If you look in the dictionary you will refer to the fact that the word ‘crisis’ means a period of intense difficulty, trouble or danger. What’s certain is that in a football sphere dominated by the sensationalist press, ‘crisis’ is just the latest of a number of buzz words and phrases used to describe the plight or conditions surrounding a clubs operation. Following the fellow overused terminologies of ‘a period of transition’ and an individual being ‘lost in translation’, calls of a ‘crisis’ at certain football clubs are often used in a glaringly premature context.
Just take the recent Premier League fortunes of North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham. In a directly contrasting set of results for the clubs following the conclusion of the North London derby, many media outlets have since described Spurs as being in ‘crisis’ and that the club might not even make Champions League football this term amidst the mystery surrounding Harry Redknapp’s future at the club with the continued England speculation.
Of course, it was Arsenal’s turn to be prodded by the media’s ever-piercing stick before this, with dark clouds piling over the Emirates Stadium and the wise old Arsene Wenger looking as gaunt as ever in the adversity of failing to deliver a major honour for the seventh season in a row.
If you refer back to the dictionary definition, yes Arsenal were experiencing a period of difficulty in results, trouble in their long-term staying power and indeed danger of slipping further away from the coveted European positions, but the word ‘crisis’ remains way too strong.
You only have to lose or win a few games these days and the crisis has either ceased or reared its ugly head once more. Gunners’ fans are currently smarting that they have closed a 10 point gap to just one point on their London neighbours Spurs and there is a wave of new long-term optimism that if the club can snatch third place, keep their captain and add names to their ranks such as Lukas Podolski, there might be some good times ahead. Some crisis?
On the contrary, Tottenham’s crisis refers to them currently being placed in third, remaining in the FA Cup’s latter stages and retaining the services of Harry Redknapp at least until the end of the season. Yes, they have lost the last couple of games but there is still a long way to go and Spurs have a big enough squad to cope with the seasons tribulations.
The idiotic addition of the word ‘crisis’ in certain contexts is barking mad and in the recent case of Arsenal, it is always gleefully fulfilling to see egg on the faces of specific media outlets who write teams and personnel off as quickly as they press the return and publish key.
A crisis isn’t three games without a win. Three games without a win is merely a predicament; a predicament which needs addressing simply by a unified team spirit and a will to win in adversity. ‘Crisis’ is probably more fittingly used to describe the current tarnished fate of football clubs Portsmouth and Rangers.
The SPL giants have been using recent home games to air the RFFF (Rangers Fans Fighting Fund) whereby moves to urge supporters into making donations to the clubs ailing financial situation have been endorsed. The first two home games since entering administration against Kilmarnock and Hearts were indeed sold out and as of late February, the scheme had reportedly raised pledges totalling some £10 million from more than 13,500 loyal fans.
Similarly at Portsmouth, several key players have had to be farmed out on loan to keep the clubs financial merits alive amidst a 10 point deduction which leaves the South Coast club at the foot of the Championship. Key statesmen Erik Huseklepp, Liam Lawrence, Hayden Mullins and Stephen Henderson have all moved on to help the club recoup some of their wages.
The descriptions of these football clubs hammer home just how desperate the situation is, and the media’s top-heavy flirtation with toying with Arsenal and Tottenham’s intermittent predicaments is greatly insensitive considering these clubs might potentially not exist in the future. In the financially troubled clubs’ cases, this truly represents the definition of an intense period of difficulty.
Arsenal and Tottenham are likely to be around for an unprecedented period of time yet and it’s certainly about time a few influential media individuals decided to reach for their thesaurus when persuaded to call their steady respective seasons a ‘crisis’.
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