Journalists: Football’s New ‘Untouchables’?

Journalists – they’re a breed apart aren’t they? It’s always seemed to me that there’s one rule for them and another one entirely for the subjects of their ‘reports’. In fact, we haven’t even hit the Christmas period of the football calendar and it’s an opinion that’s already been reinforced repeatedly.

Obviously this comes off the back of their reaction to Andre Villas-Boas speaking his mind on Tuesday night but only because it highlights the point so well. Following our 3-0 Champions League win against Valencia and qualification as winners of the group, the Chelsea manager let the waiting press know exactly what he thought of the way they’ve covered Chelsea’s poor spell of form this season and whatever they might argue about City sitting happily at the top of the table, there has been a clear difference in terms of Champions League qualification.

Yes, City have got a bit of breathing space in the Premier League right now but it’s early December so success in terms of a title is a long way off. They’ve won nothing to entitle them to immunity, they just happen to be the latest media darlings just as Chelsea were in 2004/05.  Mind you, considering it’s now over 3 years and something like £500m since Sheikh Mansour took control, I’m surprised the press haven’t even raised the odd eyebrow already.

Anyway, I digress because it’s not the fact that none of them seem to be able to get their tissues out fast enough whenever City are mentioned, compared to the almost uniform jeering we’re becoming accustomed to that bothers me, it’s more that the press have some bizarre belief they’re ‘the untouchables’ where football is concerned these days.

It seems anyone in the world of football they choose to have a pop at is fair game but the minute anyone defends themselves or their club, they’re like pikeys at a carboot sale falling over themselves to be the first to have a go. How dare AVB let them know he’s sick of the tripe he’s had to digest for months? It’s bloody unheard of for a manager to react to their ‘stories’ isn’t it?

Oh, maybe not….because SAF has tired of them plenty of times over the years. Whether they’ve written a book about him, asked him a question he’s not happy about or talked about his son, he’ll either ban them, refuse to talk to them, or both. He’s not shy of telling them exactly what he thinks either, so why all the fuss about AVB? Because as a Chelsea manager he’s seen as fair game? Someone to be ridiculed behind his back with childish nicknames and have his job touted in the press as if he’s done nothing to earn his position and actually deserves to lose it?

Seriously, imagine it was their jobs being talked about in the same way, would they still be happy to read it? No of course they wouldn’t.  Would they sit back quietly and take it? Bloody doubtful isn’t it? You see, I was reading about Patrick Barclay the other day – a very respectful piece about how he’s leaving The Times by mutual consent although doesn’t have anything specific lined up. Now, I haven’t seen any headlines writing him off as a journo – could be because I’ve flatly refused to have a newspaper in my house for about 15 years – but I’ve seen no tweets from his fellow pressmen referring to him as over-the-hill or suggesting he could barely pick up a pen these days either.

Now imagine that was a player. I’m sure you could use your imagination a bit here and imagine what might be written should a player like, oh I don’t know, say Frank Lampard, be dropped for a game. Might we read that his future is in jeopardy? Or that we’ll swap him for someone better? Maybe they’d focus on his ‘inescapable demise’ as if he’s 43 rather than 33? Or dish up headlines about the ‘Lamp’ being turned off? Then again, they could just go for the more respectful ‘fading icon’ tag for a quality midfielder whose career is clearly far from over.

Of course players like Frank Lampard won’t take them to task over it, like most other players the press have written off in the past, he’ll answer them on the pitch – but managers don’t get to slam their foot into a ball every week to work off the pressure their column inches create.  So, every now and then, manager’s will let off a bit of steam – it’s called give and take – and whether the press like it or not, everyone who wants to give an opinion, has to have a big enough pair to accept a response.

3 Responses to “Journalists: Football’s New ‘Untouchables’?”

  1. Great post. They definitely have they’re own novel when it comes to Chelsea. Good on AVB for having heard all this shit about it being his last game if he loses, and working on such a good formula. Press would of loved us to lose and seeings we won in a great way they gotta find other things to create shit about. Lampard, Torres and now AVB for rightly telling them “I told you so”. Looking forward to AVB and Chelsea pissing them off further and see what they come up with next.

  2. Also, journalists are among the worst at taking things out of context, truth manipulation and outright lying. AVB seems to be an incredibly intelligent person and clued into the mind of these journalists trying to make bucks out of defaming him. For a journalist to call him paranoid and imply craziness from him when he got to give them something back is completely childish bullshit and a sad, pathetic attempt at a piece of writing. Sucks so many sheeple believe in them though.

  3. Spot on, love it! Am beginning to enjoy avb infront of media and Tuesday night firmed it even more……..he’s got the balls to speak out unlike our last few managers (excluding tso) which is what tells me he probably owns the dressing room too.