After a rather a lengthy hiatus Sunday headlines is back. What better time than the International break to catch up on interesting stories from around the globe.
Zeph Thomas: St Kitts international football to call centre in five months
For most young players, an international call up is confirmation. You’ve made it. That wasn’t the case for St Kitts international Zeph Thomas. After working his way into a possible first team selection for Scottish club Cowedenbeath, Thomas left for the Caribbean. Thomas qualified for eligibility through his grandfather and went to play for St Kitts in the qualifying round of the Caribbean Cup. When he got back his career as a footballer was left in flux.
“Upon his return to Scotland he found himself out of favour. He picked up a groin injury and was released by the team, nicknamed Blue Brazil, in January. Blue is probably the operative word to sum up Thomas’s mood since. He has been working for bookmakers William Hill in a Rotherham call centre while trying to find a way to continue his football career.”
As someone who worked in a call centre I can attest to their ability to destroy souls. Add in the fact that Thomas was a professional footballer before and that makes it even worse. Thomas awaits the results of an MRI scan, which will determine whether his career as a footballer is over.
Van Persie: I’d settle for the double
Robin Van Persie set a goal and failed to achieve it. For the rest of us that happens on a weekly basis. Not so much for the prolific Dutch striker. Speaking with the Daily Mirror, Van Persie revealed he wanted to win the treble in his first season with Manchester United. “I wanted the Premier League, the Champions League and the FA Cup.” He’ll have to settle for for two. That wasn’t the high point the interview however. Van Persie is hopeful United can seal the league title at home against Manchester City or at Arsenal. For Gooners still unable to forgive and forget that has to hurt. That wasn’t even the worst part. RVP was targeted by Ferguson as a youth at Feyenoord. The scout sent to watch him saw Van Persie get sent off.
“Sir Alex mentioned that to me when I arrived at United. He felt I was not yet ready for a move to a big English club all those years ago – and he was right. I said to the boss ‘you were right then, but I am ready now.”
Ummm, what? Arsenal was a big club when he got there. He was ready a few years ago, when he was playing for a big club and getting hurt all the time.
Multinational Watford look to top flight and a solid financial future
Led by manager Gianfranco Zola, Watford are closing in on a trip to the Premiership thanks to revolutionary management ideas–at least in England– introduced by their new owners. The Pozzo family, who also own Udinese and Granada, bought the club last June, and implemented the system that has made the Zebrette modest powers in Italy. Currently Watford has 14 players on loan, nine from Udinese alone. Critics argue they’ve used a loophole in the rules to their advantage. Clubs are limited to having five loan players on their matchday squad of 18. Since players on loan from other countries have to sign until the end of the season, they are considered permanent transfers.
“Fielding so many loanees has created the impression that the famous old Hornets have become a subsidiary training operation for Udinese, peopled by a temporary squad. Most outspoken has been the Crystal Palace manager, Ian Holloway, who described what is happening at Watford as “ludicrous”.
The Pozzo family has worked wonders with Granada, who were in financial trouble when they bought the club in 2009, and dealt with Udinese’s loan problems. Watford now have a £9m budget for football, including wages. David Conn’s article is superb, read it.
Fickle England fans only harm themselves
Over at ESPN FC, Mark Payne says Rio Ferdinand deserves credit for even speaking to the FA and Roy Hodgson. At his age Rio can’t play in every game, at least not if his team wants to win –that’s the argument made by the defense, anyways. I agree with Payne, however. The vilification of Ferdinand is extremely over the top. Doing television work in the Middle East means nothing. Stop acting like idiots.
Boris Berezovsky’s last interview: ‘There is no point in life’
The death of Boris Berezovsky, a man who had various ties to football, continues to spur suspicion. A man who once found himself in Vladimir Putin’s inner circle lived out his final days in England suffering from severe depression. Friends of the former Oligarch continue to suggest Berezovsky may have been the victim of a hit. Those some friends claim his life was destroyed by losing a £3 billion legal action against Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. In his last recorded interview, Berezovsky didn’t sound like a happy man.
“I’ve lost the point… there is no point [or meaning] in my life. I don’t want to be involved in politics. I don’t know what to do. I’m 67 years old. And I don’t know what I should do from now on.”
Whether we find out what really happened yesterday remains to be seen. Stay tuned.