When Saturday Comes posted up an old piece of mine this week in the light of Sol Campbell’s decision to walk out on Notts County after just one game. It was written in 2001, just after the player’s controversial decision to leave Spurs for another team in north London, but the general observations hold true, and it’s interesting to reflect on how the values discussed have developed and continued to shape the game.
It’s easy, of course, to romanticise the supposed ‘good old days’ of loyal club servants and sporting values – but the search for a balance between hard-headed realism and enjoyable sport continues to exercise minds. There are few football fans I speak to who are entirely at ease with the way the game is at the moment, with more and more expressing the view that watching the game at non-league or youth level reconnects them with the game as a sport, rather than the bloated monster the professional game has become.
That said, we’re all glued to the Premiership come the weekend, and football fans want nothing so much as success. All a manifestation of the addiction, I guess.