Why silence in football is golden

by admin

Friday, March 11th, 2011

MANAGING a football club is a highly stressful job as there is an unrelenting pressure to grind out results week in week out.

The past week has seen two of Britain’s most decorated managers wage war on the media for different reasons after their sides saw their domestic and European ambitions dented respectively.

Sir Alex Ferguson, the wily Manchester United boss sulked after his side lost at Anfield last Sunday, and he took it upon himself to spread a blanket of silence over his team and refused to uphold his media duties.

Ryan Giggs wasn’t allowed to provide his thoughts on how honoured he was to eclipse Sir Bobby Charlton’s record number of league appearances (606) for United. Mike Phelan, the assistant manager, was not allowed to speak to the media either.

Fergie’s vendetta against the media, more specifically against the BBC is well documented, but facing the music and responding to pressing questions is part and parcel of the manager’s job- we as football fans should not be deprived.

There is the case to be made that media rights holders such as Sky Sports and TALKSPORT should stand up to the Manchester United boss, but most would probably quake in their boots.

It has become common practice for managers to vent their spleen and blame the referee when decisions go against them, but they will defend their team till the bitter end.

Ferguson once again defended Wayne Rooney after his moment of petulance at Wigan, when he vigorously argued that the media would like to see the forward ‘hung’. The media have arguably heaped praise and criticised United in equal measure, but unfortunately it has become a punch bag for Fergie to assault.

Yet Ferguson is not alone in the way he treats football’s authorities. Arsène Wenger’s disdain for the authorities is deplorable. This was seen to be the case after he lambasted Massimo Busacca for sending off Van Persie on Wednesday night after Arsenal crashed out of the Champions League at the hands of Barcelona.

Wenger resumed his attack last night on UEFA, accusing them of being a “dictatorship”. Although of course he won’t be charged for this further incendiary comment, the Arsenal manager sails a bit closer to the wind.

Although highly intelligent, Wenger spews utter piffle that calls into the question the integrity of his team.

Like Ferguson, Wenger has adopted this mentality of an “us” against “them” attitude. If anything their way of ruling through fear could conceivably call the very nature of football and its values into question.

Tomorrow will be the litmus test when Arsenal and Manchester United collide once again at Old Trafford at teatime in the FA Cup Quarter-Final. Although it is a mouth-watering tie, at the same time, it brings together two of football’s biggest loudmouths.

Football shouldn’t be about who shouts the loudest, but often it seems that way. Wouldn’t it be great if the drama tomorrow was just confined to the pitch rather than during post-match interviews.

Silence as they say is golden and if we could turn down the rants provided by messrs Wenger and Ferguson, then life would be a whole lot better.


Follow me on Twitter @charlesperrin7



Be Sociable, Share!
  • Jay

    So you don’t want managers to be critical or vociferous in their condemnations, but you also don’t want them to keep quiet as you define it as ‘sulking’? You also suggest that perhaps ‘silence is golden’ yet go on to criticise SAF’s silence…

    Never mind SAF had ordered the media blackout PRIOR to the Liverpool game, not because he was sulking in the aftermath of it.

    The real problem with football is football journalism & the FA/Premier League bosses.

    Journalists seize upon every word of a highly charged situation and twist words and quote out of context to form a picture different to intended. This exacerbates the situation and makes managers less inclined to say what they feel is necessary.

    The FA et al are not without blame. Saying you cannot retroactively punish serious foul play because the ref has ‘dealt’ with it on the pitch is a joke & a cop-out. Referees perform a very tough job, yet they are shielded from any and all criticism no matter how dire their performance because it apparently brings the game into disrepute to question their ability.

    Incompetance is far more disreputable than criticism.

Previous post:

Next post: