We just had the international week so time for a moan from some one about the build up of fixtures. If it isn’t Fergie or Wenger then it’s you know who!
One appreciates the need for the England team to keep its hand in so to speak but the timing of this particularly little kick about against Switzerland, plus other friendlies, couldn’t have been worse. With Champions League football about to start again the last thing we needed to find out was that Torres has done his hamstring whilst on duty for Spain. The way things have gone so far this season all one can do is shrug the shoulders and smile ruefully. There is also the issue of Mascherano who was playing on Mars or somewhere equally far away with Argentina and won’t be back to prepare properly for the Chelsea game, even though it’s on Sunday.
It’s seems that Torres will be out for ten days which makes him a doubt for the Inter fixture. Rafa, ever the optimist, and is confident that Dirk Kuyt can fill the void.
“He has been training really well for us and that is the kind of reaction you want from a player. Kuyt is a fantastic professional.”
Yes but will he score some goals? So far this season it’s been easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle!
Because of this Rafa’s complaints against the fixture build up have added meaning. But what can he and the other mangers do? Hopefully venting his spleen in this way has given him good therapy! Perhaps that’s why he does it, as he also complained about the new offside rule calling it a “mess”? Next, Rafa on Sharia law!
It’s ironic that on the very day Rafa had his gripe, the Premiership announced plans to include and extra game in the fixture list. This would bring the total games played in one season to 39. However, this extra game is different, it will be played abroad. Every game that week will be played in a different city across the globe so that, due to the time difference, the matches can appear on TV one after another.
I’m a little late in addressing this issue. Turn the back pages of any paper published over the last few days and you will see the pro and cons of this proposal listed. To me this is the latest dagger to the heart of the game and the sacrificial alter, as usual, is greed and money. Fixture rescheduling is one thing but to meddle with the list so that the established and, more importantly, fair tradition of playing everyone home and away, is skewed is just plain barmy and wholly unnecessary. What next? Dividing the game into quarters to get more commercial breaks in. How about sponsored throw ins or free kicks. Every time one is awarded a voice over pops up and drools.
“This free kick isn’t just any free kick it is a free kick sponsored by Marks and Spencer”
Everything about this plan stinks. It has no logic. In fact it is so repulsive so loathsome that one is reluctant to give it further space hoping that it if it is ignored long enough it will go away, which of course it probably won’t. It just makes me despair. Chairmen might be happy to take the extra money but this is taking the p*** with a capital P. It will never happen, will it? Who really wants to see us play Wigan in the Falkland Islands!!!!
Back tomorrow with a review of the Chelsea game.