Football, Sport

Rooney who?

Having spent a surprisingly sunny Sunday afternoon watching the England match, one of my friends commented would England have done better if we gave strikers like Defoe the same recognition and hype we give to players like Wayne Rooney? Defoe is undoubtedly goal poacher, and his hard working attitude and goal scoring record make a valid case for a regular position in England’s attack.

Defoe’s current England stats leave much to the imagination, when compared with Rooney’s. But if we take both players’ statistics and held them up together, many of us will be thinking what if?

First of all, Defoe has only played 1,346 minutes of international competitive football, scoring 13 times in the process. On the other hand, Rooney has played 5,877 minutes, scoring 39 times. Having played considerably less time, Defoe has averaged a goal every 106 minutes, compared to Rooney, who on average, has scored every 151 minutes.

On these figures, you can’t help but think if Defoe played more often would he have a somewhat similar or even better goal scoring record than Rooney?  You never know, but judging by his performance today and his performances for Sunderland, it’s hard to argue against it.

Jermain Defoe

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Sport

Drugs and football. There’s more to it!

Drugs in Football

“I should have realised that he was in trouble and in a dark place, but you carry on and just think he’s lost a bit of form,” were the words of Hull City F.C’s manager Steve Bruce, when he discovered the real reason behind his ace’s drug test.

Away from the highs, glitz and glamour of football are the lows. It the football or somewhat macho environment we tend disregard the issues that many footballers face, passing them off as people who don’t face such problems and if they do, they should be strong enough to carry on and not let it affect the on the pitch performances.

Whilst Chelsea fans worry about Thibaut Courtois’ injury woes, and the rest of us enjoy Tottenham’s continual attempts to offload a clinging on, Emmanuel Adebayor, somewhere in the background are footballers who are face testing times.

Having tested positive for cocaine, many spectators will have been quick to jump the gun at former England midfielder, Jake Livermore. Once and still regarded as a talented midfielder some may think the star has had a fall from grace, without recognising the problems he faces off the pitch.

“In this macho industry of alpha males, people don’t want to ask for help,” said Bruce. “Sometimes it takes a bigger man to ask for help and I think Jake has realised that.

Macho men at play

Well done to Steve Bruce, a true manager who has stuck by his player during a testing time, when most people would have jumped ship.  Understandingly and rightly, FIFA didn’t suspend Livermore but the news, draws attention to the problem us as spectators or people in general have when it comes footballers. Which is some of us are guilty of failing to footballers as ordinary people who go through rough patches.

Steve Bruce has continued to back his player, and tipped him to be a big part of the team’s promotion campaign back to the Premier. No doubt, if the team can get there Jake will have a big part, if the team do, maybe managers and the rest of us can learn something from this.

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Sport

Rape, Racism and the F.A

With the latest news of the infamous Ched Evans returning to training at his former club Sheffield United it seems there is a common theme occurring in football, being the F.A’s inability to act on issues appropriately but instead awarding it miscreants little slap on the wrist.

News surfaced early on in the week that the Blades had allowed former striker Ched Evans to train after being convicted of rape and serving a two and half year sentence. However it seems like the F.A has decided to take a back seat on this ride, and unable to take a moral stand. For the brand of English football it’s important that someone within the F.A organisation starts cracking the whip!

It wasn’t long ago when Jose Mourinho was accused him of being “out of touch” with regards to racism in modern day football, claiming “There is no racism in football”. However his colleague may fail to agree. Having been a coach within the Chelsea’s locker room for a number of years and having a champions league title under his belt some may question why Eddie Newton hasn’t been given the reins at a professional league club.

Maybe it’s because he’s black? I don’t know but the decision of the F.A to only just start chirping about an equivalent Rooney rule has shown the sluggish pace the F.A continues to move at.

However the stories surrounding gender and sexism still seem to re-surface, becoming a problem that involves all. When the video of Micah Richards and co was passed to News of the world, aired for the world to see, I failed to see the F.A take a stance and deem the behaviour as inconceivable. Similarly being the case with Ched Evans, both of whom have used their position to stupid effect. I know Micah Richards case is different, but it is evidence of an immature and sexist culture that exists within English football – a culture that the F.A has failed to oust.

Where is the crisis management?

I think it’s time to tighten up the F.A imagine if the NHS failed to make important decisions abruptly we’d all be waving our arms and I’m sure Mr Cameron would come out with a speech; English football fails to acknowledge that.

It is definitely time for a change.

The F.A

Ched Evans

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