England's Full Court Press

Ok, now this is really pissing me off to no end.

My regular reader knows that I don’t really watch internationals: I don’t care about some old line drawn in the sand where the people on one side are “perfect” and the people on the other are “cunts” and I don’t care for the inevitable racism and xenophobia that make up no small part of Nationalism Football. That’s right, let’s call it what it is; it’s not international football because with very few exceptions most national teams won’t take players from another country. No, this occasional break from real football so that national clubs can play each other has nothing to do with internationalism, this is Nationalism Football. And after reading this morning’s bleatings by the Brit press about what a horrible diver Eduardo is despite the fact that he’s not, while simultaneously saying that proven serial diver Rooney should not be labeled a diver because it might effect the referees, and how the referee for Wednesday’s match is already “drowning”, I’m actually pissed off enough to root for a national team: Croatia.

Take a look at this screen cap from the first link above. Ostensibly, it’s a story about how Croatia and Eduardo are united and mentally prepared for Wednesday’s match. But the subtext is glaring “EDUARDO IS A DIVER, BOO HIM THE WHOLE TIME, GO ENGERLAND.”

Carrick is a cheating cunt

Look at the image they used and look at the caption. Michael Carrick had, up to that point, pretty much tried to break everyone’s ankles on the pitch and nearly succeeded on Denilson. But here they show Carrick, barely in frame, and Eduardo looking like he’s about to do a triple-gainer.We can’t see Carrick’s feet, we don’t know what call the referee made, we don’t know anything about this picture except what our friend Jeremy Wilson has told us to think about this picture.

It’s important that they used the Carrick tackle here, because had they used one of Darren Fletcher’s numerous yellow card fouls it wouldn’t have been as effective: Carrick is English, Fletcher is only British.

How better to whip up the English fans into a frenzy than take a totally decontextualized photograph, and then put some text on it that says “Eduardo caught in the act” and then claim that Carrick was quote un-quote tackling? Frankly, if a CD which contains the chant “Sit down you pedophile” is slander in England, how is it that this image and this story, which is a pretty obvious attempt to slur Eduardo’s reputation ahead of the England Croatia match, isn’t being pulled for slander? This is exactly what Arsene Wenger was worried would happen now that UEFA has unfairly singled Eduardo out. What I’m also afraid of is that no matter how this 2 match ban plays out, pieces like this mean that Eduardo will never receive fair treatment in any match from here on out. Well, maybe if he lets ANOTHER English player break his legs he’ll start to get some fair treatment.

But why stop with Eduardo? Why not have a go at the referee? The Telegraph again obliges, calling him “inexperienced,” “rarely hesitant in waving his cards” and quoting another source that the referee was so out of his depth that he was “drowning” in a contentious match between Juve and Chelsea. My favorite quote though, the one that’s supposed to really hammer home that this referee doesn’t know what he’s doing is this “awarding Juventus a penalty so contentious it triggered a 15-man mêlée.” A 15 man melee in a Chelsea match? That’s about as rare as air molecules. It’s perfect to warn fans ahead of the match that referee is shite, that way they can boo him too when he gives Lampard a yellow card for an ankle-breaking tackle on Eduardo.

But bringing it all home is England’s finest ever referee and new-found blogger extraordinaire, Graham “three yellow cards” Poll. He penned a great piece yesterday, warning of the dangers of calling players divers because calling a player a diver might influence a referee’s decision, which in turn might cause that player to get unfairly kicked all over the pitch.

Well, by “players” I mean, just Rooney, because Poll goes on to laud Drogba for staying on his feet this season, and openly accuses Eduardo of diving. See, what Graham Poll is worried about isn’t the truth or whether labeling a player like Eduardo a diver might adversely effect referee’s calls against him on Wednesday. No, he’s worried that all of us pointing out Rooney’s blatant dives — like this one against Arsenal which is universally accepted as a dive, or this one against Tottenham where he gets a yellow card for simulation (cheating), or this disgraceful cheating against Chelsea where he both dives AND pretends he was injured, or his coup de grace, the absolutely shameful Dida-like fakery against Blackburn Rovers — Poll is worried that all of us pointing to those examples of fakery might hurt England’s chances in the World Cup. Because Graham Poll, the guy who’s job it was to be professionally fair, suddenly doesn’t seem to give two fucks about fairness.

In the end, I’m not worried that Eduardo won’t be able to overcome this, he overcame Taylor breaking his leg and the year of rehab it took to get back into the game, but I am pissed off. I’m pissed off that because of this Nationalism Football week I’ve got to sit here and have an heroic Arsenal player get slagged off in the press. I’m pissed that this might effect Arsenal next week when we take on City because there will inevitably be a challenge that goes in on Eduardo and all of these slanderous news stories will, no doubt, be fresh on everyone’s mind and that because of this bullshit press Eduardo and Arsenal might not get a fair shake.

It’s time to end this slur against Eduardo and Arsenal and get back to playing real football.


  1. you fucking rock ! just moved to number one in my arsenal blogs,

    and yeah, fucking nationalism sucks balls – perhaps if I was Brazilian or even Dutch I might get behind my national team,

    but what does Brittishness stand for ? Fat drunk hypocritcal cunts who go around the world stealing and fucking over other people. And playing uninspiring bully boy long ball football, the Bolton of the international game – sums up the national psyche to be fair.

    now there’s a brand worth getting behind.

    (sorry, a few generalisations there, I and most of my friends are brits, but the vast “silent majority” are, in fact, cunts.)

  2. I have complained to http://www.telegraph.co.uk for this image of Eduardo and you should do the same here is a link to log in a complaint!


    I find it disgusting for the fucking British media to show such picture espiecially The Telegraph, this picture does not prove anything as it’s not exactly showing what fucking northen cunt Carrick has done.


  3. Right On, Tim.

    Racism, Nationalism, Anti-semitism and other forms of hate do nothing but bring the game down.

    To my mind it is a farce that international football, particularly the world cup tournament, continues to “wag the dog.” It’s only a matter of time, however, as television continues to bring high level club football to the fans of the world, until it is relegated to the status of the side-show that it is. This fundamental restructuring will take time and will be resisted by the powers that be (FIFA, UEFA, National FAs, etc). In the end the players and the fans want competition at the highest possible level and international football fails in this regard. (What happens to your players of the past two years if Portugal and/or Argentina fail to make the WC?) In the long run, I hope, the world’s best players and the club teams that employ them will stand up against all the crap that comes with the side show, including poor compensation, hateful supporters and media, etc. As it is, I am proud to support Arsenal, a multi-cultural team of strong international players that refuses to pander to the international BS.

  4. The funny thing about national football and England is that the people who get behind it the most don’t even watch football normally, and instead of a pro England feel usually has an anti this or anti that feel about it. I gave up supporting England a long time ago, smells too much like the BNP and fascism to be honest……and to top it off it’s so freckin boring.

  5. U missed “this peach” from an inglorious w**ker called jeff winter pretending to air and handle the comments of responders to his “earlier article” villifying eduardo and wenger.

    You admirably suggest “It’s time to end this slur against Eduardo and Arsenal and get back to playing real football.” .. But how do we end it ? By writing plenty more blog articles? I think we need some more concerted action to highlight how the FA, EPL refs, english press are victimizing arsenal as a football club. We should all challenge ourselves to come up with civilized ways of fighting back. Thats the beauty of the internet, it can empower supposedly powerless groups of people to challenge wrongful situations.

  6. Great post Tim.

    Maybe it is time to just stop talking, blogging, arguing about this issue. We are right and they are wrong but it’s never going to change the minds of racist people like Stan Collymore, Jeremy Wilson and Graham Poll. i am waiting to see if someone in the media takes all the youtube clips of Rooney and calls him out on it. Daily Mail kinda did it on saturday but not to the liking us gooners would want. If noone pays it anymore mind, then it will go away.

    And in regards to rooting for Croatia i totally agree with you. This crop of senior english players i can;t stand (besides theo of course). Rooney, JT, Lampard, Ashley Cole, are all cheaters or cry babies. During the interlulls, i just root for the arsenal players in whichever team they play along with rooting the England U-21s too.

  7. It’s years since I’ve supported England. The reasons are these:

    1. Aesthetic: red-faced, fat, drunken fans singing Rule Britannia and booing everyone else’s anthem.

    2. Footballistic (as Wenger would say), by which I mean not just the dreary cheating antics of, say, Owen and Crouch – though God knows that’s reason enough – but also the attitude of the average fan. Most of the people in North London pubs for England games are barely watching the football; they’re too busy thumping their chests. And try and get them to take an interest in an under-21 game on the tv – But it’s important, I used to murmur placatingly, it’s the future of English football, couldn’t we have it on just till half-time? They look at me as though I’m unhinged.

    3.Political – England being as often as not the BNP in disguise. Remember the poor Portuguese people in Norfolk whose cafe was attacked by a howling, brick-chucking mob when Portugal had had the audacity to beat England? There were old women and small children in that cafe, and the police – BNP themselves to a man, I dare say – when appealed to, didn’t turn up for two hours.

    I’ve supported France for the past ten years. Well, it’s more Arsenal, isn’t it?

  8. Majority of the British media and pundits are cunts. We cannot all become cunts just to stop them. They actually jack off on us showing that we are hurt. Believe me, they are sad when we don’t respond.

  9. I’m glad Arthur-the-Gooner has complained, though like Tim and LRV I have my doubts about its effectiveness – it’s the Telegraph, for heaven’s sake, probably the worst of the broadsheets. How about texting or emailing talksport? You never know, some good might come: Adrian Durham might faint at the mike and be carried away. Since he’s been in a frezy of moral indignation since the Celtic game, he must by now be on the point of collapse.

    Oh, and another reason for not supporting England. Capello is a fascist, an admirer of Franco and life-long fan of Real – or so I’ve been told by an Italian friend, and it figures, I think – the quasi-militaristic regime he imposes, those naff blazers, etc.

  10. Its the media’s job (and priority) to drive emotions of its readers or viewers: its all about profit and if it means polarizing comments (which aren’t factual), Amen.

    Honestly, none of the media spin about Eduardo should surprise any of us. If the Celtic keeper had been from Ghana, the issue would died after the 24 hour news cycle. Probably the Celtic fans have long forgotten the incident, but its given the British media a chance to provoke emotions against Arsenal.

    Looking at the expected starting line-up for England tomorrow, there probably won’t be any Arsenal players. Consequently, I’ll be pulling for Croatia and hopefully Rooney will score at least an 8 one of his dives.

  11. The Jeremy Wilson piece can be construed as libel but Eduardo is not likely to bring litigation.

    I like the point about Capello ‘making the trains run on time”. That was about the only thing the fascists could get right. The fact that Ferdinand, Lampard and Terry have spoken admirably about the ‘discipline’ Capello has imposed on the England team to it’s benefit is telling indictment of past regimes (McLaren and Ericsson). It also speaks volumes about the lack of maturity that existed in the England team before Capello. Capello cannot overcome the myriad of deficits that exists in the England team because of the players it has (see the Football365 piece on the 10 ways to beat England).

    My fondest hope is that the the England team that ‘beat’ Slovenia shows up to play Croatia. Bilic hopes so too 🙂

  12. Red cards for Platini and Co., for pushing a stick in to a hornets nest.

    In view of UEFA’s outrageous, unjust, controversial, racist, condemnation of Dudu, Arsenal legal eagles must bring a charge against UEFA, under the wonderful catchall of ‘bringing the game in to disrepute.’ Particularly in the face of UEFA’s failure to condemn the real cheats and divers. Two year suspension from all football activity, including a gagging order to keep their gobs’ shut, should do the trick.

    Fortunately UEFA are excluded from retrospectively changing match results, or else they would be off down that road as well.

    ‘Law 5, …. and the referee’s decisions regarding facts connected with play are final, so far as the result of the game is concerned.

    Looks like the unnatural inducement of youngsters and juveniles is going to point a finger at MancUntied.

    “New house for your mum and dad, a new car perhaps, no problem just sign here, you’re only 4 years old? Never mind, you look older, we’ll put you down as 16.”


  13. Never listen to a man who gave out 3 yellow cards to the same player in an internationally broadcast game. Graham Poll will never ever live that down and it will be the what marks his time as referee – incompetent and stupid.

  14. Alex Song is one of six Premiership players along w/ Ian Wright and some businessmen types who’ve started a for profit (40% of the first transfer and 10% of the next sell on) soccer academy in South Africa. The problem is that South Africa’s FA says they have not registered the school and they feel the for profit angle will lead to the ‘seduction and abandonment’ of young African hopefuls. FIFA is going to be investigating this academy.

    Song has sponsored 3 Cameroonian players in this school. No one says there is any impropriety here other than the school is not registered. No one has accused the school of not doing what is in the best interest of their youthful charges.

    If profit is involved there will always be accusations of colonialism. Does anyone today level that charge at diamond sellers or the oil industry. Of course we are talking about children and not inanimate objects. So let FIFA investigate and let the South African FA rail against a lack of respect for their rules. Once the public posturing is done with, I think everyone will pat themselves on the back that such a school has been set up in South Africa.

  15. Speaking of poaching, it seems that this could be a bigger scandal than that ‘bung’ inquiry which died a very quiet death. The list of players/agents/clubs that made the ‘cut’ for closer scrutiny for financial investigation (Quest) has been more tightly guarded than the 104 names of ‘juicing’ baseball players. Where is Burgess and McLean when you need them?

    Chelsea, Man City, Everton, Man U so far have been revealed to have been less than respectful in their transfer activity involving smaller clubs. Everton at least have step up with compensation payments but the club involved is still not jumping for joy. Man City are trying to play innocent since the player involved was already in a legal dispute w/ his club. That legal dispute still does not mean the contract the player signed was not inforce when Man City swooped in.

    Why isn’t the British media asking the question where is Arsenal in all this hubbub? We the kings of youth transfers. WTF are they Karl Heinz Rummeniger? Where are they Michel Platini? Where are they Sepp Blatter? I’m waiting for an answer. Cue (Deafening silence).

  16. I like international football. I think most fans and most players do as well. For 90% of the world, it’s the only chance we’ll get to see OUR players playing for OUR team. Economics hoovers all the top players to Europe, so we’re left either supporting a sub-standard local side or trying to support a European side from afar. And as much as you try to deny it, supporting a team via the internet or pay-TV isn’t the same thing as being there in the stadium. It doesn’t mean as much.

    Anyway, I got chills when Australia lined up against Japan in their opening game of the 2006 World Cup. They were my boys, competing with the rest of the world. I felt a lot of pride at the moment. After 32 years, we’d finally made it to the World Cup. Not being jingoistic or racist or whatever, but watching the Arsenal on a internet stream just doesn’t compare to that.

  17. Great post mate, we need Arsenal FC to stand up and support Eduardo all the way. I think us as supporters can really do something too, many neutrals and supporters of other teams also understand that Eduardo’s singling out is unfair and i think illegal.

    UEFA have gone against their own rulings, and discriminated our player when others have performed the same actions in matches and even worse. There has been career threatening injuried inflicted on players intentionally, match changing wrong decisions and everything else yet Eduardo goes down after being ‘clipped’ he is labelled by the football world and governing bodies a cheat and a diver.

    Something must be done



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