Gareth Roberts hosts Paul Hogan, Rob Gutmann, Jonny Gibson, Mike Girling and Ian Salmon as they go through the four categories and react to the listeners votes.
Up for debate on this edition of Wildcards:
– The Kenny Dalglish Stand
– What if Mourinho had joined Liverpool?
– Mental health in football
– Favourite albums
–The Anfield Wrap gives its listenership the choice of three subjects for discussion prior to every Wildcards show. The listeners choose one of three options for matters on the current LFC, the historical view, the game of football as a whole and, lastly, a non-football related topic. Subscribe – it’s only a fiver a month. Minimum sign up is only one month, and if it’s not for you, all’s you’ve lost is the price of a London pint.
Whilst I totally respect Mike and Rob’s opinion’s on the mental health issue, I feel I have to disagree with regards to it being wholly a societal, and not, a football issue. My reasoning is that, the football, dressing room culture is still very closed off and macho in regards to issues that (wrongly) appear to purvey some form of ‘weakness’, or ‘unmanliness’. Unfortunately this encompasses attitudes, not only to mental health, but sexuality also and I feel that discussions on the topic are never “meaningless”, especially on forums such as these which garner an audience of a decent size. It is constantly referenced that football clubs are still in the ‘dark ages’ on issues such as these, though I do believe that it may be getting better in some respects, there are still attitudes to be changed. Of course, everything IS really a societal issue in the fact that wider society is the prism through which changes in a ‘real’ sense occur but progress is not always a given and the football world needs to be constantly challenged, to actually lead rather than follow. I apologise if I appear critical of the discussion, this is generally a light-hearted show and it is one that I very much enjoy, maybe this is something close to my heart. Anyway, I would just like to wish Aaron Lennon, the very best, and the same to anyone suffering a similar illness (or any illness, of course). Best wishes Guys.
Sorry, I feel I jumped the gun a bit there. I admit I had not listened to the rest of the discussion and especially Ian and Mike and Robbo’s excellent points. Well said, good on you TAW.
Also, (sorry for hogging the comments!) in fairness to everyone on the panel, I do understand what an incredibly complex and difficult topic this must be to discuss and I believe that some of the lads were only being respectful in not just ‘diving in’, into something that really deserves an in-depth look.
Ian, you’re wrong about what you said about Sgt Pepper and it not being an LSD album. It’s a bit like DMT, you either ‘know’ or you don’t. Sgt Pepper is the most incredible thing I’ve ever heard. Don’t get me wrong, I much prefer Revolver and probably the White Album but it’s got special powers if listened to in the way it was intended.
Rob, your Alan Partridge reference to “The best of the Beatles” was a bit lost there!
Well done Dave, I knew I should know that reference as well! As for Beatles albums, maybe I’ve played Revolver to death but I’m with you on The White Album, it seems to have something for every mood. I would argue that Revolver is the most complete and consistent Beatles body of work and Sgt Pepper’s is the most evocative and iconic. Has to be a shout for the Yellow Submarine and Magical Mystery tour soundtrack albums too (I think they are ‘soundtracks’ though I know there are variations) but then what Beatles album isn’t amazing. Even Let it Be has its moments and would be regarded as top of the range from a lot of other bands. For me, The White Album is the one I still listen to, though I may now go back to Revolver. Of course any true connoisseur knows that ‘Best of the Beatles’ is the real deal! :)
Although the news of the kenny stand was greeted positively on this show I heard reference to others instances where it was less so. The problem is Liverpool fans are weird. Any good news from FSG is always greeted with cynicism not because there are grounds for it but because some feel if they say ‘oh great, that’s good’ then it somehow makes them a gullible. They have to cover themselves with ‘it’s good but I’m sure there’s another motive’. I suppose it’s a continued fallout from the H&G era.
I’m also uncomfortable with this Aaron Lennon situation. I found it quite disturbing when my Twitter feed exploded with ‘I’ve got mental health issues too and it’s good that this is in the open’. I think it’s a private thing. I want people to have avenues where they can get help and I want people to feel they can talk about it but I don’t think it should be done in public because as I mentioned on Cope’s article we live in Neoliberal times where it’s survival of the fittest. If you’re successful and charismatic you’re fine. If not, then we’re not a compassionate society. Far from it. If you’re out of work then you’re lazy. If you’re fat then you’re lazy, uneducated and greedy and if you’re in debt you’re reckless. This vile attitude has led to mental health issues in Britain exploding. I grew up around mental health hospitals (all my family worked there, I did too and our whole social life growing up was around that community). Years ago the hospitals were full of geriatrics. Acute mental illness was quite rare. This lack of compassion we have has led to an explosion in epidemics of self-harm, eating disorders, depression, loneliness, performance anxiety and social phobia. One could argue that the way we ‘label’ mental illness has changed but the facts are there and every mental health nurse in the country will tell you there’s been an explosion. We need to address the root causes.
My view is it’s dangerous to be so open in today’s society. Lennon’s problems are not an issue for the media to be getting involved with or a football issue. It’s personal and I’m guessing Everton have acted absolutely correctly. We’ve become so vile as a society that there seems to be a clamber for openness from some which has gone too far the other way. It’s probably a bad example but Ched Evans springs to mind. Rape convictions are too low still so when a footballer gets accused everyone jumps on it to say how outrageous it is. I argued at the time it was an unsafe conviction and was ultimately proved right by the highest judges in the country. That didn’t stop idiots jumping on me calling me an apologist in their attempt to ignore evidence and be seen to be doing the right thing. But, behind these cases there are human beings having to deal with these media witch hunts. Does Aaron Lennon want to be the poster boy for openness about mental health? I’d guess not. It’s a private matter and one that should be dealt with by him, those around him and medical staff. Say what you want about openness but the press have made his life a lot harder. Point being, some people think they’re doing the right thing in search of a better society but often they overlook reality. So, I’m fully supportive of that awareness group that’s been on TAW a few times, which Robbo referenced but I think their message is don’t be afraid or embarrassed to seek help. There’s no shame in it. I don’t think the message is shout it from the rooftops. It’s a personal issue and should be treated that way.
P.s I fully supported the kick racism out of football because football fans were a huge part of the problem. This is different. It’s not a footballing issue it’s a society issue.
Great post Robin, I very much agree over how Aaron Lennon’s (suspected) illness has been thrown out there. I do feel that football should do more to change it’s dressing room culture in many areas (though that is just my own opinion), however the way Lennon’s privacy has been invaded by the media and their sources (who should absolutely know better, and be thoroughly ashamed of their conduct) is disgusting. Thank you for a good read.
Hiya mate. Is there a dressing room culture though? Someone somewhere posted a video this week of Vinnie Jones’s dirty highlights. I like a tough tackle but I was horrified by the video. It was disgusting. It made me think, football has changed for the better. I was watching my local team this week. They had 8 games in hand after 3 successful cup runs and had to win all 8 to win the league from Birkenhead on goal difference. As a side note, they all won all 8 in 21 days. They’ve just won the cup too and have 2 finals left for the quadruple. Anyway, I digress. It got me thinking though. If you played for them 10 years ago it was expected you played dirty. That’s all they had. Now, they’re playing good football. I’m not convinced of this dressing room culture. I’m not convinced football is macho now. I think football’s moving in the right direction. I may be wrong but it just crossed my mind this week that football has changed for the better.
Agree though, the media hasn’t changed. They’re still happy to destroy lives to sell papers. I haven’t bought a paper in over 15 years. I wish others would stop too.
the bell end