Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Pardew Daft Not to Use His Brain; It Is Wrong to Say the Best Educated Are Better Players

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Pardew Daft Not to Use His Brain; It Is Wrong to Say the Best Educated Are Better Players

Article excerpt

F the barrage of quotable Bill Shankly lines this one is my favourite.

"The problem with you, son, is all your brains are in your head," apparently said to Chris Lawler, legendary Liverpool right-back.

As usual, the great man summed things up in a nifty, intelligent few words.

When it comes to football, if you are quite good at kicking that round thing around a patch of grass then it does not really matter if you think Africa is a country.

Professor Brian Cox is probably one of the brainiest people on the planet, but I would not trust him to play a holding role in a 4-1-4-1. There are plenty of clever footballers who actually are not that clever in real life.

Have you ever seen David Beckham being interviewed? I mean, he is a nice enough bloke and all that, but you would not want him on the pub quiz team. Wayne Rooney is monosyllabic. Not that he knows what that means. Or how to spell it.

That is one of the few words I do know without using a spell check, but you would not want me playing up front for England in Brazil. You would want the lad who is really good at football.

Reading centre-half Alex Pearce top the list of educated footballers.

He attended the mega-posh Oratory School (know as the Catholic Eton) which can boast such alumni as poet and writer Hilaire Belloc, Sir Edmund George Felix Paston-Bedingfeld, ninth Baronet of Oxburgh Hall and, of course, Sir Michael Levey Director of the National Gallery 1974-86.

I have no idea who those three are. I do know Pearce because I once spent a transfer window linking him with Newcastle United. Says everything about me.

Graeme Le Saux was a snob because he read the Guardian and was not that interested in lap-dancing bars, behaviour whch according to his team-mates clearly meant he was a closet homosexual.

Frank Lampard when to a boarding school where he gained 11 GCSEs, including an A* in Latin.

He knows how to score goals, which direction to pass the port and how to order the death of a Christian in Roman times.

There are far more middle-class lads getting into football these days because there are more what you would describe as middle-class people in this country - but that does not make them better or worse players than the team-mate who comes from a council estate.

Alan Pardew believes a reason Southampton produce more of their own players than Newcastle is because it is a posher down south.

Pardew said: "There is a big working-class community, but there are a lot of middleclass kids who have good education.

"The players who come out of Southampton are quite intel-ligent and there might be something in that. We have to put more intelligence into our players here.

"Look at Bale, Walcott, Lallana, Shaw - they are all comfortable with the media, they are altogether sort of guys. …

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