Is the British Football Media Serious?

By on November 20, 2009

Thank God, it’s over! This was truly the interlull from hell. Not only was our best current player injured for almost two months, but our best former player has been branded “a cheat” and “a liar.” I have refrained from covering and incessantly commenting on this whole affair because I am just absolutely sick to death of the British media. A bigger bunch of hypocrites and hucksters, I have never before seen the likes of.

Even respectable writers, of which I believe there are three in the whole country, have gone mad. Henry Winter is calling for Henry to be banned from the entire World Cup. For a handball! Intentional handballs are a part of the game. Many times it is a reflex action, whether it was here or not. But banned for an entire World Cup? Henry, if you need help looking for your mind, let me know.

The source of the most disgusting piece I have read, and I have by no means read them all because it is just too wearying on my mind to do so, was no surprise… Myles Palmer wrote:

Thierry, your cheating has touched something deep in me, so deep I thought it had died. I didn’t know I could still feel such rage and disgust. Thierry, you are a sickening cheat and a shameless liar. You’re a disgrace to the sport that’s made you a multi-millionaire. You’re a bottler who has never scored in a final in your entire life and you make me sick. You were the worst  Arsenal captain in the club’s modern history. The day Wenger sold you, I jumped for joy. Literally, I jumped across the room, punching the air. You care about nothing but your owns stats and your own legacy and this is now your legacy. Last night is your legacy. You’ll be remembered as a cheat.

Give me a fucking break, Myles. You deserved every comment you got on that ridiculous drivel. It’s too bad you don’t have the balls to  publish your comments like the rest of us. Then again, wind-up tools rarely like to show themselves getting wound up. I sometimes feel so absolutely drained from reading this drivel and I worry that if I read too much, I will start to think simply and irrationally, just like them. The hypocrisy is just beyond comprehension. I mean, I’m sure every one of these writers who are playing the role of the moral judge has never cheated or lied about anything in their entire lives. I mean, it’s football, after all. From the reaction, you would think Henry stole 1000s of children’s Christmas toys.

Of course, that is assuming that what he did was dishonest. I’m not entirely convinced that it was and neither are many of the Irish players and coaches. Unlike football writers, they actually know what it is like to play the game. Ireland were hard done by, of that there is no doubt. But I believe the onus here is on the referee. Players do things like this all the time, it is up to the referee to catch it. Just as in the Eduardo incident, the player is being punished more and treated worse because the official missed the call. If he had made it, it would have just been what it was… a handball.

Rooney and Gerrard dive, Drogba exaggerates fouls by 5,000%, players constantly call for a decision on balls gone out of play that they know they touched last, etc…

The game is full of cheating, and full of cheating far worse than what Henry did. I don’t care about the situation or the circumstances… let’s just look at what he did. He handled the ball. Call out the S.W.A.T. team! The same people calling for him to miss the World Cup also called for a multi-match ban on Eduardo for a yellow-card offense. Thankfully, writers don’t run football, they only leech off of it.

On the BBC, Mark Pougatch expected Henry to stop the entire stadium and French team from celebrating to tell the referee that he handled the ball. Get real, Mark… it’s just too easy for a commentator to say that from his booth. That is never-never land stuff, but that is where the football writers and commentators live.

Rather than conducting their 85th witch-hunt  of a non-English player this season, the football writers should have been using this incident to bring the issue of video replay to the fore to put pressure on Platini and the rest. Another golden opportunity missed. But that should not be surprising… football writers and the media in general have their own agenda which has nothing to do with what’s best for the game.

As an Arsenal supporter, I can honestly say I don’t give a flying fuck about Ireland, and increasingly about international football, especially when it comes to Thierry Henry. He’d have to handle the ball in  important situations like this at least 500 times to even begin to get me to consider altering my view of the player. To try to make people feel guilty for not feeling the same self-righteous indignation which the writers do is just as shameful as the handball.

Now, back to stuff that actually matters… Arsenal travel to Sunderland tomorrow morning and will have Carlos Vela, Armand Traore, Lukasz Fabianski, and Denilson available following recovery from their respective injuries. Meanwhile, Walcott, Diaby, and Wilshere are still “a bit short.” Kieran Gibbs should be back next week and Gael Clichy in two-to-three weeks. So, our injury situation, which looked almost criminal 48 hours ago, doesn’t seem quite so bad now.


  1. PG

    November 20, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Man. I could have written this piece .. you echoed my thoughts entirely. The likes of Myles Palmer thrive on these kind of controversies. He is not and never has been an Arsenal fan and it shows. Even Jose Mourinho was glad when Henry had signed an extension, but not our Myles Palmer who jumped with joy when he left. What a twat !! I would have to be physically restrained if I ever came face to face with him.

    • tg

      November 20, 2009 at 10:40 am

      Try and remember the number of times Keane was called for handball during the game. As per my recollection, it was at least 4 times.
      All of them were as intentional as henry’s… just not as successful.

  2. Doug Shoes

    November 20, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Myles Palmer is a turd

  3. haha

    November 20, 2009 at 9:29 am

    what a fukin english bastard

  4. Julian

    November 20, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Myles Palmer is a c*nt. I told him as much and am proud to be one of his ‘abusers’! Get real Myles…all Arsenal fans are sick of your anti Arsenal views!


  5. Magneto

    November 20, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Brilliant article.

    You said everything that I’ve been thinking over the last two days, whilst doing my best to ignore the hysteria, hyprocrisy and latent xenophobia of an unthinking coalition of writers, broadcasters, pundits and fans.

  6. Harry Barracuda

    November 20, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Palmer’s deranged, isn’t he?

    Personally I am thinking of all of those Irishmen cheering on every team England play, and the Celtic fans who boo’ed the minutes silence for our dead servicemen, and with a jaunty laugh, I bid you all a cheerful “FUCK YOU! HA HA HA”.

  7. Woodstock Gooner

    November 20, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Megga dittos Arse Station. I just sent a vid of Gerrards dives to some folks. All footballers with a quick brain would have done the same. Every day we see players putting their hands up to falsely rulle good goals offside. Thats trying to trick the ref which is even worse. Big goal for France coming from a foul. No one wants to see it. This was a particularly explicit camera coverage of a foul. The mob will be distracted by some other bs soon.
    Myles Palmer is a lousy blogger. Notice how his venom was immediately put onto Wenger. What a twat
    Up the Arsenal

  8. Martha Focker

    November 20, 2009 at 9:39 am

    well said – the hysteria surrounding this just goes to show how the british media is for the most part a bunch of xenophobic tossers.

    When the scumbag Crouch pulled the hair of the Trinidad and Tobago defender to score a goal in the 2006 world cup did the british media moan and bitch about it – did they hell – it was an english goal so the hell with the cheating – scumbags

    for those who don’t remember have a look


    Finally Myles Palmer is an old man going through a crisis so he tries to write tough journalism when in fact all he does is write shit.

  9. Julian

    November 20, 2009 at 9:48 am

    The media are an utter disgrace. It always seems that they wait for someone connected to Arsenal to do something before being in uproar as well!

  10. Chippie

    November 20, 2009 at 10:29 am

    I am an irish arsenal fan and i was left very disappointed by henry’s handball and subsequent comments in which he took no responsibilty for his actions. At least when marc overmars squared the ball to kanu all those years ago the club owned up to the lack of fair play and offered to replay the game. perhaps the french fa should do the same. i know alot of arsenal fans do not care about ireland but imagine it happened to arsenal in the european cup final. i garantee we would be all up in arms. exactly like the irish people. its time to call a spade a spade. we should call out a cheat no matter who he plays for (arsenal included) and try to route out all cheating from our game (well as much as possible).

    • ArsenalStation

      November 20, 2009 at 11:35 am

      Of course, we’d be up in arms. But, for me, I would be more upset with the official than the player. That is my whole point.

      Henry was in the papers today saying he would welcome a replay.

    • Tim

      November 20, 2009 at 3:15 pm

      I do understand your point Chippie. It is true that no fan in the receiving end would ever be happy if happened to them but we need to accept that these things do happen in football. I would unhappy if it happened to Arsenal but surely my anger would not be directed to the player but to the referee if anything. I’ve played football before but players do foul against the rules of the game all the time
      What makes a handball by a defender less serious than one by a striker? Should any defender who handles the ball stop the game and ask the referee to award the opposing side a penalty?

      The British media is full of idiots journalists. They are even incapble of reporting what is happening across the glob. All they write about is what’s going on here.

      We have witnessed Rooney and Gerrard but the media make excuses for them. How on earh can these people be so unjust? Just look at how they played down Eduardo’s barbaric injury to that S guy? And compare it to what they made of him when he was perceived to have dived.

      I want any player in the world to tell me if they would have done otherwise. And when England goes to the WC, this may come back to haunt us.

  11. Anibe

    November 20, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Thank you very much for this! I thought I was the only one feeling this way. The outrage has been totally over-exagerrated and I think it is just revealing the deep hate that most of this people have for Henry and anyway.

  12. Paul

    November 20, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Palmer Myles, you are an idiot. TH14 will always remain an Arsenal Legend whether you like it or not. Go and die a stupid death by hanging yourself with a rope. Irish had all their chances but they never killed the game. Look at Robbie Keane, he wasted a golden opportunity. Irish had good chances but they were fearing to kill the game. Who has told you that Irish team could have won the match after 120 minutes of play? Suppose France won in penalties, what could you be mourning or writing? Palmer keep off Arsenal and RIP.

  13. Ted Harwood

    November 20, 2009 at 11:22 am

    If the ref had made the call…

    Fan #1: “Remember the other day when Henry handled the ball in the box in the 110th minute?”

    Fan #2: “No. Did he? I can’t remember every LITTLE TINY THING THAT HAPPENS IN A FOOTBALL MATCH.”

    If the ref makes the call, end of story. It’s his responsibility.

    Also, I’m 100% against video replay, but that’s a different argument altogether.

    • ArsenalStation

      November 20, 2009 at 11:36 am

      Exactly my point, Ted. It’s too arbitrary… the responsibility lies with the ref to make the call.

      As for the video replay, I would welcome it because all of this hoopla is just insufferable.

      • Ted Harwood

        November 20, 2009 at 11:56 am

        I completely understand the call for video replay, and many of the arguments in its favor are quite convincing if articulated logically. I don’t agree with one of the main arguments often put forward — that the calls must be “right” and “just” — because I just don’t think that’s how sports should work. I do realize, though, that it’s silly to argue that just because calls haven’t been right in the past, they shouldn’t be in the future. I agree that that’s a purposely confounding idea.

  14. dave

    November 20, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Excellent article. It was refreshing to see players and managers coming to Titi’s defence; stating that it was instinctive rather than pre-meditated.

    Bottom line, if the ref saw it and booked him, there wouldn’t have been a complaint. But he didn’t, so happy days..

    I wonder if the same people that are calling for Henry to be banned think Fletcher should also be banned for not owning up to fouling Arshavin in the box.. Was that not cheating?!

    As for Myles – what a twat..

  15. BendyTheViking

    November 20, 2009 at 11:35 am

    What kills me is England of a sudden is coming to the aid of the Irish. Never mind the years upon years of torture and suppression that the English pigs did to the Irish. The hypocrisy is sickening and the English are despicable. It wasn’t your game, it wasn’t your players. Until the English media decided to rail English players for the cheats they are, they have little weight in crying wolf.

    • ArsenalStation

      November 20, 2009 at 11:38 am

      It seems like they’re doing it simply because it’s another chance to portray foreigners as cheaters, and by extension congratulate themselves for their superior sense of fair play. Laughable when you think of what Gerrard, Rooney, Owen, and Crouch have done in the past.

    • Ted Harwood

      November 20, 2009 at 11:40 am

      Agreed, Bendy; I mean, consider if this had been an England-Ireland match, and Rooney had handled the ball and laid it off to Terry to score. The exact same incident would be handled VASTLY VASTLY DIFFERENTLY, no?

  16. Eris

    November 20, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Hey Chippie. I understand how you must feel; however, Henry did admit he handled the ball, but alluded to it being a reflex/instinctive action (read latest reports on it). He even agreed that a replay will be the fair thing, though this decision rests with FIFA, not Henry. Henry’s handball incident is not and won’t be the worst case of soccer cheating we’ll ever have. Players dive to get opponents sent off (Rivaldo- WC 2002 Brazil v Turkey); Drogba pulled down Wes Brown just as he was going for the JT header that gave Chelsea their 1-0 victory; I have seen players claiming throw-in decisions when they know better; rolling the ball forward to gain a few meters for a free kick; Robbie Keane is a serial hand ball offender (only, he gets caught, usually); holding in the 18 yard box, before set pieces; I could go on and on. I disagree that this incident should remove from the genius that is the man, Henry, as the British media will have us believe. The WC is a big stage and if the goal to get a team there has to come from a refereeing error, so be it, I say. I don’t think the Irish would complain had the shoe been on the other foot.

    • ArsenalStation

      November 20, 2009 at 12:14 pm

      I read an interview with the FAI chief who said that if Ireland had gotten to the WC in this way, “he wouldn’t be happy.” But he didn’t say he would approve a replay either.

    • Chippie

      November 20, 2009 at 12:47 pm

      wenger himself has come out in favour of a replay. I believe its up to the french fa to offer before fifa will sanction it. here look i agree that there has been a witch hunt in the case of henry here but he should have been more responsible in accepting resposibity for his own actions after the event and not leaving it all up to the officals. he has only come out this morning to suggest a replay. after two days!? while i completely respect the man and it could be any player in his predicament, i think it is time for football fans to take off the rose tinted specs and stop defending our teams heroes when they are seen to be cheating.

  17. Eris

    November 20, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Chippie, what then happens with Robbie Keane’s attempts at “cheating”? Why not demand an apology from him to the World? These things will always happen and all this brouhaha is getting me peeved. Why must there be different rules for some?
    …and there will be no rematch. Why? Because it will be a bad precedent as there will be a whole lot of games to be replayed for one referee error or the other.

    • Chippie

      November 21, 2009 at 1:44 am

      arsenal themselves have already set the precedent when they replayed sheffield united all those years ago. also liverpool got into the champions league the year after they one it through an exceptional rule change. I believe when the cheating is such a game changer like that is up to the player to realise you have to hold your hands up and aplogise for it. Henry has done that now but it should have been done straight after the game. it’s possible to take each case on its merits. Hopefully Fifa will see this as exceptional circumstance and replay the game.

      • ArsenalStation

        November 21, 2009 at 3:35 am

        The only difference there is that the Arsenal-Sheffield United match was a 5th round FA Cup tie… FIFA, as far as I’m aware, has never replayed a match especially for a referee’s call (or non-call). FIFA will not replay this match and holding out hope for it is just a waste of time. I feel for Ireland but every club/side gets screwed like this… to some it just happens in more important matches.

        At the least, Martin Hansson should not be refereeing any World Cup matches.

      • Ted Harwood

        November 21, 2009 at 1:00 pm

        Chippie, I just don’t see how you can replay games. Games are made up of hundreds of moments of possibility, any one of which can lead to a goal or a missed call or anything at all. To elevate one moment above all the others as somehow decisive makes no logical sense to me. Replaying this match would set a precedent wherein every game won by a side getting a fortunate penalty, offside, or free kick break seen by television replay would be open to protest. It just cannot happen.

  18. atek

    November 20, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    This is what roy keane comment:

    “Ireland had their chances in the two games (against France), and they never took them,” Keane added. “But it’s the usual FAI reaction – ‘We’ve been robbed’, ‘The honesty of the game…’

    “There was one match against Georgia where Ireland got a penalty and it was one of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen which changed the whole course of the game. I don’t remember the FAI after the game saying we should give them a replay.

    “I’d focus on why they didn’t clear it (the free-kick). I’d be more annoyed with my defenders and my goalkeeper than Thierry Henry. How can you let the ball bounce in your six-yard box? How can you let Thierry Henry get goal-side of you? If the ball goes into the six-yard box, where the hell is my goalkeeper?”

    Everybody blaming the ref and henry… but not roy keane.

    • Ted Harwood

      November 20, 2009 at 6:29 pm

      I never thought I would admire Roy Keane for anything he said, but I have to say, he made a number of spot-on points in that interview. And woebetide that sucka whose cell phone was ringing, and who SOMEHOW REFUSED TO TURN IT OFF. I don’t care who is sitting up there; that’s rude. But to refuse that to Roy Keane is suicidal.

  19. Firstlady

    November 23, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Great blog. My first time reading it. Looking forward to reading it every other day.

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