Football: The New Kremlinology

Following football these days feels more like Kremlinology — trying to read into the minds of managers, players defecting like scientists and ‘agents’ cutting deals in exotic locales via dead letter boxes. As usual, in such games, information is power, which is why I liked this throwaway line from a Guardian report about this weekend’s Chelsea v Bolton game: Chelsea needed a win to realistically stay in the title race and hoped for rivals Manchester United to be held to a draw at Everton. Things looked good with Chelsea in the lead at one point and Everton’s two goal lead against ManU prominently displayed on the Chelsea scoreboard. But as Chelsea lapsed and ManU fought back at Everton the scoreboard seemed to get stuck, those operating it presumably hoping that players and supporters alike would perform better if kept in the dark. ManU scored four, eventually, though only those in the ground with radios, phones or TVs would have known:

Incidentally, the Chelsea thought police declined to update the running scoreline from Goodison Park when United went in front. At Everton 2 Manchester United 2, it mysteriously disappeared.

29. April 2007 by jeremy
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