Saturday, August 8 2020


Big brother is watching us carefully

Update: September, 20/2018 - 09:00
Close eye: John Hurt as Winston Smith in the film adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984.
Viet Nam News

Paul Kennedy

In 1948 author George Orwell coined a phrase that has become synonymous with the world we live in today.

"Big brother is watching you."

This is evident in all walks of life and conspiracy theorists among us will go as far as to say we are being watched 24/7 through mobile phones and computers.

Footballers are watched too, and I’m not just talking about the action on the pitch. There are cameras everywhere at matches and there is always someone watching.

On Sunday, West Ham beat Everton to record their first win of the season. It should have been a joyous occasion for Hammers manager Manuel Pellegrini but in the press conference after the game, he was left fielding questions over the actions of substitute Lucas Perez.

If you believe what was written in newspapers in the UK, Perez refused to warm up. He was then caught on camera spitting his dummy out and complaining behind his boss’s back.

Then on Tuesday, Liverpool snatched a dramatic late winner against PSG in the Champions League. As the camera zoomed in on a jubilant Jurgen Klopp, substituted striker Mohammed Salah could been seen in the background hurling a bottle of water to the ground.

Not sure what Mo’s problem was to be honest. His team had just won a massive match and he seemed a little miffed to say the least.

This could be his way of celebrating, yet in some quarters people are suggesting his recent run of bad form led to him being frustrated that it was his replacement and not him that scored the winner.

Either way footballers should know better. All eyes are on them and they need to behave accordingly.

When I was a child all I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a footballer. Sadly I was lacking one important ingredient to fulfill my dream, and that was ability.

I even wrote to what was, at the time, a popular children’s television show that made dreams come true. I asked the host could he ‘fix it for me’ to train with Liverpool Football Club.

He never replied. In hindsight that was probably for the best.

Footballers have arguably the greatest life ever. They are paid buckets full of money to kick a ball about.

All they have to do is keep fit and behave themselves.

It’s a pressured profession for sure, but nothing compared to doctors, nurses and police officers. I could go on.

And they must always know that big brother is watching them.

Millions of ordinary supporters fork out their hard-earned cash to follow their idols all over the world and would swap places with them in the blink of an eye. But would they behave themselves?

The behaviour of certain footballers has always been questionable over the years and from time to time they get caught out and splashed all over the front pages of tabloid newspapers.

Today everyone is a journalist. Everyone has a camera and everyone is more than happy to record the antics they see in the hope of making a quick buck.

A video emerged on social media this week of the Manchester United team waiting at a railway station to catch a train back home after their victory over Watford.

Up stepped a guy with a phone who thought he would make a name for himself.

He can be seen goading the players for a reaction, giving them abuse because they were catching a train and standing on a platform. What were they meant to do?

Eventually the police came and escorted the man to another section of the platform as he excitedly uploaded the clip.

On this occasion, the United players didn’t do anything wrong and in my opinion the only person behaving badly was the man with the camera.

That said, it may be a sad reflection of the world we live in, but when you are blessed with a talent that puts you in the spotlight, with it comes responsibility.

My dream as a child was to be a footballer. Looking back, I think I would have been better off being a rock star because in that profession, behaving badly is in the job description. — VNS

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