RE: Villain - Stephen Hunt
As a football fan, and an avid, season ticket holding supporter of Reading FC, I am getting increasingly frustrated and angered by the media’s blame-throwing and constant vitriol towards Stephen Hunt.
Wherever you look in the media, especially the written press there seems to be a large dislike to the Irish International, whether it’s because of his straggly hair, terrier like determination or just his ability to frustrate and constantly challenge ‘big’ players I don’t know. Maybe its to do with the fact Reading are a small team playing with the big boys and journalists still don’t think we are worthy of our place in the Premier League. It certainly explains that whenever we win a game, the Daily Mail decides the team we played against were having a bad day and that Reading were ‘lucky’ to have played against such a weak and terrible performing opposition. Whatever the reason, it seems like the Daily Mail has a campaign of hatred towards our midfielder that is totally un-quantifiable. In Sundays football pull out, there was a ‘Hero’s” and ‘Villains’ piece on most Premier League matches, and the one that stood out to me was the write up of the Liverpool v Reading clash. I am not writing here to complain about the fact Marek Mat?jovský’s wonder strike got two lines, where the whole article was about a good, but not ‘amazing’ goal by Javier Mascherano, I’m here to complain out the ‘Villain’ section.
Villain: Stephen Hunt “Gives the Premier League a bad name”
In most reviews it was because a striker squandered opportunities, or a defender made a calamitous error, but in Reading’s case, it was a disgusting character assassination that had no bearing on the game and pulled Stephen Hunt into the spotlight again. I was absolutely enraged on reading what was biased and hateful comment on the player. To address this, I’ve looked at some Opta Stats from 2007, the most up to date ones I could get online, I think you will find them interesting reading and I think after you’ve managed to take in the facts (if Daily Mail journalists actually understand what facts are) and think about the vicious bile you are writing weekly, you would start thinking about, nay, feel compelled, to write an apology in next weekends pull out to Stephen Hunt and Reading FC and its supporters for your terrible treatment of a fine player, one who has come up from the lower leagues, at Brentford and Crystal Palace, someone who has a worked hard to gain a place in Readings starting line up, one who has progressed and earned International Caps and someone who is a dedicated player with a great work ethic and was Reading Fan’s 3rd best player or the 2006-07 season.
If you look at the stats Stephen Hunt is actually the 7th most fouled player in the Premier League, not even Christiano Ronaldo or Alexander Hleb receive as much of a kicking as Hunt does. It seems instead of making him out to be a villain, you should be looking at why he is being fouled, maybe the media hatred is in some way a part of this? If you are looking at how many fouls he commits, he doesn’t rank on the top fouling players list, with Kevin Davies committing a staggering 82 fouls in 2007.
Looking at Red Cards, Blackburn’s Ryan Nelson was the only player to be sent off twice in 2007, and gave away a staggering four penalties. When you look at yellow cards, Nicky Butt received 13, which is only five off the total amount the entire Reading squad received in the 2006-6 season, which gave us the best disciplinary record in the Premier League.
Remember this is a player who has continued to perform at the highest level in what English journalists are calling the ‘best league in the world’, one who has continued to perform week in week out even in the wake of the Chec incident, even in the wake of death threats, even in the wake of boo’s and vicious abuse from opposition supporters. No one seems to have focused on this; no one seems to have spoken out in support for the player bar his manager, teammates and Reading supporters. This isn’t the kind of treatment the media gave David Beckham when he was receiving death threats, the media escalation and disgusting treatment of the player by the media and Chelsea Football club didn’t effect his game, he has come through and continues to perform but still gets un justifiable abuse from small minded journalist like you John Edwards.
So if you are looking for someone who gives the premier league a bad name, don’t look at Hunt. Look at Ryan Nelson, look at Kevin Davies, look at Jamie Carragher and Wayne Rooney, so called ‘Heroes’ who shout, scream and swear at Referees and swarm around them when they make a decision, take a wider view and stop victimizing someone who gives 110% on match day’s, someone who gives the Premier League a good name, someone who people can look at and think that with passion, determination and hard work, you can make it.
And if you can’t see past your small minded opinions, your biased views on a player, I don’t see how you can function in the real world and I don’t know how you see fit to call yourself a journalist, let alone one at a national newspaper.
Awaiting an Apology,
I know its long, but i fucking hate the daily mail