Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Off target

I generally avoid knocking the BBC too much, but this really is a piss-poor excuse for journalism. The heavy-handed attempts at humour are bad enough, but the whole premise is even worse – be careful what you wish for, Leicester fans, because a title win wouldn't mean lasting success.

Big deal. It'd still be more than we've ever had to cheer about before. To be honest, anything above 7th place will be better than anything I can remember in nearly 40 years of following them. Win the title and I really won't care too much if the entire playing staff are abducted by aliens from Zeta Reticuli 24 hours later.

There'll be other clubs after our best players no matter where we finish. Winning something first would (a) make them more likely to stay, and (b) assuage the pain of losing them if they did decide to go. Go and ask supporters of that club near Trent Bridge (not Notts County – I mean the new boys) if they regret their 1978 title win. Or ask Leeds fans if they'd really rather not have won the league in 1992.

It's all pretty typical of how the national media are reporting this season. Leicester and Tottenham's chances are routinely dismissed in a few words (not enough depth, blah blah blah), while there's endless talk about Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea. The first two are understandable enough, but any journo worth his salt would have realised two months ago that United are playing for 4th place (and I wouldn't put any money on them finishing there), and Chelsea for sixth at best.

The fact is, we're currently top because week in, week out, we've been the best team in the division so far. Our best is not as good as Man City or Arsenal's, I'll admit, but we've been at our best far more consistently than they have. It might not, ultimately, be enough to win us the league, but we will be somewhere close. The longer it takes Man City and Arsenal to realise that, the better.

Rant over. Normal service will be resumed soon.


Matthew Paul said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Matt. As a QPR fan for more years than I care to remember, I've seen my club get hammered in the media in the last 10 years or so, often rightly so; but I doubt there's one Premiership neutral who wasn't delighted by Leicester's great escape last year and who hasn't been thrilled by their wonderful rise this season. Enough with all the condescension in the media: Leicester are where they are because they are a well-run club, with a manager who (like Pelligrini) oozes class and a squad of players who are evidently as able, and much more committed, than their counterparts at supposedly 'bigger' clubs.

Poetry Pleases! said...

Dear Matt

Yes, heartfelt congratulations to Leicester F.C. I wish that my team Swansea were doing half as well. If Swansea get relegated this season, the club and the city will lose well over a hundred million quid.

Best wishes from Simon R. Gladdish

P.S. I foresee a glowing future for you as a sports writer!