A better writer would spin these out into individual blog posts, but I don’t see one around here? Except possibly these guys =====>

Eat your lunch!

I’ll start with Gary Barry, as he is the Alpha and Omega of modern football, isn’t he? He’s not, no. So, The Independent writes the usual puff-piece about how a player wants to beat a team that they otherwise wouldn’t be expected to beat. The headline reads, “Gareth Barry wants Manchester City to shock Arsenal.”

This headline might have thrown you, because Arsenal are currently 6th in the table with 34 points, and Manchester City are second with 45 points. It certainly threw me. Until I read that “Gareth Barry is determined to ensure that Arsenal are shocked by more than just Mario Balotelli’s new hairstyle as Manchester City aim for a first league win away to the Gunners since 1975 this weekend.”

Barry, upon learning this utterly useless piece of information, he told his own website, “Football is like that sometimes but 37 years is extraordinary. Records like that are rare but are there to be broken.”

There are, as ever, some important caveats. First, Arsenal have been in the English top flight since 1919. Since 1975, when the club finished 16th, they have never finished lower than 13th place.


Meanwhile, Manchester City were relegated from the first division twice, in 1983 then again in 1987, returned to the top flight in 1989, then were relegated again in 1996. They won promotion, but then were relegated in 2001. Since their most recent slate of stability in 2002-03, MCFC have finished 9th, 16th, 8th, 15th, 14th, 9th, 10th, 5th, 3rd and 1st.

So, you know, considering all the missing seasons and generally being shite at football for ages, it’s a mighty big shock indeed that Manchester City haven’t beaten Arsenal away since 1975.

Enjoy the shameful joy, at least until you see your club in this list.

Let’s talk about Michael Laudrup talking about Michu. He said,

“I would never expect a new player to come in and score so many goals, but I can’t really say what expectation I had for Michu,” the Dane said.

Asked about enquiries for Michu, he added: “Well, to be honest, I’m not the one putting the price tag on him.

“We all know the situation – the general economic situation in the world – so there really aren’t that many clubs who can buy him.”

“There are some here (in England). In Spain there are only two and I think Barcelona and Real Madrid have enough players. Italy, I don’t think so. They’re trying to sell.

“Bayern Munich in Germany so really there is only few, few clubs and Michu likes it here.”

Here’s a riddle for you: if a player is so good that no club can afford to pay for him, does that not make him unsellable? And if he can’t be sold, doesn’t his potential transfer value diminish?

The spokesperson for the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association Paul Matz said these words:

“It’s not the first time that City have not sold their full allocation, and previously City were not a category A club, so ticket prices were only half the cost.

“City have got where they are by importing a sugar daddy, rather than through their own efforts, mirroring what happened at Chelsea a few years ago, so it’s bound to take a while before the level of their fan base catches up.”

Yeah, your sugar daddy helped, so don’t complain about paying Category A prices like the cool kids, oh by the way please lower ticket prices? Partisan football fans, ladies and gentlemen.

Simon Gleave Nate Silvers Manchester City’s title chances over here. Money quote: “Getting 89 or 90 points is almost certainly a bridge too far for Manchester City as only six clubs have taken 45 points from a sequence of 17 matches AT ANY TIME during a Premier League season over the last 12 years.”

Speaking of analytics, stay tuned for this. Should make for very interesting reading.

Mr. Fascist Salute says sportsmanship is over because a player did what Maradona did in 1986.