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Football Headlines: 21 May 2007



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After a fashionably long break (caused by the topsy-turvy emotions of heartbreaks, winning a title and moving from one city to another), the headlines column is back. Yay…

You might think today’s column is a bit of old news – why yes, it is. I’m recapping bits and pieces from the last few days, so have a look and skip it if you dare.

1. Arsenal’s season

Arseblogger has done his season review. I keep telling myself that I should do one for Arsenal, something laced with an I told you so coupled with links to articles from pre-season pointing to the relevant statements, but enough already 🙂 I think Arsenal have a good young squad, I don’t think injuries can be used as an excuse (United got to 2nd last season despite their injury crisis) when, especially in Henry’s case, it could have been better managed by the club and that in the transfer market and on the pitch, Wenger got a couple of things wrong.

Happens to everyone.

Don’t see Arsenal or Liverpool winning next season with current squads, but let’s wait till August and see what both clubs come up with.

2. Liverpool’s season

Liverpool won’t mind coming 3rd twice in a row – they’ve got their second champions league final to look forward to and this time liverpool vs milan will be more even and less surprising than in 2005.

A lot of the Pool predictions went right, although I seriously didn’t expect them to make it past Barcelona or Chelsea, so credit where credit is due. Liverpool have done well this season, and for that they deserve respect.

Not too much though – until they get their new players in, I’ll keep my reservations. Also, Liverpool under Rafa are slow starters. Can Rafa change that? From what I’ve seen in the last 3 years, it doesn’t look likely, but like always, let’s wait and see – there’s plenty of time to make predictions.

My current prediction is that Milan will the Champions League final – mainly because Liverpool winning it would make the summer very annoying 🙂 Nothing against Liverpool, but their fans can be a bit overbearing at times (although if you won it 6 times, you would be too).

3. The FA Cup Final

Not much to say, except that the pomp that preceded the final was overdone and that the game itself was even and low-key, more tactical than the swashbuckling season finale the instant-gratification generation was hoping for.

Already covered the Chelsea-United final and done the man utd review, so go read that. For a Chelsea perspective, read chelseablog’s review.

4. Romario’s got his 1000

They’re still going on and on about the fact that the tally is incorrect, never mind the fact that Romario himself has said that this is a) personal and b) done by people he’s hired to keep track, not himself and c) is unofficial.

But don’t let that stand in your way. Jump in and start barracking Romario for daring to claim a record that is so clearly not his own, even if he’s doing nothing like that.

Now that’s he gotten it, maybe Vasco can get back to playing football and we can stop with all this?

5. Women football writers

I usually like pissing on the guardian more than praising it (a figure of speech, mind you), but two writers always, always, impress me – Amy Lawrence (even though she’s Arsenal through and through) and recently, Marcela Mora y Araujo.

Read Amy’s latest piece on Gattuso and Marcela’s interview with Tevez. Smart, insightful and best of all, they know what they’re talking about (unlike some other G writers – nothing personal DT but I just don’t agree with you 🙂 ).

6. G14 ready for expansion

If the G14 (already with 18 members) doubles in size, will it:

Change it’s name?
Get footballing authorities to reduce the number of games footballers play throughout the year?
Negotiate with domestic leagues to push through rule changes (some of which are severely needed)?

In short, will it do some good?

We’ve all been fed the story that G14 is bad for football – and to an extent, I’m inclined to agree.

But could they also do some good?

OK, that’s it for right now. There’s a weekly review to do, and probably a pop against BBC for the Gordon to United rumour (although if that’s true, what a good move it would be).

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Ahmed Bilal created Sportslens in 2006. He is a business consultant and entrepreneur who helps businesses identify and overcome their biggest challenges. He’s also the founder of Football Media, an online advertising agency that specialises in sports and male audience targeting, with a monthly reach of 100m+ sports fans in the UK and US. He’s also the previous owner of Soccerlens.com – a sports news site that reaches 3m+ readers / month.