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Weekend sporting impressions

With personal commitments over the weekend preventing me from prolonged periods in front of the television, I was unable to wallow in sport quite as much as originally intended and so was reduced to keeping touch with such events as I did via snatches of TV/radio broadcasts together with the Rust’s own reporting by the excellent John Pargiter on the Ryder Cup.

However, as has been discussed previously on this organ, not actually being at an event has never (of itself) hindered anyone from forming and expressing an opinion. It is in that spirit that I offer the following observations:-

RYDER CUP

Nicky Campbell is not a broadcaster to everyone’s taste but personally I have no objection to him.

What I found interesting, comparing Sky Sports’ television coverage to Radio Five Live’s which I listened to whenever driving, was how they complemented each other.

Few sports lend themselves better to television coverage than golf – in fact I’d go so far as to comment that, based upon the only time I’ve attended a (Wentworth) pro tournament in the flesh, generally one gains a far superior impression of the progress of a golf event from television than is possible from actually being there.

Yet, however excellent the television coverage may be, as radio broadcasters no doubt worked out years ago, the ‘colour’ and sense of being part of a day at ‘the golf’ – with its reporters able to chat with fans on the course, occasionally getting into technical trouble e.g. by being jostled, dropping their mikes, tripping up but still being able to describe play in the moment – is nearly as good and in fact offers a different and fascinating angle on proceedings to that offered by a television screen.

My other point this weekend was that – ignoring for the moment the inevitably partisan nature of the ‘home’ European support on the course – I was impressed by the frank and honest comments of the American contributors upon their team’s travails.

On Sky Sports, Butch Harmon, for example, reviewing the American’s performance on Day Two, was scathing.

A one point the gist of his comments (if not actual words) were as follows; “They cannot hit the fairways, they cannot sink a putt, they’re not used to playing on courses like this – their normal mode is a just a 320 yard drive and a wedge to the green – they’ve completely misjudged their preparation …”

 

MOTOR CYCLE RACING

The Rust is sometimes hard upon women’s sport generally, but let us give praise where it is due.

Here’s a link to a report on the outstanding World Supersport 300 title victory of Spanish motorbike rider Ana Carrasco at Magny-Cours yesterday, as appears today upon the website of – THE GUARDIAN

 

JOSE MOURINHO AND MANCHESTER UNITED

I have to confess that ever since he first appeared in the English Premier League I have had a high regard for Mr Mourinho.

‘The Special One’ came with a tremendous pedigree and gave great spikey, entertaining interviews. Over the years with Chelsea and elsewhere he had success and provided a source of outstanding copy to a generation of hacks of every persuasion.

He angled – and was eventually hired – for the Manchester United job. It seemed as if his ultimate dream was to coach the self-styled ‘greatest club in the world’. In the right circumstances it could even have been a match made in heaven.

And yet even a non-football specialist like myself could see a potential fly in the ointment.

Whilst, arguably, all Mourinho teams were successful they seemed to be set up to be pragmatic. A ground-out victory was a victory (the clue was in the title) and somehow Mourinho’s teams always felt as if they were focused more upon the end result than the style in which it was achieved.

If Manchester United’s long and proud history was a proverbial stick of Blackpool rock, running through its core was a romantic addiction to swashbuckling, attacking, all-action, entertaining play [cue images of Duncan Edwards, Bobby Charlton, Dennis Law, George Best, Steve Coppell, Gordon Hill, Mark Hughes, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Ryan Giggs, to name but a few].

Somehow – well, unless (perhaps giddy with his love of everything United) Jose suddenly dropped his hitherto chosen modus operandi and opted instead, in what might become his dream and possibly signature, career-defining, twilight job, to drink deep at the well of the club’s traditions – something didn’t quite fit.

Or should I say ‘There was at least a risk that he and they might not fit’?

After what has been generally described at the nadir of his tenure of the United job so far (Saturday’s 1-3 away defeat to West Ham United), it does seem as though this particular chicken may be coming home to roost.

About Tom Hollingworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a former deputy sports editor of the Daily Express. For many years he worked in a sports agency, representing mainly football players and motor racing drivers. Tom holds a private pilot’s licence and flying is his principal recreation. More Posts