A Flower Speaks

No comments from me at present, but no surprise who it is with, and no surprise that it’s not the most challenging piece…


I feel like I’m throwing a slab of meat into the ring here. I look forward to your comments!

Enjoy comments like…

Flower is finally optimistic himself now after emerging with his dignity intact from the fall-out of the 5-0 Ashes thrashing that saw one of the best of all England teams unexpectedly disintegrate spectacularly and then bitterly.

The man who coached England to three Ashes victories, the No 1 Test ranking and a World Twenty20 triumph disappeared into the background to lick his wounds while the mud-slinging and recriminations swirled around him.

Revel in the tough interrogation…

Even now he will not respond to the assassination of his character by Kevin Pietersen in the saga’s aftermath and instead is content to still be playing his part in the betterment of English cricket away from the spotlight he never relished.

‘It fell apart very quickly and much quicker than I hoped,’ reflected Flower on those tumultuous times in Australia. 

‘Regardless of whether I moved on I would like to have seen a healthier transition where some senior players stayed and there was a drip-feed of younger ones rather than a complete makeover.

‘Sometimes life doesn’t work out perfectly and that’s an example of that but England have made a great recovery.

Oh boy!


33 thoughts on “A Flower Speaks

  1. Clivejw May 6, 2016 / 10:12 pm

    The lunatic has escaped from the asylum… A typical soft, patsy interview from the MSM. Flower will never be held to account for his role in the destruction of our no.1 rated team, because the blame for that has been offloaded onto the scapegoat.

    Liked by 2 people

    • fred May 6, 2016 / 10:51 pm

      Why has it come out now? Is he being rehabilitated to take on a new role? Such a piece, complete with cheesy posed photo’s, doesn’t just come about by accident. Something’s brewing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Julie May 7, 2016 / 4:31 am

        Exactly what I was thinking.Can’t think of anything yet but it won’t be long.Was also wondering what Flower has done since he went to Loughborough😈


      • amit May 7, 2016 / 10:04 am

        Looks like Bayliss is bailing out…. watch out for the return of the king. The empire strikes back!


  2. Julie May 6, 2016 / 10:29 pm

    I feel sick. How can someone write that “crap”.And KP did not character assassinate Flower. Considering how much Flower hated him and tried to destroy him I think KP was very polite.I feel sick 😲😲😲

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mark May 6, 2016 / 10:38 pm

    “is content to still be playing his part in the betterment of English cricket away from the spotlight he never relished”

    Shouldn’t that last word be relinquished. It makes better sense then. Because his resignation was about as fake as you can get. He was back at the ECB less than 6 months later.

    ‘It fell apart very quickly and much quicker than I hoped,’

    Well it’s not really surprising when you are creating dossiers on players, and marking them down for looking out of the window. Notice Newman doesn’t ask about that. Was it not Newman who got the leak of the dossier story? You would think he would remember that and ask the right questions.

    “‘Sometimes life doesn’t work out perfectly and that’s an example of that but England have made a great recovery.” Ffs, He sounds like Forrest Gump.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Simon K May 6, 2016 / 10:43 pm

    Newman should be ashamed of that sycophantic garbage, which (if his collected output of the last few years was not enough evidence) should categorically destroy any residual reputation he may have held as an independent reporter rather than ECB stenographer.

    Not that he will be.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. fred May 6, 2016 / 11:03 pm

    “He took a lot of the brunt of the Pietersen fall-out and has always been a stubborn b****r which is one of his great qualities.”
    A stubborn b***r? What, a stubborn booer? A stubborn briar? A stubborn bater? A stubborn bummer? A stubborn boer?
    Translation required. That’s the trouble when you hire foreign coaches.


    • fred May 6, 2016 / 11:28 pm

      Ah, that explains it. I’ve never accepted that term, a man who wields the willow is a batsman. Batter has always sounded like an Americanisation. I might be in a minority.

      Liked by 2 people

      • fred May 6, 2016 / 11:53 pm

        If you were in Flower’s team, you would indeed have been battered.


      • jennyah46 May 7, 2016 / 7:05 am

        I refuse to use the word ‘batter’ in terms of a cricketer. It’s what I use to make pancakes.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. TheVickster May 6, 2016 / 11:24 pm

    I had to bite my lip whilst reading that crap.

    No questions asked about where the supposed legacy he put in place was, the huge player resources that were squandered. The ironic statement about the ‘fun environment and players enjoying themselves’. He just didn’t get it. What a farce! Plus I suspect they couldn’t really go into any questions about KP as any answers he would’ve given would’ve been shredded to bits by others about his role in proceedings. A soft lame interview. Pathetic.

    I also agree with the earlier comment. Why is this coming out now? What’s about to happen?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Zephirine May 7, 2016 / 1:11 am

    From the Irony Department:
    ‘It’s a really tough job at any stage and we tend to think as soon as we give someone the captaincy they become all knowing on tactics, leadership and selection and how people develop.

    ‘It’s a crazy thing to expect young guys to become great leaders straightaway

    It’s a bit crazy when people leak stuff the new captain tells them in confidence and then take the captaincy away again, too. Great ‘leadership’, that was.

    Bit of a nothing interview really. Preparation for ‘Andy Flower helped me become the player I am today’ says 10,000 run Cook?

    Anyway I hate these pieces the Mail does with all the variation-on-a-theme photos, it makes the subject look narcissistic even if, rarely, they aren’t.


  8. jennyah46 May 7, 2016 / 7:09 am

    How very odd. This is all a bit bizarre. Something must be afoot.


  9. nonoxcol May 7, 2016 / 7:17 am

    I will not read the full article. It would damage my health. Selvey’s egregious “The Pragmatist Calls Time” was enough rage-inducing, fact-ignoring Flower hagiography for an entire decade, thanks.

    The man could give Tony Blair lessons in media manipulation and Teflon-coating. He and his lapdogs really are beyond the pale.


  10. Mark May 7, 2016 / 7:57 am

    They are getting the band back together again. (Not that they ever went away) This summer is going to make Led Zeppelin at the O2 look like a lot of fuss about nothing. 10,000 runs for Skip, revenge for losing to Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, and all the old faces can safely now come out in public.

    Rejoice, rejoice,

    “‘It’s a crazy thing to expect young guys to become great leaders straightaway”

    He’s only been in the job for nearly 4 years.

    I take it Newman never got round to asking him about the 87 page diet sheets, the piss poor medical team, and taking tall fast bowlers to Aus who were not fit for purpose?


  11. "IronBalls" McGinty May 7, 2016 / 8:13 am

    My ghast is flabbered!!


  12. pktroll (@pktroll) May 7, 2016 / 8:25 am

    Truly dreadful article but no surprise really. Firstly it doesn’t deal with the ‘how’ the slide happened, simply stating that it did and there is no analysis of what went wrong. If Flower had dealt with it I would have had more respect for the article, but as you guys naturally state it’s a puff piece. I mean the part where he said that it was interesting to try and find a way of halting the slide and watch people go through it. What was that exactly and what could he have said that would make sure that it didn’t happen again? That was poor to say the least.

    Then there is a look at the lows of his reign in the stats bit next to it. It simply centres on the 5-0 loss to Aus, no menion of the whitewash in the UAE or that series v South Africa in 2012? Ok that’s merely the figures part but again it tends to overlook a pretty poor period for the team and that if you aren’t besotted by Andrew Strauss or Flower, you may find fault with both the results and the way England went about their work.

    Then we get on to the Cook part of the article.Of course it could be conflated with the first part concerning the lack ‘how’ it happened and a lack of insight into how they got their preparations and tactics so badly wrong through that series. Then of course we have the well known factor regarding Cook and his stubborness. I would have preferred intelligent and innovative but hey it is a quality. In fairness it suggests that he had learnt a bit from watching McCullum, the only problem being that he spent a year making the same mistakes during and after ‘that’ series that Newman has never had the guts or the integrity to question.

    The bit that gets me though is when he said “It is crazy to expect young guys to become great leaders straight away”, and continued that “it is part of my job to create environments to these players to lead in different ways”. Clearly that did not work well for him……………………

    I also had a problem with him say that Cook was a ‘young’ guy. He was frigging 29 during that Ashes tour and had first had experience of the test match captaincy nigh on 4 years previously to then in Bangladesh and was ODI captain for 3 years before the “difficult winter”. Therefore he had ample opportunity to develop his own tactical style and think about how he manages his bowlers and adapt to different situations. He’d also been full time captain a year before then so all of that just does not add up.

    If I can give some credit, I think he finishes the article quite well with his discussions about the younger players from the development team but forgive me for being a cynic I can’t help feeling it is a bit of a ‘pick Vince’ plug.

    My tuppence worth.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Sean B May 7, 2016 / 9:12 am

    Nothing like a powder puff interview with the man who oversaw the most spineless tour in history to get the old rage going on a Saturday morning.

    AF: “Nothing to do with me, it was that KP bloke, yeah blame him”
    PN “yeah your right Andy, it was his fault, can you sign an autograph for me”

    Absolute tosh….

    Liked by 1 person

  14. SimonH May 7, 2016 / 10:04 am

    The major infuriations in that piece have been already dealt with so here’s a few minor annoyances:

    1) “I would like to have seen a healthier transition where some senior players stayed and there was a drip-feed of younger ones rather than a complete makeover”.

    The side did not have a complete makeover. The first team in the ‘new era’ had Cook and Bell in the batting with over 200 caps and nearly 15k runs between them and Anderson and Broad opening the bowling with 150+ caps and nearly 600 wickets between them. That is a highly experienced core of the team by any international or historical standard.

    2) “He did so much, along with his captain Andrew Strauss, to lift England to unprecedented levels”.

    Unprecedented? Er, England have won the Ashes away before like 1986/87, 1978/79 and 1970/71. Topped the rankings? England topped the rankings at the start and end of the 1970s and for most of the 1950s. Won the T20I WC? Given that it had only just come into existence, how could it have been otherwise? What would have been truly unprecedented, winning the ODI WC, is just ignored. The ODI WC that Flower and Strauss presided over in 2011, including the defeat by Ireland and annihilation by SL, has been eliminated from history more completely than a member of a Stalin’s Politburo.

    3) “He talks with real enthusiasm about his charges among the second string”.

    Strange how their results are never mentioned. The Lions lost against Pakistan A under Flower. They lost the home triangular series against SL and NZ in 2014 under Flower. They won the ODI series away against SA when they were managed, I believe, by Mark Robinson rather than Flower.

    Liked by 1 person

    • fred May 7, 2016 / 2:22 pm

      “The side did not have a complete makeover. The first team in the ‘new era’ had Cook and Bell in the batting with over 200 caps and nearly 15k runs between them and Anderson and Broad opening the bowling with 150+ caps and nearly 600 wickets between them. That is a highly experienced core of the team by any international or historical standard.”

      At the risk of sounding like “What have the Romans ever done for…”, I have to ask, aside from Anderson, Broad, Bell and Cook, who else was retained? At the end of that tour, Swann retired, Trott retired, KP was sacked, Carberry was dropped, Prior was finished, and then Tremlett, Boyd and all those other fast bowlers whose names I’ve forgotten…
      Broads batting was destroyed.
      Half the team was blown away by that tour.

      I think it’s true that it provoked a pretty sudden change in team makeup. But I don’t think they were honest in addressing the real root of the problem, and therefore the fall-out was allowed to linger longer than it should have.


      • SimonH May 7, 2016 / 2:55 pm

        Prior played on until the 3rd Test against India. The team had five players with over 65 caps and they were well-distributed throughout the team. There were four debutants in the first ‘new era’ team (only one of whom survives). There was some change – but “complete makeover” is an exaggeration and you’re a kinder man than me if you think it’s entirely innocent.

        The main question though is whether the players who burnt-out was ‘natural’. I’m astonished by the number of England fans who’ve accepted uncritically that it was. Elite sport is a tough business and players get injured. I accept that. I can’t think of any wicketkeeper being finished at the age of 32 and I think Swann could have been better managed post-surgery.

        I don’t think it was all Flower’s fault. It was the combination of his methods and the ECB’s schedules. The schedule wasn’t going to change so Flower had to. He created a culture where players were extremely reluctant to admit injuries and seek periods of rest.

        Liked by 1 person

      • fred May 7, 2016 / 4:46 pm

        Yes, there was certainly a culture of “toughness” then which wasn’t pretty to watch, and must have been unpleasant for the players. Those were the days when Bell thought he needed to get into the opposition’s faces more.
        Not sure why Flower thought the transition could have been more gradual anyway, everyone who stopped playing did so because they were forced to for health reasons or hopeless loss of form. Except one person. Maybe he’s suggesting KP should have been retained :)? The more I think about his comment the less sense it makes.


      • Mark May 7, 2016 / 6:33 pm

        But the point surely is Fred……. if Swann was retiring, and Trott was out with health problems and they were going to sack Carbery why make the situation worse by sacking your leading run getter? They just make up excuses, and re write history. Any idiot could have asked they right questions. Newman knows which way his breads buttered.

        Fluffy pap is what is required from his masters. So he serves it up in spades.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mark May 7, 2016 / 6:35 pm

      Too funny.

      Has he heard of the Beatles yet?

      Liked by 1 person

  15. SimonH May 7, 2016 / 1:14 pm

    Competitive equipoise, part 2:


    “There is a danger of reading too much into Leicester’s splendid success”.

    Like writing, by my count so far, three articles hitching personal bandwagons to Leicester’s success?

    And although he doesn’t give any cricketing examples, I think we could all guess some of who he has he mind in cricket re dignified exits and second chances……


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