We all know it as the beautiful game, we all know it as the most popular sport and we all want to be an active part of this craze that has hit the world for a while now. And why not, it is afterall the beautiful game. It has given us 9 month long excitements, it has given us the Peles and the Messis of the world, it has given us role models, it has given us all smiles.
But if I’m honest with you, football has changed a lot from when I started falling in love with it. It’s a long way away from what it used to be. There are many factors that have influenced the change, most important being money. But hey, you live in 2012, money rules the world, so why not the world’s most popular sport? After all sports is a reflection of life right?
So yes, we have the Manchester City , Chelsea and PSG throwing money to breed success. Barcelona still try to breed players but even they are not shy of signing big cheques time and again. And players, top players, modern players and the like are attracted to this lure. You can argue the lure is for money, or the lure is for the success money brings sometimes. But nonetheless, heads turn. We may want to hate them or we chose tolove them; it’s a fact, money talks and money breeds success, atleast instantly. Yes, Torres is frowned upon, yes Persie Is frowned upon, but it’s open for discussion what they did for their careers was right or wrong. Patience is an arguable characteristic.
It’s not the money spending machines or the jumping ships players that bother me as much as the modern football ‘fans’ do. And they are the ones that make me say football has changed since what it used to be.
The word fickle jumps to your mind but it don’t begin to explain what the mindset of some of them is. Let me make it very clear, these are not the fans that are willing to criticize the team and a few players on a performance or a series of them. You are entitled to have an opinion. These are those fans who are branding players left right and centre.
For eg, today I read a Liverpool fan calling Carragher, Jamie Carragher, an embarrassment to the football club. Now I’m a Liverpool fan so I didn’t take this well for obvious reasons. But then I discussed it with a Chelsea fan, an Arsenal fan, and spurs fan, and even a Manc. It gave me some solace that they saw this comment as a sheer disgrace. Jamie Carragher is what I define as a model professional. He was never the most skillful footballers in the history of the game or the club, but he had and has a heart as big as it comes. The man has defied his skills, his body, his fatigue to defend for the club, and defend he did. The man has given all his heart and soul to the club that paid him his income. Not once do I remember Carra coming to ground and giving anything less than his 100%, something which even the likes of Steven Gerrard would be occasionally found guilty of. When the KOP sings ‘We all dream of a team of Carraghers’ it’s not because we want 11 defenders on the pitch, it’s cause we want 11 players who have the heart of that man. So when you hear a word like ‘embarrassment’ for a veteran of his kind, you have to question the logic behind such statements. Carragher may not be at his best, but he deserves a lot more than being called an Embarrassment. Same applies for those who forget what a legen King Kenny has been and are quick to jump on the hatred train over one season.
I have been a football supporter long enough to know that, no matter what club I support, the likes of Gerrard, Henry, Lampard, Giggs (on the field) etc have been nothing short of Legends for their clubs and deserve that respect at any stage of their lives.
It is a request to the modern fans, maybe the new fans to please, I mean PLEASE know what a player has been for the club or country before you write them off as embarrassments. Carragher played his 700th game for you club, my club. Meaning he has been a servant to our club for over 700 times. Please give him and his likes respect. And if you want to disrespect such legends, honestly, we’re better off without you.