The Lead

“Closing down, closing down! It’s the end-of-century sale. Everything must go! Modernity is over (without ever having happened), the orgy is over, the party is over – the sales are starting.” – Jean Baudrillard

Thierry Henry not going to Arsenal! Pato going to Corinthians! Boca Juniors gaga for Gago!

And here we go. Fantasy pools hang in the balance. Verbs that may not really be verbs ready themselves for a month of steady abuse, old chestnuts like ‘linked,’ ‘eyed,’ and ‘targeted.’ Mark “Lawro” Lawrenson further abuses the BBC’s credibility and gets out his bag of hoary observations about what clubs apparently “need” in January. Arsenal, for example, require “More characters as much as more quality.” Aston Villa apparently have “To sell Darren Bent and add some nous and know-how” (I’m just going in alphabetical order here; they’re all equally terrible). Remember aspiring football careerists: Lawro earns more money than most performance analysts and advanced technical scouts.

It’s a kind of mass-marketed sporting hucksterism that holds a football club is only several transfers away from utopian bliss, particularly in January. Arsenal scored about four hundred goals before crashing into the median that was Southampton’s 1-1 draw on New Year’s Day, an unhappy aberration timed perfectly with the news that octogenarian Thierry Henry would not be flying over for another winter vacation.

But is this hand-wringing over Arsenal’s January plans warranted? The Guardian feebly diagnoses that Arsenal need “A striker, particularly as Wenger will lose Gervinho to the Africa Cup of Nations,” which is curious as the Ivory Coast forward is snuggled in between Spanish midfielders Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta in the scoring table.

But people love this shit so newspapers will shovel it. And so will we of course. News down below. Happy New Year!


Manchester City won’t know the severity of Sergio Aguero’s injury until the end of the week.

“You’d have to be a real dope to mess it up with [the likes of] Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Frank Lampard.” -Harry Redknapp on managing Chelsea

Wenger confirms Henry won’t join Arsenal on loan.

Torres may see the bench more often if Benitez opts to bring in another striker.

AVB interested in signing Brazilian duo.


Pato one step away from Milan exit.

Inter defender Zanetti says turning 40 won’t stop him from playing.

La Liga

Pepe possibly sidelined till February.

Luka Modric confident he’ll improve despite being voted as La Liga’s worst signing.

Frank Rijkaard says adaptation is the key to beat Barcelona.


Chelsea’s Marko Marin rules out return to Bundesliga.

The year that was in German football. Here are the country’s most unforgettable soccer moments.

Bit and Bobs

Age hasn’t diminished Zidane’s scoring touch.

Matt Phil Carver argues 2013 could be the year to end homophobia in football.

Lionel Messi in Japanese face wash commercial.