Spread the love


Adrian Durham’s piece in the Daily Mail this morning has got Brentford fans’ tongues wagging, as well as their fingers tapping on social media – with the Talksport presenter claiming James Tarkowski (pictured above scoring) was right to refuse to play for Brentford against Burnley on Friday night.

There are few, if any, genuine football fans who would ever agree that one of their team’s players is ever justified in refusing to play because of transfer speculation – and journalists up and down the land must be reading his words and thinking, ‘does he really think that?’ Maybe he does… but I doubt it.

The anti statistical model sentiment than runs through the piece is largely irrelevant – at the end of the day, if you don’t get it, you don’t get it – and the future success of our football club, or otherwise, can’t be gauged now, unless you have a crystal ball of course. Those kind of stories will run and run post-Warburton.

Ironically a couple of years back he slagged Brentford up for being “Loan-ford”- loading our promotion-winning team up with loan players (not quite true and )- then contradicts himself by bigging up the man who was master of our loan strategy – Mark Warburton.

Durham opens his article by saying; “On the face of it, a player refusing to play for his club seems unforgivable…”, which we all know is exactly what it is, unless however you have had a rather public social media spat with the club you are writing about and have been looking forward to writing another highly critical article as soon as the opportunity arose.

Of course, Durham is free to write what he wants, and think what he likes, but, as a Peterborough supporter himself, you would rather hope that he had a firm grasp on the realities of supporting a smaller club and the fans’ expectations whenever one of their better players invariably departs for pastures bigger and better paid.

However, it really is no exaggeration to say that if he’d written the same piece about Wayne Rooney, or Jamie Vardy, and tried to defend those players attempting to hold Manchester United or Leicester to ransom, and in doing so, letting the club’s diehard fans down just before a critical match, no matter who that match was against, it would see laughter and heckles rain down on him. And any popular player, in any team in the world, would see their reputation veer toward public enemy before you could say the words ‘speak to my agent’.

But ultimately, for Durham, that’s just what he wants. He’s a thick-skinned hack that doesn’t mind being laughed at, or having insults thrown his way – or if he does you’d never have guessed. This report is about driving traffic and website hits, but inadvertently, it also gives a fascinating insight into the mindset of somebody who would forgo credibility and respect in preference of a ‘slag me all you like, I don’t care how unpopular I am, it pays my mortgage you mugs’ raison d’être.

Which is probably why Durham respects Tarki’s antics last week so much – he can empathise totally.

In one article Adrian Durham has shown the world how little he really knows about the football business, about genuine football fan culture and ultimately, decent journalism. Still, it pays a little bit more off the new conservatory.

Dave Lane