Tuesday, 29 March 2011

England fans are as tired with the media as they are with Capello

International friendlies – especially those involving England – are never the most sparkling of affairs. But Tuesday’s game with Ghana is actually one that could be more entertaining than most, mainly due to the huge 21,000 away support that will provide the usually dour Wembley with some atmosphere.

It is frustrating then that the press have once again towed a negative line in the build-up to the game. Just like the string of England managers before him Fabio Capello can seemingly do no right and his decision to send five players home has resulted in a barrage of criticism by assorted journalists.

Some things don’t change eh?

Though actually in this case I think they have. Not with the ‘glass half empty’ scribes peddling their scripts of doom, but the supporters who see through the frankly desperate attempts to make headlines and boost dwindling newspaper sales.

The ‘England manager is clueless’ line is on that has been used for 40 years and we now see through it.

He can’t win. Friendlies are seen as a useless, time wasting exercise when he plays his strongest team yet when Capello looks to experiment, as he has done this week, he is accused of ‘cheapening’ the contest.

One journo even said this was an England team stripped ‘down to the bone’. What? Only five players were let go and one of those, Michael Dawson, is a relative newcomer to the international set-up.

You a far more likely to watch a better game with younger, more in-experienced players anyway as they are desperate to impress, rather than Rooney and co playing within themselves for 45 minutes under instructions from their club bosses so they don’t get injured.

Don’t get me wrong this England team and their coach still have glaring weaknesses but the supporters no longer need the press to point them out for them.

Instead they need to actually report and analyse on what is there rather than pursue yet another England manager witch-hunt before the weary paying public abandon their publications completely.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Arsenal have a right to feel robbed after Barca ref farce

Journalists and stats fans have been quick to point out the vast disparity between Arsenal and Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Tuesday.

Ok I admit nineteen shots to nil and 724 passes to 119 don’t exactly add weight to Arsene Wenger’s assertion that Arsenal would have won the game had Robin Van Persie not been harshly sent off.

But when is any side going to out-pass Barcelona? Even a side like Arsenal?

Monday, 7 March 2011

The FA to blame as Premier League referee anger escalates

I don’t think there was much surprise when Sir Alex Ferguson refused to speak to the press after his side’s defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.

He will, of course, been frustrated after his team were thoroughly dismantled to fall to their second defeat in a week. But he will also have been aware that the last time he spoke to the press he ended up with an FA charge.