Belfast Telegraph

Alan Green: Hype doesn’t guarantee a spectacle

I can’t stand ‘hype’. It may be a symptom of an age when we have 24 hour sports channels — I include 5 Live in this — with the necessity of filling air-time and the consequent pressure on newspapers to find reactive column inches . . . but I despise it.

Recently, we had the supposed elevation of Gareth Bale into a ‘global superstar’: last week it was all about the Manchester derby. They told us it was the biggest match of the season so far. Few seemed to notice that it’s Chelsea who are top of the Premier League table.

Special units of police were brought into the city in anticipation of crowd trouble: they’d have been better deployed controlling ‘students’ in that London riot. And an alcohol ban was introduced around Eastlands etc, etc.

And what did we get? No trouble and a shocking, wholly forgettable game of football. I’m glad about the former. I half expected the latter.

Please, any chance in future that euphoria can follow a spectacle rather than precede it?

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