Monday, 4 January 2010

The importance of the individual

Arsene Wenger was "infuriated" yesterday when the game was stopped because a West Ham player was injured and the referee stopped the game. How dare he stop the game when Arsenal had an extra player on the pitch? Ironically Arsenal got their winner with ten men on the pitch but the point is that we have lost our sense of the importance of the individual. It doesn't seem to matter at all that a player was injured. When I was a sports physiotherapist the great advantage in American Football and in rugby was that I could go on the pitch without stopping the game. Treating the individual was welcomed.

Over Christmas I saw the film Joyeux Noel which is about the Christmas truce in World War I in which the Germans, French and Scottish soldiers played football in No Man's Land. As soldiers it was not in their job description to fraternise with the enemy. The senior officers of all nationalities were united in their fury. How dare the soldiers stop the war in order to act in a friendly way towards the enemy. It doesn't matter that they were killing each other because politicial leaders had created the war

Bill Shankly famously said that football is more important than life or death. If you lose sight of the importance of the individual then injuries are not important and war becomes more important than peace.

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1 comment:

  1. I didn't understand why he was getting so cross. It's the first time I've watched a full match for ages. I thought they were evenly matched, and both sides played very well, with quite a bit of old fashioned sportsmanship that I haven't seen for ages. The fact the player who was responsible for the opposing player lying on the ground, apologising, then helping to their feet was really nice to see, and I think only one player had a dispute with the ref.