As you probably won’t need reminding, it is now exactly one year since Germany’s defeat to Italy in the Euro 2012 Semi-Final. Since that day, and flying out to Germany for a two-week holiday and full exposure to all that went on in the press afterwards, I have asked myself many times – was it warranted? Does a defeat, even such a disappointing one, warrant everything that was seen in the media then and all that has gone on since?

On so many occasions, on social media platforms, and in fact even recently on the DFB_Team facebook page itself, I have debated the difference between legitimate football comment (Did Jogi select the right team? Were his tactics correct?) and personal abuse. So many appear to think that term ‘free speech’ gives them the right to say whatever they wish, about whomever they wish, and, yes, legally to a large extent it does. But do we have an obligation to ourselves to keep personal insults, about someone we are unlikely to ever meet or really know, out of the equation when discussing what is, in effect, sport?

I am hoping to start writing an article on this, and would love YOUR observations.

– Do you think the media have the right to behave in this way over a football defeat (the hotel room pictures, etc.)? Or have you seen anything in particular that you consider went beyond the bounds of acceptable journalism?

– Does the social media network make personal abuse so much easier?
– Have the likes of other figures within German football exacerbated the situation by being quick with the adverse comment, some of which contain little constructive element, and thus promoted a negative mentality.

– What is your opinion of online newspaper sites who have been proven to delete positive comments – are they under an obligation to show a fair and true representation of what people are saying. Or can they just include only negative remarks if they consider it is more newsworhty.

– ‘Loaded’ polls which manipulate answers? Can ‘public opinion’ be manipulated by a few choice comments on a social network site?

– Has this constant criticism helped or hindered Germany’s preparation for the 2014 World Cup?

I would love to hear from you (please use comments section below or, alternatively, you can contact me via the website) !

I told you I would write a thesis about you all one day.