Words of wisdom, Ray or Felipe?

By Paul Lagan
Last updated : 30 January 2009

I have a lot of time for Ray Wilkins.
Truth be told he's my football idol.
I watched Ray make his debut and was there when he played his final game for the Blues at the Bridge - a 3-1 win over a Chinese XI if I recall correctly (please let me know otherwise).
I was truly captivated with his perfect passing game, purred with delight at his free-kicks, watched with amazement at his ability to direct and orchestrate matches.
When he became a manager - it tickled me to know I would be able to talk to him on a professional level.
Now he is back at Chelsea for a third time - as Scolari's number two, I was keen to see what contribution he would give to the club.
Ray was given the nod to replace Steve Clarke. At first, I believe, he was to check out the opposition, brief Scolari on their players, and do a bit of media work and coaching.
Ray still hands over the sub's sheet to the fourth official during matches.
But lately he seems to have become Chelsea's main media representative at pre- and post match press conferences.
It's a tough job that. The press are very forgiving and will always allow a honeymoon period for new men on the scene, you know, to get his feet under the table sort of thing.
Scolari, with his broken English, endeared the hacks. Even when Chelsea stuttered and played awful, he would come out and tell the press what he thought.
As the boss, Scolari's words were vital. After all he made the decisions and if the team won or lost, he was responsible.
Ray has said now that he will take the press conferences when Chelsea win and Scolari will grace us with his presence when they lose. It's unclear what happens when Chelsea draw.
Like me, I hope we see Ray after every match, it will mean Chelsea have won again.
As much as I will miss Scolari - I'd prefere to have a smahing time with Ray, who works his socks off for the club. No one covers more ground than Ray when chatting to the press. He has a super time name-checking the assembled hacks, who are delighted that Ray knows them (well sometimes, eh Mr Man from The Mirror?)
So I say, more Ray please...

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