Do texts reveal Mackays Mood…

The alleged text and email exchanges between Malky Mackay and Ian Moody show a culture of racism, prejudice, homophobia and arrogance that I know to be the unfortunate true face of the state of top level professional football. So why should we care that two middle aged white men have what seems to be entrenched views of others who are different to them?

These texts show a way of talking, behaving and thinking that I don’t particularly like, but why should football care? We should care because this whole issue turns ugly when you realise how such views make people act. When you read the accusations of Ibrahim Farah (@ibby_farah) about a culture of racism at Cardiff City Football Club under Mackay, it starts to take a sinister turn. It is people in positions of power who affect peoples careers and futures. People who exclude others who don’t fit into their little pockets of comfort and small minded views of the world who are dangerous.

The truth is, nothing in the transcripts of those alleged exchanges surprised me. In my mind this is how football talks in private, and more importantly, it is how it behaves in public. This is the reality and the gravity of the situation anyone outside of the, male white, old boy network exists in. Is it any wonder that we have 92 Professional Football Clubs yet no BME ( Black and minority ethnic) managers? Is it any wonder that anybody out of the dominant demographic is woefully under represented at any decision making position within the game?

Many will leap to the defence of these two men. I am sure they gave regular playing time to one or two black players and probably had a few around for tea who may retain some loyalty to their “mates”. I am sure both are a riot down the pub on a Saturday night. But make no mistake, the game will be straining at the leash to find a way back for both Moody and Mackay when the brief public outcry simmers down. If they are struggling for work and play their cards right I’m sure there will be media work available to them. Without meaningful changes to the structure of our game from Boardrooms right the way down to grass roots, football will continue to be run in a manner akin to the dialogue alleged here. Away from the moral issues it is a proven fact that a diverse workforce is a more successful workforce, something which hasn’t registered with football away from the pitch ( where 30% of players are BME).  There are many more where Moody and Mackay came from. Unfortunately for them, they are just the ones who got caught.

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The League Managers Association statement attached illustrates the deep rooted problems of the governance of our game better than anything I could ever write: A must read!

Preseason

August is the time

For the last 17 years I’ve been on strict training schedules for football, and August but for the first time I’ve had a different type of training in Grenada.

Long time coming

While my ex-colleagues were running up hills, doings bleep tests, my physical condition is not what it used to be but I’ve started a new training regime involving rum.

It was way back in the year 1877, when this beautiful Island was declared as a British overseas territory. Afterwards the French had its hand on the island, which is where this country gets it’s French connections; for example names like Lance Aux Epines, La Sagesse and Grand Anse are a legacy of these times.

For one intense week, the rhythm of the island, the colors, the food and the people, all join in for THE biggest party in Grenada: Carnival.

Now you might be thinking, “Brazil has carnival; so does Trinidad; what makes Grenada’s carnival any better?”

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Jouvert! – Pronoucned ‘joo-vay’

Before emancipation, slaves were forbidden to participate in Carnival, but this never stopped their backyard mas. After the end of slavery, gangs of recently liberated slaves, covered in black grease, molasses, or varnish, took to the streets, and rejoiced in their freedom. Scantily dressed, and sometimes with chains and padlocks around their legs, the former slaves attempted to offend polite society, which they rightly blamed for decades of suffering.

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Jab Jab

There’s many stories of what the jab jab are and what they represent but one of them, and probably the most common one, is that the slaves used to cover themselves, in layers of nutlike color clothing and masks to conceal their true identity; they would chant against the oppression of the day. That evolved into what we have today, old oil, tar, paint etc., and comical songs about the government.

When?

Carnival is launched early may and a slew of carnival related events are held up until august 16th. The actual party is held on what’s known as carnival Monday and carnival Tuesday;

Monday is Jouvert, and that starts at 4am to mid-day, then Monday night mas’ starts from 7pm-until. Tuesday is pretty mas, where everyone comes out in their fancy costumes at mid-day.

Ama…Wait for it…Zing!

By far one of, if not, the best events I’ve had the pleasure of taking part in. It was nonstop fun, with great people and great music. From the singing competitions, to the shows, to chipping down the road with a huge crowd at 4am-12pm, to the Monday night mas light parade, all the way to pretty mas the next day. Never missing it again in my life!

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The Swansea Question, How will Jose answer?

Chelsea Vs Swansea City

This Saturday the season’s top 2 teams go head to head. 3 games 3 wins. Swansea City are going to bring a tactical challenge to Chelsea that they will not normally face, and are more than capable of taking all of the points back to Wales.

Routledge & Dyers’ pace could cause real problems for Chelsea’s defensive line, while Gylfi Sigurdsson addition to Swansea’s attack adds creativity and goals with 1 goal and 4 assists already to his name. You add an in form Ki playing at the top of his game so far this season and you are starting to see a team that might challenge Chelsea’s unbeaten League record.

Last season Bony was arguably the find of the season with 16 goals in 34 appearances, I watched him closely in a friendly vs Reading when he first arrived at Swansea, and his movement was outstanding. Strength, power, intelligence and excellent finishing, Swansea would have feared big money bids for him during the transfer window; this season has not been as straight forward for him. Wilfred had a great campaign last season but has yet to open his goal scoring account for this season. He hasn’t found the net against Chelsea in his career, but he did manage to score 4 goals against the top 4, last season. Will Gary Monk consider rotating his striking options with Gomis waiting in the wings?

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Only Daniel Sturridge (57%) has had a better Clear-Cut conversion in 1st season than Bony (55%).

Tactically it will be interesting to see how Mourinho approaches the challenge of Swansea, will he fear the pace of Swansea’s attack in the space afforded by a pressing game expected at home by a team expected to be challenging for the title. Or will Jose go for the humble approach of sitting deep and playing a more natural counter attacking game albeit against a team with the profile of Swansea?

Chelsea boasted the best defensive record in the League last season, only conceding 27 goals in the 13/14 season but conceded 3 vs Everton who committed men forward in a kamikaze style display in the 3-6 win for Chelsea at Goodison last time out, a potential injury to Diego Costa could further complicate matters. Playing Swansea at home for any team throws up some real tactical questions, but how will Jose answer?