Anorak News | Ref Chops Souey

Ref Chops Souey

by | 29th, August 2002

‘THERE is always something vaguely pathetic in seeing a manager ”sent off”. With a player you can understand how it happens – a couple of mistimed tackles, telling Graham Poll where to go, punching Dennis Wise… But all a manager can do is shout a bit, have a scuffle with the fourth official or step outside his ‘coaching zone’.

Unlike Hoddle, Souness only throws teacups

So when Graeme Souness was sent off during Blackburn’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool last night, you might have thought he had reason to be embarrassed. Not a bit of it. The Star says Souey congratulated Steve Bennett for the decision, claiming it was the only one he got right all night. ”If you don’t get emotional, you might as well stay at home,” the former Anfield hardman said – with evident pride.

Leeds United’s new boss, Terry Venables, might have wished he had done just that after he left Elland Road to a chorus of boos last night. Even after the 1-0 home defeat to Sunderland, his team are fourth in the table – but that is not enough for the inhabitants of God’s Own Country.

As the Mirror notes, it has only taken El Tel three games to feel the wrath of the fans, but the man himself is remarkably unconcerned. ”If that’s how they feel they should react, that’s OK with me,” he said, no doubt recalling that Des Lynam never gave him such a hard time in the ITV studio.

One man who has swapped the pressures of the middle for the comfort of the commentary box is former England cricket captain Mike Atherton. And this morning he casts his mind forward to the day when Nasser Hussain relinquishes his captaincy, and backs Mark Butcher to take over.

Athers was at a lunch in London to promote his new autobiography and, in the absence of any Roy Keane-like confessions, his best shot at creating controversy is advising the England selectors to overlook Marcus Trescothick and Michael Vaughan in favour of Butcher. ”Mark has a good cricketing brain and is in fine form as a batsman,” he tells the Mail. ”He is old enough to have seen some of the vagaries of the game, on and off the field, and to have gained in experience from them.” Strong words, you’ll all agree.

But not, one suspects, as piquant as some of the revelations likely to come out in David Beckham’s autobiography. FA chief Adam Crozier is clearly worried that Becks’ tales of heavy drinking, hard drugs and endless womanizing are likely to bring the game into disrepute and, through the Mail, advises the England captain to run a draft past him prior to publication. Someone at FA HQ, it seems, is having trouble getting to sleep at night…’

Posted: 29th, August 2002 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink