Do I not like that!

by Mystical Mike

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Some might say I was fortunate enough not to have witnessed “the impossible job” first time round, but sat squirreled away on ITV4 this week I got to see second hand the car crash telly that documented England’s attempt to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in America, and call me a sad sentimental old fool, but I still hoped the outcome would be different.

We all know what happened next, as Jackie Charlton and his boys would prove to be our only form of cheering in the heat of the US of A, and even that came with the indignity of supporting a side wearing pound shop caps.

But missing out on it at the time did have it’s distinct advantages; for one I never knew Graham Taylor had such a filthy mouth, seeing the bespectacled one swear was akin to hearing your parents have sex, embarrassing and unnecessary.

Now I’m a hardened woman of Non League and have heard my fair share of abuse (you haven’t lived until you’ve had the F-word bounced around four sides of an empty stadium on a cold night in January) but I found Taylor’s profanity nearly as bad as the now legendary Joe Kinnear outburst. But what’s equally disturbing about both is they say it’s a result of “the impossible job”.

Impossible, Mr Taylor “do I not like that?”

The impossible job which faced the then England manager happens up and down the country whatever level of football you play at. Take Thamesmead Town of the Ryman League, their boss Keith McMahon is also making a documentary on life as “the Gaffer”. So far I’ve seen him do everything from dig balls out of bushes, to hiring and firing, to deciding how best to progress the club, even before he decides what to do on the pitch. All that and only four “bleeps” needed on his film.

Now I’m not disputing the job of the international or Premier League manager is easy, far from it, but  what turns the mild mannered Clark Kent of Graham Taylor into the king of profanity? Pressure.

The one distinct advantage Keith has over Joe Kinnear is for the moment his job is guaranteed. He’s done what my dad always says you should do when times are hard – “make yourself indispensable my girl”.

That’s one thing Non League will always have over the pro game – do it on the biggest stage and fail and you either end up abroad or on TV. Fail in non league and you’re either so desperately needed by the club off the pitch they’ll find another position for you, or  you’ll get the sack and suddenly become a much travelled, highly rated seasoned gaffer who can be given another chance.

Now I’m not suggesting for one minute that Keith doesn’t swear, but the beauty of it is there’s normally only the man from the website there to hear it. So an open letter to Joe, when nuclear fall-out begins, pick up a fork, grab your tactics and head for the Ryman, potty mouths we have a few, but a lot less people to write about it.

Non League Show

Caroline Barker presents The BBC Non League Football ShowEvery Monday from 9pm via Football, real fans.If you’ve got a story email the team

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  • Darren

    best comedy for of time. inspired the Office

    Phil Neal is a total useless goon.

    I said you’ve just cost me my job, it’s not your fault

  • dexylongshot

    The press conference was hilarious!

  • Matt Quinn


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