Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org and enjoy the Bank Holiday…
God we are awful people aren’t we? Look at the comments about Kyle Walker this morning. How do any of know how he feels right now? There are some things that sit beyond tribal loyalties and this is one. I don’t know if Walker is trying to absolve himself of blame. I don’t know what support he needs or doesn’t need right now. But what I do know is, if we dismiss his plea for some understanding we might as well throw away any idea of ever persuading other young men suffering from mental health issues, to come forward. Feel like you need some help? Well how much money have you got? We judge you’ve nothing to be sad about.
Suffering from mental health? We’ve looked at your entire life through the tiny prism of the media and we’ve all agreed you’re just a cry baby and using it as an excuse. But if it turns out like Caroline Flack we promise to say nice things about you then and really will do our best to change.
If you think otherwise you’re just wrong and a disgrace and you’re adding to the problem. No ifs or buts or maybes. If you judge Kyle Walkers comments based on who you support then you should be ashamed of yourself.
The guy needed some help. He didn’t ask you for help, he went to his parents. He didn’t ask for public understanding, just a hug from his sister. Sometimes I hate football tribalism.
What is the sun’s problem with Kyle Walker. Is it that hard to leave the chap alone. I don’t get how he puts up with it, the constant plaguing him. Like hes not even that controversial so what he paid for sex, who cares they were all adults taking their own risks they werent coughing vivid 19 into anyone’s face. Now this shit with the horror of breaking lockdown rules half the world is already breaking anyway to see his parents and sister. The people following him around need to have a long look at their sad little lives, and The people who buy the sun and keep these gremlins in business are just as bad.
Aaron. CFC. Ireland
I have come up with a simple solution for behind closed doors football to make it seem as though there is an atmosphere in the ground.
This has been inspired by my 10 month old daughter’s animal noise toy that she has. You know the one the cow button goes mooo the pig button goes oink and so on.
Can’t we just have the stadium announcer play crowd noises over the tannoy.
Give them a booo button, a yeaaahhhh button a clapping button, an ooooof button etc and let one person orchestrate and be responsible for the whole atmosphere of a ground.
It would be funny. Especially if they pressed the wrong button.
Happy Bank Holiday
In response to Aaron CFC Ireland,
I don’t agree that I’ll enjoy a game in an empty stadium just as much but I feel like his suggestion of tens of thousands of stray dogs providing an alternative atmosphere to be genius and something I’d even consider renewing multiple TV subscriptions for.
My final thoughts (I hope not ever)
I realise the subject of Project Restart has been done to death but now finally having time away from the intensity of work, I have three observations:
1) Project Restart is seen as a binary decision, when it is not, at least not yet. There is no reason why the Premier League cannot start preparing whilst learning from others. Germany is due to restart in a little over a week, we can observe what happens there before making a final decision, and this will substantiate John Nic’s pros and cons.
2) I understand that Brighton are the biggest opponents of playing at neutral venues. There remaining home games are: Liverpool, Man City, Man United, Arsenal and Newcastle. I wonder if they’re really against neutral venues or simply would prefer not to play those games.
3) If football Is to survive financially, regardless of Project Restart, next season will start under some level of lockdown i.e in all probability behind closed doors and subject to the rules that are being contemplated for Restart. Teams cannot argue against these rules now if they are to accept them later.
That is all from me. There will be no more.
I think it’s fairly well documented (Michael Cox, Jonathon Wilson and others) that football really did start in 1992. Football as we’ve come to know it anyway.
This is due to the change in the back-pass law, itself a result of a drab 1990 World Cup.
This instigated, amongst other things, a complete change in expectation for what a top class goalkeeper is, a top class centreback and, indeed, the role of the holding midfielder who now is much more of a passer than a destroyer (at top clubs anyway).
Everything follows from there.
I hope everyone is doing well through this pandemic and particular thoughts go to the wonderful Peter G who had eluded to some health issues not too far back.
Gearóid (really misses the crowds at Monday night 5-a-side)
The only way forward? Seriously?
Why does each one of us (based it seems entirely on our club preferences) argue that we know what is best for public health and saving lives? Should we void the season? Should we award positions in a certain way? Should we or shouldn’t we restart , and when , and in what format ,and under what rules?
The only way to save lives and stay safe and support the NHS is to not play any football until the NHS declare it is safe to play football (in no way does a doctor on the frontline care if we void or award or restart). As long as we stick to NHS guidance as to when football can start again, then how it restarts becomes a sporting and financial matter and not a public health matter.
Stay safe all,
Waleed (Let’s not mix issues and pretend we are saviors we are only football fans) Almasri
John’s blind bias
I have been a long time critic of John Nicholson. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t always the case. I used to find his alternative views on the corporate culture within football refreshing, highlighting the commercial or capitalist ideology underpinning so many facets of the modern game. I also think he is a very articulate and enthusiastic voice.
The problem started when I noticed the same thread of criticism running the entire spectrum of his pieces. Even those that were explicitly not about modern football or how football clubs, players or fans are spending/receiving/wasting enormous sums of money. There would be the comments; passing mention that the soul of football was being lost or of a player taking home £200k. It was irksome.
But the last couple of years have focused Johnny’s ire. His book has come out and now there is no stopping him, he is a one man socialist revolution. His latest piece is the absolute epitome of bias reporting. He attempts to portray pro’s and con’s of the ‘shall we restart the season’ argument, but forgets to hide his absolute contempt for one side of the argument. You see Johnny, with something like a pro’s and con’s debate, you ideally want to approach the argument without bias, regardless of whether you might have a strong personal preference. I’m sure it is not straight forward, but then you are a journalist, and this really is a core tenet of journalism. You can have an opinion piece to wave your flag, but with this, for the sake of professionalism, maybe reign it in a bit.
It starts strongly with the pro’s:
It’s football on the TV and we like football a lot. Some of us are so mad about football that we’d watch any football anywhere under any circumstances. – I wonder what kind of circumstances you are referring? I assume John imagines these nutters as watching with a horde of their mates, the tv sat pride of place on grandma’s coffin.
He says it will raise spirits, fine. He says we will get to hear the players swear. Perhaps a little facetious, most people would prefer to hear exactly what kind of technical and tactical information is shouted, both from coaches and players. The world is full of swearing, its not very titillating.
States it would bring season to a proper end. Fine. The gumpf around football can restart. Fine. Points out the revenue can restart. This is a bit of a biggie, John. You know, this is exactly why football clubs are pushing to restart, because they are haemorrhaging money. I know its all very gauche to talk about, and you have strong opinions on money in football, but this particular point is worth emphasising. This is the crux. The whole pyramid needs this money, it might not justify restarting the season, money is not as important as peoples health and safety, but this revenue would go along way to fixing the immediate problems clubs face.
Point about Viability for next season. Fine.
It will be an awful product. Absolute bollocks. You can’t complain as frequently and vociferously as you have about the morons and reprobates that pollute the game from the terraces and then try and pretend that the game is meaningless and unwatchable without their attendance. Football without crowds will be weird, and probably marginally worse. It will not greatly affect the product. Removing the players and having a 100,000 capacity stadium cheering and hollering an empty pitch would be a shit product, we watch the football not the crowd, John, as well you know.
Neutral grounds remove home advantage. I assume the ‘home’ team can still have the majority of fans? If so, they should still have an advantage. It’s not ideal, some teams might lose out more than others. Is it less fair than some teams having played much harder fixtures than others up to this point? It was always going to be difficult to find a perfect option that removed the possibility of some sporting disadvantage. I mean Brighton will agree with you, and they were as transparent in their self serving motivations as you are.
Novelty wears off, meaning everyone will stop watching, meaning broadcasters will not pay, meaning there will be little financial benefit, meaning it wont be an option for next season, meaning the end of days. This point is doing a lot of work, isn’t it? Where to start? First off, what novelty? Empty stadiums or football itself? One should not really effect viewing figures as people are surely not tuning in for a glimpse of an empty stadium, the other has been going for a hundred plus years, there is obviously something intrinsically interesting about football. I don’t see the evidence put forth to justify the incredibly bold claim about everyone suddenly switching off. Additionally, I am not sure the tv broadcast contract has any clause about people not watching, the premiership just has to make games available for broadcast, its Sky and BT’s job to drum up the viewers and justify their huge outlays. Who knows whether this will be the end of days, not me John, and not you either.
A lot of games are meaningless. As true now as it was 4 months ago.
One positive test brings the house of cards crashing down. Possibly, though seems a rather obvious and likely occurrence to be so devastating. Who knows though. Fine
Isn’t safe enough. Perhaps not, though blanket statements probably are not justifiable. Takes tests away. Fine.
EFL clubs need matchday revenue. Fine.
Even with plenty of reasonable points, its hard to ignore the tone of the piece. I was of the opinion that John was starting to deliberately write to provoke a reaction, with strongly opinionated pieces that could stoke discussion, which is perfectly reasonable, but this was never one of those. This is a big deal, this is a difficult decision, this has a lot of people’s livelihoods riding on it. This was amateurish. Again.
With regards to this whole Pele discussion, I feel Stu undermined his own argument within his own letter as to why Pele shouldn’t be considered one of the greats. Taken from his letter, he writes;
“He won three World Cups. Amazing .. but he did so with probably the greatest collection of footballers the world will ever see. as his team mates . . . He scored a zillion goals for a half-decent Brazilian team in a non competitive league”
Each squad member at all three World Cups that Brazil won with Pele all played in Brazil. So, if his teammates were the greatest collection of players ever seen, then how was the Brazilian league so non competitive and poor if it was full of all those players?
By all means, don’t include him in your top 5, but don’t make baseless claims to support your exclusion.