Tony: Sam Has It Wrong

Tony Gale reckons that Sam Allardyce has got it wrong in his criticism of the appointment of Trevor Brooking as director of football development at the FA.

Bolton manager Allardyce's argument is that because he hasn't got the UEFA Pro licence, he shouldn't be doing the job, but Tony counters:

"I don't know who they could appoint, really; he has had a go at Trevor because he hasn't got the Pro licence but Trevor held the full badge when he was a player, and all you need doing really is having that upgraded.

"Now, Sam has done very well as a manager with Bolton, but I think if you look at the respect Trevor Brooking has all over the world and will have with the England players, it is hard to think of anyone else who would have that kind of stature.

"What he has done with Sport England and things like that means he understands behind the scenes at the FA, and he has done TV work as well.

"I don't think the Pro Licence is the be-all and end-all of it; I know about 10 or 15 teachers who have it.

"Perhaps nobody should be talking about football on the TV or their experiences of playing days if they haven't got the Pro licence and we should just leave it to all those who do have it?

"I think the qualifications are necessary when you go into management and coaching now, but to say that someone like Trevor Brooking hasn't got the qualifications is a little bit off the mark and I think Sam has got that one wrong.

"I'd agree that Sam has done a good job at Bolton but I don't think you could get anyone more honest than Trevor Brooking; he is whiter than white, there is a lot to clean up in the game, and I think Trevor could be the man to do it.

"I am sure, having done his Pro licence, Sam thinks there are things he could tell Trevor - but Trevor could just turn round and say to Sam 'when I played against Hungary, and when I did this against so-and-so, it was a different kettle of fish when I was playing and dealing with other international players at England level....'

"Although things have changed in football a little bit it is still played by 11 players against 11 with a football - we tend to think it is a little bit too complex at times.

"I am not sure what the Pro licence does for you - Kenny Dalglish didn't have it and he went on to win the title with Blackburn Rovers and the Double with Liverpool.

"You could go on and on and on; it is something people argue about all the time but the badges are not everything - what you do in football is the be-all and end-all of it.

"Sam is doing very well but I think he has been too highly critical of Trevor."

As Tony is quick to point out, coaching is "just part of a wide-ranging brief" and of more immediate concern to the unflappable Trevor is improving relations between England's top players and the Football Association.

For which there is no known certificate...