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The role of the football pundit is in flux. [url=http://www.

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BerichtGeplaatst: 14-02-2019 04:00:06    Onderwerp: The role of the football pundit is in flux. [url=http://www. Reageren met citaat

The role of the football pundit is in flux. Paul Pierce Celtics Jersey . It has traditionally been a position of great influence over public perception, and remains so to a certain degree. Educated opinion from larger than life talking heads help shape judgment on performance, tactical execution, while taking sides in moments of controversy. The voice of the pundit remains a respected one, afforded the platform to educate and inform. But the definitive voice of reason, they (we) are not. Times have changed where the final word doesnt belong to the television analyst, newspaper columnist or online journalist. It belongs to Twitter, where everyone is an analyst. Millions of voices sharing opinion. Voices that cannot and should not be silenced. Frustrated with a player or manager? Disagree with an analysts take? Infuriated with a refereeing decision? Want to praise a special performance where fitting tribute hasnt been paid by a commentator? Twitter allows these conversations to be had. Get on your soapbox and make your stance known. We all form alternative opinions while watching. Very seldom do we all see eye to eye on the way the game plays out or the calls that are made. There is no right or wrong, just opinion. Twitter has brought the pub into your own living room. A place we agree to disagree. Where non-sensical and over the top bias meets reasonable discourse. This is a good thing. Yet Twitter reaction remains an issue of contention among football analysts coming out of Sundays Manchester derby. Prominent and well respected journos have taken aim at the online response and behaviour after Manchester Citys eventful 1-0 win over 10-man Manchester United. The match was marked by a tepid refereeing performance, flash-points, and controversial decisions. The merits and failures of each talking point was debated on Twitter. As Mark Ogden of The Telegraph described, the unpleasant trend of football supporters launching social media witch-hunts broke new ground during and after the 168th derby between City and United. Shared pictures and Vines of Joe Harts head-butt on referee Michael Oliver and Marouane Fellaini spitting on Sergio Aguero were moments Ogden claimed were skewed by bias, efforts to weaken their rivals through mob rule online and tribalism gone too far. Strong words, yet seem to be perpetuate his agenda by downplaying on-field controversy by blaming the masses for fanning the flames. The fire was ignited on the field, not on Twitter. Other columnists believed the negative online discussion was symptomatic of the trend focusing too much on the referees performance than the actual game. Its difficult to argue the focus should not have been on Oliver. Although his sending off of Chris Smalling was a no-brainer, his other decision-making left much to be desired. Three denied penalty claims stood prominent in the aftermath. Its an unenviable task taking charge of a derby as such. The job of a referee is difficult enough without the heated rivalry as subplot. A referee doesnt have the various angles and benefit of replay we the viewing public are afforded. The implementation of instant replay, added officials along the touchline or even an additional referee in the middle of the park would be progressive steps by the FA to ensure the highest quality of officiating possible. But even if these conditions were met, it is unlikely we would achieve public consensus on refereeing decisions. The rules of the game are built for interpretation. Its the same in every sport. Whether its pass interference in American football, interference in hockey or a foul in basketball, the level of indiscretion varies based upon the individual. The perception of every call is based upon personal experience, bias, or level of understanding. There is nothing objective about it. There is nothing straight-forward either. It happens in football, at all levels, everywhere. When Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod held on to the ball for 10 seconds against the US women at the 2012 Olympics, she was technically breaking Law 12 of the FIFAs Laws of the Game. Goalkeepers are not supposed to hold on to the ball for more than six seconds after gaining control. The rule is completely discretionary. Yet referee Christiana Pederson ruled it appropriate to call. Rules of the game - discretionary, arbitrary guidelines to be used ultimately with common sense and within reason. We bring these moments that enrage or puzzle to our preferred social media platform to share our frustration. Its a natural reaction to want to vent. Its difficult (however) to tell the full story through 140 characters or less, six seconds of video, and/or still-framed shots. They fail to tell the entire story. A head-butt, spit, or potential penalty call is better explained through a live lens than merely a couple frames. But that doesnt mean the snippets dont have value. They promote discussion and encourage further deliberation. Its utilitarianism at its finest, making do with what we have. Storytelling 101. The ability to tell the story is no longer solely in the hands of the broadcaster or columnist. Interpretations are there to be had and freely expressed. How many times have we all watched games and wondered why the director hasnt shown another replay or the halftime conversation hasnt gone in-depth on the issue we perceive as most important? Twitter is the solution and fills the cracks where traditional coverage either wont or fail to go. So when the focus of Twitter conversation revolves around Oliver, it reflects what the viewer took out of the match. Oliver was a clear target because of his struggles and not because of any so-called witch-hunt. Its worth noting Oliver should never have been assigned the Manchester derby to begin with after butchering his previous match, awarding Victor Moses of Stoke City a penalty after a clear dive against Swansea City. Swans manager Garry Monk branded Olivers decision disgraceful and disgusting. The penalty remained a talking point all week. Its no wonder Oliver called a hesitant match, failing to award penalties in Citys favour on three separate occasions. While only one of the three potential penalties was a no-doubt spot-kick, its hard to believe another official without the distraction of a botched penalty call the week previous would have ruled the same. City fans had reason to be upset, and providing visual evidence on Twitter validates the complaints. Rare consensus was achieved on Twitter in stripping down of United defender Chris Smalling for his mindless play that saw him sent off in the first half. Those who criticize the conversation on Twitter cant have it both ways - you cannot hit out at Twitter reaction when it comes to controversial officiating while agreeing with Tweets chastising an over-zealous defender. United fans didnt argue Smallings sending off. They did argue City goalkeeper Hart could have been sent off even before Smalling was issued his second yellow. Earlier in the first half Hart rushed towards Oliver in animated protest and met heads with the referee. Media analysts regularly denounce players who get in the face of referees. Hart not only argued, but made head-to-head contact with Oliver. It was a head-butt. Not a forceful put-your-head-through-the guy type of blow, but the type of weak head-to-head contact weve seen between players all too often that seemingly end in a player getting sent off. Mind you, the player receiving the blow usually dramatically throws his head back, conning the refereeing in the process. Oliver had to feel the contact made by Hart and froze in the moment. Twitter blew up as the visual evidence spread. United fans felt hard done-by as Oliver let off Hart, scot-free. Another referee may have sent off the player. We have seen red cards given for similar dissent towards officials. Thiago Silva of Paris Saint-Germain was sent off last year for trying to hold up an official in protest. It wasnt even a push, more of a stop-right-here kind of touch. Silva was dismissed. Harsh? Maybe. But it provides further evidence that the rules of the game argument cannot be applied to everything. Twitter suggesting Hart was lucky to stay on is no witch-hunt. It is an opinion. In fact, when television coverage failed to adequately highlight the incident, it became incumbent on the online world to share the incident. Should Hart have been sent off or not? It was a fair question to ask. The conversation made for lively discussion. There is nothing wrong with United and City supporters, as well as neutrals weighing in. The referees inaction gave every reason to put him in the spotlight. A referee has an incredible amount of power dictating the proceedings. Olivers decision to not take action against Hart gave City a lifeline. Smallings sending off gave them the points. As previously mentioned, City fans as well had good reason to gripe. No fewer than three penalty claims were denied by Oliver. The clearest Marcos Rojo taking down Yaya Toure on the stroke of halftime: a more than reasonable penalty shot and potential red card. The replays were damning. Was Twitter wrong for highlighting the injustice of these decisions? Of course not. Television networks and news outlets use former officials to analyze decisions. Twitter analysts may not have the experience of taking charge of a match, but one assumes one has watched enough football to formulate some kind of rational opinion. Professional playing or refereeing experience should not be prerequisite to weighing in. Experience certainly helps and is an asset to educating. Its food for thought to help sway opinion. But by no means is the be-all, end-all. If television finds it necessary to weigh in on refereeing decisions, so should Twitter. City fans also jumped all over Fellaini for an alleged spitting incident. In another first half incident, Fellaini kicked Aguero inside the 18-yard box. The Argentine went down but Oliver unsurprisingly denied the claim. Fellaini charged back to Aguero on the ground in a fit of rage. Vines soon-thereafter spread showing saliva coming from the mouth of the Belgian. The natural assumption on Twitter was that Fellaini had spit on Aguero. Did he spit? Yes. Was it because Fellaini was a spit-talker? Most likely. This was not a Francesco Totti hork-on-a-player type scene. But the emotional response on Twitter suggested such a crime committed. Is this fair on Fellaini? Probably not. But Fellaini put himself in a position to be criticized, engaging with Aguero instead of playing on. No sympathy for Fellaini. The online noise in this case was just that; noise. It will fan the flames for some while roll the eyes of others. Such is Twitter. In cases as such, its easy to ignore. Again, this is a good thing. Extra analysis, whether its skewed or not is a positive. Make your own conclusion. Passionate engagement should be encouraged. As long as threats, racial/personal attacks, and foul language is left out of it, added material should be embraced and has become part of the overall experience of consumption. To ignore sentiment is to disregard the pulse of the people. If a story is being discussed or debated, we as professionals must engage, not discourage. Football is game made for debate, discussion and disagreement. Analysts telling fans how they should feel or react to a play or controversial moment is a thing of the past. The preachy nature of the business has been a long-standing turn-off for many. Its easier to take when the fans can have a proper say. We in the media should never talk down to fans and how they react to the game. Our job is to inform while providing our personal interpretations as to what happened. There is no right. There is no wrong. Twitter on Sunday gave people the platform to voice their dissatisfaction at the way the game was officiated. Human error will continue to exist. But that doesnt mean the mistakes shouldnt be pointed out. A higher standard is required. The future of our industry is engagement, not polarization. The musings of Ogden and others does little to facilitate the two-way conversation that is demanded. If the conversation being had is about controversy, officiating, and mistakes, then so be it. It may be called the beautiful game. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We are here for the fans. They determine the beauty of the narrative. Not us. 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