Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughHero/Villain of the Week - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Hero/Villain of the Week - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Hero/Villain of the Week

This piece will present who has done enough to be presented with the title of TFR’s Hero or Villain of the week. As with all of TFR articles, we’re very open to opinion, so if you agree and would like to comment, or disagree and want to debate, then feel free to leave a comment with your own thoughts.

Now, that’s sorted. Lets get on to the inaugural awards!

Hero of the week:


This week saw the announcement of the international retirement of Park Ji-Sung, South Korea’s captain and consistent midfield engine. The twenty-nine year old amassed an impressive 100 caps for his country, and it can be judged that he is now focussing on establishing a first-team place at Old Trafford.
The decision to award him hero of the week stems from both a chapter ending for one of South Korea’s greatest ever players (such as their advancing to the semi-finals in the 2002 World Cup) but also his consistent enthusiasm to break into a highly competitive Manchester United team.
Park is representative of the never-say-die attitude of many fringe players. Warming the bench more often then treading on the turf, Park has shown in his many bit-part appearances his drive to perform well for his club. The 2010/2011 Premier League season has, thus far, been incredibly fruitful for the midfielder. Scoring four goals in nine starts, Park has performed past expectations of many, despite the relatively short amount of time he has been given to impress. This also led to him being awarded United’s Player of the Month on two separate occasions.
Although it is just speculation, Park may have sacrificed a few more years of being the star of his national team in exchange to break into the first team of the club he has been a squad player at for the past six seasons. His apparent goal of becoming a United starter is commendable, a man who wants to prove his ability to others by building upon his recent success. His return to the United set-up comes at an optimum time in regards to his chances. With the injury of Antonio Valencia, and the form of Michael Carrick being called into question, Park now has the opportunity to become part of a set up he has fought to be in for the past six years. His still obvious passion for his club (evident in his highly rated performances towards the end of 2010) make him the ideal choice for this week’s hero.

Villain of the week:

Fernando Torres

This certainly came out of nowhere..
As an Everton fan, I am well aware of the talismanic status that Liverpool fans attach to their number 9. And, although it pains me to write this, why wouldn’t they? Torres was an instant favourite at the Kop, delighting the fans by becoming the fastest player in Liverpool’s history to reach the milestone of fifty league goals.
Recent turbulent times have meant that even the most ardent Liverpool fan must have had doubts over it being ‘their year’. This extended dip in form has led to rumours of a mass exodus at the club, a team who’s high ambition didn’t look to be matched by the form of their players.
Torres’ spate of injuries and anonymity towards the end of 2010 was definitely one of the factors in the club’s disappointing results. But this wouldn’t lead the Kop’s new golden boy to consider leaving, would it?
Well, apparantly so.
This should not be viewed as an article condemning football players for wanting to move on to new clubs. A footballer only has a short space of time to stamp their legacy in the games history books. But the difference with Torres is the way he has gone about his transfer request. By taking to him so well, Torres has been able to enjoy the adulation and support of thousands of Liverpool fans. When things are good, Torres (like captain Steven Gerrard) can bask in the glow of media hyperbole about their passion and status as the ‘heart’ of the Liverpool team. When things aren’t so great, these same players should be able to show the same drive to get the team back to their previous form.
By handing in a transfer request a mere three days before the windows closure, Torres has effectively cut his ties with the Liverpool fans who have shown unrelenting support. It is highly unlikely that Liverpool will let their star striker go to a Premier League rival halfway through the season, and the consensus is that the most likely course of action is a stalling of response until the window closes. With his announcement this week, Torres has shown that he doesn’t want to help Liverpool return to their status as a ‘big club’. So now what will Liverpool be left with if we take this view that Torres will still be a Liverpool player after the window’s closure? A player who undeniably wants to leave will not show the same passion for a team he does not want to be a part of. Although securing the services of Uruguyan hitman Luis Suarez signals, on paper, a high calibre replacement for Torres, he may not be able to take to the Premier League’s different style of play as quickly as the Spaniard did. Torres, therefore, can be argued as being key to establishing a potent strike force for Liverpool’s upcoming future. With this week’s revelation, the chances are Liverpool’s fan favourite will be shipped off in the summer, leaving six months of a morale-lowering inclusion of Torres on the team sheet at Anfield. His remaining time at the club, providing he sticks with his want-away attitude, will be a constant reminder to the fans of his wish to play for another team, and a previous club legend will now be seen as a burden.

With a special mention for the close runner up to Fernando Torres….


The furore of this weeks sacking of Andy Gray and resignation of Richard Keys over sexist remarks was unavoidable this week. Dubbed ‘linogate’, the pair were recorded stating that lineswoman Sian Massey could not possibly know the offside rule.

Well, of course comments such as these show ‘prehistoric’ (to quote a certain English defender’s) view of females within football, but I have decided on someone other than the central figures of ‘linogate’ for contention of this week’s award. Richard Keys and Andy Gray’s remarks, though undeniably sexist, allowed for one certain Editor-at-Large to swoop in. Talons at the ready, Pete Cashmore decided to condemn Keys for his role in the scandal, following the latter’s description of his remarks as ‘lad’s mag banter’ on talkSPORT.

Cashmore should have let this one go. It was not a direct attack on Nuts Magazine.

Instead, showing great hypocrisy, Cashmore decided that the best course of action was respond to the comments.
He stated:
‘As the leaders in the sphere known by many as ‘lads’ mags’, we at Nuts magazine would like to condemn, in no uncertain terms, Richard Keys’ comments that his recently-leaked behaviour constitutes examples of ‘lads’ mag humour”

Right, OK Mr. Cashmore, you’ve made you’re stance very clear.

‘Quite why Mr Keys thinks this way is unclear to us. At Nuts, we do not seek to insult or denigrate women. ‘
Erm… hang on a minute….

‘Instead, we believe that we celebrate them, their beauty, wit and intelligence. If there is a target of ridicule in Nuts, it is ourselves and our manifest lack of the aforementioned qualities.’

Oh no… For a magazine who pride itself on celebrating the ‘wit and intelligence’ of the girls who feature, articles featuring, and I quote, ‘bra-bustingly big boobs’ suggest the magazines primary focus is not on the girls humour or intelligent conversation. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a call to end such publications. But for Mr. Cashmore to see the furore as an easy opportunity to increase his magazines reputation, all the while knowing the common features and target audience of Nuts, stinks of hypocrisy and a backfire for Cashmore himself.

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