After a weekend spent analysing controversial refereeing decisions and off-ball incidents, Gino De Blasio speaks on behalf of the average football lover with anger at the current state of our not so beautiful game.
By Gino De Blasio – @ginodb
Ok, so I think I’ve finally reached my tether. It’s actually really rather easy to get me there, after all, the most common expression used for me is “lots of intensity that De Blasio lad”.
It all started on Saturday night. I was meant to attend a bonfire at a friend’s house, however I was supplied the wrong address and found myself driving around Manchester, getting lost, being stop searched not once but twice and having to replace a tyre in Moss Side. This is not ideal.
In desperate attempts to try and find a digital radio station that could supply the Italian scores, moreover the Milan score, I turned to twitter. My timeline was awash with criticism after criticism. I found myself thanking the divine gods that I didn’t see the match, but then cursing them because I had become further infuriated. It seems once again that a poor linesman decision was marring Milan’s win; I knew the weekend of football controversy was going to start there, I feared it was going to start, I was (unfortunately) to be proven correct.
And so my focus had turned to Sunday’s games. I was anticipating strong contests; I was watching my favourite Italian show and hearing, yet again, that Juventus had been awarded some “trivial” decisions. I knew where this was going before it even happened. I shouldn’t have checked Twitter, instead I did. Within minutes of the final whistle I find fans from every other team criticising the Old Lady, and Old Lady supporters using vitriolic language espousing views and tasteless language that have no place in football.
It wasn’t to end their either. No, Chelsea play Manchester Utd, and Mark Clattenburg makes some bad calls. Very bad calls. Once again, Twitter and Facebook was awash with criticism, negativity and radical views in plain sight. And then the news of Mark Clattenburg being investigated for “choice language” was just to compile the misery that this footballing weekend has been.
To top off what could be classed as a horrendous juxtaposition of views, I see Nigella Lawson butchering a risotto and claiming “adding Amaretti biscuits really gives this crumble an Italian twist”. There’s no need for that…
You see, there is something tasteless in the way people behave themselves on social networks. I find that most of the time, people have something called, Twitter-Cajones (or balls to the non-Spanish speaking folk). They will say what they want, when they want, to whoever they want. It’s easy to criticise a ref when we have the comfort of our arm-chair to sit back, rewind and then play merry hell over it. I admit, once or twice, that Twitter-Cajones have got the better of me as well.
The Italian media only ever focuses on bad refereeing decisions, never the game. Each offside is micro-analysed and well, is it any wonder why the fans are so critical? So menacing?
And the English game has been all about trial by media in the last few weeks. I’m not sure how many more times I can take the irony or plain faced cheek of some players and managers.
It’s become exasperating; tiresome and trivial. It’s making me enjoy football less and less. All this negativity needs to stop, until technology comes in to help on ref decisions, until racism and player behaviour is truly dealt with, nothing will change.
But for now, my social media profiles have been put on hold, I will not check them, I have no intention to. If you need to get hold of me, just ask Talking Baws or some of my fellow Italian compatriots on Twitter to drop me a line.
Football has become a bit of a joke, it’s time that we as fans find solutions rather than creating problems for ourselves.
Is football in danger of becoming a joke? What has to be done to bring the positivity back in to the game? Tweet us @talkingbaws or comment below.