The official story as presented by the major papers
“I’m surprised anyone who has played for England, captained England and played in games of this nature can be that critical,” he said. “This is the second time. My disappointment would be that I saw Gary Lineker play, I remember him captaining the team and playing some great games for England but I’m also pretty sure he played in some games when it wasn’t that easy and I don’t think every game he played for England was a total success.
“I try to placate most people but I’m afraid I’ve just seen a group of players missing seven first-team members beat Moldova 4-0 and come to Ukraine and draw 0-0. You can criticise us or praise us or do whatever you want to do but don’t think you’re going to put words into my mouth or get me agreeing with these opinions.
Cor! That will learn that BASTARD Lineker for using a single adjective in a Twitter @ reply which he quickly deleted!
What’s actually interesting today?
Surprisingly little. Mesut Ozil’s dad is pretty upset over quotes from Florentino Perez regarding Ozil’s alleged perpetual Bacchanalia while at Real Madrid, and has threatened to sue. Even though I’m willing to believe that the quotes were probably made up, which might be backed up by this:
Ozil's dad pretty angry [rightly I reckons] at Perez & ABC over recent leaked story. A story that seems to have disappeared from ABC site…
— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) September 12, 2013
Some controversy over the origin of supposed quotes from new Chelsea signing Willian in which he baldly claimed he signed for Chelsea because they are a better club than Spurs. Made up? Or mistranslation? YOU be the judge, or in the words of Willian, “I think Andre Villas-Boas is a giant walking turd and I wouldn’t care if White Hart Lane was burned to the ground.”
Giovanni Trapattoni’s departure from the Republic of Ireland job has raised some talk of Martin O’Neill taking over for him, but he’s from Norn Iron, which…probably means nothing? I don’t get how this works.
Mario Balotelli’s use of political clout in the Italian government’s fight against racism has been put on hold to give the AC Milan striker time to sleep. Basically a government minister held a meeting on the subject to which he was invited and he didn’t show. Which is important as governmental policy should not be written by the sleep-deprived.
Look! Here is vanity meeting vanity for the first time. I wonder if vanity wished vanity luck, or if there are seething undercurrents of petty jealousy among two grown men who are paid more money than most of us will see in a lifetime to accurately control the movements of a ball made in a factory somewhere.
The BBC reports that ticket prices have fallen slightly this year:
“It is good news for fans but it does come after a long period of incremental rises year on year,” Sports Minister Hugh Robertson told the BBC.
“The key thing is that it is replicated in years to come. I think clubs are beginning to understand what fans are going through and to adjust their prices accordingly.”
By “what fans are going through,” he means that clubs realize that demand increases with a drop in price, and that a price correction was likely needed.
Anything I should read today?
Yep. An interesting column from Michael Cox speculating on where various signings will fit in their respective teams. Eriksen’s role seems a little less certain. Whatever. Stupid modern football.
Many people assume that “Performance Analyst” means some guy who is a genius, who notices things like a glorified TV detective. But some seem to be just video editors. A look at what actually constitutes performance analysis from a guy who should know.
A lengthy and much-talked about post on how 3 points for a win may not have been the best rule change in the history of football. I don’t quite know what I think yet…but have a read.
And I missed this during all the transfer hullabaloo, but Kevin Kilbane has a marvelous article up from the end of the transfer window on how the process actually works from a player perspective. Intriguing and slightly alarming.