Introducing new Prost columnist – England International Terry Butcher

The photo of Butcher bleeding for England has become iconic

The photo of Terry Butcher bleeding for England has become iconic / Photo: c/o Mirror Group

Terry Butcher is a former England international who won 77 caps for the Three Lions.

A tall and dominating centre half, he was a valued member of the famous 1990 England team that reached the World Cup semi final only to be eliminated in penalties by Germany. He played in Sir Bobby Robson’s revolutionary Ipswich side which challenged for EPL honours for a decade in the 1970s. Butcher’s Ipswich managed four Top 3 finishes and an FA Cup win in his time there, a remarkable feat for a small town and small budget club. They famously won the UEFA Cup in 1981. He won 3 league titles with Rangers in Scotland before launching his managerial career at Coventry City.

Fearless in his defence, Butcher is iconically best remembered for gushing blood from a head wound while heavily bandaged in a match in Sweden. His continuous heading of the ball proved too much for the bandage and by full time, his white England shirt was covered in his blood.

Today, he is a regular columnist for the Sunday Mirror in England – and now also for Prost Amerika.

His column will be called Butcher’s Block and he starts by looking at the fallout from Real Madrid’s dismissal of Rafa Benitez.

Butcher’s Block – Patience is a sadly lost virtue in English football

by Terry Butcher

Joyce Meyer, a preacher from Missouri, once said, “Patience is not the ability to wait, but how you act while you’re waiting.” Well, it didn’t take long for Real Madrid’s President, Florentino Perez, to act, sacking Manager Rafael Benitez after only seven months at the Bernabau and three defeats in twenty-five competitive matches.

Patience is certainly not a virtue in the Premier League either and even less of a quality in the division below; since the end of last season, there have been nine dismissals in England’s top flight, and a further ten in the Championship, and with Pep Guardiola’s announcement that he will manage in England next season, there will definitely be another summer high profile sacrifice upon the altar of the God of SKY, or sooner if the limited patience mentioned beforehand continues.

With Guardiola available shortly and both Jose Mourinho and Benitez twiddling their thumbs at home, there are a good few managers in the Premier League and throughout Europe, that are urgently looking over their shoulders. The exception though is at the Emirates where Arsene Wenger has reigned supreme for almost twenty years; an eternity by today’s standards and something that will never be seen again.

The soon to be available Pep Guardiola

The soon to be available Pep Guardiola

If Jose Mourinho’s longest spell in charge is only three years, and he is unquestionably one of the best managers of modern times, then no one is going to get anywhere near Wenger’s marathon career at the Gunners. Winning the Premier League and the FA Cup in his first full season certainly helped the likeable French “Professor” to settle in and another double four years later, plus the construction of the “Invincibles” who were undefeated throughout the title-winning 2003-04 season, enabled him to build the squad and the club as well as oversee the move from Highbury to the world-class Emirates Stadium.

Yet, as Mourinho’s Chelsea has proved so dramatically this year, losing just two matches now constitutes a crisis, especially in the Boardroom, and that is why a successful January transfer window could make or break a club’s season and, also, a manager’s career.

I despise the concept of this window as it unsettles players, fans, agents, chairmen and directors. Initially designed to improve teams’ stability and prevent agents from searching for deals all year round, it has had the reverse effect and, believe me, it causes panic, chaos and deceit.

Three years ago even the Almighty Arsene wanted the January window to be limited to only two transfers per club, but, (a) who is available that is any good and (b) clubs will have to pay well over the odds to get him anyway. All the speculation surrounding possible new signings has almost entirely focused on players from abroad but it only takes one major outlay to set off the domino effect, normally two days before the end of the month.

It would be good to see British talent at the heart of the transfer activity, but don’t hold your breath. As in the USA, local ability is too often by-passed for foreign Internationals that are more experienced and bring in more immediate media attanetion. Clubs, Boards and managers should all step back and look out of the window and not panic at the view…in the words of Joyce Meyer, “…a trusting attitude and a patient attitude go hand in hand.” Trust and patience should work both ways.

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