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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Wednesday, March 3

Micah Richards talks the coaching pipeline

Tottenham Hotspur Training Session Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Hello, everyone!

Alfie Whiteman’s got a new look.

Ramble of the Day

It debuted last week, but I got around to watching Micah Richards: Tackling Racism, the Sky documentary that NBC Sports picked up for the US audience. It’s a very well-rounded look at racism in football, both from Richards’ personal experiences and based on broader conclusions about football and the world around it.

There were a lot of takeaways, including a really interesting section about halfway through when Richards speaks to Alan Bush, an educational manager at Kick It Out who works with people who have committed acts of racism. (I think it’s worth watching more than it is worth summarizing, so if you’ve got Sky or Peacock, it’s worth a watch.)

Something I’ll pick out for today is an insightful section where Richards speaks to current Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton and Stoke women head coach Alena Moulton. Both spoke about the coaching pipeline, which Moulton said does not lack for talent — the problem is that those interested in recruiting new coaches do not go looking for coaches of color. Hughton agreed, and noted how things have changed since his playing debut in 1977.

I think we lost a generation of good Black players and Black individuals that could’ve been very good managers and coaches. Thankfully, now in these recent times, there are far more young Black coaches on the circuit that have got their badges.

As many have mentioned before, it really does come down to the lack of support afforded by powerful bodies. Moulton was part on an FA scheme designed to bolster coaches of color, but she said representation has not changed much in the four years since she started the program.

It brings me back to the point that many have made — people with the most power are still not fully committed on supporting people of color in football, or even understand how to do it. The point pops up multiple times in Tackling Racism: Sporting Bengal manager Imrul Gazi said proving his players were racially abused made the victims feel like the guilty party, which discourages him from reporting another incident in the future, while Richards himself closes the doc by saying the victims cannot be the ones tasked with solving a problem they didn’t create.

Like I mentioned, it’s a well-rounded look at racism in football — Richards also speaks to someone at Facebook on social media abuse, and a father-son duo in Leeds committing to creating a safe space at Elland Road. It’s absolutely worth checking out if you can.

Links of the Day

Former Scotland and Liverpool forward Ian St John died aged 82.
Supplemental reading: Julie Welch’s obituary of Ian St John for The Guardian

Fulham’s Kevin McDonald will undergo a kidney transplant next month as a result of a chronic kidney disease.

Serie A awarded Lazio a victory after opponents Torino could not attend the match to complete a quarantine period after members of the team were exposed to COVID-19.

Schalke set a Bundesliga record by hiring its fifth manager this season, Dimitrios Grammozis.

A longer read: John Duerden on the collapse of Jiangsu FC and the dwindling flow of cash in Chinese football for The Guardian