Who are we to criticise Qatar? Or Gary Neville. All of us are massive hypocrites…

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville uses his phone. Credit: Alamy
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville uses his phone. Credit: Alamy

The Mailbox urges us to get our own house in order before we criticise the World Cup hosts for their failings, or Gary Neville for taking the Qatari coin.

Get your views in to theeditor@football365.com

 

Who should host a World Cup?
Mark from Capetown’s email got me thinking… so who should host a World Cup. Who is the ideal candidate to host a World Cup? Is it a country with an impeccable human rights record both within AND outside its borders? In which case there won’t be many countries to choose from… or should we actually be actively giving it to countries such as Qatar, a country all in the western world would agree has a poor human rights record at home. Is this an opportunity to highlight a more progressive/positive way of life to their people, possibly change the minds of some of their leaders and maybe lead to a better world?

As pointed out in my mail earlier in the week, we all like to cherry pick our morals when it comes to the World Cup hosts. The human rights abuses within the borders of Qatar are of course reprehensible. The human rights abuses of colonial/conquering/oil hungry Britain/USA were of no interest when they hosted major tournaments… everyone just stuck their fingers in our ears and sang that silly song by Baddiel and Skinner… la di da di da… Vindalooo etc etc

So why not China for the next World Cup? Maybe it will help highlight the plight of the Uyghur population. Or Israel… it might help highlight the suffering of Palestinians… Or even England again, it will help to highlight the offshore refugee detention by legitimate refugees who were displaced in wars happily propped up by or started by the UK. That would of course require a media with actual intelligence and balance… Maybe Harry Kane will wear a Green White and Orange armband to encourage Irish unity and an inquest into all the Irish people assassinated by British soldiers? Thats how it should work yeah? The same rules for everyone?

For whatever mental reason, a bunch of men/women running around a pitch kicking a ball can help unify the World. Look at the change that occurred when Sylvester Stallone and Europe played the Nazis. It practically ended the world war. Thats just a historical fact. Maybe the World Cup in Qatar will lead to positive change… wishful thinking perhaps

The only alternative solution would be to have Ireland host all tournaments as we are gods people and flawless. This would also be great craic for the whole world. Someone give me Sepp’s number and a brown paper bag…
shz

 

 

…It may go against the prevailing liberal agenda, but surely Qataris are entitled to make their own laws. How would we feel about Americans coming here and demanding the right to carry a gun.
What’s more, when England won our only World Cup in 1966, homosexual acts were illegal here. Should we have been banned from holding it?
Stop the self-righteous pronouncements and do what FIFA suggest – concentrate on the football.
Tony A

 

Get our own house in order
Various guardian readers in this mailbox are having a go at Qatar over its LGBTQ policy. Such outrage.

Hang on a minute. Are you attacking a country for sticking to its religious beliefs ? It looks a bit like that. Are you actually mocking the Islamic faith now ?

We’re already inflicting alcohol on them, and all that goes with it. And by we, I mean the world. Maybe some Qataris don’t want a World Cup. Or shirtless Brits urinating in the sand.

But Qatar is maligned in this mailbox as some sort of backwards nation; made up purely of billionaires, homophobes and slave owners. It’s ridiculous.

How about we take a long, hard look at ourselves first.

England is apparently such a progressive nation – by comparison. Have we had one Premiership footballer come out as gay yet ? No ? Why is that, exactly ?

This is a country where we physically stop epileptic kids and cancer sufferers from smoking certain plants that are known to ease pain. It’s a criminal offence – we’d rather lock them up.

A country where football fans sing songs about plane crashes, “hiss” in reference to Auschwitz’s gas chambers and throw bananas in order to provoke racial disharmony. How many Qataris are going to do that at the World Cup ?

In short, we are f***ing disgusting. As a sport, as a nation. We’re hypocrites. Let’s get our house in order before we start mocking Qatar.

Harry Kane will be wearing a multicoloured strip on his arm at the World Cup. This apparently means “one love”. A concept pioneered by Rastafarians and Bob Marley. Possibly while stoned.

Where is John Nicholson on this ?! Today I’m a low rent John Nic. I’ve got some of his anger and none of his flair.

Being “progressive” doesn’t mean much at all. Its just a tactic used by fools to insinuate their superiority over others. Like social class.
Tom, E13 (*opens can of worms)

 

Nev watch
After Gary Neville’s recent wave of cringe worthy defences of his taking of Qatar’s blood-stained notes. Which basically run along the lines of ‘I’ll be raising awareness whilst profiting from the things I’m criticising!’. I was wondering whether F365, or the mailbox, could put together a Neville Watch!

Because I reckon he’s relying fairly heavily on the fact that nobody will be watching in the UK and therefor will never have to actually deliver on his promise.

It would be great if people who have the stomach to watch their coverage could count up the minutes, although that may be optimistic so let’s say tenths of a second, that Neville spends actually talking about any of the issues around the hosts.

Then compare it to how much money he’s earned for that time.

Perhaps tag it onto media watch or something?
DM

Read more: Gary Neville really is a massive hypocrite on Qatar – we’re not angry, just disappointed

 

MassiveHypocrites365
Did you drop the mirror whilst writing the article on Gary Neville?

How can a website who’s revenue stream is dependent upon ads, clicks and interactions even begin to contemplate writing such hypocritical nonsense?

Unless of course you plan to blank the World Cup altogether so that you can continue to stand on your shaky moral high ground and preach to others about profiteering?

Thought not…
Richard (Manchester)

 

Liverpool’s conundrum
It makes sense really. We’re in transition. If we’re not in transition, we are probably at the end of an era. I’d argue we’re closer to the end of an era than the beginning of a new one.

So what to do? We’ve got one of, if not the, best manager in the game. There’s some young blood coming through. But to now go and sell off the majority of the team and start the rebuild..? Invest more with no certainty of winning/returns? Why would FSG want that?

They bought Liverpool when we were down – helped us win everything – and can probably now see we’re on the decline again. Improved infrastructure, grew us commercially, invested significant funds in the team, improved our coaching and support staff, modernised our technical team. As far as I’m concerned, they are brilliant owners.

We’re in a better spot now than we were when they took over = job done.

Do I want Klopp out? Of course not, the man is a hero. Do I want Klopp to build again and get back to heavy metal football? Absolutely.

To me it’s the obvious solution. We need new owners to take us to the next level. I commend FSG’s decision to look for investment/sell up shop.

Now the big question is, would we mind oil money, or to become a billionaire’s plaything? Or do we look for a similar owner to FSG – financially prudent but looking to make the most from their investment (Super League).

Ah screw it bring on the tainted money and let’s become the biggest in the world.

Best,
Wik, Pretoria (bring on the high-horse brethren), LFC

Jurgen Klopp poses with Liverpool owner John W Henry. Credit: Alamy
Jurgen Klopp poses with Liverpool owner John W Henry. Credit: Alamy

…As a Manchester City fan “dirty oil club” is a criticism of my team I’m used to seeing nowadays…….increasingly more by but not exclusively by Liverpool fans.

Now I’m not trying to provoke an argument of petty back n forths of my clubs better than your club and my dads harder than yours……but a genuine question for Liverpool fans

IF and that’s IF!! FSG sell up and for arguments sake it’s an oil backed state like Dubai who purchases you, invests in the infrastructure of the club, the training ground, the stadium, the surrounding area and community not to mention the actual team…are you all going to be declaring dirty oil club or will you stop supporting Liverpool like rival fans (of a lot of clubs) level at city?

Where do you stand on it?

Look forward to some (hopefully level headed) responses.
Paul, Manchester

 

Toon view
Nice to see some NUFC related content in the mailbox this week, I just wanted to reply to two mails this morning, with the NUFC blinkers on.

Firstly, Ash’s 11 of the season so far. Don’t disagree with a lot of it but I’d have Botman over Martinez – the man is absolutely awesome and is only going to get better and is a big reason why we have the best defence in the league (with Trippier).

Secondly – Al, Dublin, You are right, the money is why we are where we are, it’s the source/origin of the march up the league. I think the issue (and don’t get me wrong, Newcastle fans have become far too sensitive & touchy about the money) is the disregard of how valued the coaching has become.

I’m not so sure Howe would have passed on the job or only took it because of money. The issue was Ashley. You replace him with any sort of owner with a modicum of ambition and Howe would have joined, and the coaching & improvement of the players is not solely about ‘other players being signed’ or ‘jumping on a wage gravy train’. The improvement is down to him and his staff, albeit any sort of training would have raised the standards from Bruce. Almiron has a role now, Longstaff runs more than anyone in the league, Joelinton is reborn, even our fringe players buy into the system.

A huge reason we are where we are is we have a brilliant manager and coaching staff, another huge reason is how defunct we were as a premier league setup before that – we didn’t go from 80% to 100%, we went from 10% to 100. Money has changed everything, but honestly even just a bit of money would have saved us from where we were and who knows what Howe could have done with that. Spending normal Premier League levels as our rivals have done would have brought in decent players and we would have been competing mid-table without the Saudi’s, I’m confident of that. Obviously I am biased, but I have never, I repeat never, seen a Newcastle side with more commitment to a style of playing and clear work on the training pitch playing dividends.

Would Ashworth have joined? Maybe not, but we had no DoF (let alone4 people working in our commercial department under Ashley – FOUR). Before the investment it would have been nice if we’d behaved like a modern football club instead of taking ice baths in wheelie bins.

Recommend listening to Howe on the High Performance Podcast.
Harry, York

 

Haaland sussed?
In response to Ron Jeremias’ email this morning..

I applaud you for “developing” your own statistical measure, which presumably ought to determine how well a team will perform if their star striker is crocked. Sadly, and I hope your development process wasn’t too time consuming, it means absolutely nothing and is entirely flawed. There are many reasons. Prime example being that if said striker is crocked their team will often play a different way – like Son for Spurs who stepped up very nicely while Kane was out. I could go on but I’m keen to develop my own statistical measure of subject matter to be confirmed.

Other than that though, good work Ron.
David.

 

…Ron Jeremias’ concern at Manchester City’s reliance on Erling Haaland’s goals is much appreciated and his stats are very interesting, but a look at the table should calm his fears.

Other City players have scored 21 Premier League goals this season, which is higher than the total scored by Manchester United (18) and Chelsea (17). City’s goal difference is +9 if Haaland’s goals are removed, which puts them in joint 4th place on that statistic with Tottenham and Liverpool.

Even if we assume Haaland wasn’t available, City wouldn’t instead play with ten men. They have Alvarez as back up, and he’s started very well. City also managed to score 99 Premier League goals in 2021/22 without any striker at all.

Best wishes
Colin Lawton, Galway, Ireland.

 

City apathy
In response to RG in the mailbox; you’re really not alone. Everyone is apathetic towards City. They’ve got the most money and they spend it in a boringly sensible fashion. There’s no intrigue or narrative for anyone outside of Stockport. They’re supposed to win.

For evidence of this, look at this weekend’s events. If Salah or Fernandes had thrown themselves to the floor to win a last minute penalty as de Bruyne did, it would’ve been the main topic of conversation on Sky, the tabloids and then in the Mailbox etc. The reason it isn’t is because they don’t shift papers/generate clicks. Loads of people support Liverpool and United (and Arsenal, Chelsea etc) but even more hate them. City have a much smaller fan base and elicit a collective shrug from everyone else. Chelsea may have been the first nouveau riche club, but at least they were fun with it!
Lewis, Busby Way

Read more: England World Cup squad announcement: Which outsiders have the loudest clamour?

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