Premier League focus: The BFC view (4)

Posted on February 28, 2010

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*Article originally appeared in When the Ball Moves

What a scumbag John Terry is. In my eyes, there’s no defending the man. He’s had a chequered history in any case, but this latest episode is the worst yet. Having an affair is bad enough, but with a teammate and friend’s ex-girlfriend, the mother of his child, quite another. And at a time when he is captaining his country and meant to be a role model to millions of people, and very well paid and endowed with sponsorships as a result, there really is no excuse for what Terry has done. Stripping him of the England captaincy was the right thing to do, as surely he would have lost the respect of those around him. And how brilliant was it to see Bridge calmly avoiding his offer of a handshake before the Chelsea/Man City game? This certainly isn’t the first case of infidelity amongst Premier League footballers. I remember Chris Marsden being hastily ushered towards the exit door at Southampton a few years back after becoming over-friendly with Brett Ormerod’s wife (allegedly). Premier League football probably isn’t as debauched as shows like Dream Team and Footballers Wives liked to make out, but there’s certainly evidence that these overpaid footballers have become more and more detached from the reality of the world in which they live in. John Terry is not the first to feel the full force of public revulsion, and won’t be the last. It’s a sad state of affairs, but there doesn’t seem much likelihood of it being put right.

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Judas Coyle hasn’t exactly fulfilled his promise of bringing total football to Horwich, and at the time of writing he has merely succeeded in stemming the supply of goals from his side. It was funny how during the transfer window, for all his bleating about budget and lack of cash, it was Burnley who spent the most money of the two sides. The only players Coyle took to the Reebok were players that he had lined up to bring here anyway. He’s certainly made them a bit more solid in defence, something that we could have done with him doing here, but he still doesn’t have the look of a manager capable of winning away in the league. No doubt his current plan is to scrape through to the summer with Bolton still in this league and then go about rebuilding in the summer spending money that the in-debt club doesn’t actually have. Such a scenario would probably involve a couple of our players making the move, for they’re clearly still all in awe of the man if the post-match love-in at Bolton the other week is anything to go by. We must hope that his luck runs out and Bolton slip through the trapdoor this season, with or without us. They’re a poor side, and without the opportunity to spend money again until the summer, Coyle still has his work cut out. To finish above them, though, we need our players to start respecting Brian Laws in the same way that they clearly do his predecessor.

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I think the Premier League is losing its charm. Nobody seems to want to win it. Every time Chelsea or Manchester United have a chance to open a gap, or Arsenal have a chance to cut one, they seem to slip up. It’s the same down at the bottom. Any other season a run like ours would surely have us cut adrift. Yet nobody seems to have any great desire to stay in the league, or put any kind of run together. The league is as close and unpredictable, both at the top and the bottom, as it has been in many years, and that can only be a good thing if we are to surprise everyone and stay in it.

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Posted in: Sport