Sunday, October 21, 2007


Brian Marwood

I had a friend when I worked in Bangkok. He had somehow survived 15 years in the Thai capital by teaching. I liked the guy, enjoyed many a beer with him but under no circumstances would I ever recommend someone learn English with him. Just because he had spend a generation in the business didn't mean he understand. I'm sure the same can be applied to footballers who hang up their boots and become pundits. Just because they played the game doesn't mean they have anything to say about it.

(Someone) take Brian Marwood. (Preferably as far as possible). If everyone has their 15 minutes then Marwood's came in the early months of season 1988 when he was on fire at Arsenal. He was scoring goals for fun, gave our attack flair and verve. He reached levels he'd never seen in his average career and was never to reach again. He got nine minutes for England. Then, as quickly as he arrived, he slipped from the radar.

He published one of the whiniest, dullest, boringest autobiographies before it became the cool thing for every baby bentley to do but he filled it with whine after whine about how poorly he was treated when he was the the zenith of his career. No gratitude that a nobody had come from nowhere, enjoyed a few moments in the spotlight before slipping gracefully stage left, oh no, Marwood felt he deserved more and in this he is alone with his ego.

But he won't go away. Now he is on our TV screens as the whiniest, dullest, boringest pundit going and boy that takes some doing. Take his performance yesterday during the Arsenal v Bolton game. There were a few moments in the first half when Bolton started getting stuck in amd Arsenal, led by Fabregas and Flamini hit back. For me, as an Arsenal fan, it was great to see, our boys standing up to these northern numbnuts. But Marwood? It would be better, he intoined piously, if they ignored the rough stuff and let their football do the talking!!!

What the ... What you on Marwood? For the last couple of years, ever since we lost our unbeaten record at Old Trafford after United kicked us to pieces people, yourself included, have bemoaned the soft touch at the heart of the Arsenal, how we couldn't mix it. Well, yesterday we stood up to them and once they learnt it wouldn't work, once they learnt they would get bruised in return they stopped it. Jeez, and you played the game at the highest level?

To dig the knife in deeper to the journeyman player and mediocre pundit there was a clash between the two amigos, Cesc and Campo in the middle of the field. Straight away Brian jumped in saying Cesc had better be careful 'cos Campo is a wily old pro and made the most of that challenge. Bollocks. Campo was up straight away, he wasn't rolling around like a wuss. He took the medicine, medicine he has served up many times and accepted it for what it was. Cesc is maturing, treat him as a kid at your peril.

Football, rather like politics, attracts so called experts in the manner of hookers to a convention. There is an insatiable demand for football news and comment but there appears to be little attention to quality. Instead, average pros are wheeled out and their opinions treated as gospel. Noone out there says anything new or different or cutting edge and increasingly fans are turning down the volume.

Jamie Redknapp is our Brian Marwood over here.
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