Saturday, January 14, 2017

Remembering Graham Taylor

The Spiked website has far too much reflex contrarianism, but there are still good articles there if you look.

Here is Tim Black on Graham Taylor and his hounding by the media:
Taylor’s time in charge of the national team coincided with football’s post-1990 explosion as the National Game. Long a passionate pastime for many, football, by the time of the formation of the lucrative BSkyB-backed Premiership in 1992, had become the cultural centrepiece of national life. Those who may once have ignored it descended from the cultural heights to embrace it. 
Classical musicians wore club scarves; middle-class authors wrote up their teams; politicians spoke about international matches in parliament. It was no longer simply a beautiful game played on half-mud pitches; it was treated as art, prefaced by opera songs, and colonised by sections of society who once treated it with disdain. Football was undergoing Hornby-isation; it was hipsterising; it was being valorised by the right-on and progressive. 
And then there was Taylor. The haircut was straight, the accent East Midlands-ish, the overall impression a bit naff. Football’s new fans wanted polish and sophistication, innovation and Europeaness. What they got was spit and archaic, long-ball and patriotism. 
To football’s newest fans, Taylor appeared an unwelcome throwback, a return of football’s unreconstructed working-class, an obstacle in the way of progress.

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