Joel Campbell, the futility of the media at the WC and Gary Lewin’s injury

By Tony Attwood

Untold, being as strongly anti-corruption as it is, is anti-Fifa, and hence not particularly interested in the World Cup, or WC as I prefer to call it.  (Actually that joke doesn’t work unless you are fully conversant with colloquial English, but WC is the standard abbreviation for “water closet” the Queen’s English way of saying toilet – I thought I ought to make that clear.)

So no significant WC insights from Untold, except multiple relief that the England manager decided to put out a North West England team, so there was no chance of an Arsenal injury.

But of course we’re all joining in the celebrations of Joel Campbell’s goal – which raises multiple issues about the future of Arsenal in terms of strikers.  More on that anon but I for one am hoping for Joel with us for 2014/15.

What has interested me however is a couple of pointers from the media’s total absolute obsessions with the WC.  Well, with both types of WC, but I’ll concentrate on the footballing version.

I can’t imagine there is any shortage of people who would like to co-commentate football on radio.  You get expenses paid trips out to the games, stay in the best hotels, get generally very good seats, and just have to say a few lines of interest during pauses in play.  What could possibly go wrong?

You would also think that an executive at a radio station hiring someone to be a co-commentator might say, ok Phil pop along with Des, or Garry, or Brian, or Alan, or whoever they have hanging around and you two do a bit of a commentary together so we can “check the sound levels”.  (That’s what people used to say back in the last century when I did radio.  It means “see if you are any good or not.”)

But with the character known as Phil Neville this certainly didn’t happen.  I listened to part of the North West England match last night as I drove home from what was a rather uninspiring night out in Northampton, and was stunned at how shockingly awful he was.  I mean, not just bad, but so bad I wondered if Private Eye (a satirical magazine often in the courts) had actually taken over the station.

And given that this wasn’t England playing, but North West England, and given that he is an Everton man, he ought to have felt right at home.

He spoke in a monotone so there was no telling if the sentences were starting, ending, or just a set of statement conjured up in a hell where God had decreed in Genesis that thou shall speak only on B flat.  And if you could get past the delivery what he said was so mind bogglingly dull and pointless that watching the rear end of the truck in front of me doing a solid 40mph (part of the revised speed restrictions for big trucks on little roads in the UK) was more entertaining.

How could the BBC not know that this guy was a stunningly gross incompetent at radio work who would have the audience gnawing at their lower limbs as the match progressed?

Come to that how could he be so different from his brother whom Sky has picked up?  Or maybe that was the point – that the BBC thought that if there was a Neville on the radio, we wouldn’t notice it was the wrong one.

Meanwhile, the crowds, anguished at their poverty and the ultimate luxury of the tax free Fifa executives and their cronies in the Brazilian government have been exercising their dismay by throwing rocks at the TV centre that the British crews use.  Rocks and bricks were thrown at the plate glass windows.

It probably was very frightening inside, but there was still no excuse for the awful Adrian Chiles to open his mouth and put his foot in it by saying, “It’s nothing to do with us.”

Oh Adrian wake up.  Yes it is – the money spent on the WC could have been spent on things the people need and protecting the environment, rather than on bribes, bungs and a stadium in the jungle that is built in a city with no major football team.  It is only because you and your employers cover the WC that Blatter has his power and the money is wasted, and the corruption spreads.

Meanwhile our old pal Garry Lewin who for reasons I have never understood abandoned Arsenal for the “lure” (I use the word in a non-standard sense) of England and the FA, was stretchered off after England scored after getting a dislocated ankle.

Seemingly Gary jumped off the bench when England scored and did himself a mischief in the process.

Can you imagine what the press and AAA would have made of it, if it had happened while he was on duty at an Arsenal game?

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34 Replies to “Joel Campbell, the futility of the media at the WC and Gary Lewin’s injury”

  1. North West England 🙂

    I was trying to work out why Lallana did not start with both Walcott and Chamberlain out. And the inclusion of the prospective Utd rookie over the pacy LB (not like Baines!) who has excelled in the CL against the likes of Munich and quite often this season had to cope with a half fit Podolski ahead of him (who himself has recovered and could have a role in the tournament for Germany): Gibbs.

    Phil Neville only helped take Utd from 1st to Seventh or Sixth this season, what is he doing in the commentary box? I think we know why he is there. 🙂

    These kind of things do happen with national teams (Holland, Cameroon…all kinds of stuff!), it’s not unheard of (I’m ignoring the demographically demented referee bias to the Norf in the PL). What is strange is the lack of copy making any of these obvious observations.

  2. See Jack made a mockery of the imbecilic Stuart Pearce and his words that our MF would not kick a ball in this WC. The same Stuart Pearce that would pick Jack for the U21s when injured and drop him when fit.
    Wonder if we will see Ox in the north west 11? Our players may enjoy, take pride in and deserve their call ups, but the less they play in this fixed farce heavily geared towards one team, the better as far as I am concerned

  3. Such a hate fest. It’s bit like saying I like Abbot Ale, but won’t go into Wetherspoon’s to drink it.
    I’m thoroughly enjoying the WC and have watched every match (other than Japan v Ivory Coast).
    Yes, and Campbell looks good enough to take his place in the squad at last.

  4. Well I hope all arsenal players get lots of minutes on the pitch and the more the better. Playing at the world cup is the pinnacle of your career, epl, fa cup, champions league and league cup matches do not even come close. The experience of playing at the level will make any player raise his game on the domestic scene as he will want more.

    Jack is no sub, Joel is ready and worthy of a chance, unlike most I thought rooney played well, great assist.

  5. Tony, you promised more on Joel Campbell and strikers at Arsenal but where is it? 🙂

    The lad did good, well taken goal and assist and was the MoTM. With all the talk of Vela JC seems the returning saviour we actually need (geddit?). He;s fast, aggressive, strong and not afraid to shoot on sight. I would recall him and send Sanogo out on loan for a year. If we then went out and bought Sanchez from RM I think we would have significantly improved our attacking options.

    I’m loving the football in the WC because its been open and attractive (even Italy) and the games have been exciting. England played quite well and at least they had a go – much better than the dross we’ve had to put up with in recent years. It may be aside weighted towards the NW but that simply reflects the reality of where our better players are based. Watching Sterling harry the Italian defence was a delight.
    So don’t knock it Tony, embrace it!

  6. Still buzzing after watching Joel Campbell last night. The boy is quick, direct, has a venomous left foot, and has a few tricks in his locker as well. And he’s only 21! Just what the doctor ordered 🙂

  7. England didn’t disappoint. They were fast and couldn’t shoot. Yet another lot of players that can’t hit a barn door with a football. Look at the Pirlo free kick. That is technique. Anyone can kick a ball like that. It need understanding and practice. Understanding of trajectory and technique of how to impart spin on the ball to hit the target.

    Sterlings first shot had most of the art but he didn’t understand trajectory.

  8. So happy to see Campbell the best player on the pitch yesterday. I hope he does play for us next year, it is an exciting prospect indeed.

    Re England v. Italy – I don’t get it how people, including Hodgson, think it was a good game for England. Beyond me, really.

    Let’s start with the obvious – Baines and Johnson. Johnson is one of the stupidest footballers I can remember. His decision making is awful, and he seems to have 1 move – cut inside and try to shoot with his left foot a-la-Robben. Only problem he’s not Robben. Baines, the best left back in the country? My ass. Italy’s whole game plan was “ball to Pirlo/De Rossi – > move it to the right channel to Damian/Candreva”. And that’s where the second goal came from. Baines did NOTHING defensively and that’s his main job.

    Moving on to Rooney. Can’t and don’t really need to say a lot about the so-called no. 1 player. Was 1 step behind everything that happened.

    Sterling – fair enough had an ok first half but then showed why he is far from being a football genious. It seemed England had 1 move going on – a 60 meter diagonal pass to Sterling, who would, in turn, run along the touchline and (not) make a cross or a dribble, and just lose the ball.

    Welbeck – crap. Henderson – crap. Cahil and Jagielka were actually ok. And Sturridge. Oh and Gerrard don’t get me started. The guy way, way past it.

    To say that was England’s best game under Hodgson is crazy.

  9. Haha – I thought the same thing about Neville. It really was as dull as it gets. Worse than Lawrensen in fact!

    As for England, I have to laugh at the reaction to the game. Its as if we played well. We didn’t. Defensively we were awful, the crossing was poor, the finishing was so bad that the watching world must be wondering whether we actually train, the players played as individuals, running too much with the ball hoping to be a hero. Situations where we had opportunities were wasted because of this greed.

    The reason the press is saying how wonderful we were is because THEY picked the team. Woy was not strong enough to ignore them. The press decided so of course they are going to rewrite history and claim we were great. So funny.

    I very much enjoyed Rooney being once again shown up for the very average player he is. Same goes for Gerrard. Limited talent – great press support. “Our Stevie G and Wazza”. When will England ever learn.

  10. Phil Neville was terrible as a summariser for the England game.

    Listening to him was torture, and distracted from the match itself.

    Not a good sign.

    BBC Sport need to urgently review the decision to make use of him
    in that way for live games.

  11. jayramfootball

    “The reason the press is saying how wonderful we were is because THEY picked the team. Woy was not strong enough to ignore them. The press decided so of course they are going to rewrite history and claim we were great. So funny.”

    Again, 100% agree.

    Our media run our game.

    They pretty much pick the PL champions.

    The tell the Referees how to referee.

    They pick the International team.

    Referees and England managers perform to how they will be judged in the Redtops and on SKY.

    Rooney? Don’t get me started.

    But it seems it’s not just managers and referees that are influenced by the media.

    On ITV the other night two respected International players where asked:

    “when you look at and England line up, who frightens you”?

    They both said Rooney.


    I just don’t get it. He’s good for United. But only good. Certainly not World class.

    Never shines in the CL and yet all we get from the media is Rooney Rooney Rooney.

    If Roy HAD left Rooney out last night you can bet your bottom dollar he would be getting dogs abuse this morning because it would of been all his fault for leaving Rooney out.

    Roy may be a lot of things but he’s not an idiot and he knows that as well as I do.

    Playing Rooney is his get out of jail free card.

  12. I think England missed a trick by starting Henderson instead of Wilshere. If they want to equate Gerrard with pirlo, well they might at least see that both De Rossi and Veratti aren’t simply cloggers like Henderson.

    Although, it might have been the right decision after all since when wilshere did come on, none of the English players had the capability or the imagination to play the quick one-twos that he tried. All they could do was to try and rush their passes, pick someone out wide so they can cross, or give to Sterling to run at them.

    England were much better than they have been in the past, and certainly better to watch. But they lack the ability and nous to control the game to create chances. They seem to rely only on chaos and playing 100 miles an hour. Which obviously, is not sustainable over long periods.

  13. jambug

    Speaking of the media and Rooney, did you see Rio Ferdinand trying to defend Rooney’s performance and his horrendous miss? He claimed that England should have played Rooney in his best position if they want to get the best out of him and that it doesn’t matter if the others chosen in his position did well, Rooney lost performance because he wasn’t chosen to play there. It took Henry to shut him up as only he can 🙂

  14. I actually started watching England – Italy on the BBC, expecting a bit more passion in the commentary than from the commentator on the Dutch channel. But Neville was such a bore to listen to I changed back to the Dutch channel within five minutes.

    Campbell was great to watch for Costa Rica and I would love to see him return to Arsenal next season. Are there no issue regarding a work permit to prevent him playing for Arsenal?

  15. Shard

    It seems some think it appropriate, in fact essential, to rearrange the entire Universe just in order to accommodate Wayne Rooney, Rio being one of them.

  16. jambug

    Contrast also the way Wilshere reacted to Scholes’ (absurd) criticism, and how Rooney did (to something not absurd at all)

    Rooney can do no wrong. Even Scholes can be wrong when he says something against Rooney (on a blog post by Paddy Power. Not in the mainstream media. They would never run such an article)

    Scholes has now learnt his lesson and insists Rooney must be played as striker because he’s ‘England’s best goalscorer’.

  17. oldgroover said:

    “It’s bit like saying I like Abbot Ale, but won’t go into Wetherspoon’s to drink it.”

    Abbot is one of my favourite beers, as it happens, but I’ve never had a half-way decent pint of it in Wetherspoons, nor of any other ale come to that.

  18. Nothing wrong with Private Eye. They’ve been at the front of the fight against all forms of corruption for more than 50 years. And often enough if you read it in PE you’ll be onto it before most other newspapers or agencies even get a whiff of a story.
    It’s one of my main sources of reliable information which I’ve quoted (on here) with confidence.

  19. Indeed.
    I don’t think you’ll find copies of Private Eye in with the other red tops down the local Weatherspoon’s. Along with the ale. Or any old ale.

  20. Finsbury
    That’s right, you couldn’t put it in ‘spoons as it would get stolen within half an hour of opening.

  21. Of interest will be how many media plundits will refer to the omission of Gibbs, because the wider conclusions seem to be that Baines was a poor performer on huge night, worse then huge others unfortunately for him. Not many I think.

    There was the only English LB to excel in both CL and PL this season against the likes of Munich etc. who also could play LM if closing out a game.

    If us amateurs could see the flaws in Baines game as he was rinsed (as in comprehensively beaten) by Southampton’s Clyne, then it’s hard not to imagine how the coaches missed that difference between him and Gibbs, not forgetting how well Gibbs has shown that he can hold down the whole left side (against Munich, possibly a bigger blow in that game then missing a penalty was a the loss of Gibbo), with players like Podolski having had fitness problems etc. At the very least I imagine the opposition coaches will have noticed, if the England ones did not.

    If we can all see that without much doubt that Gibbs is the best option available given Cole’s age and the decision to move on (Cole dropped a while ago, good for runs in Europe but not three games in a week) I await the conclusions of the legions of English Football ‘journalists’.

    But we’ve been her before. When SWP, who’d gone the way of Bentley even though he was still playing, notionally, was selected over Walcott! Perhaps Baldini was giving the old Capello Index a trial at that time before he unleashed it upon Levy (Loldado, Lamela etc.)? Who knows.

  22. oldgrover

    Save paper, read it on the phone/pad/thing. That way we can read it in a Weatherspoon’s! 🙂

  23. @Shard

    I liked Thierry’s approach on that clip.


    Why does Sanogo go out on loan if we get Joel back? Can’t we keep them both? Sanogo was really good for us last season. Wouldn’t it be a kick in the teeth to loan him out and wouldn’t he develop better staying with the team?

  24. I never realised Stoke FC qualified for the WC, very impressed with Mathieu Valbuena.

  25. Dan
    Honduras made Stoke look like Barcelona; that wasn’t football but proper thuggery. Shocking.

  26. IF this is accurate, looks like man of the moment….Joel Campbell will be with us next season. Sounds like good news to me

  27. Why Adrian Chiles was chosen to present a football show anywhere in the world is a question I find myself asking every time I watch him, but his comments in reaction to the stone/rock throwing ‘We tried to explain to them it was nothing to do with us’ totally sums him and ITV up.

    A stadium in the middle of a jungle; money that should have been spent on the masses instead flowing into the already bulging coffers of a few, tear gas and stun grenades – what a world we live in!

  28. Gooneress1,
    borrowing from Marie Antoinette, we might find a more precise translation of M. Chiles remark to be: “let them eat cake”
    M. Chiles should be consigned to broadcast from a favella (if one can be found that the bulldozers haven’t leveled). What a prick.

  29. How does/will anyone get to that stadium? Road contracts for the Olympics to come? Whoops, there goes the Amazon…

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