Though she could be a bit of a thorn in our side at times, and prone to absorb lines of attack from critics both to the left and the right of Tony Blair, I have a lot of time for Polly Toynbee, and her fact-laden polemics against the coalition government. Long may her pen continue to point out harsh truths about the impact of their elitist values and misguided policies.
But I disagree with her view that people who normally tweet about politics and economics should not clutter the timelines of others with their observations on football, cycling and what they had for breakfast. I don’t think I have ever tweeted about breakfast (today’s a mix of granola and bananas before a two-hour bike ride) but I have definitely tweeted about football and cycling. Many times.
Polly’s complaint takes us back to the issue of twitter etiquette and rules. She is saying that if people have a reputation or expertise for one thing, they should stick to that. I think for a newspaper columnist, that may be right, though variety can be the spice of life. But one of the things I like about twitter is that it is possible to get Joey Barton’s views on philosophy, Lance Armstrong’s take on new cancer strategies, and book and film recommendations from non experts.
So having had a hearty breakfast, then gone out on my bike, I would like to share with Polly and others one of the things I was thinking about as I pedalled away …. Namely, ranking the current Premier League managers in terms of their ability as players. This is what we call a talking point blog, very suitable for an Easter Monday. The judgements are invariably subjective in part, but there you go.
1. Dalglish. 2. Hughes. 3. O’Neill. 4. Mancini. 5. Lambert. 6. McLeish. 7. Di Matteo. 8. Jol. 9. Ferguson. 10. Redknapp. 11. Moyes. 12. Connor. 13. Coyle. 14. Pardew. 15. Martinez. 16. Pulis. 17. Wenger. 18. Hodgson. 19. Kean. 20. Rodgers.