Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Surprise, surprise...

So the machiavellian machinations of the RFU finally came to a head today when the worst-kept secret in world rugby was revealed by a RFU statement that confirmed that an MBE and an OBE have decided to appoint a CBE to the position of England Team Manager whilst removing an MBE from his role as head coach.

Setting aside the ridiculous nature of the British honours system (since when did we have a British Empire?), this particular EeeBeeGeeBee has the following observations:

  • Brian Ashton (MBE) has been treated very shoddily, there's no doubt about that. The way the RFU have acted looks, as Brian Moore puts it, as clear a case as you're likely to get for constructive dismissal and Ashton must be tempted to dig in for a mega payout.

  • That said, those Ashton-apologists who appear to be impressed with England's record under Ashton (runners-up at the Rugby World Cup and 2nd place in the Six Nations) are missing the point. Ashton's overall record is poor, not just in terms of results but also in terms of performance. Under Ashton England have played 22, won 12 and lost 10. But of those 22 performances I'd say we played really well on only 2 occasions - against France in the 2007 Six Nations and against Australia in the Rugby World Cup quarter final. I'd rate a further 8 performances as being no more than adequate, 9 performances as being really quite poor and 3 performances (against Ireland at Croke Park last year, in the pool match against South Africa in France and last but not least during this year's pathetic effort against the Scots) as being downright diabolical.

  • Those who somehow think that a lack of experience or coaching qualifications will mean that Martin Johnson (CBE) will not be hugely successful in this role are severely underestimating the man. Johnno is a winner, plain and simple, and provided he is allowed by the blazers at Twickenham to get on with the job without unnecessary interference, I for one would not bet against him being a major success.

    anne bebbington said...

    That's the crunch though isn't it - 'being allowed by the blazers at Twickenham' - only time will tell

    Nursedude said...

    Don't forget how tough the English press can be-they maybe more ruthless than the "Blazers" at Twickenham. I hope Coach Johnson has a thick skin. I wish him luck, I really do.

    David said...

    Just how is Rob Andrew worth his £250,000 salary in all of this mess?