Section – IV : English Language
Read the following passages carefully and answer the questions below them. Certain words/phrases have been printed in bold to help you them while answering some of the questions:
Finally, however, there are the things in the twilight zone about which one does not care and which don’t matter either. At the top of this list, for me, is every single reality TV show ever devised. But somewhere close behind comes the ownership of Liverpool FC, followed by England’s 2018 World Cup bid and, increasingly, by the precarious condition of English football in general.
Don’t get this wrong. I’m a northern boy. I like football as well as gravy. I enjoy going to football matches. I have a season ticket. I’m loyal both to my birthright and to my adopted teams. I watch a lot of football on TV. I always at least scan the football news. I can speak fluent football if required. It’s still the people’s game. It’s still the global game. Sometimes it is still the beautiful game.
But the truth is that English football has become an insatiable monster. And the truth is that we ought to face up to the fact, but have shied away from doing so. In the 1990s the culture bought the idea that we couldn’t have too much football, and that it didn’t matter how it was run as long as English football felt like the centre of the world. We lionised the players and thought lots more money in the game meant lots more satisfaction from it. Fatally, we also thought this was all really positive. In fact, football was too big. This wasn’t living the dream. It was living the deception.
The parallels with what was happening in the financial sector at the same time and for many of the same reasons are absolutely unmissable. In some ways the processes were not even parallel, they were one and the same. The owners, the sponsors, the merchandisers – increasingly even the mercenary players and coaches – were more interested in the money, then leveraging the money into more money, than in the game, never mind the fans or the clubs.
No one regulated. No one objected. No one thought strategically. Stopping it was too difficult and too unpopular. We took the line of least resistance. Even the supporters, never great strategists, were more interested in today than tomorrow. If a billionaire bought their club they didn’t boo, they cheered. They only objected when the money dried up.
That’s why it is hard to feel sympathy for Liverpool, whose survival hangs on court cases on both sides of the Atlantic this week. The current owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, bought Liverpool in 2007 so they could borrow massive amounts of money against the club. They were not interested in football but wealth. It should have been stopped. Inevitably it wasn’t. Now Liverpool are loaded with millions of pounds of extra debt that no one wants. But neither Hicks and Gillett nor Liverpool were unique in the deal they struck. Leeds, Portsmouth, Newcastle and West Ham have all been tempted down similarly ruinous paths. Even Manchester United are not wholly safe. There but for fortune go many other Premier League clubs too. Fortunes made and lost, the money is now heading elsewhere in Europe, leaving England’s wrecks behind.
If it is Liverpool’s fate to be the Lehman Brothers of the Premier League, then that is hard luck on them. But so be it. Shed no tears. A football club is not a bank. Lives do not depend on its existence, and no amount of anguish in the streets around Anfield can make it so. Governments have no obligations here. No football club is too big to fail, especially when, on the contrary, English football is too big not to fail. The moral hazard on which so much English football has partied for so long has to end somehow. The football authorities, so-called, are unwilling and incapable. If only a collapse will do, then bring it on.
Football is a game. Football is entertainment. Yes, it’s a really good game. Yes, it’s exciting entertainment. Yes, it is hugely enjoyable – or can be – to follow your own team through thick and thin. But that’s all. Football is not more than that. It’s not the reason we exist. It’s not a way of life. It’s not even a religion, except in as much as it is a comforting delusion. Football doesn’t prove anything at all about anything. It certainly does not validate the worth of the disturbingly large number of people, still almost all male, who appear to think that it does. Great footballers are nothing more than great footballers.
Liverpool are simply one club among many. Their self-absorbed glamour, their tough, storied past and the iconic splendour of Steven Gerrard should not distract from the club’s collective responsibility. Don’t blame the Texans – at least not just because they are Texans. Liverpool are just another club that got greedy, got careless and, blinded by the allure of quick success, got their priorities wrong. Even a quarter sensible club would have got together with Everton to build a shared stadium on the Mersey years ago. The fans haven’t been betrayed. They have just been blind.
The idea that English football deserves the World Cup can only be the work of an ironist. A tournament whose early rounds were played exclusively in the grounds of bankrupt clubs and which climaxed in the awful, debt-crushed, windswept new Wembley stadium with its bumpy pitch would, perhaps, have a kind of macabre metaphorical attraction. But the sight of David Cameron hosting Sepp Blatter and his fellow international football bigwigs at Downing Street this week in pursuit of the awful 2018 bid made the heart sink. Cameron has a country to run. He shouldn’t follow New Labour down this demeaning route. There are no votes in football.
Get real about English football. It is a god that failed. Stop worshipping it. Bill Shankly was wrong. Football isn’t more important than life or death. It is infinitely less important. Enjoy it and get it back in perspective.
1. What is the tone of the passage?
2. What is the main theme of the passage?
- Football is a game; Football is entertainment and it should not be considered more than this.
- Insatiable desire to make more and more money has brought Liverpool to its end.
- Liverpool has become the Lehman brothers of the premier league.
- The game of football has lost its luster.
- None of these
3. What does the author mean by “We took the line of least resistance”?
- There were no regulations.
- People did not object and oppose the wrong strategies of Liverpool.
- No one thought strategically.
- People were more interested in today than tomorrow.
- None of these
4. . Which of the following does the author agree with?
- Football can never fail because it is big enough.
- People all over the world love football.
- Football is much more than just a game. It is a part of our lives.
- Failure of the English football is the reflection of the unbalanced, short termist hedonism of the financial boom era.
- Liverpool is not greedy
5. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?
A. The author feels sorry for the Liverpool.
B. The author realizes that winning is not possible always and failures are also a part of life.
C. The government is responsible for the perilous state of the Liverpool.
- A and B
- A, B and C
- A and C
- only B
- None follows
6. Who are the current owners of Liverpool?
- Hicks and Baltter
- Gillet and David
- Gillet and Hicks
- Cameron and Blatter
- None of these
Choose the word/group of words, which is most similar in meaning to the words, printed in bold as used in the passage.
Choose the word/group of words which is most opposite in meaning of the word/ group of words printed in bold as used in the passage.
1. 3 The author’s tone is critical
2. 2 The passage deals with Liverpool and the reasons of its fall.
3. 2 By the words ‘We took the line of least resistance’ the author wants to say that since most people were quiet on the issue and did not oppose it, we(people in general) followed suit. Refer to the lines “No one regulated. No one objected. No one thought strategically. Stopping it was too difficult and too unpopular. We took the line of least resistance. Even the supporters, never great strategists, were more interested in today than tomorrow. If a billionaire bought their club they didn’t boo, they cheered. They only objected when the money dried up.”
4. 4 Option (1), (3) and (5) are contrary to the facts given in the passage. Option (2) is a far fetched assumption. Option (4) is correct. Refer to the lines “The parallels with what was happening in the financial sector at the same time and for many of the same reasons are absolutely unmissable. In some ways the processes were not even parallel, they were one and the same.”
5. 5 The author does not feel sorry for the Liverpool. So A is negated. B is neither expressed nor implied by the author. C is contrary to the facts mentioned in the passage. Hence, none follows.
6. 3 Refer to the line “The current owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett…”
7. 1 The word most similar to ‘precarious’, which means uncertain, is ‘dubious’.
8. 2 ‘Ruinous’ is a synonym of disastrous.
9. 3 ‘Insatiable’ means something that can’t be satisfied. Hence, ‘satisfied’ is the correct antonym.
10. 5 ‘Anguish’ means suffering and pain. Thus the correct antonym out of the given options is ‘comfort’.