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Soccer America Miss The Ball with Gerard Houllier Interview

What would you do if you had 15 minutes with Gerard Houllier and you had the opportunity to ask the world-class manager any questions you’d like?

If you’re a reporter for Soccer America, you won’t believe what they asked and how out of touch they are with the world of soccer. Let me explain.

On Friday evening, three Soccer America reporters and I had an opportunity to interview Houllier after his coaching workshop at the NSCAA event in Baltimore. The three Soccer America reporters — Mike Woitalla, Paul Gardner and Paul Kennedy — encircled the former Liverpool and French national team manager.

What questions did they ask him?

  • His insight into whether he was considered for the Newcastle, England or Republic of Ireland manager positions?
  • As a former Liverpool manager, his opinion about the way that Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has been treated by American co-owners Hicks or Gillette?
  • Or, why Lyon was unable to translate their success in France to Europe under Houllier’s guidance?

No, instead they spent 15 minutes asking basic questions about the French system for coaching young children soccer. Some of the questions included how important dribbling was, how many French youth national coaches there are, how coaches are judged and whether the children in the French academies are allowed home each weekend to spend time with their family.

Ridiculous.

What a waste of an opportunity to speak to a masterful manager such as Houllier. If the reporters from Soccer America had done their research before the interview, they would have discovered the answers to those questions and wouldn’t have needed to waste monsieur Houllier’s time. Heck, they could have watched a few episodes of the “Soccer Academy” TV show on GolTV, or interviewed someone from one of the academies in France.

To me, this is a perfect example of the ineptitude of Soccer America and what a disservice they’re doing to readers of Soccer America and the general soccer public at large.

In those 15 minutes, I only had the opportunity to squeeze in two questions while Soccer America monopolized the conversation (whether France had anything like the NSCAA event, which Houllier answered no and shared how impressed he was with the American event, and whether the rumors were true that he was in the running for the Republic of Ireland position).

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

49 Responses to Soccer America Miss The Ball with Gerard Houllier Interview

  1. Pingback: Soccer News Aggregator » Soccer America Miss The Ball with Gerard Houllier Interview

  2. EPL isn't the only league in the world says:

    Considering Houllier was an architect of the French development system and the US has emulated it, if I were writing for an American mag that’s exactly what I’d focus on. The constituency of Soccer America and EPL Talk are completely different. Sure you want to hear about Liverpool and Newcastle but by and large Soccer America readers are the coaches, the youth directors the national team types who in some cases aren’t even big on MLS let alone the Premiership. You are the one who has no idea what that magazine or its readers are about if you assail some of the best writers in the country.

  3. Passing by says:

    When I read a post like this, it shows me exactly how out of touch you are with this country and how fast you need to move back to the UK.

    Have you ever thought for one minute that Soccer America really gives a damn about what the hell is going on in the UK? The entire world doesn’t revolve around them you know?

    Have you ever thought just for one second that they were possibly doing an article on how America could learn from the French Academy in terms of training techniques and how to teach tactics? Oh wait, the British don’t know a thing about training or tactics. And they sure as hell don’t know a thing about teaching the youth of the country.

    Pieces like this show exactly how second and third rate this site has become. Do yourself a favor and not write unless you know what you’re talking about. Articles like this only make you look like a first rate donkey.

  4. The Gaffer says:

    I’m sorry gentlemen, but I disagree. Sure, Houllier knows a lot about the development of French soccer, but the questions they were asking him could have easily been answered by doing research ahead of time instead of wasting his time.

    If they were doing an article on the French system, the choice of questions they asked were poor.

    I wasn’t expecting Soccer America to focus on EPL-related topics during the interview, but the whole world has been talking about Houllier and the will-he-or-won’t-he regarding the Republic of Ireland and Newcastle. For Soccer America to gloss over that wreaks of poor journalism and the fear of asking hardball questions.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  5. Pingback: Soccer » Soccer America Miss The Ball with Gerard Houllier Interview

  6. Captain America says:

    Gaffer:

    Do you not realize Paul Gardner is considered one of the best soccer writers anywhere in world? That’s why he writes for World Soccer, Soccer America and is also featured on countless shows around the globe about the game. Regarding Paul Kennedy he too is man of high reputation in circles around the game. Let me ask you a simple question: Are you merely trying to get attention with your most offensive and poorly reasoned viewpoint? Is anyone whose interests differ from yours about the game a poor journalist? Are you going to allow this website to simply be a forum for muck rackers?

  7. Passing by says:

    You know there is a reason in that 15 minute conversation that you only got two questions in. 1) They are legit journalists who actually make a living within the profession and actually answered he wanted to answer and 2) He probably took one look at you and went ‘don’t need to bother with him’.

    The fact you got that close to three of the best soccer writers in this country is something you should have been honored about. Instead this will probably be the last time you ever get credentialed at this event, and it’s only going to be comical to hear you cry about it next year. The reality is you should have never gone and this post and your subsequent reply shows it.

    What’s next you announcing you’re going to be affiliated with WSD?

  8. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think Gardner would ever miss an opportunity to bash Liverpool or the English system. I am surprised he didn’t ask Houllier why France is so superior to England.

    Regarding your view Gaffer, I support you, but do realize this was an AMERICAN convention regarding AMERICAN issues. Hicks and Gillet may carry US passports but they have no connection whatsoever to this country’s soccer community. Keep that in mind. I think the folks above have been harsh towards you but I don’t blame SA either for their questions.

  9. Liverpool John says:

    Gaffer,

    You are the one out of touch on this one. Soccer America is a niche magazine with a niche audience. They don’t cover English Football. I read Soccer America from time to time to find out if their is a local camp or soccer related show. That’s the purpose of the publication not to cover Liverpool or Ireland.

    Your most recent podcast that I downloaded just now was nice. Good work, but keep some of these things in context for the future and don’t resort to Sun or Daily Mail type hyperbole and it will serve you better. Just a little constructive criticism.

  10. Joe says:

    You go to an NSCAA event and then come out criticizing the one publication those of us in this country can rely for information related to conventions like the one you attended??

    Unreal. Gaffer, always liked your work but two posts this week have shown you are trying to such up to the American hating snobs among the soccer community in this country. The types of people Paul Gardner ironically despises.

  11. ASRW says:

    Do you know how many people in this country rely on Soccer America for reliable information?

    The writers you mention are seasoned professionals who don’t put out amateurish looking television clips on You Tube and them pull the show when you get some bad feedback on a survey. They are at the top of their profession something, sir you should aspire to be.

    This website serves a very small audience compared to the loyal readers of Soccer America. I used to like this website until it took a decidedly hostile turn to Americans who have more soccer interests than simply what is going on in England. This site and others keep forcing the Premier League down our throats. We’re forced to believe our players, coaches and tactics are inferior to that of a nation that can’t even qualify for its own continental tournament. Anybody with an opinion supporting MLS or US Soccer are run off the a certain radio show in this country run by ex-pats whose sole goal seems to convert the masses of newly minted American fans to the British game.

    The British Empire sun set so now its minions across the globe are determined to conquer football fans everywhere by criticizing all localized forms of the game or publications.

    Why don’t you do us a favor. Interview Paul Gardner and ask him point blank why he shut you out of time with Houllier and why he asked what you consider stupid questions which nobody cares about. Then again someone of Gardner’s status doesn’t do interviews with a lowly minion like yourself.

    Farewell forever from this “rubbish” web page.

  12. LLCJ says:

    Gaffer……don’t let these mindless Yanks who know nothing of the superiority of English Football and who want to defend Hicks and Gillet influence you. Those Yank journals were just covering for the pillage of Anfield.

  13. Coming Over says:

    This website is garbage. Utter Garbage. To assail the reputations of the very men and publications that have given the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful game in this nation shows you are nothing but a two bit wanna be soccer writer. Go back to covering rock n roll. That was a beat you were actually decent on.

  14. The Gaffer says:

    ASRW,

    EPLTalk.com has double the amount of traffic that SoccerAmerica.com sees. Take a look at http://www.quantcast.com/socceramerica.com to see that Soccer America has 6,073 unique visitors a month. EPL Talk, in comparison, has 15,809.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  15. ASRW says:

    Well Gaffer that is nice, but how many print subscribers does EPL Talk have a month, and how many football shows around the world approach EPL Talk talent for commentary the way Soccer America and Paul Gardner are on various shows around the globe?

  16. Joe says:

    Okay enough. Gaffer was wrong headed and insulting in his post, but no need to make this personal. He just made a mistake. A bad one, but just a mistake. Cool down brothers.

  17. TT says:

    I don’t get it, this over reaction. This site is called EPL Talk dotcom, as in Premier League.

  18. eplnfl says:

    Well, a real hornets nest here on this. First of all Gaffer, your comments went a bit far. Soccer America should ask questions that there target audience cares about. Even highly motivated soccer fans in the US don’t care who gets the Irish job and why Newcastle took a pass.

    On the other hand the writers should always be looking to break a story about major football issues and may have wanted to get an anwser that could be a major international headline. It’s a balancing act.

    On the other hand this website has done a great deal to create interest and support for the game in the US. It’s a worldwide resource and is centered on the EPL. However, there is no way to extract the EPL from other soccer news and events since the EPL maybe the top name in football especially in English speaking countries.

    so, the old saying applies here, two wrongs do not make a right and I look forward to the promised new additions and a bit of stability in the site.

  19. Hudsonland says:

    I don’t know anything about Soccer America but it sounded to me like the subjects they were asking about (development of both youth and coaching) are precisely what has led to the French national team success of the last ten years (one World Cup, one European Championship, another World Cup Final) and therefore probably more relevant to their audience than insight into Newcastle/Lyon/Liverpool/Ireland.

    I hope that was constructive criticism and not as unnecessarily over the top as some of the previous comments.

  20. Kartik says:

    Gaffer:

    I am shocked by this post. If I didn’t know you well and like you and also understand that this attitude really isn’t you I’d be marching along with those earlier posters on this: heck I’d be leading them.

    I know you’ve tried to follow soccer from afar here in south Florida for years so I am a little shocked that you have completely forgotten what Soccer America is about and what a great resource that publication is for those involved in the game at its most basic form.

    Soccer America as someone said above is a very specific, grassroots oriented niche publication. It focuses on the American game and heavily on youth and youth development. That’s where the whole issue of the French system comes in. As you know Gaffer the French system and academy is the envy of the world. England who most of the readers of this site follow doesn’t even have a developmental system or national academy. Houllier was one of the architects of the system. If I had 15 minutes with him I’d ask almost the same exact questions with maybe two different questions- ask him about winning the UEFA Cup and also how he was able to handle Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler’s personalities. The rest would be on the same topics the SA writers discussed.

    Mike Woittala is far from my favorite, but Paul Gardener is about the best writer anywhere. Not just in the US, but anywhere. Gaffer, you know he does research and you know he knows the game probably better than any of us. So why did you take this shot at him? Honestly, I know you and know your work and if this is a second cheap backhanded attempt to appeal to an American phobic audience (namely in the UK) it’s pathetic and not representative of the type of work you typically do. I’d seriously consider if I were you toning down the rhetoric when it comes to certain subjects related to US Soccer to keep some of your audience. As I said earlier I feel the same sentiment as the above posters all of whom I assume are American and reacted the same way I did when I woke up this morning and saw this. However, I know you, you unlike them I am not saying I won’t support this site anymore, etc, etc. But seriously think about these types of posts.

  21. ASRW says:

    Kartik……I normally respect your opinions and think you do a great job promoting US Soccer on your show but how the hell can you defend this wanker the Gaffer and his insulting post towards our soccer culture, or soccer bible which soccer america and three of the best writers around?

    You even said yourself your more interested in the France angle than some rubbish in England which the gossipy British press who are the real ones practicing poor journalism can obssess on.

  22. timmyg says:

    SoccerAmerica is the mouthpiece for US Soccer, so of course questions like these are just to bolster the image of US Soccer.

    Cmon Gaffer, I thought you’d know that! Research be damned, they need a good quote that says how great this nation is at the beautiful game.

  23. Kartik says:

    ASRW

    I already said I DON’T AGREE WITH GAFFER’S POST AND THINK GARDNER, ET AL WERE JUST DOING THEIR JOB FOR THEIR READERSHIP. However, I know Gaffer and know this isn’t the type of post he should be remembered for. Moreover, Yank bashing isn’t Gaffer’s style. It’s clearly the style of Demrot and some of the other tools who reside here but not of the Gaffer.

  24. Rafa Needs to Take a Hike says:

    Did Houllier say he’d come back to Liverpool? We could use him. Rafa is such a wanker!

  25. Harris says:

    Passing By, are you sure of the link with WSD? If that is the case, this post and the one last week are easily explainable.

  26. ASRW says:

    Kartik……you are pathetic. You atttack Eurosnobbery on your show but simply because you claim to know the Gaffer you are willing to say this was a mistake and accident, etc.

    Has it ooccurred to you that Soccer America likely had contacted Houllier before and had a pre-arranged interview about specific topics related to the French system that the Gaffer decided to crash? Moreover, keep in mind this was the annual American coaches convention, not the English Premier League get together.

    You are undermining your own credibility as a leader of the pro-US Soccer movement with these comments.

  27. Passing by says:

    Harris,

    I am not sure if there is a link, but based on his writings of late, and his forum post about there being a ‘big announcement’ to come, it wouldn’t shock me if that was the case.

    Pure speculation on my end.

  28. Kartik says:

    ASRW, for the last time I agree with you and thank you for your patronage of my show. Gaffer was out of line here, but I’m saying you can’t judge the Gaffer who supports US Soccer and actually was an aficionado of the Fusion and MLS and probably spent more money and time supporting the game here in south Florida based on this one very silly off base post. I know the Gaffer and know where he stands.

  29. wanderer_abroad says:

    Being one of the first men to criticize American football and journalism, and also being an Englishman, I still think that what Gaffer said was out of line. Soccer America were asking legitimate questions and it was unfair to portray them as being amateur and unprofessional, because that is certainly far from the case. In recent weeks I have become worried at some of your ‘criticism for criticism sake’ articles. However, despite saying this EPLTalk has always been a quality site for news and opinions, just try to tone it down a bit Gaffer next time ;)

    Oh and btw, shut your mouth ASRW, you’re just getting personal and nasty. Stop being so obnoxious and just because you don’t agree with Gaffer’s opinion, dont start ranting at us English.

  30. thegafferisanidiot says:

    hey do you want to know something gaff face?

    what was the point of the NSCAA? Coaching?
    Ok, so if the point of this whole event is coaching, isnt it right for someone to ask about coaching techniques? Especially in a country lacking them. Bingo

    what kind of name is gaffer anyway.? who team do you manage? the epl talk team? who’s on this team? you, your mouse and your key board?

    You’re a selfish c*unt who need to consider other people. Why the hell are you living in this country anyway? An englishman wants to share his knowledge of football? No. You’re just a selfish english c*unt. You always hate on arsenal and you live for the controversy so people could go to your little site. you say you’re the top premier league site in america, well why not consider that maybe espn soccernet is a much bigger site than yours and wait, where are the espn head quarters? BRISTOL, CT, USA? ok so am i the only one who thinks you’re full of it?

    bastard.

    and what are you going to do, berate me for being ignorant?
    then look in the mirror.

  31. thegafferisanidiot says:

    foxsoccer.com too.

  32. thegafferisanidiot says:

    who the hell cares about asking questions about newcastle, lyon, and the french national team..shit that happened in the past when the whole point of houllier being there was sharing his tips on coaching…he would have never showed up to share his autobiography. who the hell do you think you are gaff face? four four two? the bbc? sky sports? this is the last time im going to go to this site…..IVES RUNS A BETTER BLOG THAN YOU.

    and as far as mentioning the top blogs way back when, why not give some consideration to arseblog.com as one of the top team related blogs.

    gafffffffffffffff

  33. Kartik says:

    It has been pointed out to me Sunil Gulati the head of the USSF is trying to rebuild the US Academy system and youth development program on a French model. Thus that explains Houllier’s invitation and his interview with Gardner. Gardner is one of the best writers around and were he able to take shots at the English he would have so as someone said above the interview must have been done under the premise to which he was invited to the convention.

    Again, I think Gaffer’s post was totally out of line but ASRW you are an ass wipe: excuse my language please.

  34. Michael says:

    Here’s the deal.

    There’s nothing wrong with criticism, especially that of the constructive variety. As a blogger on this site and on my own site, I can say that there’s nothing I like more than to read the comments I get on my work and look at the feedback from the readers. I appreciate each and every single comment I get, whether it’s supporting or disagreeing with whatever I’ve written about.

    When that criticism starts focusing less on the body of work and turns more into a personal attack, that’s where I have a problem and the line needs to be drawn. If you want to disagree with what someone writes, fine, you’re entitled to your opinion and more than welcome to speak your mind. Don’t resort to attacking the writer because you don’t like what he wrote; there’s no reason for you to do it and it just makes you look that much more ignorant and immature.

    For the record, I don’t agree with the Gaffer’s point of view in this post. Those journalists were from Soccer America and thus could care less about Houllier’s ties in Europe, and their readers probably don’t care either. They have an American constituency, as someone said before, and whether or not Houllier’s been connected to the Ireland job or why he didn’t have success in Europe with Lyon is irrelevant to them.

    That said, I don’t need to make my point by going after the Gaffer as a person; I don’t need to attack him because it doesn’t accomplish anything. If someone disagrees with what he writes, leave a comment and explain your point of view, criticizing the Gaffer himself just proves your ignorance.

    Grow up.

  35. Harvey says:

    Honestly Gaffer, I hate to pile on here but what has already been said is not out of line but well within line. You pass yourself off a legitimate journalist with the most popular site on the web and correctly I suppose point out that you get more traffic than these other sites.

    Then as a journalist, is it within your realm to attack other journalists especially ones as noted above with as much of a reputation as Paul Gardner and his sidekicks? Does it occur to you as a journalist that they may have another point of view than what you have and may come from another perspective. Is the fact that they write for a magazine that has been in business for thirty years and has countless print subscribers and is on every newsstand in the country when you have a bitter, angry over the top post like this one. Michael has some good opinions but all of the so called growing up that needs to be done with all due respect must be done by the Gaffer first and foremost. This post was so over the top, so clearly out of line in the decorum of journalism and so clearly written out of spite and anger that it is tough to excuse this post as Kartik seems willing to do as an exception. This post is very telling about the Gaffer, this webpage and the view of Brits towards soccer publications whose priorities do not match that of the BCC and the Daily Mirror.

    AS for you Kartik, you have a great platform. A show on CSRN listened to by everyone I speak to in the game. TAKE A FREAKING STAND INSTEAD OF PLAYING THE MIDDLE AS YOU DO HERE. That political background means you try and be nice to everyone. That doesn’t cut it. Euro snobbery in its most obvious form is found in this post. Why then do you point out the obvious like everyone else and then at the end say, oh but Gaffer’s a good guy?!

    Back to Gaffer. This post is way way way out of line and I suggest you send an apology to Gardner and Soccer America. The entire world of Football does not revolve around the Premier League and whatever topics show up on BBC Sport. I too was in Baltimore this weekend and will tell you point blank Houllier was invited to discuss coaching fundamentals. The questions SA’s experienced writers asked were exactly the reason he was in Baltimore. He didn’t come to a coaches convention in America to talk about the Republic of Ireland or two American billionaires he’s never met.

    I think an apology is in order.

  36. EPL isn't the only league in the world says:

    What a firestorm! When I initially posted last night I had read the post once and the full gravity of the implications of such an amateurish post hadn’t dawned on me.

    The publisher of this site has repeatedly cited web hit statistics when comparing his work to other sites including sites which former contributors here moved to. He even decided to compare last night his hits with Soccer America, the most respected magazine covering the sport in the nation.

    For someone who has nurtured such a wide readership to blatantly insult three well thought of writers, a magazine with a top reputation and the premise under which Houllier came to America using dripping hyperbole smacks of the worst writing and practices of journalism around. This isn’t the Drudge Report for Football or at least I didn’t think it aimed to be. This used to be a respectable place with respectful views towards others where we could share ideas and thoughts with one another.

    Gaffer you must consider the consequences of your posts. You quite frankly may suffer the worst possible consequences from this post. Hate to say it but this was not just merely over the line. This is the sort of post that would end careers. I hope it doesn’t end yours but things like this have ended careers before.

    Now as Wanderer Abroad has pointed out this site has had more and more sensational headlines, like “Why Jack Bell is a Wanker” and “Hicks and Gillet give Americans a bad name.” etc etc etc.

    Why have you gone from the tough critic to the sensational bitter, angry Brit? Why did you having obviously paid your dues both literally and figuratively to attend this conference and then attack three of the most respect and may I add seasoned soccer journalists in this country. It isn’t a coincidence Paul Gardner was the voice of the NASL, and still writes for World Soccer, the most distributed sports magazine on the planet.

    Think about it. This post should come down.

  37. The Gaffer says:

    I appreciate everyone giving their honest criticism and feedback. I welcome it (seriously).

    I don’t appreciate the personal attacks. None of those deserve a response.

    But, sorry, I’m not going to apologize to the readers or Soccer America for purely stating my opinion. I mean no malice. I’m just sharing my views of what I saw.

    Regarding the comment about another soccer network out there, I have no affiliation with them and do not plan to do so in the future.

    Regarding my so-called euro snobbery and anti-American soccer viewpoints, I think it’s ridiculous. I want the sport to succeed in this country more than anything.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  38. eplnfl says:

    I think we should respect the Gaffer’s last statement and end this one. Personal attacks are of no value. The Gaffer and Kartik and the Soccer America reporters are all quality journalists. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and everyone makes their mistakes now and then regret it.

    So, lets get back to talking football.

  39. Passing by says:

    Well it was the wrong view, and your failure to not get shows how wrong you are.

    What did you do anyway crash Soccer America’s interview anyway. For that you should apologize.

    The truth is in post 36 where it says that this entire post should be taken down. If anything to prevent you from being shown a fool. Then again, anyone who read this post came to that conclusion rather quickly.

  40. The Gaffer says:

    For someone who is “passing by,” you definitely spend a lot of time on this site. I did not “crash Soccer America’s interview.” I received permission from Adidas to interview Houllier and had every right to, so don’t makee accusations unless you were there and saw something different.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  41. Shakira Graham says:

    How clueless are the Soccer America people if they asked Houllier those questions and not anything of real importance?

  42. Kartik says:

    Shakira, I typically agree with you but those issues for some of us are MORE IMPORTANT than what is going on at Liverpool or Newcastle.

    For the rest of you…..

    here in the US where our ingenuity can conquer anything , we want to learn from the best. This was a coaches convention and for those attending Houllier’s view on Hicks and Gillett is less important than training methods, how the French develop and how to structure a youth and national academy program. The Anglo-philes don’t care because England doesn’t have a national academy or a national training ground. They invented the game so they are the all mighty and we are simply the inferior heathen Yanks who aren’t allowed a say or opinion about the game since we didn’t invent it and we mean to ruin it.

  43. eplnfl says:

    Kartik:

    You forgot to mention how American’s are ruining English football by buying Man. U. and winning championships with them. Just something the Eurosnobs always seem to forget.

    You have advocated well the different focus of American football and this whole post might be an example of the American way in action. I would like to point out that the USMNT without getting one of the many players in has in the EPL
    in the line-up beat a strong Swedish side. just think if we had our best players that we “loan” to the EPL.

  44. wanderer_abroad says:

    I think this post is really getting out of hand. The accusations of ‘British snobbery’ are both ridiculous and insulting. I’m British too and wish American soccer nothing but the best, and you are accusing all Brits of being snobs are idiots. Funnily enough, I recently had a similar experience of American snobbery. This was, however, in boxing where, in a pub in Seattle watching the Hatton vs. Mayweather fight, an American said “What do you know about boxing, you’re English?”. I’m sorry but just because boxing is bigger in America than Britain in terms of the number of American world champions, it doesn’t mean I know nothing about boxing. I know this is about a totally different sport the point I’m getting at is that snobbery works both ways and has nothing to do with the stereotypes that some people are pointing out here.

    The second point I wanted to make was that I actually agree with PART of gaffers post. Let me stress that it is only the part that it was bad journalism to ask obvious questions that could be found out by research. Its a journalist’s job to ask the questions that others haven’t thought of, not repeat those that people know the answer to. However, I do not agree that a question about an English topic would have been more appropriate as Gaffer suggests. This was obviously a convention on AMERICAN soccer, so the questions should have been about AMERICAN soccer.

    I hope people don’t misinterpret my comments because I honestly dont have anything against Americans or their right to enjoy the game of soccer (football). To those who are almost definitely going to accuse me of being another ‘Brit snob’ a big middle finger and also another middle finger to that idiot in Seattle….because we beat you (as did your much laughed at neighbours Mexico) in the world amateur boxing tournament.

  45. Kartik says:

    Good points, Wanderer Abroad. American fans can be rude and obnoxious in other sports. Those of us who are Football fans are used to fighting off those same obnoxious people who seem to think guys who run nonstop for 90 minutes aren’t athletes but some obese guy who bats 4 times a game as AL DH and probably goes drinking every night is an athlete.

    My problem with English Soccer fans are multi folded however.

    1- The English assume any American players in inferior to any English player. While this is a general rule it is NOT ALWAYS THE CASE.

    2- The majority of English Soccer fans look down on Continental Football. Yet when you can learn from the French system and success as the SA writers were trying to learn (and I’m sorry Gaffer’s explanation that they could have done the research doesn’t fly- hearing from the horses mouth so to speak about specific training techniques for youth are worth asking questions not merely looking up on the internet)the majority of English would be more eager to put down the French League and talk about how much better England’s midfield play is and how much more pace the English game has, thus when a game has more pace it is better and if it lacks pace it is worse. (A terrible rule- for example MLS is a much quicker league the Mexican League but is also an inferior league to the Mexican League.) I always hear English fans complain about how slow the Italian game is and how that means the English game is actually better. It does not mean that!

    3- English Soccer fans are always anxious to force their opinion or game down foreigners throats. If the game isn’t played the way that is familiar for them, then it is not real football. I except many of our British friends on this site from this general rule. For example, I know TT watches games from across the globe and appreciates the differences.

    4- Something is wrong with MLS/USL goes the logic of English fans because we have divisions and a season played from April to November. Strangely the Irish League and all of the leagues in Scandinavia play on the EXACT SAME CALENDER AS THE MLS/USL DOES though this is scarcely noticed or acknowledged in any English paper except the Guardian/Telegraph. In addition we have divisions because if you haven’t noticed this country is HUGE. Instead of boarding a coach and taking a two hour drive to a road game, in this country take a USL trip from Seattle to San Juan. 8 hours by plane across 4 time zones. In MLS you can go from LA to Boston- 6 hours and 3 time zones. The body needs time to adjust to this as we all know what long plane flights do especially since our clubs are poorer and the players generally fly in Economy Class.

    I could go on and on. I actually enjoy English Football but the problem is the majority of English media and fans are so xenophobic in everything they do and cover that they feel the need to tear down anything that isn’t theirs and they can’t claim or they are unfamiliar with.

    I was actually telling somebody tonight that when I have traveled to France, Germany and Italy and have discussed American Soccer/Football with the locals their has been mostly respectful discussion and constructive ideas on how to improve the America
    n game. When I have gone to England I have gotten mostly snickers, laughter and an attitude of “how can a bloody yank pretend to know this game, our game?” Now why exactly does not happen to me in Paris or Rome? I think the answer is obvious.

  46. Corey B. says:

    Gaffer, I have to say that this post seemed a bit malicious in nature and wasn’t fair your peers at Soccer America. I understand that this is a blog and not a standard news site so you have full editorial leeway on your posts but I still think that it would of been fair to at least contact the writers you were criticizing for their response.

    Just to reiterate what has been said before, Soccer America has a different focus then EPL Talk so you have to take that into consideration when you look at their work. The readers of SA want to know about information focused on the American game and not about the politics, current stories, or history of the European professional leagues so why should of the guys at SA asked those questions you listed?

    Gaffer, remember not to get so wrapped up in the agenda of your own site that you forget that fellow writers have their own audience & missions they are trying to accomplish; and remember most that although you don’t work for the same companies, these other writers are your colleagues and they deserve better then being called inept.

  47. I better go and track down this interview before I write a long comment, but it just seems to me SA readers would need too much of the back story to understand the questions you wish they asked.

  48. I’d prefer reading in my native language, because my knowledge of your languange is no so well. But it was interesting! Look for some my links:

  49. I’d prefer reading in my native language, because my knowledge of your languange is no so well.

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