Friday, January 02, 2009


Remember the good old days of 2003? When the English FA refused to tolerate impropriety in its players, and Alan Smith (still a decent player at the time) was denied an FA call-up because of news that the police were investigating him on criminal charges after he responded to having a plastic bottle tossed at him by tossing it back into the crowd? Police never brought charges against Smith, as it happened: but no matter, even the hint of impropriety was enough for him to miss a call-up.

So what, then, are we to make of the FA’s recent declaration that under no circumstances would the England status of peace-loving Steven Gerrard’s (pictured, in a tender moment with Gary Naysmith) be affected by his recent fracas in a Southport bar.

That would be the incident in which Gerrard was arrested (not just “investigated” like Smith) and charged with assault and affray. Because he (allegedly) punched a DJ who wouldn’t play the Coldplay album he’d requested.

(A DJ who won’t play Coldplay? The man deserves a freakin' medal, not stitches in his face.)

Assault and Affray can land you with a five-year jail term, thought first time offenders if found guilty are more likely to receive community service.

The FA say they learned from the Smith case, and refuse to punish someone because they are under a police inquiry. This conveniently ignores the fact that the police are NOT making inquiries about Stevie G – they did that and decided the evidence warranted actual charges. This is something quite different.

But then again, this is Gerrard we are talking about. The self-proclaimed living personification of all those “English” footballing value; the ones that always believe 1966 is always around the corner, provided there is enough grit and determination and hard work. Without Gerrard, England would be robbed of one of its central clichés – ones which have regained importance now that a foreigner is once again in charge of the national team.

The Italian for the English term “having double standards”, by the way, is the far less pejorative “usare metri diversi”. Use it wisely – as Fabio would.


Blogger Unknown said...

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5:15 AM  

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