Delusions, Illusions & Transfer Gossip
Swansea and Reading bring the domestic season to its’ conclusion at Old Trafford. The closeness of Reading to home gives them the edge as far as I’m concerned although it has been some years since Arsenal encountered Swansea. The last meetings took place in the second season of three points for a win in 1982/83 which shows how long ago it was. As long as both sides follow the shared ethos of Blackpool and West Brom in playing football, they will be a welcome addition to the Premier League. Otherwise it will be a waste of Birmingham’s relegation…
Dominating the headlines are comments by Edwin van der Sar. He believes that Manchester United are closer to beating Barcelona than previously. The delusion – better than any held by Arsenal supporters – comes from the United defence holding out for more than twenty minutes on Saturday.
Arsenal are a bit part player in football at the moment, the imminent arrival of the transfer window will see that change when Arsène swings into action, all of the new signings arriving at The Emirates by the end of this week. See, delusional….
Ricky Alvarez’s move to the club is in doubt, shooting from outside of the area is not the Arsenal way (thanks to @DearArsenal for that one). Highlighting the quietness of news this weekend is Andrey Arshavin thinking he will be stay at Arsenal. It’s a tale given credibility by including a recent quote and having three paragraphs on the website.
Were it not for the Fifa Ethics Committee growing one out of the required set, it would be a quiet day. A full pair they do not possess because that would have meant recommending that the Presidential Rubber Stamp, sorry, Election being held this , be cancelled.
Blatter, unsurprisingly, came out smelling of roses. He assured that outcome last week when he told the world of a failed attempt to bribe him some years ago, one where his honesty shone through. Add into that mix the brazen corruption of his accuser and it just looked like it was a ‘tit for tat‘ complaint.
As it is, suspending Hamman and Warner from any involvement with football, pending the outcome of the full investigation, is a step in the right direction. In the latter’s case, the sound you can hear is the stable door swinging in the wind; that horse bolted years ago and nobody in power cared then. What reason to believe they do now?
And it may have escaped the powers-that-be’s notice but the 2022 World Cup is to be held in Qatar. Unless they rescind the decision, who says crime does not pay?
That all of the accusations came from a longstanding ally of Blatter leaves a lingering smell about this investigation. Previous accusations of vote-rigging have long stained his Presidency and that sums up his legacy. When history judges his reign at Fifa, it will show he presided over rampant commercialisation, greed and distancing of the professional game from the supporters. The World Cup is at the centre of that with ticket prices that beggared belief until Uefa’s recent Champions League pricing policies became evident.
Dick Pound suggests that withdrawing from Fifa if that organisation refuses to reform. The main problem with this solution is that incompetence is not unique to the world game’s ruling body. For years the Football Association, Football League and Premier League have shown utter disregard for the national game. Would letting them loose on the world stage actually improve anything?