I know you all want to get back to the football, but this stuff is important and I make no apologies for posting to explain why I'm shoulders with RATM on this.
A large part of the problem with discussing anything to do with the r-word is that there's a wide misperception of what it involves, and a tendency to get very defensive because people think they're being accused of racism in its worst and most malicious sense, of deliberate and wilful discrimination against minority groups. This isn't, by and large, how racism works. (Except when it is, but no one was being accused of that here.) For the most part, it's about unconscious biases which makes us more likely to perceive or notice or associate certain characteristics with some 'races' than others. This is subtle and often difficult to pick up in individual instances because it's not necessarily untrue - it is possible to see some similarities of style between some of the players mentioned on the thread, it's just that we might have been less likely to have perceived it without the other, obvious, factor they have in common. This has been easy to observe in the language of commentators and pundits over a period of time, certain players are more likely to be associated with certain attributes than others.
This is difficult because it's much harder to identify individual instances where the assessment is unfair than it is to observe the overall effect. So, black players are much more likely to be associated with concepts such as strength, pace and athleticism - and once again the issue is not that it might not be have some truth, in and of itself, in any instance where it's applied; but much less likely to be associated with intelligence, craft, or guile. And thus, a few years down the line, much less likely to be considered as potential managers. And again, even where the overall trend is easy to see, its much harder to say which specific assessments are unfair, which particular black ex-players should have been given a chance in which particular jobs.
But if we're to have any hope of tackling and changing the generality, we need to be aware of at least the possibility of our own cognitive biases - to repeat, this is not a malicious thing but deeply ingrained and we all have it. I've been challenged on it on occasion too, and rightly, and likewise my first reaction was to get defensive and observe that I didn't mean it that way at all. Which I didn't, but that isn't the point.
By and large, anytime you're confronted with any such suggestions of your own internal biases, the correct response is not to dismiss it immediately and out of hand but to at least stop and give pause for thought as to whether there's anything to it. And indeed, without and before being challenged on it, to give some thought to it any time you find yourself making such comparisons. It doesn't mean you're being accused of being a bad person, it doesn't mean you even need to agree, ultimately, that the accusation is fair. Maybe it isn't. But that, at the very least, needs some self-reflection. It's been my general experience that those who react angriest and are quickest to dismiss any such possibility are the ones least likely to have understood the nature of the problem.