Success or Pride?

Out for a run this morning. Listening to a podcast of BBC Radio 5 Live. The question came up; “Would you prefer Stoke to play beautiful football and be in the Championship or play turgid football and be in the Premier League?” Premier League with turgid football was unequivocally the answer.


I say this is wrong on so many levels that I cannot begin to comprehend it. I know why the Stoke fan said so, the value of immediate results has spiralled out of control. Clubs and fans lose track of the long term future all too quickly.

The values of the game I grew up to love are now dispensable in the voyage for results. Footballers are now being exploited and automaton-ised (I’m 1000% certain that isn’t a word), anyone that has; I AM THE SECRET FOOTBALLER will know. In short, the author hasn’t had a weekend with his mates in 12 years, wasn’t able to attend his best friend’s wedding and wasn’t able to attend many funerals of loved ones, all in search of immediate results. I’d go as far to say these are basic human rights. And then people complain about Andros Townsend having some banter…..

Back to the point of the post.

I must be able to condone what the team I support, be it England, Ireland (my background is complicated) Spurs, is doing before I can support them. I mean that 100% literally. I haven’t been able to support Ireland for the last 5 years while Giovanni Trappatoni has been in charge. Trappatoni employed a system with long balls, hard work and, worst of all, a complete disregard for anybody with something approaching technical skill. Trappatoni has had a successful tenure, all in all, He got us to the Euros, he should have gotten us to the World Cup but Thierry Henry is [insert-multiple-explicit-derogatory-terms].

I could not care less.

Trappatoni’s tenure has been excruciating and I want to forget as fast as possible. He won us games at home and didn’t lose for 30-odd games (26, I think) away from home but he did it through nefarious means. The means is more important than the end in football because you only experience the end for a fleeting moment, you have to endure the means for the rest of the game. I could never be proud of any victory.

If Tottenham were taken over by Tony Pulis and we started playing long-ball football. I would not be able to support Tottenham, I would watch them but strictly as a neutral. I couldn’t condone our actions during the game, even if it won us the Champion’s League. I’ll reiterate, the end doesn’t justify the means even in this hyperbole.

As an extension to this, I wouldn’t ever welcome Luis Suarez, if he were to sign for Spurs. I couldn’t justify his presence at the club even if he scored 100 goals for is 10 games.

If I were a Barcelona fan, I wouldn’t be able to support Barcelona if they failed to Éric Abidal’s when he was suffering from Liver cancer.

If I were a Swindon Town fan, I wouldn’t be able to support the employers of Nile Ranger.

If I were a Birmingham City fan, I wouldn’t be able to condone their employment of Marlon King.

In fact, I’m taking a long and hard look at myself in the mirror. I’m seriously struggling to condone the actions of a club that has boycotted an anti-homophobia campaign because no prior consultation, It’s coloured laces. What consultation do you need. Or a club that still hasn’t given Darren Anderton or Ledley King a memorial.

That club is none other than our very own Tottenham Hotspur.

Luckily, those are isolated incidents.

The point is this, I must be proud of the team before I can be proud of it’s successes.

If I ran for mayor of London and got there. But I got there by murdering, extorting and corrupting anyone who stood in my way. I couldn’t condone my actions and I wouldn’t be proud of my successes.

If Tottenham won the Champion’s League by similarly deplorable  means, I wouldn’t be proud of it.

I’m machiavellian in my belief that the end justifies the mean but not when the end is so fleeting.

Follow me @ImmenDimensions.


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