The extent of the collapse of football as a contest between two teams looking to play approximately by the spirit as well as the letter of the rules was once again revealed at the Ems as Hull added the new insanity of rotational accusation to their well-practiced rotational fouling and rotational timewasting.
With the Hull “manager” acknowledging that he had spent a long time talking to the “manager” of Blackburn last weekend we knew exactly what we were in for. But just when I thought saturday was as bad as it could get Hull chose to go even further in bringing football into utter disgrace.
There was early on a two footed lunge on Theo with the Hull player having both feet off the ground, flying through the air, studs towards Theo’s ankles – it was a miracle there was no permanent injury. And not even a foul was given.
In fact the ref didn’t even start booking Hull players until the second half, by which time they were onto their third time around with the rotational fouls.
But it was at the end that the real insanity started as Hull started to throw allegations in all directions, undoubtedly hoping that at least one of them would stick (although such is the childishness of their petulance, they probably forgot that it won’t do Hull any good at all except to act as an excuse when they are relegated – and the rest of the EPL will now have a clearer view of what Hull City is about.)
Allegation 1 was that the Gallas goal was offside. I have no idea if the keeper touched the ball or not – and that of course is the deciding factor. I can’t even tell from the TV watched late last night – so how on earth anyone can tell from an instant judgement 50 yards away, I have no idea. Perhaps these “managers” have magic glasses.
But that is the point of the Hull tirade – they make the complaints so thick and fast and the jouranlists are so primed with their ready made “how did you feel” and “how important” questions, they don’t ask, “How on earth can you know from fifty yards straight off if the keeper touched the ball?”
But the Hull “manager” knows the game. The trick he played was to move straight on to complaining that the Lord Wenger didn’t shake hands with him after the game. Ah! What a disaster! The game is destroyed! The world ends! He didn’t shake hands! Oh my! I shall cry all night! What a nasty fellow the Frenchman is!
What sort of world is this where whether two men briefly shake hands at the end of a game matters or not? The Lord Wenger’s never shaken my hand, and I’ve got some way to pay his salary over the past 10 years or so. I’m not crying.
And then again, before journos can get that childish bit of tripe into their heads, the “manager” of Hull is off again, this time saying that Fábregas spat at the feet of the assistant “manager” of Hull in the tunnel.
The assistant “manager” then said the most odd thing. He said of Cesc, “Hopefully, he’s proud of himself.”
Now let’s pause and think on this for a mo. Why would the “manager” hope that Cesc is proud? What point is there is that? Some days I am proud of what I have done, some not. But why would anyone say, in what is presumably some kind of modernist (but not post-modernist) ironical manner “hopefully he is proud of himself.” It is so bizarre it is surreal.
“I caught the bus today.”
“Hopefully you are proud of yourself.”
Maybe it means something to you, but I still don’t get it. I’m told it is a sort of sarcastic irony – maybe it is post-pre-surreal-modernism. Who knows?
Again it was all delivered in a rush, and again no journalist had the wit or spirit to intercept and question.
Goodness knows what the FA and EPL will do. If they stay true to form they’ll do nothing about the rotational fouling, timewasting and complaining, but they will leap on the Cesc allegation, and find an obscure rule about spitting at feet, find him guilty based on the say-so of one man, despite the denial of all others and no evidence, and ban him for twelve years.
There is no doubt that by doing nothing about Blackburn or Hull the FA and the EPL are guilty of bringing the game into disrepute and they should both be wound up at once. But amazingly it looks as if no one was too seriously injured in the game, and we can go to the Zebras match on saturday with a fairly fullish squad. As for Hull, a quick return to Division 4 is about all we can hope for, and they will undoubtedly join Blackburn and Allerdyce in having the Curse of Arsenal put on them.
What we will find is that Hull, Blackburn and the other sorry apologies for football clubs will know that the three rotational approaches work, and they’ll do it again, and again, and again.
Yes Arsenal won 15 to 2 as measured by shots on target, which tells you something about the game. But mostly it was the evil of rotation.
(c) Tony Attwood 2009