Play­ers can­not pick and choose when they want to play ball

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - CARO’S COL­UMN See Danny Caro’s week­end round-up at Email and/or fol­low Danny on Twit­ter: @DjCaro

THE GREAT Sun­day morn­ing de­bate reared its head again last week­end, with no less than three — what I’d de­scribe as strange — re­sults, catch­ing the eye … and leav­ing re­spec­tive man­agers scratch­ing their heads.

There were col­lec­tive cries of oy gevalt when BT Sport an­nounced that it had moved Spurs’ match against Crys­tal Palace to mid­day on the Sun­day. Any MGBSFL teams with non-Tot­ten­ham sup­port­ing play­ers in the squad were rub­bing their hands in de­light.

Cue the 8-1 de­feat of Fair­lop FC by Hen­don United. The Di­vi­sion Two new boys caused a ma­jor sur­prise in the Jewish FA Cup only a few weeks ago but they were put to the sword by the MGBSFL gi­ants sec­ond time around.

Man­ager Aaron Dias be­moaned the ab­sence of sev­eral reg­u­lars and said: “We de­cided to play our sec­ond-string side as, with no dis­re­spect this com­pe­ti­tion, it is the equiv­a­lent of the League Cup and we are al­ready into the next round of the FA Cup.

But credit to Hen­don who were at full-strength and have pri­ori­tised the smaller cups.

Fair­lop were also miss­ing Kane Hopps who has been ruled out for the re­main­der of the sea­son through in­jury. He was un­veiled as part of the Fair­lop man­age­ment team on the eve of the tie. Asked what qual­i­ties he brought to the dug-out, Dias joked: “Ex­pe­ri­ence, a loud voice and dodgy hair­cut. The loss of David Farkash proved too much as we re­ally missed his pace and hold-up play down the left. In the end it was men against boys but our un­der-16s B team will re­turn for our league game next week­end.”

But Faithfold A player-man­ager Avi Markiewicz failed to see the funny side of his team’s 11-0 maul­ing at the hands of a full-strength Mac­cabi Lon­don Lions White.

“The com­mit­ment of some was more than just ques­tion­able,” he said. “There are things go­ing on in peo­ple’s lives that are un­avoid­able but Sun­day morn­ing foot­ball should be a pri­or­ity over any­thing else other than that and to­day too many of my play­ers chose things that were avoid­able.” Hear, hear I say.

For me, Sun­day morn­ing foot­ball should be a nine-month com­mit­ment. Man­agers and the ma­jor­ity of play­ers keep their sched­ules clear for their love and weekly fix of play­ing 11-a-side foot­ball, which has been on the de­cline for sev­eral years now across the coun­try.

Di­vi­sion Two lead­ers Catford & Brom­ley were on the re­ceiv­ing end of a 5-1 thrash­ing against North Lon­don Raiders C. Re­flect­ing on their first de­feat, player-man­ager Jeff Gotch ad­mit­ted his team “got mur­dered, with the bet­ter team on the day tak­ing ad­van­tage of a de­pleted squad”.

But the Premier League and tele­vi­sion com­pa­nies are also part of the prob­lem, in an age where sup­port­ers part with thou­sands of pounds to watch their heroes up and down the coun­try.

I’d much rather play than watch a game of foot­ball and hav­ing been forced into early re­tire­ment through in­jury, my mes­sage is sup­port your man­ager by com­mit­ting to play­ing, not pick­ing and choos­ing your games. It sim­ply isn’t fair to the boys try­ing to break into the team. Ei­ther you are in or you are out.

Hats off to the play­ers at Mac­cabi Lon­don Lions Vets – a team lit­tered with Spurs fans. Alex Le­vack, , Max Rad­ford and Lee Cash played their part in a 4-1 tri­umph and caught up with the Tot­ten­ham high­lights on Match of the Day later that night. That’s how it should be.

I sin­cerely hope man­agers make a stand this week­end and don’t al­low the ab­sent play­ers to walk straight back into the team.

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