Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bad behaviour's part of football because that's the way we like it

Writing in The Times today about the bad behaviour of parents at children's football matches Rick Broadbent says (£):
it remains a mystery why football managers believe the touchline is the place to be, while rugby’s elite are generally high up in the stadium where they can spot patterns of play and, thus, actually do their job.
It's not got a lot to do with the job. It's got a great deal to do with football fans' perception of the job. Does he look bothered? Is he shouting and pointing a finger? Does he celebrate when we score and look furious when the other lot get one back?

Top football isn't a sport anymore. It's a drama and the leading actors are the managers. The supporting characters, the players, are very often mild-mannered southern Europeans with limited English who are passing through on their way to a slightly better position in a warmer climate.

Only managers like Wenger, Moyes and Mourinho seem to have some skin in the game. Their pride's at stake. We see triumph and disaster written all over their faces. There's no way in the world TV would give that up and so the football authorities will keep on giving them it. Bad behaviour's part of the game, at every level. We wouldn't have it any other way.


  1. You are right about the fans' perception. Remember 'the wally with the brolly'? Steve Maclaren standing under an umbrella sipping a latte, while Bilic raged up and down the touch line, his suit soaking wet. That did for Maclaren more than the result.

  2. I've always been intrigued by the attraction of football-related emotional drama to men who would normally look down on that kind of thing as a bit girly. Then theres the endless gossip about transfers, hiring and firing. If only the game itself weren't so boring, it might be quite an agreeable pasttime - right up there with following Strictly.

  3. I've often wondered when the new breed of football manager emerged with their studiedly theatrical reaction to triumph and tragedy. Probably around the same time the dug-out bench was exchanged for several rows of comfy aeroplane seats

  4. That's so true. Looks like a Soho preview theatre.

  5. This is all intentional deception. Some speak of a sliding scale - diving for a criminal complaint for a throw is not as bad as that. I had by Rory Delap throw-in, especially if you are not convinced.