Lessons of Great Import

By Ridley, Ian | The Independent (London, England), February 4, 1996 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Lessons of Great Import


Ridley, Ian, The Independent (London, England)


THE flood of imports to the English game this season flows on. Some come for the money, some may come for the challenge. Some may even come for the shopping. Above all that, today's principal pair at Stamford Bridge rank among the most valuable.

It is not just in 90 minutes once or twice a week that wise foreign acquisitions can enhance a team. Beyond any concerns about season-ticket and merchandising sales, the likes ofChelsea's Ruud Gullit and Middlesbrough's Juninho can bring much to a club through influence and example.

Gullit's has been immense. His is a relaxed presence, at 34 having achieved all there is in the game, save for a World Cup winners' medal with Holland, which might even have been his in different circumstances. It emerges in his openness as a rounded, secure character and his deportment both on and off the field.

"He is such a big personality," saidthe Chelsea striker Gavin Peacock. "Very influential in the dressing room. He speaks his mind, and is on the same wavelength as the rest of the players. He is always approachable. Because he is so fluent in languages, he can give and take all the banter. It really is a privilege to be around him."

But how exactly does he influence a team? "Players are always asking about his days at Milan," Peacock said. "And he will tell you how they did it there. He talks about diet and fitness and, as well as listening, you find yourself watching him in training to see how he makes space, which is one of the strong points of his game.

"You also pick up points about stretching and flexibility," Peacock added. "Sometimes at the beginning of training, Peter Shreeves {Chelsea's assistant manager} will say 'right, let's see how Ruud warms up' and we'll take it in." This correspondent remembers Gullit's Dutch pioneering an extended pre-match exercise routine, which began an hour before kick-off, at the European Championship in 1988.

"A lot of what he has he is naturally blessed with," Peacock explained, "which isn't to say he doesn't work hard. But it's like the gaffer, you can't quite put your finger on some of it. Ruud is very strong and quick, a magnificent athlete." Indeed, his supposed porcelain knees are standing up to the rigours of the Premiership.

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.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
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.

Cited article

Lessons of Great Import
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
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?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
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.

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.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?