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LTA Appoints New Davis Cup Scapegoat

Posted by gauloises1 on April 12, 2010

In news that surprises nobody, the LTA has announced the appointment of Leon Smith to succeed John Lloyd as captain of Great Britain’s Davis Cup team.

“This is a huge honour and an irresistible challenge for me,” said Leon. “I know the players, and I know that together we can get Britain back to winning ways in the Davis Cup.”

source

He reportedly added, ‘You know what? This poisoned chalice is really shiny.’

Smith is best known, in the highly specialised sense of those words that mean ‘not really known at all’, for having coached Andy Murray as a young teenager. For the last two years, he’s been the LTA Head of Player Development for men’s tennis. So a proven track record of success there.

You know, I have nothing against Leon Smith, and if he can make something of the resources he’s got available to him Davis Cup-wise, then so be it. Honestly, I wish him the best of luck. But really, is this what we’ve come to? I can understand the arguments against appointing a ‘celebrity’ coach (bless you for trying, Greg, and congratulations on staying well clear, Tim), but are you seriously telling me that after those two, the best we could come up with is someone who’s not only never represented his country, but who’s never played professional tennis on any level? I’m sorry, but shepherding a talented adolescent like Andy Murray through four years doesn’t seem to qualify you for this job. And what other world-class players has he worked with? Top 50 players? Top 100?

Not to mention the hiatus between the announcement being ‘leaked’ and confirmed. Are the LTA actually doing things now based on trying to avoid the censure of the media? Good luck with that, Draper.

You know, I don’t want to do this any more. I don’t want to be this bitter, cranky, negative person. Well, I sort of do, but I don’t want to mean it. Why do you have to do this to me, British tennis? Why? Why?!

Urgh. I’m going to look at pictures of bunnies for a bit.

2 Responses to “LTA Appoints New Davis Cup Scapegoat”

  1. naughty T....urbane gentleman said

    “This is a huge joke and an irresistible amount of cash for me,” said Leon.
    Best of all when he fails as he clearly has done in his last job the LTA will have to compensate him even more handsomely to get rid of him.

  2. lauren said

    It’s bizarre, really. Davis Cup captains do not need to coach their teams – there’s nothing they can do in a week. So getting a junior coach in seems mind-achingly redundant. What DC captains need is experience of match play, the ability to help players deal with the stress of make-or-break match situations and tactical nous honed from years around the main tour. Smith? Who?
    We’re going to hell in a bucket. I guess I’m off to look at pics of bunnies too.

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