much different from listening to your favourite record and writing a few words about it?

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  8. I don't think Alan Shearer's up at this hour.

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  9. I'm amused by the way all the news reports of Allardyce's departure seem to report how many managers they've had since Keegan. Ah, the glorious Keegan era - the gleaming silverware, the groaning trophy cabinet...

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  10. I’m staggered that Shearer gets work in the media. Aside from the fact that he has nothing interesting to say, compared to other less “big name” ex-players such as Lee Dixon, he was always really unhelpful to the media when he was a player. He’d grudgingly give banal monosyllabic answers to questions, often with a supercilious smirk on face, relishing the hold he had over the reporter (i.e. they needed his quotes and had to butter him up, while he could treat them with contempt).
    Shearer’s a tosspot and the dumbest club in the country - board and fans alike - deserve him.

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  11. I'm with you there. I think Lee Dixon is really good, and I speak as a Spurs supporter. Looking at the way everybody on "Match of The Day" seems to have been through wardrobe, I think they cast the panel on how well they fit into the comfy world of Saturday night BBC 1 and not on how much they have to say. They should turn the whole thing over to Adrian Chiles.

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  12. geedubyapee1:23 pm

    Oh David! How can you support Spurs? Surely the best team of your youth were based only a few miles away from home?

    Back to topic - I had to laugh when Allardyce was given the push, as for his last 2 appointments, he walked out on his existing employers, only to be appointed to a new job within hours. Contracts, eh - who needs 'em?

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  13. Maybe Shearer has too much sense. Alan Hansen tells the story that when Dalglish resigned at Liverpool a story went round that the board were considering Hansen as the replacement. To his horror he found that they were - he quickly told them he would rather do an easy commenting job than an impossible management job.
    I like Geordies, but this is a no win job. Shearer would have more chance with England (not that he should have got the job)

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  14. I'm a Londoner. I haven't been a Yorkshireman since the early 70s.

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  15. Pleased to see Lee Dixon get some plaudits - he deserves it. I recall him making his debut in the Euros/WC and was clearly the junior bod next to Gary and the Alans, and they made it obvious. He held his own and now speaks with more humour and with more sense and honesty than Hanson & Shearer combined.

    Oh, as well as an over-reliance on cliches, Shearer has a p-poor grasp of English, as in "them things" and "what he done there is".

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  16. Stuart in Upminster2:00 pm

    So when you became a Londoner, you presumably had the entire supporting counter to choose from, and you still chose the Spuds?

    That right there is the textbook definition of "not taking the easy route".

    I know of what I speak because I support the claret and blue herberts to the east of you. Also, defeat from the jaws of victory merchants par excellence.

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  17. I can be accused of many things. Glory hunting is not one of them.

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