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Football Thread 2021/2022


Plissken
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I still remember AC Jimbo's introduction to a Football Weekly after Man Utd beat Arsenal 8-2 (I think) at Old Trafford.  "A long trip back to London for those Arsenal fans who went to the game.  And the Man United fans too, come to think of it."

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One of the weirdest things I ever heard on Football Weekly was last season where in one breath they were complaining about how the European Super League was the embodiment of all that was wrong with football and in the next agreeing with a correspondent from India saying he could feel just as attached to his beloved Manchester United as someone who was born and raised in Stretford could.  I mean possibly, if you ignore the fact that the love is based on the condition that the club is incredibly successful over a prolonged period and are comfortable with the fact that because the globalisation of football has seen an ever increasing number of people around the world deciding to support an ever decreasing number of clubs who win everything will embolden those clubs into doing something evil like the Super League.  The bandwagon hopping has killed the game. 
 

Of course all this got lost in the sauce as it was also the episode where Wilson cried because he finally saw Sunderland win a game at Wembley.  

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I have a blog semi-written about how most people who are paid to talk about football - and I'm including ex-players as well as journalists - know absolutely fuck all about football.  I'm serious, because most of the ex-footballers had an innate talent and skill for their particular part of the game, which made them a success, but that doesn't mean they know much about the rest of it.

 

The prime example is Rio Ferdinand, whose career should have been fucking buried after this.

 

Quote

"Man United might not thank me, but get the contract out, put it on the table, let him sign it, let him write whatever numbers he wants to put on there -- given what he's done since he's come in -- and let him sign the contract and go. Ole's at the wheel, man -- he's doing his thing. Man United are back!"

 

Another example is Chris Waddle.  I loved Chris Waddle as a player, used to wear the #11 shirt untucked and all that.  He currently is a commentator whose job it is to explain the game to the public as an insider, and he does this despite being a man who failed so completely in his one season as manager that the only reason his team weren't relegated was that with six weeks left in the season, the players completely ignored his tactical advice.  

 

It probably won't get published as halfway through it turns into Mr Agreeable and I can't afford the legal bills.

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I think a lot of footballers are less self-absorbed and more outward-focused than previous generations, in terms of social media, understanding and appreciation of football data, tactical nous and ability to look beyond the football industry. 

As such, I think we’ll see the standard of ex-player punditry improve in the next 5/10 years. Andros Townsend has always impressed me when I’ve heard him reporting. Can imagine likes of Milner, Henderson, De Bruyne, Van Diyk, Schmeichel, Noble, Mata, Silva etc will have an amazing level of knowledge to impart. 

 

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While I don't disagree, I somehow doubt that the football media will allow it.  Too much money is being made treating the consumers of the game as idiots and not many of the current crop are near retirement age.  The smarter ones actually hide it.

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The most successful ex player turned pundit in recent times is Micah Richards who realised that people would rather watch reaction videos than boring insight.   Football coverage is in a wonderful place, just look online, but you ain’t getting much on MotD and it’s ilk. 

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T

3 hours ago, BitterToad said:

 

Speaking as a Fulham fan that grew up locally and is a season ticket holder; It just. Doesn't. Fucking. Matter. 

 

It's definitely an excellent bullet to have in the chamber after otherwise dogshit Man Utd spank us 4-1 and we get relegated again next year and all my London born Man Utd fan mates lay into me. But it doesn't actually matter at all. 

 

Football's either a day out to you or something you watch on the telly. It's one of those two things and it's fine to be either. 

 

Try telling that to the people in disadvantaged communities where football is the one thing that brings them together, local pride is a driving force behind most of the clubs in the lower leagues and the football pyramid would be so much poorer if we did not have it 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Picasso Of Pain said:

T

 

Try telling that to the people in disadvantaged communities where football is the one thing that brings them together, local pride is a driving force behind most of the clubs in the lower leagues and the football pyramid would be so much poorer if we did not have it 

 

 

How are the two remotely mutually exclusive? You can have fans of English clubs in other countries and sustainable lower league clubs. The issue is the greed of the big clubs and the way money is distributed through the leagues, not globalisation/foreign fans of English clubs. 

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17 hours ago, dizogg said:


Lol you’re a fucking loser mate. Here’s me not at Wembley fucking buzzing after we won:

 

3A08E6FD-D77C-4D96-AA36-C97DAFA61C91.thumb.jpeg.a91477e387e10df59d165ec5ee864134.jpeg

 

Yeah but mate, Plymouth 0-0, remember?

 

#neverforget

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2 hours ago, BitterToad said:

I kind of disagree with this. I don't think a fan in India has less right to feel like a proper supporter than a Manchester local. When a goal goes in that Indian fan could feel every bit as elated as a fan watching it in the ground, there's no cap on support. It's an emotion. Globalisation in football has absolutely ruined aspects of football and lead to things like the Super League, the World Cup in Quatar, and Manchester City and Newcastle being morally destroyed from the ground up. But it's also lead to my Dad somehow making friends with the Getafe Fulham supporters club. And once a year we get a load of Spanish lads come over who sing songs about "Fulham Getafe Friends (they say Amigos)" and making their own massive flags with a Spanish Flag, an English Flag, a Fulham badge and a Getafe badge on it. And then once a year my Dad and all of his lot go over there, watch a Getafe game and have a big old jolly. If you go into any pub around the Getafe ground there's a pretty high likelihood they'll have one or all of the following; a Fulham scarf, a Fulham shirt, a Fulham programme, a picture of my actual Father. 

 

It's great. And all of those guys are Fulham fans in the same way I am. It makes them smile when the man or woman kicks it and it goes in the goal. I personally find football something that's much more engaging if I'm there, but if you don't have access to a half decent league nearby why not get invested in an English club? Globalisation can be both a good and bad thing for Football at the same time. 


 

Thing is I don’t think it’s possible to uncouple the two.  Global fans are always going to support the most successful clubs.  This generates more revenue for those clubs which drives more success which attracts more fans.  It’s a crazy powerful feedback loop driven by people’s desire to back the winning horse.  We end up with leagues being utterly dominated by a handful of clubs and everybody else is really only there to make the numbers up.  Yes it’s great that clubs like Fulham have small supporters clubs in obscure places that you wouldn’t expect, but it’s the hundreds of thousands of people who only want to cheer for the winner in Asia/America/wherever which have convinced a few clubs that they’ve outgrown the league and can now dictate terms, so they have done. Successfully.  Just look at the new Champions League format.  

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1 minute ago, Naysonymous said:


 

Thing is I don’t think it’s possible to uncouple the two.  Global fans are always going to support the most successful clubs.  This generates more revenue for those clubs which drives more success which attracts more fans.  It’s a crazy powerful feedback loop driven by people’s desire to back the winning horse.  We end up with leagues being utterly dominated by a handful of clubs and everybody else is really only there to make the numbers up.  Yes it’s great that clubs like Fulham have small supporters clubs in obscure places that you wouldn’t expect, but it’s the hundreds of thousands of people who only want to cheer for the winner in Asia/America/wherever which have convinced a handful of clubs that they’ve outgrown the league and can now dictate terms. Just look at the new Champions League format.  

This is it.

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28 minutes ago, Naysonymous said:


 

Thing is I don’t think it’s possible to uncouple the two.  Global fans are always going to support the most successful clubs.  This generates more revenue for those clubs which drives more success which attracts more fans.  It’s a crazy powerful feedback loop driven by people’s desire to back the winning horse.  We end up with leagues being utterly dominated by a handful of clubs and everybody else is really only there to make the numbers up.  Yes it’s great that clubs like Fulham have small supporters clubs in obscure places that you wouldn’t expect, but it’s the hundreds of thousands of people who only want to cheer for the winner in Asia/America/wherever which have convinced a few clubs that they’ve outgrown the league and can now dictate terms, so they have done. Successfully.  Just look at the new Champions League format.  

This feels like shifting the goalposts. The original argument was that globalisation means international fans aren't as 'real' as a local born fan.

 

Now you are moving that to how big clubs have more money because of lots of international fans - but what has that got to do with the actual point? Unless those international fans are buying all the tickets to matches, then how does, say, Crawley Town having international fans impact on the local people that still go to games? That community feel is still there.

 

I mean, to take @Picasso Of Pain's post, how is local pride diluted by a woman in Brazil following Notts County?

 

Now the point about the changing revenue distribution in favour of bigger clubs and stuff I agree with, I think that is a stain on the game - but that's not what was being originally discussed.

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Success will always bring in more fans and has always happened, sure more local fans went to see their clubs back in the day, but there will have been fans of, say, Man Utd that weren't born or living in Manchester ever since the game went national.

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The only reaction to a gay football players should be...

 

1. Can he score the goal, pass the pass, defend? 

2. That's it

 

Seriously though, it's great he managed to take the step to come out and hopefully it is just the start and some footballers being gay is just normalised. 

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There’s also the more positive aspect of globalisation which has made football a more inclusive sport worldwide. 
 

I find the whole team you support is dictated by your postcode to be an extremely out dated position based on some romanticised notion of the football clubs of yore. Also not taking into account that people aren’t glued to whichever community they’re born into but have the freedom to live wherever and whenever they like (within the U.K.) as well as being pulled around geographically by the forces of capitalism, economics and politics.
 

It’s also a position I find personally uncomfortable, one that tacitly excuses the uglier side if the game; tribalism and in on an international level; nationalism. The Us and Them. The idea that a club belongs belongs to a community is only the localised version of England belongs only to its community, football gated away to a sub class that can only exist at the exclusion of others.  It’s results leads to fans booing players taking the knee and much worse. 

Many things affect us that are not under our individual agency but the idea that your football team is one of them is beyond ludicrous. Anyone who feels passionately otherwise really needs to check themselves. 

 

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Of course no one thinks one shouldn't be able to choose the football club they support, but a football club should in some way represent the community it belongs to, and ignoring that and choosing a traditionally successful club you have no connection to is little different than choosing any brand in any industry, and those fans who haave a tie through locality or family are naturally going to think less of that support.

 

It's a bit shitty to link that to ideas of racism to be honest.

 

Top level professional football has been taken from the communities that created it, packaged up and sold, and the result is the vicious circle @Naysonymous spoke about.

 

It's not going to be a popular view as the result of that feedback loop is the majority of football supporters will follow a big six club, but the reality is the industry is done as a competition, and the best you can hope for is to swim against the tide for a while.

 

I don't blame any individuals, they're unwitting consumers really, it's just all quite sad, the sport really can be beautiful.

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Clubs stopped representing the community when they turned professional and started signing players from across the country, if you ask me.

 

Though the impact of the last thirty years does kinda dwarf that.

 

(I am being a bit flippant, a club can do more to represent the community than just on the field).

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57 minutes ago, dr_manhattan^ said:

Of course no one thinks one shouldn't be able to choose the football club they support, but a football club should in some way represent the community it belongs to, and ignoring that and choosing a traditionally successful club you have no connection to is little different than choosing any brand in any industry, and those fans who haave a tie through locality or family are naturally going to think less of that support.

 

It's a bit shitty to link that to ideas of racism to be honest.

 

Top level professional football has been taken from the communities that created it, packaged up and sold, and the result is the vicious circle @Naysonymous spoke about.

 

It's not going to be a popular view as the result of that feedback loop is the majority of football supporters will follow a big six club, but the reality is the industry is done as a competition, and the best you can hope for is to swim against the tide for a while.

 

I don't blame any individuals, they're unwitting consumers really, it's just all quite sad, the sport really can be beautiful.


See I disagree. How about those who don’t have ties to a community or any community? Who says ties to a community has anything to do with locality or family history? And who dictates how someone should feel and engage within a community? In the 21st century it’s a pretty outdated concept of belonging. All communities should be inclusive regardless of family or locality. Of course clubs should put back into their local community but that’s something any major business should be inclined to do. Neither is the local community somethings thats geographically constrained for a major football club. The local community of a club and who it represents transcends geography and locality, for me that’s something beautiful. Liverpool won the FA cup not just for those fans who live under Anfield’s shadow, but for those in Brazil to Australia. And how they choose to  experience or feel about that moment isn’t devalued by where they happen to live. That’s something awesome. 
 

If someone chooses to tell them that their support is lesser, that their experience as a fan is dictated by their geography then that says more about that person. Players for most professional clubs come from all over the globe, are their triumphs for the club they play for considered lesser because they have no familial or local ties to the club? If a player from Senegal can give his all for an English club why can’t a fan in Senegal equally not feel as much part of this club? People can choose to feel less of his support, that doesn’t make them correct in that feeling. Claiming that any professional club belongs solely to a local community or exclusive set of local fans involves all kinds of whataboutery and hypocrisy to attempt to justify.
 

 

As was said a couple of post down football has long passed being something that represented local communities. Unless your delving deep into the non professional lower tiers.  No one here was alive to experience it, neither was anyones parents, it’s Victorian. So why long for something  that for generations never existed within professional football? Even then there was haves and have nots, which now has become further ingrained through hyper capitalism. You can’t have football to be what it is as a professional sport whilst also yearning for the days of factory teams playing each other in front of a local crowd. 
 

To counteract the point about racism I’d say it’s naive to believe that normalising concepts that gatekeep communities, that exclude based on locality and birth, that imply a ‘them and us’ do not lend fuel to concepts of tribalism and nationalism in the sport. 

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Thanks for the long reply, I’m cooking so can’t give a full response, but that’s all fine aside from the racism assertion which does piss me off to be honest. 
 

it’s a personal thing, our experiences are all different and football means different things to different people.

 

What I posted above comes from a love of my background not a desire to keep people out, far from it. 

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