Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Jones revelations shed new light

Away from pre-season worries, it has been interesting to get the chance to read parts of former Saints manager David Jones’ autobiography, No Smoke, No Fire, which was serialised in the Daily Echo last week. He never struck me as the writing type – but if anyone has had a life to write about, he has.

I always thought he was a good manager, and his achievements with Wolves and Cardiff since his spell at Saints have demonstrated his ability to bring stability and success to middling clubs. He kept us up twice, finishing twelfth in his first season – a feat that recent events have shown to be harder than once thought. We will never know what he would have achieved at Saints as his stint was tragically interrupted by unfounded charges of child abuse from his days as a care worker in Liverpool. Jones was given time off to clear his name and Glenn Hoddle came in, setting the stage for our relative success in the early noughties.

But Jones’ successes on a small budget should not be forgotten. He was particularly effective in the transfer market, making a huge profit out of Kevin Davies and bringing in James Beattie and Dean Richards. Particularly interesting have been his thoughts on key figures at the club.

On Le Tissier –

Jones thought Le Tissier was a little too comfortable at Saints as a big fish in a little pond and should have moved to a bigger club. Oh, that and he “did like his hamburgers too much.” In a weird passage, he recalls being told by members of SISA (Southampton Independent Supporters Association) not to drop Le Tissier in any circumstances. Oddly, he says he replied by saying he would get “two bus loads of scousers down there to sort them out if that was a threat.”

On Lawrie MacMenemy –

Saints legend Lawrie apparently told Jones that “finishing fourth from bottom constituted success.” How’s that for ambition? Another example of old Macca dwelling on past glories for too long.

On Rupert Lowe –

Jones pokes fun at Lowe for “thinking he was one of the boys.” He marks him out as a “patrician” figure; backing it up with Lowe’s claim that he picked potatoes as a child. But unlike one of the coaches who did the same, Lowe “drove the tractor.” How fitting. More damaging is the revelation that Lowe claimed Saints were “going to burn up the Championship” last year with the kids they had. Not sure about that one, Rupes.

No comments:

Which team will fill the third relegation spot?

Four games left. Will Saints survive?

Would you be in favour of a return for Rupert?