Failure Gives a Platform…

Date: 30th March 2024

Failure Gives a Platform…

Recently I came across a clip from a podcast where Robbie Savage was responding to an attack by John Terry who suggested, whilst he was the Chelsea boss, that because of the lack of success in Savage’s career that he had no right to criticise him. Or at least that he would listen to those players who had had a successful career but not to failures, and he referenced Savage directly for that.

Savage had been critical of the then Chelsea boss, but took exception, not to Terry’s comments but the sycophantic laughter which accompanied such comments in the press conference where Terry hit back at him.

“I just don’t think he is a very good manager.” So said Michael Stewart of the former Hearts and Scotland boss, and now the St. Johnstone gaffer, Craig Levein. Now Levein has come in for his fair share of criticism in all of those roles, and I hardly think that Stewart’s comments will cause him many sleepless nights, but Stewart’s right to criticise? According to the thinking behind John Terry’s comments a claim could be made that the former Manchester United, Hearts and Hibernian “fringe” player has no right to level his thinking in such a critical and damning manner. And by the way, Savage, Levein and Stewart can take the criticism because they are secure in their careers.

But, if I follow the thinking behind John Terry, he will never have sent food back in a restaurant, complained about work being done in his home or on his car. After all he has never been a chef, a plasterer or a mechanic. or so I believe but am happy to find out his cordon bleu credentials and his plasterer’s certificate from CITCB as well as his car mechanic’s bona fides.

It is surely not the vessel of complaint but the validity of the criticism that is important – perhaps so, perhaps not.

It is, to my mind, the manner in which it is delivered that is just as significant.

I, for one, would never make it my business to level caustic comments towards a 17 year old school pupil. I may, take aim and be critical of their performance within a specific context – as in they are young, ambitious and keen whilst also inexperienced. Given the amount of press being given to another 17 year old – Luke Littler in the darts world – we can see how young prodigies are once more making waves in the sporting world. But take stock of child actors and the young stars who shone in football academies in the last 20 or so years and then read report after report after report of how they suffered when they were let go. Or how child actors slipped into seedy lifestyles because they were harshly judged – by their peers, by the critics and by the public.

I would certainly not take to the keyboard and start mocking people for their love of the game and their learning within it. But then again, I am not a man who needs such attention to stay relevant. And if I was, then I would hope that I became irrelevant very quickly.

But people shall love it, click on it and follow that through. They shall dwell on clips being posted and instead of marvelling at the skill of a team that found the way to goal, deride the attempts of the opposition to stop them. That is for many the way that football criticism is going. The response not just from the 17 year old’s father and the others, including players in the game concerned, who came to the support of this young goalkeeper, was heartwarming but should simply be unnecessary.

A former player who played to a moderate level having a career based upon being vile and tidying it up as criticism and comment is quite pathetic. As someone pointed out to the older gentleman who seems fixated on a schoolgirl that changing channel, is for most of us, a simple task.

I watched the game and when Brian Graham got to celebrate the equaliser it was a joy. I thought Thistle up till then looked capable of a shock but great credit to Rangers who piled on the pressure and won the cup with a  4-1 victory.

The goalkeeper, Ava Easton is on loan from Glasgow City – remember her name, as I am sure you will hear it more as time goes on. The man? I think at one time he said he was too good for Scotland then came up and proved himself wrong. Forgettable, truly forgettable

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