an odd site yesterday.
For one who has showed little emotion through his eight year stint as England coach the sight of him in tears when telling the team of his decision to stand down was strange.
I can only think of two other occasions where his demeanour had shifted from that sullen look, firstly when he was introduced as the new coach in ’99, though the smile on his face did look strange that day. With his odd fat jowls it looked like someone had their hand up his arse and he should be turning his head saying “Gottle o’ geer, gottle o’ geer”.
The second time was probably the best, when his little smirk sent little Piggy Ponting into apoplexy after the Aussie captain was run out by England sub Gary Pratt at the Trent Bridge in 2005.
What is in keeping with the man is the fact he hasn’t fronted up and told the media and therefore the fans. He was rarely seen in front of the press or a camera when things didn’t go well, as shown by his no show after the World Cup exit.
Well he wouldn’t want to answer the hard questions – where did it all go wrong? And are you jumping before you’re pushed as you’re scared of what’s going to be said in the Schofield report?
It was time for him to go, no matter what was is said in that report, though I doubt it’ll back the coaches choices and methods for the Ashes debacle. Yes he did well in getting England from the depths after the home defeat by New Zealand through great away wins in Pakistan and a first series victory against the West Indies in three decades to the pinnacle of the Ashes in 2005 but it’s been a steep decline since those celebrations at the Oval.
Yes there’s been tough injuries to overcome, Vaughan, Simon Jones etc but that’s no excuse for the rest of it. From picking Giles over Monty, and questioning everything Monty did to overseeing Harmison turn from the best in the world to the biggest joke in the game. Through it all Fletcher has to take the blame cause he took over all control.
He decided who played when, so when they were under-cooked and out of form it was his doing. He decided who was going to be the various discipline coaches, so they had Mathew Maynard and Kevin Shine, the Taffia and the yes men.
And he had every player scared of going outside of his control of their playing, yes it’s OK for Freddie to go off the rails until caught by the public but the England captain has to meet a batting coach to ask for some help and guidance to get back to form in secret. As Vaughan did when he requested a dinner with Geoffrey.
Someone like Boycs is exactly what Vaughan needs at this time, it’s no coincidence that previous England players and captains, such as Gooch, Hick and Stewart, form picked up after going to him for help. But Fletcher would be scared of having such a voice about the squad, much like there was no chance that, another great, Denis Lillee was not contacted after he said he could get Harmison back on track.
No we let great players who are also top notch coaches slip through our grasp because of the fragile ego of the head coach. He was there to advance the team to keep his own job secure.
So now we have Peter Moores as the permanent successor after a day. You think that choice was made some time ago?
What kind of head coach is he going to be you wonder, I can’t see him having the power to be as controlling as Fletcher, does that mean he’s just going to handed the team by the selectors and told to get on with it. Dear god that’ll mean that Graveney will have more power…
On the bright side it’s good to see Yorkshire put some runs up against them soft southern pansies from Surrey. But is Gillespie there for his batting or bowling?