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As we pass on from the International week and wonderful discussions about which Manchester team is more despicable, I wanted to write about my recent anecdote regarding swearing at football matches.
I took my 8 year old son to the Arsenal last Sunday for the first time (I don’t have a season ticket so took my mate Dan’s pair). He had previously declared himself a Barca fan as I managed to get tickets to see Barca v Leganes at Easter while we were there on holiday (Messi scored a hat trick so has become his hero by default). I needed to fix that and get him involved in his ‘real’ team since we’ve become, you know, better. Arsenal v Wolves was supposed to be a goal fest with Auba and Laca becoming his new heroes. However, we were a bit rubbish and the crowd became angry.
I know he is aware of swear words and alludes to his understanding of them which will be from the playground. However, I hadn’t even considered swearing to be an issue at football as I ordinarily go on my own or with mates and not with kids. Taking an 8 year old was a wholly different experience. Within minutes of the game starting, the guy to my right shouted ‘f*ck off ref, you w*nker!’. That was merely the start of it. As the game continued and we in turn continued to be rubbish, the swearing got louder and more frequent. Each and every time my son turned to me in utter amazement and fascination. He thought it was awesome, grown men angrily swearing!
Anyway, it was a real baptism of fire for both of us. When he turned to me and said ‘they just said “f*ck off”’, it was a truly watershed moment. I then, while trying not to smile (having never actually heard him swear properly before) had to explain to him that there is a time and a place where people swear and he mustn’t do it at home or at school.
We seem to have moved into a more middle class environment with Premier League football, particularly with Arsenal (something I know salt-of-the-earth Gooners like Graham Simons can’t bear!). However, whilst I quite enjoyed bringing my son to the game and seeing him feel empowered by hearing all the swears, I can’t help but feel it stops other fans bringing their children to games. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Should it be the reserve of aggressive sounding men, or should it be more continental and be more family friendly?
Do mailboxers have an opinion (of course they do)?
JazGooner (We missed Mikhi’s goal as had to race back for food as he had school on Monday)
The scapegoating needs to stop
Wouldn’t it be nice if England fans could stop scapegoating certain players?
Rashford, Sterling and Welbeck often come in for stick for goodness knows what? I’m sure it won’t be long before Sancho and Reiss-Nelson are lambasted after initially impressing.
It isn’t a new phenomenon either – Beckham attracted stick after being sent off in the 1998 World Cup, while John Barnes came in for some disgusting abuse when he wore the Three Lions.
Barnes is the one that annoys me the most as for my money, he’s the greatest individual talent I’ve ever seen play for England.
There are many that will remember Barnes to the end of his career in the North East but Barnes of the 1980s was simply unplayable. My misty memory of the pre-Premier League era places that Liverpool team of 1988 above all other pre-Premier League teams that I’ve seen play. Houghton, Aldridge, Beardsley and Barnes meant you weren’t just getting beat, you were going to get stuffed.
But back to the point, I’m sure England players would put in better performances if the fans in the stadium weren’t such negative ninnies and beyond got behind ALL of the players – it would also drown out that infernal band.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
Manchester United’s Policies
I’d just like to follow up on one of your mails this morning comparing United to the current top 6. I don’t really disagree with anything wrote as I think United are way behind everybody else but I think it is more to do with the club currently not having any idea or direction. At the moment the club seems to be pulling in multiple different directions and the way we buy players just shows that. I think one thing I disagree with is the person stating that Jose should play attacking football because “that’s what works” while I’d like to see football I think if the club just got behind the manager and bought the types of players he would want for his more defensive style that would at least be a unified approach that may pay off.
At the moment it seems Ed Woodward buys players based on some magic Excel formula he’s wrote with no actual plan of how it all fits together. I hate to say it but the club really needs something along the lines of a director of football who has an overall plan of how were going to play and then buys players and appoints managers that fit with that total vision.
If they want Jose to do well then they need to back his vision, if they don’t like that vision then they need to decide what it is they want out of the team and then get the person who will deliver that, I don’t think Ed can do that and that’s why I think they need somebody in a position to enable that to happen.
I’m not trying to make an excuse for Jose as I think he should be doing better but if you look at pretty much every other club in that top 6 the one thing they tend to have in common is an overall vision of what they want at the end with City and Liverpool truly being unified in what they want and other clubs still on a path but slightly nearer the start
Suso for Fabinho!!
Fabinho has been eased in to starting XI and his performance have been generally good except one game against Chelsea. Being a LFC fan, I seriously cannot believe the bullshit regarding Fabinho’s situation! If it is true, at least swap him for another Brazilian in the form of Suso. Klopp definitely needs a creative playmaker, to unlock teams who defend deep. Worth a punt!
S.Bharathi Mohan, Bangalore, LFC fan.
No country is perfect…
I think Minty, LFC has a right to reply to it but the way he/she replies with “You’re a white man and missed the role of women in a place you lived in for 11 years?” Hardly a reply for civilized discourse and discussion . Minty claims to hate Donald Trump but the way he/she approaches arguments is exactly like him.
Qatar is far from a perfect country and the way they treat migrant workers is appalling as when it comes to their treatment of women they are really behind. But at the end of the day, they are still one of the more liberal countries in the Middle East (and is hated in that region partly for this). Chevski’s point was that people are painting Qatar as a perfectly evil country when they are ahead of their regional peers in many areas when it comes to adopting liberal values.
Not to mention that we’re all typing on devices made from blood resources and sweat either.
No country is perfect in anything, hell Ireland banned abortions until a few months ago which is fairly backwards by the standards of the western world. The country I am from
Malaysia, being gay is illegal (a position I vehemently oppose) but are we evil just because of that? We have other positive traits in the country too and we have a government initiative/law to get more women into boards and top managerial positions in the next few years. Countries do both good things and bad things and more often than not their morality is fairly nuanced.
I’m not saying these traits shouldn’t be criticized (especially the appalling migrant situation in Qatar) but the blanket statement degrading a whole country as evil is hardly fair either. Like Chevski said, Qatar’s Al-Jazeera English is one of the best media outlets in the world when it comes to journalistic integrity and exposing bad things, corruption pretty much everywhere including other Middle Eastern countries and is advancing cultural change by doing so. One of their journalists got deported for exposing a corruption scandal here that helped got our old 60-year government elected out.
(Admittedly I’ll concede that their weak spot is Qatar itself as they are funded by their government and I’m sure there’s “pressure” there but overall the organization is a good force for the world.)
And also, some of these countries have had less time to develop their values than the Western world, it’s not as if the liberal values of treating women equally were at Western countries from the start? The same countries that created powerful large empires that enslaved many people and stole a lot of resources barely 50 years ago?
And to be frank, it’s not like the equality of women in countries like the US and UK is perfect now either isn’t it? In the future, people will look back at 2018 and see how “backwards” even these advanced western countries are. That’s just how morality evolves
You guys have had timed to evolve your stances over the decades but for other countries it will take time to reach the same level even in a more interconnected world. Yes I wish us from the third world will get that faster too since I usually find myself in the minority advocating for these things but societies can’t just just change overnight. Newer generation will need to be born and see things that the previous generation didn’t. That’s how humanity progresses everywhere.
It’s called the “World” Cup and not the “Western” Cup for a reason. If we’ll be limiting it to only countries with perfect white records then they’ll only be 2-3 countries that fit the bill every time.
Kireca, I apologise you are completely right, I forgot that dribbles are now counted as goals and towards the result of a football match. I missed the dribbles completed column in the league tables.
In terms of Rashford being harshly judged, I think he gets the easiest ride of any England player, you are praising him for probably the exact same thing peopley critic Sterling for. As a United Fan I want Rashford to realise his potential more than anyone, but all I see is constant praise in the media sometimes merited and yearning for more game time, (He’s had hell of a lot already), but until his average at best assist/goal/chance creation improves it needs to be called out, its intended to be constructive. This is no ordinary 21 year old, the lad now has over 150 career appearances and needs to start producing end product to his game consistently.
Games are won by Goals not completed dribbles and ‘looking’ good.
Football and politics
The last mailbox highlighted why I have been so hesitant to write in. Yes I knew some of the things I wrote would be controversial but it was my hope that this would drive a constructive debate.
Now while that has happened partially, it is clear that some people are jumping to conclusions about what I said as opposed to reading what I actually wrote. I’ll hold my hands up and say I was unaware of the points raised by Andy (MUFC) around the NK constitution and Article 69 so fair enough. Thank you for that bit of knowledge (legitimately meant).
At no point did I say “we should be cool” with a Qatari world cup because its not a dictatorship. I definitely did not say “I loved it so it’s probably fine”.
What i did state was that the country has many real issues which need to be raised and discussed. Fair enough I didn’t provide and extensive and exhaustive list and so Minty may have believed I only thought there were 2. I thought my use of the work etc. covered this. Just to clarify:Taking the passport off a migrant worker is wrong.
Being made to work in a life threatening environment is wrong.
Taking poor care of people so they die in the hear is wrong.
Women being treated as second class citizens is wrong.
To claim I missed the role of women in that country and therefore I am sexist is simply inflammatory and completely uncalled for. Also thank you for the assumption that I am a sexist white male. Niall has obviously hit the nail on the head in pointing out that Minty doesn’t read past the first sentence before spouting his view.
I wilfully admit that the country has a lot of problems. Problems which need to be addressed. It is my hope that holding the global spotlight of the World Cup over it will help address a lot of these problems. Whether it will or not is up for debate. It hasn’t in many before but there’s always a first time right? Maybe that’s naive. Or maybe I’m just not as jaded/bitter/angry as some.
Cevski, THFC (can’t we have a discussion without childish name calling).