Ah Jamie Carragher, the cube-headed embodiment of scousedom, until recently regarded by many as an insightful pundit alongside Gary Neville on Monday Night Football.
He now seeks to kill off his well-earned plaudits by again showing a lack of class and respect, as well as knowledge, to clubs other than his beloved Liverpool. The one time Christmas Party gigolo had the following to say in his column for the Daily Mail:
“I don’t like the fact Liverpool are getting rid of a manager after just eight games… I always thought of sacking someone so early in the season as something clubs like Newcastle or Tottenham do”
What Jamie fails to realise is that by making such a comment he is merely diminishing Liverpool while abandoning reality and recent history, for a land where clouds are made of candy floss and Unicorns poop rainbows.
Yes, both Newcastle and Tottenham have a less than dignified history of managerial appointments and dismissals – if only the other ‘JFK’ had been in Dallas in 1963, the world would be a better place for toon fans and, well, everyone – but are Liverpool so much better?
Including Brendan Rodgers, five of the last eight Liverpool managers have departed their post mid-season.
In addition, the last manager to win a trophy for Liverpool was cast aside at the end of the season to make way for the new era of success under Rodgers; but that’s OK because that’s what clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid do and Liverpool have been just as successful as those clubs in the past twenty five years. Oh what’s that, they haven’t?
Real Madrid – 7 league titles, 10 domestic cups, 4 European Cups
Barcelona – 17 league titles, 15 domestic cups, 5 European Cups, 1 CWC
Liverpool – 0 league titles, 7 domestic cups, 1 European Cup, 1 Uefa Cup
Liverpool are just as bad as Newcastle, Tottenham and just about every other club with regard to poor managerial appointments and knee jerk dismissals (Roy Hodgson just stopped rubbing his face long enough to nod in agreement).
Only one currently Premier League manager has been in place for over 3 years and Arsenal fans are keen to give him the pink slip. Despite what we are continually told through their numerous disciples in the media – Liverpool are not a paragon of footballing virtue.
This brings us onto another interesting issue related to Carragher’s comments, as well as those made by Steve McClaren recently and, to an extent, Alan Pardew’s previous rhetoric. Since when did football become an Orwellian construct of misinformation and mantra?
It is often said that history is created by the victors, however that has recently changed from outright victory to a battle for ‘hearts and minds’ – to essentially control the thoughts and beliefs of the populace is to control the discourse of history, victory be damned.
This brings us to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and the concept of Doublethink; in the novel the controlling parties are constantly rewriting history in direct contradiction to what has come before. Not only do you believe that white is black when they tell you this, you also wholeheartedly believe white has always been black.
Alan Pardew was a master of this in his time at Newcastle, here are a few of his gems nicely catalogued on the sack Pardew website:
“Andy Carroll’s future was one of the items at the top of my agenda. He needs to stay. I have had reassurances about that, 100% he is staying here… I guarantee while I am here he will be here.”
“The money will be Andy’s legacy to the team.”
“We took the lead and if it wasn’t for exuberance at the end, trying to get a second and the crowd urging us on and all getting a little bit carried away, we would have a really big victory today.”
“It’s a city that loves the club so much that it hurts itself, because of that love. If there was perhaps less pressure on our results, and the effect on the city, it would probably be a better club, but that’s what it is – it’s never going to change.”
“The last few results, particularly the last three, have been tough, tough games for us. The opposition have been above us, there’s no doubt about that, and we have not really had any breaks in the games.”
“They have good players – they still carry great players, Aston Villa, and it will be a difficult game.”
“We have pitched in and signed players that we think give us a chance to push for Champions League.”
“I think our fans are realistic – they know the top six is beyond us.”
Bringing back fond memories? Pardew was a master of the doublethink and manipulating the media agenda, and while Newcastle fans eventually saw through this, it must be taken through the lens of the casual observer.
A Manchester United fan in London isn’t going to connect the dots when he reads or hears two contradictory quotes several months apart. Instead, they are going to build a picture based on the consistent theme of what is being fed to them: Newcastle is a small club with a fanatical fan base that thinks too highly of its stature and ambition.
This feeds into Liverpool and the comments made by Carragher and others – why are Liverpool still a great club? Because we are consistently told by ex-Liverpool pundits that this is the case contrary to factual evidence; which makes it all the more sickening for a Newcastle fan to hear Jamie Carragher sandbag our club in order to elevate his own.
Returning to Newcastle, and McClaren is already developing his own brand of doublethink by repeating key words such as: identity, pressure, fear, patience, belief and everyone’s favourite – it’s a big job. One minute he’s convinced we’ve done all our transfer business and he’s satisfied and the next says we could have done with bringing in another striker.
The most obvious example of McClaren doublethink was highlighted in a previous Mag article – ‘Worrying signs that Steve McClaren has been Pardewed’ – where McClaren repeatedly referenced building on the platform of the first four games, something subsequently aped by a number of players and, as pointed out in the above article, and by further results, is a total load of rubbish.
However, such falsehoods are swallowed whole by the average unconcerned observer and serve only to distort the true nature of a deeply troubled club and its frustrated fans.
It is perhaps necessary to end this by coming full circle and suggest that, while Carragher belittles our club he rightfully promotes his own, leaving me to ask where the likes of Alan Shearer and other ex-Newcastle pundits stand, as we are once again reduced to a crude punchline.
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