Is there football on today?
Yes! Basically all the good fixtures too, so have fun flipping around endlessly this afternoon, or at least watching somehow watching six hours worth of football in one day.
Amazing! With all kick offs at 2:45 PM EST, we’ve got Olympique Marseille vs Arsenal, Napoli vs Dortmund, Atletico Madrid vs Zenit, Milan vs Celtic, and finally the extraordinary meeting of football philosophies that is Barcelona vs Ajax.
What’s the conventionally agreed upon big story today?
Before I link to anything, please watch this interview with Wayne Rooney, taken shortly after the Man United striker scored his 200th goal for the club, in a Champions League match at Old Trafford against Bayer Leverkusen:
So you noticed he got a little testy when asked the same question twice right? He was asked if he was happy at the club, he mentioned something about being delighted to be back in form, the reporter asked again as if he didn’t already basically say yes, and he got briefly annoyed before moving on like a pro.
Is there any interesting news today?
We’re stuck in that tiny wedge of reviews and previews of the Champions League, so not much has come through.
Except! Liverpool’s Phillipe Coutinho is injured, and will be out until October.
AND Manchester United have released their earnings report, and it’s pretty great!
Elsewhere, British Prime Minister David Cameron has come out in support of Spurs fans and their use of the world “Yids” and “Yiddos” to describe themselves:
The FA released a statement last week strongly restating its belief that the term “Yid” should not be used in any context at a football ground and warning that its use could amount to a criminal offence that would leave fans at risk of being banned and prosecuted.
The FA’s stance was backed by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Community Security Trust, which represents Jewish interests, but Cameron said Spurs fans – who argue that they are reclaiming the word from those who use it to insult them – should not be punished for doing so.
“You have to think of the mens rea. There’s a difference between Spurs fans self-describing themselves as Yids and someone calling someone a Yid as an insult,” Cameron told the Jewish Chronicle.
“You have to be motivated by hate. Hate speech should be prosecuted – but only when it’s motivated by hate.”
Well, I’m not sure about this. There is a lot of casual racism that follows Cameron’s mens rea definition that’s still pretty offensive, like the Angry Kagawa Twitter account, written in Pidgin English and rife with references to eating dogs and cats. I’m not sure that the historical appropriation of an offensive epithet by well-meaning supporters can be so easily cordoned off. But that’s another debate for another time…
Woah, that got serious. Can you tell me where to find all the results and amazing goals from last night?
Oh you. All the results here. And goals…my goodness. Where to begin?
Here’s Ronaldo stripping the life out of Galatasaray:
And here’s Robin van Persie volleying in like a maniac:
And a wonderful curling effort from Simon Rolfes against United, and Yaya Toure hitting one against Viktoria Plzen, and an insane RvP miss…phew! There were other good goals too…but come on.
BONUS: a great welcome video from Borussia Dortmund to the rest of their group:
Any good reads?
Always! We have Daniel Story on the short termism that is par for the course in English football, Jonathan Wilson on Barcelona, Ajax and the birth of possession football in 1872, and Simon Gleave on Ajax’s chances at progressing in the Champions League [Dutch].