The average footballer has the brain of an isopod, the social graces of an Albanian peasant, the communication skills of a special needs student and the vocabulary of a 13 year-old asbotic.
That could pose a problem for his manager. Luckily, most managers come from the same background so they can communicate with their man by drooling, shouting and grunting until there is a glimmer, followed (eventually) by a mutual understanding.
If you listen carefully to a radio or TV interview with a footballer you will hear little vocabulary and an over-reliance on clichés which are short, easy to remember and can be mixed, matched and adapted. We al know the old ones : Parrot , Moon and Backo the Net come to mind – they are the old ones. New ones are creeping in as well : ” I was on a steep learning curve” is quite popular nowadays. How many footballers have seen a learning curve?
So we can agree that communication is not their strong suit. Imagine then the difficulty that a foreigner would have in understanding and gauging the level of thickness and lack of expressive skill that a British footballer enjoys.
When you are listening to someone speaking, you can tell within a couple of sentences whether you are dealing with a scholar or moron. However, when you listen to a foreigner whose language you do not understand, you have no idea whether you are listening to poetry or garbage. Or as a footballer might say: “Nancy woofter-boy stuff or fucking shit.”
Imagine the difficulty that say, a foreign non English-speaking football manager would have in deciding whether a particular footballer would make a good leader or captain. To his unattuned ear, the footballer may sound positively Churchillian whereas to you and me, he may sound like a dim-witted, knuckle-dragging thicko ***.
But we must also remember that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
*** Sorry to bring the Tory front-bench into this.