Friday, April 18, 2008

It's like you just cannot trust anything you read in the blogosphere!

This is the Bleacher Report bio for Andrew McNair. I point it out not because I want to make fun of him, his tastes, his hobbies, his haircut, or anything like that, I point to it because of two things. First, his given bio states that he recently graduated with a journalism diploma. Second, three out of the four articles linked on his frontpage have titles that end with exclamation points. Both points will be made relevant shortly as I dissect one of his recent articles, Another Day, Another Chelsea Scandal, and Poor Old Sven!.

Inside, I'll break down his article (very short) paragraph by (extremely short) paragraph, complete with running exclamation count!

I thought I'd got everything off my chest in my last English football article, but it appears that players and owners are just as bad as the fans.
First of all, I'm not too familiar with Bleacher Report, so I snooped a bit before I laid into Mr. McNair for not using a link to his previous article. Unless every article I looked at was posted by dolts, BR is not user friendly enough to allow in-article links. So, boo on BR for not providing HTML for its users, and lesser boo to Mr. McNair for affiliating himself with a site that is not user friendly. As for the paragraph itself, I can't wait to see just how bad EPL players and owners are.

I woke up to read Tal Ben Haim's amazing newspaper rant aimed at his current boss, Avram Grant.
Don't just leave us hanging, get there already. Jew on Jew violence is always the best.

The Chelsea center back claimed, "I knew that nothing good would come with Grant as Chelsea coach." He went on to lament his lack of opportunities under Grant, and basically said he's Mourinho's player!(1)
Ooh, juicy. Once again, this could do with a link, but for now, I'm willing to take what the author says at face value. It's nice to know that this middling former Bolton defender thinks he should, presumably, be played ahead of John Terry, Alex, and Ricardo Carvalho among others.

So what? Shit happens Tal, and you're not contracted to a manager, but to Chelsea FC.
Oh, McNair's going another way with this. Um, yeah, he's right. Mourinho's gone, get over it Tal. But really, who does Ben Haim want to bench? That's my question.

Have footballers also lost the plot?
Excuse me? Where did this come from? We were talking about one disgruntled guy. Where is this blanket statement coming from?

In any normal profession such an outburst would undoubtedly get you the sack! What makes footballers so special?(2)
What's so weird about this? I talk shit about my boss all the time to the press. If by press, you mean co-workers, of course. What is a normal profession anyway, and why would the press ask them about working conditions? I don't think my local rag is going interviewing bank tellers after the shift to ask them is they like the teller window the manager gave them that day. Point being, if the public didn't, on some level, want to know footballer's opinions, they would not be asked or published.

I fully expect Ben Haim to pick up the maximum fine of two weeks wages for his outburst, and he 100 percent completely deserves it!(3)
Yeah, I think Ben Haim will have a little hell to pay over this, but it's not really a scandal as stated in the headline, is it? If it is, Mr. McNair must be easily shocked. "Oh God! They bagged my bread and my eggs together! If I don't fix it, I'll have a wonky-shaped loaf! Alert the press!" (as an aside, though I have never written or said it before, I really like the term "wonky-shaped loaf".)

It all comes back to the issue of respect amongst footballers. Apparently, they have none!(4)
As on Wikipedia--citation, please. Once again, a blanket statement that seems to be based on the single Ben Haim-Grant situation. I agree that footballers may not be the nicest guys on earth, but how about another couple of examples?

Not for each other, not for the referee, and not even for their managers!(5)
ibid.

Having said that how do we expect players to respect their managers, when even the chairman doesn't?
Transition alert. It would be easier to ferret out if the author used longer paragraphs. By the way, I hope I don't have to use (sic) every time McNair makes a grammar mistake. I'm just copying and pasting here.

I was just as appalled to hear that Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra is refusing to publicly back Sven Goran Eriksson after City's recent run of results.
Alright, Shinawatra is a new owner to the EPL. He is also of a different culture than the English. He may have different ways of dealing with personnel issues than what the author expects. You may have to give it some time before you try to read anything into Shinawatra's actions. Besides, as we have pointed out before, the dreaded vote of confidence is not something that SGE should be courting anyway.

I'm quite honestly shocked and appalled by this!(6)
What did I write above? Oh yeah. "Mr. McNair must be easily shocked." He must also be easily appalled. If Shinawatra dtermines that SGE is underperforming, he may replace him. Given that turnover in the EPL for managers is at 30% just since the season began, it's not that odd, is it?

He is reportedly lining up Portuguese boss Luiz Filipe Scolari as a replacement for Sven. What good is that ever going to do?
Big Phil is lined up for every job in the world above my local youth team. I don't think he's going to leave a Portugal squad with C. Ronaldo either before the Euros or after unless he is forced out. National Team coaching gigs are pretty cushy. You get paid the same or better to do less training, less matches and get free admission to any game in the country you want to see. Oh, and--citation, please. That guy you sat next to in the pub is not good enough.

You can't just throw another high profile manager at the job every season when things don't go your way.
Because that's what Shinawatra has done so far, is it? Oh, it's still his first season as owner, so we have no track record to go on. If Shinawatra does establish this pattern, then you can excoriate him for it. Until then, quit jumping the gun based on pub talk.

I believe Sven has done a fantastic job this season. His young squad held their own for a large part of the season near the top of the league, but sadly injuries and fatigue have led to a dip in form of late.
The most even handed lines in the article. Shame they are about to be tainted.

Everyone knows they will be a stronger side next season, with a few signings to boost the current squad. We are saying the same about Arsenal!(7)
Because no one else in the league will be making signings, Man City will rocket to the top. Seriously, until the summer arrives, you cannot talk about signings and their impact. I believe Man City will be outspent significantly by some teams, and will come out much the same next season. I have no proof, but the internet doesn't need proof, does it?

It's not rocket science!(8)
No, it's not, sadly. Of course, I don't know what we are comparing to rocket science, but I can assure you, nothing in the article so far has been rocket science.

It's funny how the clubs with foreign owners are the ones who seem to be constantly in the daily papers for the wrong reasons.
Uh, what? This is the one that really set me off. The following list of EPL clubs are foreign-owned:

  • Aston Villa
  • Bolton
  • Chelsea
  • Derby County
  • Fulham
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester City
  • Manchester United
  • Portsmouth
  • Sunderland
  • West Ham
I don't think the author realizes that the majority of EPL clubs are now foreign owned. I guarantee you that he was thinking of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and, now, Manchester City. In other words, the clubs that get most of the press anyway. Can you really say anything about how Randy Lerner has run Aston Villa? What about Björgólfur Guðmundsson at West Ham? Can you even name the guy who owns Portsmouth (Alexandre Gaydamak)? No. Many of these people stay out of the spotlight. As an author, though, McNair seems to forget them because they don't make headlines and instead takes the easy targets that everyone else goes after. This is the state of modern journalist graduates, I fear (just like Scott Templeton).

The beautiful game has been truly tainted!(9)
Whew. The end of the article. Nine exclamatory statements. Blanket statements not backed up by anything. English-style pseudo-xenophobia in an article written by a South African. I sure do wish that Mr. McNair deigns to take a more even-handed approach in his future articles. It's not rocket science!

4 comments:

The NY Kid said...

(1) 90% of the time I bag my own groceries!

(2) Use of the term ibid may confuse some of our readers!

(3) I didn't read your piece, umlaut75, but I don't trust you anyway!

strong like bull smart like tractor said...

Speaking on behalf of all Chelsea fans - Tal, you may be the only person affiliated with CFC who is more inept than Avram Grant. Get out. Now.

Also, I hope the author doesn't break his neck climbing down off of his high horse. Actually, scratch that. I do hope that he breaks his neck.

Goat said...

Hello? I hope everyone didn't get stuck in a elevator.

ü75 said...

Aah, we'll be back in force tomorrow. I think it's fair to say we came down with a collective case of the Mondays.