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Fast Becoming A Dying Breed In Football
Footytubeblog (Blog) 4 years ago
Football is a sport that seems to breed cult heroes more frequently than the human race breeds babies (not strictly true, but you catch my drift). All it can take is a last minute goal to win an important game between bitter rivals for a player to earn hero status with fans.

But are we beginning to witness the death of the cult hero in football? In an age when so much is at stake in the game – from money to bragging rights – we repeatedly see players and managers come and go without having made a significant mark on a particular club.

If you look back to the early stages of the Premier League and even beyond that, all die-hard football fans will be able to name several players or managers that they consider as a cult hero. These days, it seems to take a lot more for a player to earn such a status by the same calibre of football fans.

But why? A lot of it might come down to an increased lack of loyalty within the game. A player might score some important goals over the course of a season and save a club from relegation but will then announce his intentions to leave the club amid interest from sides who can pay him more money. We see this so often that it is little wonder players practically undo all their hard work at clubs by stabbing the fans in the back, leaving them with nothing more to do than despise him after everything he had done for them.

Furthermore, supporters seem to be putting more and more pressure on their club’s players, demanding more from them without particularly considering the position their team is in or how difficult it might be behind the scenes.
Fans have raised the bar in this regard, expecting more and more from the players they are almost being priced out of having the pleasure of watching every week, which is not so unfair when you look at the bigger picture.
We could discuss what makes a cult hero until the cows come home, but they seem to be dying out, being replaced by short term fixes and regular chopping and changing by clubs and managers.

For me, a cult hero is defined not just by how good a player is, but how loyal they are to my football team. Mark Noble at West Ham is a prime example of while goalkeeper Robert Green being close to earn the same label, but his decision to leave the club for more money after being promoted means he no longer is regarded as a hero at Upton Park, despite playing over 200 times for the club and being an instrumental player at the club for several years.

But does this mean that players must stay at a club for their entire careers to earn cult hero status? I, for one, hope Mark Noble does see out his career at West Ham, but if he does leave I wouldn’t put it past some fans to disregard what he has already done for the club and move on to their next favourite player.

That’s the sheer reality of how football as a spectator sport is becoming. Fans seem to be less and less interested in the long term achievements of a player and it appears individual achievements are measured by what happens in the here and now.

If you take Harry Redknapp’s achievements at Tottenham Hotspur, he was regarded as a hero for taking them from the bottom of the Premier League to the Champions League in space of just two seasons. But, with him now gone, Andre Villas-Boas could go on to achieve more and Harry’s achievements will be all but forgotten. We’ve seen that happen a lot over recent years and it wouldn’t surprise me if that is exactly what happens at White Hart Lane in the future.

With longevity and patience starting to decrease within the game, we are beginning to see the death of football’s cult hero, leaving fans with nothing to admire for more than the length of a player or manager’s short or long term career at a club.

For as long as managers are being sacked after short term periods at clubs and players always having their heads turned by more money, the cult hero will continue to be erased from the game.

Written by James Jones

This blog does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of footytube or its partners.
ScouserDan (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Gerrard, Maldini, Zanetti, Giggs, Scholes, Shearer, Carragher all legends who have played for only one club
Wesaboogie (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Zanetti and Shearer have played for different clubs, but are cult hero's due to their captaincy and loyalty to Inter and Newcastle respectively.... While the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Valdes, Totti, Casillas, and Terry and some others have only played for one. Clut heroes, local legends, and club legends are different types of players I would say.... Henrik Larsson's short stint at united would classify him as a cult hero there, where as Totti would be a local lagend at Roma, while Zanetti and Shearer will most likely be classified as club legends at Inter and Newcastle

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