Football: a troubled country that just keeps rolling

By Tony Attwood

One of my big concerns about British society and the way the country of my birth is travelling, is the focus constantly on individual detail and not on the bigger picture.

Sometimes the details are very big – like the failure of big projects to be delivered on time and on budget Crossrail, the behind time over-budget London rail system, is the obvious most recent example, which Blacksheep and I were discussing last night while waiting for the train north out of Finsbury Park.

And there was another on the news this morning: the failure of the outsourced army recruitment programme ever to get anywhere near its target since it was set up, so now millions of pounds more has to be thrown at it.

I won’t bore you with the multiplicity of other failed and failing large scale outsourced projects because that’s not my point.  My point is that no one is writing articles saying, “Hang on, all of these projects fail.  Doesn’t that tell us something about the way we are organising them.

And contemplating football as a whole on the drive home after a rather cold night at Arsenal Stadium I felt there was something of the same within the game.  These headlines below all come from the two papers I regularly read, the right wing Telegraph, and the Liberal Guardian.  All of them are on the home page of their football sections on the internet this morning.   And that’s my point – they are not accumulated from the past month or even week.  They are on the home page of the football section today.

From the Guardian

  • Exclusive Aston Villa remove MacDonald from coaching after new bullying claims
  • Vidi 2 Chelsea 2: blues condemn own fans over anti-semitic chants in Budapest
  • Sterling’s racism ordeal was ugly but the outcome has been positive
  • Gündogan says being racially abused ‘hurts’
  • It was a toxic bullying culture for young players at Aston Villa