Gareth Ainsworth: ‘I’m more of a thinker now than I’ve ever been’ | Ben Fisher

02 October 2019 09:00
Second-longest serving manager in the country is changing perceptions of Wycombe who are flying high in League OneNo one, Gareth Ainsworth says, loves a fairytale more than him but as much as the Wycombe Wanderers manager stresses there is still scope for such heartwarming stories in the Football League, he accepts money talks higher up the food chain. A self-confessed petrolhead, Ainsworth references Formula One to make his point. “I was big on it in the 80s, when Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Keke Rosberg, [Michele] Alboreto, all these famous names, any one of them could have won,” he says. “As it became very predictable, it turned me off watching it a little bit. You know why the Mercedes and the Ferraris are winning every race, because they’re the fastest cars, and they’re the best because they can invest the most. The rate of inflation in football, I don’t know what percentage you could put on that … but it’s ridiculous.”For a man nicknamed Wild Thing going back to his playing days at Wimbledon and who drives an orange 1969 fastback Ford Mustang, it is an apt analogy. Ian Holloway, who signed the former winger for Queens Park Rangers in 2003, said Ainsworth’s full-throttle style embodied the sports car. “Great in straight lines, very powerful engine, very quick accelerating, I don’t know about putting a cross in … but that was definitely my playing career,” Ainsworth, who still plays for ninth-tier Woodley United, says, smiling. “In management terms I’ve moved away from the Mustang, a basic straight-line, look-at-me car. I’m more of a thinker now than I’ve ever been and I’m proud I’ve developed into this. I was nowhere near this when I first took over.” Related: Ezgjan Alioski’s goal against West Brom takes Leeds back to top Continue full article

Source: TheGuardian