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Who rates who?

Walsall - Crystal Palace 3-4
Ipswich - Crystal Palace 1-2
Crystal Palace - Coventry 3-1
Crystal Palace - Nottingham Forrest 0-0

It is easy to say who is the best manager in the world. Or the best coach or the best scout. It is any journalist. They do it so easily. It is amazing how they can evaluate any game or player, speculate tactics, physical or mental state of any club or player at any given time. They write a good game.

That is how civilised society works. Journalists put the world of football into words. They know. And they get paid to tell the others, readers in this case. Obviously part of their job is to find and even create problems to interest the public even more. Without saying goes that they are also known to be masters of solving these same problems and other things on and off the pitch. Just open the tabloid papers and the truth is out there.

It is actually bit weird that clubs use scouting-system and coaches at all. The same information and knowledge they could get with 50 p from the nearest newsagent. It would be much wiser and cheaper for clubs to base their knowledge of other teams and players on journalists’ professional work. After all they know how to put it into words. It would be only fair that journalists would really be paid from both paper and the clubs.

It is literally unbelievable how all the multitalented people have chosen to be journalists. Not just writing a story from a game, journalists are also good enough to evaluate over 22 players during ninety minutes. Player’s ratings are really the most fascinating part. You can get a number from one to ten in terms how could you have performed. So this way everyone is ranked in every game. Obviously all the journalists have beforehand considered game tactics and done some research of every player’s job and role in the team and a current match.

Does all this start to sound like that bitter blond Finn footballer have gotten too many fives and sixes in this seasons ratings? Not really. You can imagine that I can’t really sleep at nights if my marks are low. After all I don’t want to be a bad player, which is obviously in journalists’ hands. So after the last Sundays clash against Ipswich I went to my local newsagent’s to read the verdict again.

This is what I love about England: it is the promised land of football and football journalism. Without any real effort I can find eight papers that all had a story about our game. This is a good way to learn about the game. However there was quite a wide range of stories and evaluations. Sometimes it was hard to believe that I was reading about the same game. I was bit confused about what to think or who to believe. Of course football is subjective and every pair of eyes sees it differently. But very differently at this time. None of the papers had the same man of the match and in some cases the players’ ratings were completely opposite from one paper to another. Yet we all are talking about the same game. So who is telling the truth then? Probably everyone and no-one. It is just a matter of an opinion.

As a footballer I am under public eye and papers have right to evaluate and criticise me. That is part of my job. A journalist’s job is to cover every aspects of a game and evaluate all the players at the same time. This time I decided to turn around the roles. Instead of always getting a number from the journalists I thought to give them one. After all it is fair enough to give some feedback for them as well. So here are my press ratings from the Ipswich- Crystal Palace game.

Daily Express started the game well but made some easy mistakes in the end. This time usually inform Daily Star had a nightmare, they couldn’t get grip of it at the whole time. Not just their evaluations went wrong but also they had problems with facts and ideas. Picture text crucified the story by mistaking six foot two black centre half to a five foot nine pale midfielder. The Sun had a cracking start but faded away later in the story. The winner and paper of the match was surprisingly The Daily Telegraph that evaluated the game well, was both precise and entertaining and literally outwrote the opponents this time. The Guardian also had a solid game. Couple of bad mistakes in facts from The Mirror and Daily Mail really would have required an earlier substitution. Overall it was quite a professional but boring press overview of the game. Obviously I am disqualified to evaluate The Times, plus I wouldn't do it anyway because I could get the sack.

In the end everything that is written is a truth. A truth of how one journalist sees the game. There is no ultimate right or wrong, it is the opinion of one pair of eyes. The journalists have been left with the tall order of covering every Saturday all the aspects of always so different game. But we love it anyway. After all one of the highlights of a normal day is to go to a nearest newsagent to find some news of football.

The Guardian 7
The Sun 6
Daily Star 4
The Daily Telegraph 8
Daily Express 6
The Mirror 5
Daily Mail 5

This time I recommend:

1. Quinoa -porridge
- Not all of the healthy food taste like crap -

2. The Times
- The Daddy of all papers -

3. Nirvana -album
- Smells like good music -

I do not recommend:

1. Player's ratings
- Even though they are easy read, they are also the most misleading and unprofessional overview of any match -

2. Giving ratings to papers
- I am sure one of them will take it personally -

3. Anybody using Plough Lane at Wimbledon
- It is a traffic nightmare, but I have to drive through it anyway, so could everybody else not -

" Don't judge those who try and fail. Judge those who fail to try "

- Thomas Aki Huxley

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