Awkward Interlude Ends As Key Anfield Trip Comes Into View
International Week is over, thankfully, and we now wait to find out which National Association has successfully buggered up Arsène’s plans for Anfield. It doesn’t appear to have been the Dutch which in itself is probably as much a relief as anything.
Otherwise it was a good night to be an Arsenal loanee. Joel Campbell sank the Welsh in the Gary Speed Memorial match whilst Andrey Arshavin’s contribution to Russia’s win is going to have George scrabbling the internet for the video highlights. Henri Lansbury’s brace for the Under-21s will no doubt have a clamour building for him to be reinstated as a member of the first team squad ahead of whomever is deemed to be the flavour of the month in Deadwood City. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain completed the rout of their Belgian counterparts.
Were it not so predictable, it would beggar belief. Thomas Vermaelen managed to play all of Belgium’s meaningless friendly so he is either fully recovered from the weekend or entirely wasted for Saturday. Presumably it is the former. Surprisingly the Czech Republic refused to provide Tomas Rosicky with a Zimmer Frame for their friendly in Dublin.
By the looks of things weeks of such meaningless anguish will be reducing with the ECA and Uefa agreeing that international fixtures will reduce from 12 to 9 each season. This still requires agreement from Fifa who will no doubt try to kick back on it; preferrably with used £20 notes in a suitcase, left at the corner of Fifasträsse under the loose paving slab beneath the bin.
Recent comments by Herr Rummenigge and Don Rosell leave you in no doubt that letting the clubs run football will be the same as living the lyrics of Pete Townsend. The new boss is indeed the same as the old boss; for Karl-Heinz read Sepp, reducing fixtures is for the benefit of the players.
Sandro added a swift knee to the ECA knackers by admitting that less international fixtures allied with fewer teams in the top flights mean that the Champions League can be expanded to fit in some meaningless club friendlies to generate more money for clubs. Arsenal are testing this ground with a friendly in Beijing at the time the Olympics is on and when the Euro2012 combatants will be returning to training.
Please note that none of this is for the players benefit; fewer fixtures domestically means paycuts all round in Sandro’s Psychedelic World. It makes you wonder if Fifa and Uefa are really that bad after all.
The Football Association is to introduce a licencing system for all of the professional clubs, apparently keen to stop the self-fulfilling prophecy of financial obliteration in football clubs. Like Uefa’s FFP regulations, it is not so much a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted as closing it and finding that the horse in question was Shergar.
Almost as hard to find as the quondam nag is a successful Arsenal transfer that has happened through the back pages. It seems that one may be in the offing though although Lukas Podolski‘s contract is up for renegotiation so you have to wonder if an overly-active Mr20% has been talking to his buddies in the press too much. Even the profile of the signing is too convenient with the price likely to be lower due to the proximity of the contract’s cessation. It’s just too convenient. Mind you, with Arsenal’s record on negotiating transfers, it is probably wise to start now. Judging by how long it took to seal Thierry Henry’s loan for six weeks, we might just about see the German for the beginning of September…
Posted on March 1, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 129 Comments.