I've always liked football, why wouldn't I? I've played it all my life and my team are doing well in a difficult league. Though contrary to popular belief, however, I am falling out of love with the Game in this country.
A typical football fan's adoration will steadily increase over time, much like the climb up Mount Snowdon. However I'm more of a Table Rock Mountain: I've plateaued and the only thing keeping me there are the famous words Més Que Un Club. They are the Angel on my shoulder, constantly at odds with Beelzebub.
The Devil on my shoulder is personified by English football and the fires way down below are stoked by the strangely proclaimed King: Kenny Dalglish. Now I'm not a cliché, I can respect his achievements as a player, but the current goings on leave me completely flummoxed. Though more on that a bit later.
I've forever been an advocate of football in this country, albeit viewing it through rose-tinted goggles. The emergence of Tika-Taka completely battering anything in it's path and taking no prisoners has been football's saving grace right now as I'm not sure what we'd be talking about without it. Do not fret though, I am not going to sit here and state the obvious about how great they are, I'll leave that to Messrs Redknapp and Shepherd.
Growing up and playing football in England has made me the footballer that I am. I had my moments with 11-a-side but I'm glad I didn't take part in too much of it. The reason being, I learnt things back then that you can still see today: how to go in tough and be strong. Luckily only the former is all that is present at the moment. I remember my old manager Richard, he had tired eyes and a face full of grey stubble. I'm sure his insomnia wasn't brought on by deciding on tactics or technique inspired training. This was a man that condemned me for keeping the ball too long and not playing it in behind. To my discomfort, this was generally a ball played over a defenders head for our 4-out-of-10 striker to run on to. As frustrating as it was, coupled with favouritism, he never found my plus points as a footballer.
Apologies for digressing but I am sure you can surmise that I have a lot to say on the matter. Something else that came to light more recently was an interesting but very credible story told to me about Jermaine Beckford. A friend of mine played football for Wealdstone only up until a few years ago and I'm sure the well versed among you will know that Wealdstone was Jermaine's first major club. Here was a guy who scored 54 goals in 82 appearances, a goal every 1.5 games if you're wondering and that is pretty good going. Despite all of this, my friend outscored Jermaine for 2 seasons in a row but who was the winner out of all of this? It surely wasn't my friend who now works as a contractor for the London Underground. What a fall from grace right? No. Encompassing all that I have mused over, it is glaringly obvious that height, strength and for the narrow minded, ethnicity won for Jermaine in a world where lumping a ball forward and then dealing with said ball trumped technique and prolificness. You can only imagine the amount of technically gifted English youngsters that have fallen through this same trap. Startling.
Zidane, Figo, Ronaldo (both), Crespo, Kaka, Carroll, Torres, Villa. Pick the odd one out. If only a question like that popped up in a pub quiz. We're unfortunate to live in a world where you can buy 3 Van Der Vaarts for 1 Carrick, a 16 year old sprinter that tore up the Championship a few years ago costs thrice as much as an Afellay and you could buy forty Chris Sambas before owning a Phil Jones. All, please give a round of applause for the Geordie oaf with girlie hair and his over-exuberant manager. These 2 men have ruined an already laughable market. I'm still flummoxed to this day as an explanation is needed on what caused someone to spend £35 million on a player that has the same net worth as Manchester United. For the non-economists, that's the amount by which assets exceed liabilities. I'd love to meet the accountant that saw the return value of shelling out such an absurd amount on a player bereft of a first touch and scored 3 goals in 10 months. Let me remind you that this guy cost more than David Villa. Charlie Adam aside, £75 million was spent on 3 players not worth of such fees. Andy Carroll does not deserve to be the eighth most expensive signing in history. To be completely honest, I feel sorry for the guy. Not so much for his manager though who claims that the price paid is 'irrelevant'.
Jordan Henderson is quite clearly not worth £20 million and it is absurd pricing such as this that has made me write this post. Quite frankly, it is laughable. Nearly as humorous as how Fifa rank England higher than France and Argentina in it's latest rankings. A fundamental flaw in this country is the air of superiority complex which is rife in the game. Like it is a right of passage to be up there with the best and it has never been further from the truth. Especially considering that a team with Chris Gunter at right back and Robbie Blake in defence outplayed a team 80 places above it. Yet the journalists at the top of the literary food chain gloss over it as 'grinding out results' and 'three points is ultimately what counts'. The latter may be true, but a team with any credence at all will show up this current England team with ease. It is quips like these from media and players alike that exude our inequalities as a nation.
The transfer market is thus ruined and forever will be. Another reminder for you, Sergio Aguero costs exactly the same as Andy Carroll. The former, full of skill, technique and ridiculous amounts of ability versus the latter: the white version of Heskey. All that makes sense is that Liverpool FC enjoy having disappointing large men up front which is a shame when you consider the stature of such a club. What is the world coming to when Meireles is benched in favour of Henderson? It is clear that he left the club for that very fact; or playing in the land's worst midfield trio. Liverpool fans reading this will be instantly thinking about Luis Suarez, which is fine, however he was a player bought along with Konchesky by Mr. Roy Hodgeson. That was probably the only good thing that Roy did, though I'm glad he left with King Kenny scruitinising his every move from above. It is a shame that he has been forgotten so quickly and not given a chance. The proof is for all to see when Tottenham Hotspur decimated Liverpool unequivocally with £100 million of new talent on the pitch for the team in red
The thoughts I have run through above leave a sour taste in the mouth just thinking about it and you may view me as bitter. However I haven't written this to cause any hate campaigns or for someone to think I am biased. This is me removing all the clutter and thinking outside the box and I have presented my case. The evidence, unfortunately, is compounding enough to see whey I have fallen out of love with football in this country and casting my eye oversees to get my sporting fix.
In light of this, it has lead me to believe that judging performance and ability alike, I am currently worth 14 million pounds.