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12-11-2006, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Qui Gon Dave View Post
Vinnie Jones. Ah yes, the shining stone in The Crazy Gang (not the name of a film for the clueless amongst you, but the team he played for - seriously). I still remember the uproar from that video he starred in that got banned before it got released. The one where he was showing how to seriously injure someone by scraping your studs down a certain part of their leg. You recall that one Habs13? I think he also got sent off in a Man City game within 10 seconds (can't remember if it was straight red or 2 bookables). And as a measure of toughness and bravery (an unusual measure), I shall now add Gary Linekers name to the mix. Regarded as soft by many to the point where he wasn't always willing to head the ball, I still recall an England game in the early ninties (friendly or qualie) where a low cross came in and in a moment completely out of character, he went for a diving header. Can't remember if he got the ball or not, but I remember the defender kicking him full on in the face. A moment of either inspired bravery or absent minded stupidity. Even the guys with not so tough reputations can have their brave moments.

As for the hooligan issue, that was a real big problem at one time about 10 years ago, but the authorities put in a lot of effort to remove that element of the crowd from the games. I think there is a sort of database with known hooligans in and if they are spotted at a game (at least games of bigger clubs in the UK, I assume elsewhere as well) then they are at least thrown out of the ground immediately. Hooliganism still exists in some forms and fights I believe are still occur, just not at the games. The idiots who participate in such activities realise they have no chance of actually starting trouble at a game that the rival 'gangs' just pick a time and place to meet up and beat the **** out of each other (although I'm not sure how common this is). To say that they are 'football hooligans' is rediculous because their actions have so little to do with football it isn't funny. They are more like gangs from different areas of the country. Associating them with football is an injustice to the sport and the people who genuinely care about it.

As for the faking, I think the influx of foreign players to the English game has had an effect to some degree, although I would in no way say that it is solely responsible for it. Even if top class international players hadn't come here, it probably would have developed on its own at some point. I can't speak for other nations, but when I was growing up (and before, probably since as well), there was always this pride about English football. We haven't had a lot of success over the years (certainly not as much as the hype we receive) but there was always that pride of being English/British, playing the game in a sporting manner yet being strong and not backing down, even when things got tough. There were men like Terry Butcher who people look up to, who take a beating and keep on going for the good of the team because they just can't allow themselves to quit. The best analogy I can think of is how Canadians think of their hockey players. Sure, some Canadian players dive and whine and all the rest of it, but there is that pride of playing the game fairly and playing the game well. If that means taking the hit to make the play, thats what you do. Then you get back up and if you can play on, you play on, if you can't, you go to the bench. Growing up learning to play football, I was taught (and still believe today) that the game is there to be played in a sporting manner. It's also there to be played in a competative manner so you have to get used to the physical side of it, but you stay honest, give your best and don't resort to cheap tactics and cheating. Some people get that, some people don't. Sadly, some people who don't get it are millionaires who most kids in the country look up to every weekend and are almost worshipped, but they set bad examples and never apologise. There are probably plenty of honest, hard working, good examples of football players out there, but that isn't glamorous. If you can do 3 stepovers in one second and set a new longjump record a few steps larter, that's still a good thing to some people. As I said, sadly.

As for anyone looking to play the 'football and its fans don't have any morals' card (an overstatement, I agree, but apparently, faking is killing 'my' sport, which if true, means it's killing hockey), I seem to remember a few people posting reports about NHL games where fights broke out in the crowd. That must be vastly different to fights at football games. Right?

Anyways, there is always plenty of opportunity for looking at the negative sides of football and other aspects linked to the game (however tenuously). I can see why Gillett would be interested in Newcastle as an aquisition, but I kinda hope he doesn't. Should he go through with it though, if he wants to quickly be accepted by the Geordie crowd, all he has to do is go to an evening game at St. James' this December and watch the entire game without his shirt (or a coat or hat) on. I think that would endear him to the locals very quickly

It's been so long, can't remember what he did to get the boot so fast. Although I do remember a class between Jones and Gazza after Jones tied to shatter Gazza's ankle in a nasty tackle. I think it was just before the England oste to be named to boot. He's a nasty piece of work, that one.

As for England's lack of intenational sucsess, it's down to three main things, I think. The fact that we have a bad rep due to violent fans, short English tempers and cheating opponents.

For example, Sol Campbell's disallowed goal at Euro 2004 was pure rubbish. On top of the deliberate breaking of Rooney's foot by the Portuguise defender, while 18 year old Rooney led the tournament in goals. We should have faced Greece. Gazza's temper in 1994... Beckham's stupid reaction to the non-call against Argentina that led to our defeat afte being up 2-0 in 1998... Rooney's shoving C.Ronaldo after the little ****** was up to his normal stunts again in 2006. And, of course, fatty Diego Maradonna and the "hand of god" goal in '86.

Then again, what was Sven thinking bringing that 17 year old along in '06 with Owen and Rooney coming off bad injuries. We needed another striker besides Crouch. Hesky even... I don't know.

Have we ever had a striker that was good on spot kicks?

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