Thursday, 24 June 2010

Football and the Media

The funny thing about this World Cup is that so far it has been the most unpredictable. First things first; most of the talk before the World Cup was about how baleful the inhabitants of Johannesburg are and how unsafe the whole country is. So far though there have been no complaints about violence towards the fans; maybe just a couple of journalists were hassled, but if you ask me, they deserve it. Because honestly no one really likes journalists, not because they're useless, which they are most certainly not, but because of their influence on news headlines. At this point most of you would say that I should be blaming the media not the journalists, but no, journalists are a pertinent part of the media anatomy. We'll get back to journalists later. Now, the second unpredictable thing about this World Cup is that it has been a World Cup of goal keepers. The people that have shone the most in this World Cup are the goal keepers, the level of goal keeping is arguably the highest in history. They've been the players that have given hope to teams of second round qualification, and hopes of World Cup glory. Thirdly, on average, the under dogs have out-played the prominent teams. England have been poor, Spain are very beatable, Brazil are boring, Italy is just a waste of time and France is coached by a baker. On the other hand, Chile and Mexico have shown exuberant attacking finesse, Switzerland have broken defensive records (even though they shouldn't be in the World Cup), South Korea entertained us with team work and slick passing football, and last but no least, New Zealand have equalised with Italy (the so called World champions).

Now, back to journalists. I know there's global animosity towards the media, whether for conveying irrelevant news or controlling the content of news, but the effects the media has are unfathomable. Overpowering teams has detrimental consequences. The English media has been hyping England's World Cup chances ever since they started their very impressive qualification campaign. Labelling the cohesion of the national team and Fabio Capello a match made in Heaven. This was easy to absorb and accept given Capello's CV and the list of world class players at his disposal. However, it was obvious from the qualification stage that England were following in the footsteps of Capello's previous managed teams, winning unattractively. However, this didn't register with the media, as the team seemed invincible. Now, the media fed the English team's ego and sent them on a suicide mission. If you ask me, I think they're lucky to be advancing to the second round. This is a basic and mundane felony executed by the media.

The real crimes committed by the media are those concerning the French national team. One article in titled "Traitors, Secrecy, Back-Stabbing and Mutiny - France's South African Story", talked about the contemptuous state of France's football team. It criticized the players' attitude towards the coach's decisions, and their incessant attempts to abdicate Raymond Domenech. Now, these problems were reflected in their results on the pitch; for this reason the media (NOT the fans) had the chance to blame on-field incompetence for off-field dramas. So the blame goes something like this, "The players refused to train, hence they are revolting which doesn't reflect decent role model attitude, and were rewarded with zero points in the group stage". Fair enough. But then they go on to say that the players are being obnoxious and apathetic to their stature and what they mean to others around the world. Now, the reason why the players are receiving this kind of criticism is because they have not produced any results, they were discordant. If we take into account a winning outcome, then the dilemmas on the training ground would be made obsolete and the players would be considered heroes. Therefore, I can conclude that the shame/abashment/incompetence/pettiness that has been so intensely advertised by the media has nothing to do with the players' actions in training, but solely on the results of their matches. So what the media needs to do, is look for another place to harass people and leave our World Cup alone!!!


Jabi said...

"France is coached by a baker." Lol!

Sometimes people are distracted by the outcome of a problem thinking that these effects are the main problem, in this case the problem is not with the french players but with those in charge and those that are supposed to be managing the team. Domenech is an idiot, or atleast he's like that when he's coaching the French team.

Atleast england in the qualifiers were able to freakin' score a couple of goals thats why they were hyped up.. no one expected that they would be at this level in the world cup..

Moez Ali said...

Am not saying the media is the reason England are underachieving, it's just because there's so much expected from them that when they are average people say they're worthless. Maybe it's not England's fault, maybe the below average teams that they face are actually giving them a good run for their money. That side of the argument is never taken into account.

Domenech should have been dropped a while back, he has no business being in this World Cup.