Other Perspectives: A Defence of Peter Moores


As our regular readers know, we’re big critics of Peter Moores here at TFT. We didn’t think he was the right appointment last year, and judging by England’s difficult 2014 and disastrous World Cup, we believe our fears were justified.

However, there is another side to all this. Perhaps we’re being unkind and looking for scapegoats? New TFT writer Philip Lewis thinks this might be the case.

His article below is a thoughtful defence of Moores that acknowledges some of his shortcomings while arguing he should be given the chance to change. After all, players can improve so why not coaches?

It’s only natural that after dismal failure in any walk of life scapegoats are sought. So it is that Paul Downton and Peter Moores (I deliberately mention them in that order – after all, Downton appointed Moores) should answer for our shameful performance in the World Cup.

It’s not difficult to have some sympathy for Moores. It now seems that, certainly as far as the white ball game is concerned, he was selected for a post for which he was unsuited.

However, with a demanding and challenging few months coming up, now seems the wrong time to plunge the England set-up into uncertainty by sacking Moores. This would simply repeat the unsettling situation that followed the replacement of Cook by Morgan as one-day captain shortly before the World Cup.

First things first. We shouldn’t forget that Moores got the England job first time around as a result of the excellent job he did with Sussex. In winning the county’s first ever County Championship title in 2003, and beginning a golden decade for Sussex cricket, he turned an unfashionable, permanently under-achieving club into a force in the land.

Some less charitable cricket followers will claim that he wouldn’t have done it without Mushtaq’s 103 wickets, but all winning teams have star performers, and there’s no doubt that Moores was a huge success on the South Coast.

His first spell with England was hardly a resounding success, but another spell in county cricket, this time with Lancashire, saw Moores repeat his success with Sussex. In doing so he became the first man to lead two counties to County Championship titles.

We don’t know exactly why Downton and the ECB were convinced Moores could be successful with England second time around. He has not played international cricket and most people would argue that success in the county game is not necessarily a guarantee of similar success in the international arena.

This criticism is understandable. It’s unthinkable, for example, that Chelsea would replace Jose Mourinho with a manager who had been a great success at, say, Bristol City: they would look for a proven track record at the top level given the demands the manager faces and the enormous rewards for success.

Furthermore, Moores is surrounded by coaches who are similarly steeped in English county cricket, Kevin Shine, Peter Such, Chris Taylor and, most notably, Mark Ramprakash. It’s difficult to imagine Moores encouraging Joe Root to do a Maxwell or a de Viiliers and play with carefree abandon.

It’s even more difficult to think of Ramps doing so. It should be remembered that Ramprakash’s sublime talent never flourished on the international stage due to the very same caution and hesitancy that characterised England’s batting in this World Cup.

However, Moores will know all this. It was obvious to all watching the World Cup that the international game has moved on and England need to change. Supporters might demand that heads roll, but rather than sacking a coach with a limited squad a less headline-grabbing move would be to simply encourage Moores to learn from the recent debacle and adapt.

Professional sportsmen and women often talk about learning from failure. Just what is learned and how this informs future action is usually made much less clear, partly because interviewers never ask for this clarity. What’s certain, however, is that not all champions enjoy immediate success; they have to learn.

The England management team infuriated many at the World Cup by their stubbornness in refusing to change from what was obviously a failing formula. However they now have no choice but to alter their approach.

If the team continues in the same vein it will continue to fail miserably. In 2015 England have ten Tests, eleven ODIs and two T20s. Seven of the Tests and all but one of the white- ball games are against New Zealand and Australia. A repeat of the atrocious performances in World Cup 2015 is too awful to contemplate.

Peter Moores has been a successful county coach: doubtless he is an intelligent and resourceful man. Rather than sacking him at short notice, immediately before a tour to the West Indies, maybe it will be better for England in the short, and maybe the longer term, to let him develop in the role.

However he will need to change not just the playing and coaching personnel, but the way in which we play international cricket. The 2015 World Cup doesn’t have to be a disaster for English cricket, it could be the start of a new era.

Sacking Moores is the easy way out and it would appease those who seek a quick fix. It may even be the best fix. But let’s give him a chance to learn and develop.

Dr Philip Lewis


  • No problem with Moores getting the job first time round based on his county record (if one accepts the rushed appointment and the xenophobia which gripped the ECB and the press post Duncan).

    However, his performance first time – results and his ability to alienate half his team, some of whom were extremely successful international cricketers – should have automatically ruled him out second time.

    Fact is, he got the job again because he was prepared to accept an England team without KP: few others would, and that characteristic was a job requirement.

    He’s just not good enough for the job in the end

  • You neglected to say Lancashire were relegated twice under Moores’s coachship!!

    Sacking Moores is not a quick fix – it is his just desserts

    Rubbish article

    • Lancs were only relegated once under Moores, the year after winning the Championship. I think it’s a little harsh to blame this year on Moores, given that he was appointed to the England job after one round of the season…

  • I agree with the principal that managers/coaches should be given time; Moores after all has only had ten months in the job.

    It is his second time round, though. He now has possibly the worst record of an international coach, and has shown more inclination to panic as opposed to adapt to circumstances (the Ballance/Taylor cock-up being a prime example, ditto the sacking of Cook).

    As a counter-point to the suggestion that he be allowed to learn & change, I would contend that he should be coming to the job as England coach as the “finished article”. Coaches have to start somewhere, and there is a valid argument that winning CCs with Sussex & Lancashire is more than decent enough a record for a Test coach, but he has won naff-all in limited overs, though. Naff-all. I don’t think that is good enough for an England coach.

    That leads to the argument of splitting T20/ODI Coaching from Tests. Persoanlly, I don’t buy into that. A good cricket coach is a good cricket coach, if he’s not good enough to manage with all 3 international formats, he’s simply not good enough. No other team does it – England had very mixed success, and tensions over selection, last time we tried it.

  • “Peter Moores has been a successful county coach: doubtless he is an intelligent and resourceful man. Rather than sacking him at short notice, immediately before a tour to the West Indies, maybe it will be better for England in the short, and maybe the longer term, to let him develop in the role.”

    Two words: Mickey Arthur.

    He was pretty successful when he was coaching South Africa’s cricket team. He was less successful coaching Australia’s cricket team, and ended up in a position where at least part of the team hated him.


    Arthur’s dismissal was sudden and managed to surprise just about everyone when it was announced – Lehmann was quite surprised. From the first article I linked:

    “After talking through a handful of topics over lunch, Howard cut to the nub of things. ‘How would you like to be Australian coach?’

    Misreading it as a blue-sky conversation starter, Lehmann responded, ‘Oh, I dunno, maybe in a few years, that might be nice.’

    ‘No, I mean now.’

    Lehmann’s wife, Andrea, and their children were in Bristol, as the family had planned a holiday in Scotland following the Australia A tour. He hurriedly conferred with them, before accepting Howard’s offer. The Lehmann family’s 2013 northern summer trip would go on without Dad.”

    Australia lost the first Test series Lehmann was the coach for. The next one went in Australia’s favour to the tune of 5-nil. Sacking Moores right before a West Indies tour may not do much for England’s performance in the Caribbean, but it may just be what it takes to put England in a strong position for the upcoming Ashes series.

    The question regarding Moores is whether at this stage he has the capacity to grow into a role that he managed to flub the first time and is not showing any great aptitude for a second time. There’s also a matter of whether Moores can actually work with the team members – you’d have to wonder, after this World Cup, if there is much respect left.

    I’m an Australian, so my personal view is that the ECB shouldn’t change anything and just keep things as they are for the upcoming Ashes series. It would suit me just fine. Maybe that says more about Peter Moores as coach than anything else I could say.

  • Interesting piece Doc. I have changed my view somewhat about Mr Moores. I think he seems to be a very decent man and the players really like him. I noted last week that Carberry did not put any blame on Moores at all for England’s failure. Given that Carberry was the most outspoken player about the ECB debacle supporting KP and giving a very different impression about what happened.

    Moores has said that he would be willing to work with KP again. Moores is an older man now and says he has learned from the past. Moores is an easy target and the current incumbents at the ECB like “easy targets!” IMO Moores has been used just the same as Cook and others have been used by the ECB.

    The culprits of England’s decline? I put all the blame on the current ECB management: Downton, Clarke, Flower, Whittaker. Clarke sells off TV rights to Sky. Counties seem to be pleased at first. All that lovely money flooding in? But of course money doesn’t always equal bums on seats. Increasing prices didn’t help either. Fans ask questions about KP and the poor running of England Cricket are then called “outsiders!” I’ve said this before, having listened to lecturers’ in Marketing and Business Studies at University: a business abuses its ‘stakeholders’ at its peril? Something Mr Clarke & Mr Downton do not understand it seems.

    Downton has every faith in Mr Moores and likes to display the loyalty card. However, we all know how far Downton’s loyalty goes, given the way Cook was jettisoned from the ODI side. I would trust Mr Downton to make my tea, let alone the management of England Cricket.

    Management are to blame for this mess: Clarke, Downton, Flower & Whittaker. Moores is almost an incidental pawn in the bigger power & money grabbing game. Those fans who said this would happen understood a lot more then the current management! The very knowledgeable guys on here and on Lord Canis’ blog have shown just how astute they all are. I do not think Mr Moores should be sacked but he does need some really good people around him. He really does need a manager like Vaughan. Get rid of Flower looking over his shoulder. Can Mr Moores actually do the job? Jury is still out.

    Thanks one and all for all you do for all of us cricket “outsiders!”

    • o be a very decent man and the players really like him—- perfect ECB employee then.. he’s a good man from the right family.. Oh god

      • That is not what I am trying to say at all. I am saying he was used by the ECB. They wanted a “yes” man. And if, as I believe, Flower was more involved in the team than has been said, then it is not all one person’s fault. Had the ECB not taken the action it did last year and been a good management set up then it would have chosen Kirsten and KP would still be playing for England and we may have seen a better team playing in Australia? Instead we have a group of miscreants who will use anything and anyone to get what it wants. And yes I do think Moores is an okay bloke. He is not a man from the right sort of family but he was one person who would do the bidding of his masters. Decent bloke? Yeh I think so. Right man for the job? Probably not. I just don’t see the reason to put all the blame on Moores. It is just too simplistic. The rest of the gang of four? Yes indeed. They are the architects of this mess and should have been sacked a long time ago.

        • if he was a decent bloke hed not be a yes man and would challenge the ecb. good guys do that, bad guys dont. he may not be the main person responsible but being a yes man stooge is bad enough to be fired to me

          • You might be right. But I don’t go with the “yes” man being bad. Sometimes just stuck in a place where there is very little you can do. I’m just listening to what the players are saying about him. Carberry is not exactly backwards in coming forwards in saying what he thinks. He has condemned the ECB forcibly but not Moores. I’ve worked where I have spoken out for all the staff who worked damn hard who were being treated shamelessly by departmental management. I took it on myself to go to upper management and speak to them about it. What happened? Nothing. You go into a job and you may be promised the moon and freedom in your job and then you find out it just isn;t true. You have to work within the system that exists. I’m not excusing him but trying to understand how it could have happened. I want to see Downton, Flower and Whittaker gone. I will be glad when Clarke is gone. Just disappointed that this miscreant was able to get himself a seat at the ICC table. I remain unconvinced Moores is wholly to blame for what has happened. The rot was there long time before he came along and to my mind Flower had a very big part in the mess. Downton just compounded the problems and made them even worse than could be imagined. Clarke has been central to all that has gone wrong. Money and power grabbing being Clarke’s raison d’être! I don’t believe Clarke has ever given a stuff for England Cricket. Is Moores wholly to blame and should Moores go? I don’t know. I think it is more complex. The culture that the ECB has produced over the years has brought about this final nail in the coffin.

  • I’m all in favour of articles here that challenge the majority view here – but the unfortunate writer really has taken on a thankless task.

    I don’t think Moores’ lack of international experience is in itself a problem. Tom Hesson with New Zealand is enjoying great success for example. Gary Neville said about football coaches that having a glittering career behind them earns them the players’ initial attention but after that it is their coaching methods that matter – and I suspect the same is true in any sport. There is also the balance within the coaching team. Hesson has Craig McMillan as his batting coach and Shane Bond as his bowling coach (although not for much longer – go Dimi!) and they have the international experience Hesson lacks. Nobody in the current England hierarchy has a successful, long Test career behind them. There needs to be someone in the set-up who has done as much as Cook and Anderson, for example, and is willing and able to tell them some home truths when needs be. I don’t think there is currently.

    One point about Moores to get out of the way is that he has been said to be unlucky with Eoin Morgan’s form. Moores has a record at international level of his captains under-performing. He’s “unlucky” too often in this regard. (I’m not excusing Morgan’s share of responsibility here).

    Ultimately, Moores is a good county coach out of his depth. It was obvious first time around. Can anybody cite an precedent of a failing coach being given a second chance and succeeding? He was brought back, not just for the KP-related reasons others have mentioned, but because the ECB were desperate to prove all the money they’ve spent on coaching with their Level Four awards and Loughboroughs and clipboards wasn’t wasted. They’ve proved just the opposite.

    This just leaves the instability argument. There is something very deep in English cricket (and possibly wider than that) that is too comfortable with stable mediocrity. English cricket is in a deep hole and some creative turmoil might do some good (and seriously how can it make things worse!). Throw the pieces in the air and see how they fall. You need a bit of luck. Australia got lucky with Lehmann – his appointment wasn’t some long-term strategic masterstroke but he happened to be around with Australia A when Arthur fell. But that luck was partly earnt.

    • I saw that Dimi had taken the NZ bowling job with Bond’s imminent departure to the IPL.
      We could do a lot worse than hire Bond as a bowling coach – even if it was only part-time. Look at the development of Southee and Boult that he’s helped bring about. They’ve turned into outstanding bowlers.

    • Those are some fair comments to make, especially regarding Mike Hesson and their lack of international experience – surrounding yourself with the right coaches is an art in itself. Though Mike Hesson did not make life easy to begin with over the McCullum/Taylor farrago – I think he was helped by being a good coach from a really young age in NZ cricket, so has “grown up” with a lot of the current NZ players. They probably had far more of a relationship with him in the smaller world of NZ domestic cricket than the equivalent might in Englands domestic setup.

      If I had played 50+ Tests, with a good degree of success, though, I think I would find it hard to accept a dressing down from Peter Moores as a result of his lack of playing international cricket – you might roll with it to begin with, but after a few it could corrode relations over time. To some extent, that is natural, as cricket is quite a selfish sport. But at that point, you get a breakdown in trust between player & coach. Whether that is right or wrong, is probably immaterial. If the trust & respect isn’t there, things are doomed – Mickey Arthur being a textbook case, perhaps. Andy Flower in the last Ashes another.

      As I say above, I think coaches in the main need to be a finished article. Moores having already struggled once in the role & not having played to the highest level, doubly dooms him. The likes of Hesson (and Wenger & Mourinho elsewhere) show there are different ways to skin a cat, but that is down the management above having enough nous to see the necessary in such a coach. Something the ECB particularly lacks. *cough* Paul Downton *cough*

      • This idea that you have to have been successful at the highest level to be a coach seems quite logical at face value, but it flies in the face of the evidence of other sports. Ferguson, Mourinho and Wenger all had very modest playing careers but are all managerial legends. In baseball (the closest sport to cricket) 2 of the greatest managers of the last 30 years are Tony La Russa and Jim Leyland – both of whom spent most of their playing careers in the minor leagues. Similar examples abound in other sports. I’m not sure why cricket should be any different.

        None of this is to defend Moores, who should be judged on results alone. It’s just to make the point that there are many different styles of coach or manager – and many different pathways to acquire the requisite skills and knowledge.

        • I think “the not having played at the highest level” criticism is a bit of white elephant to be honest. Not helped by a professional commentariat who staffed by many ex-players, who use this as a stick to beat “those outside circket” with. Or the classic “How many wickets have you taken”?

          The main thing about any coach, in any sport, is about creating the best environment for success. Something which is determinned by a number of factors, not just prior knowledge of having played the game.

          The best coaches (in any sport) know how to motivate their players and to imbue them with confidence, providing them with a framework to succeed and keep the dressing room free from a fear of failure.

          This can be tactical, this can be through working on certain technical elements/tweeks, this can be through putting an arm around the shoulder, bringing on and improving young talent or through creating an overarching philosophy of playing which maximises the talent of the players at your disposal.

          None of these qualities are the sole preserve of former internationals, is what I’m extremely clumisly trying to say.

          All that being (poorly) said, Peter Moores has thus far shown little aptitude for any of the above in any case and should probably be dispensed with.

          I think the main factor is you need a change of persepctive, even bizarre coaching outliers like Ferguson had the good sense to contantly refresh the voices alongside him, England have now had the Moores/Flower/Moores coaching philosophy for 8 years…not many coaches can maintain motivation and sustained high performance at the highest level for that long, without being themselves truly exceptional and blessed with 2 freakinshly gifted groups of players to work with.

          In short I agree with pretty much everything else written more succintly and clearly by eveyone else.

        • How many successful racehorse trainers were previously successful racehorses?

          Not many, I’d be willing to bet.

        • The point I was making was not specifically that Moores should have played at the highest level (though it can only be a help). It’s about whether he was the finished article for managing at the highest level – a very different kettle of fish & certainly a very debatable point.

    • This just leaves the instability argument. There is something very deep in English cricket (and possibly wider than that) that is too comfortable with stable mediocrity.

      Absolutely – and coupled with a deep (pathological?) reluctance to admit errors of judgment.

      Improvement can only come from owning your mistakes. The current setup, Moores included, seem more interested in excuses.

  • Having said all that, I will probably change my mind again. My sadness for Moores getting the better of me. I do believe he has been used by the ECB. If there is big failure in the Windies then it is sure to be nail in coffin. Hopefully for all the management!

  • “But let’s give him a chance to learn and develop.”

    Why? The England team isn’t there as a learning experience for the coach. Rather the other way round. I can’t think of many elite positions in which the idea of learning the role during a sustained period of failure would be tolerated. Learning is supposed to be done at the lower levels. It’s certainly not something I’d like to hear shortly before heart surgery, say.

    Even at a lower level, I don’t think any of us would tolerate the principle. If the results your child’s teacher produced were consistently poor would you say “Well, my child and the rest of his class are two years behind where they should be at reading and maths, but let’s just give him another couple of years and see if he can grow in to the job?” I think not.

    I don’t really have anything against Moores and I don’t harbour the ill-feeling I know some others do. Most of us aren’t really in a position to say what he actual does and doesn’t do as a coach. A lot of people contend it’s the players who are ultimately responsible for their performance, and they’re right. However, if the coach can’t improve that performance, what’s the point of him? Why is he there? If he needs time to grow and develop in the role (when he’s already had two goes at it) why is he in the role, and not someone who is ready now?

  • Keep Moores and bring back Cooky. I think you should get Flower to tour with the team as well to give them motivational speeches and ensure a happy dressing room.

  • As KP rightly points out…Lehmann has created an environment where the players enjoy going to work, and an atmosphere where they can flourish, but, if you fail you’re out!
    It seems to me that that is direcly the opposite of the England camp!!
    All the commentators and spectators felt that England were playing with fear of failure and timidity, bolsted by rigid and ineffectual plans!
    Can a leopard change it’s spots? I think not, especially when Flower is hovering over him!!
    For me, Moores is another “patsy” just like Cook was. A political gambit, a safe and compliant pair of hands. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, the ECB finally have their team, moulded in their own image. Plenty of “Englishness”..all good decent chaps getting along nicely together, but utter crap when it comes to hey lads hey!!
    Being thoroughly decent doesn’t cut the mustard, it might be a yardstick used by the egg and bacon tie brigade…being “clubbable” translates to what you can’t do, as opposed to what you are capable of given the freedom!!
    Moores never stood up for himself, or for raw talent, and for that, he should be “moved on”

  • I think Philip makes a good fist of defending a much maligned coach. I expect Moores will get a chance to redeem himself, so all we can really do is sit back and hope he does indeed learn from his mistakes.

    One talking point that stems from this is how long a coach should be given to turn things around. Is a year in any sport enough? The flip side is that Moores already tried once but was found lacking. I suppose we’re about to find out how much he’s learned since then.

    • “How long a coach should be given to turn things around”.

      There isn’t a set period of time. It depends on all sorts of factors – most importantly, if there are any signs of improvement. England aren’t improving. Previous track record is also a factor and a coach who has already failed once in a role can’t (or shouldn’t) expect much leeway.

      The notion that someone has a year in a post has more to do with protecting those who appointed them than with giving the appointee a fair chance (‘The Thick of It’ had something to say about that!). The new regime didn’t appoint Moores so that suddenly isn’t a consideration.

      Moores might take the team to the West Indies simply because the timescale is so tight they can’t get a replacement in in time. This means Moores (and Cook and – if he is still in place – Downton) need a result in the West Indies. Hence no one can be rested. Hence players with injuries (notably Moeen Ali) are likely to be ‘risked’. It stinks.

  • Annie, sorry to be picky but several posts of yours have referred to Carberry when I think you mean Jordan! it’s confusing me….

    • Silly old sod. I think I need a good lie down Maggie. I’m losing it altogether. You are right of course. I think I need to go and have a sleep. Me age is definitely catching up with me!!! Cheers.

    • Maggie I’m pretty sure Carberry is the one that spoke out about all the goings-on. Hence why is no longer in the squad.

      • yes, sure you’re right, he also didn’t have bad words to say about KP as far as I can remember, which was another blot in the copybook no doubt. he was certainly on Sky the other day talking about the dreaded data and the way in which in Australia last winter they seemed to target making 40 runs in first 10 overs of ODI, which was completely contrary to way they played in Hampshire.

  • It is one of the more noble aspects of Englishness to look for the best in people, and Dr Lewis should be praised for his spirited attempt to serve the rather old-fashioned concept of goodwill towards those in adversity. His article desperately seeks to find the best in Peter Moores, but the paucity of positives on which to hang a coherent argument makes for a rather threadbare defence. Even the proverbial pig’s ear has proven elusive in the poor writer’s quest to fashion a silk purse. In fact, remove a couple of strategic sentences, and the piece could easily read as a case for removing Moores. This is a nicely written piece in search of a more deserving subject.

    One should expect success in county cricket as a minimum requirement for an English coach to reach a shortlist, not to get the job. Such success is not an entry that belongs in the credit column when considering his removal from the post. Past achievements may secure a job, but only current performance should count in keeping it. Furthermore, success with Sussex did not equip Moores for the role during his first stint as England head coach any more than his success at Lancashire has equipped him this time round. Such is the challenge faced by Dr Lewis in pressing home his central theme, he can be forgiven for failing to mention that Moores oversaw Lancashire’s relegation to division 2 in 2012. Let English cricket take it on the chin and accept that Peter Moores is a very good county coach, but he does not have what it takes to step up to international level. He has been promoted beyond the level of his competence. To have to learn this lesson once is a misfortune; the need to learn it twice looks like carelessness.

    I would suggest that there is little slack available to an international-level coach to learn his craft on the job. Moores was picked ahead of a number of high-pedigree coaches. If he is a work in progress, why was he selected? He is not on an apprentice’s salary and his charges are entitled to expect competence and leadership. This is an elite appointment. Come to think of it, what was Moores learning in the five-year period between his sacking in January 2009 and his second appointment last year? The spin coming out of Lords last year pushed the line that Moores was an older, wiser coach now who had learned from his past mistakes. One has to ask, do the current problems flow from his inability to learn from past mistakes, or is he innovating entirely new ones?

    Some have pointed to Moores being too rigid and stubborn in his approach. However, there is also evidence to suggest that the problem is exacerbated by his tendency to panic change at the last moment. It all points to a man who is uncertain of his team, its direction of travel and how to fix it. Trial and Error or Suck It And See are not formulas that point to a coach on top of his brief. We might as well appoint Paul the Octopus as head coach.

    It appears to have come as something of a shock to both Paul Downton and Peter Moores how much ODI cricket has developed. Just as they were coming to terms with 300 runs being a par first-innings total, the rest of the world was already scoring 350 or even 400 runs. By the time Moores has learned how to gear his team to these fevered heights, who knows where England’s competitors will be. Of course, none of this will come as a surprise to those commentators who have pointed out from the start that Peter Moores has never won a short-format competition. Ever. On current form, there is little prospect of that record changing any time soon.

    Peter Moores mark #2 was sold to us by Paul Downton as the best coach of his generation. Yet, somehow, he has transitioned backwards and become the worst coach of his generation. Or, heaven forfend, Downton was bigging him up for less palatable reasons and we were all sold a pup. Andy Bull established an easy-to-understand context for us all in the Guardian – “Moores’s record first time around was played 73, won 29, lost 32, drawn 8. Add in his results in the last year (played 36, won 13, lost 21, drawn 2) and you find he now has the worst record of any of the four coaches the team have had, worse even than David Lloyd’s in the days before central contracts. Not only that, Moores’s record is worse than that of every other current coach of a Test-playing nation.” Is this the extent of England’s ambition?

    While Dr Lewis suggests that sacking Peter Moores is the easy option, I disagree. The easy option would be to do nothing. The brave option is to grasp the nettle now, and let his successor bed in during the tour to the West Indies. To do otherwise would be to repeat the mistake of clinging on to Alastair Cook’s ODI place. It will be far more painful for the team and its fans to endure a change just before the Ashes, exposing a new coach and a team in perpetual transition to an Australian team with the smell of blood in its nostrils.

    • That sounds to me like an excellent analysis. One minor correction, though: Paul the Octopus unfortunately passed away some time ago, and since then, no other real contenders have emerged.

      • couldn’t we make the case that England would be better off with a dead octopus for a coach? Players thinking for themselves, taking responsibility for their performance, something like that?

  • I suspect that the in coming Boss Mr Graves will give Moores enough rope to hang himself. By leaving him in charge if it all goes pear shaped this summer he can sack Moores with little conflict.

    “In winning the county’s first ever County Championship title in 2003, and beginning a golden decade for Sussex cricket, he turned an unfashionable, permanently under-achieving club into a force in the land.”

    Did he? You quite sure it wasn’t the players and the captain?

    “all winning teams have star performers,”

    Just as well, because if they didn’t have great performers they wouldn’t be a winning team. As Ian Chappell once said “the next time a coach takes a wicket , scores a run, or makes a catch I’ll believe that coaches play a major role. Coaches are for driving around the countryside in.”

    Gooch made a rare point of sense the other day when he pointed out that nobody could name you the New Zealand coach. The team plays in the image of their captain. The best coaches get out of the way. Moores is a Svengali coach. Trying to play eleven demential chess all the time.

    This obsession with the power of the international coach has become an English problem. Both in football and cricket. Produce better players is much more important.

    • demential chess

      I think he might have just succeeded in doing that.

      I agree entirely with the thrust of your argument – at international level, the coach should be an enabler rather than a mastermind, and I’m not sure Moores qualifies as either.

      The Moores approach is perfectly valid at a lower level – which is where he should go back.

  • I struggle with this article in that it appears we should stick with Moores due to:
    – He’s a nice bloke;
    – He has a good county record if you ignore relegation; and
    – We should give him yet more chances and not change with upcoming tests.
    Moores was, is and will be out of his depth. He must be moved on to bring in someone who can galvanise the current set of players, instil confidence, develop them to think for themselves. Lehman did exactly this for Oz and Dizzy has done this for Yorks.
    England has some raw players with potential but we can not afford for them to be blighted by defeat after defeat which will undoubtedly happen in 2015 without change.
    Time for a complete clean slate – Clarke, Clownton, Moores and Whitaker to go. Give a new set up a chance on an easier tour of the Windies. I’m amazed we are still debating this now with no action taken other than the Bowler Destroyer walking before being pushed.
    Sit on your hands and wait for a car crash of a year followed by empty over priced seats in 2016 – that might trigger the board into action!

  • The hierarchy should go:

    ECB chairman (just the one, please)
    Chairman of Selectors
    Coaches and Support Staff

  • It’s not difficult to have some sympathy for Moores. It now seems that, certainly as far as the white ball game is concerned, he was selected for a post for which he was unsuited

    I agree entirely with both points.
    Neither are any kind of argument for retaining him in post.

  • Cook: “I think it is very unlikely. There’s been a hell of a lot of stuff happened with his book and all that kind of stuff. So he is unlikely to come back into the team.”

    As articulate as ever, our Cookie.

    It’s funny because didn’t Swann write a “hell of a lot of stuff”, nasty stuff, about his team-mates too?

    • Captain rules out Pietersen return because of outspoken criticisms…
      while making outspoken criticisms of the ECB.

      And I need hardly mention the selectors’ real error in not sacking him sooner.

      A dignified silence, or a better considered argument next time, please.


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