Compulsory beliefs for English TV football pundits

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exile
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Compulsory beliefs for English TV football pundits

Post by exile » Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:37 pm

1. No player in the World that hasn't played in the Premiership can be any good.

So - the average Wigan player must be better than Pele

2. The best goalkeeper in the World is the current England keeper.

3. Except when playing Brazil, none of the opposition would get a place in the England team.

4. Any Scottish player who has a full set of limbs should be immediately signed by an English club. If they turn out to be any good - this must be due to playing in England, if they're rubbish - that's because they're Scottish, of course.

5. Every team in England (in the top 2 Divisions) is better than any team in Scotland. However if despite this an English team loses to a Scottish team in Europe, this is due to (a) the English team wasn't playing to its usual standard (eg - Leeds in 1970 being "too tired") (b) luck (c) English team didn't take the match seriously.

6. Scotland should choose an all-Anglo team as long as there are at least 11 Scottish players in England. Scotland's poor record is entirely due to ignoring this precept.

7. England's ultimate failure in World Cups is due to

- the current saviour of the nation being injured
- Montezuma's revenge
- biased refs. All refs are foreign and therefore biased against England

8. England can have a league so filled with foreign superstars that English players can't get a game, and simultaneously have a national team that can win the World Cup

9. English managers are best, and the fact that no English managers has won a Premiership or Champions League, or is considered by the FA for the England job, is entirely a matter of coincidence

OK - I suspect belief (2) is probably no longer current - and since England no longer play Scotland very often you don't hear (6) either - and England no longer have to come to Scotland to find decent players (and if they did - we don't have them any more!) no (4) has fallen into disuse

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Post by Scottish » Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:48 pm

I'd add that they usually make exceptions for a few Brazilians at point one. For point seven occasionally it's the manager's fault and once (Beckham in 1998) they blamed one of their own players.

Point Two was arguably true for large parts of the period between 1964-1990. It became obvious to any outsider that it was no longer the case from the late 1990s onwards but only appreciated by the press in the past couple of years. Since then the tune has changed to the claim that the best goalkeeper in the world plays in the Premiership. Anyone who saw Petr Cech's howlers v Arsenal and Aston Villa would not only dispute that but also wondering if he is dropping his clangers in alphabetical order.

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Post by exile » Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:23 am

To be serious - English fans have, for most of the last century, had every right to be proud of their league and its leading clubs. The he average fan who goes to matches is NOT that interested in the England team, even if England one of their players.

England fans are, ironically, largely found in the non-football-going public. The former (fans of clubs) would be horrified if the FA ever managed to limit the number of foreign players (which of course will never happen) in an attempt to assist the English national team.

Prediction - by the 2018 World Cup - the participants will be representative teams from the various leagues, with the only qualification required being that you play in the league concerned. Probably due to a lawsuit by a player who challenges the FIFA rules on eligibility.

So - even the England team won't have any Englishmen in it!

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Post by Alan McCabe » Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:45 am

Interesting ascertions to which I add two recent declarations via both satellite and terrestrial TV commentators (English of course).
1. Jonathan Pearce (I'm sure it was him) alluded to Arsenal's fans chanting of "England's, England's Number 1....etc etc ad finitum" in regard to Almunia during the match at Fratton Park by declaring that it may soon be the case since his 'residency qualification' will soon make him eligible. (I thought the home nations had an agreement not to go beyond the already tenuous grandparent links?).
2. John Motson claimed that West Ham's win over Manchester Utd "underlined once more just why the Premiership is the best league in the world"! From this claim it can be assumed that mid-table clubs just don't beat league leaders in any other global top-flight. It clearly had nothing to do with an awful penalty attempt by a gloriously talented but grotesquely fraudulent young portuguese frontman who can find a TV camera more readily than he can stay on his gifted feet. Or the fact that 'world class' central defender Rio Ferdinand was typically posted abscent at West Ham's aerial bombardments.
Remember too, this is the league that welcomed back to regular selection that hugely gifted talent Frannie Jeffers, the same player who could hardly muster a substitute appearance in the worst Rangers side in a quarter of a century.
I guess you've got to cut them a bit of slack though. After all, with no Euro 2008 for them to boast of and their remaining CL quartet rapidly losing their 'English' traditions, there ain't much more for them to crow about. Let's just leave them to their 'best league in the world'....I'm sure La Liga, the Bundesliga and Serie A all dream of having their own Derby Countys, Wigan Athletics and Readings themselves one day!

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Post by Scottish » Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:16 pm

exile wrote:England fans are, ironically, largely found in the non-football-going public. The former (fans of clubs) would be horrified if the FA ever managed to limit the number of foreign players (which of course will never happen) in an attempt to assist the English national team.
I don't think the situation is radically different from that of Scotland. Fans of lower league and non-league clubs tend to be disproportionately represented. Not surprising really as in both instances the national team offers the chance of glory and travel abroad rarely experienced by their clubs. Similarly supporters of the biggest teams are represented in fewer numbers proportionately. These supporters are already able to experience big matches at their own club grounds and in Europe. The main difference is that England crowds at home games tend to be drawn from the south-east whereas Hampden Park is within 90 minutes travel of 80% of the population of Scotland
exile wrote:Prediction - by the 2018 World Cup - the participants will be representative teams from the various leagues, with the only qualification required being that you play in the league concerned. Probably due to a lawsuit by a player who challenges the FIFA rules on eligibility.

So - even the England team won't have any Englishmen in it!
I think - and hope - this is incorrect. The World Cup would simply become a competition between Champions League selects. The knock-on effects of such a move would be disastrous for sport as a whole. Other World Cups - in cricket and rugby union for example - would have to go the same way. The Ryder Cup also. And the Olympic Games would be finished.

Given that these tournaments owe their popularity to international rivalry I doubt any such moves would be encouraged or succeed..

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Post by Scottish » Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:28 pm

Alan McCabe wrote:Interesting ascertions to which I add two recent declarations via both satellite and terrestrial TV commentators (English of course).
1. Jonathan Pearce (I'm sure it was him) alluded to Arsenal's fans chanting of "England's, England's Number 1....etc etc ad finitum" in regard to Almunia during the match at Fratton Park by declaring that it may soon be the case since his 'residency qualification' will soon make him eligible. (I thought the home nations had an agreement not to go beyond the already tenuous grandparent links?).
It's not that long ago that a similar chance was being touted for Lorenzo Amoruso for Scotland!
Alan McCabe wrote:2. John Motson claimed that West Ham's win over Manchester Utd "underlined once more just why the Premiership is the best league in the world"! From this claim it can be assumed that mid-table clubs just don't beat league leaders in any other global top-flight.
This claim is annoying but it represents a climbdown from the Motties of this world from their once-familiar refrain that English players were the best in the world.
Alan McCabe wrote:Remember too, this is the league that welcomed back to regular selection that hugely gifted talent Frannie Jeffers, the same player who could hardly muster a substitute appearance in the worst Rangers side in a quarter of a century.
A tad unfair, I think. Jeffers has started just three Premiership matches since his spell with Rangers. Remember, this is a player the normally perceptive Arsene Wenger once paid £8M for.
Alan McCabe wrote:I'm sure La Liga, the Bundesliga and Serie A all dream of having their own Derby Countys, Wigan Athletics and Readings themselves one day!
They already have them. Almeria, Murcia, Bochum, Energie Cottbus, Siena and Livorno all set the pulse racing just as slowly as the English sides mentioned.

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Post by Alan McCabe » Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:02 pm

As regards my Francis Jeffers point David, it was merely an attempt to highlight how a decidedly average English-based player could actually still command even one start in their hallowed Premiership despite failing miserably to even establish himself in the backwater league that southerners claim our own SPL to be.
And my listing of some of the (English) Premiership's less glamourous combatants (in this instance Derby, Wigan & Reading) was not stated with the intention of claiming no other major league has similar inclusions, but was more an example of just how mediocre their 'greatest league in the world' actually is when you examine its lower reaches. Of course all leagues have a mix of great, good, average and poor teams, its just the propaganda machine that is primarily Sky Sports TV would make you believe that the perceived greatness does in fact encompass all its entrants.
Let's be honest, and this is no purely English occurrence, the inclusion in their top flight of such clubs as Wigan, Reading & Fulham is mainly down to the personal wealth of club owners Whelan, Majeski and Al Fahed. Hopefully our own experience of clubs artificially jettisoned up through the ranks due to the past time pursuits of rich benefactors will begin and end with Gretna!

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Post by Scottish » Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:58 pm

Points taken, Alan. Especially Sky which likes to hype up Fulham v Wigan as some kind of Ali-Frazier rematch. Regarding club ownership we may be about to set a precedent in Scotland whereby the alleged 'benefactor' (V Romanov)actually takes his club in the opposite direction.

There may also be something to be said for some of the new breed of club owners. In the cases of Reading and Wigan there are superb new stadia. I'm sure that's of more benefit to the local community than buying up already successful clubs like Man Utd, Chelsea & Liverpool.

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Post by exile » Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:53 pm

Man U and Liverpool fans are certainly apprehensive about the long-term effects of recent takeovers.

I certianly hope we never see league representative teams (although Scotland might do a little better under such a system). Italy and Spain used to field foreign born players in their national teams (eg Monti, Di Stefano, Puskas, and the 3 Argentine players who starred in the 1957 Copa America winning team, Angelilo, Sivori and Maschio).

The attraction for the clubs of such a system would be that the clubs would directly benefit financially from the World Cup etc, based on the number of players selected - we would hear no more of club-country conflicts.

I took the opportunity of being on holiday to do a bit of analysis using the FM 2008 databaase. OK - it's a game - but the player database is about as comprehensive and accurate as you could wish and the player ratings seem reasonable (although English players seem to be over-rated somewhat - so in "FM world" they qualify for Euro 2008 without any trouble!).

Looking at the top 1,000 rated players in the database - 20% play in the premiership - 19% in La Liga - 15% in Serie A - 13% in Germany - 10% in France, leaving a handful to be spread round the remaining leagues. There are 14 of the top 1,000 playing in Scotland

Of the top 1,000 - 14% each are Brazilians, 9% Spaniards, French,
Italians, 8% from Argentina, 6% from England and 5% from Germany.
Scotland has 8 in total.

So - we have 200 Premiership players - of whom less than 70 are English. That's around 30%. In contrast there are 140 Brazilians - of whom only 30 are actually playing in Brazil that is, there are 4 Brazilians playing abroad for every 1 playing in domestic football.

The ratio between players qualified for each country, and players playing IN each country is 90% for France, 60% for Mexico, Italy and Scotland 50% for Spain and 40% for Germany. On the other hand Holland and Portugal are net exporters of players - and Argentina and Brazil very much so. Interesting that Mexico actually imports players from South America, whereas there are few Mexican players either in Europe or South America.

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