Sport Premier League

Monday 23 July 2018

John Giles: This deliberate attempt to rewrite history with a slew of bogus records is pathetic

Tottenham's Harry Kane celebrates after the match
Tottenham's Harry Kane celebrates after the match
John Giles

John Giles

I wonder if Harry Kane feels the way I do about the latest record he has broken? I wonder if he thinks about Jimmy Greaves and not Alan Shearer when he's counting his goals?

Jimmy Greaves scored 59 goals in a calendar year in 1962, hardly back at the dawn of time, and he wasn't the best of them.

Dixie Dean hit 63 in 1927 and I'd bet Greaves had that number in his sights when he was doing his stuff.

Alan Shearer's League total was 36, topped now by Kane who has 39 League goals and an impressive 56 in all games for the year. But, even when you factor in more games played by Dean and Greaves, there are still ahead of Kane's Premier League mark.

When Shearer was knocking them in, I wonder did he reference Greaves in his mind as a player to emulate or maybe Malcom McDonald, a hero of the North East who made his mark at Highbury with Arsenal.

I'll bet he did and I'll wager that Shearer finds these modern records as foolish as I do.

They were falling over themselves to congratulate Kane after his hat-trick against Southampton helped Spurs bank three more points in what is looking more and more like a pointless title chase for everyone but Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola and his team may even set a few new Premier League record themselves in what is shaping up as a singular season for the club but I'll bet he could chat to you about Jimmy Greaves, if you asked. I'll bet he doesn't begin his history of the game in England when Sky started broadcasting.

To give Kane credit for beating Shearer's total just air-brushes 100 years of football history out of the picture.

I have a huge amount of time for Kane. He's a great lad and a fantastic footballer and I don't believe for one second that his memory of football only starts in 1992.

I'm be pretty certain that he would agree with me when I say that this deliberate attempt to rewrite history with a slew of bogus records is pathetic.

I've a very simply question which gives this great context. What would happen if the men who ran the GAA did a deal with Sky and agreed to reset all the records stretching back to days when Croke Park was wrapped up in the formative moments of the nation?

Instead, the GAA's history books would begin with Sky's involvement and everything that went before forgotten. This year in football, we would have celebrated the Dubs' win without any reference to Kevin Heffernan's great team.

Mayo's long search for Sam would have no context and no history of long suffering. In other words, the story would be farcically incomplete.

That's how stupid the Premier League and Sky's obsession with the modern era is. Any attempt to talk about GAA in the context of the last decade to the exclusion of 100 years of tradition, achievement and tales of heroism would be rejected out of hand by the fans, the players, the coaches and everyone else who loves Gaelic games.

But it seems we have no choice with our pals in the Premier League who, for reasons which can only be related to greed, don't want us to remember Dean or Nat Lofthouse or John Charles or Greaves.

They have decided that they are not relevant and this makes me angrier than anything else in football, which has plenty for us to be annoyed about these days.

I'm fully aware that many people feel the same way as I do about this but there isn't much anyone can do about it and my great fear is the future generations will not be properly informed about our game.

I think most fans over 30 years of age will know the names I'm mentioning and will understand how important these men were to the game as we know it today.

But young kids growing up will only ever know a diet of what happened after 1992 and they will never know why this is so sad.

What annoys me most of all about this is the reason behind it. Greed, plain and simple.

Just last year, sports broadcasters were falling over each other to remember the men they have wiped out of the records.

They were able to turn a nice few quid from documentaries looking back at Greaves and his England team-mates as the wallowed in the 50th anniversary of England's only ever World Cup win.

It looked nicely nostalgic but I didn't see any of the money they made heading to the players, many who badly need a dig-out.

That was the final insult, making money off the backs of men who gave their lives to the game but if the Premier League and Sky have their way, they will all be cast to one side and their memories trampled on.

Online Editors

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