He Did It!:10 Biggest Scapegoats in Football History

Amogha Sahu@@sahuthegoonerCorrespondent IIIAugust 4, 2011

He Did It!:10 Biggest Scapegoats in Football History

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    When you lose a game, especially an important one, an inquest always takes place. Fingers are always pointed. Managers are put under more pressure. Players are encouraged to leave. Fans start to boo. The signs of decay are present.

    In today's game, the lifespan of managers has gone down from 3 years to about a year and are increasingly been at the whim of fickle boards, fickle owners, and increasingly fickle fans. Therefore,sacking has become less disgraceful as the aforementioned is widely acknowledged.

    Scapegoating seems to have increased this past decade. As football becomes faster , it seems that fans tolerance and attention span has decreased.  Let us now look at the scapegoats in football history. 

Diego Maradona

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    Diego Maradona scored the infamous "Hand of God" goal by punching the ball in with his hand after a bad clearance from Steve Hodge , Maradona's marker.  Diego Maradona was then scapegoated massively scapegoated for not admitting to handling the ball. The real villain in the scene however, was the Tunisian referee who did not see the incident.

    Anyhow, Maradona is the one who is given the blame for this incident..

Chris Waddle, David Batty, Darius Vassell and Gareth Southgate

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    All these men have missed a penalty for England in a major tournament. They have been the scapegoats for England's defeat and have been maligned in the media ever since. This covers the fact that English tactics and their frailties in normal time and extra time, as well as their inability to score and win the match before the penalty situation has been ignored. 

Ferenc Puskas and Gustav Szebes

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    In 1954, Hungary were defeated 3-2 in the World Cup finals by underdogs Germany. There were many reasons for the defeat. Puskas's injury. A goal narrowly ruled out for offside. Complacency. However, when the Hungarian national squad returned to the Nepstadion, they (especially their lynchpin, Ferenc Puskas) received boos and jeers. Hungarians had decided to blame the players.

    This slowly destroyed both the career of Puskas and Hungarian national coach Gustav Szebes. Gustav Szebes was appointed  sports minister and was consigned to the ignominy of political office, never to play a big part in Hungarian football administration again. Puskas, previously a national hero, was forced to flee Hungary (although this was also because the Soviets had taken over Hungary) and join Real Madrid. Some of that great Hungarian side of 1954 followed suit (Czibor and Kocsis at Barcelona)  and the world was left only with a sense of what could have been.

Andres Escobar

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    Colombia was a great team in the 90's. They had the likes of Carlos Valderrama, Freddy Rincon and Faustino Asprilla play for them. However, drug warfare was common in Colombia and football was often betted on by drug lords and cartels, as a whole.

    When Andres Escobar scored an own goal in the 1994 World Cup, it is suspected that several important Colombian drug lords suffered heavy betting losses. After Escobar had contributed to the elimination of Colombia from the 1994 World cup, he was later found shot dead on his return to Colombia. It was suspected that the drug cartels carried out a hit on their "scapegoat".

Arsene Wenger

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    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been much maligned by the press, the media, and their fans for keeping faith in bad players as well as not signing players in the transfer market  which are vital for his team to succeed. However th real culprit behind Arsene supposed intractability are the Arsenal board who are content to be in 4th place every season and want to keep it healthy financially. 

Frank O' Farrell and Tommy Docherty

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    The new Manchester United manager had his work cut out for him. Matt Busby had departed the club again after a second spell at the club, leaving an slightly aged squad and a volatile George Best. Irishman  Frank O' Farrell was brought in to take at the steadily deteriorating situation at United.

    Sadly all did not go well for the Irishman, failing to control  Best's drinking sprees and keep the entire team motivated and most importantly, winning. After a shocking 5-0 defeat away to Don rovers, O' Farrell was sacked. However, he was berated a lot for his time in charge at United, and little allowance was made for the aforementioned frailities in United's first team.

    After O' Fareell came Scot Tommy Docherty. He failed to keep the even older squad of Manchester United in the First Division and got relegated by that famous Denis Law goal against Manchester City. . However, he won the Second Division the next year of his reign and managed to bounce straight back up.He later won the FA Cup with the new United side he built, including the likes of Lou Macari and tricky winger Coppell. With this, he is credited to have rejuvenated a Manchester United squad and is considered to be the greatest manager of Uniited behind Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson

    Before his promotion however, he had to weather a somewhat undeserved media storm (as any manager would expect to).

Eddie Gray

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    Leeds United were a great club with great traditions. They had finished comfortably in high league positions in the Premier League until the 2002-03 season, where growing debts had led them to sell off many of their star players. However, with no small credit to Mark Viduka, they managed to finish 15th that season.

    The next season, manager Peter Reid had an abysmal run as team manager making them a relegation certainty. Reid left and Youth team coach Eddie Gray was put in charge of Leeds to try and save them. He failed, and as a result , was vilified . The club's relegation was no fault of its own as it had been made an inevitability by its rising debt and lack of star talent. 

Bobby Robson

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     Euro 1988 was a turbulent time for England coach Bobby Robson, who had enjoyed a hero's welcome back to England after Mexico '86. After losing to the Republic of Ireland, Holland and the Soviet Union to finish bottom of their group. England were out. Robson was vilified to the utmost, understandably to some extent. Some of the blame should have been shared by an ineffectual Lineker, a tired Robson and a shambolic Tony Adams. 

    This vilification continued during the qualification campaign for Italia '90. Although England conceded no goals at all and were undefeated in their games, there was growing media fervor. Every paper carried a Robson Out campaign. The hate campaign reached its peak with allegations of extra-marital sexual liaisons. Robson was forced to resign from his post and look for a job with PSV Eindhoven until after the World Cup.

     However, Robson got some of his own back after Italia 90, though that is another story.

Helenio Herrera

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    The Argentine coach is renowned for his time at Inter Milan where he dominated Europe with a great team of Giacinto Facchetti, Luis Suarez, Sandro Mazzola and midfield  Tonante  Jair Da Costa. Herrera is well known for instituting Catenaccio at the club and generally encouraging defensive tactics in the 60's. However, no blame is shared by England coach  Alf Ramsey who created a team of hard workers rather than flair players and temporarily rendered the Brazilian "Samba" ineffective.

    Herrera has since been blamed for all the negativity of teams to follow. This is illogical, especially since Herrera's "La Grande Inter" were a great attacking side.

Jorge Larrionda

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    The English have an inability to look at their weaknesses. In the 2010 World Cup, they were dismal and dire . They couldn't pass it about at all. Their defending was shambolic. Trust them to explain their entire World Cup in one incident. When they were 2-1 down against Germany, Lampard hit a shot that hit the crossbar and bounced over the line and back out. The referee did not see this incident and did not give a goal.

    Immediately, the English media began to harp on about the disallowed goal like it was the only reason they lost and they started to vilify poor Jorge Larrionda, the referee, instead of looking at their own squad.