Posted by john_mac on September 2, 2006, 06:02:46 PM
One summer surely could not have done more to illustrate just how far football has become removed from the people who, for generations, have been its’ very bedrock.
The British press, as pathetic as ever, build up a team of World Beaters, only to later mock them and blame a ‘foreign’ manager for their failings. Then, in the biggest u-turn since Frank Worthington’s medical results came through, they decided that the England fans were the best in the world and proceeded to inform the world of the fact.
Of course England were shite, I’ve never seen anything else, they can’t beat teams with inferior players and their must be a reason behind that, I very much doubt that it purely down to a succession of inadequate managers, and wouldn’t mind betting that the McLaren - Venables partnership fails, with the inevitable sneering of the press.
Italy went on to win the World Cup, only to find half of their players instantly relegated for the parts their clubs had played to varying levels in a scandal that runs deep through the veins of the higher echelons of perhaps the most influential league in European football. Just how the two can remain divorced from one another is beyond me, but that is another story.
Which brings us a little closer to home. The captain of Liverpool Football Club, idolised by millions, decided to sell the dramatisation of his life story to the sister publication to that reviled on Merseyside. No doubt Murdoch saw this as an opportunity to increase circulation and legitimise his rag’s relationships with Liverpool FC. After two summers of toying with the emotions of Liverpool fans, I personally find it amazing that the captain of the club can act in such a heartless manner and stick two very public fingers up at each and every one of us. I thought that Carragher should have been made club captain thirteen months ago, I now have no doubts that this was the correct course of action. Stephen Gerrard is the most gifted footballer of his generation, but he is more at home posing for yet another shoot for “Hello” than he ever would be with a group of scousers in Wetherspoon’s discussing the merits of the game. Although I have no intention of reading his book, I wonder what he has to say about Hillsborough or Press’s reaction to Hillsborough, or maybe not!
Then there is Salif Diao, told he has no future at the club, not even given a squad number in a squad with more numbers than the telephone directory, what does he do? He refuses to even discuss his future with interested clubs. Hardly alone in this day and age, but still a man with absolutely no professional pride. The fact that hardly anybody finds his position unusual just goes to emphasise exactly how little respect is now afforded to those who list their profession as ‘professional footballer’ and surely our own Mr Diao is right up their with the best of the mercenaries.
Surely the likes of Giggs, Neville and Scholes at United have received offers in the past but you could never really imagine them leaving for financial reasons, least of all as the trophies were rolling into Old Trafford. I’m by no means supportive of United, least of all Manchester United PLC but you have do feel something is being done correctly.
OK its unfair to paint everything as black and white, it isn’t, you only need to look at the professionalism of the likes of Carragher, Hamman & Hyppia to see how attitude should shine through. It is impossible to believe that Carra would be faced with anything like the dilemma Stevey G was, had he been confronted with Abramovic’s roubles. It is impossible to imagine many players with the loyalty of Fowler when Ferguson was sniffing around and, in all likelihood, the club may have cashed in. But the embarrassment of the ‘Spice Boy’s’ lives long in the memory, pop videos, pop-star girl friends, Armani Catwalks, David James haircuts an all. I don’t know about anybody else but I found the sight of Jason MacAteer sprawled across the pitch in Paris parrotin’ down his mobile phone when he should have been thinking about a Cup Winners Cup Semi-Final was far more embarrassing than Wayne Rooney getting collared shagging a granny.
I know that we have used position and money in the past to attract players that otherwise may not have come, but even Champagne Charlie Nicholas chose elsewhere (coz he was scared of being scared of Kenny), Lou Macari chose to go to United ….to win things (the second division as it happened), for fuck sake Paul Goddard even chose Derby ahead of us. The situation with Chelsea is different, completely fucken different, never has one club had such financial domination over the rest. It isn’t a case of Liverpool not being able to compete financially with Chelsea, nobody can, never mind the goalposts have moved, the whole fucken pitch has moved.
Which brings us to the real story of the Summer which epitomises everything that is wrong with football. The incident which illustrates the stench of hypocrisy and unadulterated greed that exists within modern football far more than the Italian corruption scandal ever could is the Ashley Cole transfer saga.
I won’t make any bones about it, I can’t fucken stand Chelsea anything about them. I have always hated the place, well before the Abramovic years, its not a case of jealousy- I’ve seen Liverpool win far more than any football fan has a right to see their team win, certainly far more than any Chelsea fan is likely to see their team win in their lives. I think the fans are knobs, revelling n Eng-ger-laand for years, coz, let’s face it, their team were shite. Self proclaimed hooligans singing about celery, abusing their own players, they appear to have no geographical base, footballing nomads, Reading, Watford, Hampshire, you name it, anywhere but West Fucken London…. Does anybody know where they actually come from?
Cole, a self proclaimed boyhood Arsenal fan, came through the ranks at Arsenal and was promoted by Wenger to first team regular at the age of eighteen. He was promoted as a local lad at a club dominated by foreign internationals, a player the fans could relate to, a player with a bright future who may one day go on to captain both club and country. A younger player becoming established at one of the biggest clubs in the world.
It is difficult to imagine a player who could have won as much with their clubs as Cole has at 25, certainly amongst English players. With Arsenal just having played in their first European Cup final it is difficult to imagine that he feels they are going backwards, nor that he can achieve no more with a club that he ‘loves’.
So why, with two years to run on his contract, was Cole arranging meetings with representatives of Chelsea in order to engineer a move away from the club he loved and to one of their biggest rivals? Coz he’s a c*nt? Maybe.
Why was every newspaper in the country reporting that Arsenal had only offered him £55K a week when he had been promised £60K, on the reliable word of his agent? Coz he’s a greedy c*nt? Maybe.
Cole’s relationship with the bird from Girl’s Aloud is nauseating, designed in a Beckhamesque image and born of Hello and the tabloid press, every image worth a small fortune to the millions of gobshites obsessed with the world of the celebrity. A celebrity wedding consummated exclusively in Hello magazine, surely a match made in heaven or at least Threadneedle Street Heaven, had its doubts cast upon it with all sorts of ‘gay’ slurs amongst the good old tabloid press. Never slow to miss an opportunity good old Mr Cole decided that legal action was appropriate and settled out of court.
At the FA hearing into the alleged irregularities that had taken place between Ashley, Joey Mourhino and good old Peter Kenyon (a man who could give Heather Mills tips on gold-digging), Mr Cole’s representative described his relationship with Arsenal as that of master and slave. Fuck me, with the events that have occurred since I know who appears to have had the upper hand.
It amazes me even further to read today that Arsenal are being forced to pay Cole in the region of a further £5 mill for his apparent loyalty to them. Yeah, I know it goes on, but it doesn’t make it right, it’s abhorrent, it absolutely fucken stinks.
Of course it was a chance meeting in a West London restaurant, a meeting that led to Cole ultimately signing a lucrative contract for the richest club in the world, surely the perfect club for him, a club with no morals, no heart and a financial bedrock built on very shaky foundations.
A match made in heaven and I hope and pray the pair of them rot!
If there was ever one incident which is indicative of how ridiculous we, as football fans, have become in the age where the Sky’s money dictates our every move then the transfer of this horrible, greedy bastard is exactly that! © john_mac 2006
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