Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Ignominy in the UK

Perhaps the 27th February 2010 crystallised the problems with English football. A nation that bought the beautiful game to the world yet has not dined at its top table for 46 years.
The John Terry Wayne Bridge saga earlier in the day is symptomatic of the English player mentality, also present in Terry’s team mate Cole. The captain of his country stripped of his rank due to an indiscretion too far, publicly humiliated at the pre game handshake ceremony and exposed on the pitch by a wily Argentinean.
The Shawcross ‘challenge’ on Ramsey and the following views aired by the old establishment of English football; the pundit.
In England there is no equivalent of Gabriele Marcotti or Guillem Balague on broadcast media to lead healthy debate. The written media also has as many outdated opinions to counter balance the intelligent writers that do exist.
As long as the attitudes that exist in English football continue there is no hope of change. The foreign player is still held in contempt and the old stereotype, once used exclusively against Black players, about not liking the physical game persists.
Terry is that physical type of player, who behaves appallingly off the pitch, yet is still held in esteem when compared to a foreign player who is gifted and leads an exemplary public life; That Arsenal are a club full of the latter makes them more disliked by the world of punditry.
While the English football hierarchy still tolerate these attitudes there can be no progress. While analysis and discussion of the greatest sport in the world is not taken seriously, there is no hope. While ‘blood and guts’ is valued there is no future. While the footballer as celebrity culture is propagated there is no development.
In other words the athlete against the good old fashioned bruiser. Come the World Cup in South Africa it will be clear that the athlete will rule the day. Attempting to ‘get stuck in’ will only result in red cards, free kicks and deserved ignominy.

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having said that;