Rob McCaffrey talks sport

Our columnist on the stress of management and skills of Razor


Yes, they get paid crazy amounts of money, but just take a look at the faces of Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini to see what pressure can do to you. It was my wife, Beata, who commented on Kenny the other day. ‘Doesn’t he look shattered?’ she said as the great man’s face appeared at a TV press conference.

Beata and I had been out with the King right here in Dubai on the day he got the call to say he’d got the Liverpool job. He was bubbly, chilled, relaxed and happy… on great form, in fact. I said to him that night that no matter what happened at Liverpool, he had to stay that same way. A year on, he looks like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders.

It was when I saw Mancini’s face, as he celebrated the equalising goal against Sunderland on March 31, that I realised the toll that management lark takes. Roberto looked haunted. Shattered. Knackered. Sometimes they must ask themselves: is it all worth it?

In contrast, take my pal Mick McCarthy, who’s just been sacked at Wolves. I saw him on the TV this week: he’s been away on holiday for the past month and looks a million dollars. I’ve spoken to him regularly and told him as much, yet he still insists he wants to return to the ‘madness of management’, as he calls it, as soon as possible.

It’s an addiction that none of them can shake, even when clearly it should come with a government health warning. Great job. Great money. Great prospects. But only one can win, which means that it becomes blooming tough for the rest.

Hear Rob’s radio shows on Coast 103.2FM every Friday 11am-2pm, and every Saturday 6pm-9pm live from the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina (04 399 5000).

And another thing…
If your great aunt Mildred is in town and you’re looking to take her out for a night of gentle whimsical fun, then don’t bring her down to see Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock at the Mövenpick JBR this week. Anyone of a gentle disposition should not attend. That includes anyone who wears Laura Ashley twinsets, or anyone who thinks Bruce Forsyth is a bit racy: please try somewhere else.

The Razor, just voted the British champion after-dinner speaker, will be live with me at the Mövenpick on Thursday April 12. Throw in the fact that he’s appeared on the UK’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, Celebrity Wife Swap, Celebrity Come Dine With Me and he was also a top-class footballer who played for Spurs, Liverpool and England among others, and you can see why he has a wealth of stories to choose from. Get your tin hats on and come catch a bit of the Razor, before he catches a bit of you.

An Evening with Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock is at the Mövenpick Jumeirah Beach, JBR on Thursday April 12 at 8.30pm; entry is free. (04 449 8888).

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