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.