The Joe Royle Column

AS A friend and as a big fan, I want to pass this warning on to Gazza - just beware mate.It is hard to come back to the sort of level you are looking at with Wolves in the Premiership.

AS A friend and as a big fan, I want to pass this warning on to Gazza - just beware mate.

It is hard to come back to the sort of level you are looking at with Wolves in the Premiership.

I saw Gazza's last game at Burnley a couple of seasons ago and I spoke to him afterwards so I'm surprised, although I shouldn't be with Gazza, that he wants another crack at the Premiership.

It is fantastic that he wants to play in the Premiership but he needs to be a little careful if he thinks he can play at that level again after being out so long.


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I saw Paul Merson's comments that Gazza is the best English player he has ever seen and certainly in recent history he is the most original talent and I class him as a friend.

I know he has great faith in his ability and no doubt his control won't have changed or his appreciation of a pass, but sometimes people don't realise the pace and the power in the Premiership these days and I'm afraid he would struggle.

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So I think he should think long and hard about it, but I would say by all means carry on playing but look at the Second or Third Division.

WE must be the luckiest club in Europe here at Ipswich with our Dutch players.

Fabian Wilnis, Martijn Reuser and Nabil Abidallah are totally charming and true gentleman.

You would struggle to fall out with those three, yet virtually everywhere else the Dutch fall out with their clubs, their countrymen - everyone.

They are famous for arguing about bonuses in tunnels before World Cup games, declaring they don't want to play with one another and even had a racism problem in their squad.

But equally they also produce some of the greatest talents in the world. So unless we are totally over-rating the Premiership, and totally over-rating the goal machine that is Ruud van Nistelrooy, I can't see how anyone can leave him out, as they have.

It is not as if the Dutch have already qualified and I would not interfere with another manager's team selection, but from afar this looks very strange.

Through all of this Alex Ferguson is chuckling, he probably started the rumour they don't get on, but he will be glad van Nistelrooy won't play against Scotland and he will have a rest on international weekends.

I know Ruud recently turned up at the development in Majorca where I have an apartment so I might see him there again next summer.

TONY Adams is one of the great leaders of our time and I wish him all the best at Wycombe Wanderers.

He has certainly had a fantastically successful life and he has reinvented himself from an alcoholic footballer to a teetotalling diplomat.

Tony's first problem will be to come to terms with the fact that the Wycombe players can't do what the Arsenal players can do no matter how well they are coached.

But it will be a good grounding for him and if he can overcome that frustration and take them on to the next level, then he will quickly become a sought-after young manager.

The big thing with Tony is he was a leader at 18, captain of Arsenal and England and he seems to have done his grounding with coaching courses, going to university and totally cleaning up his act.

He was one of those players that every manager in the country would have had in his side but he will find it different now. As a player he could leave his kit in the dressing room and go home, as a manager he will find the work is just beginning.

There are two sides to getting into management, like Kenny Dalglish who won the double in his first season, while others were not great footballers and came through the ranks, so there is no one formula, it is whatever gets the job done.

Tony has a stature about him that gives him a great chance so good luck to him.

Another coach looking for the right club and hoping to get a break is our own Tony Mowbray. He is already a terrific coach and needs to find out for himself what it is like to be No. 1. He has always been a tremendous leader like Adams and has the respect of players and is also a great gentleman and deserves his chance.

But from a purely selfish point of view I won't be too disappointed if it does not come for a while yet.

I WAS signing copies of the club's new management game at Planet Blue last night and as it always it was good to meet supporters.

But I have to admit to finding the real job of managing a club easier than the fantasy games world. Video and computer games baffle me but I know my children, even though they are grown up, love them and these are proving popular among our fans.

IT is a bit rich blaming Peter Reid and Howard Wilkinson for Sunderland's £20m loss announced this week.

The same chairman and board gave them both the job. Peter Reid was so highly thought of there they gave him preferential shares and finished sixth in the Premiership so it was not all bad under him.

Howard had been out of the game for such a long time so it looked a strange decision to appoint him at the time, but again the chairman made it.

But we should not just jump on the manager. The whole financial market has deflated and people are realising that this is an ongoing effect of the Bosman Ruling.

Fees have already come down but now wages should come down a long way as well.

COMMUNICATION is the answer in anything. If you keep your problems to yourself then it gets bigger. A problem shared is a problem halved and that is true at any stage of life, but particularly as a vulnerable teenager.

We have seen in Adam Murray's case, the young Derby player who admitted to an alcohol problem and finally sought help, he had fame, fortune and more than a bit of cash to spend, probably earlier than he could cope with, along with all the personal problems he had.

But we should not think that football is any different to life. It happens to a larger extent in life and the Adam Murray case has been highlighted because he is a footballer.

What I'm saying is that it is good to talk, and if you have a problem get in touch with someone who can help.

A friend, a teacher, boss, a family member or call Childline on 0800 11 11.

It is good to talk.

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