As the temperature drops on the drunks out in Clapham
I turn on my bx and it’s like punk never happened
The community’s charged up and the West End’s alight
And it’s Jimmy Bloody Tarbuck on a Saturday night
And I’m sick to the back teeth, frony teeth and tonsils
Of hit making factories and kids niffing Ronseal
The run down, the hard up and the national health
And it’s Jimmy Bloody Tarbuck on a Sunday as well
Friends, Romans, country fans
If you’re happpy and you know it
You can clap your hands and say yeah!
Yes sir no sir three bags full of newspaper
Sleeping by the greengrocers over by the undertakers
Died in a house fire mummy was at the bakers
Buying broken biscuits, digestives and iced wafers
I’ve broken my dentures, got senile dementure
And I’m losing my barnet
I’m an alternative Alf Garnett
(Carter USM – Alternative Alf Garnett)
Lawrie Sanchez’s ongoing search for gainful employment is over, at least temporarily. He has bounced around the periphery of the football media world, popping up on TalkSport, Radio 5 and the occasional TV spot, but it’s fair to say that the offers haven’t been rolling in.
It’s another example of the perils of ambition. Sanchez had an amazing thing going with Northern Ireland, galvanising what everyone had assumed to be a very ordinary squad into a side that was capable of upsetting some much more fancied opposition (including the always mighty England, slain by the deadly boot of David Healy).
The word is that Fulham got Sanchez after initially asking after Sven: their shared agent pointed out how well Northern Ireland were doing and wouldn’t that be just the job for Fulham under the circumstances, and the rest was very nearly history. For Sanchez the gamble was presumably one he felt he had to take (see Hodgson/Liverpool), but in retrospect he might have been better off staying where he was (ditto). The Northern Ireland gig was going well, he had time on his hands (being an international manager must rule!) and a growing reputation. He didn’t need to change anything.
He was lured into taking something bigger than himself, and I suspect realised this quite quickly. The talk of him being arrogant must have had a grain of truth to it, but equally, may have missed the mark, arrogance being what you see when insecurity meets stress. Sanchez was faced with a big situation in which he was employed to be the big man; of course he was going to do all he could to play the part.
In life we spend years trying to be things we’re not before realising that we might as well be ourselves. Marilyn Monroe could pull of the Marilyn Monroe thing because of who she was; thousands of others couldn’t because they lacked that hard-earned inner depth. The same obviously applies to Kurt Cobain of Nirvana: anyone can try to do what he did, only Cobain could scream from the very depths of his being and transmit it onto record in a fashion that made people want to listen. The imitators look cheap, fake, unbelievable.
So it was with Sanchez, a man who had it in him to be a good football manager, but who – to my mind – didn’t have the inner strength (or ability to organise a defence) to pull it off. (Look at Sir Alex Ferguson: that’s not a man who needs to be liked). Intellectually Sanchez might have been fine: he was open-minded, and like Sam Allardyce, interested in any new idea that might give him and his team an edge. Otherwise, not so much: had Sanchez got a good start with Fulham I suspect he’d have had a decent run; he didn’t, and he didn’t.
He sounded bitter about this from the moment he lost his job, and his interviews even recently have had the same undertones: “listen to me! I know football! I know football as well as 90% of the people with jobs! Why does nobody understand this!” And he probably had a point. His record with Northern Ireland should probably have earned him another go somewhere. Turns out he’s going to be at Barnet, where failure in the Premier League might be seen as a good thing: at least he’s been there.
It might not work, but you can bet that he’ll be out on the training pitch on day one with tales of how his teams have beaten the odds, won games they had no right to win, and so Barnet really have nothing to fear. Working in League Two he might feel like the legitimate big man he needs to be. He might come across as arrogant. Or it might work, and Barnet might get out of the relegation zone. Looking at their results there seems to be something to work with, although the scores below suggest a defence every bit as porous as the one Roy Hodgson had to mend after Sanchez left Fulham.
As ever, interesting stuff.
Sat 1 15:00 H Aldershot Town FL2 L 1-2 1,902
Mon 3 15:00 A Stevenage FL2 L 2-3 3,744
Sat 8 15:00 A Bradford City FL2 W 3-1 10,514
Sat 15 15:00 H Shrewsbury FL2 D 1-1 2,164
Sat 22 15:00 A Macclesfield FL2 D 1-1 1,655
Tue 25 19:45 A Port Vale FL2 D 0-0 4,112
Sat 29 15:00 H Southend FL2 L 0-2 2,867
Sat 5 15:00 A Northampton FL2 D 0-0 4,573
Sat 12 15:00 H Torquay United FL2 L 0-3 2,168
Sat 19 15:00 A Cheltenham FL2 D 1-1 2,926
Tue 22 19:45 A Southend FL2 L 1-2 5,501
Sat 26 15:00 H Lincoln City FL2 W 4-1 2,226
Sat 5 15:00 A Rotherham FL2 D 0-0 3,566
Tue 8 19:45 H Wycombe FL2 L 0-1 1,520
Sat 12 15:00 A Hereford FL2 W 2-1 2,517
Sat 19 15:00 H Morecambe FL2 L 1-2 2,510
Tue 22 19:45 A Aldershot Town FL2 L 0-1 2,420
Sat 26 18:00 H Chesterfield FL2 D 2-2 2,012
Sat 2 15:00 A Burton FL2 W 4-1 2,774
Sat 9 15:00 H Crewe FL2 W 2-1 2,212
Sat 16 15:00 A Bury FL2 L 0-2 3,082