It’s taken over three months, but we’ve finally had our first complaint letter! Huzzah! We knew when we first approached Harry Pearson that we were renting a room in a powder keg and giving off sparks, but we had no idea that the explosion would come so soon. We’ve also got friend-of-the-site Jim Burke with wise words about non Premier League football and there’s even a bit of affection at the end to balance it all out.
A PIECE OF HATE FOR HARRY’S PIECES OF HATE
In my opinion, your Pieces of Hate features are becoming more and more ridiculous as the weeks go by. This time, it was about drinking water. I don’t know if Harry Pearson has ever played football, because it has a habit of making you quite thirsty. Basically, what he is saying is ‘thirst is for the weak, real men don’t need to drink water!’ in a sort of Tony Pulis style ‘we’re all blokes here’ rant.
Stupidly, he states that water is not necessary in ‘Derby in December’ compared to ‘July in Florida’. There is a difference between thirst and dehydration. Yes, you are much more likely to become dehydrated in Florida in July than Derby in December. However, playing football in cold weather still makes you pretty damn thirsty and if you are thirsty you cannot play to your maximum ability. The solution to this problem is to drink some water, at an appropriate stoppage. The idea!
Then he mentions managers sipping water and how Steve McClaren had the nerve to drink water as he watched football. The cheek of him! Drinking water is healthy, and Steve McClaren has as much right to drink water while managing football as you do to drink beer or coke while watching it.
I thought the aim of The Set Pieces was to provide articles of substance, of quality not quantity. This article fell well short of those criteria and I think the Pieces Of Hate feature needs to take a break as it’s becoming less killer and more and more filler.
ED’S NOTE: Thanks so much for getting in touch and for doing so with such eloquence. It’s reassuring to know that when we do get complaint letters, they’re balanced and reasonable.
I can’t speak for Harry (he’s on @camsell59), but this piece was a little tongue in cheek, as indeed are most of the articles in the series. We’ve had the occasional complaint in the past that we’re not focusing on ‘big issues’, but the intention was always to make this a lighter feature to offset the heavier stuff elsewhere.
I must take issue with the accusation that the article lacks quality. You won’t see many better opening pars than Harry’s ‘bactarian camel’ angle. However, you’ll be pleased to know we had a darker Piece of Hate this week. James Clark turned his firepower on his fellow fan for tacitly encouraging ticket price hikes.
JAMES CLARK IS RIGHT, FOOTBALL’S GONE
Alas, James Clark is spot on with his new Pieces of Hate. You can’t complain that the high prices are diminishing “the product” and driving people away from the game when the stands are full, Sky are posting record profits and pumping ever more ridiculous amounts of money into the coffers for the rights to show the game. The list of companies who look at, what is effectively a full order book for the foreseeable future and then turn round and say “here’s an idea, let’s knock 30% off our prices” is very short. No football PLC is ever going to have that conversation.
Which leaves two options, pay up or fuck off.
I moved to Manchester from Barcelona, and, having a soft spot for United, I thought I may take in a game or two. It didn’t take me too long to rid myself of that idea, a ticket price that would fund a decent afternoon on the sauce allied to fact that most home games are available in certain pubs meant I was never likely to be a regular at Old Trafford.
On the basis that I wasn’t prepared to pay up, I found myself at FC United instead. In truth it was my visit to see them that made agree wholeheartedly with James’ article. You are pissing in the wind if you think that anything in the Premier League is changing anytime soon. The alternative is to get along to lower league where the atmosphere is more honest, the beer cheaper and the quality of football is far higher than you’d expect. Plus if you have kids you can take a couple of them to a game without selling a kidney and they will be exposed to some proper swearing because, lets be honest, bellowed profanity was EASILY the best thing about a day out at the game when you were a kid.
At the highest level the baw is burst but further down the game is still in the rudest of health. So if you really don’t want to pay up, there are other options.
YOU’RE RUINING MY LIFE
Just a short note to say The Set Pieces has provided an excellent place of shelter from all that is dangerous in the world, and in particular my final undergraduate essay. I might now get a 2:2 but frankly who cares. Keep up the good work.Yours,Matthew R. Morbin
P.S Tim Sherwood is a nob.
If you’ve got something to say, why don’t you just come right out and say it, eh? Come on, don’t just stand there gibbering. Email us: [email protected]