Welcome to Fergie Time, a roundup/newsletter type deal that delivers news, opinion and links directly to your screen. As the name suggests, there will be some exaggeration, nsfw moments, canceled press conferences (oh, who are we kidding) and late, late, late scoring of points. You’ll like it, trust me.
INSIDE JOSE MOURINHO’s HOUSE:
I’ve never been to Jose Mourinho’s house. I don’t imagine I ever will. But I do imagine that somewhere in The Special One’s abode one would find a full length mirror inscribed with the following quote from General Douglas MacArthur: “Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind.”
Because TSO was at it again this week, bending the rules as far as they would go by instructing both Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos to get themselves sent off towards the end of Real Madrid’s 4-0 win over Ajax in the Champions League. Both were on yellow cards, and neither are needed for Real Madrid’s final Champions League Group G game vs Auxerre, which Real can lose 100-0 or more and still qualify in first place. Alonso and Ramos will then begin the knockout stages having served a suspension and without a booking hanging over their heads.
Two ways of looking at this: The first is that Mourinho is a cheating scoundrel who should be punched hard in the mouth. The second is that Mourinho is a cheating scoundrel who should be patted on the back for his creative thinking. Mourinho has since been charged by UEFA for the incident, and could face a touchline ban.
The third way of looking at this is to suggest that what Mourinho asked both Alonso and Ramos to do was more than a little degrading. Watch the video and see how horribly uncomfortable both players are when executing Mourinho’s deliberate time-wasting instructions. Whatever he did to the rules, Mourinho made utter fools of his own players, who now also face charges from UEFA for carrying out orders.
THE HOSTS WITH THE MOST (MONEY)
Recent events have made it very clear that the bidding and voting process is a snake pit of backdoor deal-making and bribery, but in a weird way I don’t care. Because I never ever assumed the process was above board. This is just the first time FIFA officials have been caught.
So don’t let that unholy mess ruin the excitement for you. The 2018 bids from England, Russia, Belgium/Netherlands, and Sportugal all seem perfectly acceptable. Same for 2022. The bids from USA, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Qatar all have their merits too.
On Thursday, December 2nd we’ll find out which two of those bids was best at making under the table deals, and then we can move on to the important business of asking whether their stadia and hotels will be ready in time or kickoff. Good times.
Week 15 of the the Soccerlens Fantasy Football Game is coming. To be in with a chance of winning the weekly prize money, just pick your XI and enter.
MESSAGE TO A CERTAIN SECTION OF ARSENAL FANS:
Stop complaining about Arsene Wenger. If he ever leaves, you’ll regret it instantly.
MATCH OF THE WEEK:
There can be only one, and it’s Barcelona vs. Real Madrid. Pep Guardiola vs Jose Mourinho. Leo Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo. Even if you forget the history, the cultural significance and the unquantifiable level of talent involved in this game, it’s still huge. Because given the massive massive gap between Spain’s Big Two and the rest, this is basically the first leg of the Spanish league title playoff. That doesn’t bode well for La Liga in the long-term, but it does mean we have one unmissable game this Monday, November 29th.
Angriest manager: CFR Cluj’s Sorin Cartu, who went all Incredible Hulk during his team’s 1-0 loss away to FC Basel in the Champions League, and smashed his foot through the dugout plexiglass. Cluj were less than impressed and Mr. Cartu is now seeking alternative employment. Anyone need a one man dugout demolition crew?
Best Twitter smacktalker: Rio Ferdinand, who sat out Man Utd’s 1-0 win over Rangers this week, but still managed to do battle with a Rangers’ striker, albeit via social media. Ferdinand used halftime to tweet something less than generous about Kenny Miller:
“Has kenny miller only paid 4 a spray tan on his face?? His neck is white + his face….well…is a different colour all together!”
Worst judges: Every professional footballer in the world, whose nominations were gathered to create the 55-player shortlist for the FIFPro World XI. The list is filled with players who’ve had terrible 2010s, but just happen to be extremely famous. Kaka anyone? Rooney? Maybe we should leave the playing to the players and the judging to everyone else.
The 3 Up Front crew discuss a possible egalitarian future in the Premier League, Arsene Wenger’s future and that whole referees on striker crisis in Scotland. Listen to episode 15 and then subscribe via iTunes for more.