When people ask me who was the last real English halfback, I tell them Bobby Goulding.
The game was different back then back when Bobby played, but he was a handy players for a short while there.
He was creative, he was fearless, he had a swagger no English player today has, and he had this undying self belief in what he was capable of.
Australian’s used to grow up hating English halfbacks, and Bobby Goulding was the last English halfback that I hated. After that they just made me laugh.
These days Bobby is coach of France.
I know, I don’t understand how that happened either. Goulding never did much as a coach, even in England where anyone that can buy a cheap suit can have a decade long career as a coach, however Goulding got the job and good on him.
That is where we come to his recent comments about England and their current standing in the game.
England beat France earlier this year by a scoreline of 66-12. It was a terribly worrying sign for everyone in the game, a sign that France had somehow managed to get worse since their god awful 2008 World Cup performance.
Bobby didn’t see it that way though!
“If they (England) take that form into the Four Nations, they will be favorites to lift it. We had eight players missing but England would have beaten any team in the world that night.”
I’m sorry, what was that?
England, coming off their most humiliating performance in the history of the British game, beating the 10th ranked team in the world, are now somehow world beaters?
Then again Goulding did have this extremely skewed view of the 2008 World Cup:
“Everybody apart from New Zealand had a shocking World Cup so they will all be out to prove something,”
Um, no, it was just France and England that were terrible. Everyone else played very well, even Australia despite the fact they lost the classic final against New Zealand.
Normally this type of fruit loop big noting from a Pom is good for a giggle and little else. However, this is the bloke in charge of trying to improve French Rugby League.
If he can’t get his head around simple things such as England current low standing in the game, or the clear cut performances of the 10 teams that took part in the 2008 World Cup, what chance does he have of formulating a game plan and training requirement needed to improve the French game?
Have another one Bobby!
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com