The Media Narrative In Full Swing

The Media Narrative In Full Swing
December 29, 2010 Paul Tomkins

Originally published on July 1st 2010. As much as I remain a fan of the Guardian and its football output, I continue to find Paul Hayward’s take on Liverpool as daft as any I’ve encountered. But it’s not like I’m being wise after the event:

The Media Narrative In Full Swing

Good luck to Roy Hodgson. On many levels he’ll need it.

Then again, maybe he won’t. The press seem to love him, so that’s one fewer battle he’ll face than Benítez.

Having said that, I fear that some of the press, in taking one last chance to swipe at the Spaniard, are doing Hodgson no favours; in a quite comical piece, Paul Hayward of the Guardian seems to not actually understand what the former Fulham manager is all about.

By building him up into something he’s not, he’s providing false hopes. He’s putting unfair pressure on the new Liverpool boss.

First, the Guardian man’s digs about the old one.

“By the end of the Rafael Benítez reign one of the game’s great clubs had adopted a kind of mechanical pragmatism designed to destroy the opposition’s plans rather than impose their own.”

“Anfield’s regulars were suffering but were too loyal to complain. They filed out through the Shankly Gates bored. It was inimical to Liverpool’s followers to see their heroes win games by calculation alone. They revered Benítez for the 2005 Champions League win in Istanbul but could recognise the creeping joylessness of his football and his apparent inability to derive any pleasure from a goal.”

Yes, we must have managers who dance and sing after scoring. This is what the fans want. (Of course, no fuss was made when Rafa gestured and looked happy after a goal against Blackburn. Many top managers know that if you smile one minute, someone will try and wipe it off your face a minute later. Or say that you’re a disrespectful so-and-so, as they cry foul to the press five days later.)

As for the joylessness of the football, that was certainly true to some degree last season. But it was mostly away from Anfield where the lack of goals was indeed a problem; by contrast, only three teams scored more goals at home than Liverpool managed at Anfield. There were dull games there too, but people seem to think all 19 home games are always a breeze.

And while 2005 is mentioned as if it’s the only thing Benítez did right, it’s worth remembering that just over a year ago Liverpool fans had been given their closest run at a league title in 18 years, and were the Premier League’s top scorers.

I don’t think 86 points were racked up by “calculation alone”, and it’s ludicrous to suggest that was the case. Benítez’s team, shorn of Torres for large chunks, outscored a United side containing Ronaldo, Tevez and Rooney.

“Hodgson’s Liverpool will get back on the front foot. They will assert their pedigree. Nullifying the opposition will not be their religion. This is the first step out of the darkness for a side who finished seventh in the Premier League and now face a second Europa League campaign.”

This is perhaps my main problem with the piece.

Because if there’s one thing Hodgson is not it’s an ‘attacking’ coach. His Fulham side have done brilliantly these past two seasons. However, both times they scored just 39 goals.

Now, you cannot expect a side like that to be scoring hundreds of goals. But given that Fulham’s average league position over those two seasons is 9.5 (7th and then 12th), you’d expect them to rank at a similar level if they were a perfectly balanced side, or higher if they were an attacking side.

Instead, both times they ranked as the 13th-top scorers. Making for an average of … 13. In both seasons, relegated sides actually scored more goals than Fulham, including Burnley.

Now, that’s not Hodgson’s problem; he did his job well. But the love of God, let’s not make out that his success there was achieved by brushing all-comers aside, at home and in Europe, and that, by contrast, Benítez only specialised in dour football. To me, it’s a bit like praising the raisin for being a dried fruit, while at the same time criticising the currant.

At Inter Milan it was slightly better, but they were the 4th-top scorers when finishing 3rd, and joint-6th top-scorers when finishing 7th. This was no team on the front foot; not least given the number of games they drew. Again, Roy did pretty well there. He did not, however, employ ‘total football’.

At Blackburn, with an expensive squad, the goalscoring stats were unremarkable. Again, I’m not saying that in itself is failure; just that I can see precious little to back up Hawyard’s confidence of front-foot football.

There have been high-scoring games for Hodgson, but then again, Liverpool share the record for the most Champions League goals in a single game (8); put four past Madrid, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man United; and as previously mentioned, were the Premier League’s top scorers the season before last … and still the Haywards of the world paint Benítez as ultra-negative.

“High on Hodgson’s to-do list will be a purge of all the obscure shadow men brought in by Benítez during a carnival of talent speculation. Clearing out the no-names and nearly men is a vital task which Hodgson has performed already at Fulham.” [Edit: Hodgson left a team whose average age was 30. Not exactly overhauling a squad, is it?]

There is some deadwood at Anfield, although Benítez himself had already begun shipping some of it out. There are plenty of cheap players on cheap wages who will be surplus to requirements, and one or two well-paid and costly ones.

Presumably though, there is some left at Craven Cottage too: £10m on Andrew Johnson anyone? I don’t know enough about them to comment, but there are plenty of unfamiliar names in their squad, outside of the core of Fulham’s impressive side.

Worryingly, in his 1.3 seasons at Blackburn, Hodgson spent £75m (today’s money, TPI) on pretty much nothing but deadwood. And his Fulham signings have been far from perfect, too: some gems, some dross.

But as I always argued in Benítez’s defence, all managers sign loads of players who end up on the periphery, and their fare share of expensive flops; it just depends if you want to highlight them.

“This will lighten the wage bill, provide money for acquisitions and offer chinks of light to a marginalised academy, the finishing school for Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman, Jamie Carragher and Gerrard.”

Marginalised academy? Really? Or one in the middle of being overhauled to finally produce a player worthy of a regular spot? Have Liverpool let a load of top-class locals go in the past six years? (Ten years, even.) Who attracted the two famed Barcelona youth experts to Anfield last season?

In 2009-10 only 9 appearances (all by Smalling) were made by a Fulham player brought through their youth system (Liverpool had 72 by comparison, although that of course includes Carragher and Gerrard). In 2008-09, not a single appearance was made at Fulham by a trainee (Liverpool had 69). Every single appearance was by a player who had been brought in from outside.

Again, if Roy thought that was for the best, then that was for the best. But he hardly has any kind of record in giving youth a chance.

Indeed, out of the 49 managers to have at least two full Premier League seasons under their belt, the average age of Hodgson’s teams – 27.65 – is the 5th highest. By contrast, Rafa Benítez ranks 30th – at 26.22, a full year-and-a-half younger – and this is below the averages of both Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

“Hangeland’s arrival from Norway displayed Hodgson’s eye for an undiscovered talent: a virtue to be appreciated at a club £350m in debt.”

A great bit of business. Top work.

But only one example. Will a club £350m in debt appreciate a manager who’s most expensive signing at Blackburn was £7.5m Kevin Davies (£17m in 2010 money, TPI) – a horrible flop – and whose most expensive signing at Fulham was £10m Andrew Johnson?

I don’t mean to look like I’m attacking Hodgson; I’m not. I’m just doing something really crazy, called research.

And hell, trying to set the record straight at the start, so Liverpool fans don’t turn around a few months later and say “I thought this guy was supposed to be a youth-chance-giving-up-and-at-’em-attacking-general?”

Hodgson has a lot of strengths – he spoke with great authority at his unveiling today – and hopefully we will see them all come to the fore. And he may change some of his approach, and surprise us in certain areas. For him this is a new team, a new club, and he has the chance to shape it.

But to date, he is not known for attacking football; his record in the transfer market is not special; and he has no track record in blooding young players. Anyone thinking differently, based on his record to date, is most likely setting themselves up for a fall.

Comments (660)

  1. mikeoppa 13 years ago

    Thanks for that reply Tango. I do take your point

    But it still does nothing to offset my earlier piece @140.

    • Tango 13 years ago

      Not sure what you mean Mike. You did a very good piece @140, but it’s more a summary of the problems Rafa faced, rather than what if the auction process doesn’t succeed. Sorry, I’m coming to the end of a long day and was about to go home before I decided to post my longwinded post, but I haven’t detected the ‘what if’ discussion, other than the asset stripping debate over the sale of players. Mine relates to the sale of the whole club, and a float gives supporters the option to buy into it without having to go through SOS/ShareLiverpoolFC.

      • mikeoppa 13 years ago

        Sorry Tango, don’t want to protract this. It must be getting on towarsd bedtime in your neck of the woods.

        Just to say that #140 was about the sale of the club. Rafa was a later piece.

      • Tango 13 years ago

        It must have been a long day Mike, I was reading your comment at 146 instead of 140!

        I liked both posts, very interesting insights.

        You do say @140 however that the ex-accountant is “not in any way privy to the present deliberations and therefore it is just his opinion”, but if you recall my previous explanation about how an auction process works, I was of the opinion that there would probably be 2-3 buyers as well, given that there are so few mega-rich playoy billionaires out there (willing to buy a ‘toy’ of this nature, I might add). Even so, there’s no guarantee that any of the remaining bidders will see it through to completion, there’ll be lots of risks and negotiation points thrown into the pot, as well as outside circumstances beyond anyone’s control (recession, unwilling bank lending money to the buyer), which could destabilise the process (known as ‘execution risks’).

        Still, a float is a better and more postive alternative to administration, and you can bet everyone, including the banks, are working to avoid that at all costs.

  2. mikeoppa 13 years ago

    El Nino

    ‘Begs the question on how one defines integrity doesn’t it?”

    Absolutely. But it would be naive if we were to consider that Purslow alone is using briefings and subterfuge to put out messages.

    Every club employs its own agent; every player and manager likewise. And when they want to fly a few kites to see the reactions(Mourinho and Gerrard, Barca and Fabrecas, Rafa and Jones) it’s the common (even pretty much accepted) practice. When Bruce lambasted Rafa for the Jones affair he was only playing lip service to his own supporters to cover his back if he lost the player.

    The worst of it is you can never be quite sure who’s pulling the strings -the player, the agent, the manager, the Club.

    Integrity? There’s very little left in football simply because there’s too much money involved..

  3. SuperTiger 13 years ago

    Trying to consider the possible pitfalls that Hodgson might have to deal with.

    What exactly started the animosity between Rafa and CP? How was it dealt with and why was the relationship allowed to deteriorate to such an extent?

    If we were to advise Hodgson and his in-coming team, what would be the wisest advice to give? Who actually controls the beast? In all spheres there are key players, who are those as far as we see? Winter? Barrett? Evans? Lipton?

    I’m clearly not referring to the ones we generally respect as they clearly don’t have as much influence as the bile-spouting morons we see published daily.

    • mikeoppa 13 years ago

      How, when and why do Prime Ministers fall out badly with their closest neighbour -The Chancellor that they appointed to No. 11 Downing Street?

      To name just a few: Wilson & Brown, Wilson and Healey; Thatcher and Lawson; Thatcher and Howe; Major and Lamont; Blair and Brown; Brown and Darling.

      The analogy is glaring.

      • Neu75 13 years ago

        George Brown was at the Department of Economic Affairs not the treasury. Callaghan was Chancellor 1964-7 followed by Roy Jenkins 1967-70. But there was tension between Wilson/Callaghan & Wilson/Jenkins…;)

      • mikeoppa 13 years ago

        I stand corrected on George Brown, but Healey was Chancellor to Wilson in 1974.

        Either way, the point is still the same, isn’t it?

  4. jonnyc 13 years ago

    good knowledge Neu!

  5. Author

    I deleted the off-topic ramblings and shoutings about positive thought.

    HealerJack seems to have cancelled his subscription, which is a shame, but didn’t feel that the debate was very helpful on here.

    • damienp 13 years ago

      Fair enough Paul – apologies for getting involved.

      But when someone claims they can cure cancer (and M.E. btw) through positivity, I do think that needs to be challenged, wherever it occurs.

      Now back to football …

      • Author
        Paul Tomkins 13 years ago

        He’s been emailing me for years, and I’ve politely declined to take him up on his ideas.

      • paulmcj 13 years ago

        No worries Damien. Native American history is what I’m getting my PhD in, so I feel sort of obliged to jump in on that subject. 😉

        I agreed with you completely on the other stuff.

    • JoeP 13 years ago

      I feel bad about that. I shouldn’t have responded, and wouldn’t have done so if I knew the guy would leave. Wasn’t meant to be anything personal against him, just the zany ideas.

      In any case, apologies.

      • seanxxp 13 years ago

        I just thought it was a massively inapproriate topic. Like chatting about politics or religion on here, always going to bait some people into angry responses. Just such divisive issues.

      • damienp 13 years ago

        Yes I feel bad too – we’re all here because we love LFC and there are obviously going to be different views on other aspects of life.

        But to be fair, those ideas were just plain crazy 🙂
        .

  6. Author

    From the Echo letters page:

    MARTIN BROUGHTON said he would not attend the Liverpool v Chelsea game because of his being a Chelsea supporter and also in charge of Liverpool. He also told us no player would be sold before the new manager was appointed.

    When a new manager was appointed he then informs us that Yossi Benayoun has been sold to Chelsea, then he says that this was arranged by the previous manager.

    So he knew Benayoun was leaving but put a spin on it as though the new manager would make the decision.

    Leaks, rumours and misinformation have now become the norm at the club but what would you expect from Hicks and Gillett appointments?

    Stan Howard, Tuebrook

    • Simon G-Fear 13 years ago

      Sorry Paul but it sounds like somebody trying to make trouble and continue shit stirring the pot.

      I think everybody knew Yossi was going, the player himself publicly stated that a contract, fee and personal terms had been agreed and he wanted to go to Chelsea, and this was whilst Rafa was still manager.

      Following the sacking , (oops Freudian slip) departure be mutual consent, of Rafa, Purslow / Broughton stated that no player would leave until a new manager was appointed.

      Hodgson is then appointed and informed that a deal was in place for Yossi. He approves the transfer and it is ratified by both clubs.

      LFC make an announcement on their website confirming the transfer and stating it was agreed by the previous manager. (It’s a play on words and could have been presented more accurately by saying something like ‘the deal had been arranged by the previous manager and confirmed by the new manager’ to prevent any misunderstanding)

      I don’t see how this is spin, it appears logical and more than likely true, so I would ask why some people are using this as another reason to beat the club and try to continue / amplify the conflict within the club. I would go as far as to say that some don’t seem happy that the shitstorm had died down a little.

      • Author
        Paul Tomkins 13 years ago

        It’s inconsistency in reporting Simon, as you acknowledge with ‘play on words’.

        It’s pure spin.

        Conveniently, no mention was made of Benítez when Jovanovic was signed.

        That’s spin.

        Not saying it would have been easy to do it any other way, but it’s still a bit poor.

        Jovanovic’s profile on the official site is equally disingenuous.

        “The left-sided forward was sniffed out by Rafael Benitez but arrived at Melwood with Roy Hodgson at the helm.”

        He wasn’t sniffed out; he signed a pre-contract.

        I know Benítez’s departure remains politically sensitive, but I don’t think stuff like this helps. It’s re-writing history.

        I don’t recall all this pretence that Cissé was not a Houllier signing, or that it was actually Benítez who got rid of Heskey in the summer of 2004. We know these were Houllier’s business.

        It’s only fair that Benítez gets both the blame/credit for losing Yossi and signing Jovanovic – but he can’t get only the blame for losing Yossi and little of the real credit for signing MJ.

      • el_nino78 13 years ago

        Agree totally Paul.

        I’ve stopped reading the official site. It seems to be pre-occupied with propaganda rather than reporting on what’s happening at the club.

        It’s so blatant too.

        Why all this energy on re-writing/airbrushing the Benitez era? I know relationships broke down but to actively smear the reputation of a former manager is shameful.

        Give him the credit and the criticism he deserves and move on.

      • Mcdonaldtaf 13 years ago

        Hi Simon, I know we’re on a bit of a loop here but there are genuine concerns about the club. Fans should be allowed to express their opinions without being immediately written off as ‘shit stirring the pot’.

        The other option is to stay quiet and do nothing. I wonder what state our club would be in had that happened.

        Spin has been a part of our club for some considerable time now.

    • Simon G-Fear 13 years ago

      Paul – I could not agree more about Milan Jovanovic, this was a Benitez signing, identified, scouted, and signed a pre contract etc ……. I agree that the club, and press, don’t seem to want to give Rafa the credit, yet the poor wording (to be kind) of the statement concerning Yossi could also be interpreted as an attempt to ‘blame’ Rafa if there is any unhappiness from the fans.

      My only concern, and I was thinking of posting something earlier today, is that since Hodgson appointment stories that continue the negativity around Liverpool have almost gone from the press (either by coincidence or design with no briefings ??) and some people will be looking and trying to start the storm again.

      Apart from the ‘every club in the world is buying Torres rumours’ there has been nothing negative for some time and I wonder if certain journo’s are just waiting for the slightest opportunity to have another dig.

      • Simon G-Fear 13 years ago

        Posted in wrong place !

    • Simon G-Fear 13 years ago

      Hi Taff,

      In relation to PT’s post No 156 – the article in The Echo is shit stirring. For example:

      1) He also told us no player would be sold before the new manager was appointed, when a new manager was appointed he then informs us that Yossi Benayoun has been sold to Chelsea, then he says that this was arranged by the previous manager.

      The transfer was arranged whilst Rafa was manager. The statements from Yossi were public statements and were when Rafa was still in charge. The fact the transfer was completed a day after RH appointment would suggest he was happy for the move to go ahead. So for the author to make a big deal out of the club saying it was arranged by the previous manager is shit stirring.

      2) So he knew Benayoun was leaving but put a spin on it as though the new manager would make the decision. Again, it is fairly obvious that they waited for RH to be appointed and for him to ratify the move so this again is true.

      The whole article sounds like the author has his own agenda and continues to have a dig at Broughton / Purslow whenever possible.

      3) ‘There are genuine concerns about the club. Fans should be allowed to express their opinions without being immediately written off as shit stirring the pot’

      Of course we all have concerns about the running the club, of course fans should be allowed to express their opinions, but when an article is totally one sided, non-objective, and barely hides a clear agenda then it needs to be identified as so.

      4) ‘I don’t expect anyone to stay quiet’, and it’s the differing opinions that make this site so good, but rather than make assumptions that are unfounded, without any more evidence than ‘I have a horrible feeling we are going to sell players and H+G or now RBS will take the money to pay debt’ gets a little repetitive without something more tangible than all of our concerns about the actions of the owners, or those appointed to run the club since H+G took over.

      Finally Taff, if you have anything more tangible (and I’m not being rude, but rather than ‘I have a feeling’) to support your often repeated theory that we are going to sell our top players and buy cheap ones with either H+G or RBS to take the money to repay debt please provide it.

      Last season was a different scenario, H+G were refinancing and as part of the refinancing RBS insisted that £60m repayment of the capital, hence why the transfer budget was removed and debt repaid.

      Liverpool are not refinancing this year, RBS have agreed to continue to support the club financially through the sale period so there is not requirement from RBS to repay any specific amount as they are expecting a complete sale.

      • Mcdonaldtaf 13 years ago

        Hi Simon, anything more tangible? I can offer you nothing more than the club accounts which recorded a £14m loss in a peak revenue year together with a balance sheet which
        shows that losses at that level can no longer be ‘stomached’. I am sure you will agree that is more than a ‘feeling’.

        The business needs new capital if it is to continue making losses, or it needs to stop making losses. Given it is wholly reasonable to expect revenues to drop then cuts must be made. The other side of the coin is selling the club to owners who can introduce new capital into the business, what tangible evidence do you have to support this is going to happen, other than the official word of the club?

        There are certain realities in play here and without selling the club the pragmatic view has to be that assets MAY need to be sold (to cover losses already incurred) and that the running costs must be reduced at the VERY least in line with any reduction in revenues.

        EDIT: RBS will conitinue to support the business from a cash perspective and nothing more. This does not negate the need for the club to remain solvent, unless RBS are going to inject capital of course. Something I very much doubt will happen!

      • Author
        Paul Tomkins 13 years ago

        Simon,

        It wasn’t an article, it was a reader’s letter.

        You were probably the most miserable, negative poster on here during matchdays last season. Don’t keep accusing others of scaremongering or shit-stirring. I don’t want such terms, or, in reply, for people to start calling those who defend Broughton or Roy Hodgson “apologists”. It’s all bullshit. Save that for elsewhere.

        People can offer their opinions without it being reduced to that. If people keep “reducing” others’ opinions in this way, I will start instigating bans. By all means disagree, but DO NOT reduce/box people’s opinions in this way.

        “The whole article sounds like the author has his own agenda and continues to have a dig at Broughton / Purslow whenever possible.”

        It’s 5 sentences. “Whenever possible” sounds a bit much in that context. It was a fan letter, writing to complain about Broughton. Therefore, he’s not happy with Broughton. Nor am I, to be honest.

        The issues surrounding Broughton are justified. I was concerned that, as Liverpool Chairman, he wasn’t attending the Chelsea match. But people said that he’s only here to sell the club, and is not active in any other way.

        Fair enough.

        Then he went to the Chelsea player of the year awards and supposedly made comments about Torres. Then he sacked Benítez. Then he used the media as a reason to justify those actions. So what is it? Is he a proper Chairman or not? He can’t have it both ways. If you have enough influence to sack the manager you can turn up and take your seat in the LIVERPOOL Director’s box, surely?

        I happen to think that his comments at RH’s unveiling may have been totally true. But I don’t think he’s exactly earned our trust yet, has he? The broken promises made by the powers-that-be are there for all to see.

  7. Simon G-Fear 13 years ago

    Sorry Paul but I get confused about what terms / language is and is not acceptable.

    It’s ok for people on here to call the owners ‘Fucking C*nts’ which is as vulgar as it gets (and can hardly be seen to be ‘grown up’ debate) but not to use the term ’scaremongering’ ? I only used the term ‘shit stirring’ in reference to the one article in The Echo (didn’t realise it was a readers letter) because in my opinion it was shit stirring.

    You say It’s ok to have an opinion, and in mine for a user (who happens to be one of the best posters on here in all other aspects) to say something like ‘I have a feeling were going to sell our top players and buy cheaper replacements and they (H+G or RBS) will take the money to pay debt’ without any tangible evidence or information that would stand scrutiny is scaremongering. What would you call it ?

    I could post an item saying ‘I have a feeling were going to sale Reina, Mascherano, Gerrard and Torres for £140m and replace them with reserves, and the owners or RBS will take the money to repay debt’ yet I have just made that up and have no evidence for it at all. How does that fit in with the ethos of your site and / or add to the ‘grown up’ debate ? You have also asked posters not to over react to press reports about players coming and going and to feel free to link them on the site for other users to see and discuss, but on occasions there has been an unnecesary over reaction on the back of totally unsubstantiated reports that are no more than speculation and unfounded rumours.

    You also say I was ‘the most miserable, negative poster during matchdays last season’ well I would disagree with you. There were some matches in which we were utter rubbish, followed by the next fixture where we were awful etc … etc …. And it’s fair to say I wasn’t doing cartwheels but I think your comment’s are unnecessarily personal and what does it have to do with the issue we were debating today which were about Broughton and what I perceived to be unnecessary scaremongering ? (sorry but can’t think of another word at the moment)

    In relation to Broughton, I’m not naïve enough to believe everything that he says, I certainly am not gullible enough to think his word should be taken as being totally honest and trustworthy but I think that due to his allegiance to Chelsea people are looking for any reason to discredit him.

    Was he meant to hide his footballing loyalty ? if he did that would have been wrong and he would have been slated. Was he meant to attend the Liverpool –v- Chelsea match and suddenly not support Chelsea, or react if Chelsea scored ? that would be farcical and hypercritical and he would have been slated, so he stayed away. He attended the Chelsea player of the year awards, these are usually fund raising events and he would almost certainly have paid to go before his appointment. The alleged ‘Torres’ comments were totally denied by all parties involved. (The Sky Sports news reader publicly denied ever having the conversation)

    Is he a proper Chairman or not? – I agree that his exact ‘role’ seems to be somewhat blurred and appears to have evolved beyond its initial remit. He seems involved in some thing’s (Rafa and Roy Hodgson positions) whilst initially stating he was solely there to sell the club. Maybe the role has changed, has been extended and the club should have communicated this better. I think we agree on the veracity of his comments at RH’s unveiling and again, we agree that he has yet to totally earn our trust yet, but there is a lot of spinning of information to discredit him further and show him in a negative light.

    • Simon, my view is that no one out of choice will sell top players, but that it may well become a necessity. I can understand any user who would share those sentiments based on strong factual evidence (the club’s accounts) and am at a loss why you would not agree. You say that RBS won’t allow it to happen because it will devalue the club, well nothing will devalue the club more than it becoming insolvent. That is not scaremongering and is based in fact.

      I concede that a new buyer will resolve these issues and furthermore that we MAY be somewhere near being sold, but there is as yet no evidence of this. There is strong evidence that the club is financially struggling.

  8. leeberolf 13 years ago

    Simon,

    I have to agree with Paul on this one mate.

    I have noticed recently,that everytime somebody posts there opinion,and you dont happen to agree with it,you do seem to use the word “scaremongering” a lot,and accuse the writer of having an agenda.

    I suppose everybody does have an “agenda”,in the fact that we are all struggling with the plight of our club,but thats about as far as it goes in my eyes.

  9. Author

    Simon,

    If people want to call the owners cunts, they can. I don’t like to see heavy use of the word, but as the ultimate insult, it can be uttered now and again.

    If people want to call other posters cunts, they can’t. Or even get remotely close to that kind of language.

    Equally, posters can’t keep saying that other posters are scaremongering every time they disagree with something they say, especially when there is plenty to be scared about. You cannot close down the debate like that.

    You seem to be missing the key difference between respect for each other on here, and respect for people making millions by running the club into the ground.

    Your posts last season during the match discussion threads were sometimes so negative that I actually either banned you at one point, or warned you that I would. For crying out loud, to complain that my comments “were unnecessarily personal” is a bit limp given that you *were* one of the most negative posters, by far. I hardly called you something nasty or deeply personal.

    You have admitted to me that you get very low after defeats, and apologised for what you posted at the time. I therefore let it slide, accepting that we all react differently, and welcomed you back to the site. But please, don’t pretend like it didn’t happen. I can find the email if you wish.

    As for Broughton’s loyalties, players have to play against the teams they support all the time. Kenny had to bring teams to Anfield to try and win, as did Keegan. Fowler had to score against the Reds.

    If he’s being paid vast sums of money to be part of LFC – and a key part (chairman) – then he needs to act in a professional manner. And that means attending games and disguising his emotions. I mean, he’s a grown man, not a young child that cannot mask his feelings.

    I had some sympathy until he turned around and said that he sacked Rafa, because it seems that he can act in every conceivable way a chairman should, beyond actually turning up on key occasions. It’s the inconsistency I don’t accept. A bit of unity for the Chelsea game wouldn’t have gone amiss at a very difficult time. And again, if you’re being paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to represent Liverpool, don’t go to a Chelsea FC function. I don’t feel that it’s asking a lot. To me, it makes a mockery of LFC; even the Chairman isn’t actually bothered about the club, to go along with the owners. The fact that one player has already been sold to Chelsea may be coincidence, but again, it doesn’t help.

    Now please, return to debating people, rather than pulling the ‘scaremongering’/’shit-stirring’ card so frequently. We will all – myself included – post stuff that can be construed as such, because there’s a lot of stuff being reported along those lines, and there’s a lot of shit hitting the fan right now. Some of it may end up proving to be inaccurate; some of it won’t.

    • Simon G-Fear 13 years ago

      Paul – I didn’t realise something shared in a private e-mail between us last season was going to be used for public consumption, my fault for expecting it to be kept that way or I would have posted it for all to read, never mind, lesson learnt.

      I use the term ‘scaremongering’ when the post is speculative and totally negative. If anyone thinks I trust the owners, Broughton or Purslow and take them at their word they are wrong, but I believe there is a difference between what we know has happened, or can rightly expect to be a consequence of something changing compared to people being negative because they have a feeling something might happen but have nothing more so to support it.

      As for being banned or warned about it, that followed one match before Christmas 2009 where I openly admitted I was really pissed of with our limp performance and some of my comments were not acceptable, that apart, I cannot agree that I was that bad or more demoralised than anybody else. I have always enjoyed joining the debate and contributing what I thought was a valued and honest opinion, I didn’t realise you felt otherwise or that I was being tolerated.

      leeberolf – No problem fella, your entitled to your opinion and I respect that without any hard feelings.

      • jp-65 13 years ago

        You really need to back away and take a deep breadth as you’re digging a deeper hole for yourself.

        I don’t post on here a lot, but I do read everything that’s posted. My takeaway is that you do post a lot of good stuff, but you can be condescending at times to other posters.

        A little more respect for other’s views, and a little less emotive language, and no one will have an issue with what you post.

      • Author
        Paul Tomkins 13 years ago

        Simon, you can either take a breather or a ban, up to you. I’d prefer it if you took a breather – a couple of days’ without posting – as I value your contribution to the site on the whole, but I don’t have the time or energy to mollycoddle people, and anyone who takes up to much of my limited supplies of each – to the detriment of me producing new content – will just be binned. I’m asking nicely that you ease off and get some air.

        I wasn’t aware that I had broken any great confidences with what you said in the email – unless explaining that you get very down after games is something you don’t care to admit. To be honest, I thought that most fans do get extremely down after games, we just express it in different ways; I thought it’s what true fans feel. There was other stuff in your email which I considered private and would not share, so please, less of the overreaction.

        I am pretty much running this site’s moderation single-handedly and it’s a tricky time right now with so many emotional issues. Either people respect my authority to run the site as I see fit (as you would expect as a referee or in your line of work), or force my hand into finding the red card!

      • JoeP 13 years ago

        I’d like to think I was a model of calm reason and dignity following any defeat last season, especially the Pompey, Fulham and Wigan games, not to mention the disappointing draws at Wolves and Stoke. What I’d like to think and what is actually the case are two different things though. It’s easy to lose your head as a football fan, especially when you have no control over events.

        I can see both sides of the “scaremongering” versus “cunts” debate that has been raging over the likes of Purslow, Broughton and ultimately the club’s owners over this summer. I find myself oscillating between the two stances from day to day. Also great points have been made about how we are all getting tetchy because there is no LFC football going on at the moment (Sean pointed this out below), not to mention that the media narrative seems to suggest our club is about to be pillaged of all it’s assets. With that in mind, it’s worth focusing on what we know for sure, and taking some kind of solace in that.

        The way I see it, unless I have misread something drastically, one of the following three scenarios will have to happen in the near to mid term future.

        1) The club keeps all of it’s best players, and hence remains extremely competitive on the pitch. With the current core of the squad, anything could happen.

        or

        2) The manager will have considerable sums of money to spend to rebuild the squad. If, say, Torres was sold – I don’t think Mr Hodges will be spending the money on Paul Scharner. Given the injury proneness of both Torres and Gerrard, selling them an reinvesting the money in new players could just as easily improve us as weaken us.

        or

        3) The best players will get sold and the money will go on paying off the debts. Granted that’s a worst case scenario, but it would still be a scenario in which the clubs debts are massively reduced, leading to the club being a more attractive proposition for new owners.

        The best legacy that Rafa has left, which Rick Parry would do well to note, is that the clubs main assets are under contract. You want Torres? 60 million quid please. You want Gerrard? Talking starts at 35 million quid. You want Mascherano? etc etc.

        Last summer I thought Arsenal were buggered when they lost Adebayor and Toure, and I also thought United would hugely struggle without Ronaldo. Whilst United clearly missed him, they still got to within a point of the title. As for Arsenal, whilst they may still need a more direct striker, you can’t deny they were a better side than in 08-09.

        Whatever happens, at least we won’t suffer the ludicrous situation of losing a Macmanaman for nothing.

    • GHeywood 13 years ago

      On a side note, I think that Broughton’s role behind the sacking of Rafa was less than he suggested in those emails. I can see him saying that in the emails to boost the perception of the amount of power he has.
      He probably had a say in the decision as did everyone on the board.

      It will be interesting to see what happens to Martin when the club is eventually sold. I hope that it doesn’t become a situation where the new owners decide to keep him.

      The Chelsea stuff is interesting, He does have a conflict of interests and I worry that would effect his decisions.

  10. Neil Burke 13 years ago

    To be fair, calling the owners “F*cking C*nts” is offensive, but it’s offensive towards them and, I believe, the anger towards them is justified whether you agree with how the sentiment is expressed or not. Also, it’s not aimed at anybody on here.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see any scaremongering going on here. I like to think of myself as an optimist – but I could often be quite cynical about the football team; i.e. the idea that Liverpool could beat Real Madrid one day and then lose to Middlesbrough a couple of days later.

    Currently, the cynicism of most people is firmly focused on the owners. It’s not scaremongering, it’s a genuine fear because of the lack of trust in these people. And nobody can deny that it’s not a possibility. Simon, you say that there is no evidence to prove the scaremongering. But where’s the evidence to say that we can trust the word of these people? In fact, all the evidence is to the contrary, so it is more than understandable for Liverpool fans to be worried and scared for our football club. We are simply aware of our position, and whenever we have had our hopes raised by these “F*cking C*nts”, they have dashed each hope. Not once have they delivered.

    Why should we trust them?

    With regards to Broughton – I actually do have a little bit of trust in him. But that is mainly based on the idea that he is a succesful business man who would not want his reputation tarnished by spouting lies.

    However, he could have done himself a massive favour by being at the Liverpool – Chelsea match in the Liverpool directors box. He doesn’t have to cheer for Liverpool, but he should be mature and professional enough to restrain himself if Chelsea did. Why wasn’t he there? Was he afraid to show divided loyalties? If that’s the case, then he shouldnn’t be the “non-executive Chairman” of LFC and making decisions about managerial appointments.

    If he’s bought his ticket for the Chelsea “do” before his appointment at Liverpool – tough. He shouldn’t have been there, it’s as simple as that. By being there, he shows that he doesn’t give a shit what the Liverpool fans think of him – Liverpool fans were already a bit dubious about his Chelsea links, so he should have thought, “hang on, maybe by going, I’m not doing myself any favours”. But no, he’s thought “stuff them, I’m going.” He’s compromised his integrity by being there. Whether he made the comments about Torres or not, he allowed a situation to arise whereby that could be claimed.

    I had an argument with my ex missus once because we were out with friends and she disappeared for half an hour. I went to look for her and when I found her, she was dancing on the dancefloor with a group of lads around her, chatting to her and pinching her ass. This pissed me off. Her argument was that she “just wanted to dance”, she “wasn’t doing anything with the lads” and didn’t I trust her? I did trust her actually, but it’s other people, other “lads” that I didn’t trust and she had put herself in a compromising position.

    Was I wrong to be a bit pissed off with her? Does that make me a controlling boyfriend? Is it wrong that she couldn’t innocently dance without lads coming on to her? Possibly a shade of yes to all those questions, but she shouldn’t have put herself in a questionable position – or a position that would engender suspicion.

    And neither should Broughton.

    Apologies for the rant, but I think people can get a bit prescious on here sometimes. My anger with the owners, Broughton and Purslow is under the surface at the moment, but I’m getting really impatient. Nothing is happening. We have no news.

    It can seem hypocritical sometimes as we always talk about not airing our dirty linen in public, doing things in private, the Liverpool Way, but at the same time we want to hear what’s going on. I’m having difficulty with the idea that, whereas Benitez always wanted things done as early as possible in the summer, the club currently just seems to be plodding along, hanging on the word of Gerrard, Torres and Mascherano to tell us what they want.

    I come on here for a bit of relief, yet over the last week I just read people bickering over bullshit semantics.

    I have to say though, I’ve enjoyed leeberolf’s recent comments!

    • leeberolf 13 years ago

      Cheers Neil, appreciate the commment.

      For what its worth,I think there is an element of people being “over sensitive” to some extent,and that is massively understandable considering the circumstances.

      I also believe this site really comes to life in the blood and thunder of full season,before/during and after matchday!

      And I think therein lies the problem to some degree.We are all used to discussing/reacting to things that have happened/are happening.

      At this moment in time,nothing is happening…..whatsoever,thats what we are all struggling to come to terms with.

      So at times we do seem to be overly analysing things,but thats the nature of the beast I suppose..

      …the banter we have during and after a game is top drawer,and for all the new subscribers,believe me,stick with it,its the equivalent of being down the pub with your mates!

      At the moment we are in limbo,there is no doubt,we just need to have patience that one way or another it will be sorted…I am sure of that!

      I suppose the best analogy I can come up with(and stick with me here)….We are like a psychiatrist with just a couch and no patient!

      ….hope that makes sense?

  11. matthewyoung 13 years ago

    For what it’s worth I also think that Broughton believes what he said in the press conference to be true – he’s got too much to lose in risking his credibility by deliberately lying. Doesn’t mean that things will follow the path he’s laid out, however. Anyone who’s been following the whole Texas Rangers saga can see how utterly terribly Hicks can behave when it’s in his interests, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if we’re still having these conversations this time next year.

    In addition, Broughton’s behaviour with regard to the Chelsea match and player of the year function IS appalling.. He’s either chairman of LFC or he isn’t – he can’t just pick and choose when it suits him. His justification of Rafa’s sacking as being approved of by the media is laughable, and these factors do make it difficult to take him seriously.

    Finally, the club do appear to have been engaged in some fairly devious propaganda in an attempt to undermine Rafa. Anyone who doesn’t agree with that needs to read the articles published on the official website on the day of his departure. A more selective and biased application of the “facts” couldn’t be seen even in the Scum. And I think that’s the most disappointing thing. Purslow’s friendship with certain individuals in the media seems to be having a strong effect on every aspect of the club. It’s really sad to see, and from my point of view, both Broughton and Purslow have a hell of a lot to do if they wish to not be seen simply as an extension of the Hicks and Gillette disaster.

  12. garythespud 13 years ago

    To be fair to Simon, other user’s of this site have been quite provocative towards him recently (I remember one user attacking him quite sharply for simply his use of the pronoun ‘us’), and I haven’t been overly worried by his use of ‘scaremongering’ as I believe it’s been counterbalanced here by some of the negative and, in my eyes, unjustified comments about the appointment of Roy Hodgson.

    And yes, I understand where Paul is coming from vis-a-vis last years matchdays threads because I do remember there was a lot of ranting and SImon was one of those who ranted in particular. However, fair play to him as most of his posts in the last three months or so have been excellent and while I wouldn’t agree with them all they have certainly got me thinking.

  13. ErinMc66 13 years ago

    I think we are all frustrated, worried, scared, annoyed, flummoxed, outraged, suicidal….ok, hopefully not the last one. But certainly all the others! We are dealing with unprecedented situations right now. It has been easy in the past to hear crazy transfer rumours and club speculation and write it off as media nonsense. But with the outrageous goings on within the club at the moment, it’s hard to know what is nonsense and what is distinct possibility. So I think we are all giving more credence to rumours than we otherwise would. Understandably. To discuss and even lament these possibilities is perfectly reasonable at this point I think.

    I hate to see us getting at each other’s throats over it. Though I’m certainly not exempt from involving myself in excessively heated arguments on the internet. I hope a step back and quick breather solves everything. I certainly wouldn’t want us to lose a poster like Simon, who even when I disagree with him, has contributed an awful lot. I like to think that the close of the transfer window (or hopefully just concrete assurances even before that…as it seems an awfully long way off) will see cooler heads return. Next season will be a very challenging one. But we are all pulling in the same direction.

    Now I need a lie down, as my snarky brat side doesn’t like to be overpowered by reasoned thought for very long.

  14. leeberolf 13 years ago

    Apologies…..For what its worth…I think there is far too much of the phrase for what its worth…we are all at it,me included….its up there with at the end of the day,basically and to be fair……

    All far too much used phrases….

    ….So, to be fair,for what its worth,basically,at the end of the day….lets stop….ah ah

    Sorry,just trying to lighten the mood

  15. seanxxp 13 years ago

    I think the big problem here is, as I remember anothher poster commenting some time ago, the vacuum surrounding the club feeds this kind of debate/argument. We are all feeding off scraps and interpreting them in our own ways.

  16. damienp 13 years ago

    As someone else said recently, we just need the fucking season to start.

    You’re right Sean – we’re operating in a vacuum right now and it’s driving us all crazy. Most of us on here appreciated Rafa and were horrified by his departure.

    Some of the Stalin-esque wiping him from history that appears to be going on at the club is just making it worse for those of us who thought he was the best manager we’ve had for decades.

    I also have a major problem with Broughton – he has *himself* said he is here only to sell the club – nothing else. He has clearly gone beyond this remit recently. His hypocrisy and duplicity seems to sum the club up right now.

    Simon – you’re a great and valuable member of this site and I would hate to see you leave.

    I just feel, as Erin says, that fighting amongst ourselves is symptomatic of the current situation. It’s also what *they* want in my view, so we lose focus against the bloodsuckers killing our beloved club.

    I think previous actions and words means it’s absolutely right for us to question anything that comes out of Purslow, Broughton, Hicks and Gillet.

  17. DM 13 years ago

    I’ve actually enjoyed Simons post on this topic of “scaremongering”. To be fair to him he’s always tried to come at this from a facts only angle…I remember the rumours regarding Javonovic was one of his bugbears and he was ultimately proved correct.

    As Sean has said the ultimate problem is the vacuum which exists within our club.

    • matthewyoung 13 years ago

      The problem is, the people currently in control of the ‘facts’ are currently Purslow and Broughton, both have whom have been shown to be disingenuous at past and downright mendacious at worst, with Purslow in particular seeming to be adept at media manipulation.

      Have had some run ins with Simon (mostly civil!) but would certainly not want to see him go as I’ve enjoyed reading a lot of his posts. However, I do feel that he has recently used the scare-mongering tag to belittle the opinions of those with a slightly more cautious view than he has himself.

      Hopefully things will resolve themselves – in more ways than one!

  18. Homer Jay 13 years ago

    I must start by saying that I do not tend to post on here too often due to work commitments etc, I don’t really have the time, however I subscribe because I feel that PT’s articles, plus those of Simon, Taff etc bring a balanced view on the current goings on at my club, and I value each and every one immensely.

    I feel that, much like Damien has stated above, it has become all too easy to fight amongst ourselves due t the current vacuum that has filled our lives since the season has finished. It seems you must fall into one of two camps.

    I, much like Simon, try to maintain an optimistic stance regarding the goings on at Liverpool at the moment ( its the only way I can maintain my sanity!). Until we see some reliable information, to assume that all of our best players, or “assets”, as they have endearingly come to be known, will be sold is almost Masochistic. Those that are currently running our beloved club, regardless of their allegiances, are in such positions because they have previously shown themselves to be capable and astute businessmen, so to assume that they would willingly, or knowingly let the club, and therefore their professional reputations , collapse, would be rash . Even the Yanks are both Billionaires due to investments financed from borrowed money for fucks sake! These are not stupid men.

    Therefore, I believe that players will not be sold, as this would severely weaken the squad, and devalue the appeal of any future investment. If a player decides to leave (which Ronaldo has shown is almost unstoppable), then, as Damien has stated, we will receive top money for them, allowing us to strengthen the quad again, which is perhaps all you can ask nowadays.
    It is too easy to argue amongst ourselves at the moment, due to the uncertainty surrounding the club. And for some of the most consistently valued and balanced posters to turn against Simon for providing a contradictory view to your own, is perhaps too harsh. Maybe using the word scaremongering is overdramatic, but surely we can all understand someone who feels that those negative opinions surrounding the club are just as hyperbolic as the positive spin put on events by purslow, broughton and co?

  19. Despite the fact we all have one major thing in common, we are never all going to agree on everything. As Simon would say himself it is differences of opinion, discussed civilly and appropriately, that makes this site so special.

    I’m not going back into the subject matter, but wanted to add that I too would be genuinely gutted if Simon wasn’t about. He is one of the commentators that I make sure to read every comment.

    • Homer Jay 13 years ago

      That was the point I was trying to make Taf. You, as much as anyone, surely subscribes to the idea of intelligent debate.

      It has become all too easy at present to use words such as “cunt” or “scaremongering” to validate our arguments.

      Surely we must all realise that we are hoping for the same outcome, regardless of our current reservations

  20. leeberolf 13 years ago

    I also think a major part of our paranoia,is the grey area of the money available.

    Would it not make everyone feel a whole lot better if the chairman came out and stated”we dont want to sell any players,but whoever leaves,all the money from there sales will be reinvested into the team”

    Then,at least we would have a basic understanding of where we are at!

    • antvurt 13 years ago

      didn;t the chairman already say that when hodgson was appointed the issue is that we don;t necessarily have the trust that those words can be believed or taken at face value

      • leeberolf 13 years ago

        Exactly mate,like i said,grey areas,too many for my liking!

  21. Author

    I’m just trying to protect the ability to debate issues on here.

    I have no problem with Simon’s views on the issues surrounding the club, just the way those who disagree are being referred to.

    It’d be a lot easier if I disabled the comments section until the season starts or real news exists. I can do without the hassle. But presumably people want to discuss the issues, therefore they need an acceptable framework.

    Perhaps there is too much speculation on all sorts of issues. But there’s also much to be worried about, and it’s not as if we can trust what our owners/leaders are telling us, given that we already know they’ve come out with some lies.

    • damienp 13 years ago

      That’s exactly right Paul – those running the club have – by the their own words and actions – shown themselves to be untrustworthy.

      Therefore, it is perfectly reasonable for anyone to question anything they say on any subject and to be somewhat cynical.

      That’s not scaremongering; it’s just common sense.

    • zaid12 13 years ago

      I have just had a chance to go through the debate and I feel compelled to give honest feedback and I hope it’s taken well.

      First of all, you can’t disable the comments section here Paul, as we need to debate and (let’s be honest) vent our frustrations at the way our club is being run. Take that away and we’ll die an even slower death.

      Paul, I respect this is your site and you set the rules. I also agree that some people go over the top and should be banned (Kopite1730 springs to mind). As you are the only one moderating the site, you might miss things on occasion. On the other hand, you might easily over-react to some comments.

      Personally, I think you were far too harsh on Simon. Some people might have found some of his comments condescending (I didn’t), but these people responded and debate ensued. None of it deteriorated to personal insults (an area I got involved in a few weeks ago with another poster), even when opinions were expressed strongly. Simon provides a good counter-balance. We’re all running scared as to how bad things might be, while he is arguing passionately that we shouldn’t succumb to all the negative crap we hear about the clube these days.

      Simon, if you’re reading, you’re one of the best posters around mate, so don’t you dare think of leaving.

      I think we all need to take a deep breath, not just Simon. We have recently lost a manager we loved, we don’t know if the sale is any closer to completion and we are still clueless about the composition of our squad come August 14th. That’s enough to drive anyone crazy, especially passionate fans.

  22. Author

    What the recent past has shown us is that it’s VITAL to question those who run clubs.

    They have to earn our trust; we were all too trusting of G&H when they arrived, and of Purslow and his schtick. They all spoke a good game, but as far as I can see, have played a few real stinkers.

    I’m not sure Broughton has ever been trusted, on the back of their failings. Maybe that’s unfair; everyone is unique.

    However, trusted or not, he’s ballsed up in a couple of key areas in my eyes already. That doesn’t mean he won’t ultimately succeed in his main aims, but the sideshows have been unhelpful.

    Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I believe in Shanks’ ideas that the suits were (more-or-less) just there to sign cheques, and that the manager picks the teams and decides who to buy and sell. I have always loathed directors who get involved beyond their remit.

    • maccap 13 years ago

      Perhaps equally valid is that in the past the suits were also people who put some of their personal wealth into football clubs. The yanks borrowed to buy the club, CP and MB are appointees of banks, one of which was so successful that the taxpayer had to bail them out. So none of these people have really earned the right to run LFC. The jury may still be out on MB, but CP should be removed by the owners, the taxpayer, as soon as possible.

  23. Author

    I may well have overreacted myself, Zaid; however, I am trying to run the site virtually on my own, and the help I need is from users to help moderate themselves, rather than call on a load of people to do so for me. I’ve had a mental couple of weeks, with the exhausting Post Pals party, followed the next day with hours at A&E with my mum, followed by sorting 150 books of your letters to Rafa, addressing envelopes, applying stamps, etc, and getting them all to the Post Office. On top of that, writing stuff for this website and trying to read every single message (I think I read about 90% – every single comment gets emailed to my inbox).

    It’s a particularly tough summer, and tensions are running high – as we’d expect.

    Why I got upset with Simon:

    “I think your comment’s are unnecessarily personal and what does it have to do with the issue we were debating today which were about Broughton and what I perceived to be unnecessary scaremongering ?”

    For me, saying that someone’s posts were miserable and negative is not being overly personal, although the word ‘miserable’ can have added negative connotations. My point is about trying to contain emotions within acceptable boundaries.

    “Paul – I didn’t realise something shared in a private e-mail between us last season was going to be used for public consumption, my fault for expecting it to be kept that way or I would have posted it for all to read, never mind, lesson learnt.”

    For me, this is being ludicrous, as I explained earlier. I didn’t break any confidences or reveal anything sensitive. It’s being ‘hysterical’.

    “It’s ok for people on here to call the owners ‘Fucking C*nts’ which is as vulgar as it gets (and can hardly be seen to be ‘grown up’ debate) but not to use the term ’scaremongering’ ? I only used the term ‘shit stirring’ in reference to the one article in The Echo (didn’t realise it was a readers letter) because in my opinion it was shit stirring.”

    12 uses of scaremongering in the past few weeks. And see earlier for why there’s a difference between calling questionable characters nasty names and showing respect for others on here.

    The dig at the site’s ‘grown up discussions’ is also unwelcome. There are plenty of inane posts on here, but the hope is that 80% of what’s said is interesting, fair and valid.

    People can express their fears without it being scaremongering or shit-stirring, and that is why I’ve got into this whole bloody argument. I have also made comments about how using words like ‘apologist’ at those who offer a positive viewpoint are also not welcome. I am trying to lay down parameters for people to keep their debate within. I merely ask that people respect that.

    Now, that is the end of the discussion. I’ve wasted too much time and energy on all this, and Simon is welcome to continue using the site and posting from the EXACT same viewpoint as before – JUST WITHOUT those little phrases that try to box up the alternate view in an unfair way. I’m sure that there *is* scaremongering and shit-stirring going on, but that doesn’t mean anyone simply expressing concern is going that far. That’s what I object to.

    • Simon G-Fear 13 years ago

      To PT + All other users of TTT.

      Whilst I am on an agreed ‘ban’ or ‘exile’ (feel like Nelson Mandela in a very poor link to South Africa 2010) I hope Paul allows this to remain so I can make a few points and draw a line under it.

      1) I agree with PT that the matter needs to rest, I really do appreciate everybody’s thoughts and responses, and take heart, and will try to learn from them. The site, like LFC is not about me, or PT necessarily (from the point of view of him moderating the site on his own, and not his content because that is why we all joined), it’s bigger than that.

      2) I became defensive yesterday and felt my confidence had been breached, but I am big enough to admit that I also over reacted and read more into Pauls reply than was actually there, sadly once I had interpreted his reply in the way I did, which was negatively, my response became defensive and the only route, or resolution of this issue was set.

      3) I do find users calling anybody (take your pick from H+G, Broughton or Purslow) F*cking C*nts offensive and vulgar. I don’t personally feel it fits with the quality or ethos of this site and wasn’t intending to have a dig at Paul about the ‘grown up debate’, sadly words alone cannot always carry the feeling, meaning or context behind them, but that said it is my own personal dislike of the language and I am not responsible for moderating this site so it’s up to Paul what he does and does not allow.

      4) I did use the term ‘scaremongering’ frequently over the past week or two because I felt it was appropriate for the tone of comments being posted on some occasions. I did not mean to offend anybody with it and tried to explain why in my replies, I didn’t just use it as a name calling or point scoring term and sadly, try as I might I could not find a different descriptive phrase to replace it with. I have read and re-read the posts I which I used the term and believe that neither Taff nor Matthew took it the wrong way. We did exchange some light hearted banter and agreed to disagree however if either took offence then I apologise.

      Finally, I hope we can all move on, there are far more important things for people to discuss. I will re-join the posting side of the site once I have the nod from Paul (You probably realise I rather enjoy the discussions) but until then I will continue to follow what’s happening on here.

      • matthewyoung 13 years ago

        Simon

        No offence taken on my part, even if I did flare up like a well shaken beer at one point. One thing I will say is that everyone on here hopes your optimism is well founded! For the most part, I enjoy our debates, and your posts have definitely made me pause and question my reactions to some of the media stories which keep coming out.

      • Simon G-Fear 13 years ago

        Thanks Matthew.

      • Mcdonaldtaf 13 years ago

        Certainly never any offence taken. If anything just a ‘minor irritation’ with the term ‘scaremongering’ when I believe there was clear evidence (past behaviour of senior management, company accounts etc.) of needs for concern, or at the least caution. But I’m sure I have caused my own minor irritations with some users. None of us intend it and I’m glad this forum has a fair degree of self regulation to ensure things don’t get out of hand.

        Final word on the use of foul language. I don’t personally like it and agree that this forum sets itself apart from others with the way foul language is sparingly used. When used sparingly it has its place and can express a certain impact that ‘oh darn it’ just doesn’t manage. I once worked for a guy who very rarely swore, but when he did boy did I know something was up. Another boss couldn’t string five sentences without an expletive and I only got to know he was angry when he threw something at me! I try to take the path of the former, so when I swear it has some impact and people know to run.

  24. Author

    Thanks Simon. As far as I’m concerned, you’re free to carry on as normal now that we’ve all slept on it. I do value your input to the site, and glad we can put this all to rest.

    Please feel free to keep a cautiously optimistic viewpoint, and we can then all debate happily.

    On the issue of language, I posted a couple of weeks ago about the use of the word ‘cunt’ on here, asking that people cut back. I agree that it’s usually not necessary or helpful. But my main concern is with people how people talk to each other. Because that’s when things go pearshaped.

    • Simon G-Fear 13 years ago

      Thanks for the all clear.

      Lessons learnt about responding without sufficient thought or due consideration. I will try to remain optimistic, but with a hint of realism to where we stand and who is running affairs at the club.

      • leeberolf 13 years ago

        Well said guys.

        Now lets get back to doing what we all do best….chewing the fat of all matters football.

        Ps Simon,good to have you back mate,hopefully no hard feelings from yesterday?

      • Simon G-Fear 13 years ago

        Leeberolf – Genuinely, absolutely none whatsoever mate.

  25. zaid12 13 years ago

    Simon, really pleased to see you’re still part of this community. As you would have noticed, your views and contribution to the site are valued here.

    Back to business. While not relevant to this thread, I will ask you the question while I have your attention. What is your view of the standard of refereeing at the World Cup. Besides a couple of high profile howlers, I think it has been much better than previous World Cups and the crap we get week in, week out in the Premier League.

    • Simon G-Fear 13 years ago

      Zaid – Thanks for articulating your thoughts about yesterdays events, much appreciated.

      As for the officiating at the World Cup, apart from the well known howlers I think the standard has been pretty decent. Some ugly challenges have been under punished, the one on Alonso in the Chile game, Pepe for Portugal against Brazil and last nights when the German defender was yellow carded for an awful tackle on Diego Perez.

      The odd official has been out of his depth but the international game is 1/2 yard slower and that allows referee’s a fraction more time to get decisions right. Overall, a good job by the referee’s and I think Howard Webb (regardless of my dislike of his handling of our games last season) is the right man for the final and deserves it.

  26. Author

    Dug this up, given that Hayward is at it again.

    TTT was picked out by the Guardian for a special mention in its best blogs of 2010, so I’m getting some of their traffic 🙂

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2010/dec/31/100-football-blogs-to-follow-2011

    The only team-specific site to be highlighted, the rest are generic blogs 🙂

    • ErinMc66 12 years ago

      Very nice!

      The Guardian is kind of bi-polar lately. Just in the last few days there were some good articles on why Hodgson is a disaster, and then that Hayward piece that was clearly pulled straight out of his ass.

      But at least they can recognize a good website when they see it! 🙂

  27. JoeP 12 years ago

    I hate to say you told them so but….

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