Posts Tagged ‘FIFA hates Arsenal


FIFA Feels Left Out of “Boot in Mouth” Week

A hoof, a shoe, and a leg... Things that Sepp Blatter puts in his mouth

I love it when Sepp Blatter gives interviews because every time he opens his mouth he proves beyond a reasonable doubt that he is a complete twat. This week (so far, he could still have a few things up his sleeves!) he made the shocking observation that football teams in England try to make money.

Whoa there Sepp, are you sure? I mean, either English teams are in debt up to their eyeballs and on the verge of collapse like you said last month or they are trying to make money by bringing in foreign talent and kicking English talent to the curb.You can’t have both!

Which is it? Actually, I don’t think he knows which of the two options are the right one and he’s just flailing around looking for anything to criticize England for because he’s a xenophobe and probably in the pocket of the Spanish and Italian giants of world football. You know, the clubs who supposedly eschew profits for the sake of playing beautiful football with 27 home grown players under rainbows and alongside unicorns.

Either that or this is yet another criticism that’s directed at Arsenal and only Arsenal. In his little quote he mentions two things that make me think this is him taking a swipe just at Arsenal: profitability and having only “one or two English players.” In my opinion, Sepp Blatter has an unhealthy obsessession with Arsenal. To the point where I have to wonder if he isn’t suffering from Neurosyphillis. All over the continent, racist fans and thugs are running wild and all King Sepp of Syphillis can focus on is how many Englishmen are in Arsenal’s first team. It’s really is bizarre behaviour and unbecoming of a man in his position.

Saying that the clubs in England are in it for the profits is pretty much the weakest argument I’ve ever seen from Blatter — and he’s had some real doozy’s. No, this is typical stuff from Blatter, he’s just thrashing around looking for some reason to hate on Arsenal football. You know it’s obvious when Richard Scudamore calls him out.

The only other story today that’s crazier than Sepp Blatter’s insane proclamation is the story that AC Milan is going to bid £35m for Adebayor. It might as well be £135m for all the likelihood that Arsenal will command that type of fee for the Togonator.

£35m would be an insane fee for any player in this economic climate, but £35m for Adebayor at a time when speculation is rampant that the Rossoneri are going to be cutting salaries 30% is, well, that’s Sepp Blatter insane.

Not to mention that in his current form I couldn’t see a team (except Tottenham) paying £16m for the player, much less a record transfer fee like £35m. And if you throw in the £15m for Clichy, that bring’s AC Milan’s total Arsenal haul to £50m! £50m, at a time when they are making cuts? I don’t understand how these fake stories get made up much less printed by “respectable” newspapers.

Anyway, £50m is a fun number to dream about. You know what Wenger could do with £50m? He could totally pay off some of the debt for the Highbury redevelopment scheme and still have some money left over for a couple of 16 year olds named Emmanuel!

That’s what.

See you lot tomorrow, when Sepp Blatter announces that English teams have too many Alsacian coaches and it’s effecting the English National team’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup.


UEFA Insane Proclaimation #1 Welcomes us to International Week

Big Platini is Watching You

For those of you who follow my Google Reader shares (link there on the left to my page and an RSS Feed on the right of the blog) you’ll already know that we’ve got a lot of stupidity to get through today. But before we get to the stupidity, I just want to say that if you want to follow my shares on Google Reader you can either subscribe to the RSS feed or if you’re already a Google Reader and want to be friends (so we can comment together) you’ll need to send me an email (bostelle | gmail) and then we’ll need to chat. Stupid I know, but once we’re sharing together it’s actually a lot of fun and for my money more relevant than getting “I’M POOOPIN” updates off twitter.

Ok, where did I put the stupidity???

Oh yeah here it is: one of the main things I despise about the international break(s) is the sheer number of times Arsenal players are shipped off to play against some micro-country and come back in pieces. These weeks ahead hold great promise for us to suffer horrible, season ending injuries to players who are currently being held together with duct tape. No player exemplifies this worry more than Emmanuel Adebayor.

Today, the Togo manager is promising to use Ade, despite the fact that he hasn’t played since he suffered a hammy tear in February. Now, I know a lot of you will straight dismiss this story because you feel like “we don’t need Ade” but you’d be 100% wrong. We need every player on this Arsenal team in order to win a trophy and we especially need Adebayor in the Champions League where his size and speed pose problems for European squads and he always seems to step up his game (3 goals and 2 assists in just 3 CL appearances this season). Like it or not, we need Adebayor 100% healthy and not pulling a hammy for Togo.

Similarly, Eduardo’s Croatian manager is saying the Dudu is “perfect” and “showing no sign of injury” which indicates to me that he’s going to play the living crap out of him over this next week and a half.

Yeah, he’s perfectly healthy if you don’t count the fact that he’s been in and out of the Arsenal lineup with niggling little injuries picked up every time he plays because he was sidelined for a year. While I share his enthusiasm for having Dudu back, I’d rather see Eduardo used sparingly over this international break so that he could be available to win something for the club which pays his salary.

And then, of course, there’s Andrei Arshavin. Who’s agent described him as “60% fit” which I would also describe him as.. erm… fit as. Given that level of fitness, every Arsenal supporter is holding their breath hoping that Chelsea/Russia coach Guus Hiddink uses Arshavin in a responsible manner and that he is returned to us safe and healthy for the run in.

Of course, not everyone is off on international doodie and that makes them very sad. Sad enough to contemplate getting a passport for a country they weren’t born in and praying for a call up. You know, I think Alumina should get the English passport. Not so that he can get an England call up (which he might, given that he’s probably the best “English” keeper in the world right now) but so that he could count in Arsenal’s 6+5 scheme. Just in case that xenophobic, protectionist, and racist idea is passed. Think about it, we’d get to say “Hey now, Arsenal have TWO English players in their first team, the same number as Uber English Liverpool.” That would be nice, wouldn’t it?

But the big story, the one we’ve all been waiting for, is “what insane ideas will come out of UEFA/FIFA during the international break?” And, of course, they don’t let us down do they?

This month we have “Let’s do an American style salary cap based on, of all things, BASEBALL, despite the fact that it would be impossible to manage and ignoring the fact that baseball’s salary cap is the laughing stock of world sport.” Luxury tax… yeah, that hasn’t stopped New York and Boston from having payrolls that are the shame of the world.

But let’s think about this for a second. Either a club would have to adhere to the salary cap (LOL) OR a club’s supporters would be attending games at great personal expense and at least a portion of that expense would be going to some club like, say, Blackburn.

This idea is so mind-numbingly stupid and untenable that the only conceivable reason why they would announce it is because they need to make it look like they are doing something. So, they travel to America, talk to a few people, pick a plan that could never possibly work, come back, and wait until international week to announce that they are looking into implementing it.

Frankly, this plan has as much chance of happening as the 6+5 rule, or me giving a shiat if Amaury Bischoff leaves for one of the, literally, hundreds of clubs who want to buy him. Which is to say, 0%.

Hey, at least with this proclamation out of the way we can officially say that the International Break has well and truly started. Because it’s not an international break without a retarded idea coming out of FIFA/UEFA.


Torres in, Nasri out, Dein in and shake it all about

According to the Mail, Arsenal are going after Torres. Their headline screams “Torres flattered by Chelsea and Arsenal interest but his heart is with Liverpool.” HAHAHAHA That deal will never happen. Not in a million years. Not under Wenger where he can buy 3 Torres’ for the price that Liverpool would want. Regardless, if you read the article he just throws Arsenal in in an offhand way. So there really isn’t a story here except as yet another example of the way the press is searching for any and every story possible to connect with Arsenal.

Who could blame them? They have to get tired of running the same “Nasri deal not done” story over and over. I know I am.

Return of the Dein

Why anyone would ask David Dein anything about football matters I haven’t a clue, but they did. Or he held a press conference and inexplicably people showed up, I’m not sure. Either way, it’s being reported that the disgraced former Arsenal vice chair had something to say about the 6+5 rule: he’s against it. I’m surprised he didn’t find a way to say “Arsenal need funds from outside to compete in the new 6+5 world.” There’s nothing new here, except that somehow Dein got an interview.

6+5 = a six pack of drunks

Harry Redknapp is sick of English players. After four of his young English players (who didn’t even play) got soused on the bus ride home from the FA Cup win over Cardiff, Harry had a go at all English youth:

It’s a culture thing, you get these 16- year-olds who think they have cracked it and aren’t prepared to work and improve and put the hours in. You don’t get that with the foreign lads. I have gone up to youngsters in the morning after a big European match and asked a kid if he had watched it. Nine times out of 10 he will say ‘No’. I’ll ask him why? I’ll say to him: ‘You should have been watching Ronaldo or some other of the great players’. He won’t have an answer. They want the money, they want the fame and I suppose they think it is simply going to happen for them. But it won’t. What chance has a kid who is as disinterested as that got? None.

So, according to Harry Redknapp English youth are lazy, drunken, and unnecessarily arrogant. I wonder why there aren’t more English players in the Premier League? It couldn’t have anything to do with this “culture thing” could it? Naw, clearly just a rules change is in order. The EPL needs to go back to 1994 when only one team got into the Champions League final, the players were all drunks, the best players were left off the pitch because there was a quota, and the English team lost.  That’s what’s really important.

Oh yeah, and England didn’t qualify for the World Cup.



Furious backpedaling

Blatter Channels Someone With a Brain

Just about the moment the ink had dried on published reports that FIFA had passed the 6+5 rule the backpedaling began. First, it was revealed that that the FA, who had previously said they wouldn’t support the quotas rule, had actually voted for the rule. Or had they? It turns out that what FIFA really passed was just an agreement to look into the 6+5 rule because everyone knows that hard caps or quotas are against the law.

Well, everyone except Sepp Blatter.

Speaking about it is illegal? For whom? For when? If there is a law, a law can be amended. I have already a meeting planned with the speaker of the European Parliament on 5 June in Brussels, as he said, to explore now the ways [forward]

What he’s revealing here is that he knows it’s illegal but what he wants to do is change the EU labor law to exclude football and football players. That’s the only way his plan would be legal. What’s interesting is that the UEFA plan to force teams to have more “homegrown” players — the rule is currently that you must have at least two young men who came through your academy e.g. Fabregas — looks like it has legs. We’ll have to see.

For now, I think the whole affair is kind of comical. From the idea that Man U’s Champions League team fit the bill to the whole “we’re just examining this!!!” backpedaling, I can’t help but laugh. Just think about the idea that Man U fielded “6” Englishmen. Blatter has stated that Welsh, Scottish, and N. Irish players WOULDN’T count because they have their own leagues but a Canadian like Hargreaves counts because Canada doesn’t have a league? It’s just one of many many funny questions that need to be answered.

I love this article about how Man U’s 1994 Champions League final was ruined by the old quota system. Imagine if Cantona had not been suspended. I guess they would have had to put another second-string Englishman in. Even funnier, to me, is that there was a hard quota system in place and if you remember, England failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup. Clearly what they needed was more Englishmen in the top flight.

Robin van Persie is doing some backpedaling of his own. After he made a remark about how Arsenal need to open the coffers to keep their best players, it’s now been revealed that Mr. 55 (that’s how many games he’s started in 4 years at Arsenal) is renegotiating his contract. Now that it’s been revealed he’s in negotiations he says his remarks were “not about the money” he says, he just “wants to keep the team together.” Whatever Robin. I just hope Arsenal include an injury clause in any contact with him.

And finally, on the injury front, Eduardo’s leg that broke itself is healing itself extra fast and he might even be available for training in late July. Good for him, I’m sure Wenger will bring him along at exactly the right pace. No word on whether Martin Taylor has recovered from his horrific psychic injuries but I trust ESPN Soccernet is on the case, after all they broke the story that Taylor was backed to recover from the Eduardo Tackle.

That’s it for today… unless you want to know what kind of quota system is in place for Netball. Personally, I’m going to start checking passports at the local pickleball tournament. We can’t have any of those Norwegians taking over our beloved pickleball!


Now they’ve gone and done it

That outfit is a straight red card

Yesterday, FIFA’s congress officially thumbed their noses at the European Union and voted overwhelmingly to adopt Sepp Blatter’s 6+5 proposal. Over the next 4 years, FIFA plans to mandate that football clubs have an increasing quota of national players that start any given match. Starting in 2010, barring any legal challenge, teams will be required to field at least 4 national players. This number will rise each year until 2012 when all teams in all countries will be required to field 6 national players.

There’s no word on what will happen to teams that fail to adhere to the 6+5 rule, after all this is just “exploratory” according to FA chief Brian Barwick. Also, there are already signs that the plan will fail immediately upon legal challenge with EU spokesman John MacDonald saying

If they were to implement the ‘six plus five rule’ in Europe what would happen is any professional football player who feels aggrieved by the rule would be able to take the football club concerned to court and he would probably win the case.

Interesting that the player would take the club to court, after all it’s not really the club that is forcing the rule. So, again there are a lot of unknowns about how this whole thing will play out, who will be suing who, and what FIFA will use to punish teams that violate the rule.

Another aspect which hasn’t been worked out is exactly what will be defined as a “national player.” Sepp Blatter is suggesting that players like Owen Hargreaves might count toward the quota. He said that Man U filled the rule when they fielded 6 players for the Champions League final. Technically, this is true. Hargreaves was born in Canada but due to the Act of Union is eligible for English citizenship and thus the English national team.

There’s no word on whether naturalized players like Arsenal’s Manuel Almunia might be eligible but I suspect he will; judging by the Hargreaves comment, it looks like just having the proper passport is the only qualification. Almunia will receive his British passport in December and as long as he never responds to a call up from Spain, would be eligible to play for England. And of course, in Britain, Welsh, British, Scottish, Canadian, Australian, and Northern Ireland (among others) are eligible to hold a British passport. France, as well, has a ton of African countries where the citizens can claim a French passport. Right now, I can’t see any way for FIFA to further discriminate and force teams to only pick people who have a genetic heritage linked to some piece of soil but given Blatter’s current position I have no doubt that proposal is forthcoming.

For my regular readers you know how I feel about this proposal: basically it’s a Nationalistic quota based affirmative action program. This proposal will not do anything that Blatter thinks it will. First, it will not bring up the level of English players, even Steve McClaren (who is an unabashed nationalist) sees that

People are trying to change (the percentage of English players) through legislation, through quotas. I can see that concept but the main one I’m concerned about is improving our players and improving our coaches because if you do that you’ve got a long-term plan.

He’s 100% correct here. If you really want to make English players better, you have to make English coaches better. They are the ones who teach players like Martin Taylor that hard tackles and heart are more important than technique. Not at Arsenal: at Arsenal kids are taught technique first and tactics second. Is there any wonder why Arsenal’s academy has turned out more skilled English players than any other academy?

But overhauling the culture of English football is a difficult fix. Playing on fan’s nationalism and introducing a hard quota is easy. You get the fans behind the idea, it’s easy to manage (punish teams who don’t fit the quota), and it’s easy to implement.

Another lie bandied about is that the proposal will help small clubs. HA!  It won’t make teams like Arsenal and Man U less dominating because they have the capital and academic infrastructure to weather the coming storm.

English players, who already command a hefty premium, are about to get a whole lot more expensive, it’s simple economics. If the rules are that a team must field 6 players with the correct passports then teams like Arsenal will pay for those passports. So, instead of signing a player like Samir Nasri they would sign Bentley or Shawn Wright Phillips. Instead of Adebayor, they’d get Crouch. Football fans know immediately when I name these names what would happen to the lower clubs.

In the 6+5 system, players like Crouch go from being decent players who might go to Portsmouth to being valuable players. Big clubs like Arsenal, clubs with 60,000 seat arenas and Champions League football, will be able to lure players like Crouch with the promise of a big salary… if they could prise him away from Liverpool, who would be desperate to keep an English player of Crouch’s “quality.” So, instead of leveling the playing field, the 6+5 rule would concentrate talent even further into the hands of the big four. Because the big lie here is that there’s some huge hidden pool of English talent who would get a start if only they were given a chance.

The other reason why English talent would concentrate in the hands of the big four is because their academies are head and shoulders better than others. You only need to look at all the Englishmen who currently play in the Premiership who have come through Arsenal’s academy to see what would happen. Instead of letting a player like Bentley go he’d be starting at Arsenal or if they did sell him, it would be for a huge sum certainly out of the reach of a team like Blackburn.

In the end, I’m not opposed to the proposal because I think it’s going to hurt the Arsenal. I oppose the proposal because it’s illegal, discriminatory, based in Nationalism, and it won’t achieve anything that they suggest that it will. In short, it’s the perfect plan for a small minded man like Sepp Blatter. Let’s hope that it’s challenged and overturned immediately.

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May 2020