Southgate Team Sheet ‘gate’

I write an opinion based blog throughout the season.  I aimed to do it weekly last year but that just did not happen and this coming season despite my best intentions I doubt I will do it again, especially now that I am involved in the new Spurs News podcast.  That’s right, now not only can you read by ramblings you can hear me.  I will say now the idea of a Spurs News TV was shot down pretty quickly for two very good reasons; (1) I have a face for podcasts / radio and (2) fan TV is the devil…  just saying.

So today’s blog is not about Tottenham but actually about England and what has happened this past week with the press as I just wanted to express my feelings on the matter and much like the guy in the Wedding Singer movie.. its my platform so you will listen to what I have to say !! .. please.

England Image

Southgate and the FA came up with a plan going into this World Cup that rather than make enemies of the press they would invite them in and allow the players to interact with them all on a regular basis.  This served to break down the walls that have been up in the past and generally project a sense of good feeling.

This in turn translated to the fans who by seeing these interactions and reading positive stories about the players and the squad felt an attachment to an England team possibly for the first time in a long time or for younger fans the first time full stop.

It reminds me personally of the impact Pochettino had at Tottenham in terms of bringing the fans back to the team by dumping over paid mercenaries at the club in favour of academy graduates like Harry Kane… now England are benefiting from that with Kane as captain and leading by example on and off the pitch.

Sadly this week that good feeling with the press was damaged when a coach was walking around in an open training session with a notepad and a journalist decided to take a zoomed in picture to see the content of that notepad he was carrying.  Jackpot he must have thought; its a team sheet.  He then went ahead and published and due to the wonders of social medial within minutes it was viral and within 30 minutes it was global.

Leaked Team Sheet

What followed though, for me, is something the press was not expecting.  Fans have been won over by this England team and by Southgates approach.  Hell, not many fans saw it coming either!  However possibly due to the goodwill of winning the first game fans quickly and in unison condemned the press with every journalist story about this leaked team sheet getting slammed and pure hate throw at their direction.

The press have since fired back claiming they are just doing their jobs however I am with the majority of fans here when I think that is a total cop out.  They were invited in and trusted and they have now broken that trust.  The coach in question was carrying this note pad meaning the person taking the picture must have really tried to do that.  Take away the sly part of it once discovering what it was had a choice.

He could ignore it and move on or he could publish, sadly due to the nature of ‘journalism’ now he published as he knew it would get clicks.  Now the content of this pad I do not think personally gives much away, which is likely why the players and Southgate have largely brushed it off – but have said they did wish the press would respect their privacy and support them not try and undermine them.

There it is though, the true fact about news is that bad news sells.  Controversy.  Sex.  Say something to piss people off online and you get attention and that is how journalism works now.  They are just paid for trolls.  I don’t know about anyone else but I am pretty sick of it and would like to see good reporting rewarded and this blatant click bait crap a thing of the past.

I support this England team and wish them all the best today (1pm kick off, 11am as I write this) and when the press write their stories after I hope fans don’t let this blow over like the journalists badly want it too.



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