By Tony Attwood
From day one, Untold has taken the view that most of the stuff written by journalists is best kept for wrapping up cod surrounded by a rather overwhelming load of gunge.
But if that was the case back then, what now? Half of the country’s footballers and all of the country’s journalists are tweeting and giving interviews of a type which no one could have imagined 20 years ago.
I happen to agree with Koscielny in his interview in L’Equipe, about Suárez where our man reported the S word as a cheat. Which means I suppose I agree with Tony Pulis who said much the same. (Is there a clinic I can visit?)
If this was a spat in the playground a teacher would wade in and break it up. But of course this is football, so Jim Boyce of Fifa said “players who dive” should be punished retrospectively. Who could he be talking about?
Then Brendan Rodgers, the manager of Liverpool said it was all unfair and claimed he had been unfairly targeted. The Uruguay national coach wants an apology and is demanding Fifa take action. Koscielny said he would like to kick Suarez. (I’d like the kick the Prime Minister, but I don’t think either of us will do it).
“He is a player who likes to dive as soon as there is contact. During a challenge we jostled a bit with each other and he fell. He started to talk to me in English, to say it was a penalty,” he said.
Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson said that referees were refusing to award penalties because of his reputation, the nearest Liverpool have ever got to saying that refs are biased.
So we move on to a joke on France 2 which showed a picture of Japanese goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima with four arms and called it the ‘Fukushima effect’. Tasteless yes, but the cause of an international crisis? Hardly, but it is.
“What happened is unacceptable and shows disrespect to others. It is proof of racist attitudes that are starting to surface,” said the man from the UAE.
So that must be it must it not? Well, not quite. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been accused of being arrogant, dirty and childish as a result of his behaviour in his country’s 1-0 win over the… Faroe Islands. Benjaminsen who plays for the islands said “He elbowed me just before the interval and when we left the pitch for half-time I asked him what he was doing. Just when we got inside he grabbed hold of me … He was belittling our team and me. What he said was not nice. He talked about where he is playing and how much he is earning. It was so childish.”
And I haven’t even got onto A Cole Esq.
Perhaps the best story of the lot though is back in Liverpool. Sean Cummins – a copywriter (excellent fellows all – and I mean that) invented “Duncan Jenkins” – a sort of Billy the Dog McGraw on heat. He started posting the Liverpool starting XI two hours before kick off. He got it right, so then everyone started to take his made up transfer stories seriously.
So outraged were Liverpool FC by it all that the communications director, Jen Chang, went to meet the man and find out where his information was coming from! To get this clear this really is like a senior man from Arsenal coming to see Billy the Dog and demanding to know how he had access to Dennis Bergkamp’s allotment in Enfield.
Chang then hired investigators to find Cummins, told him that unless he came clean there would be “dog s**t coming through your letter box” and he “might even have to move house” because “football fans are crazy”.
But that’s normal in Liverpool I suppose.