Sunday, November 25, 2007


What's wrong with the English game

Just days after the Croatian debacle and all the hand wringing that followed you only had to watch the Arsenal v Wigan game yesterday and listen to the wise saws of the venerable Martin Tyler and colour commentator Waren Barton to know how deep lies the malaise in our game.

Wigan were praised non stop for their defensive doggedness and hard work ethic...

They created little up front and had little guile or inventiveness in the middle yet still the football 'experts' wobble on about their guts and determination!

Rewind a few days and these self same media types were bemoaning just these qualities as being ineffective on the international stage. I don't get it. Actually, I do. Tyler will hype the Premier League till he's blue in the face. He could commentate on some turgid nonsense dished up by the likes of Bolton and Sunderland and he would make it sound like the Bolshoi ballet.

It's all about the ratings, innit? When you fork out millions to show the stuff you're not going to turn round and say, hey that was a load of old soiled knickers are you? Straight away we have a dumbing down of the debate about our game.

Many fans, me included, are prefectly frank about our loyalties. Club over country every time thank you very much. Much of the media are the same though they dress it up behind headlines and exclusives. Yeah, we get a few corcodile tears when we muck up on the pitch and the press rejoice when the manager leaves but at the end of the day it's the league that counts.

Wednesday and Thursday's recriminations are forgotten as we get back to the Churchillian spirit typified by pluck Wigan against the majesterial Arsenal.

It's not Wigan's fault. They have to make do with the resources they have and they have done brilliantly over the last couple of years. Certainly they made Arsenal work hard yesterday for their three points. But please don't canonise them for defending in numbers and not trying to win a football match. Ultimately they got what they deserved.

they suck i regrade to see sad that i can see david beckham next year..:D
Jakartacasual, love your blog and have been following your rants over on the guardian for some time now.

When I'm back in Jakarta, a chat or two about footie would not go amiss.
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