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Ron Greenwood

John Simkin

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Geoff Hurst has suggested that while Ron Greenwood was manager of West Ham the club played very attractive football: "The style of play he developed may not have been conducive to the nine-month slog of the league championship race, some of the football West Ham played in his time was the most attractive and memorable in the world. The Upton Park loyalists appreciated the way we played and, most tellingly, came back year after year because they knew they would see a good game of football. West Ham had a well-deserved reputation for high-quality attacking football and Ron was responsible for that." Greenwood agreed with Hurst: "The crowds at West Ham haven't been rewarded by results, but they keep turning up because of the good football they see. Other clubs will suffer from the old bugbear that results count more than anything. This has been the ruination of English soccer."

Jeff Powell has argued that Greenwood was right to try to maintain this approach to football: "Those principles guided Greenwood through his coaching and management and won him the respect and admiration of hundreds of people deeply involved in the game. The flowing, open football which Greenwood's beliefs demanded of West Ham also earned him the gratitude of tens of thousands of football-loving spectators who relished watching his team. At times West Ham stood alone against the violence, brutality and intimidation which, in the late Sixties and early Seventies, threatened to bludgeon all the enchantment out of English football."

Ivan Ponting has argued that: "Greenwood had been a strong and positive influence on English football throughout his days as a coach and manager. An impeccable sportsman, he deplored the greed and hostility, the cynicism and win-at-all-costs attitude which had become increasingly pervasive. He was a deep thinker and skilled communicator who painted pictures with words on the training ground, believing simplicity was beauty and building his teams from that standpoint. He was no conventional hard man treating players as adults and expecting them to impose their own self-discipline." Greenwood once remarked that: "Football is a simple game. The hard part is making it look simple."


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