Well, at long last we have another piece from the great scribe ChrisC.
In this case it is all make believe though, or is it ?
Just a bit of fun.
Can You Hear Horses ?
If you can it’s the sound of the hapless board of directors at Tigers quickly circling the wagons to protect themselves and their protégé.
I thought a bit of interpretation could be useful all in fun and obviously the comments in bold are entirely fictitious and a figment of my imagination.
Imagine if you will the directors getting together and the conversation:
Director #1: “Blimey we’ve wound up a lot of the supporters customers by getting rid of Cockerill. Lots are saying it should have been our boy Aaron who got the heave-ho”
“Simon you get those forum wallahs together and give ‘em a bit of soft soap, tell them not to tell anybody what you’ve told them – obviously don’t tell them too much as they’ll never understand all the clever nuances of us getting shot of Cockerill”
24 hours later:
Director #1 “Doesn’t seem to helped, they’re still spitting feathers”
Director #2: “I know – Ben Kay. He’s the only one of us the customers like or respect and who’s actually achieved anything in the sport, get him to put out some guff that should quieten down the great unwashed. Obviously we’ll need to write it for him, you know how honest and straightforward he is, otherwise he will go wandering off message” “And for Christ’s sake don’t let him tell ‘em we’re talking to Lancaster or there’ll be a riot”
Interview takes place and is published in The Times, the quotes in feint are from that article:
“It was an incredibly tough decision for me because I consider Cockers, whose relationship with the club dates back to 1992, to be a friend. But this was not about my feelings or, frankly, Cockerill’s. It was about the right future for Leicester.”(The old some of my best friends are Jewish/Muslim/Black/Irish/LGBT routine – always works a treat.)
Cockerill was sent a text message before the Saracens game. (We were all there but too gutless to tell him face to face)
Injuries were clearly a big factor (but only in the failure by Mauger, the rabble will never spot the double standards) but, in truth, there had been a gradual decline in performance for a couple of years. (Admittedly that issince Mauger became involved but in no way can it be his fault, he is just the Head Coach after all and we cannot be seen to have got the wrong man and then kept the wrong man. The hoi polloi will never spot it – do not worry).
We knew they had different philosophies when Mauger was appointed, with Cockerill’s blessing. (We foisted it on Cockerill as a fait accompli – remember how hacked off he was?)
Mauger said this week that he was nervous that he could have been the one to go. (But he is our boy – no way – give him a bonus and a new car – that will settle him down)
His (Cockerill) is a fairly simple approach to the game and it can be incredibly effective — you only have to look at how new players tend to improve very quickly when they join Leicester. But if you have heard it for many years, it can lose its impact. (We are bored with him, the little bald shouty man that he is and want our shiny All Black – that Kiwi accent is just so today and nobody will spot how many new players we have who cannot be used to Cockerill yet. Although some really do not like being shouted at when they screw up)
Mauger has asked for the board’s backing and he has it, but establishing the right coaching structure for the future is now critical. (We know we failed to do this for Cockerill but nobody will notice)
The recruitment comments have annoyed me as well. At Leicester, Ged Glynn, as head of rugby operations, gives advice on recruitment and Cohen gets involved in negotiating contracts but building the squad and managing the playing budget is down to the director of rugby. (These mugs will never spot that as Simon controls the cash he controls the budget and by extension the recruitment – you tell ‘em Ben you are a World Cup winner after all, nobody will argue with you. Pity we could not get Johnson to do the job but you will have to do)
The great irony of Mauger now being in charge is that Leicester will have to go into tomorrow’s game against Wasps playing classic Cockerill rugby.(Always best to get the excuses in early for if we get stuffed. We can still blame Cockerill – should be able to that until the end of the season with a bit of luck)
It does raise questions about whether Tuilagi is more liable than others to getting injured. (Might as well take the chance to soften the punters up about him leaving. Certainly would help the bank balance – maybe we could build something else – maybe a concert hall, that would be nice)
Right off you pop then Ben. It will work a treat and we have a couple of weeks before the next home game. Last thing we need is the oiks demonstrating and wearing those Cockerill masks.
Firstly, how great to have not just an article for the site, but one by Chris. Many thanks my friend.
I don't agree with much of it but can see how it could be 100% true.
To my feeble mind, the game has moved both on and off the pitch. We need something different without losing that which defines our club. Our club has been successful because of its key values, we won stuff because of them rather than generated the values through having won.
We have a long and proud history but the dominance that most of us have grown up with, started with th Chalkie White era wher the team was coached to win off 30% possession as we ha a relatively weak forward game. That success enabled us to attract and develop better forwards and it snowballed.
Most now regard the successes of the post Dwyer era as being entirely down to 10 man rugby, utter tosh, albeit the pack was the enabler.
Today we see the forward game emasculated by law changes and a blank refusal of referees to enforce the laws as they stand. Success now has to be gained by skills outside the set piece from 1 to 23. A dominant scrum is no longer the game winner it once was.
Change was and is necessary, whether Aaron will be successful will be seen. I hope so.
At the risk of repeating myself, it was obvious [must have been if I saw it] at the birth of the plumpyship that money would one day destroy the game we love as it has with association football. It's been an exciting ride to here. Playing standards have risen exponentially, but they might just be imploding now - though I might be told I need a hia.
It seems the Tigers ethos I knew has been overtaken by lucre now and the loss of Cocker was the day portended.
''... and the chorus:
odd-shaped vagaries (IP Logged)
02 January, 2017 15:16
With apologies to Don McLean and all my fans:
''So it's bye bye Cockerill, why?
Drove the players to the touchline but they couldn't see why,
Them playing boys tried but there was something awry;
Cockers was Tigers while others just try,
Will this be the day that Tigers die?''
It may be we will go on to be successful in the shiny new world, even dominate it on the back of Suit-gate, but something is gone and is unlikely to return .. depends, I suppose, whether you appreciate the cost or the value.
Good to hear from you again Chris but I believe your musings are a little off target.
My issue with SC and his Commercial Director is their performance in raising revenue and sponsorship as this is what is needed to move the club forward with our business model. Not sure it is seen that there is any under performance in this area though. Should the Tigers business be run by a lawyer rather than a businessman?
The quality of our squad being poor is rubbish. We have the quality but have problems getting them on the pitch and those that we do, getting them performing consistently well. The number and experience of our coaching team has been a problem for several years. Is part of this problem the policy of moving ex-players into the senior coaching positions too early, particularly if they have spent most of their playing career at Tigers?
And I believe you do Ben a disservice when you suggest that no personal friendship exists.
I still believe the wrong man departed though.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:01:08:11:44:23 by Yorkie.
Well if he/they have failed in raising revenue they have (again by extension) failed to provide the funds to buy a squad of sufficient quality in depth (and depth is the key word here) We can forget about the imaginary Salary Cap - it doesn't exist other than as an excuse for failing to provide sufficient revenue and/or using it to build vanity projects. Legacy tha' knows?
Who should run the club as CEO? Well on current performance not Cohen. Woodward (much as I personally dislike him or at least my perception of him) maybe. A businessman with roots in rugby would be a good start (and I don't count being an agent as having roots in rugby,although I suppose they do suck the life blood out of the sport).
I'm not sure where, even in my realm of fiction, I have suggested the squad is poor but it does clearly (to me) lack quality in its depth.
Perhaps I should write another fictional piece about an imaginary meeting of an imaginary recruitment committee.
I agree that depth of quality and experience in the coaching set up has been a problem for too long and one that Cohen has, with his board colleagues, manifestly failed to address which is perhaps due to the funds available. promotion from within is usually a much cheaper option.
In my fictional scenario I don't suggest that Ben doesn't have a friendship with Cockers. My fictional directors are just guilty of exploiting it for their own cynical ends.
With respect may I suggest that you read the piece as being a fictional bit of writing (you do realise that Harry Potter's also fictional - don't you? There isn't really a boy wizard)
The role of Ben Kay is certainly a mystery! After one of the earlier season games, maybe Munster, he sits on the panel thing next to Cockers and says something like "now I'm not involved i can say things about the ref". And I thought, that's odd he's on the board, maybe he's quit or doesn't have any say. And then the last week it appears he's very hands on.
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