I cannot love this guy any more than I already do. Sure, he had a shite season, but next year will be different. I’m very much enjoying his excellent attire here. The Arsenal tinted sunglasses are a deep metaphor for outlook on his career at Arsenal so far, the leopard print silk shirt is how he’s planning to connect with his inner animal next season, and after that, I run out of fashion metaphors.
Hector, never stop being you. A true champion and a fashion pioneer.
Stan Collymore doesn’t quite land my full-throated praise. The ex-Oviedo striker went for the full-on nuclear option after a Guardian interview on race, that was, for the most part, pretty ok. He called out average white men landing on their feet in the game, he spoke about racism still being a problem, and then he did what Stan does best… he used his well-crafted argument to ladder back to his favourite topic of conversation… himself.
“To be a black pundit you either need to be a comedian like Chris Kamara or Ian Wright – guys who have big pearly-white smiles and everyone loves laughing at – or Jermaine Jenas and Alex Scott, who are completely inoffensive,” he says. “What you’re not allowed to do is call out the status quo, which is what I do.
“Opportunities have been denied to me and it’s got nothing to with what happened with Ulrika Jonsson because I’ve worked since then. No, it’s because I’ve become increasingly outspoken and that’s not allowed in this country if you’re not white.
“It’s not just me who is affected – look at that Sky Sports show Sunday Supplement; there are never any journalists from a BAME background on there; every week it’s a panel of all white men. That can’t be right.”
Poor old Stan, a blackballed genius paralleled only to Dalton Trumbo.
According to the enlightened one, you only make it as a black pundit if you are funny, have nice teeth, or you are totally inoffensive.
I LOVE that he thinks being offensive is what the world needs more of right now.
Stan eviscerated a whole group of fellow black professionals who have worked hard to make it to the top of their respective game.
Anyway, that wasn’t the worst of it, he had this to say to Ian Wright.
What a bastard thing to tweet. He’s trying to excuse his own failures by denigrating the achievements of others and in the process shown his true colours when put under the slightest of pressures outside the safe space of an interview. It reminded me of a really shite Vidal vs Buckley blow-up.
I can totally buy into Stan’s more interesting view that black managers don’t get the same chances white managers do. I don’t think Sol Campbell is the best example of a black man who can’t land a role, but it is telling that average thinkers like Stevie G can waltz into a job at Rangers with no credentials. Same for Joey Barton, a genuine faux intellectual scumbag who coasts through football life without a problem. The game should be merit-based, but if we’re being real, that’s absolutely not the case. Football is still the old boys club. Arsenal only just broke that spell and it took 10 years of wrangling.
However, when it comes to punditry, Stan is a dated bore trying to bring back lowest common denominator talkshow formats as some sort of revolutionary thought. He famously said Guardiola wouldn’t be able to play his way to the Premier League, there are countless examples through the years of archaic backward views dressed up in passionate grassroots thinking. His talk show, back in the day, offered up next to nothing in terms of analysis of the modern game and how it’s played now. It was always about him. His experiences. His aggressively delivered views, like a horrible Sunday league team talk from someone’s weird stepbrother (Jonathan Liew has a good take on it from 2012).
He even brushed aside the wife-beater issue, citing Gazza as a person who had also beaten his wife (and is still very much loved). I mean, two wife-beatings don’t make a right for starters, but Gazza isn’t pitching himself for punditry jobs. He’s a washed-up alcoholic who tried to feed fried chicken to a dangerous fugitive murderer. The only thing he’s afforded by the public is sympathy, he certainly wouldn’t be in the mix for a job on MOTD. A closer comparison might be Rodney Marsh who was fired for being offensive on air, Keysey and Gray who were ostracized to the middle-East for being sexist pigs, or Ron Atkinson for being a racist.
Rightly or wrongly, if Gazza is loved, it’s for what he did on the pitch (Stan really can’t compete here). Sadly, we live in a society that accepts flawed characters if they offer up something magical to sport or the arts. Michael Jackson, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey, R-Kelly to name but a few… that’s a deeper issue, but it’s not predicated on race.
The irony of all of this is Stan is rallying against privilege, whilst demanding it for himself.
He is Stan. He deserves the roles others have taken from him. Society is rigged against him. A rich ex-footballer who’d earn more in a week than most would in a year, bleating on about fairness.
Fuck you, Stan. Good riddance. I hope you stay in Russia.
Onto other news, Jack Wilshere is apparently being courted by Juventus. Now, I’ve no idea what’s going on here, but I have my doubts he’d get more money in Italy than he does here. I really struggle to see someone who took a loan move to Bournemouth heading to Turin to learn a new language and culture, with a young family in tow. Not just that, he offered next to nothing form wise last season, he couldn’t crack it under Eddie Howe, and Gareth Southgate dropped him. If he gets a new deal with us, I’d consider him lucky. Really can’t see him moving anywhere interesting if he leaves us.
We’re apparently going to land Sokratis very soon according to Jezza Wilson, the inside man at Camp Stan went out of his way to deny we were in for Fellaini last week dropped this bombshell at the bottom of his article.
‘Arsenal are aware of Marouane Fellaini’s availability but he is not currently a priority.’
Noooooo… the second time in a week. You know he’s going to join us, don’t you?
Let’s hope it’s not at the expense of Torriera or someone good! Though moves for the Uraguan aren’t looking that great as Napoli up their interest in adding him to the mix.
Right, that’s me done. See you in the comments.