England have sacked their coach; the coach they hired about a year ago with a view to rebuilding the side in time for the Ashes series which starts in about 45 minutes’ time. We’re increasingly wondering whether they should just scrap long-term plans in favour of short-termism. It seems a more realistic way of operating.
Unlike his predecessor, Andy Flower, Peter Moores seems to have a decent knack for picking out talented players. Whoever follows him will doubtless benefit from this. Hopefully this next coach will get the opportunity to wring those same players dry in a period of unparalleled success.
When that period finally implodes, England should hire Moores for a third time to pick out the next batch of players and draw people’s ire until everything’s ready to go again. He could become some sort of ire-drawing, low ebb specialist; a man who builds decent foundations while simultaneously being blamed for the embarrassing lack of walls.
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison says the sacking has been made ‘as we focus on the future’.
‘Twas ever thus, but as any horologist will tell you, the future never comes.
A lot of people – seemingly a majority – are saying that Peter Moores ‘has to go’. There is probably some truth in this because the pressure and scrutiny he will be subjected to should he be allowed to remain would most likely be crushing for the team. However, we also feel that England’s World Cup performance is to a great extent not his fault.
When Moores became coach, he inherited a captain who had been not so much named as anointed. The post-Ashes shitfight had seen the ECB nail their colours to the mast, set up a protective barrier around it and then launch a fleet of fighter jets to patrol the area.
Alastair Cook was England’s one-day captain and if Peter Moores didn’t agree, there was, quite frankly, nothing he could do about it. A coach should be confident and single-minded, but an England coach also has to survive. Undermining the ECB would not have been the way to achieve this.
Even if he didn’t at first, Moores will surely have grown desperate to drop Cook from the one-day side as he desperately tried to lay paving slabs around that one dead tree stump. Had it been uprooted sooner, maybe he would have had a chance to prepare the ground better, but he never got that chance and valuable stones were broken in the meantime.
Moores had to build a 10-man team to compete against 11 and the more he tried to work around Cook’s shortcomings, the more damage was done to those moved around to accommodate him. It wasn’t just the matches Alex Hales didn’t play or the omissions Ian Bell shouldn’t have had to endure; it was also the defeats.
England lost and when you lose, you react. Confidence ebbs and you make changes. England made so many changes that by the time they got rid of the one thing that was definitely wrong – Cook – half of what surrounded it had become wrong as well and there was no time to put things right.
So maybe Peter Moores does have to go. But he also has our sympathy. This was his lot and he did what he could with it. As pathetically as things turned out, and as ridiculous as this sounds, given the same set of circumstances we can’t imagine anyone else would have done much better.
Is it a good idea for a team that can’t bat to hire the coach of a team that can’t bat? It’s probably okay. The England coach is basically just a management figure, after all and Peter Moores seems pretty good at that side of things. He brought in many of the systems on which Andy Flower’s success was built. Indeed, he brought in Andy Flower.
He also ushered in a lot of the players who have been stalwarts of the side in recent years. James Anderson was just some lad who spent lunch breaks bowling at a single stump before Moores became coach. Stuart Broad came to prominence, Matt Prior got a game and Graeme Swann appeared. In fact, if you look at Test selections since Moores left, only Jonathan Trott and Joe Root have really managed to bed in.
We plan on lauding him when England win and berating him when they lose, even if we have no clear idea exactly what his job entails. At least he’s Maxonian though, eh? That’s got to be a positive, right?
Unsure how to approach opening the bowling in the Ashes?
Simply consult ‘the tin’.
“Jimmy does what it says on the tin – he swings it both ways at pace with the new ball.” – Peter Moores
The tin is clearly very wise.
We support Lancashire. You might be wondering how we feel about this. If there’s such a thing as a positive ‘meh’ – then that. He did win the County Championship with Sussex after all. He does have a good track record.
Peter Moores’ has Maxonian origins, so this is a return to the North-West for him. We’ll all stand at the windows of the mills and doff our flat caps at him as he slopes back into town, hunched against the driving rain.
We’ll bake ‘welcome home’ meat ‘n’ tatty pies for him and call him a soft bastard for having something approximating a hairstyle. We’ll ask him if it’s true that you can’t get gravy wi’ your chips down south and then we’ll get on with the serious of business of buying him a pint so that he has to stand there and drink it while we tell him how shit he’s doing.
Maybe we don’t need Pakistan cricket after all. We’ve got England for back-stabbing and intrigue now.
Officially, Kevin Pietersen and Peter Moores both resigned. Unofficially, well, does it matter what really happened, does it?
Those halcyon days of long-term planning under Duncan Fletcher seem longer ago and more valuable by the day. Not long ago, we looked at Australia’s selection policy and felt like maybe England were more organised. Now they have neither coach nor captain. Textbook. Well played England.
To a degree and for different reasons, both men deserve this. It’s said that Peter Moores didn’t acknowledge or allow for individuality in his players. Kevin Pietersen bought into his own column inches and threw his weight about.
The seeds of the fall-out were sown during a conversation between Peter Moores and Andrew Strauss. The pair were discussing manufactured pop bands and Moores branded Liberty X ‘derivative’ and ‘lacking in true vocal talent’. As Kevin Pietersen is married to ex-Liberty X chanteuse, Jessica Taylor, Strauss felt moved to tell him about the comment.
Pietersen took it badly, saying: “He’s so two-faced. If I’ve got a problem with someone, I tell them to their face. I don’t go around behind people’s backs like he’s done.”
The discord simmered with Pietersen making continual wisecracks about Moores being from Macclesfield, even though he no longer lives there. Many of the comments were childish, revolving around inbreeding and an unseemly love of the produce of Gregg’s the bakers.
Following a stressful tour of India, matters came to a head in the form of a huge stand-up row between the pair.
Pietersen said that Moores was boring everyone with his continual complaints about the fortnightly wheelie bin collections in Macclesfield. Moores countered by saying that a non-Maxonian couldn’t know what it was like; that previously the bins had been emptied weekly, but now families couldn’t fit all their rubbish in the bins and it was lying around rotting, attracting vermin.
Pietersen called the people of Macclesfield ‘idiots’, citing the increased capacity of the wheelie bin compared to the old style bin that it had replaced. Moores said Pietersen was an idiot, before rather unnecessarily adding that Liberty X’s ‘A Night To Remember’ was inferior to the Shalamar original.
The relationship has been strained ever since.
We mean that how you think we mean it. He’s not been going on about Kookaburras or whatever.
Talking about Andrew Flintoff Peter Moores said:
“When it gets tight he takes a deep breath and delivers his skills.”
Maybe that doesn’t bother you, but all sorts of alarm bells started ringing when we read it. After we’d turned them all off and returned to the computer, his choice of words sank in and we were MASSIVELY HORRIFIED.
‘Delivers his skills’ is, unfortunately, not Maxonian dialect. It’s cricket lingo. It just means ‘plays well’ and nothing more than that. It’s one of those phrases where people just seem to be trying too hard to sound professional or something.
We heard it first a couple of years ago when John Buchanan was Australia coach. At that time the whole Australia team had been brainwashed into speaking in this mindless way; forever going on about executing their skills like they were frigging robots or something.
It’s a bad sign. Mark our words.