In Praise Of… Matthew Le Tissier

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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9 Responses

  1. Michael Oliver says:

    It’s nice to be reminded of what a class player Le Tissier was. One of the great entertainers, and somebody who you looked out for every week when the highlights were shown. After all, how many live games did Southampton feature in during the mid to late 90s?

    A wonderful example of loyalty, it is, as you say, a pity that successive England managers weren’t prepared to take many risks with him. But what else have we come to expect? England has always been wary of selecting the maverick ahead of the workhorse.

  2. WithAPlum says:

    In Andy Gray’s seminal work, “Gray Matters” he mentions advising the manager of Villa when he was an assistant there not to put a bid in for Le Tiss because he was an “overweight lazy sod.” He seemed pretty proud of it too.

  3. Michael Wood says:

    I agree with many of the points raised in this article but the assumption that Le Tissier was not given a chance to stamp his mark on the England side being a great lost talent yet that talent was found but not capitalised on – Italy at Wembley was his chance under Hoddle and he failed to take it – and that he was unique in footballers of his time which is entirely untrue.

    True he had unique abilities – no one played like him – but he was in his own way as limited a player as Carlton Palmer. Palmer could hold the midfield together but trap a ball further than most people can kick it and Le Tissier could work magic but – as lauded above – only played half of the game.

    Players like Le Tissier were shown up when the likes of Benito Carbone (to name but one) arrived who could match his skill levels but put his effort to shame and watching David Beckham or Steven Gerrard who marry some of Le Tissier’s skills (some may argue that for all his skill Le Tissier could not match Beckham for consistency of ability. Le Tissier was blinding but Beckham dazzled week in week out for years) with the work ethic that modern footballers need.

  4. Brenton says:

    What amazing effortless volleys.

  5. RobW says:

    Immensely gifted player. Should have gone to France ’98 purely for his penalties! Was it just one he missed in his career?

  6. Chris says:

    Amazing how effortless he played.

  7. garvy says:

    I think Michael Wood is talking out of his ARSE. Fact

  8. Sam West says:

    Dear Michael Wood,

    48 penalties from 49 attempts.
    160 odd goals from 440 odd games FROM MIDFIELD, at a club which was regularly threatened with relegation.
    I was a season ticket holder at Man Utd, and let me tell you David Beckham (the most overrated player of all time) was well past his sell-by date when he was 25. Did he ever dribble around defenders or score headed goals? No. Le Tiss did both.

    Interesting to note that Man U DID ACTUALLY have a Le Tissier-like player at the time – his name was Eric Cantona. I NEVER ONCE saw Eric tackle back or run back to help the defence. I’m not sure I ever even saw him sprint. Does anyone in this country deride Cantona or call him lazy? No. They make films about him.

    Did Le Tiss only play half the game when he scored a hat-trick and hit the woodwork twice in the England B team match staged just before the World Cup ’98? If he did, I’ll take that 45 minutes over 90 from Beckham (who by the way, lost us the World Cup by getting stupidly sent off against Argentina). Did I mention Matt’s great temperament? Rarely even booked.

    And he had his chance for England? ONE chance? For the best (incontrovertibly) penalty taker the EPL has ever known? And he doesn’t even get a place on the bench? And we go out on penalties to Argentina? And one of the failed penalty takers is David Batty, who had NEVER TAKEN A PENALTY IN COMPETITIVE FOOTBALL? Are you beginning to see the light Michael?

    To win a world cup you need special players. You need players that good defenders can’t read or understand. Isn’t it the rest of the world who derides our useless national team for running around like headless chickens, being predictable, and being unable to keep control of the ball? But what do they know? They have only been winning World Cups/European Cups for the last 40 years. Le Tiss was the maverick that would have confounded our opponents at France ’98. But the manager got turned into a chicken under the pressure, and when his campaign failed he started raving about disabled people sinning in a past life.

    The lazy one is you, Michael. Check your facts before submitting your pathetic excuses for opinions. You go and sit with your video of Carlton Palmer’s sliding tackles in a dark room away from the rest of the world and try not to embarrass yourself any more than you have done already.

    Cheers Mate!

    P.S. Benito who???

  9. wayne chalk says:

    very well said sam , not much i can add to that but if micheal cannot watch that 7 minute youtube video and see that matt le tissier had more skill then david beckham in his toe then he dont deserve to watch it!

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