A very good morning to Tottenham fans and those who don’t like Chelsea – Tottenham beat Chelsea 2-1 in the Carling Cup final yesterday in an emotional, gripping game that went to extra time (but thankfully, not penalties).
On to today’s news, where Nigeria are holding Moyes’s family hostage (or planning to, at least), Stan Collymore talks to Soccerlens, more insight into the Fifa bullies, Steve McClaren finally learns something about football management, Sir Alex Ferguson’s hypocrisy and a male football player feels up a female ref (we don’t make this shit up folks)…
1. Eduardo Watch
He’s had surgery, and will be on crutches for a few months. Best case scenario is that we’ll know by the end of May / beginning of June whether he’ll be able to rehabilitate successfully or not.
I urge all fans – Arsenal or otherwise – to not accuse Martin Taylor of deliberately hurting Eduardo. His crime was clumsiness and it was a one-footed late tackle that we see happen in every game. Eduardo’s foot stayed stuck in the turf instead of going with the tackle, hence the horrifying ankle break. It was, at best, a yellow card offense and the ref gave a red card, in my view, just because of Eduardo injury.
Mind you, Arsene Wenger himself retracted his comments on Martin Taylor – this from a man who, when he’s convinced he is right, fights tooth & nail to prove it.
In any case, here’s wishing Eduardo the best of luck and a speedy recovery.
2. Who’s the best chairman in the Premier League?
Luke Raine over at Football Fancast says that rich fans sitting in the driving seat are much better than rich Yanks buying clubs as real estate (I’m paraphrasing).
I agree and disagree. Yes, having a fan in charge has its benefits, but this fan must also be an excellent businessman and capable of taking the club forward instead of crippling it with inaction.
Like I always say, give me 2 billion pounds and I’ll turn Manchester United into the richest club in the world AND get them to do the quadruple (plus the Super Cup and the World Club Championship, just for kicks). No, seriously, just give me the money…
3. David Beckham back with LA Galaxy
And he’s setting up goals for them, from the word go. Here’s to hoping that he has an injury-free season this time around, and he achieves what he set out to achieve in the MLS.
4. Steve McClaren’s ‘Doh’ Moment
“We have played a lot of 4-4-2 football over the years, playing in straight lines, whereas I think the game is developing and we’re learning that – that it’s different and we have to play in different spaces and different areas.”
No, really, Macca? It would been really nice if you’d thought of this before you took over as England manager – maybe then we would have practiced and been more flexible going into key qualifying games?
On a more serious note, it’s good to know that McClaren is working hard to learn and improve himself as a manager and coach. Hopefully he’ll do better in his next gig, but I wouldn’t trust him with the England or Manchester United jobs yet.
5. Fifa’s Bullies
England have been bullied by Fifa several times recently – first there were some choice words spoken by Jack Warner, vice-president of Fifa and then Sepp Blatter threatened to derail England’s 2018 World Cup bid if the FA didn’t oppose the Game 39 bid.
Some insight into Fifa from Guardian’s Said and Done column (published here):
Sepp Blatter says Fifa (‘just like the United Nations, but more powerful’), will drive corruption out of football and ‘build a better future for the game’. How’s it going so far? Last month’s ethical Fifa highlight: vice-president Jack Warner attempts to dissolve Dominica’s FA and install his friend Patrick John as their new president. John’s credentials for the job: five years as prime minister of Dominica in the 1970s, then a 12-year jail sentence for attempting to overthrow his successor. His failed coup in 1981 was backed by Ku Klux Klan leaders, who pledged to hand John power in return for being allowed to set up brothels and casinos on the island. US agents arrested them in possession of automatic weapons, dynamite and Nazi flags.
After that, John had 14 years as head of Dominica’s FA, before being deposed in 2006, accused of poor performance and ‘unaccountability’. Warner’s attempt to reinstate him failed after Dominica’s FA made a formal complaint about ‘illegal bullying’ – they’re due for talks in Zurich later this month.
Yes, these men definitely have football’s best interests in heart.
6. Frisky teenagers
From the same column:
Italian youth team Novafiori have defended an unnamed teenage player after he was suspended for six months for ‘feeling up’ a referee. The player made his move when the female referee awarded a decision against him. ‘First he shouted grave insults,’ says a league spokesman, ‘but then his mood just changed.’ Club spokesman Giancarlo Bianchi said: ‘We’re sad for the boy. He’s neither a delinquent nor a molester. I hope he learns.’
And hence the potential problem with female officials on the pitch. Can you imagine Rooney swearing at a female ref, which in turn results in her boyfriend jumping from the crowd (or maybe a chivalrous and extremely emotional member of the opposite team…like, Gallas) and attacking Rooney? Or maybe Ronaldo winks at her, and she gives him a penalty for doing a stepover?
The possibilities are endless if you really focus on how to sabotage the system…
7. Sevilla players robbed
Luis Fabiano and Andres Palop had their houses burgled recently. You’d think that with the money they earn, they’d hire some security?
I loved this one. Here’s the situation, in original quotes:
After Yakubu scored a hat-trick in Everton’s Uefa Cup win over SK Brann on Thursday, Moyes told the Guardian newspaper:
“He’s only 25, albeit a Nigerian 25, and so if that is his age he’s still got a good few years ahead of him.”
But NFA spokesman Ademola Olajire says the comments have embarrassed the country.
“His statement is insulting to the Nigerian nation and unbecoming of a Premier League manager,” Olajire told BBC Sport.
“We don’t take kindly to snide remarks about our players, or our nation and we have sent a strongly-worded complaint to the English FA.
“Seriously, we will go at any length to ensure he is brought to book to explain his comments.”
Moyes says that he was making a joke, while Olajire says that, seriously, they will go to any length to bring Moyes to justice. In Nigeria that means kidnapping his family and holding them for ransom, so Moyes has best be very careful. Or, worse, Nigeria could kidnap all their players playing in England and not return them until Moyes is forced to hand himself over to the Nigerian Secret Service.
8. Stan Collymore talks to Soccerlens.com
In yesterday’s roundup, I had written that Gordon Taylor, PFA head-honcho, had alluded to Collymore’s drug abuse. I was wrong and my sincerest apologies to Mr Stan Collymore. He does NOT abuse drugs, to the best of my knowledge.
On the other hand, from what I’ve gathered about the man (interviews he’s given to the press – best thing is to quote the man talking about himself, right?), he suffers from what they call ‘clinical depression’, had an insane desire to please people as a kid and as a footballer which contributed to his depression, feared being left alone, grew up without a father and enjoyed the thrill of having sex with strangers in public parks.
Mr Collymore is a complex man, with personality flaws and great talent going side-by-side. His foray into acting (opposite Sharon Stone, no less) was another expression of his desire to entertain, although whether that role enabled him to fully express himself or not is a different story.
“You’re taking working- class kids, some lacking a few social skills, and thrusting them to the top of this billion pound industry and expecting them all to behave impeccably.”
Well said, Mr Collymore. Good luck with convincing the tabloids of the inanity of their stance though, considering that their main job is to sell as many copies as possible, and self-righteous finger-pointing sells pretty well.
Regardless of how much players are paid, some are just incapable of handling the fame and pressure.
10. Sir Alex Ferguson’s hypocrisy?
He supposedly banished Beckham for having a playboy lifestyle, for hogging the limelight and thinking of himself as better than his teammates, but he protects Ronaldo like his own child.
The attitude deserves a closer look – and I think if you scratch deep enough, you’ll see that Fergie threw out Beckham for the same reason that he threw out Stam, Keane and Ruud – respected players who stood up to him and called him out for being wrong. You can’t have divisive elements in a championship-winning dressing room and thus they were ejected.
Someone needs to set the public record straight…