By Walter Broeckx
Now is everything. That is how things look in this world. I think this is what we could call modern times as it is more and more the norm in society. But in football this is really rising to ridiculous heights.
Because of my interest in Arsenal and football in general, if I go on the internet I get a lot of possible links to football, and what has struck me the last years is that “now” has become the norm. In other words, many sites and blogettas are full of clips of just a few seconds but they manage to draw permanent conclusions of it.
An attacker plays the ball through the legs of a defender? Ah that defender’s career is ruined for ever (according to those sites) and that striker is the next Messi.
A player misses in front of an open goal? That player is rubbish for ever and two days. A player makes a great dribble? They pretend that he does it all day long and never loses the ball.
And so it goes on and on.
But let us pause and think for a moment of the player missing his shot in front of an open goal.
I think that in a career a player probably will have thousands of touches within matches. Funny I don’t even know how many touches a player will have during a game… Does anyone know? *
Anyway back to the subject. If a player makes 10.000 touches and they just take that 1 touch to ridicule him…. Then isn’t that a bit silly?
The bigging up or bringing down of players is maybe just another version of the transfer invention routine they do. Lukaku has a bad touch and they have to make fun of it. Lukaku scores a goal he suddenly is the best thing since the invention of sliced bread. Just to take him as an example that flashed over my screen during the last weeks. All on the same site.
There is only black and white today. And today you are black and tomorrow you are white. During the time Untold Arsenal has been published and I have been writing for it I have brought up this subject before. I asked for more grey. As that is what the main colour should be in fact.
Today you have a great match and tomorrow you have a bad match. That bad match can depend on so many different things that I think it is very unfair to put a permanent stamp on someone just for one match, let alone for one moment of 3 seconds in a career.
But that seems to be the norm in football reporting these days.
Another example. Neymar scores a goal after having dribbled through the whole Juventus defence… that is why he is worth £222m or whatever it is they say he should be worth. But if tomorrow he misses an open chance they will write: Was he ever really worth that much?
I really wonder if all that great/rubbish naming of players isn’t really just down to jealousy.
The writer will probably love football but will not be good enough to play as a professional so he has to bring those who are good enough down whenever he can. It might make him feel better. Or a bit less worse…
Why do people feel the need to act like that? I must say that I never rate a player on one incident. It could help me to make a judgement of that player. But I will try to look at it as one incident in a match, a season, a career.
But that is something that is hardly being done these days. What happened today, now, this hour, this moment, this second, is how they paint the picture of that player.
Now I am too old to play anymore and in the days I was younger the social media was a faraway thing that we never even imagined that we would have it one day. And my skills didn’t really merit much media attention to be honest. But that doesn’t make me feel the need to laugh when another player, much more gifted than I ever was, makes a mistake. Or to rubber stamp him based on that incident.
In fact I think the closer we can get to the players the more annoying football is getting for me. In the good old days (funny how you start to say those things more and more when you get older) we could see a player a few times a season if you could go to matches. But now you can see him online day and night if you really want to. Type in any name on YouTube and you get all the clips you want. The good and the bad ones. Highs and lows.
But the ones in between are what really defines a player. For me they are. But they are not shown. It all has to be great or terrible. Nothing in between.
And in a way this drives me away from football. I follow(ed) football for the passing, dribbles, combinations, great goals, great saves….. I admire who does well but I sure don’t feel the need to laugh with those who made a mistake.
But that is what our society has become for the moment. A society where we for some reason feel the need to make fun of people. I don’t really see the fun of making fun of someone all of the time. But that is how my timeline on Twitter, Facebook and other football sites look for the moment. And I don’t like it one bit.
For me most football players have good and bad moments but most of all average moments. Just like we all have in our daily jobs. Not every concert of my favourite bands are brilliant. They have bad days too. But I surely don’t feel the need to call them rubbish for ever if this happens. After all, we are all humans. So are football players at the end of the day. Just humans. People who succeed and fail but at the end of the day, just try to survive and make it to the next day.
Another day in grey….. Or in all the colours of the rainbow but not black and white….
* Walter the question about how many times players touch the ball in a season turns out to be difficult to get data on, but I did find an article which said that in 2011/12 Kyle Walker had the most touches of the ball in the PL with 502. Second was Ramsey with 489. I can’t find the original research however. Tony.
The Index of Indexes
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- The Out Index: All the players tipped to be leaving Arsenal this summer
- The Purchase Index: All this summer’s player buying by the top 10 clubs of last season
- The Loan Index: The top clubs compared in terms of players loaned out
- Arsenal shortlist for the final signing of the season, and high praise from the Guardian!
- Daily Telegraph reveals the true cost of injuries … or maybe not.
- Did Wenger really promise that Henry would not leave, and then sell him?
- Is the injury to Gabriel Jesus equivalent to the assault on Eduardo in 2008?
- Womens Champions League Arsenal Women v Juventus – the match preview
- It never rains but the journalists want Arsenal to drown in a mess of their own making
- Back to the football: Watford video and Arsenal v Lyon 8 December preview
- The 40 players coming to Arsenal and the 6 most predicted for this January