Re-Writing Football History – “If”s & “But For”sMon, 17 May 2010
BBC Sport’s chief football writer, Phil McNulty, deserves a post.
His latest blog entry, “Chelsea add to rich history”, elicited the following comment:
“21. At 01:28am on 16 May 2010, Spamburger wrote:
We know what happened.
So what’s this article actually for?”
Another trite and banal piece from Mr McNulty. I regularly read several of BBC Sport’s football bloggers and Mr McNulty’s articles are consistently the most pointless. He either re-hashes “tabloid” opinions or he sounds like a schoolboy gushing over his favourite club or player.
And the last time I criticized Mr McNulty on his blog, my comment was removed by the moderators.
As a consequence, I by and large stopped reading his articles, until I clicked on his latest effort. No improvement.
“16. At 00:27am on 16 May 2010, Mr George Banjo wrote:
***Chelsea are the only team in English football history to win the League/ Cup Double, the League/ League Cup Double & FA Cup/ League Cup Double***
Is this sarcasm?
Because Liverpool won the League/Cup double in 1986, the League/League Cup double in 1982, 1983 and 1984, and the FA Cup/League Cup double in 2001.”
Another piece of history that Chelsea share with Liverpool is that they are both clubs formed to occupy an otherwise vacant football stadium.
“100. At 12:31pm on 16 May 2010, Paul Mitchell wrote:
Let the naysayers reflect that Chelsea would have been the first British representatives in the European Cup had the FA and the Football League let them enter in 1955. Had they played and won it that would have been truly historic.”
It’s a big leap from being the first English club to take part in the European Cup to winning it in its inaugural year, especially given the dominance of Real Madrid at that time.
“If”s and “but for”s are all good and well, but can be rather pointless.
Would Hungary have won the 1954 World Cup (instead of it being West Germany’s first) if Werner Liebrich had not “savagely hacked at Puskas’s ankles”? “In essence, it was this kick that won the World Cup.”
I’m sure we could find many more “if”s and “but for”s if we apply our minds to it.
Further, the Football Association’s attitude towards English clubs in Europe in the second half of the 1950s had far more serious consequences than Chelsea being deprived of that little bit of “history”.
A more meaningful re-examination of football history should include the role of the football authorities, from national associations, to confederations to FIFA. As I said before:
Its about time football had its own truth and reconciliation commission. It would be appropriate if it could take place before the next World Cup in 2010, in South Africa, where the term was used to overcome the injustices of the apartheid system.
I’ll end on Mr McNulty. Notwithstanding his lack of insight into football, he does seem very good at promoting and publicizing himself. As he so admirably states at the end of his article:
“You can follow me at twitter.com/philmcnulty and join me on Facebook.”