Here’s an interesting interview between John Motson and Brian Clough; the former, a news pundit, and the latter, one of the best managers in the history of English Football. The discussion revolves around the issue of over-emphasis of the media that overshadows the actual game.
Pre-match and the post-match discussions and hypes are integral parts to the game of football. I myself have been feeding on such hypes through media, searching for player ratings, news reports on controversial events, post-match statistical analyses, and interviews from the managers and the players.
But lately the spectrum of the pre and post-match materials that I look for started skewing towards a more biased, fans’ viewpoints of the matches, rather than the ‘objective’ media. It could simply be that the main source of my entertainment from football matches has changed, but I feel that it mostly boils down to the fact that the level of media scrutiny that goes into these ‘objective’ discussions have become ridiculously obsessive to the point where my love towards the actual game diminishes. When Wayne Rooney was benched in the 2012-13 Champions League knockout stage against Real Madrid, plethora of reports suggesting a rift between him and the manager Sir Alex Ferguson, overshadowing a breathtaking game of football that proceeded; media pundits have been frequently spotted paying less and less attention and respect to both the game itself and the managers when participating in the post-match reviews and Q&A’s; and even the top managers, including the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, are now expected to explain every single decision they make without losing patience towards the condescending attitude of the pundits, to the degree that they simply couldn’t stand to put up with. Why couldn’t we just accept that Wayne Rooney was lacking match fitness at the time and focus more on the game itself? How about accepting and appreciating the fact that the managers cannot look at the matches in hindsight unlike the fans and the pundits?
“Human Element” of Diving and Bad-Mouthing
from Gary Neville, one of the few pundits that I actually look forward to listen
Nowadays, I would say that such respectful, reasonable, and self-contained (albeit biased) interpretations in the game of football are more likely found in the fans’ blog website rather than the professional media; something that I didn’t expect back when I regularly spent my time analyzing football matches and scavenging for any shred of evidence in those media to back up my arguments. As Gary Neville suggests, football is a sport that contains an ample amount of human element, and that includes moments when players and even managers lose control, both professionally and emotionally. With all due respect to the roles of the media in the football world, I’ve switched my method of enjoying a good game of football; perhaps it is time to take a step back from obsessive over-analyses of the football media, and absorb some of the human element in fan websites. So bring on the chants, yells, and even the swearing.