Then there is the disdain poured upon the England team – which is predictable but still odd. I think we were all shocked at the EU election result, but surely everyone knew that England as a football team would cock it up totally at the Euros. (My view was that if you put five players from a team that had a total disaster of previously unseen proportions on the last day of the season, and make them the key to the England team in their next competitive match together, you are likely to have a problem – but that’s a logical observation, not hatred.)
And anyway we knew something would go wrong because it always happens, and nothing has changed. The FA continues its ludicrous view that if only we had fewer foreigners playing football in England everything would be all right. (At least two newspapers have now accepted Untold’s analysis revealing that the real problem is the number of qualified coaches – and since that is a matter for the FA, the FA is the problem not the solution).
As the Guardian article yesterday pointed out, we have lost all sense of perspective in the UK. The notion that the EU would be begging us to stay in after a referendum, and so give us a great deal is just daft. In fact they are telling us to get on with it and bugger off. The notion that all the world is watching in hope and expectation that the England team would do well… Oh really!!!
Here’s a bit of the Guardian piece…
One of the best bits of being out of England when England go out is the clear evidence that in the wider world no one really cares. No tournament hopes are ever seriously built around expectations of a thrilling England team, no other nation’s enjoyment notably diminished by their departure.
We’re not the good guys. We’re not the main characters. We’re not even the main villains. We’re disposable patsies, third bad guy from the left…
In at least one Parisian bar people were openly laughing during the Iceland game at every misplaced pass and wild shot, genuinely enjoying the spectacle.
However Ronay does have good points to make. The language deserves to be called out. Lavish … flash … blinged-up … bragging … crystal-encrusted … brother … baby … the lights and shit … the big daddy Rangey … send him home … rename the national team. You could jump to some conclusions here couldn’t you? I’ve no doubt this isn’t intended as “racist”. It isn’t that extreme. But if I feel a little creeped out by its tone and texture there’s no doubt others must, too. Football at its best brings people together, dissolves division, suggests a kind of ideal meritocracy. This is not football at its best.
Now I have stayed with Mr Ronay’s article, because of that point above, which I think is immensely valid. And this one…
England players, he says, “don’t travel much. They don’t speak languages or study. In fact they’re not middle class enough. Like that small section of England’s fans, wherever they go it’s always a corner of England, flag wrapped around the cafe tables, unable to toast the bread, unable to understand the PA, frightened, sullen.”
Of course there is more to it than this, but that is a good place to start. We don’t need England players playing in the Premier League. We need them playing overseas.
The abject refusal to take on the FA with its lunatic policies, its flagrant misuse of public money, and its unremitting support for Fifa and Uefa; this is all part of the problem. Plus the FAs pro-Brexit, “this will make us stronger as a footballing nation” approach. And their utter failure to build pitches that youngsters and enthusiastic amateurs can play on. Mr Ronay might be right to say that the football journalists are not writing the material he mentions above, but it is football journalists that utterly fail to hold the FA to account.
But back to the headline. Why so much hate? Why does that entity known as P. Morgan pour so much scorn on Ramsey? (Quite probably he didn’t actually see the last Wales game). Why does it go on and on?
Come to that why is no newspaper celebrating the brilliant performances of Alexis, Granit, Ospina and Ramsey, instead of, to quote the Metro “Arsenal fans went into meltdown as Mesut Ozil missed a penalty for Germany…” Granit missed a penalty too. I can remember Liam Brady missing a penalty. Does that destroy his reputation? Does that make him rubbish?
Speaking for myself, melting is not happening here.
I can also honestly say that the news that Claudio Callegari of Arsenal Fans TV went missing last week, and as far as I know hasn’t been found, doesn’t make me happy, but only worried and sad in case something awful has happened to a fellow human.
Claude and his chums can do their thing each match, and that’s up to them. I don’t want to watch what they do, but I don’t want to stop them, or call them names, and I certainly don’t feel good at the thought that any harm might have come to him. But I don’t agree with the Telegraph when it said that Arsenal Fans TV was the lifeblood of football. Conflict isn’t the lifeblood of anything, and it is an absolute tragedy that the Telegraph reporters believe it is. And that “lifeblood” comment Mr Ronay, was a comment made by a football journalist.
- AY UBUNTU BE WITH YOU , ALWAYS
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