Phil Jagielka – one is most definitely NOT amused

Phil Jagielka
Phil Jagielka. A model professional; someone always in the paper for the right reasons, always pictured doing charity work. A player who has demonstrated to kids everywhere that a player doesn’t need to be a Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, or some other teenage sensation to succeed in the game. He has worked hard to get his rewards and is rightly respected by most in the game.

However, he has undermined all that hard work in one fell swoop with a quote in this mornings Metro, saying “it should be amusing” when commenting on the level of abuse he expects Wayne Rooney to receive on Merseyside on Saturday.

I’m sure Jagielka, with all he has been throughout his career, didn’t mean the words as they sounded. Regardless; the comments sound like he is condoning vitriol at whatever level even with the benefit of hindsight. This will include angry, drunken threats of physical attacks.

No, it won’t be funny for Rooney if he is subjected to abuse that is escalated even from that he currently endures on each return to Liverpool. Why would it be? Sure, we all know Rooney is his own worst enemy and more than plays his part in the banter, but banter is where it should stop. A hate campaign or a deliberately timed plant story by the Mirror to incite aggression towards United’s spearhead to it’s peak, if Rooney is guilty of the actions the tabloids are accusing him of he will pay his own price. Is it really enough to warrant threats on his safety? When did this become acceptable, when did it become “amusing”??

Was it amusing for David Beckham’s family to see burning effigies of their loved relative dangling from buildings in London after the World Cup in 1998? No.

The media – rightly – react in disgust to those Arsene Wenger chants that happen throughout the country but only get highlighted at Old Trafford. Those chants are vile, disgusting and definitely not amusing. Maybe it’s far fetched to imagine that those people who created the Beckham effigies would actually set light to the players body if they had the opportunity but it’s certainly not unthinkable to envisage a situation where a riled up, inebriated “fan” takes to the pitch and attacks a player.

Wayne Rooney may not have helped himself in this situation but surely his fellow professionals have a duty to help diffuse an inevitably volatile atmosphere instead of encouraging it. It wouldn’t be widely considered “amusing” or even accepted if it were any other player at any other club, after all.

6 Comments on Phil Jagielka – one is most definitely NOT amused

  1. Why, twice in one week, are we going on about the Beckham effigies? You’d accuse any other team of living in the past if they dredged up a 12-year old injustice.

    Jagielka’s comments don’t bother me in the slightest. I didn’t get het up when Ashley Cole got extra grief for thinking with his cock and I’m not going to have a double standard for Rooney’s benefit.

    Your average Evertonian probably gives as little of a damn as most other fans in the country where Wayne Rooney gets his end away and the more vitriolic chants will still be relating to his perceived status as a judas.

    I can’t bring myself to think it likely that an Everton fan is going to feel so wronged on Colleen Rooney’s behalf that they’re more likely to make a rage-induced pitch invasion.

  2. Agreed Yolkie. And Im going to go out on a limb here (make me unpopular) and say we shouldnt take him. Yes he could quite easily score and win us the game which would be fantastic and a great karma for the lad – but Goodison has not been kind to us of late, and last season in particular Rooney let the abuse get to his head which resulted in a lacklustre display; Wayne was eventually subbed with Fergie commenting afterwards that he let the atmosphere get to him…..This time the hostility will reach a whole new level, and I personally hope Fergie doesnt make the same mistake again. Berba-Owen or matching them up 5 across the middle would be my preferred option – But then Fergie has always fancied a flutter hasnt he….

  3. I’m not sure whether you can not take him on that basis. As soon as you admit that you can be cowed away at Goodison because of the fans other clubs will smell blood in the water.

    Okay, so you can’t just fabricate proper dislike, but I think it’s a dangerous message to send out.

    Unless Fergie thinks he’s already not in the right state of mind before we even play, I suppose. It’s foolish not playing what you think would be your best line-up in the name of pigheadedness.

  4. Cheers for the comments.

    Ian; the Beckham reference was made again because unfortunately it’s still relevant.

    The point I’m making is more about incitement. Yes, every year Rooney gets grief from there. With the news still raw it will be escalated, obviously. If a supporter can run to the front of the stand to hurl abuse (Simmons to Cantona in 95) and those supporters in 1998 can burn effegies, as well as the many many reported incidents of United players (and those of other clubs, to be fair) being targetted by drunk idiots in pubs and clubs, then it doesn’t matter how long ago it was, it should serve as a real problem. In a week where Rooney’s alleged indiscretions are being printed and printed again then I think it’s probably justified that I repeat the Beckham reference. That is a level of hate that is being encouraged and it shouldn’t be because some people don’t know when to stop. Jagielka’s comments seem dismissive, trivialising it and putting a comical slant on it. Does this happen to every player every week?

    The Mirror in particular but the press in general have jumped all over this story at this particular time and are deliberately trying to provoke an already volatile scenario.

    I don’t think Everton fans in general are a bad bunch; I think with Rooney in mind, their general reaction is understandable because as I mentioned in the piece, he doesn’t help himself.

    BUT. The threat of violence is a very real one and the press are doing all they can to encourage it already; Jagielka shouldn’t be making inflammatory comments. There will always be that one idiot from the crowd who does something, I don’t think it’s right to be encouraging that.

    Re: Ashley Cole. Memory doesn’t serve me too well but I’m pretty sure the story wasn’t held back and then revealed a week before he played against Arsenal away. Yes, he has had some stick, we’re yet to see the reaction to Rooney, but as I said and will repeat until exhaustion the timing of the reveal is vindictive and the constant re-hashing over the same story with no new information is just to keep it fresh in the publics mind until Saturday, when most people will have forgotten what they’re really angry about and just want to abuse Rooney.

    It seems to me unfortunately that the press won’t stop until they’ve got blood on their hands.

  5. Unless it comes to racism and bigotry I can’t think of any notable situations where a player has taken terrace abuse with any real level of seriousness. That it’s generally getting out of hand is undeniable but it’s not specific to Rooney. Players up and down the country get vile abuse for all sorts of reasons and non-reasons. The suggestion that football fans need or take encouragement from the media to behave like scum is laughable because it happens at games every single week that the media don’t give a damn about.

    Jagielka’s also quoted in every single article I’ve read about the abuse Rooney’s going to get saying that he doesn’t think Rooney’ll be too fussed anyway as he’s used to it from the Goodison crowd by now.

    “constant re-hashing over the same story with no new information is just to keep it fresh in the publics mind until Saturday”

    Oh come on. I know fine well that you’re not that naive. Every single celeb “story” is repeated ad infinitum regardless of whether there’s anything of interest to report about it. Cheryl Cole’s malaria, the Brand/Wossy/Sachs story, the Pitt/Aniston/Jolie stuff a few years ago.

    Or if you’d prefer to keep it football related, John Terry and Wayne Bridge were in the news daily for what felt like a sodding decade just recently. Glenn Hoddle’s comments about the disabled were chewed over endlessly if we go back further. Stan Collymore’s various indiscretions always seemed to drag on. See also: Gazza whenever he’s in the news.

    Yes, the timing is self-serving on behalf of the rags. But when you take out the injunction in the first place (and let’s not kid ourselves over this either, these injunctions that the celebs take out never last long) you’re practically begging the paps to print the stories at a time of their choosing.

    It’s a sorry mess and Rooney’s going to get even worse abuse than normal and the papers are lapping it up, but most of them are just enjoying a circle-jerk about how much they can report about what nasty specimens modern footballers are. And while there will be individuals writing with anti-United and anti-Rooney sentiment this implication that there’s an editorial conspiracy in the tabloids to incite violence just smacks of paranoia.

    Not that I’ll ever know, but my prediction is that if United get a win any comment on the crowd in the dressing room will be a wry smile and a chuckle and if they lose they’ll not even be thinking about the fans as they go over why they lost. I don’t see Rooney losing any sleep over it before or after.

  6. Everton don’t give a sh*t about rooney personal life.just another chant for the way not taking him would send out the wrong messages & would encourage every other club to target him as well.
    He always gets stick there so it won’t shock rooney.he dosen’t strike me as guy that will back down because of a few big mouths.
    Rooney will score or assist & win the game for of the toughest games of the season but we are at full strength so we will win.I just hope our defence is not fucking slack like it was at utd 2-1everton

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