Just reading Jim White’s excellent “Manchester United: The biography” (no, really). Dave Sexton, who taught Roy Hodgson, has just been dismissed:
For the players, though they liked the manager and admired his knowledge of the game, there was a sense of anticlimax, a feeling that somehow the voltage about the place had been reduced. Training became less like playtime and more like being back in the classroom. Lou Macari recalls one session in which Sexton spent an age explaining a complex choreographed move he wanted to put into effect at corners. After failing to enthuse his enervated players into the routine, Sexton looked despairing.
“We’re all shaking our heads at this point,” recalls Macari. “Then Big Gordon (McQueen) pipes up, “I’ve got an idea, Dave. It’s not as clever as yours, but you never know, it might work. Why doesn’t someone cross the ball, I get my big stupid head on it and put it in the back of the net then we can all fuck off home.””
Martin Edwards: “It was very hard to do it, it really was, because Dave was such a very, very nice man and full of integrity,” says Edwards. “But it wasn’t really happening, we weren’t progressing and the crowd was getting restless. They were. But mostly I didn’t feel the tradition was being upheld. There is such thing as the United way. That is the character of the club, and the supporters demand it.
Spooky. Sexton had taught Hodgson at one point, and Hodgson certainly looked up to him.