No More Mr Nice Guy; WORLDCUP 98 SUPPLEMENT

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), May 31, 1998 | Go to article overview

No More Mr Nice Guy; WORLDCUP 98 SUPPLEMENT


Byline: Michael Calvin

Will the real Glenn Hoddle please stand up?

Is the Karma chameleon of English football a Christian or charlatan, a masterly innovator or merely inane? Is he genuine New Age Man or the cynical purveyor of the same old tosh? Hoddle might have been able to divide and rule before the World Cup finals, but once France '98 begins in earnest he will be stripped bare. He faces ordeal by innuendo, and will be second-guessed, double-crossed; praised and pilloried, occasionally in the same breath. Carlos Alberto Parreira, whose Brazilian team blended romanticism with pragmatism to win the last World Cup, identified the unrelenting attention as the hardest aspect of his job at the finals. An international manager is expected to have the missionary zeal of Billy Graham, the innate cunning of Bill Clinton and the ready wit of Bill Cosby.

For one frantic month, when the world convenes in collective celebration of the beautiful game, he must become a caricature of himself. His training ground becomes a zoo, a bizarre bearpit. FIFA, football's governing body, insists he must submit to interrogation by strangers on a daily basis. The best learn to lob a few morsels of rotting fish to the performing seals of the popular prints, usually in the form of platitudes, delivered as though they possessed the philosophic weight of Socrates (that cerebral Greek chappie, not the elegant Brazilian midfield player). Hoddle loathes the rituals of public accountability, resents the instant judgments of those he does not respect. The criticism, when it comes, will be met with a faintly metallic monotone, a pained condescension. Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do.

This is only to be expected, because each England manager imposes his character and the conventions of his time on the type of job that requires a government health warning. Sir Alf Ramsey was a product of a starched-collar society, a Dagenham Boy whose desperate quest for upward mobility involved surreptitious elocution lessons. Don Revie, shaped by the insecurities of the era of the minimum wage, was consumed by a paranoic attention to detail before he took the money and ran to the Middle East.

Ron Greenwood affected the quizzical detachment of an amiable grandfather even when some of England's more imaginative camp followers were finding dead dogs on the beach outside the team hotel in Spain in 1982. This masked a ruthlessness known only too well to Hoddle, who was dropped with the dismissive reminder that `disappointment is part of football'. Bobby Robson was an innocent abroad, a tormented soul who turned grey yet almost stumbled into a World Cup final in 1990. By the time Graham Taylor's agony ended, in failure to reach USA '94, he did not know whether he was animal, vegetable or mineral.

Hoddle fits into the mix as a cross between Sir Alf and Terry Venables. He shares the global vision of his predecessor, even if the impurities of El Tel's business dealings do not exactly sit well with the Victorian values that supposedly underpin his successor's fractured personal life. Despite the depth of his religious beliefs, Hoddle is naturally suspicious, a dictator for whom benevolence is an optional extra. His unyielding response to the contrition of Chris Sutton - `I thought Christians were supposed to forgive people for their sins but that doesn't appear to be the case with me' - was straight out of the Ramsey scrapbook. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

No More Mr Nice Guy; WORLDCUP 98 SUPPLEMENT
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.