by Tony Attwood
There is a headline that I saw on Yahoo! Sport today which reads, “Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool: Both sides showcase obvious flaws in a classic” which intrigued me. If, as the writer says, the flaws in each side were “obvious”, the question arises: why don’t the two managers correct these obvious flaws?
That question, as with most “why” questions which arise as a result of journalistic writing, is not answered. Which also made me wonder why. But by then I was asking why about a why and that gets confusing so I decided to take a step back.
The whole essence of football journalism appears to have become one in which the writer knows exactly how to do it, (whatever it is) and if given the chance could do it, but for reasons best known to him or herself has chosen not to become a football manager.
Which is a bit odd really. Football management pays very well. Sportmaza published a list of managers and their salaries at the start of this season which read
|Arsene Wenger||France||Arsenal||£8.3 million|
|Antonio Conte||Italy||Chelsea||£6.5 million|
|Jose Mourinho||Portugal||Manchester United||£15 million|
|Jurgen Klopp||Germany||Liverpool FC||£7 million|
|Pep Guardiola||Spain||Manchester City||£15 million|
|Mauricio Pochettino||Argentina||Tottenham Hotspur||£3.5 million|
|Slaven Bilic||Croatia||West Ham United||£3 million|
|Ronald Koeman||Netherlands||Southampton||£2 million|
|Rafael Benitez||Spain||Newcastle United||£4.5 million|
|Sam Allardyce||England||Sunderland||£3 million|
|Claudio Ranieri||Italy||Leicester city||£1.5 million|
|Tony Pulis||Wales||West Bromwich Albion||£2 million|
|Ronald Koeman||Netherlands||Everton||£6 million|
|Remi Garde||France||Aston Villa||£1.2 million|
|Eddie Howe||England||AFC Bournemouth||£750K|
|Walter Mazzarri||Italy||Watford||£1.25 million|
|Mark Hughes||Wales||Stoke city||£900K|
|Steve Bruce||England||Hull city||£1 million|
|Francesco Guidolin||Italy||Swansea city||£1 million|
|Alan Pardew||England||Crystal Palace||£1.5 million|
|Alex Neil||Scotland||Norwich City||£700K|
Even if we taken the Burnley manager who is pretty much at the foot of the payment table in the PL, he is getting £8,076.92 a week, which is quite a lot. After tax that works out at about around £5000 a week.
That is quite a bit more than the average journalist’s salary, so why is it that the journalists and punditary both of whom know everything, stick with their task rather than becoming managers?
The obvious answer must be that they actually haven’t got a clue how to manage, but they can write a few lines of text. Which sets out what I guess most of us knew anyway, that the pundits, journalists and writers in bloggettas, have no idea about running a club, but are quite good at telling other people where they have got it wrong.
What makes this particularly interesting is that across the last two summers Untold has gone out of its way to trace the accuracy of the the way in which these self-same pundits reveal the details of what is going to happen in terms of transfer dealings. The result has been, in each of the last two summers, 3% success rate, 97% inaccuracy. Not good enough scores to get a pass at GCSE Maths or English. Indeed not good enough to get a pass at fortune telling in any school that Harry Potter might fancy sending his children to.
Dealing in facts of course is consider a bit too dull, too ordinary, and too obvious for the bloggettas and the newspapers that by and large own them. And yes, facts are often quite hard to get. For example, we have the fact that for Nacho Monreal there is “no return date” specific yet – although it would be fun if we could get some doctors to give us on line diagnostics with the same level of insight as people who talk about transfers and what’s wrong.
We have a suggested return date for Ramsey, but for Giroud, like Monreal, there is no date.
However it is not all doom and gloom. Today there is the headline:
‘If He Asks To Live In The Buckingham Palace, The Queen Has To Go!’
What is interesting is that this comes from TurkishFootball.com – clearly someone hasn’t told them that a spot of humour isn’t actually de rigueur when it comes to football commentary.
But hey, things are changing. Sky Sports Saturday announced that “it is another dubious, dubious, dubious penalty,” although within 90 seconds this had changed to a commentary about how difficult life is for the referee. Does PGMO actually have a permanently open hot line to Sky Sports? I suspect they might.
One more to keep you amused
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- Fifa establish their unchallengable right to change football rules as they go
- Extraordinary report claims Arsenals’ FA Cup win was not a major trophy!
- 2022/23 Women’s Champions League Juventus v Arsenal – match preview