Why Garry Cook Should be Praised and not Ridiculed

23 Jun

It’s not often I’m provoked in writing an article based on what is produced in a paper. Occasionally, there might be a piece (normally by the pathetic Tony Cascarino) that slates City and so angers me into a response. But I’m writing this article as a sort of follow up to a fantastic interview I read in the Independent by Nick Szczepanik. It wasn’t even mainly focussed on City: instead, it was about Brentford’s new manager, and former City legend, Uwe Rösler.

In particular, it was a quote by the German that struck me and led me to write this. Questioned whether the character of the club had changed since Sheikh Mansour took over, Rösler said ”I have to say the new owners are very interested in keeping the tradition and history of the club. They looked after my family when we moved over, helped us out with schools – after all these years and with a lot of people in charge who never saw me play.”

For the part I’ve highlighted in bold, credit must be given to the likes of the oft-criticised Garry Cook and Brian Marwood. Cook has taken a lot of stick over the past couple of years for a number of high-profile gaffes, but behind the scenes, he is doing a superb job in various areas.

The work he does in retaining the strong links between the different generations of players should not be underestimated, as shown by the countless former Blues who were present at Wembley for both the semi final and then the final. Cook has been integral in maintaining the link between past and present, and it’s thanks to him that former City greats, such as Mike Summerbee and Tony Book, still maintain strong links with the club.

For a club with so much potential for the future, it would be all too easy to forget past achievements, but Cook and Khaldoon Al-Mubarak have worked tirelessly to look after former players and make sure their work won’t be forgotten. The emotional wave of support for and then subsequent moving tribute to Neil Young against Leicester with the introduction of red and black scarves, although initiated by the fans, was heavily supported by Cook.

The work he does away from the public eye often goes unnoticed but is a prime example of how successful our beloved football club can become. In creating links in America and Sierra Leone, where he has cultivated close relationships with children’s academies and supporters clubs, he has shown himself to be a man of great integrity and in the words of Tony Hernandez, the principal of the school to whom City dedicated a rooftop pitch, a ‘people’s person’.

Linking back to what Rösler said, it’s tough to imagine many other Premier League clubs supporting former players to the extent of helping them find appropriate schools for their children. They might provide tickets for the odd game here or there, but I get the impression that the likes of Mubarak, Cook, Marwood and others genuinely care about our former stars. We should be proud of the work our board is doing in making erstwhile figures proud of the current set-up, so instead of sending criticism his way, I believe it’s time the efforts of Garry Cook ought to be applauded.

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21 Responses to “Why Garry Cook Should be Praised and not Ridiculed”

  1. TheMancunianRed 23/06/2011 at 8:12 pm #

    I cannot comment on what he does for Manchester City however I do think from a business perspective City could have gone about things very differently. City as we know are the richest club in the world or have the wealthiest owners who want to spend money on the club if you want to be pedantic.

    Now City ate always going to have the problem attracting the biggest names, even with United’s success and history the top Spanish duo with usually be most players first choice if they come in for a player and many players will choose the top Italian teams over a move to Manchester.

    So City even with their financial clout are going to lose out usually on the very best players in the world. What I’ve found amazing has been the lack of understanding and knowledge of football has resulted in City looking an embarrassment when they have made moves for players such as Kaka and Sanchez et al.

    City should have first got the go ahead from the player that he will join if a transfer fee is agreed. The agent will ask the player to think about would he be willing to make the move, only then when they have been given the right signals do you move in to negotiate a fee. The transfer fee after all for City is the least of their problems.

    • Clive Tysoe 23/06/2011 at 8:32 pm #

      Clubs hold contracts not players or agents. Sanchez has never said he doesn’t want to come to City. What he will have spotted, no doubt, is that City are an emerging force in European football, they have recently qualified for the group stages of the Champions League and they finished on the same points tally as Chelsea in the Premiership. Man City are a club which are on the rise and who can say what the potential outcome will be, with huge resources & large fan-base. I’ve followed City since I was 5 and I was there when we last won a major trophy. The only embarrassment is in our riches!

      • Steve 25/06/2011 at 4:13 pm #

        Clive Tysoe, now there’s a name I remember. I knew you back in the “Deep End” days in the Bahamas. Me and the Mrs made it to the home derby last year. Just wanted to say hello and pass the same on to Falks if you see him.

    • tublu 23/06/2011 at 8:58 pm #

      “City should have first got the go ahead from the player” ? That’s called tapping up mate. Bit like the way yoonitid worked out what phil jones’s release clause was in his contract. Did you really pay that for him ?

      I’m happy for my club to continue going about our business in the right way. I don’t care about anyone else’s teams. c’mon city !

    • oap fan 24/06/2011 at 9:25 am #

      read what Gary Cook actually said about the Kaka affair, certain papers have always had an agenda with city. as for Sanchez, he is not a high profile player, his value has been inflated by his club and agent. visit our stadium, check our ticket prices, see what they did in the fa cup semi to ensure families and friends were able to sit together. This man has been maligned by the media, as has the myth of the club and its fans have changed. One thing has not changed and i hope and pray it will not Manchester City have always treated their fans better than our more successful neighbours.

    • Mick 24/06/2011 at 9:44 am #

      There’s a first – a well-reasoned comment on City that isn’t dripping with bitterness from a United fan.

  2. REFCR 23/06/2011 at 8:26 pm #

    While the work he is doing with people in the community, ex city legends and abroad is credible, ultimately that his not his job description. That should be left to others known as community workers, a committee for ‘Old City players’ and action teams working on behalf of the club abroad. His role is to improve the public profile of the club and successfully negotiate transfers, two things he has been unsuccessful in doing.

    • Ian Ashworth 23/06/2011 at 8:51 pm #

      I think you should watch the end of season interview with our Chairman Khaldoun.He has nothing but praise for Gary Cook.He’s the boss so his opinion is really all that matters .I have had cause to contact Gary a couple of times and he responds personally without delay.The bad press he gets is unjustified and in particular the way the press responded to his sacking of Hughesless was a disgrace.

      • REFCR 23/06/2011 at 8:54 pm #

        You have given this from such a biased perspective. The sacking of Hughes could be said to be unjustified. Its great that Gary responds to you quickly but his job isn’t a welfare officer.

        • lynx1330 24/06/2011 at 8:19 am #

          Hughes’s sacking was justified, it was the run of 5 or 6 draws against teams that were scrapping around the bottom of the table that ultimately led to us not qualifying for the champions league that season. Hughes’s defence’s are terribly organised for set pieces and incapable of concentrating for the full 90 mins.

    • tublu 23/06/2011 at 9:02 pm #

      don’t know who you support refcr but to claim that city have not been successful in improving ( I assume you mean raising) our profile is simply ludicrous. As for transfers where do you want to start ? we have Silva, Tevez, Balo, Dzeko, komps, NDJ, AJ, GazBaz, Jimmy Milner, all signed in Cooks time. Seems OK to me.

      • REFCR 23/06/2011 at 9:18 pm #

        I apologise, i didn’t mean they hadn’t improved. I am a United fan but of course i recognise the vast improvements and strides made by City. I meant in terms of city’s reputation, on several occasions Cook has made high profile gaffes so there has been times where he has held city back.

        However, such are the resources at City’s disposal, nothing will prevent them from european domination within 5 years.

        Just giving my opinion mate 🙂

        • Siamack 23/06/2011 at 9:28 pm #

          One yard stick to see how well you are doing is to measure how bad your rivals hate you. Well done Cook.

    • jeremyp99 23/06/2011 at 9:07 pm #

      How do you know what his job description is?

  3. Goatfacekillah 23/06/2011 at 8:35 pm #

    While you make a reasonable point Mancunianred – at least over Kaka, it’s not really the point of the article. He’s had some bad press and here’s sonething admirable and areguably unusual. I’m so delighted how we’re getting everything right retaining, and indeed enhancing, our links with the community and our fans. On our transfer negotiation conduct, I think we’ve handled things reasonably since the regrettable Milan business. Better than some of our rivals.

  4. Bring Bellamy back 23/06/2011 at 8:38 pm #

    I don’t really know much about the activities of Marwood and cook nor o i take much of what is said in the papers at face value, but i read an article today accusing these two of serious errors in signing palyer with inflated wages such as Bridge, Santa Cruz and co.

  5. Siamack 23/06/2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Not long ago City was relegated to lower division and was a team struggling in mid table just before take-over. And just after the take over, if you believe that you can attract players of high caliber to compete with likes of Chelsea based on our mid table struggles and performances without paying over the odds, then you must be either naive at best or stupid at worst. Cook and Khaldoon Al-Mubarak did everything they could to build a team that can not only take us where we are and beyond but also a team whose profile can live up to a team that is viewed by football pundit as title-winners. And thanks to them, we have achieved all that. And if anyone can not take this, the I recommend to go and root for Birmingham city!! Thank you Cook and thank you Khaldoon Al-Mubarak for all the hard work you put both in background and foreground. As a city fan, my hat is off to both of you.

  6. Wooderbeen 23/06/2011 at 11:07 pm #

    Really pleased to see an article in support of Cook. He’s made some gaffs during his tenure, no doubt, but having heard him speak and having read some of the things he’s written I think he’s got the club’s best interests at heart. During the Kaka Affair and now the Sanchez deal, you have to question all parties. Who would want this deal out in the open for everyone to follow like a soap opera? City – who want to sign the player and get him concentrating on his new team and his new goals? Udinese – who want to get as much for the player as possible? Sanchez’s agent – who is undoubtedly and typically looking for the bigest signing on fee/wage for his client? Come on. Cook and Marwood couldn’t have kept this out of the press if they’d have bought houses for each and every journalist. It’s not the way football works anymore.

    And so, if you want to sign the biggest names in football, you have to stick your neck out and take a risk and that is all City are doing. He probably won’t sign for us. If given a choice and I wasn’t a City fan I’d probably sign for Barcelona. But that shouldn’t stop us from asking the question and going for the kind of player to take us to the next level.

    I say well done Garry Cook – keep up the good work!

  7. russ the blue 24/06/2011 at 12:16 am #

    Gary Cooke has put his foot in it so many times I think its best he keeps a low profile which he geneally has recently. I don’t believe he is really a football person and does not understand the mentalitiy otherwise he would not suggest things like doing away with promotion and relegation (which would have left City stranded outside the prem a few years ago)

    Personally I don’t care if he is a football person as long as he is good at the stuf he has been brought here to do.

  8. Manc Red 24/06/2011 at 10:56 am #

    Honestly Garry Cook’s major two gaffes have made me lose all respect for him. He was quoted after the takeover as saying he wants to make City the biggest club in the world in ten years time! Really? Even with all the money in the world it takes a lot longer than a decade to be the biggest club in the world. Arsenal, despite not winning anything for a long time, still have a superior support worldwide than Chelsea who have won a raft of trophies recently. City have to at least win the league 4/5 times in the next ten years to even be considered anyway near one of the biggest clubs and gain respect from non-City fans which I don’t think they have yet. Secondly the ‘Welcome to Manchester’ poster was one of the worst PR gaffes ever. It showed how City only wanted to piss off United rather than focus on their own objectives and the fact that Tevez was used is hugely ironic as recently he has said how he detests Manchester as a city, claiming there is nothing to do here and very few restaurants, and as a Mancunian, I find that highly disrespectful. This is not an anti-City rant, it’s an anti-Cook and anti-Tevez rant, two figures who your club would be far better without.

    • Siamack 24/06/2011 at 1:17 pm #

      >>he wants to make City the biggest club in the world in ten years time! >>Really? Even with all the money in the world it takes a lot longer than >>a decade to be the biggest club in the world

      If he thinks 10 years enough to make city the biggest club in terms of whatever he meant, then this is his prerogative, just it is your prerogative to think it takes a lot longer. It does not mean that you do not deserve respect if someone does not agree with you. We are already biggest in terms of riches! and right on track to get there in terms of glory.

      >>Secondly the ‘Welcome to Manchester’ poster was one of the worst >>PR gaffes ever. It showed how City only wanted to piss off United >>rather than focus on their own objectives

      So you are telling me when the rags had the poster that City had not won anything else for 35 years, they did not intend to piss city off and focus on their objectives!!

      Respect and courtesy is a two way street, they take a jab at you, you then return the favor. If you want to offer your other cheek, church is the better place for you not the cut-throat business oriented professional soccer world.

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