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 is since 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.