Bumble's Blog: David Lloyd on England's latest off-field issue and how it will be forgotten with a win
"All this kerfuffle that is going on about the England players – trust me on this – it is nothing that a win won’t put right."
Last Updated: 11/12/17 9:13pm
In his latest blog, Bumble ponders the latest off-field kerfuffle surrounding the England team in Australia, a management "own goal" and how a win could fix it all...
There was a bit of a mix-up in my last blog about where the lads who tarmacked my drive were from - it was Malton, not Malta!
But that reminds me of a chap who told me he was going on his holidays to Turkey, I said I've never been to Turkey and he said, "no, Torquay!" Then there was another bloke who said he was off to Swindon and I thought, "that's no place to go on your holidays" - it turned out he was going to Sweden!
Anyway, moving on to the cricket and all this kerfuffle that is going on about the England players - trust me on this - it is nothing that a win won't put right.
The management seem absolutely paranoid about the most incidental things but I look down at this squad and there are some unbelievably quiet lads, bordering on shy: Mark Stoneman, Alastair Cook, James Vince, Gary Ballance, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Jake Ball, Craig Overton.
It is coming out as though this is like a stag do and absolutely certain that it's not, these are quiet, dutiful lads. The ones that I've mentioned, and I'm sure I'll have missed somebody, they are down-to-earth lads.
I think the way the management have reacted could actually have an adverse effect. The curfew was a massive own goal, you don't put curfews on, you spell out what is acceptable.
In different circumstances, with two wins under their belt, if someone pours a drink over somebody else, that's hijinks. In this situation, it is "unacceptable behaviour" and individual is suspended.
I just think there must be a better way of dealing with that because, from thousands of miles away, it seems to me that Ben Duckett has been made a scapegoat.
I want to put a dividing line between the coaching staff and the management. If you're on the coaching staff then you trust the players to do the right thing and you act if they don't. If I was coach, I would be uncomfortable with another level of management meddling and having their two-penneth from thousands of miles away.
Part of the job as a touring cricketer is to embrace the culture. You've got to give people time off and I would say, "go and blow a gasket but then we're back on parade here!" The other thing I used to tell my players was "don't do anything that wouldn't make your parents afraid to get up and say, 'that's my lad'".
When I was coaching, what we would do was look and you can see who has been burning the candle at both ends and then you hit him hard. You just know and it is great fun because the players all know that you've found him. It's good bonding.
If you look at the Ashes there have been some unbelievable larrikins: Denis Compton, Keith Miller, Ian Botham, Dennis Lillee - I've played against these blokes and the big difference today is mobile phones!
All this stuff pales into insignificance when you win! That means England have got to put a performance in and score hundreds.
My information from a former Australian, blonde-haired great is that Perth will spin. It is not the Perth of searing pace.
That should help Moeen Ali and, from what I've seen, he needed to play in the warm-up game to get up to speed. Mason Crane also comes into consideration and, if they think it's a real ragging pitch, he could play.
Does it spin on day one or is it going to start spinning on day four? If it's day four then that means you've got to get your runs up front.
What England have to do is make the right decisions on team selection. If they think it's going to spin, play both spinners.
Australia will change their team. Peter Handscomb won't play, Mitchell Marsh will play so the brothers Marsh, both Perth boys, will play in their home Test.
In the past, England's problem in Perth has always been that we can't handle the pace but everybody is telling me that that's in the past and that is certainly isn't the quickest pitch in Australia now.
This is the last Test match at the WACA before they go to another venue so it'll be quite nostalgic, particularly for the ex-Australia players. None more so than Dennis Lillee, he's a Perth lad, he's always lived there and so that will have great memories for lots of people - but the pace has gone.
England just have to get some runs. People seem to want them to change everything, don't change it - just get some runs!
We've had snow, of course, the last couple of days and there has been wall-to-wall football with Derby Day on Sunday. What I took from it is that Everton will be solid under Sam Allardyce and that Manchester City are lightyears ahead of everybody else.
We had also a family gathering over the weekend with the kids and grandkids round - and what better way to round off the evening than a rendition of Sweet Caroline!
I was also at the Lord's Taverners Christmas lunch last week, an event that Sky Sports sponsor, so myself, Henni Goya, Paul McGinley and Alan Smith were on a panel for 20 minutes or so and then Michael Parkinson interviewed David Walliams.
It was very much a case of star spotting, Chris Tarrant was there - he's a good lad, Chris - and I also saw Robert Bathhurst, the actor from Cold Feet.
It was a good do and they raised £279k for underprivileged children. That was really special to be part of that and well done to everyone involved.
Christmas is fast approaching and - against my better judgement - we've got tickets to North Ferriby vs York on Boxing Day. Lady Lloyd has gone and got tickets so it is looking like we'll be having a trip to North Ferriby, I'll come back to you on that one and how it has all gone…