How You Tube has destroyed all sensible football debate

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.

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21 Replies to “How You Tube has destroyed all sensible football debate”

  1. To quote the Bard:
    ‘Much ado about nothing’.

    Walter did you see the Eurovison Choir of the year competition last Saturday. The choir from Belgium was the best. I thought they were brilliant. – but sadly they didn’t win. I will put a link to it here later.

  2. Thank you very much for this article. It suggests to us that as fans, we should appreciate that the players human beings and that exactly the way we hope others would bear with our mistakes or down times, so they do.

    These people read the tabloids and the Soc Med too. Kind words do so much good to human beings. I have written this against the backdrop of two or three blogs who go on about Theo Walcott. The player posted better results than Mahrez last season, yet the blogs write, saying to sell him but support buying Mahrez!!!

    Its only good to be fair!

  3. Why is Lucas Perez not been spoken on?
    Is it that we agree with the way he was treated by coach/club or what?

  4. @ Stephan
    His agent has been telling the media even before the FA finals that his ward will certainly leave. How come Arsenal never did so to Debuchy or Jenkinson?

  5. Oh come on, Europe has been making fun of black people for ages(since the first drawings made by so called explorers returned) and still do so, albeit more subtly in their movies and media. You have to be blind not to see(and hear) it.

    Still, you tube is more a positive thing than a negative in my view, it allows anyone to post their views(at least for now), and no one should be able to dictate what these views are.

    And the world is what it is now, anything bought today has already lost half of its value, it is a now world, and the reason is because our children have too much money, this is why the sellers target the youth and the world has become youth driven, youth opinionated and youth targetted.

    I realised the only way we can ever change it ourselves is to reject all of the things that make it what it is. Reject all TV, all media, all politics, all supermarket foods and go to farmers, you get my drift.

    Many are not willing to do any of these things, the “comfort” is not allowing them to do so.

    I have already rejected TV, and now supermarket foods, and now doctors and medicines too.

    I have never felt better, lost 3 Kilos and feel generally full of life.

  6. It’s how most things are these days, Walter.

    Aside from Arsenal my main obsession since my teenage years has been Depeche Mode, and yesterday some friends and I were discussing the very nasty and personal abuse Christian and Peter, (the two extra musicians they have used for the live shows since 1998), have been getting online … I mean where else would you find fans slagging off their own … hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm !!!

    Also, been to a couple of Depeche Mode and a couple of Kraftwerk gigs this year … again go online and you’ll find vitirol from DM fans that they are daring to release and play new material that doesn’t sound like the stuff they did in the 1980’s, whilst the same from Kraftwerk fans because they DON’T release new material and instead revisit the whole of their back catalogue !!!

    The moral of the story is, I think, you just can’t win whatever you do !!!!

  7. What is this constant bleating from certain quarters about Lucas Perez?

    We know nothing about the important stuff. Is he happy, has he settled, is his family ok about being here, is he lazy in training, might he be a disruptive influence in the dressing room, has he been disrespectful etc., etc., etc.

    It’s pointless speculating about the man, we know none of the important stuff about individuals (just like the media and the blogettas).

  8. walter,
    I guess that’s why. we support the arsenal/wenger way of doing things.
    The honest/hard earned way,no sugar daddys,corrupt states or russian mafias but unfortunately we have the AAAs and guys who want to buy their way out of every single situation.

  9. Para – for a more detailed analysis see the article that goes on from Walter’s piece. I don’t think Meldrew would have quite gone that far.

  10. kwzariel

    It’s not WHY I support Arsenal, because I would support them no matter what, but it is why I am so proud of them.

    My love and support for Arsenal is not dependent on who the manager is, or who the players are.

    It is not dependent on whether we win lose or draw a match, or if we do or do not win trophies.

    Winning matches makes me happy. Losing matches makes me unhappy.

    Winning trophies makes me very happy, ecstatic even. Not winning trophies doesn’t bother me that much. Percentage wise, hardly anyone wins trophies.

    But what Arsenal and Wenger’s way of doing things does is make me proud. I grew up believing that honest hard work was the foundation on which you built a life.

    That isn’t to say I would stop supporting Arsenal should we suddenly be bank rolled.

    That isn’t to say I wouldn’t enjoy the success that those unlimited funds would undoubtedly bring.

    But would it make me feel proud ? I don’t think so, and pride is such a wonderful feeling.

    Personally I would rather do things the way we are, because anything we do achieve is on the back of that foundation stone, of hard work, that I personally put such stock in.

    Chelsea fans, Man City fans can say what they like but winning the lottery and buying the Porsche is not the same as buying it out of hard earned cash.

    If Wenger was given these ludicrous amounts of cash to spend on players, year in year out, as per Man City and Chelsea he would of won the PL.

    But would it feel the same for me?

    Yes, I would enjoy it, as they should enjoy it. But I’m sorry it’s NOT the same, and even with NO trophies I still want our club to be run the way it is.

    I know loads wont agree with me, or indeed you Kwzariel, but that’s just the way I feel.

  11. The secret to success.
    Interviewer : ” What is the secret of your success?”
    CEO : ” Two words .”
    Interviewer : ” And they are ?”
    CEO : ” Right decisions.”
    Interviewer : And how do you always make the right
    decisions ?
    CEO : ” One word .”
    Interviewer : ” Which is ?”
    CEO : ‘ Experience.”
    Interviewer : ” And how does one gain this experience ?”
    CEO : ” Two words.”
    Interviewer : ” And what are those two words?”
    CEO : ” Bad decisions!”
    CEO : “

  12. Just Cause ?

    Judge: ” Why are you divorcing your wife?”

    Husband : “We have major religious differences! ”

    Judge: “What are those differences? ”

    Husband : ” She thinks she is God…. … I don’t ! “

  13. I totally agree with you Walter. However I think this blog is as guilty of this as any other, the only difference being that it does its own from an arsene Wenger supporting view point

  14. Tony
    I’m just being humourous, my sister calls me “Victor”.

    But i do like him and think we should all be a little more like him. 🙂
    Challenge things.

  15. Nitram
    I love and am proud of the wenger way.
    if it was up to me I would have given him 10 year contract extension.
    what pisses me off is that guys like ‘the aaa’ dont understand what mr Arsene has achieved.

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