Date: 20th March 2017 at 11:54am
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How many of you know who Eddy Snelders is?

I don’t know who Eddy Snelders is.

I had no idea what his background was until today. He’s a former assistant manager to the national team in Belgium apparently, although we’re not quite sure when he last actually sat in a dug-out. Any more than that and I’d be guessing, and Wikipedia isn’t much more help. This is his entire biography as it appears there:

“Eddy Snelders (born 9 April 1959, in Kapellen) is a retired Belgium footballer who played as a defender.”

I am not joking. That’s literally all it says, apart from listing the teams he played for, none of them exactly star-spangled names.

But he is apparently some kind of go-to guy when it comes to the Belgian national team. Hey, either that or Mark Walker – an equally obscure member of our esteemed media – went through an entire phone book of ex-players over there until they found one willing to have a pop at our central defender, Dedryck Boyata.

Because here Snelders is, appearing in not one but two newspapers, offering his “opinion” on the big man’s inclusion in the national side.

Snelders is described as a “former Belgium No.2, turned pundit”. And it becomes a little clearer; he’s their version of Kris Boyd.

I mean, what is this? Help A Foreign Hack Day?

Are they trying to get this guy a gig on Radio Clyde?

Amazing that Walker, whoever the Hell he is, got such a luminary of football to go on the record with such an Earth-shattering view as the one he’s given on this decision.

“Boyata is too slow for me,” said the guy who never managed a team in his life, who played for such footballing giants as Standard Liege, Royal Antwerp, Lierse and KV Kortrijk and who made one solitary appearance in a 1981 Belgian team that was so bad it should have stuck to making waffles.

The writer, Walker, has actually accomplished a rare feat here; his ridiculous “article”, which contains a single quote and has been blown up a thousand times by lurid headlines, has actually got this “work” published in both The Sun and in The Record, which is quite amazing and leads me to inquire as to how that happens. These papers are rivals. To get in the online edition of would take quite some doing … unless your “article” is nothing but a PR piece sent out to numerous different outlets, who ran it without checking that out.

Which is, of course, exactly how it reads … the wording in both articles isn’t similar; it is identical.

Here’s The Record’s headline; note the name of the writer.

Now, read the first paragraph.

Now check the idential story in The Sun …

And the next bit … you can see clearly that it’s word for word …

Now you tell me how that happens, in two newspapers who’s sports sections are actually in competition with one another?

Serious questions need to be asked about our “journalistic standards” in this country.

There are honest professionals trying to make it in that business and newspapers are running cut-and-paste garbage like this, trying to pass off the opinions of complete non-entities as if they are inspired pieces of insight.

You could be forgiven for wondering what the agenda here is; our country should be celebrating the fact that a player in our top flight has been selected for an outstanding international side like Belgium.

Instead, we get this … a two-bob attempted hatcher job which somehow manages to be a headline story on the websites of two national titles.

It’s beneath contempt.