Friday, 30 March 2012

Mike Calvin showing himself up a bit.

I've not done a piece like this for a while, but I read something today that just made me think "what the actual f**k are you talking about?"

Step forward Mike Calvin, Sports Writer of the year and Sports Reporter of the year twice over. In other words, he's a respected sports journalist. However you would be hard pressed to see why after reading his article in 'Life's a Pitch'.

Now I have no problem with people airing their own opinions on anything as long as they're well thought out and balanced. When it comes to football, this rarely happens though and there have been a few articles in the past where I have felt the need to set the record straight in my own small and rather insignificant way on the blog.

City fans were extremely critical of the press last season as they almost continually printed articles that showed City in a negative light. At the start of this season it appeared that it had changed, but as the weeks and months have passed they have swung back into knocking City at almost every opportunity.

Mike Calvin's 'Man City are ill-equipped to cope with title race demands' is quite clearly laced with bias against City as it pretty much opens with this little beauty;

"What Manchester City need to cope with the unaccustomed demands of a Premier League title race is a copy of a toddler training book, a parents’ bible."

And why is this, Mike?

"It would offer an immediate insight into the tiny mind of Mario Balotelli, who has resumed his normal position on the diamond-encrusted naughty step at Manchester City’s training ground in Carrington."

The "tiny mind of Mario Balotelli" on the "diamond-encrusted naughty step". What is this guy on? The press report some sort of argument in training, show one picture of Mancini talking to Mario like he often does and that is supposed to mean he's in trouble? And I know Mario has done some stupid things but to imply he is actually stupid is a little harsh don't you think?

Or is Mr Calvin trying to imply something else? Personally, I don't believe that a human being, especially when at the young age of 16, who would willingly spend time in a foreign country with and is driven to help some of the less fortunate inhabitants of this world when they could be doing many more self gratifying things like the vast majority of others of their age, has a tiny mind.

The language used in describing both player and club here are simple but carefully chosen for sure, designed to invoke certain images of lavish, ostentatious surroundings inhabited by crass, uneducated simpletons, conjuring feelings of injustice and inequality against the club for any neutrals reading.

His next dig comes as thus;

"Patrick Vieira may be an exceptional football development executive for Manchester City, whatever that means."

Would you like a side order of flippancy with that t-bone dismissive, sir? You can almost literally hear him scoff at the position as you read those words. Mike clearly has no understanding of the role that City created specifically for such a highly experienced ex-pro who is admired and looked up to by players both young and old throughout the footballing world.

The information on what City's Football Development Executive actually does is readily available if you wish to look for it. Mike obviously couldn't be arsed though, which seems to be the case for most journalists. Although you'd expect a little more from someone who has twice been awarded Sports Writer and Sports Reporter of the year. Or is that just me being a little too hopeful about the standards of British journalism? I suspect it is.

Mr Calvin then turns his attention to Roberto Mancini and how he thinks the pressure is getting to him;

"Roberto Mancini has already withdrawn from interviews because he does not trust himself to say the right thing."

Really? He has dodged interviews in the past where he has not been well, but the only recent one is after the Stoke game where by all reports he was incredulous with anger at the ref's allowance to let the Stoke players' rather physical game continue without any real punitive measures.

And he was right to be angered at such. Although physical contact is part and parcel of the sport, Stoke are well known for being a little overzealous for the most part.

So Roberto refuses to talk in one post-match interview and that is now apparently him refusing to talk in any other interview for the rest of the season. Sounds to me like someone is talking out of their arse.

As for not trusting himself to say the right thing, perhaps that was a sign of good judgement of his own character, knowing how wound up he was and likely to openly criticise match officials if he got the opportunity. As my mother told me, and I assume your mother told you, "If you've nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all."

See Mike, he's just taking the advice of his dear mother.

The actual message of the 500-or-so word piece is basically that he thinks Mancini will falter in the coming weeks. Which is fair enough, he is entitled to his own opinion about that. But try not to make it sound so bias that it was typed with one hand on the keyboard and the other caressing Fergie's member.

Twitter: @MikeWalshMCFC or @mcfcDSLeftFoot
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