The Mailbox agrees with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Mikel Arteta being Arsenal’s problem. Also: mails on racism and rape. Keeping it light on a Friday morning…
Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Arteta is the problem
So I’ve had a few days to mull over our transfer window and Aubameyang announcing today that Arteta was the problem… again!
How many time are we going to hear this?! Ozil, Aubameyang, Guendouzi, Saliba, Torreira. The idea of management is to manage all types of players, not just the ones you like. Forgetting the ludicrous contracts that we award, if all 5 of those players I had mentioned were still at the club, we’d be far stronger. Guendouzi for instance, looked a promising youngster, even if he was hot headed. Anyone remember Vieira???
And the noise from some fans stating ‘they weren’t any good after they signed their big contracts’ in Ozil and Aubameyangs case, they were being forced out by Arteta. If your boss was being unreasonable at your workplace, I’d think we’d all do the same.
As soon as we move on from ‘Pep’s pet’ and get someone in who can actually manage people, we aren’t going to improve at all. Also, Artetas football is boring. It’s slow, predictable and uninspiring. Not once have I seen us play a ball through the middle. Everything is out to the wing. If I can see it, people in the game with coaching can see it. If only we had a top class no. 10 and a top striker at the club…
And if someone mentions ‘trust the process’ one more time, I think I might lose it! Who came up with that anyway? Peps cone distributor has never said it. The process I seem to see is hoping one of the youngsters will get Arteta out of a mess.
P.s. any Arsenal fan states that Arteta was a good midfielder at Arsenal needs a good talking to.
I found the responses to KM’s mail to be interesting, with familiar tropes about footballers being role models (despite how much more that really says about our society and culture if true than anything else) and new ones that strangely compare footballers to solicitors and doctors. But none of these actually answered the most pertinent questions raised:
Should a crime as serious as rape ever be tried in a civil case, given the lower standard of evidence and that the accused is not presumed innocent until proven guilty, as in a criminal case?
In general, setting aside the complexity of this particular case, what jobs would be suitable for a convicted rapist if not being a footballer? Would anyone really be comfortable working with or hiring a convicted rapist in any profession regardless of the profile i.e. plumber, accountant, secretary etc? If so, why would that be any less misogynistic (to colleagues, clients, customers etc) than them working as a footballer? If not, and they can’t be a footballer, what do we do with them?
What other crimes should or shouldn’t bar someone from being a professional footballer, i.e. manslaughter *cough* Marcus Alonso *cough*
…On the subject of the Raith Rapist.
It’s easy to understand how this is such an emotive issue, but I feel I must just ask one question.
If there’s no route back into Society proper after committing an offence (any offence, not just this horrifically abhorrent one), then what really is the incentive for an Offender to change their ways?
There must be a way back, no matter how egregious it may be to you, otherwise it’s permanent Castigation, and the negative behaviours that would be allowed to fester as a result. Not to mention, it would be creating a dangerous subset of Society – and frankly you want those individuals in circulation so the population can do it’s own moral policing.
This is why the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act of 1974 is enshrined in Law.
Now I’m no Lawyer, and of course a Civil case is a different matter to a Criminal case, but I feel this is a point worth making.
A convicted Paedophile can serve you in the Supermarket. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
International week, eh?!
…Just an overall comment on the mailbox responding as one to KM yesterday.
Well said one and all, I read his original email at work (where I on occasion treat victims and survivors of rape for PTSD), and just sighed. There is no ‘done your time’ for rape, no real life job comparisons to be made, rape is rape. And oh, abused or not does not excuse or rob someone of the capacity to choose to rape someone.
Jon (heavy I know, but I’m a Spurs fan remember, it’s all I know), Lincoln
Thanks for the very interesting ‘state of play’ article on the Premier League broadcasting rights. I have always had an issue with the European Commission decision to break up the Sky monopoly 15 years ago. Although I think the intention was noble, to provide choice for the consumer and competition in the market, they did not take into account the type of product involved. I don’t want to choose between the Sky package and the BT sports package, I want to see whatever matches are available, and that means that now I have to pay for two services instead of one. In a monopoly situation the company potentially ramp up their prices, but they could do that now anyway. They have a monopoly on the matches they show.
The best option for consumers would be for all matches to be broadcast by more than one service, and then we can pick our provider depending on the quality of their coverage. That would be proper competition. It would be interesting to see which company survives, if we could choose between games being covered by Neville/Carragher/Richards or McManaman/Hoddle/Ferdinand.
Colin Lawton, Galway
Nod to Canada
Just here to give a shout out to Canada, who I and many people would have been thinking getting to co-host the next World Cup with USA and Mexico were getting a lucky break as an international team to become relevant, but they have royally blitzed through their Concacaf group and are all but assured of a place in the next World Cup, and in the last few weeks they have been winning game after game and all without Alphonso Davies, their biggest superstar by far. It will be very interesting to see how they get on in Qatar, I am sensing some ‘Belgium’ like vibes i.e. a team not really there at all (Canada especially, Belgium had a decade in the wilderness but were generally involved in tournaments before that) suddenly jumping onto the scene and being a big player. Of course this is Central America, their teams might get a quarter final spot and that would be considered an achievement, I think that they may be potential shock quarter finalists. This could also be down to an underperforming USA (who like Canada seem to be harvesting a golden generation of sorts but without the togetherness of the Northern neighbours) and a Mexico not exactly as flush as previous generations, but still credit must be given as they are beating everybody in front of them. Canada qualifying is the same vibe as New Zealand qualifying. It might just be a blip in the norm but it should be celebrated (though as said their progress feels more Belgium-like pertaining the coming in from the cold circumstances)
Dave (F365 on their game lately with eradicating toxic spills from football articles, big huge clap for Thayden’s rebuttal post from the afternoon), Dublin
Race and football
I’ve read the recent posts on the lack of BAME managers in English football with great interest. I’ll also preface this mail by saying that, as an old fart, I regularly struggle with today’s social media terminology (Thanks F365 for explaining what NFTs are. FFS.). Accordingly, if I use outdated terminology or references in this mail then I’ll apologise right now. If I do so, it will be from non-wilful ignorance and certainly not from any form of malice.
My question is this. The players in our professional leagues are almost exclusively European, African-Caribbean, or South American. In the UK we have huge Indian, Pakistani, and Chinese heritage communities. Why are they not represented in terms of football players? I get that, in India and Pakistan (amongst others) particularly, cricket is king, but it is still a fact that there is a thriving Asian football scene here, but it remains stubbornly, and inexplicably, amateur.
In the same vein, you cannot tell me that there are no British-Chinese boys or girls, for example, that are worthy of a place in any club’s academy. The odds against are ridiculous. So what else is at play here?
Is it the lack of established role models? Perhaps in the same way there is no openly gay footballer? Or is it, and I’m walking on the thin ice of stereotyping here, a cultural one where the option of football as a career path is unacceptable?
As a fat old white bloke, I have no idea, but this site has tentacles across the world, and I would love to hear from others uniquely qualified to comment as to why this is.
In the same vein, I would love for F365 to interview the likes of Ian Wright, Yaya Touré, Drogba and Darren Bent, for instance, as to why they, seemingly repeat seemingly, have never wanted to go down the managerial path. I’ve just plucked those four off the top of my head largely as they are all super-switched on about the game and have gone from (relative) rags to riches. Were they discouraged or even prevented? Did they choose not to because they didn’t relish the pressure? Seems unlikely with uber-competitive players such as them.
In the last 30 years how many non-white players have there been in the top four leagues? How many have transitioned into English management?
Mark (Doesn’t make sense) MCFC.
…There were two topics in the mailbox regarding race and misogyny that seem to have stoked a lot of conversations.
There clearly needs to be something done to promote more diversity in managers in the Premier League but it needs to go beyond managers to other roles as well. Pinning it on something like the Rooney rule will fail. Former Dolphin’s coach Brian Flores is suing the NFL for discrimination and cites the Rooney Rule as not working. In the meantime there is a great initiative called the Football Black List that is attempting to place BAME people in more senior roles by leveraging BAME role models to help as mentors. As well as educating current boards on what they can do to improve BAME representation – including sitting on boards but it could be as physios, nutritionists, analysts, etc. All premier league clubs need to reach out to Leon Mann and hear him speak – he is a fantastic speaker on this.
While I am glad to see Raith Rovers are reconsidering their decision to hire Goodwillie (if ever there was a more ironic name for a rapist) it was more about the tone deaf nature in which the club went about the decision. It is not just the idea of someone having a criminal past but the fact Goodwillie is not repentant in any way. A business that employs women, runs women teams, has a major sponsor as a woman and has customers who are women, should not be employing a convicted rapist. The fact that the law makes it hard to convict rapists and so many are never brought to the police as a result, should not be used to question when the case is won in civil court. It is not like they are hiring someone who stole bikes. And particularly during a time when there have been several high profile cases recently against footballers – who are seen as getting away with abusing women, and worse, because of their fame.
Football clubs like any business need to do better in terms of diversity. Football goes out of its way to become a part of the community and so it has a higher bar when it comes to better representing that community as a whole. There was outrage at the ‘big 6’ endorsing a Super League when truly there should be greater outrage around the low BAME employment and misogyny that still characterizes the game.