31 July 2009

RIP Sir Bobby

Another goddamn sports post...

I think it's fair to say that Sir Bobby Robson, who died today, was quite possibly the greatest English football manager since Alf Ramsey. There are others who might claim that title - Brian Clough or Graham Taylor, for example - and there are non-English managers of English clubs who have achieved even more - for example Alex Ferguson.

But Robson did an amazing job with Ipswich Town, who were a very middling club when he took over - I don't know if anyone else could have won the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup, and League runner up twice, with a club like that. Clough and Taylor are the only two real comparators.

As England manager from 1982 to 1990, Robson had the best record of anyone since Ramsey. The semi-final placing for England in 1990 was the best anyone has ever achieved for the team on foreign soil.

He also seemed to be a genuinely nice guy - respected throughout the game, and in hero in both Ipswich and Newcastle. That statue outside Portman Road is there for a reason, to be sure.

You'll be sadly missed from football, Bobby. We salute you.

1 comment:

Van Patten said...

Absolutely agree.

Hugely underrated as England boss. took an average side to both a quarter and a semi final of two World cups! In the former undone by blatant poor officiating!

A true great, will be sorely missed ion the quagmire of contemporary football.

Looking forward to getting my teeth into your political posts....