When football is at its lowest ebb. When thugs and criminals rule the day. One man will stand up for truth and justice. One man will pull back the curtain and expose the lies for what they are. That man is Jessie the Footballer Venture.
Good morning truth seekers. Battle lines are being drawn this season and on one side are the teams of lightness and the other the hordes of darkness. For those not into their history books, this year is just another battle in a war that stretches all the way back to 1904 when the English Premier League wasn’t the Premier League but the old Division One. Until 1904 every team in Division One was run by the Northern Footballing Illuminati. Look at the list from 1903 and have your eyes opened folks, Stoke, Newcastle, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Everton, Derby, Blackburn, up until 1904 these teams ran football and they made up whatever rules they wanted and subsequently were allowed to do what they wanted to each other.
But then in 1904 along came this bunch of Fancy-Dans from London who called themselves Arsenal. This Arsenal were the first London team to join the Football League, the first London team to win promotion to Division One, and if you hear the Northern Mafia tell it, the first London team to disgrace football by winning the League Title in 1931. These Northerners have never forgotten how Arsenal came along and ruined football with their red and white shirts, their radical formations, diet, passing the ball, and most recently their “continental” players.
According to the Northerners, football is a man’s game where a broken leg is meant to be walked off, headbutts are a sign of affection, and there’s no such thing as a bad tackle as long as the player in question didn’t mean it and can be pawned off as a decent, upstanding, English lad. It’s been that way for 130 years and they sure aren’t going to let some silly Football Association with its headquarters in London or some television cameras tell them what’s good for football. That’s why Alex McLeish needed to launch an attack on Arsenal after his player, Lee Bowyer was retroactively banned for three games for stamping on Bacary Sagna and it’s why Alex Ferguson would also use his press conference to take a poke at Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger as well.
McLeish called the Bowyer ban “trial by television”and bemoaned the lack of fairness:
As long as there is fairness, there isn’t a problem. If things happen against our players and we are tried by television, that has to be the same for everyone.
But of course, this doesn’t jibe with what he had said earlier about Arsenal when he tried to claim that the Gunners should have had four men sent off in the match at the Emirates:
Did you see Murphy get punched in the face in the last minute? We took him off with a cut eye. He’s got stitches. Let’s investigate. Nasri should have been sent off, Eboue had the scissor challenge on Ridgewell. We know the damage it can do. Jack Wilshere’s was a deserved red. He’s not a dirty player but even the best can mistime tackles. Zigic is lucky. He could have had his leg shattered like Eduardo.
I’m confused, does he want the FA to investigate games after the match or does he want to be able to do whatever non-football tactic he can in order to smash and grab three points? The clue is in the follow up quote:
A month ago, near the end of the Spurs game, Alan Hutton headbutted one of our players, David Murphy, by the touchline. I never said anything about it at the end of the game. Hutton came into the dressing-room afterwards, apologized and shook Murphy’s hand. But nothing was done about it. However, on Match of the Day 2, the incident was shown. The pundits were sitting on the sofas and they just laughed about it. They called Alan a “little bull”, and suggested it was the way a bull would butt somebody. I didn’t see anyone screaming about Alan Hutton that day. I was quite happy to accept the apology and let it be swept under the carpet. I could have come out at the time and asked, “Why has he not been done?” But as soon as one of our players is involved, then there is a big furor and Bowyer’s got to be punished. I don’t want to see people tried by television. But if we are going to go through it, everyone should.
This is the logic that we are dealing with here: headbutts should be legal as long as the referee didn’t see it and the player came into the dressing room and apologized after. The photograph below shows exactly the type of tactic that Alex McLeish also doesn’t mind, as long as the ref doesn’t see it.
According to McLeish, what we can’t have is that type of disgusting stamp looked at after the match.
Meanwhile, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has come to the rescue of Stoke City, another Good Old Boy Northern team who play with a similar physical style to Birmingham. A style that led to Ryan Shawcross shattering Aaron Ramsey’s leg and subsequent criticism from Arsene Wenger. Ferguson had this to say about Stoke:
People have criticized their physical style of play but they stick to what they do best. I suppose Arsene Wenger has been one of their main critics, but then he does go off on a tangent at times. For instance, he criticized our pitch after they lost here before Christmas and I was at a loss to understand why. I have a great admiration for Tony and the wry way he rides the criticism leveled at his team. If anything the criticism galvanizes the players.
Saying that they “stick to what they do best” would almost be a backhanded compliment if I didn’t know the source. Alex Ferguson has used this “tactic” of beating teams up consistently throughout his career. He’s done it against Arsenal (same video from Tim’s blog yesterday, ed.) and let’s not forget that his team is full of cheating divers.
The last thing that Ferguson wants is for the FA to review anything Rooney does during a match, after the fact:
Now do you see why football can’t have instant replay and can’t let the FA retroactively review matches even if the player in question intentionally tried to harm a fellow professional? If you give a manager like Arsene Wenger the right to throw a flag and force the officials to make the right call through instant replay, clubs like Stoke, Man U, and Birmingham (the Good Old Boys) will be forced to play actual football rather than relying on referee intimidation to let them come out for 90 minutes and kick people off the pitch.
Giving someone like Wenger the power to actually have red cards called, offside goals rescinded, and dives called would take away the one tactic that all these teams employ on a daily basis; cheating. After all, they can’t have these “Southern Softies” ruining the game they’ve held in sway since the end of the 19th century can they? There were no television cameras in 1890 when great clubs like Preston North End dominated world football. And if it was good enough for the 19th century, then it’s good enough for the 21st century.
That’s why Stoke, Man U, and Birmingham are so adamant that the FA kick red cards out of football.