...Just because he is 70. An interesting read on the great man... BOBBY ROBSON, don't you love him? Well, yes, but there has been a deluge of drivel about the old codger because he will be 70 next Tuesday. He's regarded exactly as we used to regard the Queen Mum - exempt from criticism and revered just for being old. Only Millwall fans don't think he's lovely. They remember he once suggested turning a flame-thrower on them. Not quite the avuncular image he's got now, is it? But then we've forgotten quite a lot about his career. We've forgotten that his reign as England manager was not a glorious crusade of unbroken success. England won only 47 of the 95 internationals while he was in charge. Some of the performances were appalling. In the 1988 European Championships, England lost all three games and landed home at Luton airport as shamefaced, forlorn flops. Two years later at the same airport, the scene was very different. Robson and his squad flew in from the 1990 World Cup as heroes. Nobody cared that we'd stumbled through our group, staggered past Belgium in extra-time and only beaten Cameroon with a couple of dodgy penalties. Nobody complained that we'd been incompetent at penalties in the semi-final against Germany, either. Robson went off to work in Europe and since then he has become a truly great manager. There is no doubt about that. He won titles in Holland and Portugal and now has revitalised Newcastle and, more incredibly, rejuvenated Alan Shearer. Robson deserves our respect and has earned our affection. But don't deify him just because he'll have a lot of candles on his cake. It's absurd to do that; getting old isn't hard. Trust me. I'm doing it, and there's nothing to it. Praising Robson for being good at his job at 69 is ageist. Those who harp on about Robson's "enthusiasm" are suggesting that anyone of his age should be sitting in a home somewhere playing Scrabble. By venerating Robson simply because of his age we are denying respect to everyone else who is old enough to have a bus pass but is still driven by ambition. (The Mirror).