All Things Footie

Helping the beautiful game keep it's looks since 2001

RSS feed

All Things Footie | Tuesday, May 11 | Jordan

End in sight

Thank God there’s a tournament this summer; I can feel the icy finger of no-football on my shoulder already.

Regardless of what a certain ex-Liverpool manager is famously quoted as saying, there are things more important than football; and if I were a Liverpool fan with a social conscience, I’d seriously consider how ethical it is to take money off the president of Thailand. Human Rights Watch: Thailand, Amnesty International: Thailand.

Regardless of the money available, just like the last few years, one of the worst managers Liverpool have ever had will no doubt sign a few unproven, young, French players for extortionate amounts of money and expect them to adapt to English Football in a fortnight. Liverpool’s problems do not stem from lack of money, they stem from having a hilariously incompetant manager that, characteristically for Liverpool FC, they’ll stick with until they’re run into the ground and need to start building again from the bottom up. Relying on a slightly better than average centre forward who’s been in a steady decline since his 18th birthday doesn’t help either. Thirty points behind the leaders and scrapping for fourth place is not where I think Gerrard Houllier aimed his ‘five year plan’ five years ago.

I know it’s old news now, but I feel like saying something about Chelsea’s exit from the Champions League. I couldn’t see the game, as it seems that as soon as you travel north of Warrington nobody has heard of Sky Sports, and radio/mobile signals die spectacular deaths. Despite the fact that I did want Chelsea to win, I can’t muster sympathy for a bought team, nor can I wipe a tear from my eye for the Chelsea fans who thought they’d won the Champions League by beating Arsenal, and won the Premiership before a ball had even been kicked. I have bottomless sympathy for Claudio Ranieri: a funny, charming and dignified manager who’s treatment by all above him at Chelsea is so disgraceful that I can’t find words for it. I also have sympathy for John Terry, Roman Abramovich doesn’t deserve him.

As the season winds itself up, the awards start rolling in; with Thierry Henry picking up unprecedented successive Football Writers and PFA Player of Year awards—the former by a margin larger than any since Billy Bremner’s award in 1970. He also becomes the first person to win each award two years running—with the Football Writers Award going back to 1948 (when Sir Stanley Matthews picked it up) and the PFA Award going back to 1974 (Norman Hunter). With English football as loaded with superstars as it’s ever likely to be, the fact that one player has dominated for two seasons (and who knows how many more) should make anyone accept that there’s a very, very special player amongst us. It would be a crying shame if in 50 years time—when fans of the game are looking back and talking about this awesome, entertaining, goalscoring, footballing machine—you have to admit you only saw him play a few times because he played for a club you didn’t like.

Just listen to 17,000 Portsmouth fans cheering for an opposition player, or the standing ovation he got from the Leeds support after putting four past them. I wonder sometimes if any of those people who I remember arguing with about the relative merits of Thierry Henry and Ruud Van Nistelrooij have perhaps adjusted their opinion, or whether petty rivalries are preventing them from appreciating a true genius and an absolute, never to be repeated, one-off.

Expect the all things footie awards to materialise after the final game of the season, though I’ve heard that most bookies have stopped taking bets on the ATF Player of the Year.

(0) Comment(s) | Permanent link to this article

Add new comment

10 Previous Articles

  1. Coming to a close
  2. Did something happen on Sunday?
  3. Top (of the) Class
  4. Catching up
  5. 20/20 Foresight
  6. A draw is a draw
  7. A message from our sponsors
  8. Roundup
  9. The third biggest club in London
  10. Time up