Ben Burgess column: Interviews are so boring

Ben Burgess
Ben Burgess
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I’VE now experienced both sides of the traditional football interview, and I’ve got to say it looks pretty dull from every angle.

Despite what many journalists and football fans think,…as young players we are not sent to a boring cliché interview school. It just seems to happen like that, I’m afraid.

While playing, I would regularly cringe when hearing players come out with the same tired answers, ‘take each game as it comes’, and ‘we didn’t get what we deserved’, etc.

Then, lo and behold, in my next interview. I’m saying, ‘we were unlucky today, but we just have to concentrate on the next game’.

For a journalist, I’m sure it can get mind-numbing asking the same questions and getting the same stock answers.

For example, every time a major tournament comes around you can guarantee that John Terry and Steven Gerrard will say, ‘this is the best squad I’ve played in’.

Or, ‘the spirit in the camp is the best so far‘.

Not so believable the fourth time around lads.

Footballers, especially when young, just see interviews and journalists as an inconvenience. 
It’s when you get a bit older that you realise that coming across well in the press may not be such a bad thing.

When I first started out, I would check my ratings in The Sun, and local papers and I would take anything less than six as a personal slur.

After all, it’s hard to convince your mates that you played well when it says you got a four out of 10.

As you become more experienced, you start to realise that it doesn’t really matter.

I’ve scored and played well many a time (honestly) and received a five in The Sun.

When I first signed for Blackpool, I became quite angry that a certain journalist from The Gazette never wanted to interview me for the first six months.

Now looking back, I realise it was probably because I was rubbish for that period (sorry Mr Canavan).

I’ll leave you with Wayne
Rooney’s absolutely fascinating and insightful words on his 10 years in the Premier League: ‘At times it’s gone quick, and at times it’s gone slow.’

Thanks, Wayne.

Hopefully I’ll be able to extract some more insightful answers than that from players as I progress in the journalism world.

I’ll be giving it 110% anyway!


ENGLAND convincingly beat the giants of world football, Moldova last week.

So surely that’s it – they will win the World Cup in Brazil.

It’s like a golden generation with Tom Cleverley, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck etc.

No, I don’t mean like the previous golden generation with David Beckham, Michael Owen and Paul Scholes, as that was evidently more of a bronze generation. This really is it.

Football’s coming home – or not. A less than convincing draw against Ukraine and it’s doom and gloom again.

Why is it that England regularly under-achieve, especially at major tournaments? Media and fan pressure must play a part,… but Spain have dealt with more pressure as they won two European Championships and one World Cup in the last six years.

Is it they are all over-paid? Well Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas are not on minimum wage.

Could it be WAGS going to tournaments like in 2006? Or could it be WAGS not going in 2010?

I think a much more plausible explanation is that the players are just not as good as everyone believes.

The term world-class gets thrown around, but with the exception of Wayne Rooney on his day (which is usually for United), and Joe Hart, there isn’t exceptional talent there.

So maybe it’s not a case of under-achieving on the players part, but over-estimation on the media and fans part.

What do you think?


THE Blackpool players will be feeling fresh and raring to go this weekend after a few days off due to the international break.

As a player, I would always look forward to the free weekend – it was time you could spend with family and friends.

Sometimes playing three games a week can mentally and emotionally drain players, so it’s nice when the break comes around.

That is unless you’re an international, which was never really a problem for me.

After all the fuss over who’s coming and who’s going in the transfer window, it will be good for Ian Holloway to have a settled squad, with no distractions.

He would have got some good work done on the training ground this week so the new boys get used to the shape of the team.

I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Nathan Eccleston in tangerine.

I was on the pitch against Liverpool reserves when he turned about four of our defenders inside out before scoring. We all just stood there thinking, wow!