Missing the goal

12th December 2008 at 00:00

Your correspondent Jon Simon took a rather one-dimensional view of football - maybe because he is a head of accounting and finance ("How football scores in furthering boys' learning", Letters, TES, December 5).

Footballers as role models for young children? We could start with avarice. When Arsenal offered to raise Ashley "Cashley" Cole's wages from Pounds 25,000 to Pounds 55,000 per week, he accused them of "taking the piss", went off in a hissy fit and signed for Chelsea.

When it comes to loyalty to the club, the phrase "ruthless overpaid mercenaries" does come to mind - no more exemplified than by the "once a blue, always a blue" Wayne Rooney who, given the first opportunity, joined Manchester United.

Sportsmanship? There's the full range here: diving, feigning injury, trying to get other players booked, right through to the full sniper attack (modelled every week by Cristiano Ronaldo). Referees are subject to verbal abuse and swearing, and this percolates right down to the amateur game. As a result, 7,000 referees resign every year.

And when it comes to gender equality and the role of women, there are the WAGs (wives and girlfriends). Forget your GCSEs, girls - just find yourself a footballer.

As for verbal reasoning, I would have to say I am less "over the moon" and more "sick as a parrot".

Richard Knights, Liverpool.

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