Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “twitter”

Dear James Tarkowski. An open letter.


Sadly last night you were not “dear” to the 10,000 fans who having worked to earn the money to watch a football game that you were supposed to be playing in. You clearly felt it right to “go on strike” or refuse to play in the game. Why would that be? It seems that you are not brave nor maybe stupid enough to reply on twitter to the stream of invective and vitriol that I have been reading all evening from Brentford fans. So I have to surmise what the issue might be.

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No Camera even this large would have found James Tarkowski at Brentford.

Brentford played Burnley and we assume you and your agent have had contact with Burnley who have made an inadequate offer for you. Brentford who have trained you and improved you over the last two years quite reasonably need payback for that. After all who else will pay the coaching and fitness staff whose services you have used freely to improve.  And while on the topic of pay, maybe I should remind you of the games you have missed through red cards and suspensions, and of course those when you were injured. The club supported you through all this. You indeed have been a good player. Not a world beater. You will never for example be an international player like some of your team colleagues. I assume also that you have an issue with Brentford rejecting the bid as it would lead no doubt to higher wages. Brentford have stated, or the media has at least, that a bid of 4-5 million £ would buy your services. Presumably Burnley will pay that if they agree with the valuation. So, back to the game tonight versus Burnley. Why would you say you were not wanting to play? I can again only guess that you did not feel comfortable opposing the team you hope or imagine or know will sign you. Or worse, did not want to be part of a team that would beat Burnley? This is not how football or life works. You are under contract, legally to Brentford and presumably have been paid in accord with that contract? So you might not want to play, but in short you have to. You owed that to the fans and the club. But you declined this kind offer of team selection. So in short your loyalty is with the potential new club Burnley, who may not be blameless in all this by unsettling you and offering ridiculous low transfer bids, but your real loyalty is to yourself and your selfish desire to secure more money, without a thought for the fans, coaches and others who got you as far as this. In short you have let down everyone who has helped and supported you in your career. IMG_1246

A quick look at twitter reveals extensive vitriol towards you not only from fans but from those who know football from your side, players like Marcus Gayle, and journalists. You really have chosen to upset a lot of people. Football supporters who even have no connections with Brentford.

IMG_1248 So if You were watching the game on TV tonight you would have seen a Brentford team clearly unsettled by your selfish, arrogant and stupid behaviour lose an important game. You would also have heard 10,000 Bees fans chanting and singing your name, followed by expletives. You will go down in football history as one of the bad guys, who decided that they were more important than the game, the fans, the clubs and the very fabric of football. You will certainly be remembered in years to come but not for your football prowess. Any club who signs you in years to come will take all this into account as will your fellow footballers. How do you feel about letting down not only the club and fans, but also your fellow professionals. I think it is fair to say you have shown all of them a total lack of respect. I do look forward to hearing your side of the story.

 

Reflections on Birmingham 2 V Brentford 1 Away Day. Jan 2nd 2016


Trips to Birmingham have never been without incident and this one is no exception. The nonsense of buying tickets began on tuesday night with the announcement that sales of tickets from Brentford, having reasonably been on sale for four weeks, would cease lunchtime wednesday, but Birmingham in their wisdom decreed no match day sales. Can anyone explain to me why? Why do clubs not want bigger crowds, especially in the holiday season when often plans are not cemented till the last minute. This ridiculous decision was then reversed maybe 48 hours later. Thankfully Twitter and Mark Devlin kept us updated. A number of tickets were sold at the last minute and these needed collection at the ground.

The nonsense continued on match day with no-one in the Birmingham ticket office seemingly aware that these tickets were somehow being escorted to the ground. A random vision of the sign ” Collections” on a gate at the away end gave at last a clue where tickets might be collected. Two unhappy looking souls distributed tickets after checking for names on an envelope. And giving the impression they were auditioning for a role in a prison behind bars.

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A number of positives need to be stated. Firstly all the staff at the ground, the stewards and in fact the fans are super friendly, and it was a pleasure to listen in to a conversation on how awful a referee Keith Stroud is. Parking is also easy. Travelling through the suburbs of Birmingham is frankly non unlike the opening of a horror movie. But ground parking is easy and anyone prepared to walk 10-15 minutes can find free easy street parking. Lower Dartmouth street is my recommendation.

And there are a few sights in Birmingham, somewhat unexpected within yards of the ground. And a good few sights totally expected. The ground is in a sort of area that is an admixture of urban housing and small industrial estates. With a few curious bars and shops thrown in for good measure.

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On the way to the ground one walks past canals that look pleasant although here there seemed either a small gravestone or a miniature ” angel of the north”. Street cleaning also seems an optional extra, though maybe a little cruel to say that on Jan 2nd.

IMG_1079The ground itself is a great ground now. Three sides have been re-built and this is one of the better Championship grounds. The whole area smells  that gorgeous football smell of onions and cooking burgers.

IMG_1084Views are excellent all around the ground and access is quite uncomplicated. With one notable exception, the tannoy system is so quiet that I did not realise there was one. The game however was dire and will be covered in a different blog. Overall this was a good match day experience. And lastly I should mention that £20 for a ticket is really a very reasonable  price in 2016.

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Does Anyone Own This Bear?


The photo speaks for itself really. Lovely attempt to find the owner of this toy bear. Reminds me a bit of Paddington. The reply address is a Twitter acoount and what a great nice thing to do. Please share this!

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Brentford v Shrewsbury. October 26th. This may be a Pay what You Want Game


Brentford have had some marvellous initiatives over the last few years and encouragingly not only are the crowds starting to rise but a quick visual inspection tells you that there are far more juniors around than in years gone by. This is good news for Brentford and also for football. This week Mark Devlin tweeted that Brentford v Shrewsbury may be the next pay-what-you-want game.

Football everywhere is starting to see sense. Non-league clubs such as Hampton are allowing season ticket holders from league clubs in half price and non-league has many other similar ventures that attempt to persuade fans to watch football every saturday.

Any football fans here please forward on this post and lets try and get Brentford packed!

Yoevil V Brentford 2012-13

Yoevil V Brentford 2012-13

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Tooting 1 Horsham 3. Ryman South. Dec 29th 2012


In a life of a football fan and especially a non-league photographer a day of hideous weather such as yesterday, is not wanted. Most games were called off and the challenge was to find a game that was actually on. For me this would have represented a challenge to the management of a club that wanted to boost their attendance by getting the word out there that the game is on, or even off. Some clubs did this very well. Respect due to Sutton who even replied to my humble tweet to them about if the game was on. A club that did badly on all counts was Tooting and Mitcham FC. I could find no social media nor internet site to answer my question. The websites attributed to Tooting seem to have been last updated months if not years ago. No Twitter account. No Facebook page. I might add that all these media are freely available and indeed free. Many other clubs did well to update their fans. Lets throw some praise around. Walton and Hersham have both twitter and facebook and their fans knew the night before that the game was off. Horsham regularly tweet game updates during the game.

I belong to a closed group on Facebook related to non-league photography and from the multiple postings there it was clear that our little coterie could have been driven to any game probably on, hence boosting attendances by a few, but multiply this up and clubs could have done themesleves a real favour.

Having guessed correctly that the game might be on I arrived 2.20pm at Tooting to find no information available. Was the game on or off? Turnstiles all locked. No signs. No clues. No programmes. A few stewards appeared, mostly young lads, doing a grand job I must say, of about 13-14 years, who appreciated the issue and went away to solve the problem. Turnstiles duly opened at 2.40pm. A thin paper based programme was on sale from a cheery gentleman for 2£. In all honesty the poorest non-league programme I have seen for some years. I do not exaggerate but I could have printed this off from my computer in far better format. Little to no food was available in the snack bar. A wait for 10 minutes led to a burger. Priced at the not so cheap price of 3.50£. Entrance to the ground was 10£.

The pitch was not in bad condition at all considering the rain .

I will stop my social media rant here, but what opportunities are being missed by clubs who want to boost their crowds. Each week we read that non-league football needs larger crowds but clubs must promote themselves a little better to get new fans. Tooting missed this opportunity big time yesterday.

 

The game itself was not a phenomenal one. The better side won easily. The reality was that Horsham looked fitter and better, by a bit, but maybe more interested as a team. No players stood out. no one disgraced themselves. Tooting might have felt a little aggrieved that they did not get an equaliser in the second half but maybe this would have been unfair. The Tooting manager in his technical area spent most of the second half swearing badly at his team, with some non-funny sarcastic comments thrown in. Seemingly oblivious to the fact that children could hear each and every of his well chosen words. I cannot say I warmed to him and wonder if his team does. Neither side will win anything this season and neither will get relegated, although on a bad run, Tooting might be drawn into the relegation battle. The low crowd of 155 should however be of concern to the club as based on this performance will not be getting any larger.

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Small Crowd at Tooting

Small Crowd at Tooting

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Reflections on Non-League football and social Media opportunities. Missed by Tooting FC . From a Non-League photographers perspective. Facebook and Twitter for non-league clubs.


In a life of a football fan and especially a non-league photographer a day of hideous weather such as yesterday, is not wanted. Most games were called off and the challenge was to find a game that was actually on. For me this would have represented a challenge to the management of a club that wanted to boost their attendance by getting the word out there that the game is on, or even off. Some clubs did this very well. Respect due to Sutton who even replied to my humble tweet to them about if the game was on. A club that did badly on all counts was Tooting and Mitcham FC. I could find no social media nor internet site to answer my question. The websites attributed to Tooting seem to have been last updated months if not years ago. No Twitter account. No Facebook page. I might add that all these media are freely available and indeed free. Many other clubs did well to update their fans. Lets throw some praise around. Walton and Hersham have both twitter and facebook and their fans knew the night before that the game was off. Horsham regularly tweet game updates during the game.

I belong to a closed group on Facebook related to non-league photography and from the multiple postings there it was clear that our little coterie could have been driven to any game probably on, hence boosting attendances by a few, but multiply this up and clubs could have done themesleves a real favour.

Having guessed correctly that the game might be on I arrived 2.20pm at Tooting to find no information available. Was the game on or off? Turnstiles all locked. No signs. No clues. No programmes. A few stewards appeared, mostly young lads, doing a grand job I must say, of about 13-14 years, who appreciated the issue and went away to solve the problem. Turnstiles duly opened at 2.40pm. A thin paper based programme was on sale from a cheery gentleman for 2£. In all honesty the poorest non-league programme I have seen for some years. I do not exaggerate but I could have printed this off from my computer in far better format. Little to no food was available in the snack bar. A wait for 10 minutes led to a burger. Priced at the not so cheap price of 3.50£. Entrance to the ground was 10£.

The pitch was not in bad condition at all considering the rain .

I will stop my social media rant here, but what opportunities are being missed by clubs who want to boost their crowds. Each week we read that non-league football needs larger crowds but clubs must promote themselves a little better to get new fans. Tooting missed this opportunity big time yesterday.

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Small Crowd at Tooting

Small Crowd at Tooting

 

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Brentford 2 Rochdale 0


The best that can be truthfully said for this game was that at least Brentford got 3 points. The game was played on a warm sunny afternoon and other than a superb headed goal 5 minutes from time from Clayton Donaldson, there was little or nothing to admire.

I don’t like criticising other football teams but Rochdale were poor. They were poor in the effort they applied, poor in their technical skills and in fact were the worst footballing side I have seen this season. I lost count of the misplaced passes and shots that went over the stadium roof or straight out of play. The only player who could defend Marcus Holness, went off injured in the second half and had a most peculiar hairstyle , like a sort of gothic cockerel. Nil Points for style. In fact I would be amazed if they escape relegation.

Neither midfield did much all game. In fact there was more movement in the respective technical areas from Uwe Rosler and John Coleman than from their respective teams. This was really a dreadful game of football and one hopes that few neutrals were in attendance. To make matters worse Adam Forshaw went off injured with what he reported on Twitter was a fractured jaw. End of the season for him. Jake Bidwell had another excellent game and one hopes we can sign him.

Uwe Rosler did not announce today that he had a master plan, recent ones include giving 2 goals away to Sheff United and Orient respectively, and blaming Crawley Town for a Brentford loss…..I guess the team was our best team out there. No-one played badly. Richard Lee did not have a save to make all game. The only on target effort from Rochdale was in fact the probable elbow that broke Adam Forshaw’s jaw.

So three points were nice, the cheeseburger at Macdonalds was nice, there was somewhere to park and it was warm. So why grumble. The season for Brentford is clearly over. Surely we cannot get relegated from this position of 50 points, no chance of promotion. Some nondescript games coming along.

Clinton Morrison made his debut for the last 10 minutes and for me contributed to the goal with his movement off the ball. So we honour him with an I phone photo.

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