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The Questions We Would Ask

By Paul Daly :  01/02/2009 :  Comments (0) :
It’s a shame that unlike the Italian or the Spanish press, when English reporters have a chance to ask questions of football managers they bottle it. Just listen to any of the post-match or pre-game interviews conducted at any of the Premier league clubs. English reporters prefer soft ingratiating chats rather than flow-blown question and answer sessions that address tactics, substitutions or the progress of a match. There is never a proper post-mortem of what happened in the ebb and flow of a game. The height of intellectual curiosity from the average football hack is “David did you think when Lescott went over in the box it was a penalty?”

This seems to be especially true of Everton where a compliant and complacent press pack seem more concerned with preserving their access than with digging up some hard news. There is also the feeling that none of the hacks want to risk the kind of fallout that has frequently occurred with another volatile Scot. Watch the Everton Manager interact with the press. For Moyes part you can almost feel his contempt for these pesky placid penpushers. Behind the bulging eyes you can see him formulating the words “Youse know f***ing nothing abou’ fitba, youse are jes’ livin’ off the backs of Everton football club……..”

So the press aren’t doing their job- surprise surprise. It should be easy enough- all they need to do is troll ToffeeWeb or Bluekipper for a handy list of questions that need addressing. We do their job for them. Pity we can’t access the manager on a weekly basis as they do and ask the kind of things we want answered. At a press-conference in front of say thirty Toffeeweb readers DM would be faced with questions about his substitutions, his formations, his tactical adjustments during a game, his willingness to blood youngsters. There would be questions about how the club are operating in the loan market and they wouldn’t be of the “there’s talk of you bringing in the lad from CSKA Moscow, any truth in that David?” variety to be answered with “What talk??” I can easily imagine a supporter/questioner saying “Leon Osman has looked tired. This has happened every January/February he has been a senior player. How do you address that?” Or how about “Victor Anichebe, David. One goal in seventy odd premier league games. At what point do you decide he can’t cut it as a premier league striker?” I suspect after ten or twelve well put pertinent questions we might have an explosion. And that’s not just a suspicion about Moyes. I think having to answer to a group of supporters would probably elicit the same response from most premier league managers. Witness Gary Megson basically insult his set of fans and tell them they know sfa.

‘Course that’s all a pipe dream. It’ll never happen. But you have to wonder sometimes if the powers that be sometimes look at the Everton websites and see the disparity between what they are asked by the Fourth Estate and the questions Evertonians really want answered. You wonder if they come on here and dismiss us with “well they don’t know what they are talking about”. You wonder if they reflect on how lucky they are not to have to pay too much attention to the paying customers. You wonder if the secretly give thanks that they can get away with insipid answers to non-questions all mediated by their supine friends in the press. You wonder if Bill Kenwright says “Memo to Self: No press credentials for any website…” And sometimes if you’re an optimistic type you wonder if they sometimes don’t say “that’s a mad intense shower over at ToffeeWeb, but maybe they have a point. Maybe we should give Gosling and Rodwell an extended run……..”

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