Mark Lawrenson - the New Terry Wogan? by John Marquis Red Rock

Posted by Rushian on June 12, 2001, 03:18:32 PM

In response to Paul Tomkins recent article regarding this genuinely talented defender and much-respected pundit (hahaha) I felt (with a little prompting) that it was my duty to bring to your attention the fact that Mr. Lawrenson has set himself up as a latter day Terry Wogan.

Those of you that know me will be aware that I have an insatiable appetite for anything connected to the RedMen and amidst my library of LFC related publications is a 1988 edition of the Republic of Ireland international's autobiography. An insight into the depth of the man's thinking can be gleaned from the witty and perceptive title, namely Mark Lawrenson. The Autobiography.

One chapter in particular titled 'Self-Styled Pundits' makes for some interesting and somewhat ironic reading. What follows in bold are direct quotes from the relevant chapter.

"Football provides more talking points than any other sport simply because more people are interested in it, but am I in the minority when I despair at constantly reading in some newspapers the sniping attacks which bear the names of ex-players who have earned a damn good living out of the game.

What they do is their business, but when I see famous names from the past racing to knock the game which has been so good to them I do ask the question whether they really need the money so badly. It is one thing to hear a debate in the pub among genuine fans but it is another thing when people are getting well paid to take a swipe at the game and individuals in it simply because they have a famous name, thanks to football. "

With reference to Emlyn Hughes, Lawrenson asks "Why does Hughes have to seek the headlines ? Is it ego, image or just the money? "

Maybe Lawrenson should now ask himself the same question. Well Lawro are your media contributions driven by ego? Or image? Or Money?

The chapter continues later with the comment " As I recall, he (Hughes) was not a great success in his short stint in management so what credentials has he got for pinning Bobby Robson (the then England manager) against the wall?"

Mmmmmm why does the phrase including those words, pot-kettle-black come to mind? Can anyone remind me how successful Lawrenson was whilst he was manager of Oxford United?

He continues : " Perhaps Emlyn thinks he should get the job, but bearing in mind his present status - as a television performer rather than a football player - I really don't see how he has the nerve to criticise Robson no matter how big the pay cheque. I sometimes think that these television soccer pundits see themselves as budding Terry Wogans : say something controversial and who knows what offers will come pouring in. "

So there you have it; does this Preston born Irishman really think himself as a remodelled Wogan? Will he have his own show on Radio 2? Will he be the next host of the Eurovision Song Contest?

Lawro goes on to say, " The ultimate irony is that players are always remembered fondly when they retire yet many are not appreciated while they are still playing. "

Sorry mate, you were always rated by me as a top, top defender. Maybe from a personnel point of view, in this difficult task of selecting 'best evers' I would disagree with Paul Tomkins' assertion that Lawro is the second best defender ever to wear the Liver Bird, because that accolade from this arl arse goes to Ron Yeats.....what a partnership Rowdy and Jocky would have made!!! Maybe that is a topic for future discussion.

But the very best comment Lawrenson makes is his closing paragraph. It reads " This (chapter) is the nearest I shall get to criticising people. Where would I be if I could not play this game? I realise what it has given me and I have no intention of losing my credibility by starting to take cheap shots at people for instant rewards. "

Very what made him change his mind? And why does he appear so bitter toward the team that gave him so much success?

© John Marquis (RedRock) 2001

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