Chris Lakey: Inside information... or fake news as it is often is

An all too familiar sight - 
Matt Jarvis on the ground injured 
Picture: Nick Butcher

An all too familiar sight - Matt Jarvis on the ground injured Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Over the years I have got used to the know-it-alls. The people who, in the words of a certain perma-tanned fool, aren’t averse to creating some fake news.

I have heard and read some amazing rubbish in my time, and wondered how it can be swallowed hook, line and sinker by others.

For example, a few years ago there were some rumours about a bit of a fall-out between a couple of players in the Norwich City squad – I won’t name names because they were rumours, nothing more. But, as it is our job, I checked them out, speaking to a player I know and who knew that whatever he said would be treated in confidence. He laughed at the suggestion and said it was utter fantasy.

But I do find there is a very competitive edge to some supporters which can lead to misleading information, malicious rumours which can be upsetting to those involved and, in a case I will highlight a bit further down, comments which are simply unacceptable.

We all think we know everything about our favourite club: there is nothing like a bit of knowledge that you can pop out mid-conversation to prove you are a better supporter than another.

I’ve seen it myself on my travels covering City – I once had a very one-sided conversation with a fan in the car park at Ashton gate, home of Bristol City. The fan was determined to prove they knew all the personal details about every single member of the club, insider information that would shock and amaze me in the way the bearded lady did Victorian carnival-goers.

It got to the point where the fan was almost giving me addresses and phone numbers, just to prove they knew more than I did. And it got to the stage where I was pulling their chain so hard they couldn’t help blurt it out.

On reflection it was a bit cruel, but the fan overshot the runway a time or two so I was able to catch them out - it was decent pre-match entertainment but complete fantasy (and forgive me referring to the fan in plural).

Anyway, I digress... my beef concerns fans who think before they speak – or, more accurately, type.

There are plenty who think they know all about the ‘Nelson Oliveira Situation’ – a ‘situation’ it clearly is, but I doubt very much there are many outside City’s inner circle who know exactly what is going on. I could give an opinion on why Oliveira is so far out of favour, but I have nothing to back it up. So I won’t.

Which is what the Matt Jarvis haters should have done this week. Jarvis was part of the City party that has spent the week in Tampa. The moment his face was on a photograph of the team landing in Florida, the idiots came out of the woodwork. He’s a malingerer, just here to take his money, who the hell haven’t City sacked him etc etc

Jarvis hasn’t played for City since May, 2016, due to injury after injury. Those injuries, it appears, are his fault. He is to blame for not being able to do his job properly. And he is to blame for not saying, ‘ok, I can’t play, rip up my contract and I will sit at home and twiddle my thumbs’.


I have worked with colleagues who, unfortunately, have had to have time off work because of illness or injury. Not once did anyone claim they were swinging the lead, that they should be booted out of the company.

Does anyone really believe Jarvis would prefer to be missing games than playing in them? And if you are one of those who believes he is simply taking his money and doesn’t care, then you need extremely good information to back it up. And I guarantee you haven’t.

When a footballer is sidelined through no fault of his own, suddenly we have ‘experts’ lining up to berate and vilify him through sheer ignorance.

And you think leaving a game early is the worst crime a football fan can commit?

66 reasons why....

Don’t you just hate it when you are caught in two minds?

Wayne Rooney’s one-off England appearance on Thursday night split me down the middle.

I listened to those who said it was wrong and agreed. Then I listened to those who thought it was a good idea – and agreed with them.

So I sat down in a darkened room and came down on the side of the latter. The reason is, perhaps, what the hell harm has it done? Had it been a game that meant anything, I would have felt differently. But it didn’t and if Gareth Southgate thinks it has a positive effect on his players, then I won’t argue, because he knows better than I.

But... and there’s always a but.

if the Football Association allow Rooney, England’s all-time record goal scorer, back into the fold for old time’s sake, then they should get out their best quill pen and headed note paper out and write to the woman who rules this country.

Politely, they need to ask why on earth the England team which won the World Cup in 1966 are not all knights.

Alf Ramsey was knighted as manager, a year after the great day. And Bobby Charlton and Geoff Hurst were knighted in 1994 and 1998 respectively.

But the man who lifted the trophy, the brilliant Bobby Moore, never received a knighthood. Moore died in 1993 completely ignored by the FA once his playing career had ended. He is a true English hero, but has not been recognised by his cojntry. It is shameful.

Gordon Banks, the man responsible for a save in 1970 that even now makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention just thinking about it, is without a knighthood. George Cohen, Jack Charlton, Ray Wilson (who died in May), Nobby Stiles, Alan Ball (who died in 2007), Martin Peters and Roger Hunt – none of them has a knighthood.

They have been honoured with lesser titles, but it is shameful they have not been knighted.

If bringing Rooney back to say goodbye in a proper manner was the right thing to do, then recognising the achievements of the Boys of 66 is an absolute must.

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