- Tyson Fury will no longer face Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia on February 17
- The world heavyweight title fight was postponed after Fury sustained a cut
- Mail Sport’s Simon Jordan believes fans are becoming a bit fed up with Fury
I was a huge admirer of Tyson Fury as an athlete and as a charismatic personality but that has been dramatically diminished over the last 12 months.
His fight with Oleksandr Usyk has been postponed but if he’s been cut, he’s been cut. They’ve rescheduled the fight so what’s the big deal? Well, the big deal is that people have become a bit fed up with Fury.
Boxing expert Adam Catterall captured the audiences’ view on TalkSport the other day that people don’t appear to trust him anymore.
That had his promoter Frank Warren spitting feathers. Anyone who says anything the Fury camp don’t like is branded a hater. To them, if you don’t praise Tyson, you’ve got an agenda. Then you have to listen to drivel about how he won’t give ‘the haters’ the opportunity to make money from him, ignoring the fact that media attention is in part what gets him paid.
It’s all a tad sad. His behaviour, attitude and disposition has been quite unpalatable recently and that’s made people ambivalent towards him.
He certainly doesn’t have the support he should have. He’s a British heavyweight champion of the world and someone we should be proud of but when you hear some of the stupid things he and those around him come out with, it’s difficult to feel that way.
WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT
Rabid Palace fans must wake up and smell the coffee
I’m the last person to defend Steve Parish and the ownership of Crystal Palace.
I’d happily put him in the stocks and throw rotten tomatoes at him – and I have very good reason to – but I find myself almost having to defend the situation he finds himself in with a segment of the clubs’ fan base becoming increasingly vocal in their criticism of him.
The idea Parish hasn’t presided over a period of significant success for Palace by staying in the Premier League is ridiculous and something that shouldn’t be lost in the moment.
I wanted to keep them in the Premier League for as long as possible but couldn’t do it. Ron Noades was the same but for Palace to be in the top league competing with far bigger clubs, with bigger budgets and bigger stadiums and staying there, most of the time with a relative degree of comfort is something that cannot be forgotten. But it’s all about the here and now for football fans.
Teams go out of the division. Comparable clubs in size like West Brom – albeit with a greater history – and Norwich have been up and down. Two-time European Cup winners Nottingham Forest were out of the Premier League for 23 years. Leeds, a huge club in stature and reputation came up, did ok, got it wrong and boom, they’re back in the Championship. Another big club in Sheffield Wednesday look to be heading back to League One. They have all been unable to compete in the Premier League on a regular basis and yet we’re in there every year. That has to count for something.
But this is football now. It would appear a section of fans are rabid about the style of play and accuse the club of not moving forward and not having any expectations. I understand that because without ambition, aspiration and a feeling of optimism then what have you got? Football clubs are supposed to be all those things but the other side of the argument is: be careful what you wish for.
I don’t deny it was uninspiring – and perhaps a mistake – to keep Roy Hodgson on for another year after he kept them up last season. I understand entirely why they went back to him to get out of some of the problems that Patrick Vieira had created but to stick with him for another season looks as if it lacks any forward-thinking or dynamism, hence the current discord amongst the fans.
As I have written before, I’m not keen on the idea of ‘optics’ but by re-engaging Hodgson for another year it looks like there’s no plan for the future. But if you appointed a manager for the future those same fans would still want the here and now. You can’t really win. The problem for Palace’s owners is there is a perception among fans that there’s no future and there’s no here and now. It’s a double whammy.
That’s not me diminishing Roy, but he’s not my kind of manager. He was a lovely fella when I met him but he doesn’t seem all that lovely when he speaks to the media these days. He’s an irascible, difficult individual who seems to forget that without the media hype and promotion of football you’re not getting the dough you’re on.
Like many fans, I also think his style of play is dull, a bit like his England team. They were reactive, waiting for something to happen to them before doing anything about it and Palace are the same.
I did find some of Roy’s observations after the Brighton defeat to be uninformed and insulting. He talked about the mess Parish inherited when he took over but that’s just not true. Roy wasn’t there and frankly, doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Parish picked up a wonderful football club that I’d built for nothing because me being the poor bugger that I was had run out of cash.
But this is not a crisis, it’s a storm in a tea cup. So I find myself in the camp of understanding fans’ ire but thinking to myself what is point of this? They’re not in a financial mess and I don’t think they’ll go down and should be able to limp through to the end of the season.
Having said that, if they believe Steve Cooper is the future, what are they waiting for? If you really believe in him, what are you doing preserving Roy’s dignity? He’s a big boy, he can take it. Nobody owes anybody anything. It would be unfair to accuse Parish of wavering over the decision though because he’s shown he’s not afraid to correct a mistake as we saw when Frank De Boer was booted out after four Premier League games.
Whatever the club does, some fans will still moan that there’s no plan but sometimes you need to smell the coffee and be realistic – and there doesn’t seem to be much of that at Palace right now.
Arsenal will be judged by achievements… not celebrations
The celebration police are a mean-spirited bunch – yes, you Mr Carragher – but if you celebrate as Arsenal did after beating Liverpool you do make a rod for your own back.
What are they going to be like if they actually win something? They’ll be uncontrollable and we’ll need to start handing out sedatives.
But you do have to wonder about anybody who takes delight in pointing to Arsenal celebrating in February as a reason why Manchester City will be champions in May.
Arsenal will stand and fall by their own achievements not by their celebrations after a one-off game.
They were once considered an emotionless team. The crowd were impassive and it wasn’t a particularly engaging environment to play in and now people are offended by the fact they’re celebrating. We bemoan some players who seemingly don’t care for who they’re playing for. We accuse them of being mercenaries and of not understanding what it means to supporters and then people criticise them for being heavily invested and enjoying moments. Make your minds up!
The only concern I have is that such a reaction is not a trait of a team acclimatised to winning. I also think you empower your rivals and give them an even greater sense of validity by celebrating in such a way. So without wishing to sound completely unmoved by the emotion of football, I believe winners win and they take winning in their stride.
But teams are a reflection of the personalities managing them. If they’re a firecracker like Mikel Arteta running up and down the touchline high-fiving everyone, then I suspect Arsenal players’ over-exuberance and histrionics reflect that of their manager.
If it works for Arsenal and Arteta then all well and good. Rather than saying it was a good win and how great it was to see the fans and players enjoy themselves, people accused them of over celebrating. It all seems a bit joyless to me.