Looking back 2: The best and worst appearances by opposing managers in the Rotherham United media suite in the 2022/23 campaign
TAKE a bow, Rob Edwards, the best of all the visiting managers this season to pay a visit to the media suite at AESSEAL New York Stadium this season.
Journalists covering Rotherham United had the pleasure of his company twice: first when he came with Watford and then when he brought his promotion-chasing Luton Town side to S60.
He lasted 11 games with the Hornets which I think makes him their longest-serving boss in the last 20 years.
Both times, he was humble, honest and fair; there was no edge to him at all. He was just a warm, intelligent football man happy to talk about football warmly and intelligently.
Too handsome by half, mind.
It’s been a pretty solid year for opposing bosses and there have been no ‘Tony Mowbray’ moments like the one I’ve written about previously. Mowbray was fine following his Sunderland side’s 2-1 loss in February. Gracious even.
Others worthy of praise are Birmingham City’s John Eustace (didn’t attempt to put any gloss on a 2-0 defeat) and Millwall’s Gary Rowett (this was no surprise as he’s always been a top bloke with the press).
There are shouts-out too for Blackburn Rovers’ Jon Dahl Tomasson (he gave due praise to the Millers for their 4-0 victory and it’s always impressive when someone speaks more eloquent English than you in their second language) plus Sheffield United’s Paul Heckingbottom (from South Yorkshire so obviously a top sort).
Even Bristol City’s Nigel Pearson was all right. He didn’t call anyone an ostrich and was perfectly reasonable company once somebody had sorted him out with a Bovril.
By the way, only a journo can spell ‘Jon Dahl Tomasson’ correctly without needing to look it up.
Interestingly, the two at the foot of the list both have outstanding Premier League pedigrees as players: Middlesbrough’s Michael Carrick and Burnley’s Vincent Kompany.
Don’t get me wrong, neither of them were unpleasant in any kind of way; in fact, Kompany was polite and accommodating.
Carrick was in and out fairly sharply. He hadn’t enjoyed a 1-0 loss for his team, he hadn’t appreciated how Rotherham had gone about their business as they sealed their Championship safety and he wasn’t interested in sticking around to speak about it. Not rude, just didn’t want to be there.
Kompany is someone I have always liked and admired from afar, but there was an air of entitlement about him. Not once did he credit little old Rotherham for holding already-promoted opposition who were on their way to the title. It was all about how the Clarets hadn’t won rather than how the Millers had managed to draw.
That attitude ran through the entire Burnley operation on the night. Remember how they had their substitutes going through their running drills after the final whistle in such a way that it gatecrashed the Rotherham players’ salute to the North Stand.
We’re too good for the Championship.
Great players, great team, great fans. But as a club, on that April evening, they lacked a bit of class.