Football, Sexism or Naked Politics

Written by dandan on January 29th 2011, this post is still bang up to date with its topics of the changing face of football, getting sacked by Sky and media hypocrisy. Super stuff.

Regular readers of this blog will be aware that I am a long time Arsenal supporter, having first stood on the Highbury terraces  over 50 years ago, a time when seats were basically for the well to do and, as they would have it in those far off days, the bosses.

The workingman stood on the terraces; this was his place, and his fiefdom. Here he exorcised the frustrations of having to kowtow to those same bosses all week. Probably also working Saturday morning, before clocking out on the stroke of midday and rushing off to the North bank at Highbury, the Kop at Anfield or any of hundreds of other league and non league grounds scattered around the country for the statutory 3 O’clock kick off.

There to shout, swear, curse, cheer, sing and bond with mates who stood shoulder to shoulder with him at the same place on the terraces every week, watching their heroes, who had quite likely travelled to the game on the same bus or tube as the fan himself, before running out to perform on the hallowed turf which, if the truth were told, was the ultimate dream of the vast majority of fans massed in swaying ranks above them.

Dads took sons, who as the grounds filled and took on a swaying surging dangerous life of their own were lifted and passed hand to hand overhead by the adults and placed in a prime position close to the pitch.

What, you might well ask, has all this to do with today’s sanitised game?

Well for a start, women were generally conspicuous by their absence from these gatherings.  Yet, it is from this point that despite disasters, violence and hooliganism over the years, football has evolved into the all seater, health and safety obsessed, politically correct, female inclusive game that exists today. All brought about by massive investment as the game has grown and become the number one TV sport worldwide. Despite this  investment, somehow tribalism and bigotry have survived, and although women have joined the brotherhood, some brothers have not yet cottoned on.

It is this fact that has led inexorably to what will undoubtedly become known as the Keys and Gray affair, as the unsuspecting broadcasters were cast on the altar of political correctness, with the usual suspects and rent-a-gobs queuing to gleefully castrate the hapless pair.

For what, you may ask?  An unfortunate conversation deemed sexist and broadcast across a microphone left open unknown to the smug Keys and his footballing Guru by some careless engineer. A conversation in which they suggested the female referee’s assistant was unlikely to understand the intricacies of the offside law and followed by a disparaging remark concerning a newspaper article about sexism penned by Ms Brady of Birmingham and West Ham fame, these comments were made in what they believed to be a private conversation.

Of course, given the animosity between the various arms of the media, it was seized upon by a rival in the printed press who obtained a recording from a willing punter and triumphantly trumpeted its existence in large type across their pages before, in a fit of splendid self-indulgence, despatching a copy in righteous disgust to Sky TV asking for answers.

Do we believe that this mass outpouring from the purveyors of the written word, was solely driven by a genuine distaste of the boundaries they alleged had been crossed? Could it be that after years of dealing with yesterday’s news on the back pages, whilst trying to compete with the immediacy of sky they had finally been handed a scoop of sorts or at least a chance to get even? The paper concerned is, of course, famous in its own right among football fans for its accuracy and impartiality. (I wish)

Who was it then waiting in the wings, who had access to this material as well as other previously recorded salacious titbits ready to be  uploaded to Utube, thus ensuring the twenty-year reign of the unfortunate pair would be terminated. The old cliché Careful who you damage on the way up, less they get you on the way down seems relevant and points perhaps to a crew member, probably emboldened by the whistle blowing antics on-line and in print of recent times.

From Sky’s point of view a combined salary of £2.2 million will undoubtedly entice whatever pairing they consider appropriate. A revamp after twenty years is probably seen as a gift from heaven in this fast changing technical world. Whilst at the same time enabling them to come out as White knights in the cause of Political Correctness just as they did with Ron Atkinson’s demise.

Now I have no love for the long-term red top TV front men, in fact I can think of many good football based reasons to replace the gruesome twosome, not least among them the deliberate and constant striving to create controversy rather than celebrate excellence.

Their treatment of our own Eduardo is a case in point. A gifted striker who had his leg so savagely broken that he will never be the same player again. Indeed so horrific was the incident that Sky themselves decided the tackle should not be broadcast again. Notwithstanding that decision, had poor Eduardo been in any condition to listen to the end of the match discussion, he would have heard the deadly duo blithely passing it off as an accident, as the player whose flying tackle caused the damage, ”wasn’t that kind of player”. I suspect some would dispute that.

A year later on his return, Eduardo then finds himself being crucified for supposedly diving, which whether true or not on that occasion, is universally acknowledged as being rife among most premier league players. Witness Rooney’s double somersault with twist against Sol Campbell to end the Invincibles’ unbeaten run, which was again watched, replayed and then forgotten.

So perhaps the result can be perceived as a kind of poetic justice for football. But for me there is the smell of hypocrisy in the air, an unholy alliance of expediency within sky, coupled to the frenzied baying of the press hounds both in the written word and in their headlong rush for guest appearances on air. thereby swelling their bank balances at the table of opportunity and who knows, maybe convincing the powers that be, that a journalist and not an ex-player should get the pundits job

Written by dandan

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64 Responses to Football, Sexism or Naked Politics

  1. VP of Oz says:

    wow

  2. chas says:

    So, how do we feel about the Jamie Carragher gobbing incident?

    For the media to spin it that Carragher was spitting at a 14 year old girl is just deplorable.

    Jamie has probably ignored similar provocation 99 times. It’s Murphy’s Law that the one time he doesn’t, the knobhead winding him up is actually filming it.

    Speaking of that knobhead, I’m hoping he gets prosecuted for reckless driving or whatever the charge is for filming on a camera whilst driving.

    As far as Carragher losing his job, I’ve no idea if he’s any good or not as I always have the sound muted on Sky. Mind you, the standard is so low, he’s probably regarded as a punditry god when you consider the hideously low standards on BT Sport.

    Anyway, I hope no-one minds me bringing dandan’s post out of the closet.
    As for journos taking pundit jobs rather than ex-players, from the little I’ve seen on the Sunday Supplement, the press on opinion panels is even more tedious than watching Henry, Penas, Souness, Shearer, Murphy, Savage, Owen etc etc – but only just.

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    Fine job and great idea Chas

    I don’t have to pause for a second to know what dandan would think about a man gobbing

    I would agree with him and I don’t care if he was provoked

    So someone teased him about a football result 🙄

  4. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Chas

    I thought you were working. The site is doomed if you even think about it 🙂

  5. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all.

    Jenny was married to a male chauvinist. They both worked full time,
    but he never did anything around the house and certainly not any housework. That, he declared, was woman’s work!

    But one evening Jenny arrived home from work to find the children bathed, a load of wash in the washing machine and another in the dryer, dinner on the stove and a beautifully set table, complete with flowers. She was astonished, and she immediately wanted to know what was going on.

    It turned out that Charley, her husband, had read a magazine article that suggested working wives would be more romantically inclined if they weren’t so tired from having to do all the housework, in addition to holding down a full-time job.

    The next day, she couldn’t wait to tell her girlfriends at the office. “How did it work out?” they asked. “Well, it was a great dinner, Jenny said. “Charley even cleaned up, helped the kids with their homework, folded the laundry and put everything away.”

    “I really enjoyed my evening.” she went on to say. “But what about afterward?” her friends wanted to know.

    “It didn’t work out,” Jenny said. “Charley was too tired.”

  6. chas says:

  7. GunnerN5 says:

    Spitting in general is disgusting but spitting at a 14 year old girl is totally disgraceful. Sky should do the right thing and fire him – a suspension makes it look as though it requires some form of consideration?

  8. GunnerN5 says:

    Chas you sterling work on AA will be sorely missed, I will send you some more posts – which are sure to bore people to sleep.

  9. LB says:

    Well, I obviously enjoyed reading that again, who wouldn’t, but what surprised me was the thought that posts of that caliber used to appear on a regular basis on the site.

    I like Dandans dig at political correctness, he is probably one of the few who seemed to have the right to do so.

    One small fact that I remember from his comments was that his children never heard him swear — ever. I know this because they were pulling his leg about a frustrating Arsenal incident and one of them said: you almost swore there dad. Dandan went on to explain in his comment that he had never done so in front of them. Funny how certain things stay in your mind.

    Great stuff Chas.

  10. Rasp says:

    Hi all, thanks for another reminder of DanDan’s quality chas.

    Careers can be made and lost in a matter of seconds. Carragher would not have spat if he’d known a video of the incident would have gone viral …. but whatever he says … it says a lot about him and his standards that his reaction was to spit in the general direction of the girl.

    Sky won’t sack him because it was a bad thing to do, they’ll sack him because it is likely to be bad PR for them .. as simple as that.

    I expect him to loose his gob .. sorry lose his job … over this.

  11. fred1266 says:

    Who this DanDan ?

  12. Jonathan says:

    Thanks for the article. It is amazing how relevant it is, despite being 6 years old.

    Punditry has been so discredited in recent times, I wonder why anyone bothers now.

    Come halftime, when I am watching Sky, I switch the sound off and get on with something I need to do.

    I switch off immediately the game is finished.

    There is no one whose views I am interested to hear, because they will usually be slanted one way or another, usually against us.

    Carragher has made such an ass of himself, as well as revolting an entire nation, if he keeps his job, I will be astonished.

  13. Eddie says:

    fred – he was RIP. He was the author of today’s post. What more do you need to know?

    thanks chas for taking time to dig up those masterpieces, much appreciated

    and thanks for your view, which amazingly tallies with mine on this occasion on the twat who didn’t give a shit about safety of his child but was busy giving a large one. Children pay for the sins of the fathers’ (quaran).

    Where is that Raddy??

  14. GunnerN5 says:

    Fred – Dandan was a long time and well respected participant on AA – he passed away a few years back.

  15. RA says:

    Good Afternoon, all,

    The Carragher incident is disgusting on a number of levels.

    In addition, does anyone remember that he picked up a coin hurled by a single idiot in the stand at some ‘Pool players in a game at Highbury, which fortunately missed them, and he then threw it back into the crowd of innocent Arsenal fans, not knowing who it would hit or what damage it would cause.

    He has seemed to be an average Joe in his TV persona, but clearly has something of a violent streak in him, and when riled he does not care about who he hurts or humiliates.

    At Highbury he could have put out the eye of an innocent fan, maybe a child – thankfully he did not – and altho in the latest incident there would have been little physical effect on the teenage girl who he spat on, psychologically she was given a double whammy by Carragher’s crass behaviour and her stupid father’s baiting and breaking the law — people could have been killed in a motoring accident.

    They both should appear before the Beak.

  16. GoonerB says:

    Thanks for putting this up Chas. There are certain jobs that require for one to behave in a certain way, so rules could be argued to be slightly different across society. Would one react differently to someone mouthing F-off to them if it were a delivery driver or your General Practitioner.

    What the chap said to Carragher actually just sounds like a bit of friendly banter to me and didn’t sound abusive or disrespectful. Are we seriously saying that amounts to serious provocation and that Carragher was pushed beyond his limits? Listen to it again. No insults or swearing just mild bragging really……..banter.

    If what that chap said in that context and with that tone is deemed enough to justify Carraghers reaction then the world is in a seriously bad place, because the average work place would have to find it acceptable to have people spitting at each other 10 times a day.

    We are talking about a professional footballer that would have spent his career surrounded by dressing room banter, and regularly slightly stronger stuff from the opposition players and fans. How Carragher reacted was despicable.

    Anyone who has a daughter or niece and found out this had happened would and should be fuming. He should be sacked immediately, as many others would be in many other lines of work. People less fortunate than him would lose a job over this, people that don’t have a financial nest egg to fall back on like he does.

    The real hypocrisy would be if Carragher kept his job just because he is good old salt of the earth working class Liverpudlian Jamie that has represented the England football team.

  17. GoonerB says:

    Agreed RA. I meant to say that as well. The chap with the phone is a separate police matter and any crime he has committed there is in no way connected with what Carragher did. Only what he said was and that was minimal banter. Two separate incidents really.

  18. RA says:

    I see that another of our youngsters, 18 year old Reiss Nelson, might be following young McGuane/Willock/Gnabry out of Arsenal to go to a top European club, Real/PSG/Bayern or whoever.

    That follows on from the news/rumour that Bellerin might be sold to raise funds to buy other players next summer. [I do not understand the logic of that — but what do I know?]

    Perhaps word has gotten out that we, as a club, are sinking and the best kids are abandoning ship?

    Swift action needs to be taken to correct this or speculation might become fact.

  19. RA says:

    Hi GB,

    Bad driving is all around us, and frankly one gets used to it as it has become a common sight however unpleasant it has become.

    If Carragher and Mr X were driving poorly and behaving like morons, it would be enough if that they were prosecuted.

    What makes the Carragher incident so reprehensible is that few of us can comprehend how that reaction even entered his mind.

    Perhaps both parties being prosecuted for motoring offences would be about right.

    However, Carragher may lose his £1m a year job, and perhaps that would be about right too for what he did in addition.

    [Do you think he took a swig of water from a bottle before opening the vehicle window and spraying the young girl — otherwise he may need medical attention for all that spit production?]

  20. GoonerB says:

    Very Camel like RA 🙂

  21. GoonerB says:

    RA, your Reiss Nelson thing is both interesting and worrying. I mentioned something the other night regarding my feeling on our promising youngsters not progressing or going backwards once they started to knock on the door of the first team. I stated that I felt something was wrong with our set up / coaching at this point as none were turning into top players.

    Most disagreed and said that it was because we weren’t getting ones of the right quality and that because none of them went on to do better elsewhere that proved this point. I am happy to disagree with everyone and be the mad one 🙂

    The sheer number of promising young players (both brought in and developed through the ranks) that have fit this pattern now is stacking up, while at the same time we witness 17-20 year olds elsewhere doing well in 1st teams. At Arsenal it always becomes they are not ready and still need more time but other clubs have players of this age doing it.

    I am not saying it (not getting the right ones) is not a factor but take Iwobi for instance. Although still young he is 22 almost now, and there are plenty of similar age or even younger peers outperforming him, while he has gone backwards somewhat.

    I feel that 17-22 period is a critical bracket to progress your game in the right way and once you are past a certain age you will never recover that development period you lost. That is why I (somewhat) dispute the argument that because they have not massively improved once leaving us this means we are always getting the wrong ones.

    I still feel that the general stagnation and lack of progress at 1st team level is having a knock on effect on these younger players as well, and they are not honing their skills in the right way to nail down their best position in a 1st team that often looks out of sorts and disjointed.

    Maybe some of these youngsters are realising as much, and maybe we are now no longer the best place for young players to finish of their development. As much as any 1st team malaise in recent years this loss of and lack of progress of these young players is as much in my mind when I state my feeling that we need a change of direction. Something newer and fresher at 1st team level as well as behind the scenes.

    Probably should have been a post 🙂

  22. RA says:

    GB

    That would have been a very good Post!

    You are not alone in your view re our youngsters.

    Nelson, the other (youngest) Willock and NKetiah will soon join Bellerin and Iwobi as first team competitors, (they already are really) and behind them are Macey and Martinez (GKs) who should be given their chance and altho this needs a manager who is prepared to give them their chance that does not mean a new manager will not do so.

    The group in the 18 – 20 year old range are the best we have had in many a year. And with the results we have had this season – what have we to lose?

    Unfortunately I have to go finish this analysis (work that is – not footie) 🙂 but if you can leave your camel alone tomorrow, for a while, I will be back, and will try to find something to argue with you about. 😀

  23. GoonerB says:

    Just popping out a bit myself RA. Look forward to what you pick to argue with me about 🙂 I talk a lot of bollix on a lot of different subjects so the world is your oyster 🙂

  24. mickydidit89 says:

    Oysters?

  25. mickydidit89 says:

    Let’s do a competition

    Shellfish and crustaceans aside, what is my favourite sea fish to eat?

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    Nope

  27. mickydidit89 says:

    too right, Rasp

  28. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh Lordy Lord, it’s pathetic. Halibut for crying out loud. HAL I BUT

    Not hard was it? 🙂

  29. chas says:

    The spuds and now the Mancs out.
    Uefa will be breathing a sigh of relief.

  30. fatgingergooner says:

    N’Zonzi just bossed the United midfield. We could do a lot worse based on that performance!

    Great to watch Mourinho ruin 2 £100m+ players (Sanchez and Pogba). He really doesn’t have a clue how to use them. 😂

  31. chas says:

    At least poor little Sanchez had a brief taste of the CL this season. 😊

  32. chas says:

    Wenger was interested in N’Zonzi before and he was pilloried for it.

  33. fatgingergooner says:

    I know Chas. I actually quite liked him at Stoke and thought he was better than them. Looked every bit a CL player tonight though. Very impressive and very disciplined. Barely stepped away from in front of his 2 CB’s and forced United to go wide all the time.

  34. RockyLives says:

    Hello Everyone

    (He says, sheepishly, from the doorway).

    How are things?

  35. chas says:

    Hello, Rocky, we’re just about clinging on.

    I hope you didn’t mind us using your post the other day. I was hoping you might pop your head in at some point. ☺

    Have you been to any games recently? What do you think of Auba and Micki? Are you pleased the dog nonce has gone to bother Moroniho?

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    Hi Rocky

    Great to hear from you and ope all is going well at your end

    Surely you’re an outer by now 🙂 🙂

  37. mickydidit89 says:

    Thinking of N’Zonzi, while clearly not thinking of N’Zonzi, what is the name of the similar sounding bloke at Roma who does that fabulous side slide defensive tackle and then comes away with the ball going in the opposite direction.

    That’s clear enough isn’t it?

  38. chas says:

    GoonerB in reality vs GoonerB online 🙂

  39. chas says:

    I reckon Rocky’s been an outer for years now.

    No idea who the side slider is.
    De Rossi or Nainggolan from a quick google.

  40. chas says:

  41. mickydidit89 says:

    Nainggolan?

  42. mickydidit89 says:

    I’d imagine it was probably either FGG or RC who put up the vid about a year ago of the Roma player

    I got the Nainggolan name from last night’s team sheet. Definitely wasn’t Rossi

  43. chas says:

    oh yeah

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    Brilliant work. What a tackler

  45. chas says:

    When I was watching that vid, I was thinking that if he was playing for Arsenal in the Premier League, half of those tackles would have been given as fouls for going in from behind because the player being tackled would scream as if being tortured and then roll around like Dele Alli.

  46. LB says:

    Hi Rocky, good to hear from you (LB – London) would love to know what you think about the state of play at the moment.

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas

    Obviously I’ve never read The Rules, but is “going in from behind” an offence?

    Believe it or not, this is a serious question 🙂

  48. VP of Oz says:

    I know Arsenal has their fare share of whiners, just flick on Arsenal FanTV, but over at Manure (and remember how much they are spending on players and coaches etc.) the following is being said (Fox Sports) about their CL exit –

    Incredibly, since the Red Devils last won a knockout stage Champions League match — March 2014 with a 3-0 win over Olympiacos back when David Moyes was in charge — the following has occurred:

    * Real Madrid have won the UCL three times

    * Leicester City have won promotion to the Premier League, and then won the Premier League, and then beaten Sevilla in the Round of 16

    * Chelsea have won the Premier League twice, including with Jose Mourinho as manager

    * RB Leipzig have gone from the German 3rd division to the Champions League.

    And still, despite Mourinho’s — and Louis van Gaal’s before him — huge financial backing in the transfer market, it is David Moyes who remains the most successful manager United have had in the UCL since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

    hmmm, yes a change of coach brings success…

  49. chas says:

    Micky
    Having looked at it, there is nothing whatsoever in the rules outlawing tackling from behind, “What FIFA/IFAB wants to do is to outlaw the foul challenge from the rear that endangers the safety of an opponent. Indeed they want to outlaw all reckless and excessive force challenges from all directions. “

  50. chas says:

    “Getting the ball first has minimal relevance as to whether a foul has occurred. There is no reference to making contact with the ball in the section relating to Fouls and Misconduct in the Laws of the Game, but it may be considered by the referee in deciding whether contact was careless, reckless or excessively forceful.”

    I think this explains my doubts about premiership referees. I do think a lot of them are swayed by the reaction of the player being tackled into believing there has been an element of ‘danger’.

  51. fatgingergooner says:

    VP,

    When I see United spending billions and winning nothing I start to wonder what the point is. Is it really worth clubs dishing out mega money to make into the CL and earn an extra £40-£50m?

    From a fan point of view, obviously it is, as we want to play the best and be the best, but from a club sitting on the outside looking in at the CL, it all seems a bit shit! 😂

  52. fatgingergooner says:

    If Wilshere left at the end of the season and we bought a powerhouse midfield player like N’Zonzi (or someone better), would people cry about it?

    I love Wilshere and Ramsey, but I’m not convinced we will keep both. Personally I’d get rid of Elneny and swap him for the new midfielder, but it seems it might be Rambo or Wilshere who make way given their current contract situations.

  53. fatgingergooner says:

    Chas,

    Those tackles around the side are not dangerous or forceful at all if you ask me. They are a skill, just as much as being good at dead ball situations is a skill. They are about timing and precision, espescially when considering the speed at which some of these professionals run with the ball.

    As for force from all sides, even the fans moan now when someone is tackled with a bit of force. The game is pathetic when it comes to tackling, but I suppose players have a lot more to lose now than they did all those years ago. The real shame though is that the fans have accepted it and join in with the pantomime.

  54. VP of Oz says:

    FGG
    I just like the perspective.
    With Arsenal, we win too many FA Cups and the season is a failure and everyone (media included) call it a micky mouse cup. Meanwhile over at Manure, one of the biggest clubs in the world, thats all they can play for now and boy do they want to win it. If they do, you’ll hear all the accolades.
    Meanwhile over at Spuds, they are dreaming about winning the FA Cup and if they do, they will write books about it.

    Meanwhile, if we win the Europa, it will be all about, leave now Arsene so that we can win something meaningful with a new coach. As for me, I’ll just enjoy each winning moment as it comes, whoever is coaching…

  55. chas says:

    I agree about the pantomime, FGG.

    I’m sure there are players in the Prem who could have made some of those tackles “look” dangerous.
    Enough to fool the refs anyway.

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas

    Thanks.

    Based on all that, I agree with you in that the refs “interpretation” is the root problem and may easily explain why no PL Manager has (as far as we know) gone in for the little Roman

  57. chas says:

    New post going up at 8.30.

  58. VP of Oz says:

    surfin espn…
    Mesut Ozil became the quickest play to reach 50 Premier League assists.

    The German playmaker took just 141 games to bring up his half-century, beating Eric Cantona’s long-standing record of 143 games

  59. chas says:

    NEW POST

  60. Rasp says:

    Rocky!!! … welcome back … however briefly … no need to hide in the doorway … our door is always open to you.

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