Sunday, 2 September 2007

Beautiful game

I was in Liverpool earlier in the week, and that - along with the football (soccer, for the benefit of the transatlantic readers) yesterday - reminded me of the Everton v Blackburn game last weekend, which I was listening to on Radio Five Live whilst driving. At the start, they were discussing the minute's silence in honour of the Rhys Jones murder, and discussed whether the players' minds would really be on the game. This just served as a reminder that football commentators should commentate on, well, football, and leave news to the professionals. They just can't do it. Rhys Jones' murder has been a horrible tragedy, that goes without saying - and the club's response has been very good. But for the commentators to suggest that footballers who are paid £50k or more per week to win games would be distracted from the game by the murder of someone they had never met is crazy - they way that everyone always wants to be involved in some way in these things just devalues the tragedy completely.

It reminds me of finding out about 9/11 on Talk Sport - my boss at the time refused to retune the radio. As if there wasn't enough anger and sadness to feel from the events, having to listen to them being debated and sensationalised by people who struggled to formulate a complete sentence in English, and listening to their predictions of world doom if George Bush were to be assassinated during the day, just added to the anger.

So, football commentators of the world, I beg you, stick to what you are qualified to discuss.

On the subject of football, I hope that they don't sack Martin Jol after the draw yesterday. It was negligent, yes, to give away 3 cheap goals. But the season is still young, and he has given us European football twice and our two highest Premier League finishes in his two full seasons in charge. Talk of replacing his is crazy and I really hope that they don't do it. To help him out, I have some thoughts to contribute.

We scored three goals yesterday. One came from our star striker's first of the season. The other two came from defenders. So, to put it another way, 2/3 of our goals came from defenders while at the other end we conceded 3 cheap goals. Wide, expansive play with defenders galloping up the wing is fine, but you do sometimes have to leave people behind to defend. Just a thought.

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