I can't link since it's 'pay per view' but there is a nice TP anecdote in there.
As a man how can you feign injury and look people in the eye Robert Huth on the curse of the Premier League and why he can't stomach El Clasico
... I am still chuckling about one of his dry stories - about his first ever throw in aged 25. "I love Tony Pulis. We shook hands and he said, 'We're going to get on' and and we did straight away," Huth says. "I remember my third game for Stoke, Bolton away, and Tony was 'Huthy, come here'. What's up? 'You can play right back can't you?' I never had but I'd just signed so I was 'yeah!' I'd never taken a throw in. When would I ever have taken a throw in? The ball goes out, 2 minutes in. I pause and Tony's going, 'Come on Huthy, F****** throw-in. Go on.' Dave Kitson makes a run down the line and I have no idea how hard to throw it and what sort of direction either. I chuck it miles over Dave's head and Tony's like, 'What the f*** have we done here? Can't you even throw the ball 10 yards?' Sorry mate."
I only have the hard copy mate, I typed that with my own fair hand for your delectation! A funny story that brings the characters to life in a way you can recognise tells you a bit about those crazy early Prem days under TP at the same time I think!
Post by innocentbystander on Oct 21, 2018 21:10:46 GMT
On Crouchy's BBC podcast he has just told us about Huth's daily habit of occupying a toilet cubicle prior to training and then entertaining the assembled players with a full range of noisy sound effects, enthusiastically expressing his appreciation of the bodily function in which he was engaged.
He is probably done as a footballer but why make a drama? The big retirement announcement, that’s for others. “If you don’t play, you don’t play,” he shrugs. No fuss. Move on. That is what you get with Robert Huth — his own take on things, usually delivered with an amused twinkle and raised eyebrow. “A small head for such a strong jawline,” his Twitter handle drawls. He is the boy from East Berlin who became a teen Chelsea star and the big brother in Leicester’s miraculous title team. A road less travelled and a journeyer who makes up his own mind about the scenery. We discuss the “poison in the game” of play-acting, why Kante beats Messi, the charisma of the younger Jose Mourinho and why Mourinho is fading now. And driving back from Cheshire I am still chuckling at one of his dry stories — about his first ever throw-in, aged 25. Kill the cliches: Robert Huth hates the dismissal of Leicester’s title-winners, saying, ‘We were the best team. Simple’ “I love Tony Pulis. We shook hands and he said, ‘We’re going to get on,’ and we did straight away,” Huth says. “I remember my third game for Stoke, Bolton away, and Tony was, ‘Huthy, come here’. What’s up? ‘You can play right-back can’t you?’ I never had but I’d just signed so I was ‘yeah!’ I’d never taken a throw-in. When would I have ever taken a throw-in? The ball goes out, two minutes in. I pause and Tony’s going, ‘Come on Huthy. F****** throw-in. Go on.’ Dave Kitson makes a run down the line and I have no idea how hard to throw it and what sort of direction either. I chuck it miles over Dave’s head and Tony’s like, ‘What the f*** have we done here? Can’t you even throw the ball 10 yards?’ Sorry mate.” He was always a centre-half: big, broad, brave, a schoolboy judoka. He was five when the Wall came down, too young to understand what the street parties were for. Elements of East Berlin remained basic — in winter he played academy games on gravel. A Chelsea scout spotted him and at 16 he was in the Premier League, living with a foster family in West Drayton and cycling to Chelsea’s old Harlington training ground. His apprentice jobs included cleaning manager Claudio Ranieri’s boots. Chelsea was basic, too. Money was tight at the end of the Ken Bates era and on trips three, even four, players shared a room. “Then Roman Abramovich came and it was, bang.” Mourinho was another revolution. “You’d heard him, you’d seen him win the Champions League, so you thought, ‘He knows what he’s doing’ but then he just stepped in, he owned the room, he got players on board straight away. For two years that team was amazing. His attention to detail and preparation . . . I’d never seen anything like that. We got notepads before games with statistics: how many times the right-back passes to the centre-back. There were preparation sheets about the opposition. Weaknesses, strengths, set-pieces. In training, every exercise was timed. There were ball boys. I completely bought into whatever Mourinho said. If he said, ‘Play left wing,’ you’d say, ‘Give me the shirt.’” Middlesbrough followed, under Gareth Southgate, for whom management came “too early”. Then Stoke, where perhaps he peaked and where he loved the manly environment. Friendships from that dressing room — with Jon Walters and Ryan Shawcross — endure. He hates the cliches about Leicester. “One-season wonder. Freak season,” he sighs. “We were the best team. Simple. We won the league by 10 points. It’s more than Tottenham have done, more than Liverpool have done. But when Man United win a title it’s amazing. When Man City win a title it’s great. When we do it, it’s, ‘Oh well, it’s only because... ’ We had a great side. Not in terms of names but attributes, how it fitted together. Pace. Smarts. Good goalkeeper. Great defensive set-up. Kante, Mahrez, Vardy.” Kante? “He’s the best player I played with. Of course in skill Hazard is better, gets people off their feet. Ronaldo, Messi... I get all that, I really do. But in terms of impact on a game it’s Kante. I get annoyed. ‘Oh he just wins the ball back’. Which he does. But watch him. He reads three passes ahead. He’ll run 15 yards, then have a burst of acceleration to take the ball off somebody’s feet in a position where he has 30 yards of pitch to drive into. His brain works completely different to other footballers.” No one-season wonder: Huth and his Leicester City teammates finished 10 points clear when they won the title in May 2016MATT DUNHAM Huth has never met anyone nicer, or more shy, than Kante. “Our longest conversation was, ‘Good morning’. When I first met him I thought he was rude. In the canteen at Leicester I say hello and he just goes ‘Mmm.’ But you learn he’s not being rude, he’s being quiet, embarrassed how good he is. You can see it now when he scores a goal — he’s embarrassed. It’s no coincidence we won the league, then Chelsea won it, then France won the World Cup. He’ll change any team, he is that good and that smart a footballer.” John Terry was the best defender he played with and Huth marvelled how even at 23 Terry was coaching others through games, making them better. Didier Drogba was the toughest striker to face. You could never bully Drogba, could not outrun him; he had skill, intelligence, the gladiator’s gene. What happened to Mourinho? “It might be that the game has moved on and he needs to catch up. He’d be top dog in any other league. But here there’s Liverpool, where Klopp has such an intense way of playing. And City, as long as Guardiola stays there, who’s going to beat them? City are scary. They’re unbelievably talented footballers but their fitness and workrate is the best I’ve seen. Kevin De Bruyne doesn’t look that fast but try to play against him, and he runs from first minute to last. And that’s before you talk about his ability.” Huth thinks he would love coaching. “I saw the lads doing badges and some, they don’t put the work in, get people to do their forms, I’m sure you’ve heard the stories. If I ever do it, I’ll do it properly.” His time at Leicester finished because Claude Puel did not fancy him and he had 15, 16 months of niggles and not playing. In the summer he trained with Stoke but did a hamstring, then a calf and an achilles. Huth is 34 now, and not pushing to find a club. Simply the best: Huth says ‘Hazard is more skilful but no one has more impact on a match than Kante’PETER TARRY He is loving normal, non-football life — taking his sons to football practice, a beer in the pub, a family holiday in half-term. England is his home, though English foibles amuse him. “Nine-ish... ” he says wryly. “What time is that? Like, ‘nine-ish’ just wouldn’t exist in the German language. ‘I’ll be there by 11-ish’. What? What’s wrong with 11? 11-ish can be quarter-past, half-past, some time between 11 and 12. I have arguments with my wife. “We need to leave at half seven. She’ll say, ‘No, we don’t have to be there until eight.’ And then she gets in the shower! What?” Lastly, simulation. This is Huth’s bugbear. When Dani Ceballos pretended to be struck in the face by Ben Chilwell for Spain against England, “I couldn’t watch. What I can’t get is how, afterwards, you can face people. As a man. I find the whole problem embarrassing. Diving, I can understand. There’s no difference between diving and me grabbing someone. You’re bending the rules. But pretending to be hurt — it just goes against any sport. The weakness of it all p***** me off. I can’t think of another sport where it’s acceptable.” He is warming to the theme now. “You listen to it, to Gary Neville and all the others, ‘He had the right to go down.’ No. There is no right to go down. We spent the past 15, 16 years with nutrition, gym work, making footballers the strongest they can be. Are you telling me a [small touch] is enough to make one go down? “I don’t even watch Barça v Madrid any more. It’s s*** — 20 guys surrounding the referee, some holding their face. El Clasico? Off.” HUTH ON... • Jose Mourinho ‘He’d be top dog in other leagues but the game has moved on here and he needs to catch up’ • John Terry ‘He was the best defender I played with. At 23, he was coaching others through games’ • N’Golo Kante ‘Hazard is more skilful but no one has more impact on a match than Kante’
“Our longest conversation was, ‘Good morning’. When I first met him I thought he was rude. In the canteen at Leicester I say hello and he just goes ‘Mmm.’ But you learn he’s not being rude, he’s being quiet, embarrassed how good he is."
If it wasn't because he mentions the Leicester canteen I would have thought he was talking about Imbula.
"Then Stoke, where perhaps he peaked and where he loved the manly environment. Friendships from that dressing room — with Jon Walters and Ryan Shawcross — endure."
Say what you like about our 'job in hand' approach to our first 5 years in the Prem and a lot of people do but that team must have been great to play in, I reckon it will go down in folklore for all time!
Has anyone read the article in the Times by Joe Allen, when he fondly recounts the first time he was volunteered for the unenviable role of Corner taker, he tells us how this skill took him on a journey from the valleys to Anfield then onto the Euro 16, and being named as Corner taker for the Euro16 all star team, truly fascinating stuff !