Airwave abuse from the new generation

RADIO Five Dead made for good listening following Newcastle and Liverpool's respective mid-week results. First up on the 606 phone-in was Iqbal from Milton Keynes, who was enraged at the Scousers' inability to beat lowly Wigan.

RADIO Five Dead made for good listening following Newcastle and Liverpool's respective mid-week results.

First up on the 606 phone-in was Iqbal from Milton Keynes, who was enraged at the Scousers' inability to beat lowly Wigan.

"Rafa's got to go innit. He ain't good enough."

Then on to Martin from Berkshire who was fuming about Big Sam. "It's just not the football that the 'Toon'(sic) want. We need to be entertained."

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And so continued the raft of callers from the South East berating the performance of 'their' teams.

The longer the programme went on the more it became apparent that greater access to football on Sky has created a new generation of impatient football followers who don't contribute anything to their clubs apart from buying a shirt each summer and a volley of abuse on the airwaves.

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This is something the BBC has nurtured, as 606 is now often hosted by a Londoner called DJ Spoony who inexplicably - like so many people - is a Liverpool fan.

"No, I wasn't at the game today Spoony" is the frequent opening gambit from angry callers to the show.

In fact, Spoony himself often restates the belief that "just because you don't go to games, it does not mean you are not a real fan."

Well, yes it does actually.

There are 101 good reasons why people can't go to football matches - family and money being primary among them - but if you are not going to matches and actively supporting your team; your mandate to criticise is diminished.

If The Man was a Newcastle or Liverpool fan - who god forbid actually came from either city and attended matches - I'd be extremely annoyed at the Mohammeds and Michaels from Morden who ring 606 demanding that a manager is sacked.

The big clubs do have a huge financial advantage, but The Man doesn't begrudge them the new wave of 'fans' they've inherited.

THIS week Roeder gave an interesting insight into what he's like on a trip around Tesco.

He told reporters yesterday: "I never like to pay the asking price - even when I go into shops. Ever.

“I feel really bad if I have to pay the asking price and I really get sick if I make a bid and they say: 'Yes!'

"And I think: 'Oh no... I could have got that cheaper...'

“So I'm very comfortable with haggling and making the first bid so ridiculous that they say: 'No!' and then we can go up one rung at a time.”

And The Man thinks - captured in the words above - is Norwich's policy for prizing Taylor out of Birmingham.

Roeder has set his price, Taylor wants to come here, and with QPR buying every other footballer on the planet we are the only show in town.

Now we just wait to smoke Brady out, as Birmingham desperately scrabble for cash to fund their own relegation fight.

Taylor could play a massive part in our survival bid - and if push comes to shove we should do everything to get him - but there's no harm in playing a little bit of hard-ball ahead of any deal.

In recent years, more often than not, we seem to have been on the rough end of transfer deals.

It would be nice if we bent someone over a barrel for once. OTBC.

THE MAN thought England football fans were harsh critics - but it appears we've got nothing on Austria.

I read this week that more than 10,000 Austrians have signed a petition calling for their national team to formally withdraw from the 2008 European Championships.

The belief among many Austrians is that their football team is so bad their performances this summer will only serve to embarrass the nation.

In this context, you have to question the fairness of UEFA letting two countries - Austria ranked 94th in the world, and Switzerland 44th - to automatically qualify for such a high-profile competition.

And it's not something that's going to stop soon; Poland (22) and Ukraine (30) have already been granted a ticket to 2012.

Whatever next? Maybe Scotland and the Faroe Islands will be given a free pass in 2016…

IT MAY be a new year, but some things never change.

The Man was amused to read that our old friends at Molineux ushered in 2008 in familiar fashion - with a good old bout of booing.

Mick McCarthy was subjected to chants of "you don't know what you are doing" as he side drew 0-0 with Sheffield United.

You may recall, this is the manager who worked miracles last season in leading Wolves to the play offs, and was even christened Merlin by their fans for his seemingly miraculous management powers.

And as things stand this season, Wolves sit just two points off a play off spot. That "you've let us down again" banner will be dusted off very soon...

Still, we mustn't forget, Wolves are a massive club, and deserve success. Their crowds might not be as big as ours, but they are a massive club.

No really, they are massive. Massive.

THE MAN spent a good section of the festive period soaking up the 150 Great Canary Goals DVD, which thankfully emerged under the Christmas tree instead of the usual Canary Calendar.

Some of the goals exploit a somewhat elastic use of the word "great", especially a tap in by Adrian Forbes at St Andrews in a game I didn't even know took place...

However, watching that DVD threw up some famous characters from the past, and as The Man chewed on his chocolate coins he began to ponder whatever happened to swarthy striker Robert Rosario?

I know he was regarded at the time as a sort of Latin Keith Scott, but I couldn't help but wonder what he is up to today.

What does a man like Rosario do after football?

Some could be cruel enough to suggest he never did actually 'play' football, but the evidence in my Christmas DVD - that memorable 4-4 game - begs to differ.

If anyone could help The Man track down Rosy please drop me an email. Maybe his old pal Disco Dale knows the answer.

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