Archive for the 'Adebayor transfer' Category

29
Jun
09

Now you’re just Riberying me.

He's ready for his close-up

Have you heard any good jokes lately? No? How about this one? “Arsenal Set To Make £40m Franck Ribery Bid – Reports.”

LOL

Yeah, ok, let’s just assume that Arsenal are going to bid £40m, which, according to Bayern manager Uli Hoeness, is £60m short of his valuation and would get us just a leg. Even if we did bid £40m, BAYERN AREN’T SELLING, so this is a non-story and you have to wonder where it came from.

Wait, what if there is something to this story? If we could get Frank Ribery’s right leg for £40m and sew it onto Eboue, we could make a Frankeneboue! Then the boss could say that Eboue’s “like a new signing” and he could say to everyone that “Arsenal develop players, we do not just buy them.”

And then Wenger would sign Karim Benzema, 3 new goalkeepers, Fat Ronaldo, Felipe Melo AND Lorik Cana, steal E’to’o from City, and get Micah Richards and Brede Hangeland, and possibly bring in Xavi Hernandez and David Villa! All this after selling Frankeneboue for £75m, Adebayor for £93m, Bentdner for £6,999 (like a used car, get it???), Eduardo for a free transfer, and Theo Walgod for £1.2billion.

RIGHT???

That settles it, I’m changing the name of the summer transfer period from “interlull” to “interlol.”

InterLOL, wait this is serious

With Adebayor looking closer to AC Milan than ever before, now that Dzeko is off the table and Sevilla is asking £30m for Fabiano, it looks like Wenger might actually end up with the resources to buy Felipe Melo.  Last I heard, Fiorentina want £21m for Melo, which is more than Arsene was willing to pay last year for Alonso, but that Fiorentina are willing to accept Senderos as a makeweight in the deal. So, with the £15m or so Arsenal will get from Adebayor, a Senderos, and maybe even a little cash, we might be able to prise Melo from Fiorentina.

More importantly, this story is starting to look like it has some smoke to it: Melo reportedly asked former Arsenal skipper Gilberto what he thought of Arsenal. As in “hey, I’m thinking about transferring to Arsenal, should I?”

Well…

Gio said “yes absolutely” which is a bit of a surprise seeing how he was treated in his last year, but then simultaneously not a surprise since Gio has always been a class act and clearly still loves Arsenal.

What makes me feel better about the whole thing is that Gio also thinks Melo would be good for Arsenal. Each time I’ve watched him he hasn’t looked that impressive but if Gilberto says

He is exactly what they need – a powerful player with quality. If they got him it would be great because he is a player they need at the moment. I’m sure if they got him it would be a good signing. I have told him Arsenal is a great club and I am sure next season they will improve.

then I have no choice but to trust Gilberto. He was a top notch midfielder for Arsenal and he knows exactly what it takes to win trophies in the Premier League. If anyone in this world knows if Felipe Melo is ready to partner Cesc Fabregas at Arsenal and help win a trophy it’s Gilberto Silva.

So, I officially say “bring ’em on.”

Or Cana…

The other player that has been on everyone’s hit list is combative Albanian midfielder, Lorik Cana. His club officially said that he’s for sale and immediately Spuds made a bid. The link above says that Arsene tried to bring him over for a trial when he was younger but were denied a work visa, with him now firmly ensconced in the Albanian team the whole visa thing might work out easier. Though, I’m no expert on the British work visa rules.

Arsenal can offer Champions League football a great salary and a host of world class players, he’d be a fool to chose them over us.

Also, then he’d be a cunt, and we wouldn’t want him anyway!

Usmanov’s Millions

Just when you think it’s safe, Alisher Usmanov reminds us that he has his grubby little fingers all over our club. This time is no different than the last time he cropped up: he wants us all to make a deal with the devil and do a “rights issue” that would “generate” “£100m.”

The details of Usmanov’s proposal are unknown and will be discussed by the board this week but from what I’ve read the basic idea is to issue additional stock and generate fresh investment. Of course, Red and White are saying that this money could be used for transfers (that’s the devil’s bargain) and Gazidis is saying that the board will not do a stock offer and blow the money on transfers (hey, maybe THAT’s where the Ribery story came from!).

Either way, I trust the board on this one. It’s pretty clear that they are openly hostile to Usmanov’s attempts to use Arsenal as his personal piggy bank and will rebuff any proposal that would help him consolidate power. The board is committed to growing Arsenal the old fashioned way and while you might disagree with that because it means you have to forgo the instant gratification of spending big and buying  trophies it’s the only sensible long term plan.

Personally, I plan on passing Arsenal on to my daughter and if Usmanov had his way, I suspect that would be impossible.

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28
Jun
09

If you’re going to lie, lie big.

First off, I hope this morning’s 3rd place Vuvuzela consolation cup match finds you well. It doesn’t find Cesc Fabregas well, or maybe it does find him well and he’s just not playing because his international manager is mad at him. I dunno, either way, there isn’t much to say about this game since there aren’t any Arsenal players on the pitch.

I do want to mention one thing: those Vuvuzela’s that everyone is suddenly talking about are not new. I distinctly remember them annoying me to no end during the 2006 World Cup and they are a mainstay at any MLS game. They are not new, in fact, I have railed about these things for years.  Standing at a match and making mindless noise is not “support” it’s anti-supporting  because they actually destroy the ability of other fans to support from the stands. The constant insufferable droning makes it impossible to chant a player’s name and thus to boost him, to cheer when your squad does something good, to boo opposition players, and they disrupt on-field communication between your own team!

Symbolically the fact that they sound like a pack of angry bees is perfect because if you’re sitting in the stands blowing one of those things then you are a mindless drone. If FIFA learns one thing from this pointless tournament, let it be that the Vuvuzela should be banned from all stadiums the world over.

How to make shiat up: 101

No sooner had the ink dried on my “hey let’s make shiat up” column yesterday than the links started coming in fast from a press brigade eager to show a small timer like me how it’s really done.

The News of the World said “I see your Tim Sparv and raise you a Karim Benzema!” Now, I know a lot of folks wish that this was a true story. Benzema is one of those players who occupies that rarefied air of “X-Box Heroes” — a player who pretty much everyone building a fantasy team first reaches for. But the brilliance of this story is that it hinges on another story and it’s a story that I’m not sure will come to pass; that Arsenal will use the funds from the sale of Adebayor to Milan to fund the purchase of Benzema.

First off, AC Milan is only talking up Adebayor because they want to sign Dzeko and have so far been unsuccessful in their attempts to get Wolfsburg to the negotiating table. Second, if Adebayor and Benzema cost the same, and Adebayor is Milan’s 3rd choice target why would Milan not just buy Benzema? By all accounts he’s a better player, he’s younger, and he’s almost certainly had fewer disciplinary problems.

No, this Adebayor/Benzema talk is just talk.  HA! And now Real Madrid is involved, there’s no way he’s coming to Arsenal. Either way, that’s some world class “making shiat up” right there.

Right, that’s about it for today. I’m going to try to have a kickaround at 10:30 and then maybe watch a tape of the U.S.A. v. Brazil game — you know, a lazy Sunday.

See you tomorrow!

26
Jun
09

Adebayor wins third runner up in AC Milan beauty pageant

adekickoff.jpg

7amkickoff.com

Those of you who are using an RSS feed to read my posts should go ahead and point your newsreaders to 7amkickoff.com because on July 1, I’m switching to my own domain. You can go over there now and look at it if you want, some CSS bits are still being manipulated and then I have to export and import all my content (no small feat in a two year old WordPress account) and then I can start whoring myself out to advertisers!

Adebayor

AC Milan VP Adriano Galliani has expressed his interest in Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor.  And by “expressed interest” I mean, put Ade on a pedestal and draped the bronze medal around his neck:

We are only looking for a forward, and our aim is Dzeko. He is a Wolfsburg player, and they have a right to keep him – even though he continues to claim that his desire is to come to Milan. From experience, I know it’s difficult to keep a player whose wish is to leave. If we fail to get Dzeko then Luis Fabiano could be an alternative – as could Adebayor.

Owch.

I got a chance to watch Fabiano yesterday and last week and in my estimation, Adebayor is actually a better striker. That said, it’s a testament to how far Ade’s stock has fallen that AC Milan put him below Fabiano. Fabiano will easily miss as many shots as Ade but he’ll at least work on the pitch and I haven’t seen him get caught offside yet, so I can see why Galliani puts him above Ade.

Which is sad.

I’m not going to sit here and rip Adebayor because I really like him and I suspect he’s going to be with us next year. I just hope Wenger and Cesc grab him by the nape and shake him out of his vegetable torpor. If he plays like he did two years ago, every Arsenal supporter will get behind him, but if he puts in just one lazy performance, I think that Arsenal fans will be unforgiving.

The ball’s in his court.

Cesc quells the stupidity

I’m not sure how many times I need to talk directly about my commitment to Arsenal as I continue to say the same thing over and over again, but it appears that every time I have spoken to the Spanish media recently, my words have bounced back to England, leaving question marks about my future.

So, for anyone who is unclear or may have misunderstood what my position is, let me make myself absolutely crystal clear. I am wholeheartedly committed to Arsenal and my future lies with this great Club.

It is a fact that we have not won a trophy for four years and yes, I am angry about that, but that anger stems from the deep deep desire I have to win things with Arsenal. I care about this Club and believe in this team. I am proud to captain this team and proud to wear the shirt. It really upsets me when people express my thoughts otherwise. The spirit in this squad is fantastic and we have the ability and mentality to compete on all fronts for silverware. Make no mistake, we are focused and determined to show that we are capable of achieving great things together.

Maybe Cesc should consider being a little more circumspect with the interviews. Either that, or end every sentence with “I am not leaving Arsenal.” The interviews would go like this:

Interviewer: So, Cesc, how are you?
Cesc:
Good, I’m not leaving Arsenal.
Int: Excellent. So, what do you think of Barcelona’s 4-3-3 formation?
Cesc: I enjoy playing and watching attacking football, like both Arsenal and Barcelona play, I’m not leaving Arsenal.
Int: Quite, I think we’ve cleared that up…
Cesc: Still not leaving Arsenal.
Int: uhhh…

etc.

Samir Nasri week ends with a bang

It’s been Nasri week over at the dot com owing to the fact that he was voted fourth best player of the season in their poll. To wrap up the week, the powers that be have granted us all a free video in great quality, not that crappy YouTube stuff, of his greatest moment of the season. Walk, don’t run, over to the site and check it out.

Only a few days left to WIN an ARSENAL 89 T-SHIRT


‘It’s Up for Grabs Now’…… And the rest is Arsenal history! Brian Moore’s match commentary as Michael Thomas puts away the goal that clinched the ’89 League Championship in arguably Arsenal’s greatest ever match is featured on Philosophy Football’s anniversary shirt. Plus, a diagram of the winning goal and match details. Available from www.philosophyfootball.com we have 5 to be won in our competition, to enter simply answer the following simple question:

Liverpool v Arsenal, 26 May 1989, name the two goalscorers.

Send answer, name, address and preferred T-shirt size to admin@philosophyfootball.com Entries close 30 June ’09, no purchase necessary to enter.

04
Jun
09

My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who talked to Vermaelen about signing for Arsenal last night. I guess it’s pretty serious.

7amkickoff Exclusive!

I can exclusively report that Arsenal have confirmed a friendly against Hannover Fist on July 29th. This means that we are less than two months away from the return of real football!

7amkickoff two-xclusive!

7am kickoff has heard from a reliable source that Zlatan Ibrahimovich is a cunt! My source says that Zlatan said the following about Arsenal:

Just look at Arsenal. They don’t buy the best players, which is sad, very sad for their supporters, they pay a lot of money for a season ticket just to see a junior team. That can’t be fun.

Did Inter even play in Europe last year? Oh wait, they did, and they were knocked out of the competition in the first round, after barely squeaking into the knockout competition, coming in second in their group to Panathinaikos — a Greek team, who don’t even have a league, they play against goats with wine bottles as the ball.

Oh, and Zlatan, we don’t buy the best players, we get them the old fashioned way, we make them.

Speaking of Transfers

There’s no actual transfer news, of course, but rumor has it that Arsenal are on the verge of signing Vermaelen, which you all already know.

Meanwhile, the World’s Least Reliable Newspaper is reporting that AC Milan is wanting to sign one of our children, Adebayor, for £15m. Coincidentally, that offer is exactly £12 for every offside that Adebayor was guilty of this season.

Mean-meanwhile, Arsenal are reportedly closing in on the signature of soon to be rumored (I’m starting it right now) Arsenal player, Lucas Neill. This happened because a) I just made it up and b) he rejected a new offer from West Ham. Arsenal like Neill because he is reportedly 7 months younger than Silvestre, and as Zlatan has pointed out Arsenal are nothing if not a youth team.

On the other hand, it is possible that Arsenal are not in for Lucas Neill and are instead interested in Gary Cahill. Supposedly, this is because Brede Hangeland is refusing our £8m bid. The only problem with this story is that Bolton are asking £20m, which is completely retarded, and I mean that in a very negative way.

Wait, new information has just come in and it seems that Gary Cahill once played for Villa and put in a stunning bicycle kick which relegated one of my least favorite teams in the world, Birmingham City.

£20m is a steal.

Last but not least, stop me if you’ve heard this one…

The USA National team went down 3-1 to Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying. To some people this isn’t funny.

19
May
09

Transfer Tuesday

David Villa, Worth More than Ronaldo?

It’s probably the most ridiculous release clause of any contract, ever:  David Villa’s £130m release clause would make him worth two Ronaldos. A goal poacher, worth two Ronaldos? A goal poacher, worth an entire Newcastle United?

Yeah. It’s funny to me how this cat gets so much cred.

Arsenal have a player who has proven himself time and again as probably the best goal poacher in the history of the game and yet, he get’s short shrift from some Arsenal fans. Eduardo has 14 goals in 24 international matches giving him a ratio of.583 goals per game, Villa has 25 in 43 for a ratio of .581. In league play, Villa’s ratio for Valencia is .666 while at Dinamo Zagreb, Eduardo pulled in .7474.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, there are lies, damn lies and statistics, whatever. Eduardo is better than Villa and you cannot convince me otherwise.

The good news about this story is that at £130m Villa is so far beyond Arsenal’s means that maybe people can stop linking him to us. It’s not going to happen, ok?

Dog Fight Over Adebayor

This is the kind of transfer speculation that I like to report! The Daily Mail is reporting that AC Milan are now competing with Inter Milan for the signature of Arsenal’s want-away striker, Emannuel Adebayor.

Let’s hope this turns into a 4 dog race with AC Milan, Inter, Chelsea, and Man City all fighting over the scraps.

OH MY GOD THIS IS STILL DRAGGING ON

Peter Hill-Wood stirred the tempest in a tea pot today, criticizing the shareholders who he felt were disrespectful to Arsene Wenger duiring last week’s shareholder’s meeting.

Frankly, some of the questions were quite disgraceful. There you have the most successful manager in our history and two or three of the shareholders made the most negative and somewhat hostile and sarcastic comments, which I think were completely out of order.

Would everyone please grow up? Some people are going to be jerks, they are usually the loudest people in the room. Ignore them. Most supporters are adults and while we might criticize the club and the manager in private we would be respectful in person. People who can’t be respectful in person? Not adults.

At the same time, you’re an adult too, you need to accept the criticism, answer it, and move on with your life. When we hear that “Wenger has £30m to spend on a single player if he wants” and then he signs Silvestre for half a million, there’s a huge disconnect.  If we think that our club is going to get a big name in and the boss re-assures us all summer that he’s looking at two “big” signings and specifies defense and midfield and then we get Silvestre, it makes us wonder what the hell just happened?

It would be like telling your wife, in front of all your friends, that you have £150k to spend on a new car for Christmas. You go on to explain that you’re thinking of getting a car that gets good mileage and has a strong record of reliability, and it’s fast and sexy. They would start thinking about maybe a BMW or at least an Acura and get all excited. Then come Christmas morning you show up with a used Suburban, that has a huge Man U sticker on the trunk: it gets terrible mileage, it’s got all kinds of reliability problems, and it only cost £500.

Your wife and friends would think you’re nuts.

Some people, real jerks, are going to be snarky and call Silvestre a used Suburban other people will ask

Arsene, you and the club categorically stated all summer that you had £30m to spend on two “big” signings and specifically targeted defense as an area that needed improvement. Yet, the only defensive signing was Silvestre. What can you tell the supporters about what happened in the summer with transfers that led to signing Silvestre.

The question is valid either way, and unfortunately, remains unanswered.

Youth Attack

Arsene Wenger has heaped praise upon the Arsenal youth team ahead of their FA Youth cup match against Liverpool, saying that several of the players could start featuring in the first team as soon as next year.

They will be like a new signing.

Meanwhile, Traore, who we know for sure is returning from his season long loan at Pompey, scored his first ever league goal last night. Yay.

Alonso Watch

I’ve made no bones about wanting Xavi Alonso at Arsenal, so you’ll have to indulge me in reporting that it’s looking less likely every day.  Real Madrid are mooting a £21m offer, via the press of course, which is £3m more than Arsenal reportedly refused to offer last year. I have to say that £21m seems a fair price after this season’s performance, even if it means that Arsenal have been priced out of the market.

Future England Number One Watch

Current England Number One, David ‘Insano’ James has thrown England into a “keeper krisis” by having surgery.

YES

This is the perfect opportunity for Manuel Almunia to step in and claim the spot for himself. Go for it Manny.

One Last Bolded Headline

See you tomorrow!

17
May
09

Women Drivers, Giant Skivers, and War chest Connivers

Adebayor just wanted to Upgrade to a bigger contract WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ADEBAYOR ANYMORE???

Badge kisser.

Back in August, during a meaningless Arsenal v. Real Madrid match, following on the heels of a summer of seemingly schizophrenic interviews by Arsenal’s then 30 goal scoring target man, Adebayor scored a meaningless goal and promptly ran over to the fans and kissed the badge. Of course, they booed him.

At the time, linked above, I wrote that Adebayor was acting like a jilted lover.  I really thought that the big fella just wanted to be loved. He didn’t get why Arsenal fans would boo him after last summer; in his mind he loved us, he was just doing what he needed to do to get an upgrade to his contract, and now that he’d bagged Beyonce he wanted us back. The thing he didn’t understand is that a lot of Arsenal fans would never forgive him for sleeping around.

And now, he gives an interview that in essence expresses how much he’s hurt that the fans that loved him no longer love him.

I bet it hurts.

I know a lot of people who supported Ade even after the summer debacle only to watch him slowly go downhill all season, put in lazy performances, and slowly erode any fanbase that he might have once had. Like the jilted lover, he just kept spiraling down, deeper into his shell, and became more and more listless. This in turn engendered more and more ire from the fans, and has culminated in the insane interview above.

Like I’ve said before, I was there when Ade scored his first ever home goal, back in March 2006 and so I’ve always felt a bit of a special connection to Adebayor. But if his relationship with Arsenal fans was complicated before, given the interview above, the season we just witnessed, and last summer’s transfer saga, he has managed to simplify that relationship and I doubt there are many left in his fan club.

I know he has one less in me.

Damn Women Drivers

There’s a bit of a bombshell over at The Mail where Martin Samuel interviewed Andrei Arshavin and he.. uh… said some stuff. No, I don’t mean his clear adoration of Barcelona. Nor do I mean his opinion that Arsenal need to buy two players, everyone says that. I mean his disgusting and Neanderthal views on women.

I would never give driving lessons to women. We need to build new roads for them. Why? Because you never know what to expect from a woman on the road. If you see a car behaving weirdly, swerving and doing strange things, before you see the driver you know it is a woman. It is always a woman.

I mean come on! Everyone knows that it’s not always a woman, it’s always a woman ON A CELL PHONE.

(I’m kidding, I love women… to do the dishes, to clean up my room… I’M KIDDING, I REALLY DO LOVE WOMEN.)

How much is in the war chest? As much as Arsene wants.

You will see a lot of stories about how much, or how little, money Arsenal have to spend this summer. I suggest you ignore them all, and just let Arsene handle it, because Arsenal have plenty of money, if they want to spend it. The stories about how Arsenal are skint are nothing more than a vain attempt to sell papers.

Ive been over this ground before but since it seems to come up in every thread I thought I might just remind everyone about the official Arsenal financial reports.  Read them for yourself, start with the 2008 report linked above and work your way back. You will see that Arsenal are basically a profit making machine, earning roughly £30m a year (AFTER tax) every year for the last three (since the new stadium). This annual profitability has left them with a £93m cash reserve.

Now, add in that the half-yearly financials that were released this spring, which showed a £24m pre-tax profit. And add in the fact that Arsenal made it to the semi-final of one of the most profitable Champions League campaigns ever, and the semi-final of the FA cup and I suspect that profits will break the £40m mark this year.

It’s astonishing really.

That money is the reason the board insisted that they don’t care if they miss the Champions League. That money is the reason that Usmanov’s bull about owners paying down the debt is a ruse.

Money is there, and after we sell Adebayor for £10m (that’s a joke, kids) there will be more than enough to buy some big, unheard-of, defender and another central midfielder.

So, can we put this tired story about Arsenal being skint to bed? And could someone please restart the Xavi Alonso to Arsenal rumor?  I like that story.

01
May
09

Friday Pre(i)sser

Bit of a different format today, owing to the deluge of news that always happens on a Friday so let’s get stuck in, shall we?

Injury Update

Eduardo and Silvestre are both out for Saturday. Dudu is being rumored to be out for the rest of the season with his  groin strain while Silvestre will be a late test for Tuesday. I had wondered why Eduardo was such a late sub on Wednesday and I think now it’s clear: he’s never really been fully fit since ‘recovering’ from Martin Taylor’s horrific tackle. And that makes sense. He needs time to get the tendons and muscles back into shape. More rehab, more light practice, rest, recovery, etc. I don’t know a single Gunner who isn’t proud of the courage that Dudu has shown this year and would gladly wait to see him fully fit at the start of next year. Get better Eduardo, we’ll wait.

Robin van Persie is another who’s going to have a late fitness test to see if he can play on Tuesday.  Either way, I doubt he’ll start and instead will need to reprise the super-sub role he played against Cardiff. I know, Man U are not Cardiff, but I mean get a goal, like he did against Cardiff.

Gallas and Rosicky remain out for the season, and the boss is now saying Clichy will be out for three weeks as well. That basically means that Arsenal are without Eduardo, Clichy, Gallas, and Rosicky for the rest of the season.

Fabregate

Cesc has spoken out about the FA charges against him saying that if he should be suspended then 8 others who came on the pitch should be similarly suspended. The FA responded by basically saying, it’s not that you came on the pitch it’s how you acted.

With that said, I am now confident that Fabregas will get a 3 match ban here, the same amount that Martin Taylor got for intentionally breaking Eduardo’s leg.

Because those two things are equivalent.

Maybe next time he should come out and break a player’s leg. At least then he’d deserve the ban.

Transfer News? In April?

The papers are all reporting that Wenger will sell Adebayor and buy Roque Santa Cruz.  The selling point in this story?

Wenger has been an admirer of the 27-year-old for some time. He had Santa Cruz scouted and is particularly impressed by the player’s work-rate after studying his ProZone statistics.

Well, Wenger is a lover of hard work, how do you think Bendtner keeps getting a shot?

Speak of the Devil

Bendtner is featured in this week’s free video on the dot com. A word of warning: clicking that link caused my browser (Firefox) to crash. Actually, that’s about what I’d expect, even Bendtner’s videos suck.

Almunia for England

And finally, the big story of the day is that Fabio Capello would not rule out Almunia should he get an English passport when he becomes eligible in July.  Legally and morally, I don’t see how he could exclude him.

First off, my name is Tim. I’m an American, and I’m a Gooner. I’ve been a Gooner now for 10 years. I’ve seen matches at Highbury and the Emirates and I fly every year to see my beloved Arsenal. I also support France in world competitions, rather than the U.S. team, because, well, because I want to. And so I think I have a bit of a unique perspective on this Almunia situation.

Whether Almunia wants to become an English citizen or not is about choices and not about birthplace. That’s just the way the world is today. The old days of nationalism are dying slowly and people now have more freedom than ever before to choose the country they want to naturalize in. Personally, I’d like to see it be even more open. I have never understood why capital could move freely from one country to another but people were restrained by quaint old notions of borders. So, if Almunia wants to become an English citizen and renounce his eligibility to play for Spain, knowing the stick he’s going to get from xenophobes and nationalists, then I say more power to him.

Moreover, the old notions of “identity” that surrounded certain things, like being a Gooner meant that you were probably from North London, have changed radically as well. Now, you have millions of Americans, Indians, Chinese, Africans, and Spanish devoted to following English teams and thus the identity of English clubs are no longer associated with place. When you have millions of Africans wearing Liverpool shirts and identifying with Steven Gerrard it both takes a bit away from that old identity as “scouser” and adds something new to their identity. Again, you can wring your hands about this, you can jump on the Platini xenophobe bandwagon, and you can scream about how your identity is being taken over by Yanks and the Africans. But unless you are willing to stop broadcasting English games around the globe and shrink the English game back into something provincial and small (something that will never win a world championship) then you’re going to have to deal with the fact that football is a global sport with a global following. And that means that clubs now have global identities. And more radically, that national teams now have global identities.

Other countries have already accepted this change and I have no doubt that Croatian fans love their Brazilian born striker.  It’s time for England to let go of the old, small way of looking at football and join the modern world. And time for fans to embrace their future England Number 1; Manuel Almunia.

Tomorrow’s Match

Right, so that’s it for today. Tomorrow’s match kicks off at 7am (PST) is being broadcast on FSC. I’ll try to do a quick update before kickoff and then do a liveblog of the match. If you’re into that sort of thing, join us here at about 6:30.

See you then!




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