Tuesday, 13 March 2007
'Captain Crap' and the lost boys
Stephen Jones being nicknamed ‘Captain Crap’ by his team-mates is reason enough to support Gareth Jenkins’ decision to bring in a sports psychologist. It may be a wittily ironic, inversely supportive reaction to media criticism of Jones’ leadership, but it’s hardly redolent of a winning group dynamic.
In Freudian psychoanalytical terms, it’s the ‘ego’ rather than the ‘id’ or the ‘superego’ that’s at the root of the current problems, and Jenkins is therefore right when he says the players are their own worst enemies.
It’s pointless to speculate on whether Stephen Jones might have chosen more shrewdly, but James Hook’s decision to kick for touch in the dying seconds was hopelessly naive. He may be a technically exceptional player but as yet he lacks the maturity to make a game defining call.
A focused side would have accepted the virtually-guaranteed three points and the ensuing draw, rather than risk their humiliation and the honour of the nation on the slim chance of going over from a lineout. But this is a team in complete mental disarray.
The malaise afflicting the boys might be seen as an extension of our national psyche. After all, this is largely the same group of players who spectacularly won the 2005 Six Nations only to bring about the demise of the architect of their success in an attempt to play their Australian drinking buddy into his job. How bloody Welsh is that?
Beating England on Saturday now looks a tall order. Yet we’ve only been narrowly beaten in the games to date so there’s still reason for hope. Whatever the outcome, we need to remember that Gareth Jenkins is one of us, not some hired gun from the Southern Hemisphere, and he’s trying to engineer exactly what we want for all the right reasons. Let’s leave the guy to get on with it.
Click on this link to check out The Red Dragonhood