Arsenal’s captaincy gaffe, free Manchester United tickets, the next Real Madrid striker and more

Today’s report is brought to you by Alessandra Ambrosio and Cristiano Ronaldo and because we’ve been away for a while, by the lovely Adriana Karembeu.

Before we kick off with the roundup (of news old and new), here’s how you can win free tickets to the Manchester United v Aalborg game, courtesy of our second favourite Manchester United blog.

Moving on:

England’s Goalkeepers

I wonder if Paul Robinson can ever make a comeback. Actually, I don’t. The man was never #1 material, then again he’s about as good as the other contenders for the #1 spot. Lack of top-class talent is no excuse for mediocrity, however, and at this point Robinson’s lack of command of his area and England’s propensity to miscommunicate in defence means that we need someone like van der Sar, a player who might not be an elite shot stopper but has good command of his area (EVDS is getting old and is slower but otherwise more authoritative than James, Carson, Robinson and Green put together).

Ben Foster anyone?

Real Madrid’s Next Striker

Real Madrid are looking for a new striker. IMO Tevez and Villa are out of their reach and Benzema is not moving till the end of the year, so Madrid might have to plump for Huntelaar – not an ideal choice but he gives them numbers and quality, which is what they lack upfront at the moment.

Arsenal’s captaincy gaffe

Recently William Gallas was stripped of his captaincy at Arsenal with Cesc Fabregas installed in his place. Arsenal fans have welcomed the appointment, but I’ve been advocating against Fab’s appointment since Henry’s departure and to date there’s no change in the circumstances around the team. Gallas is unfit to be captain, Silva has left (and was too quiet anyway), Ade is unfit a la Gallas and that leaves Toure and Almunia as the senior statesmen and Fabregas with the most central role in the team.

Toure for my money is a better alternative than Fab, and I can’t help but think that Wenger’s gone with Fab to get him to stay on for a couple of years longer at Arsenal. It’s too much too soon for the kid, he’s a very good player but he’s been pushed to the limit already playing for Arsenal and this is just going to push him even further.

The Offside takes a look at other Premier League captains and arrives at a sensible (although totally non-scientific) conclusion – pick an elder statesman in the team as opposed to the star player, more Manchester and less Newcastle.

Liverpool’s crest and copyright issues

Should football clubs be this pushy about copyrighting their crests and logos? On one hand it makes good business sense because these are global brands and copyrighting them allows the clubs to prosecute unauthorised retailers and therefore profit from their brand. On the other hand copyrights can often limit non-commercial and as a result it can severely hamper the efforts of genuine fans who only want to show their love for their team.

The Premier League and Football League have hired NetResult to protect their brand / intellectual property online, and that usually results in NetResult going after websites indiscriminately without considering whether the use is commercial or non-commercial. Perhaps there should be a legal distinction and therefore room for fans to make use of copyrighted content, or shall we go the way of the music industry and insist that the right thing is to pay for using a club’s crest on your site?

Can West Ham pay off Sheffield United?

Sheffield United move one step closer to burning Upton Park to the ground winning their compensation case against West Ham and extracting tens of millions of pounds from their Icelandic owners. The owner is already strapped for cash and now with the case not going to the CAS, West Ham’s chances of getting out of this without a massive payout look slim. Without a resolution of this problem it’s unlikely that the club would be bought even if Mr G wanted to sell.

Tough times indeed for West Ham, but the bottom line is that they’re in the Premier League and should be able to stay up for next season as well, making the club an attractive investment prospect as long as the current owners keep up their efforts to offload the deadwood.

Sex and Football

Platini is pushing for the specificity of sport as a cultural symbol and therefore pushing to exempt it from normal business rules in EU. Will he also look at club sponsors, such sex movie distributors BN Agentur, who sponsor FC Copenhagen, and tell them to f**k off, so to speak? What if the sponsors were offering porn movies as a winning bonus? What type of role models are we shaping here?

More News

    • The Spoiler has a nice list of footballers and Bond villain lookalikes. Congratulations to the Spoiler folks for nabbing the Pies editorial team in full.


    • FIFA have sold the rights to the 2010 World Cup for a cool $3.4 billion USD. Where do you suppose that money is going to be reinvested in? I’d like to know.


    • Kaka says it would be great to play in the Premier League. Of course, he’s probably on record as saying that it would be great to be in the Spanish Primera as well (or else the Spanish journos haven’t been asking him the right questions). You want Kaka? Qualify for the Champions League and get ready to pay 50m+ plus 150k / week in salaries (both in Euros, of course).



    • How much of a hand does Stan Kroenke have in bringing Ivan Gazidis to Arsenal? Worth thinking about.



    • Would you drop your shorts on a football field? Not doing a Joey Barton, mind you, but more to distract the opposition goalkeeper. God help you if someone pulls them down again post-game…



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