Sunday, 10 July 2011


Well done Paul Scholes for making public what the majority of football fans have believed for a very long while. In a Sunday Telegraph interview today the retired Manchester United star who last played for England in 2004 said "I got fed up" and went on to criticise some of the prima donnas of the squad by adding "When you are going to a team, and you want to be a part of a team and playing well, and there are individuals who are after personal glory ... when there is a simple pass of 10 yards, they will do things to try and get themselves noticed". He used Jamie Carragher as an example after he admitted it mattered more to him to lose for Liverpool than it did for England.

But most fans will agree that the selfishness of top players extends further. I have been watching football for more than 50 years and for the first time I am feeling really disillusioned by what is taking place. Money most certainly has ruined the game. It comes before everything else and denies vast numbers of ordinary working fans the opportunity of going to watch their teams play. What started as a working man's game can no longer claim to be so because genuine fans can no longer afford to attend matches. Add this to the marked lack of respect many top players express towards their fans leaves one with a feeling of disdain. Despite earning more in a year than most people will see in a lifetime, pampered greedy players are never satisfied and this often leads to poor performances for their clubs. Ardent supporters of a club naturally grow impatient with players who constantly whinge and seek a transfer. As a lifelong Arsenal supporter my enjoyment of the game is marred when players such as Fabregas have been threatening to leave the club for two seasons. He is a truly great player but in my view he should be stripped of his captaincy and be sent packing. What real good is he to the club if he no longer has it in his heart to play for them? Similarly Nasri has made it clear that he wants to leave the club and it is rumoured that Van Persie is also wanting to go. This will provide no inspiration for the supporters who are long overdue a trophy, but it also speaks volumes about the disloyalty some top players express towards their fans.

The modern game is also being undermined by the amount of controversial refereeing decisions that influence results week on week.Wouldn't it be a great tribute to football if a level of sanity could return to bring back some of the value the game has lost? In some respects it was a breath of fresh air to watch the England -v- France Women's World Cup quarter finals yesterday. Although it was sad that England lost, despite some naivety in the female game it was nevertheless pleasant to watch without the constant disagreements between players and officials and players with their opponents that so often ruins the men's game.

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