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Nick Hornby - Big money has changed football

Hidden away in Sky’s Anytime TV service is a hugely insightful interview by Clive James with Nick Hornby – who’s football memoirs of watching Arsenal formed the best-seller Fever Pitch.

Asked by James whether ‘big money’ in football had changed things he replied:

“Yes, absolutely. There’s really no comparison I think to watching football now compared to a few years ago.

“In some ways it’s better – it’s less brutal – I think, the tackling and so on – they’ve managed to outlaw that.

“[But] the experience of going is much more like the experience of going to the theatre or something like that.

“There isn’t the same relationship between fans and club anymore.

“I watch a team, a fantastic team usually, but they have a French manager, 11 foreign players and they’re playing at a new stadium and I think I don’t know what I’m watching anymore.”

Not sure when this interview took place and it’s difficult to argue with most of what he says except the fact the playing personnel’s origins somehow detract from what he used to follow.

Because one of the magical aspects of Wenger’s tenure has been the way the ‘Arsenal mentality’ has been passed on from team to team, generation to generation – irrespective of nationality.

From Tony Adams to Patrick Vieira to Thierry Henry to Cesc Fabregas and Kolo Toure, these are players who show as much fire in their bellies as the Seventies’ nastiest.

And Wenger himself embodies the traditions, values and class the club is famed for as well as any manager in our history.

But what do you make of Hornby’s comments? Do you agree with his sentiments regarding the changing face of English football?

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Posted by Mo Khan on October 15, 2007 12:18 PM in
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