Friday, 16 August 2013

Players as mercenaries & A jaded SSLJA

It's been somewhat of an odd weekend in some ways but it's been enjoyable in every way. The reason why i'd say its been odd is because from Friday night (August 2nd 2013) to the small hours of Sunday morning on the 4th of August one thing has come into my mind, well 2. The first one is, am I jaded these days & by jaded I mean, has football lost it's magic in terms of the premier league where nothing is really a surprise for me any more? This train of thought was started by catching a bit of the Premier League years in a pub (1996/97 for those interested in the year) with my co-host Da Gman & I asked him the question 'is it me or is football just not the same anymore? In 96/97 & 95/96 (both of which are tied for 1st place in my favourite season's I've watched) I felt an enchantment with football, specifically the premier league and part of that I think was down to the fact that I didn't have sky sports as a youngster (my family didn't get that until April 2001) so I had to rely on Match of the Day as my main source of football and I relied on it religiously and when I got to watch sky sports I took advantage of it, but as me and Gav watched the Premier League years it was like going back in time, remembering the matches and what happened next took me back to a time where all I knew of football was what I saw on TV and what I heard from pundits & read in the Mirror football pullouts & Match magazine.

But now we have the internet, we can watch any games we want whenever we want and any 2 bit jabroni with an opinion on the social networks can add his/her 2 cents to an issue and make wild accusations with no rationale or factual basis and others are moronic enough to believe it or take it seriously which infuriates me. But I digress, my thought is that I have become jaded to the point of being cynical due to the previously mentioned points and I actually can't help it, my mindset is definitely to question everything and try & know anything but to paraphrase the words of Jim Cornette on a 2005 shoot interview with Paul Bearer, 'the more you know about something, the less fun you get out of it because nothing's a surprise any more' and I think those sentiments, are true for me.
The 2nd point I wanted to address relates in part to player loyalty & especially Steven Gerrard's testimonial. After watching that as I went to bed I thought to myself, at my club when Gerrard retires, (Carragher has already hung his boots up) Stevie G will basically be one of very few players in the Premier League, let alone my beloved Liverpool FC who came up/grew up in the 90s and has stayed at 1 club for his whole career and it kind of scares me that it's almost a changing of the guard from loyal soldiers in an army, to basically 'hired guns' who will follow the money instead of their hearts and pledge allegiance to those who pay the most at any given time.

For me, yes the mercenaries issue with players is nothing new but with a lot of players they'll be a 'fly by night/flash in the pan' kind of player who'll pledge allegiance one day, but turn tail and run when times get tough and for me as a fan/supporter I've just found this wholesale shift disturbing. For me, football is about playing where you're happiest, and I'm talking about where you've made friends, where you feel comfortable. Playing for Ibis FC in the Southern Amateur leagues has been a pleasure and maybe getting the captaincy of the 4's side after playing for them for 5/6 years has made me think a bit differently, but I see it as I'll stay at a club for a long time if I feel happy & comfortable. We don't get paid to play at our level, we pay to play & help run the club but I feel that the more I've learnt about the game as a whole, the more jaded I've become & I can't switch that off and just watch a game & not be analyzing it, same with transfer situations/stories, always looking at it cynically & for me the modern game & the modern breeds this cynicism in me.

It'll be a sad day when the last of the loyal soldiers retires from their respective teams, guys such as Steven Gerrard, John Terry, Ryan Giggs etc, these men who have been 1 club players because for me it'll be the last of the loyal footballers, who will be passing torches to people who'll be here today & gone tomorrow.

I'm Straight Shootin' LJA & that's my opinion