TWO weeks ago, I wrote about having people like Kevin Keegan and Mick Channon in any team that I would put down as being the best in my time during the 70s, 80s and 90s.

I wondered what sort of team supporters would pick from that period and who the younger fans would select from the year 2000 until now.

I’m not an expert on social media but I’ve been able to see some comments and I was reminded time and again of other players supporters would have picked.

I didn’t want to pick a complete XI, but I did mention other players such as Alan Ball and Peter Shilton – and I don’t think too many would argue with those names in their teams.

One team I saw, for instance, included about five players who had all captained England, and other teams which were made up of some oldies, all internationals, surrounded by five or six youngsters who had come through my youth system made me realise just how much supporters feel about their club.

And how on a Saturday afternoon, they could criticise the manager whilst smoking a cigarette and enjoying a pint or two after the game

Looking back, it was often the manager that got the blame when we lost, and the players got praised when we won – but that goes with the job!

I must say that the one criticism I had which I can understand, up to a point, was that Terry Paine hadn’t been in my forward line.

I would like to point out to some who must be of an age that Terry was a brilliant winger.

He was in the England World Cup squad in 1966 but it has to be remembered that he was nearly 35 when I arrived.

Terry did play a few games, but it was his last season and, as I said, the team I asked people to nominate were from that period onwards.

Whilst I have been criticised for the relationship I had with Terry, I was pleased to see him a couple of years ago at the football ground when he came over to present the President’s Award for Player of the Year.

We had a good chat and he was telling me he was hanging up his television punditry boots, which is what he had been doing in South Africa, where he moved to many years ago.

He still lives in South Africa and is still a President of the football club.

Terry undoubtedly had been one of Ted Bates’s special players.


TALKING about my lack of awareness of social media, it has always puzzled me why people have to hide behind a fictitious name.

If they feel strongly about anything they should come and say it.

But we, of course, are only talking about which players people like and who they would pick if they were the manager.

On a much, much more serious point, I was really upset to read this week about the racial abuse Ian Wright, the former Arsenal and England striker, had received.

I remember doing TV events with Ian when he was just coming into the media.

He joined Bobby Charlton and me and I was very impressed with him as a person, having admired him on the football pitch.

He has come out this week and said how deeply hurt he had been by racist insults sent to him via Instagram.

Because it was on Instagram, where people apparently put their real name, a teenager, would you believe, has already been arrested for the vile abuse he’d sent to Ian.

Abusive comments about which players should be selected is one thing but, on a topic, as serious as racism, online abuse must be stamped out immediately.


AS we’ve already said, eyes will be on Germany this weekend to see how the games go behind closed doors.

But as things are changing slightly with the lockdown over here, the players in England are starting to get ready to train in small groups over the next few days.

Whilst it will be completely different from normal training, it will be much better than following their plan at home.

One of the main reasons for this is because a large part of professional football is from Monday to Friday.

I was asked recently what advice oldies could give to young managers and I said they should work hard in the dressing room and find out what their players are about off the field.

For instance, I had this saying throughout my managerial career: ‘I would have a rascal if he could play. But I wouldn’t have a villain even if he was the best player at the club’.

You can find out these things when you are together during the week.

So, getting together this week will be something the players can’t wait to do.