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What You Tube has done to football; “Sergio Busquets – The Quiet Man”.

Dominic Sanchez-Cabello

Growing up in the YouTube age, with everything at the mercy of the search bar, I soon realized that days could be stolen clicking between obscure videos. Mostly they concerned football and music, but they could be anything. A growth of ‘recommended videos’ on my side bar and the incessant bombardment of intriguing material saw weekends perish, days blend into one another, and before I knew it, I was watching: “Sergio Busquets – The Quiet Man”.

Why am I telling you this? Well because to my mind, YouTube has changed everything.

In previous times, where one relied on their firsthand experiences (however infrequent they were), newspapers, television, magazines and the commentary that accompanied it, opinions would be enduring, but they could also be less thorough. Pundit A might declare Player B a failure and because one lacked the means to check for themselves, they would either accept it, or have to wait weeks until they saw Player B play again. Back when coverage was infrequent and access to the foreign game was impossible, how would a journalist, a manager, let alone a fan be able to form a reliable opinion on any player unless they watched him in the flesh most weeks?

In 2009, some nutcase calculated there to be around 600 years of footage on YouTube – by now that figure has probably doubled. Back then 7% was sport. Now, at a guess, 3% Is Football –18 years of footage! At the current rate 100 hours of footage is uploaded to YouTube every minute. Statistically this rate will continue to climb. Meaning, the bigger YouTube becomes the faster it will grow and so on indefinitely… until irritating adverts make it unusable.

Take Zidane, a player I have spent villainous amounts of time watching; a quick YouTube search will produce 1.2million results, this for a player who retired in 2006, a year after YouTube’s birth! Ronaldo is 28, so it is feasible that he’ll retire sometime around 2018. At the moment 1.9 million videos appear by searching for ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’, in 5 years when the growth of YouTube is even faster and Ronaldo is of an age where he is simply un-coachable, what audacious clips will we find? And in what quantity will we find them?

Things are even more astonishing when one stops to consider the future superstars: Isco, Gotze, Wilshere, Hazard, Eriksen, Neymar… who will be of the first generation to have their entire careers captured in YouTube clips.

They say the future reapS the benefits of a constantly growing history. For example the one who reads history in modern times will have a more interesting picture than the one who reads it in medieval times, as the former can appreciate everything the latter can, as well as a lot more. The result is: with time, Civilisation gains a richer heritage. The Tree of 50 years is more impressive than the one that has grown for five. The YouTube of 15 years is better than the one of five also.

At present anyone, anywhere, can find extensive footage from Gary of St Blazey AFC to Ronaldo with the tap of a keyboard. They can also broadcast their opinions far more effectively than at any other point in history. When everyone is trying to say something and whatever one does say can be swiftly scrutinised, there are no excuses for anyone not to be informed on the player they’re talking about.

Though saying that they still are.

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Take the example of Higuain, as he is fresh in the mind. A few weeks ago he was near to joining, so as is custom blogs wrote en masse about his characteristics / what he ‘would bring to the team’. Most agreed they would like to see him in the red and white, but some sites (that find a large hearing) were concerned for his lack of pace – a notion that anyone with eyes in their head and a basic knowledge of football would know was preposterous. I’ve also seen established journalists uttering, “Scott Dann would fit the Arsenal way…” which as far as I’m concerned doesn’t need an answer.

Defensive midfielders tend to suffer the most and until the season before last, it was fashionable in some circles to vilify Song for his ‘tactical awareness’, a term so vague that it could mean anything at all. That season I saw one of the most complete mid-fielders since Vieira and to this day I haven’t seen a midfielder capable of both out-powering Yaya Toure and dribbling past five players. But what good is that if you are ‘tactically unaware’?

Busquets is another with nuances to his game that punditry rarely acknowledges. As a result, he suffers from the shouts of those who watch his antics at the expense of his game. I could describe the merits of a 25 year old that has won everything.  But, such is my faith in YouTube, I’m willing to abandon words and wager my whole case on this video. Get past the music and you’ll be forever converted.

“The Quiet Man”

YouTube isn’t infallible, I mean if anyone was kind enough to do so, they could probably compile a four-minute video of my greatest moments on a football pitch – add some snazzy effects and a provocative tune it may even be watchable. The videos that trail the same player and all his touches over a single game offer a more telling picture. In short watch Football videos – one can lie, 10 can’t.

I tried to show that ‘Influential Arsenal blogger’ once. You know, the one so confident in his opinions he doesn’t allow comments. Fruitless of course, he’s told everyone his opinion and for that reason it won’t change. But it is a curious one to grasp, even with coherent analysis. For a start it is at odds with every prominent football figure from Guardiola to Cruyff – the former stating his desire to be reincarnated as the irritating defensive midfielder. Moreover, his reasons, vague though they are, show a lack of footballing wisdom. The sort lingering from a time when watching football was such a privilege, the last person one had come to see was the “quiet man”.


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20 comments to What You Tube has done to football; “Sergio Busquets – The Quiet Man”.

  • nicky

    I value YouTube no end, mainly because when I read the countless advice to Arsene to buy Tom, Dick and Harry (can’t remember the surnames), the similar help each week in selecting the team, and the names of the players he should buy during the next sales Window……I can forget all that “pony” and choose a few records of Count Basie, Benny Goodman and others in the world of jazz (the only music worth a listen.

  • Mjc

    My favourite youtube-arsenal moment was emailing all my gooner mates a link to the Jack Wilshere Show video, the one where JW single-handedly beat a very strong West Ham XI despite on being eleven himself (I may be exaggerating a bit).
    Not a single one of them had heard of him until then.
    And they still mention that email link to this day.
    It’s still up as ‘Jack Wilshere Wonder Goa’l – worth a watch or rewatch, if only to ask if Wenger doesn’t pull exactly the same “proud Dad” face that he did when Zelalem did similar magic on the Far East tour!

  • elkieno

    I don’t get that last paragraph who is this influential blogger?

  • elkieno

    I am reading on the train with lots of sexy women around.

  • Nelson Wong

    Its good that youtube give us some idea of who and what we are talking about but it also make people starting to think that they know more than the experts…

    OK, some experts are good (egAW, Ferguson, “the crazy one”) and some are not ( I don’t need an example here) but I doubt even 0.001% of the fan can do better than even those “not so good” experts.

    Watching you tube let us know how the war was faught and how weapons are manned. That does not make us warriors. Watching Bruce Lee and others on youtube doesn’t make you a fighting master nor great film director.

    Why would people think that watching youtube can make them good footballer or manaer?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ DSC – Very nice link .He seems very classy .
    @ Nicky – Some ‘new’ jazz for you from where else- you tube!

  • nicky

    @ Brickfields G.,
    Thanks for that. Not quite my scene but much appreciated.

  • Morning Guys, thanks for the comments.

    MJC – Thanks for the link, will definitely have a look.

    Elkieno – His name begins in Myles Palm…! 😀

    Nelson Wong – I completely agree it doesn’t make you a good manager/player – in the same way that reading The Art of War wouldn’t make you a competent General. It would allow you to write a more informed critique about it though… then someone who hadn’t read it for example. And with plenty of people happy enough to let their opinions known, the least one can do is be clued up on what it is they are writing about. Especially when they have around 20 years of footage at the tap of a keyboard.

  • para

    @ nicky.
    I can see why it is not your scene the jazz link, pop jazz? Ugh, me ears, me ears.
    I think new information does help to make one a better whatever they want, but obviously not just you tube, but it does help a little, every little bit of info counts. I for one am glad of you tube et al, it allows me to see and learn things that i did not know even existed.

  • AL

    I have said this before, Busquets is the most underated player in that Barca lineup, yet I’d put him up there with Xavi & Iniesta. He’s just fabulous, know its impossible to get him but I’d love to see such a talented player wear the red & white.

  • A.L – Couldn’t agree more, I’d love to have Busquets! He is a unique player and the best DM I’ve ever seen. I had nightmares for a week the first time he came to the Emirates!

    He is also a handy player to gauge someones football brain. If they know football, they’ll like him. If they don’t … they won’t!

  • Bootoomee

    Nelson Wong,

    No truer words have been spoken about Youtube and the delusions of wisdom and grandeur that it bestows on some viewers!

    Also love the author’s line about being able to edit videos to make anyone look great or crap depending on what the creators’ motives are.

    Different but great article.

  • Bootoomee


    Lest my last point be misconstrued as anti-Youtube, I am an avid Youtube user with my own channel. It is one of the great resources of our time.

    If your TV has Internet capability, you never have to buy some DVDs ever. Good example: children’s programmes!

    The problem with Youtube is the same with every resource or invention in life: abuse or improper usage by people!

  • Bootoomee, you bloody rotter! You’ve basically condensed my article into two concise comments…

    Cheque is in the post, sir.

  • Bootoomee



  • Robl

    @ D-Sanchez-Cabello, I with you on Busquets

    @ Nicky, I’m with the Commitments on jazz

  • nicky

    @BrickfieldsG, para and Robl,
    Try “After Hours” by Erskine Hawkins on YouTube. Awesome.

  • Doofus

    Well Gilles Grimaldi does all his scouting on YouTube so can’t be all bad.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Nicky – Thanks , that was sweet ! Am really a jazz lover per se but do appreciate beauty /art in any form .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Sorry , should be ,” Am not “