Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The ugly face of football and I agree with Brian Moore.

I'm fed up.  After a wonderful Olympic summer, just 3 months into the Premiership season and I'm fed up.  The football itself has been top quality, Chelsea have looked fabulous at times with Oscar, Hazard and Mata,  United look frightening going forward whilst must be giving Fergie nightmares about their defending and other teams have been performing well above expectations.  I think the league this year is going to be just as close, with a three way battle rather than last year's two.

However like I said, I'm fed up.  Every single week there seems to be a different controversy, whether it's the many players 'diving' (you know who you are... Phil), trying to gain an advantage from unsporting behaviour, whether it's the R word, one or the other of them - Respect or Race, or whether it's the fans themselves.  

Racism has no place in either modern society, or the prehistoric society that seems to exist on the football field.  I'm pleased to see that the Ferdinands are getting back on board with the Kick it Out campaign, this is one thing that players are better united, they should air their grievances within the body itself.  

Suarez showing the coin
The latest things that have caused me despair of course come from the weekend.  It was a footballing treat, first Everton come from two goals down against Liverpool, then United win the battle of the top two (at the start of the weekend) in a dramatic 3 - 2 victory.  I've already mentioned Phil Neville's dive, there was also a bad tackle from Suarez that could have been red, the immature celebration following the first goal and the terrible decision costing Liverpool all 3 points (which followed from the very soft award of a free kick).  But what angered me the most in this game was players being targeted with missiles.  This happened in both games in fact, firstly Suarez had a coin thrown at him, he tucks it into his shoe for safe keeping. Secondly after Hernandez' controversial winner Chelsea fans apparently showered the pitch with missiles and then in the commotion a steward was injured

Chelsea fans in fact proved to me throughout the game that (some) football fans lack class, every time Rio touched the ball he seemed to be booed... I don't think they understand how being the victim works.  (I'm not going to mention the punishment received by John Terry for the incident with Rio's brother).  This of course brings me to the main talking point... the referee.  Mark Clattenburg is accused of making racist comments to Chelsea's John Obi Mikel.  Now if Mr Clattenburg did make the comments that Chelsea allege then he will probably never referee again, and that is quite right.  But I find it a complete double standard as players effectively abuse referees all game long.  Watching on TV you know this to be true, when decisions go against them they always complain and if you can lip read you know it's not always the most pleasant conversation.  I find myself completely agreeing with Brian Moore who was apparently on BBC Radio 5 Live this morning:

If Mark Clattenburg's mic had been linked to broadcasters then there'd be no doubt what he said, any punishment could be handled quickly and effectively.  Not only that but what players say to the referee could also be used against them much more often.  I think six weeks is being optimistic, but I do agree that eventually you'll see football player's attitudes improving remarkably which in turn could feed into the behaviour of the crowds - and if this happened I might not be so fed up.  

(Also, if Hartlepool could get off the bottom of the table that might help!)

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