There has been a story floating around the football world over the past few months that has desperately needed to be addressed. For ages I thought about writing about the “football family’s” reaction to Ched Evans attempts to come back into football. Luckily Andrew Furlong did it instead and did a cracking job so go and read it then come back here and read this. Him doing that has allowed me to write about another “blight” on our game. Selfies.
Seemingly the tradition is to now take a photograph of you and your jubilant teammates after you manage to keep a clean sheet against training cones in a practice match. Which, if you’re the Arsenal backline, is a superb achievement and rightly should be applauded. However after Jamie Carragher branded the Gunners selfies “utter nonsense” and urged teams to stop doing it. Surprisingly he didn’t say this after Liverpool players did the same thing after an away win over Sunderland. Jamie would much rather we went back to the days of players playing a game, shaking hands with the opposition before being carted back to their gated communities away from the public. In his ideal world you would only celebrate a goal with a curt nod and slow jog back into your half while Liverpool would be allowed to win the league again.
I don’t follow footballers on any form of social media, I don’t see them as role models and I have no wish to meet one in a pub. Unless of course it was Mario Balotelli because I would give my right nut to spend twenty minutes with that man. However a lot of people do follow their “heroes” and in a game where the main complaint is that it’s no longer connected to the fans why would we deny people that connection?
I like the fact that a £30million quid Chilean superstar has enough patience to have his photo taken so his joyous smile can be shared with millions of fans. Then again anyone who has to play with Per Mertesacker is already displaying superhuman levels of patience.
The football world has moved forward both on and off the pitch and with Jamie working for a TV company that has actively embraced social media (to the point where they read out footballers “tweets”) I am surprised by his statement. It does seem that Jamie has supporters in the “ban the selfie” camp, Francesco Totti however is not one of them. And I don’t think any of the Roma fans in his picture will mind him doing it. But he should do what anyone should do if they don’t like the crap their seeing, turn it over. I do when Liverpool are on.
Let footballers have this connection with the fans who want to be communicated with in this way. I think eventually it comes down to a generational thing. The only people who seem to be complaining are those over forty who probably believe “Twitter” is fuelled by witchcraft and shattered dreams. Carragher might not be of that age yet but he looks about as full of joy as Mick McCarthy at a child’s birthday party. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean that it’s not fun/force for good for somebody else, just like I tell my American friends when they ask me what “gun control laws” are.
For the record I have never taken a selfie as I look like someone forced a thawed out caveman and a platypus to have a baby. Who’d want to see that on Instatwitterbook?
by Alex Hall