Archive for the 'Ministry of Preposterous Pronouncements' Category

11
Feb
09

Let’s give a red card to the internationals

Lampard should see red every game

Of all the problems plaguing modern football the biggest, and the first that I would change, is international football. No more World Cup, no more Euro Cup, no more Under 19, Under 16, Under 3, nationalistic pointlessness, I’d get rid of it all. It just seems like a holdover from when Europeans used to kill each other over a line in the forest somewhere. For example, there’s an Andorran national team. A country the size of the city I live in, with half the population is fielding a national team in all of these competitions. And what are they playing for? Andorran pride? What’s that some kind of veiled racism or pathetic nationalism?

More than any spectacular football, the international breaks signal a chance for horrible people like Michel Platini to bleat on about quotas, for fans to display their racism, for football associations to propose preposterous rules changes, for players to give interviews, to watch some really crappy football, and for the specter of injuries to raise it’s ugly head.

Yes, the internationals, what a great idea. Let’s whip people into a nationalistic fervor over a pointless game so that players and associations like UEFA can have a platform to change the game I love while extracting the very last Euro out of the average fan’s wallet.

As the links above show, this break is no different than any other. We start off with the FA’s announcement that they are looking into a “homegrown” quota system. Basically, it takes Platini’s horribly racist idea of forcing clubs to check passports before they field a team and waters it down by allowing  teams to simply follow the current quota rules for Champions League qualification. Which is to say that no matter where you were born as long as you were educated at the club, you count as “homegrown.” Actually, I’m fine with this, mostly because I think it will shut Platini and the English nationalists up about Arsenal’s academy.

These homegrown plans always make me wonder why UEFA and FIFA and the FA refuse to deal with problems like Spanish racism before they start worrying about the passports of players on a club like Arsenal? I’ll tell you why! Because the line between the nationalism they are peddling in the guise of “International Football” and outright racism is more permeable than the Maginot line. You need look no further than the fact that a club like Zenit can openly discriminate against blacks and still be allowed to play in UEFA tournaments or a national team like Spain has so many openly racist supporters that the English team needs 500 cops to protect them from the Spanish supporters to see that there’s a serious problem brewing here. How can those organizations let those teams play unless the reality is that they need those racist fans? Surely not every Spanish fan is racist but a large enough number are that these organizations have to play this balancing act between nationalism and racism.

From “homegrown” quotas we move on to the Irish FA recommending a “sin-bin” for yellow carded players. I understand where this comes from because in a sense it is unfair that a player who gets a fifth yellow is suspended for the next game but there’s just two minor drawbacks to the sin bin idea; the referees seem to have a problem getting calls right, and the referees seem to have a problem getting the calls right. Now I know that technically those two are the same thing, but they seem important enough to mention twice.

On the face of it, it seems like a good idea, like if there was a sin bin maybe Bolton wouldn’t be as quick to tackle. But the problem is that you only need to look at the last game against Bolton to see what would happen: Arsenal got as many yellows as Bolton did! The sin bin idea isn’t going to stop a team like Bolton from kicking Arsenal off the pitch because the refs let teams like Bolton get away with more before they get a yellow.  No, it won’t make the game better, it would just give as all another reason to bitch about the refs.

Not to be outdone by the executives in charge of the game, players too use the international break as a soapbox on which they can give their opinion — and for us Arsenal fans that usually means some disgruntled (former) employee. This time it was the exception that proves the rule and Gilberto gave a very respectful, thoughtful, and even-handed interview about Arsenal’s struggles since he left. Just one quote from the interview should remind us all what we loved about Gio: he was a selfless, hard working, respectful player who did everything asked of him out of love for the club.

It’s a big period for Arsenal. Since I was there they haven’t experienced a situation like this. Now they are out of the Champions League places which is very uncomfortable but I’m sure they will pick up points and get back and qualify for the Champions League like we expect. They’ve got quality and a good manager, Arsène Wenger, will do a good job with them.

♬ Mister, we could use a man like Gilberto Silva again… ♬

And if you’re able to stomach all of that and sit down to actually watch a match, well then you’re likely to be treated to a display of football futility like the goal by Bischoff linked above. I’ll concede that you might catch a beautiful goal or two, I guess Robinho had one yesterday against Italy, and you might even get a good match every once in a while, but the vast majority of these matches are just dross. No one, not players, managers, fans, no one on earth wants to see the Malta first team play; much less their U21 (yes, they have a U21).

Given all that, I say down with the internationals! Instead, let’s give hard working footballers a week off and let them travel to Malta to enjoy the sandy beaches without the added pressure of giving an interview, or having the ignominy of being booted out of some pointless tournament at the hands of the mighty Maltese FA.

What am I saying? They’ll never give up on these tournaments. There’s too much money to be made off the suckers who watch them.

Advertisements
31
Jan
09

If the house is burning Song will put it out.

I can't watch

If I ask you ‘what does it mean if your house burns down?’ you will tell me ‘why should my house burn down?’ That is exactly the same for me. — Arsene Wenger on why losing 4th place isn’t a big deal.

I would say it was an incredible presser, but in a season of eye-popping incredulity it was not just simply incredible, it was a ludicrous presser. He actually stunned the press with that statement above and for good reason. Here is a man who has been at the top of everything he’s ever done, brushing off the obvious threat of Aston Villa with a statement that defies logic.

If someone asks me “What does it mean if your house burns down” I respond with “Well hopefully everyone gets out, which is why I have fully functioning smoke alarms in many rooms, and once everyone gets out, I call my insurance agent and make a claim. That’s why we have insurance.”

Insurance.

The one thing Wenger forgot to sign up for this summer while he was hemming and hawing over signing a broken Man U center half and a child king from Wales.

But worse, it’s not a question of IF the house should burn down, it’s a question of “Hey dude, your house, I think it’s on fire. There’s a ton of smoke coming out of the kitchen.” and Wenger saying “Hmm… I don’t think so, besides, the timbers are very good they need some time to mature and they will be able to withstand a little fire. Plus that smoke is probably just William.”

“Well, ok, but where there’s smoke…”

I’m all for standing by your team and that’s no doubt what he’s doing — he could hardly come out in January and say “well, yes, that Summer transfer window was a huge mistake, we took a major gamble on Song and Diaby and they turned out to be just a little bit shit, didn’t they?” slap, huzzah, guffaw — but when the house is 2/3 burning don’t bullshit us all and say that everything is ok.

Especially when the facts all indicate that you know that everything wasn’t all right. Why else would they bid for Alonso? There is no more damning evidence that even Wenger himself knew this was a huge gamble than Arsenal’s failed summer bid for Xavi Alonso. I mean, he made a bid for a central midfielder back when we had Cesc, Theo, Diaby, Denilson, Nasri, Eboue (remember how he played in the center of the park? THAT WAS A HOOT!) and Song was still playing center back.

I find it more likely that he’s passed the rule over a few players in this transfer window, he did admit that they made inquiries, and found either the price too steep or the player not interested. So, he’s making shit up now. Too bad he’s such a poor story teller.

He also made denials about whether we’re on the verge of signing Arshavin from Champion racists Zenit but then said that supposedly we’ll know if Arshavin is signing for Arsenal here in just a few minutes (it’s nearly kickoff of the Arsenal v. Wet Ham match). I can’t wait for this whole transfer window to be closed. Just so that I don’t have to hear another preposterous proclamation fall out of Wenger’s mouth.

Match report tomorrow, see you then, unless you’re with me at Doyle’s today! In which case I’ll see you then.

Double check your smoke detectors will ya?

23
Oct
08

The Ministry of Preposterous Pronouncements

Good morning Kickers, it’s Thursday and apart from some UFIA Cup matches between some of the worst teams in Europe there’s nothing going on. No injury news (thank the Gods), no team news, nothing, just a bunch of footballers who’ve had their say after this week’s action. Given all that I thought I’d try a new column, an occasional column about all the bat-shit insane things that footballers say and believe. Thus, today’s blog is the first ever installment of the “Ministry of Preposterous Pronouncements.”

First up is Arsenal’s future England number one, who, coming off a game in which he let in two goals and was lucky not to let in more, is quoted as saying that the match against Fenerbahce “seemed like a training game” and, he went on “Personally I had a strange feeling, everything seemed much easier than normal in the Champions League.” Maybe this is the lesson he’s learning from that new age book “The Secret:” no matter what happens, stay insanely positive!

My loyal reader knows that I couldn’t possibly write a Ministry of Preposterous Pronouncements and not include something from both David Bentley and Joey Barton, so…

Fresh off a 74 day stay in the Crossbar hotel for brutally beating a stranger on the streets of Liverpool while drunk, ready to make an appearance after serving his 6 match ban for brutally beating his teammate while sober, and 10 months without a drink, Joey Barton is ready to “be a shining beacon for kids who have been in trouble like myself.” Frankly, the repentant Joey was doing just fine until he started talking about being a light unto the world. He was saying all the right things, he seems to be apologetic, truly remorseful for what he’s done, but then he starts talking about how he’s special and he can reach the unreachables because he’s a common thug and the Beckham’s and the Owens’ aren’t. Please, Joey, it was at least partially your ego that got you into this trouble, that would be one of the first things I’d work on if I was you. Trust me, as an American, I know a thing or two about an over-inflated sense of self.

Meanwhile over at Spurs, the once cock-sure David Bentley is suddenly, erm, unsure of what he or any of his teammates are doing.

It’s been shocking. It’s been difficult, especially for me. I wasn’t enjoying it. We’ve not been together; we didn’t know where people were running, what people were doing. But I think we’re slowly starting to get settled.

I love that he’s able to turn Spurs’ team tragedy into an opus on him. You know, all the losing and suckage, it’s been hard on the fans and all, but it’s been real hard on him. He’s not enjoying this period.  I wonder if he is still looking forward to the North London derby in two weeks?

But not to be outdone by one of his brace of overrated Englishmen, Spuds chairman Levy is set to unveil his cunning new plan: fire Comolli and build the biggest stadium in the Coca-Cola Championship! You really think 60,000 people are going to show up to watch your team crash and burn every week? Are there 60,000 people who love to watch a team fail to qualify for Europe and blame it on the lasagna?

Actually, I take it back, more power to them, build a 100,000 seat arena you’ll need it when you finally spring your fiendish plot to “break into the top four.”

Ok, well, see that was an easy blog. I’ll have to take people’s quotes and paste them on here more often!

See you tomorrow.




RSS My Google Reader

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Flickr Photos

Twits

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Arsenal Community

Arsenal News

Arsenal News

e-soccer
July 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
Advertisements