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The Mortal Sin of ‘Mr Chelsea’


Dorset

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Spoilt for choice on these anti-JT/Chelsea stories, the leading online effort being Barry Glendenning’s all too predictable Guardian Sport Blog jobby, I’ve settled on Matthew Syed’s piece in the Times as the dimmest example of claptrap yet to be written on that mortal sin, namely the delayed rejection of Man City riches. Whilst the irritatingly pompous Bazza has so far received an unbelievable 357 comments on what is no more than contentious drivel, this morning Syed still felt obliged to follow suit and send out his Plan B of an article (Plan A being the aghast, but gleefully tweaked version had John departed) written in roughly identical style and of equally dubious substance. I wont bore you all with the whole article, as the opening two paragraphs provide enough of the drift that’s commonplace amongst most hacks efforts at the moment, but this one in particular needs putting in its place before going in the bin…

‘Mr Chelsea’ takes supporters for suckers (Matthew Syed 29/7/09)

Sore throat was it, JT? Couldn’t get the words out? No Lockets on sale at the convenience store near your holiday home in Tenerife? Or could it be that your inability to say anything about your future for more than three weeks after an approach from Manchester City had something to do with your using the offer as a bargaining chip to increase your salary to more than £150,000 a week at Chelsea?

Not that there is anything wrong with being mercenary. I would do it. Most readers of this column would do it, if they were lucky enough to play professional football. But what we would not do is insult the intelligence of supporters by coming out with what must rank as the most shameless, brazen and hypocritical statement issued by a footballer for, well, at least a fortnight: “I am totally committed to Chelsea and always have been.â€

What follows in the next seven paragraphs adds little other than bitter character assassination to the main gist of a storyline that loosely conveys his expression of sympathy for us ’the suckers’ in this sorry tale. Having taken up the cudgel on our behalf, the newly crowned Sports Journalist of the Year (yes really) proceeds to bash JT with it, presumably for no other reason than he didn’t make up his mind to stay at Chelsea quickly enough to stop us fretting. We are left to assume that Syed, placed in a similar position, would have come out immediately and said he was off, as he openly admits he’s a mercenary, so as to save us loyal fans too much heartache.

How good of him, then, to think of us at a time when most sportsmen only think of themselves and selfishly mull over a move that might prove to be the most crucial they ever make in their life. Of course Syed could do this because his sporting background as an Olympic ping pong player fully qualifies him as an instant decision maker, a quality he has developed over years of choosing which side of a bat to use - smooth or pimply - at the highest level. Add to this reputation for always treating his thousands of loyal table tennis fans with respect, epitomised by his ducking out of that sport as early as possible when the opportunity arose to comment on other sports he so obviously knew a lot about, and you have the perfect proponent of balanced argument on this subject.

Not for him the shameless, brazen hypocrisy of a statement professing commitment, whether it be after fourteen years at one club, followed by a few weeks of wavering, or not. No sireee, you can’t claim total commitment or loyalty if, for any length of time along that path, you consider your options, because that is open admittance of something less than total. Furthermore, to go on to say you always have been [totally committed] is a scurrilous statement no ex-ping pong player would ever dream of making in similar circumstances. Far better to admit mercenary tendencies [as Syed would have done] and scoot off to Citeh amidst much praise from the sporting Media for your honesty and lack of long term commitment - much like Emmanuel Adebeyor has done and Kolo Toure will no doubt soon do.

Ah, Ade and Kolo, now there are two players that Matthew Syed really does know more about than most. A self-confessed Arsenal fan, the Sports Journalist of the Year will have his own views on their ability, loyalty and mercenary tendencies, but he’s pretty reticent when it comes to putting them down in print. Could it be that Ade’s attitude fanwise is being deliberately ignored and Kolo’s imminent defection, as a direct result of JT being at best loyal to us and at worst a non-ping pong playing hypocrite, has got right up Mr Syed’s nose? I think so and I also think he’s scared stiff the Arse will suffer big time in the present climate of mercenary moves, of which there may be many out of the Emirates, and money talking, of which there will be very little by way of Wenger wanga-waving.

Still, never mind Matthew because presumably that’s all to your liking, or so we would imagine from your article. Then again, maybe we shouldn’t be too analytical over these things and simply come out and say what we think straightaway to avoid fan frenzy. In which case, that article of yours - precious little ping and too much pong - there you go, quick enough for you?

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"Not that there is anything wrong with being a mercenary. I would do it."

Actually, you wouldnt because you are a hack who isnt worth luring to another job. There are plenty of football writing pond scum like Piers Morgan and Patrick Barclay to go around whose prose actually sounds identical to his.

As you say Dorset, the hillarious thing about all this is that these people think we are ready to burn JT at the stake for the uncertainty. I was more than a little distrubed and shaken by it, and its clear that his head was at least, in part turned (or maybe turned for him by the thought of providing for the next 10 generations of his family) but the implication that we should be outraged is just plain wrong.

I wish that the whole thing was over 15 mintues after it started with something unequivocal from JT, but it wasnt. In the end, we got there anyway, and some City fans had fun dreaming about it. In the end, no harm done, and i doubt the likes of Aguero or Pato are going to think "oh, well, JT almost went to City, so maybe it is a better option than Chelsea."

In the end, he is going to retire in the royal blue. Arsenal can only wish they had players like that

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Thank you for highlighting this Dorset, I read this earlier today and couldn't belive the pathetic excuse for an article that he has penned with such vitriol.

Essentially, the press have decided to make a villain out of JT no matter what the end result of this saga, and so now he has disappointed them all by staying at CFC, we've been bombarded by a range of damning articles, from 'Does JT have too much power' to 'Even though he's not had a pay rise he's still a f**king mercenary' and on and on and on.

It is hilarious, ire-inducing and pathetic all at once.

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Lawton had a pop yesterday as well. Again the first 2 paragraphs should suffice:

Let the shirt-kissing proceed, as it did so copiously the last time a leading Chelsea player stared into the future and saw himself grey and gnarled but still passionate about his club, still gathering with fellow old geezers at the Bridge to cheer the boys who came after him, whole generations of them committed to a sacred loyalty rather than anything as grubby as the advancement of personal rewards.

This reaction to John Terry's weekend statement that a move by him to Manchester City was "never a possibility" is only excessively cynical if you forget the song and dance that preceded his team-mate Frank Lampard's similar declaration of undying fealty. Then it was Italian money that threatened the continued service of a key Chelsea player. But of course Lampard got a new contract – and a new lease on his passion for the club he has served, let us be fair, quite brilliantly over the years.

The rest of the article for those with strong stomachs can be found here:

Tripe

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Essentially, the press have decided to make a villain out of JT no matter what the end result of this saga

Spot on Tim, thats what I said when this whole affair started, damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Unfortunately some Chelsea fans have fallen into this frame too.

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Just remind me again how the press reacted when Gerrard did his hokey cokey version of decision making with us and ended up staying in scouseland whilst trousering extra cash for doing so? Was he branded as mercenary? Thought not. And surely someone whio is truly mercenary would join up with the biggest bidder?

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Spot on Tim, thats what I said when this whole affair started, damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Unfortunately some Chelsea fans have fallen into this frame too.

Then to my mind they where never real Chelsea fans in the first place.

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Spot on Tim, thats what I said when this whole affair started, damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Unfortunately some Chelsea fans have fallen into this frame too.

From another board:

why is it so hard to believe that the captain of your team, who has never previously had his honour questioned, did what he did because he too was worried about the long term (and short term) future of the club.

Many people say that he aint bigger than the club.

Well neither is Peter Kenyon, Bruce Buck and most importantly neither is Roman.

Our managerial situation has been bad.

Our transfer situation whilst improving could be better.

Most importantly our results (with the best team in the world) haven't been up to what we expected when we started this "revolution".

JT has used the interest, and his player "power" to get some answers to questions many of us have asked.

He wanted to know from the current custodians of "our" club that they had the best interest of our club at heart and in mind. Any move in negotiating is with our current custodians, not CFC.

Notice the two players he picked to mention he wanted to stay are probably the most contravertial off the pitch but perhaps the best in their position on the pitch. He is talking football not marketing, sporting achievment not global reach. And he wants the best FOOTBALLERS to want and play for CFC.

I cannot believe that some of our support are:

A) so blinded by media that they cannot have faith in the words and actions of our leader who has put his head on the line many times.

:( would rather stick to their clearly wrong POV and continue to crucify JT, than to just admit that the boy done good.

There has been times in the past where I've been pissed of at fellow blues with casual racism and mindlessness but nothing has made me feel so much distance from other supporters as some of the quite frankly ignorant and ill informed views on here.

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Then to my mind they where never real Chelsea fans in the first place.

I'm not so sure. Every one is entitled to their opinion, no matter how obviously mistaken that opinion might be. Put it this way, incredible as it may seem, there are still Chelsea fans out there who believe that Scolari was hard done by ... Honestly I don't know. Can you be a "real fan" and still be daft enough to swallow all the crap in the media?

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After reading the first article by Dorset, its one of the bitterest articles ive read by anybody and there seems to be nothing but hatred towards John Terry . The guy has some serious problems if he reacts like that and writes with so much resentment and venom. He strikes me as a spineless coward who hides behind a pen.

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Matthew Syed - the same journalist that wrote that hackneyed one-eyed vituperative piece on Ricky Ponting just a few weeks back. Seemingly these days to be shortlisted or win some journo gong in Britain or elsewhere for that matter you can forget all about balance, objectivity and checking the facts: If it makes you feel any better, I notice that the Times have already "buried" the article in question from its football section (I had to do a search for it) - so much for sports journalist of the year! Loved the bit about how he admits that questions of loyalty wouldn't or doesn't apply to him and, therefore, that Terry's statement is disingenuous. How the f**k would he know unless he ran it past Terry and questioned him on the statement and all of the surrounding context and sought, within the article, to put Terry's point of view? Not that he'll ever seemingly get the chance to do that as far as any future articles concerning JT are concerned I would've have thought. I seriously doubt that any Chels player will ever give him the time of day from this day forward. No doubt it will dawn on him that writing these types of articles for long enough can make you a very lonely figure at the end of the day. Such is the fate of the coward who constantly snipes from the sidelines.

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Expect a lot more one-eyed journalism concerning JT as he made them look like no-idea no-marks, all the exclusives, all the speculation and all the hype came to f'all so now they're after him with a vengeance.

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Just remind me again how the press reacted when Gerrard did his hokey cokey version of decision making with us and ended up staying in scouseland whilst trousering extra cash for doing so? Was he branded as mercenary? Thought not. And surely someone whio is truly mercenary would join up with the biggest bidder?

thats a bloody good point. he was regarde as some kind of modern day saint for turning down the evils of money to stay loyal. and he came out with exactly the same reason as JT, he wanted promisies the club were as ambitous as him. yet there was absolutely no bitter pieces written by the media at all. f**king hypocrites...

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Give it about 3 or 4 weeks and he'll get the club to issue a statement to that effect!

Who was the arsehole who JT called out, met like a proper gentleman, and explained the situation to over the tears in Moscow?

That guy clearly got his pecker in a knot over having gotten a rise out of a player, but in the end he issued a complete retraction and a totally different article about JT. Id rather he just batter them, like one of Jamie Carragher's mates

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thought i'd done something wrong when i read the thread title

its slow at Chelsea these days, not many links to players, no one from inside the club slating the new manager

so the hacks dig up what they can and reveal there true boredom in what they write, and come up with a complete load of crap

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