HomeFeatured ArticlesGraeme Souness: A ‘Proper Club’ Wouldn’t Put Up With Rashford’s attitude

Graeme Souness: A ‘Proper Club’ Wouldn’t Put Up With Rashford’s attitude

Blogging from the Midfield: Insights on Effort and Talent in Football

Football, a game as much about mentality as it is about skill, never ceases to stir debate among its enthusiasts and experts. Graeme Souness, speaking on William Hill‘s podcast “Three Up Front” recently shared insights that spark a deeper look into what makes a footballer truly great in the modern game.

Effort Over Talent?

Graeme Souness has been a venerable voice in football for decades, and his recent comments on Marcus Rashford’s performance against Luton Town raise an age-old question: What’s more crucial, talent or effort? Souness pointed out Rashford’s apparent lack of effort in tracking back, a basic requirement at what he terms a “proper club.”

According to Souness, “If he was doing that at a proper football club, they’d be all over him to the point where there would be fallouts, and if they didn’t learn, they’d think about selling you.” This stark observation underscores the importance of consistent effort, which should be non-negotiable, irrespective of talent.

Where Does Bruno Fernandes Fit?

The discussion also turned towards Bruno Fernandes, a talented midfielder whose fit at a team like Manchester City was questioned. Souness believes Fernandes has the qualities to fit in but wonders about his willingness to perform “the hard yards.” His statement, “Bruno Fernandes is a talented player, but would he fit into Manchester City’s team? He’s got the qualities to do that but does he have the appetite to do the hard yards, maybe we’ll never find out,” suggests that talent alone isn’t enough at the highest level.

Real Madrid’s Exodus: Casemiro and Varane Under the Microscope

Transitioning from La Liga to the Premier League, Souness also critiqued Casemiro and Raphael Varane, former Real Madrid players who moved to Manchester United. Describing them as “bit-part players” at Madrid, Souness is unimpressed by their impact at United, especially Casemiro, whom he plainly states, “isn’t someone you would pay to see play football.”

Photo: IMAGO

The implication here is profound. Success in a star-studded team like Real Madrid doesn’t guarantee effectiveness in a different environment, something Manchester United fans might be pondering now more than ever.

Proper Clubs and the Culture of Hard Work

Souness’s reflections resonate with anyone understanding football’s demands. The culture of a “proper club” entails a relentless work ethic, something he feels is lacking in some modern players. “When I was a player, no one was given permission to not track back, you’d sprint forward, and even quicker coming back – no one was given a pass,” he reminisces.

This culture, according to Souness, should be ingrained during training, hinting that lapses in a game reflect training attitudes. This insight is crucial for coaches and players alike, emphasizing that the foundation of great performances is often built far from the roaring crowds, in the quiet persistence of training grounds.

Conclusion: The Unseen Battle of Football

Graeme Souness’s commentary, facilitated by William Hill’s “Three Up Front” podcast, peels back the curtain on the unseen battles within football. It’s not just about the glitz of match day but also about the grind of training sessions and the relentless demand for effort over mere talent. His perspectives offer a sobering reminder of the values that define truly great football clubs and players.

As the football landscape evolves, the discussion between talent and effort remains a pivotal one, echoing in the strategies of clubs across the globe. Whether discussing potential transfers or training methods, the insights from seasoned professionals like Souness are invaluable in shaping the future of football.

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