WARNER’S WORTHLESS WAR OF WORDS
Paul Nixon says battle cries are of no benefit
England fly to Australia tomorrow and the War of the Words are certainly in full flow in both camps. The likes of Michael Vaughan, Mitchell Johnson and David Warner have all had their say. Though I haven’t seen Glenn McGrath make his prediction yet!
McGrath often tips Australia to win 5-0, and though it’s been right twice in the last 12 years, these words can sometimes psych the opposition up. But it’s also about saying what you need to hear sometimes.
It’s different for the ex-pros to be saying it. That’s just a bit of banter, and it’s the sledging just starting a few weeks early.
The people actually involved are all driven by different things. Some guys need to get pumped up and others like to stay relaxed. Warner made comments about the Ashes being ‘war’ and ‘hatred’ and it’s obvious that he enjoys the heat of battle.
That’s a bit like Graham Gooch or Robin Smith, who liked to get pumped up like that. Others like David Gower stayed very relaxed, and someone like Moeen Ali will stay very relaxed and will just let his actions on the pitch do the talking.
Some guys do need to get pumped up to perform, and while it may feel early, it’s about trying to get into the opposition’s head and getting under their skin. Sometimes it is best to stay quiet and keep it to yourself because you’re almost giving the other team their team talk.
It was never something I really listened to.You know you’re going to get a load of sledging when you get onto the field, and the guys know it’s part of the gig.You need to say something in these Press conferences, but it’s easy to forget everything you say is being recorded and every word will be picked up on.
The Ashes means a lot and if the series can be hyped up and made into a headline then it will be done. Team management know who will get the best out of media and that’s why you tend to see the same faces at Press conferences.
It’s just about being careful. The Press are important, and you want to be on the right side of them – especially when you’ll spend the next three months away from home and surrounded by these
Warner was hoping to get into English heads. That nobody said anything similar is a positive for England
people.You just need to find that balance because you don’t want to get into anything that will harm you or your team.
Warner was hoping his comments would cause a stir and get into English heads. That nobody from the Three Lions really came out and said anything similar is arguably a positive to England. Warner hasn’t got into their heads, but you can almost guarantee the first ball he faces in the series will be a bouncer.
From an opposition point of view, you can use these comments as your external force to motivate you. It can be a catalyst for everyone’s focus and a point of reference when you’re up against it. Warner has said he’s up for battle, so let’s bring them a battle.
You have to keep a calm head, though. Just like a boxing match where the buildup is so intense and can feel like it’s going on forever, you just need to stay calm.
A lot more people will come out in the next few weeks and make predictions but as a player, you need to stay in your own bubble.You can’t go wasting any energy, mental or physical, on worrying about what one pundit or opposition player thinks.
Top tipster: Glenn McGrath celebrates winning the Ashes in 2007