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Declining Man Utd
There are any amount of reasons you could point too to explains Utds downfall in which I and many others have ranted about to the cows come home but I have another. Are Utd a warning to the rest of football that taking on too much as a player could evidently affect your performances?
Utd are a commercial success, leading the way in world football. With every pound they gain they seem to lose a point on the field at the moment. Is it a bigger problem than simply footballing issues.
Today’s world whether you love it or hate it is a mire of social media sites, each person vying for likes as some sort of accreditation to who you are as a person, bare with me.
For instance, the struggling movie industry, gone are the days of actors being masters of their crafts, making you glued to your seats and thoroughly entertained throughout. Now you have the highest paid actor being the rock, watching 2hrs of him acting terribly and throwing people through walls with enough product placement you could ask for. Going one step further the world seems to think you can be sports star/actor/singer/politician. Which in my opinion produces a watered down product across the board.
Utd are the sporting equivalent of this. Modern footballers think now that they need to expand ‘their brands’ as much as perform on the pitch. Whether you agree it’s right or wrong, productivity is going to suffer somewhere if you spread yourself thin. For example, Lingard, opened his fashion label last year, hasn’t produced an assist or goal pretty much since.
Does Lingard strike you as a guy with the intelligence to deal with an emerging fashion label while still performing admirably on the pitch? It doesn’t look like it. Why is being paid millions to play a sport that you grew up loving not enough? Also you finish playing in your early 30s with plenty of time to chase other dreams. Is this something Utd as a club promote? Building brands means more eyes which in turn means more sales right? Has it come to the stage where money making now outweighs the sport in which you’re associated too? It is a fine balance between the two and every club is guilty of it in one way or another but Utd seem to be the extreme. When other things become more important than what got you too the dance then you have Utd as the result. I would be keen to hear others thoughts.
Oh the horror! Oh the hypocrisy in truth…
Football 365, you are the only refuge in these times. As a black man in his 30s who was born and raised in Jamaica (living in the UK for the last 14 years or so), I sat back quietly fuming last night as the English media and fandom emitted hollers of collective outrage at the Bulgarian fans. I am a black man who only understood racism theoretically and academically from the stained pages of books until I arrived in Bristol (and no, I am not talking about the paraphernalia and riches derived from slavery that litter the city) and met it in actuality. I met racism for the first in real-life in England and continue to do so. Par for the course it seems.
The English players apparently have the same experiences as well. They reacted with ‘typical poise’ and calm as the racist vitriol rained down from the stands. ‘Typical poise’ because you only react that calmly and with poise and ‘finish the half of football’ when this is not an unusual occurrence. See Mailbox, like me, the black English players have met, defied, confronted and shadow-boxed with racism all their lives on this here isle. So in no way was Bulgaria an outlier. And yes, I do accept that English football stadiums have largely eradicated the mob-like racist chanting. But in truth, it was a exaggerated caricature of the norm. This will hard for many here to accept or understand.
Gareth Southgate appeared statesmanlike afterwards saying how proud he was and to the British audience, I’m sure he made them proud. But in no way, would anyone with a true grasp of the issues at hand kept those players on the pitch. Just indefensible! I really wonder if young black players with options will start reconsidering playing for England but rather choose, like Zaha and others, the land of their parents. I certainly hope my children would… the sad times roll on….
Football is merely holding up a mirror to our societies. special measures are not required from UEFA or FIFA. Rather, special measures are required from Mom and Dad and our families, and communities. Special measures are required from the hearts of men and women.
Ricky G (the more things change, the more they stay the same) Chelsea Blues
They are fans
I get what Robbie is saying when he says these racists are not football fans. But they are. They buy their ticket, they go to the match, they cheer when their team score, they want them to win. Whether we like or or not, they are fans.
This is a line that is trotted out far too easily. Chelsea supporters racially abuse Sterling, or someone on the French Metro. “They’re not real fans.” England supporters smash up some bars and clash with the police. “They’re not real fans.” It happens every time.
Using this line dismisses the problem. It makes it seem like it’s not the club’s problem or the nation’s problem because these are not “football fans” therefore it’s not football’s problem. But it is. Football has a racism problem. It may stem from elsewhere in society but that doesn’t excuse football from tackling it.
Mike, LFC, London
As usual, much of the writing condemning the abuse last night has referred to the behaviour of ‘so called’ Bulgaria fans. Whilst this mail is not to denigrate any of the writing around the matter – most of which has been excellent – the ‘so called’ prefix is something I’ve been thinking about recently (even before the events of last night), and is one which I actually think is unhelpful.
In labelling them ‘so called’ fans we are attempting to make them somehow separate from the football supporting community, rather than see than as a constituent part of it. Maybe I’m being unfair, and yes it is a minority of supporters, but I feel we would be better placed to address these incident as football’s problem, as opposed to an issue with some disconnected ‘so called’ Chelsea fans abusing Raheem Sterling, ‘so called’ England fans rioting in Prague, or ‘so called’ Bulgaria fans making monkey chants towards Tyronne Mings.
Daniel Slater, London
I understand Robbie’s take that we shouldn’t call the racist idiots ‘fans’ but I think that is actually an unhelpful stance to take in the long run.
The stance is often that these racists / homophobes / sexist idiots are ‘not fans’ … of course they can be. Being a bigot and a fan of sport is not mutually exclusive. You can be racist and a massive football fan. Or a lover of music. Or into astrophysics. That is the scary part, these racists are human just like the rest of us and to paint them as ‘sub human’ feels almost dangerous in that it becomes easier for decent people to distance themselves from the problem (ie, they arent one of us, they arent even human!). Because they are human, many of them are football fans and this issue is real and in front of our faces. Which actually makes it all a lot scarier…
Let’s actually suggest solutions
I’m fed up of the conversation about racism in football. Not because I think it isn’t an issue (it clearly is) not because its talked about too much (it is but only because of all the racists) but because no one seems to be identifying causes or suggest solutions which would work. Pointing out racists seems to be the equivalent of giving a homeless dude £5, he might feel better for an hour or so but he ain’t getting a roof over his head anytime soon.
There is a portion of society that is racist. We cant hide from this fact. We’ve made huge strides in the past 20-30 years and I hope we get to a point that it is no longer an issue, I just don’t see that being soon. But ask yourself whether those that attend Rugby or Cricket are from a different society than those attending Football. Probably not, and probably with similar levels of inherent bias, there’s FAR more alcohol at those sports, from similar areas, Gloucester is just as rough as Sheffield for instance and similar rivalries (Sterling being abused at Chelsea v City last year isn’t a traditional rivalry) but you don’t hear of similar systemic problems at these sports.
Instead we need to look at what about football enables those racists to have a voice or a platform where those voices can be elevated. I think the abuse Lukaku received in Italy has at least allowed the Ultras to show us exactly why they do it and what needs to be solved. Quoted from the BBC; “We understand that it could have seemed racist to you but it is not like that. In Italy we use some ‘ways’ only to ‘help our teams’ and to try to make our opponents nervous, not for racism but to mess them up.” It doesn’t excuse them the use of monkey chants but it does show the number one issue facing football is not racism, its tribalism.
Football fans rarely abuse their own players, maybe i’m naive but I believe the average bloke who abuses players does so because they are trying to think of something mean to say and end up there. The culture around football is and has always been toxic, 80s hooliganism was hooligans who used football jerseys as uniforms, identifying themselves. The football was ancillary to their enjoyment of a punch up. We need to get away from this tribal footballing culture. Desegregating fans with open ticketing is the first thing i’d do, lowering child tickets prices to encourage parents to bring younger kids, and having pre, half time and post match kids games on the same pitch would encourage a complete shift in football’s culture.
Aston Taylor (CFC)
So, we’re waiting on UEFA to publish a report on last night’s behaviour by a section/number of the Bulgarian ‘fans’. What will they do? Fine Bulgaria some paltry sum, make them play behind closed doors. None of it will really help.
For me, there are two things which will make UEFA and FIFA pull their collective fingers out and they are:
England, France, Germany, Spain and any other nation, large or small, who care about stopping racism withdraw from the competition(s). We have to make a stand.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
If other countries want to take part in a tournament organised by an organisation which refuses to make a meaningful stance then that’s on them. But I don’t want to be part of it. Devalue the tournament by not playing in it.
Sponsors pull the plug. Budweiser, Heineken, Nike all have the power to hit UEFA and FIFA where it hurts most, the pocket. The sponsors should feel obliged to do the right thing. They should be putting the squeeze on these governing bodies to act because it’s damaging their reputations, their brands. They cannot turn the other cheek.
This cannot go on
Steve, LFC via Cirencester
Hit Bulgarians in their pockets
It’s likely that there are more racist people in the world than there aren’t.
We’ve seen racism in the UK recently, we’ve seen a lot of it in France, Spain and Italy in recent football matches. We live in our own bubble where we want to educate these places, but they aren’t interested in it. Just be glad that you live in a country where this is not tolerated.
Bulgaria – Don’t go there. Next year, when selecting your holiday, don’t got to Bulgaria because of its Racism. Hit them in the pockets.
You’ll go there though, because the beer is cheap.
No one is reporting that Chris Powell joined the FA on a short term deal just a month ago. The FA getting some diversity on the bench to guard against being hypocrites knowing this match was coming, no doubt. Are the other coaches on long term deals?
Those in glass houses
Well, when before the game even took place, the Bulgarian FA reacted angrily to the suggestion that any form of racism existed in Bulgarian society at all, then you begin to see that this is a bigger issue than 40 – 50 black-clad knuckle-dragging morons inside the stadium. This isn’t confined to Bulgaria. I policed England v Ukraine at Wembley in 2009 in company with Ukrainian Police Officers. During the pre-match briefing, great emphasis was placed on our (The Met Police’s) intention to have a zero-tolerance attitude towards racism. The Ukrainian Officer I was paired with laughed and said something to the effect of “We’re in for a very long day then”. He wasn’t wrong. Pitch side before the game began and my colleague pointed out the most prominent orchestrator of the chants and songs that were to follow. Not that he was difficult to miss as the Nazi “SS” logo tattooed on his forehead was something of a giveaway. As predicted, he began a series of songs, most of which were in celebration of those Ukrainians who volunteered for service with the SS in WW2 and their subsequent exploits (None in English, obvs). He was arrested when the first songs requiring Nazi salutes began, only to be immediately replaced by another like-minded organiser. Whilst not every away supporter participated, those that didn’t could be numbered in single figures. Indeed, they were the most controlled and organised group of supporters I’d seen at a game, international or domestic. The ‘designated organiser’ dictated when everybody stood, when they sat and what they sang or chanted. This was followed by the away crowd to the letter.
Also, mailers worried about ‘the rise of extreme right wing (XRW) groups’ in Europe are, with respect, missing the big picture. XRW groups have been present across the Channel for as long as they have been here in dear Old Blighty. Whilst I can clearly remember the National Front, in some numbers, openly handing out racist leaflets in Manchester’s Piccadilly Square on any given Saturday in the 70s such days are, thankfully, behind us. As are the banana throwing, monkey chanting morons that infested most football grounds throughout the UK then and late into the 80s. Eastern Europe, on the other hand, is a different prospect entirely. The scale of neo-Nazi groups (not least in Russia), the violence they perpetrate against BME, and the support they have, either from the general population or from mainstream politicians, is very very scary indeed. I would suggest this is to be borne in mind when anticipating the severity of any punishment that UEFA will hand out. What we’d LIKE them to do will be tempered by UEFA’s reluctance to offend the State of those responsible for the transgression.
I’m not suggesting for one second that ‘we’, the English, are now occupying some sort of moral high ground after last night’s events. We most assuredly do not. As Gussy, Ireland succinctly pointed out this morning, whilst we might not have f*ckwits dressed all in black/Stone Island openly making monkey chants and Nazi salutes, we have more than enough English f*ckwits dressed all in black/Stone Island singing about the IRA or Germany whilst getting thoroughly sh*ters and smashing up whatever foreign city centre they happen to be in.
If, like me, you’re a middle aged/old white male then it’s relatively easy, I would suggest, to write in to a responsible and progressive site like F365 and condemn any form of racism in football. Quite right. But ultimately meaningless if, during the next domestic game you attend, you do nothing whilst some around you are singing about Hillsborough, Munich or cancer or who are frothing at the mouth whilst screaming obscenities at the nearest away player or match official.
Those Bulgarian f*ckwits did what they did with their pre-printed t-shirts because, in their society, it remains acceptable behaviour. The Bulgarian manager, a classic example of the society he represents, is asking for ‘proof’ of the racism he failed to either see or hear and thereby facilitates such behaviour by denying it. If we ignore the cancer of OTT abusive and anti-social behaviour every single matchday in our own game, then do we not do the same thing?
Mark (So, it’s wrong to use the “N” word but OK to use the “C” word?) MCFC
England fans have given plenty of reason for people to dislike them, the actions of a sizeable minority at times is abhorent. However, the fact that they, as a group last night, found the racism unacceptable (and voiced this) is a positive.
The James McClean argument is whataboutery of the highest order because
1) no one in England has a fucking clue what a Fenian is
2) the abuse he gets from idiots is not racism, it is more political. Crowds are not virulantly anti-Irish. This needs to be dealt with as well but it is not the same issue.
As for the “nauseating” comment, would Gussy rather see England fans joining? This may have happened in the 70s……
To sum up, Gussy sounds a bit anti-English (what a shock) and lacks a level of self awareness himself.
Steve (Agent and Redsman)
Gussy – taking such deplorable behaviour and using it is as a reason to bash the English really is fairly low. Nobody (with any intelligence) is saying that Bulgaria are the only country with a culturally inbred racism issue and nobody (with any intelligence) is saying that England don’t. The situation in Sofia last night was one of shock because it was a collective, pre-arranged group openly showing Nazi salutes and making monkey chants. They then left en masse when the UEFA protocols kicked in and the sheer scale of those who had only turned up to racially abuse the black England players was mindblowing.
The English also have their own inbred issues, nobody (with any intelligence) is doubting that but the similarity between the incidents you highlight and what happened last night is thus: those who don’t suffer from a bigoted disposition call each event out for what it is, which is of course scaling the depths of depravity in human behaviour. Whether that be the individual abuse towards Sterling or collective abuse last night in Sofia; whether that be some kind of feeling of accepted decent human behaviour no longer being a prerequisite once attending a football match so all sorts of bile can be spat at players dependent on their race, creed, marital status, wife, husband, lover, gender, kids, where they live etc. No facet of human existence is safe from the baying mob but, as ever, this baying mob tends to be the knuckle draggers who, by and large, have been brought up to be knuckle draggers by knuckle draggers and the weird parallel universe vs. laws of the land that is a football stadium is their arena to release their issues.
You have the same problems over the Emerald Sea I’m sure. Much as we do here. But I won’t sit here and say the Irish sets of fans are just as bad because that is also xenophobic. See the angle here?
Take it easy. Happy October.
People like the Bulgarian manager are part of the problem, his fingers in the ears assertion that he heard no racism is counter productive, like the rise in fascism racism seems to be on the rise in Eastern Europe which is really sad to see. It doesn’t take a great leap to see people like Nigel Farage, Tommy Robinson, Katie Holmes in the UK and Donald Trump in America are legitimising racist behaviour in the West is there similar public figures in Eastern Europe spouting the same vile rhetoric?
Even though the football took second stage I feel it was a shot in the arm after the Czech game, who would of thought a proper central defensive partner for McGuire rather than a Labrador chasing after a ball would make us look defensively competent.
Great to see Rashford and Sterling get on the score sheet, although at one point England had a four on three break and Sterling reverted to the 2016 version rather than releasing the ball ran straight into the defender but this is just nitpicking after a great display under very nasty circumstances. Lets hope UEFA have the bottle to actually make an example of Bulgaria rather than the usual slap on the wrist.
Paul Murphy, Manchester
English players and racism
Racist chanting happens all over the world. I think football in general needs to get the finger out and sort this out in the stands. It only seems to be headline news when it happens to English players.
Also, did I not read some quotes on a website not too far from here that the players would walk out if they were subjected to racist chants. Glad to see they followed through with that.
Culk the Younger
Saka and Holding will make Euro 2020
Absolute nonsense that Buyako Saka is not on the F365 ladder. A superb talent and on the way to becoming a regular for Arsenal. Behind Nketiah who can’t even get in the Leeds team? Have a word will you.
Mark my words he will be in the Euro 2020 squad. Also think that Rob Holding will make it.
Who is the best European footballer ever?
As Ronaldo scored his 700 goal I wanted to ask a slightly different question. Who is the best European footballer ever?
Like everyone else I’m bored with the debate regarding Ronaldo vs Messi and if they are the greatest footballers of all time. However, when analysing these conversation one normally finds the only other players mentioned in the debate are South Americans, notably Pele and Maradona, or for the playstation generation the original Ronaldo or Ronaldinho.
So here’s my question, can we agree that Ronaldo is the best European ever (which would then really mean best non-South American).
If not then who is better and why?
Paul K, London