This seems to be especially true of Everton where a compliant and complacent press pack seem more concerned with preserving their access than with digging up some hard news. There is also the feeling that none of the hacks want to risk the kind of fallout that has frequently occurred with another volatile Scot. Watch the Everton Manager interact with the press. For Moyes part you can almost feel his contempt for these pesky placid penpushers. Behind the bulging eyes you can see him formulating the words ?Youse know f***ing nothing abou? fitba, youse are jes? livin? off the backs of Everton football club??..?
So the press aren?t doing their job- surprise surprise. It should be easy enough- all they need to do is troll ToffeeWeb or Bluekipper for a handy list of questions that need addressing. We do their job for them. Pity we can?t access the manager on a weekly basis as they do and ask the kind of things we want answered. At a press-conference in front of say thirty Toffeeweb readers DM would be faced with questions about his substitutions, his formations, his tactical adjustments during a game, his willingness to blood youngsters. There would be questions about how the club are operating in the loan market and they wouldn?t be of the ?there?s talk of you bringing in the lad from CSKA Moscow, any truth in that David?? variety to be answered with ?What talk??? I can easily imagine a supporter/questioner saying ?Leon Osman has looked tired. This has happened every January/February he has been a senior player. How do you address that?? Or how about ?Victor Anichebe, David. One goal in seventy odd premier league games. At what point do you decide he can?t cut it as a premier league striker?? I suspect after ten or twelve well put pertinent questions we might have an explosion. And that?s not just a suspicion about Moyes. I think having to answer to a group of supporters would probably elicit the same response from most premier league managers. Witness Gary Megson basically insult his set of fans and tell them they know sfa.
?Course that?s all a pipe dream. It?ll never happen. But you have to wonder sometimes if the powers that be sometimes look at the Everton websites and see the disparity between what they are asked by the Fourth Estate and the questions Evertonians really want answered. You wonder if they come on here and dismiss us with ?well they don?t know what they are talking about?. You wonder if they reflect on how lucky they are not to have to pay too much attention to the paying customers. You wonder if the secretly give thanks that they can get away with insipid answers to non-questions all mediated by their supine friends in the press. You wonder if Bill Kenwright says ?Memo to Self: No press credentials for any website?? And sometimes if you?re an optimistic type you wonder if they sometimes don?t say ?that?s a mad intense shower over at ToffeeWeb, but maybe they have a point. Maybe we should give Gosling and Rodwell an extended run??..?
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1 Posted 02/02/2009 at 04:40:53
Questions like why is there an elite group of referees, why are they paid £75k a year and who the hell are they answerable to?
As a fully paid up member of the ?working? man?s game, I am becoming greatly disenchanted with the sport with each passing season. It is easy to forget that even Evertonians are paying hard-earned cash to watch Millionaire players and staff, whilst the goons who run the game are so detached from reality they make politicians and bankers seem decent salt of the earth human beings.
The whole game has become a circus of pundits, hacks and managers/playesrs who swap clubs and insults quicker than an assistant can raise his flag. I can handle most of that until I realise that I am paying for this product and therefore supporting the liars and the cheats who are involved in the game. Most of them represent nothing more than a shallow self-serving bunch who are as far removed from the spirit of the game as it is possible to get.
If I won the lottery I would attempt to buy Goodison Park and start a new Everton similar to FC United and leave the PL to its own devices, but the chances of that happening are as remote as Everton FC winning the League in our lifetimes.
An indication of how stupid the game is becoming was seen today when Lampard got sent off for tackling. I?ll never understand in a million years how or why Riley sent him off and in point of fact I thought that Alonso was more guilty of an offence in that instance...
At least the majority of fans who post on TW do so because they love the club they support and inform us how they see it good and bad, which is more than can be said for the self-satisfied pundits who don?t care if something is right or wrong as long as they get their salaries and first-class treatment from whichever organisation they work for this week.
2 Posted 02/02/2009 at 04:57:15
The session usually ends with mutual back scratching platitudes between questioner and questionee, both gushing with ingratiating unspoken undying love for each other. The supposed reporter should be blushing with shame at yet another prostitution of the journalists code.
The late Henry Rose, a genuine football reporter who died in the Munich disaster, would be squiming in his grave at the insipid piss weak hacks who are now his successors.
3 Posted 02/02/2009 at 05:30:50
As an aside, I also agree with your interpretation of the sending off but with Alonso and Riley being involved I am not in the least surprised.
4 Posted 02/02/2009 at 13:17:59
Ludicrous "interviews" as players or managers leave the pitch together with the banal brainless "questioning" so often exhibited brings the whole lot of them into more than disrepute. Just look at the comfort zone of MOTD.
In our own area, the local radio "commentators" on City or Merseyside are perfect examples of this embarrassing, ingratiating tendency that is truly pathetic and infuriating. It carries over of course to the standards of officiating at games where many referees and linesmen too often are likewise seduced by their proximity to "stardom" and "celebrity" and enjoy being able to "join in" with the whole vacuous circus.
THE prime example here of course would be Mr Riley. Can this appalling excuse for a referee ever be allowed to referee a match again, together with the creature on the line who somehow failed to intervene in one of the most appalling incidents at the corner flag when it took place less than 6 inches from his face? I leave alone the failure to take action against Gerard and then his sending off of Lampard for fear of revealing my bias!
In any normal enterprise he would be removed ? but not in soccer. We have a growing clamour that these guys should be subject to some public scrutiny. I totally agree but who in the name of all that is holy would we trust to elicit some genuine significant response from them ? journalists??
But well done Paul, with the honourable exception of those such as the outstanding James Lawton in the Independent, so called sports journalists are beyond the contempt of even the most likely suspects that we could all name!
The whole circus will drive many of a certain age and disposition away from the game and leave those who continue with their loyalty to do so with deep frustrations, no little anger, and not having to look very far for outlets for their contempt.
5 Posted 02/02/2009 at 16:09:24
I also could not believe my eyes at Boswinga's attack on one of the shite. The lino saw it and did nothing, Lampard makes a good challenge ? wins the ball then gets fouled and sent off. Joke... It was Boswinga, wasnt it?
6 Posted 02/02/2009 at 20:23:34
As a life long Evertonian who has witnessed four league championships, I find myself becoming more disillusioned everyday. I sometimes think I must be mad for still having everything to do with it... but like a lot of others I still can?t walk away, it has been so much of my life and for some reason still is.
7 Posted 02/02/2009 at 21:28:58
8 Posted 03/02/2009 at 01:39:22
I suggest you send this letter to every sports editor in the land and every team's website in an effort to get the ball rolling in a crusade in the cause of Journalism. We the paying public should be told!!!
9 Posted 03/02/2009 at 01:48:25
10 Posted 03/02/2009 at 04:59:50
Still, for considerations sake, let?s assume we get a fair ref in tomorrow?s Cup Replay derby at Goodison (a very large assumption based on past derbies!) Well, that could mean the joke officiating of the RS vs Chelski game could work right in our favour. Reason being, Stevie Gbh got away with just one booking in 90 mins when he should have had 2 bookings (the other for the kick out into Malouda?s bollox while he was lay prone on the ground), plus a straight red (when very clearly he should have got a straight red for the dangerous and cynical ?over the top?, studs up, viscious and cowardly lunge (for which he did not even get booked!)
With that kind of ridiculous behavious unpunished, by complete ref incompetence or bias, I think he must think he is above the law. Maybe god will decree that justice is summarily served at GP and in the 1st half send off Stevie GBH, Cuntish Carra, Arsewipe Alonso and Mental Mascheatano! We can then stroll to a 10-0 win and bring those classless twats down a peg or three....
(OK, I?m certifiably insane... bring on the white coats!)
11 Posted 03/02/2009 at 11:05:03
12 Posted 03/02/2009 at 11:04:29
13 Posted 03/02/2009 at 11:31:15
14 Posted 03/02/2009 at 11:55:15
15 Posted 03/02/2009 at 12:23:49
16 Posted 03/02/2009 at 14:03:12
17 Posted 03/02/2009 at 14:28:00
As a longtime US sports journalist ? I covered major sports here for CBS and ABC ? I?ve always been bemused by what passes for football journalism in the UK. On the one hand you have the mushy-soft questioning Paul describes, and on the other hand the hysteria and scandal-mongering of the back pages, but nothing in between. What?s odd is that it seems to be exclusive to football. Reporters covering tennis, cricket and rugby seem to be as sharp in their questions and professional in their attitudes as my former baseball and basketball colleagues in the US ? when a tough question needs asking, they ask it.
So Paul, as a faraway fan who has never seen a Prem game in person, I?d like to ask you why you think this situation has evolved. Are the reporters stupid, lazy or fearful of losing their access? Why don?t their editors press them to ask firmer questions? I can understand why some journalists are intimidated by the likes of Ferguson ? there are famously fierce coaches in the US who have cowed the press ? but why do UK reporters apparently fear to question even the most accessible managers with anything tougher than a marshmallow? What do they fear Moyes doing if they ask him those excellent questions about Osman and Anichebe?
18 Posted 03/02/2009 at 15:24:24
19 Posted 03/02/2009 at 16:20:13
To Mike Gaynes:- I think the hacks are terrified of losing their access. In a world of 24/7 media, the tv and print journos are frequently outmaneuvered by the new media; we no longer need rely on them for a version of events. Their only trump card is that they have access ? the price they pay is that they become a part of the propaganda arm of the club.
However, the football pages are so profitable advertising-wise for papers, and football is such a cornerstone of tv programming that editors, publishers and tv execs see the loss of truth, independence and investigative reporting as a small price to pay against the revenues generated. Anything remotely controversial would get ?spiked?.
To Michael Dempsey:- I look forward to your article expanding on your comment that ?David Moyes is the best Everton manager since Harry Catterick?. I feel certain that the ToffeeWeb editors could hardly resist publishing that and I hope the ?wingeing moaning? (your words) ToffeeWeb readers will be as kind to you as they have been to me? but I suspect not.
20 Posted 03/02/2009 at 18:42:32
2. The whole BBC-Ferguson thing is absurd. I simply do not know why Lineker can’t say after each United game on MOTD "We asked Sir Alex for an interview but he’s refusing to talk to the BBC after that Programme we did on his son the football agent" . A few weeks of that might have old rednose reaching for the bottle with even greater frequency.
21 Posted 03/02/2009 at 22:31:17
22 Posted 04/02/2009 at 08:02:47
And Michael Coffey, I’ve noticed your #! point as well, and it always makes me wonder why managers don’t respond to that the way coaches do over here: "So is there a question in there somewhere?"
23 Posted 04/02/2009 at 12:26:18
Another great book more geared to the premiership is called "Broken Dreams" by Tom Boyer.
The whole game is one mighty pit of corruption with everyone in it out to grab as much of the pie as they can before the train leaves the station.
Anyway, after reading the above I’m simply a lot more cynical than ever before but will stil carry on supporting the blues.
I hope we send the RS packing tonight and then knock the villa out in the next.
24 Posted 04/02/2009 at 14:12:31
So it is harder to get to the top than stay there that’s for sure, but you know, when whoever get there, they will have the momentum and all, of a ’small’ club run on fractions of the monies, and generating a whole lot more. This of course puts the ’big’ clubs run on mega money, not earning enough!
Efficiency will prevail! Our time will come
25 Posted 04/02/2009 at 14:48:34
My question: What about the quality we are supposed to be always holding back for??? The rest of the above is what everybody already knows. Jeremy Paxman should be asking the questions, he would get them squirming!!!
26 Posted 04/02/2009 at 18:58:23
I also vote that referees be subject to post-match interviews and invited to explain THEIR decisions.
There is everything to be gained by transparency.
One last thing: Give it mouth today, lads and lasses, loads of mouth! COYB, forever!
27 Posted 04/02/2009 at 23:20:21
I fucking knew it! Get in there, Gosling ? you beast!!!!
28 Posted 05/02/2009 at 03:53:46
I won’t mention that, but for the width of a post, Ossie would have knocked home the winner 45 minutes earlier than the great Gosling winner! ;-)
29 Posted 05/02/2009 at 12:30:42
Anyway, what a night! After a nightmare start to the season finally something to cheer about and play for - the FA Cup!