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Author Topic: Exclusive - Ron Atkinson talks to H&V  (Read 6229 times)

Offline dave.woodhall

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Exclusive - Ron Atkinson talks to H&V
« on: October 05, 2016, 03:26:04 PM »
Sometimes, when an opportunity drops into your lap you just have to take it. Such as when we were asked if we fancied talking to Ron Atkinson about his new book The Manager, which is out now. Here's a bit of what he had to say.
The book’s called The Manager and that's appropriate with what's been happening in the past couple of weeks. Sam Allardyce - you mentioned about how he seemed to be at the Sunderland level of club management. Were you surprised when he got the England job?

"I said that it seems the in thing now for top clubs to go after foreign managers. If Steve Bruce was Spanish and had played all his career at the top, won big trophies and gone on to manage Getafe, Espanol, then when the Real Madrid job came up he'd have been in with a good chance of it. It's a lot harder for English managers to get to the top clubs so no, I wasn't at all surprised that Sam got the England job."

You couldn't have seen what happened subsequently, though.

“No, and I'm trying to figure it out The one thing about Sam in that, he said he would have to run it past his employers. If he said that it throws a whole different light on it."

But saying he could help them get round the third party ownership rules seemed to do for him.

"Maybe, there was definitely a sting. There might have been a fair bit of drink involved. He'd just got the job so he was still pumped up about that, there was a lot of adrenaline and it would seem that maybe he was in a situation where if he'd been moere wide awake he would have thought 'Somethng doesn't ring true here'. But if you're with someone you know who set the deal up then maybe you are a bit more relaxed."

As for the situation closer to home - did Roberto Di Matteo get a rough deal?

“I think he was a victim of what is now the modern game. It’s far harder for managers now than it's ever been, particularly with big clubs. If there's a danger of falling out of the Premier League then no matter what you've done in the past you’re more likely to take the stick because someone else might come in and save the millions it’ll cost. In Roberto's case they probably saw the Premier League getting further and further away and they thought,  'We want to get back'. It’s the modern way, everything is instant.

Vilal were reckoned to have spent £50 million in the summer. How would you have used that sort of money?

"He bought the lad Jedinak, who I thought would be useful. I don't know the figure but everything’s over inflated now but I thought he'd do a job becaue Villa lacked one or two players who could mix it. Last year they were too nice for a team fighting relegation. They need more players prepared to dig in.

“I've seem a lot of Championship football over the past two years and the one thing you need is aggressive, competitive, hard-working players. You might have one or two luxury players. In the second tier if you've got goalscorers that covers a multitude of stuff. I go back to Palace a few years ago when they had Wright and Bright and that carried them through to promotion. If you've got goalscorers it does cover a whole lot and that would have been my priority.

"They’ve signed the kid from Bristol, and McCormack. I saw Gestede for Blackburm against Liverpool two years ago and I thought he would be  effective in the second tier. I still think he could."

“A big mistake I could never understand was letting Albrighton go. He was always a decent player, he could work the line and put a good ball over. I was surprised when they let him go, he's just the type they need now. Ayew’s got a trick in his locker, he's the one luxury player you can afford in this league, he may not track back but he can unlock a door You can’t put too many in the team but you can always afford one."

So who should get the job?

"Looking round there's not too many. When it came up before Sherwood got it I think it should have been Sam Allardyce. I don’t thik he's going to get the job now but Steve Bruce is there, he's available, he's local. He knows the division and he's been successful. Steve Bruce will be as good a shout as anyone."

The full interview will be pubished in the new edition of Heroes & Villains, out on Friday.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 03:31:44 PM by dave.woodhall »

Offline Deano's Mullet

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Re: Exclusive - Ron Atkinson talks to H&V
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2016, 03:28:34 PM »
Amazingly I was just about to post on here if any one had read his latest book yet? I was skimming through it in Waterstones the other day. He said Dean Saunders didn't really want to leave Liverpool when he joined us, that's not the impression I got at the time but I am not always right! BFR and Sir Brian my favourite Villa bosses ever.

Offline Ron Manager

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Re: Exclusive - Ron Atkinson talks to H&V
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2016, 03:33:36 PM »
Nothing too sensational. Steve Bruce will get the job and hopefully will persuade a few midfielders to join the club.

Offline UK Redsox

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Re: Exclusive - Ron Atkinson talks to H&V
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2016, 03:33:41 PM »
Damn..... Head Dave got in with the edit before I could post a sarcastic Allo Allo comment about the first question  :)

Online cdbullyweefan

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Re: Exclusive - Ron Atkinson talks to H&V
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2016, 04:03:33 PM »
Decent start. I'll look forward to reading the whole thing.

Offline Andy_Lochhead_in_the_air

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Re: Exclusive - Ron Atkinson talks to H&V
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2016, 04:30:34 PM »
He will be doing a book signing at Waterstones in Sutton,17th November from 5pm until 7pm.

When Paul McGrath did one there a few years back the queue was right round the store and stretched out the door and down the Parade running over a couple of hours. Doug cheerily turned up and chatted to us at the back of the queue. "Oh yes, I arranged this book signing for Paul you know". 

Offline Salsa Party Animal

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Re: Exclusive - Ron Atkinson talks to H&V
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2016, 05:06:39 PM »
is this book about management or his autobiography.

Offline Andy_Lochhead_in_the_air

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Re: Exclusive - Ron Atkinson talks to H&V
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2016, 05:17:24 PM »

Ron Atkinson is one of English football's most recognisable and popular characters, having been involved in management for a quarter of a century.

He remains the only Englishman to have won major trophies with three different clubs: Manchester United, Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa. At West Bromwich Albion, he was one of the first managers to promote black footballers, including Laurie Cunningham, who went to Real Madrid, Cyrille Regis, who became an England international, and Brendon Batson MBE.

After retiring from management, Ron evolved into one of the most familiar and forthright commentators on football. Yet that career came to an end in April 2004 with a single, unguarded comment about the Chelsea defender, Marcel Desailly. Atkinson was labelled a racist and driven from the game he loves. In The Manager Ron Atkinson delves into the highs and lows of an extraordinary career that took him from non-league football to Old Trafford's theatre of dreams in the space of seven years. He almost managed two Midlands clubs - Aston Villa and West Brom - to the league title. But behind the familiar image of the bling and one-line quips Ron Atkinson was - and remains - a deep observer of football and footballers.

Here, he gives the full account of a life in football. From an awestruck youngster in 1950s Birmingham watching the supermen of Honved via a stalwart career as a lower league professional with Oxford to managing one of the biggest club in world football, Atkinson's has been a life less ordinary. With detailed portraits of the men he worked with an against, including Bryan Robson, Paul McGrath, Sir Alex Ferguson and Dwight Yorke, Atkinson also discusses the rise of the foreign footballer; the decline of the English manager and what it is like to sing live at Ronnie Scott s.

Offline mamuu

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Re: Exclusive - Ron Atkinson talks to H&V
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2016, 05:19:18 PM »
I was clearing out an old Yahoo account yesterday and came across an email from a friend with BFR's sayings. Some may be completely false, so i give no assurances about that

Ron Atkinson classics...
"He can't speak Turks, but you can tell he's delighted."
"The 33 or 34-year-olds will be 36 or 37 by the time the next World Cup comes around, if they're not careful."

"There'll be no siestas in Madrid tonight."
 "They compare Steve McManaman to Steve Heighway and he's  nothing like him, but I can see why - it's because he's a bit different. They are both called Steve."

"In some ways, cramp is worse than having a broken leg. But leukemia is worse still. Probably."

"Despite his white boots, he has real pace and aggression."

 "Goalkeepers aren't born today until they're in their late  20s or 30s and sometimes not even then. Or so it would appear.  To me anyway. Don't you think the same?"

 "The substitute is about to come on - he's a player who was left out of the starting line-up today. There were others as well."

 "The ref was vertically 15 yards away. He has a moustache."

"England have the best fans in the world and Scotland's fans are second to none."

 "The tide is very much in our court now."

 "It's like a toaster, the ref's shirt pocket. Every time
 there's a tackle, up pops a yellow card. I'm talking metaphysically now of course."

 "I'd love to be a mole on the wall in the Liverpool dressing room at half-time. And not for the reasons that you're thinking of Clive."

 "The game has gone rather scrappy as both sides realise they could win this match or lose it or draw it even."
"I don't think there's anyone bigger or smaller than Maradona. You seen the pictures as well Clive. Like an acorn I tells ya, just like an acorn."

"I know what is around the corner. I just don't know where the corner is."

 "You can't do better than go away from home and get a draw."
 "...using his strength. And that is his strength, his strength. You could say that that's his strong point."

"Chile have three options - they could win or they could lose. It's up to them, the tide is in their court now."

 "I came to Nantes two years ago and it's much the same today, except that it's totally different. The red light district is still the same mind you. "Though it's a lot bigger. And more expensive. I prefer Hamburg, more variety. There are these ladies there with
 fully formed moustaches, know what I mean."

"Argentina are the second-best team in the world, and there's no higher praise than that."

 "A tremendous strike which hit the defender full on the arm - and it nearly came off."

 "The good news for Nigeria is that they're two-nil down very early in the game."

 "That decision, for me, was almost certainly definitely wrong."

 "I think Ron will be pulling him off at half time and no  mistakin'."

 "You'd think the Moroccans would have learnt their lesson by now. You can't win games without scoring goals."
"You'd think the Cameroonians would have learnt their lesson now. You can't get very far with such brutal tackles.  It's just not cricket you know."

Offline dcdavecollett

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Re: Exclusive - Ron Atkinson talks to H&V
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2016, 05:30:01 PM »
I seem to recall that many of these are KK 'quotes'!

Offline TheMalandro

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Re: Exclusive - Ron Atkinson talks to H&V
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2016, 05:37:35 PM »
Ordered. Cheers.

Offline dave.woodhall

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Re: Exclusive - Ron Atkinson talks to H&V
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2016, 07:23:34 PM »
Part II

Your 1979 Albion team that came third, with Regis, Cunningham, Robson, versus the 1993 Villa side. Who would win that game?

“Er, probably the Villa because they’d be younger… But let me think. It’d be interesting to put together a joint team. Oooh, let me think. Blimey, Bossie’d be in goal, you could make a case for nearly every one of the back four for both teams.”

But one defender would stand out.

“Paul McGrath would be in, definitely. Bryan  Robson as well but the other eight. Earl Barrett, then left back, I mean Steve Staunton was a great player but Derek Statham was quality. You could go all the way through like that. It’d be a hard choice but I do know that if it was a squad of 22 they’d win everything.”

If they played each other which team would you support?

“Villa. I was a Villa fan as a kid. I liked all the Midlands teams but Villa was my team.”

What about the players you managed - who was your favourite?

“The best player I ever managed, without a shadow of a doubt was Bryan Robson. My favourite though, I don’t know.”

Let’s make it a leading question then. Dalian – how good could he have been?

“If he’d been ten years later all England really had was Rooney and Owen as a top level pair, and Owen was always injured, he’d have got a load of caps. But when he was around there was Shearer, Ferdinand, Ian Wright, Andy Cole Robbie Fowler, a lot of good front players were around. You look at David Hirst at Wednesday as well. He was a terrific player and he only got a couple of caps.”

Dalian could have been better than all of them.

“He was unbelievable and where he was good was in big games, he was terrific. At Exeter I’m not so sure. Everywhere else he played as well, if he was playing in the Nou Camp he was on fire but he wasn’t the same at Getafe. When he went to Fenerbache they said if he did well in the derby against Galatasaray they’d give him a new car and he got a hat-trick in something like fifteen minutes.

“I was talking the other day with Dean Saunders about him and the one thing Dalian could always do, he always had a smile on his face. Even when you were having a row you’d just say
‘Behave yourself’ to him. It was a great tragedy.”

The 1993 team – if you could relive that season again, would you do anything differently? Would you have dropped Dalian, kept Dwight Yorke in the side, maybe signed someone else?

“That’s a bit of a misnomer. Dalian got injured against Sheffield Wednesday on December 12th. At the time I reckoned him and Deano were the best two in the league. His next game was something like Easter at Nottingham Forest Yorkie had been in the team and done okay but at the time he was never up there with Dalian. I did try to sign Mick Harford from  Chelsea on deadline day for a hundred grand to bring him in as a bit of extra firepower. Chelsea wanted three hundred. What I didn’t know is that Fergie had tried to sign him before me.

“Then there was the moment. Steve Bruce scored against Sheffield Wednesday and that was the time when I thought it was going away. Carlton Palmer was playing for Wednesday, the linesman told him there was two added minutes and six minutes later they’re still winning. As Trevor Francis said, United scored in the second leg. I got to the top of the stairs at Villa Park and somebody said United had equalised. I shouldn’t have done but I said ‘They’ll play until they win now’.

“But there you go. If they’d lost that the confidence might have gone from them. We went to Arsenal on the Monday and won there then we won  at Forest the week after but that one  gave them the confidence to go on. They saw the light then. We all thought
‘It is written’.”

Offline Tony Erdington

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Re: Exclusive - Ron Atkinson talks to H&V
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2016, 07:39:56 PM »
Great stuff

love BFR

Offline Ian J

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Re: Exclusive - Ron Atkinson talks to H&V
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2016, 09:18:59 PM »
Fantastic, We had a great team then, full of characters too, from the boss and right through the team.

Thanks Dave, great interview.

Offline VillaSpen

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Re: Exclusive - Ron Atkinson talks to H&V
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2016, 11:28:56 PM »
You've put a smile on my face and depressed me all at once, Mr. Woodhall. I adored the vast majority of Ron's time at the Villa and love to hear/read about it but thinking about that Man Utd - Sheffield Wednesday game still makes me want to bite through my own tongue. I don't care that Steve Bruce has managed the Blues and I'd be fine with him taking over but those goals against Wednesday hurt me like nothing I'd ever felt at 13 and I just can't forgive the sod.