Heading into Chelsea’s Premier League trip to local lowly Fulham, Mark Ogden, Senior Football Writer for ESPN, tweeted his unbridled praise for a column written by the ever cheery, Graeme Souness in the Sunday Times speaking on the “pointlessness” of Chelsea’s Jorginho and Mateo Kovačić
The tweet itself from the Manchester based journalist couldn’t have been timed any more poorly. Posted minutes before kick-off at Craven Cottage in a first half where Chelsea’s No.5 ran the show, finishing off one of the Blues best attacking moves all season to net the eventual winner.
Though this tweet in isolation may seem like a small matter, a moment of misfortune for an ex-player and journalist promoting a view many have held over the season in criticism of the west London club and Maurizio Sarri’s playing style.
However, since the Cup Final, where despite his penalty miss – the Italian has suddenly rediscovered his early season form, linking well with Gonzalo Higuaín and interchanging perfectly with an ever rampant, N’Golo Kante, which was demonstrated in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Spurs. Jorginho’s name has suddenly slipped from the lips of pundits, journalists and his most critical of Chelsea fans.
I wonder why this is?
It speaks to a wider issue in modern society, of modern debate. Hearing someone utter the words, “I was wrong” is as rare as spotting the Loch Ness Monster. People are fixed to their beliefs, no matter what. This is ideology over reason, ego over facts.
Jorginho’s upturn in form doesn’t make any previous criticisms of him automatically invalid, just the same that those, including myself who defended the midfielder and his role during his most harshest periods of criticisms.
His name simply vanishing from debate seems to indicate a trend that simply acknowledging another point/side of view’s merits is “giving in” or “accepting defeat” when in truth it points to the opposite. I continue to have debates and discussions on a regular basis with fellow Blues who disagree with me and believe Kante should be in a deeper role, but also can appreciate what a “regista” brings to Sarri’s system that the French Premier League and World Cup winner can’t. These turn out to be fruitful and beneficial discussions, that lead to resolution.
When high profile pundits like Rio Ferdinand take special time to have a go at a player, which then gets blasted across social media for everyone to see, it sets them up to be reminded about their strong words if they are proven wrong. Souness with Paul Pogba comes to mind, but the former Liverpool man simply decides to ignore the criticism and spend more time grumbling, which gives off a poor image for someone at the forefront of Sky Sports biggest games, leading conversation.
The blind spots leads only one to distrust those said opinions going forward on any topic. It places you in the same category as Chris Sutton – all slogans, no substance, which I’m sure not many in football analysis want to be labelled as.
A bright spot on Sunday was the away section of Chelsea fans chanting Jorginho’s name as he came off the field. The shame of this though was that a journalist I respect, Matt Law, used this to condemn the fickle nature of the fanbase, after a small minority booed the midfielder just over a week earlier at home to Malmo.
If you reader, have gone online to vent about Jorginho, or simply disagree with my view, then that’s absolutely fine – but if you go down the route of so many and turn a blind eye to something you may have to bite the bullet on, this isn’t a hill worth dying on. We ALL can be wrong, and admitting that only helps strengthen your arguments and debates.
Up The Chels!