Shifting sands in three major sports
Harold Wilson wasn't far wrong when he said a week was a long time, testament to this is the shifting sands in three of our major sports in the last week.
Seven days ago with Sam Allardyce freshly dismissed, domestic football was bracing for more revelations to rock its foundations, only for the Telegraph’s ‘whistle blower’ to sensationally announce via an ‘exclusive’ ITV interview (I wonder if he got paid for that?) that he made most of it up!
Unfortunately, so far as Big Sam is concerned, all a little bit too late. He won’t get the England job back and whether or not he ever gets another job again remains to be seen. As the dust finally settles after the media feeding frenzy, I can’t help but get the feeling that the whole crux of the issue has effectively gone under the radar?
Even before the Telegraph story broke, had senior figures at the FA wanted shot of Allardyce? Were they now of the opinion that in the wake of the Iceland debacle and the Roy Hodgson exit they made a knee-jerk appointment?
I can’t remember an England managerial appointment greeted with such mixed reaction. Did that, in some part, negative reaction prompt them to ditch Allardyce at the first available opportunity?
The FA have effectively won, with a far ‘safer’ and probably more credible candidate in Gareth Southgate, who is virtually a shoo-in for the job, unless more humiliating defeats are on the immediate horizon, while Allardyce, despite a lucrative payout for 67 days, faces the rest of his career frozen out.
As articles go, freelance golf journalist Peter Willett, younger brother of current Masters champion Danny, might have thought his pre Ryder Cup online missal in which he described US golf fans, among other things, as imbeciles, was career suicide. But as with the domestic football shenanigans, things can drastically turn on their heads within a matter of days.
Lambasted on all sides prior to the start of the competition, including a very public dressing down from European captain Darren Clarke, three days of the aforementioned ‘behaviour’ by the home fans in Minnesota and its patently obviously that Willett the younger was actually right, a fact stated by his brother in the post US victory press conference.
So Peter Willett will live to write another day, whether or not the enigmatic Tyson Fury will ever fight again remains to be seen.
Seven days ago the current, but not for long, world heavyweight champion had attracted a fair degree of sympathy in the wake of the news that he was suffering from severe depression and as a result wouldn’t be boxing for the foreseeable future.
Then on Friday news broke that he’d tested positive for cocaine, closely followed on Monday by a bizarre, expletive filled tweet, announcing his retirement from the sport, followed hours later by a total retraction. There’s no doubt that Fury’s victory in Germany last November was one of the greatest performances by a British boxer in the ring in recent years, but the baggage that comes with Fury unfortunately at this time far outweighs the positives.
Clearly he’s on the edge and if he doesn’t get the help he so desperately needs, his legacy will not be what he intended it to be when he lifted those belts 11 months ago.