He Used to Manage Slough.. He’s Not a Royal Now

Loyalty in Football it’s a rare thing indeed. Always an agent that can get you a better deal than you are on, at a more prestigious club. Players, managers everyone involved and why not. Almost everyone wants to progress and make as much money in the process just as this was any other industry. But it’s different.

Lets say you work a manufacturing plant, managing a small team of 25. When you were appointed in 2009 their work was shoddy and disorganised, no-one brought your product. Your predecessor was an arrogant man with a God complex who wanted to re-invent the wheel. You had been working under him. You did your bit quietly and professionally making a good impression on those who would become your team.

You stabilise the ship. Getting your team to produce some very good work, with minimal expenditure. It is not quite on a consistent level yet but that’s ok. Your products are gaining a good market reputation, and even when some of the best manufacturing operatives moved on to seek out opportunities in Germany you still manage to galvanise the team. Quietly working with a great passion and professionalism.

A year or two goes by. Your team missed out at the 11th hour on a huge contract worth in excess of £90 million. The CEO keeps the faith, and a year later you win an industry award and the new Russian owner nails his colours to your mast and gives you a new contract. Manufacturing with the biggest and brightest lights in the industry. In this line of work you would be given time to stabilise, maybe even fall back a little and consolidate for another assault on new markets. You are lauded as your industries leading light and your company is proud.

If you are in football you get the sack.

Brian McDermott turned down an approach in February 2012 from the then Premier League club, Wolves, to stay at Reading and “finish what I started” which he duly did. Winning the Championship for only the second time in the clubs history. Earlier this week he was sacked.. I have waited a few days before writing this piece. I am so angry. Granted results haven’t been what they should have been this year and the club does sit join bottom of England’s top flight. However I am disgusted that Brian’s loyalty (been with the Club since 2000) and work counts for nothing.

Just after Christmas, Southampton, a team who gained promotion by finishing second behind us last year, sacked Nigel Adkins. I have to admit I don’t like Southampton or Adkins. I laughed. I thought that is a poor way to treat a manager who has got you so much success. That would never happen at Reading. We are a well run club, not prone to press the panic button. How wrong I was.

Brian took us from the brink of Division One (Third tier of English football) to the Premier League. He did it not by spending millions on prima donnas but by building a close knit team of players, displaying a quiet air of determination to WNG (Win Next Game) He is a man who lives and breathes football and always acted with the best interests of Reading Football Club in mind. Thanks Brian for all you achieved and the memories which you helped create. I wish you every success and I hope you find a club which treats you with the respect your talent deserves.

Save us from Di Canio.

Brian McDermott: Out on his own

Brian McDermott: Out on his own

Come see the tame wild animal… fox that

Throughout the ages man has shared this spinning orb with many a creature, successfully taming beasts in order for them to make our lives a little easier, horses to pull the heavy plough, dogs to sniff out drugs, pigs to sniff out truffles. This always works best when we as humans respect the animal and their way of life. We have tried the brute force way of keeping animals on our side but for the most part this has resulted in many deaths, both animal and human.

Dogs for example, fit into human life very well. They are pack animals and as long as they know where they are in our pack they are pretty much happy. Humans for the most of our existence have not even thought this way, it is only through advances in dog behaviour studies that we are even aware this is the case. In fact there is strong evidence to suggest that dogs have adapted their natural behaviour to integrate further into the human unit. Barking for example, your family dog or indeed any dog you meet will be able to bark in numerous ways, a playful yip is much different from a go away or I’ll bite your balls bark. On the other hand wild dogs and indeed Wolves in the wild are largely mute aside from the odd howl or growl.

I like Wolves. I like to watch them on TV and if there is an opportunity to observe them in their natural environment from a distance I will. There is however in my home town no less a Wolf Sanctuary. Here you can stroke the tame Wolves like they are a domestic dog. I’ve never been, nor will I. I have no wish to pet a “tame” wild animal. An animal which still has the instincts it was born with, no matter how well it has been trained or hand reared it is still a wild animal. To disregard this fact is showing a huge amount of human arrogance.

Just last week a woman was attacked by two hand reared Cheetah’s at a South African Zoo. To be fair to the woman involved she did save a child from certain death but she was queuing up to get her photo taken with a cheetah. I’m not sure if cheetahs like having their photo taken, I guess if you were to ask them about the local Snappy Snaps they’d direct you to the local crocodile. Cheetahs are wild animals, born to run, hunt, reproduce and sleep. Not pose for something that will look good on Photostream on your Apple TV. An enquiry is ongoing at the zoo as I write this, however the usual outcome to such an event is that the animals that have had the bare faced cheek to protest, pay with their life. This is a shame because the incident occurred due to human arrogance and disrespect.

Channel 4 (In the UK) have been running a series called Foxes Live. On the most part it has been brilliant, full of great footage and information about the UK’s fox population (No mention of Samantha yet.. but there is still time) However some of the tweets the show has received have shone through as examples of the wild animal disrespect. I have no issue with people feeding foxes. I do have issues with people complaining that the fox they fed, came back and raided their bin when there was no food there. I also have issues with people leading the fox into their houses.

A fox is a wild animal. It will gladly take food for itself and its offspring. It will not respect the sanctity of your home or indeed your wheelie bin. It is not tame, it may bite. If it does it’s your fault.

The world around is a beautiful thing. The animals which we share the planet with are all just trying to survive. They are not there for our entertainment, even domestic pets need to be respected in order for the relationships we have to be mutually beneficial.

Now enjoy some fox cubs!