Tuesday, November 30, 2010

There Goes the Fear

This is about SPORT...

Good buddy Roger is frothing like a rabid clunge about last night's Panorama, which he believes has single handedly ruined England's chances of hosting the 2018 World Cup. I was one of the measly 141 people who signed the Facebook petition - something that left him even more incredulous than Panorama's exposé.

However, I refer him and many others to the following: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/nov/29/world-cup-fifa-panorama which among other things questions whether or not we really want the World Cup and shines a light on the fact that FIFA are essentially a bunch of corrupt cunts.

I don't think Panorama's programme was in the public interest; especially as they have a piss poor record of actually having factually accurate football stories (Just ask Alex Ferguson, 'Arry Rednapp, Kevin Bond and even Lord Coe) and it beggars belief that they could offer such flimsy reasons for killing off an already floundering bid. I think pretty much anyone who knows anything about football politics knows that FIFA and its European equivalent UEFA are run by a bunch of self-serving greedy gits; but having this kind of exposure isn't going to change it overnight. It isn't going to make the 18 or so FIFA voters untouched by these allegations opt to refrain from voting until the organisation is made more transparent.

Poor show by a one time pinnacle of political programme making, which seems to have sacrificed facts for a bit of sensationalism and the need to justify its existence by attracting lots more viewers.

***

It's not often I can have a smug grin on my face for getting a forecast totally wrong; but after England's brilliant display in the latter stages of the first Ashes test, I feel as though I'm entitled to.

Yes, I said continuously that we'd lose and we didn't. in fact we ended up on the front foot (cricketing term there ...) and go to Adelaide with momentum.

However, I still think we will lose this series and I will continue to think we'll lose it until we can't be beaten. So there.

***

If I see one more reference to the English Premier League's 'Big Four' being Manchester united, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool once more I am going to scream and scream until I vomit all over that hairy bloke Richard Keys.

The 'Big Four' are arguably now a Big 5 and that Big 5 does not include Liverpool. Yes, the Red Shite have a tradition; they've finished 2nd in recent years with a higher points tally than some teams win it with and they have won and been runners up in the Champions League, but thanks to one Fat Spanish Waiter they are now the equivalent to what Spurs and Man Citeh were a few years ago - also rans.

The Big 4 are: ManUre, Chelski, The Arse and Spurs, with Citeh an add on because of their vast resources. Citeh won't be included in that list until they finish in the top 4 and while they currently occupy that spot, they have played less than Spurs this season so far and against lesser opposition - even Juventus cannot be classed as a good side seeing as they are yet to actually win a Europa League match yet and are not in the top 5 in Serie A.

Spurs have slipped up against inferior sides, but they've also ripped Inter a new arsehole, come back from 4-0 down to run Inter to within an inch of their lives and qualified for the last 16 of a tournament that people said they'd be lucky to even get past the qualifying stages.

For all of Citeh's resources, they should be top; but they're not and the manager Roberto Mancini has not got the nous that 'Arry Rednapp has. He also doesn't have Gareth Bale. Spurs might not qualify for the Champions League next season, but if they don't they won't do it with style. They will be a constant threat to any team that comes to White Hart Lane; they have shook up the normally stagnant Champions League and even after losing to West Ham, Bolton, Wigan and ManUre so far this season are still only 6 points off the lead.

I've despaired over my team at times, but they make me proud to be a Spurs fan. We are that close to being contenders and while we have invested a lot of money, we're still one of the Top 10 most solvent football clubs in the world and the 18th richest. It doesn't matter how much money you invest in players, just so long as you show a profit at the end of it. This year was the first time in 22 years that Spurs showed a small loss - £6million. Man Citeh's balance sheet had a 9 figure loss - over £170million. If Abramovich had spent that much money on Chelski back in the early 2000s he would have expected the side not just to have won the league, but the FA and League Cups, the Champions League and probably the world Cup too...

***

Thanks to m'colleague and good friend One Ell, I rediscovered the joys of Rugby Union last year and feel quite giddy now. Apart from Warwickshire* - the only team I've ever supported in my lifetime - I've never followed a team that have bestrode their league in such a dominant fashion.

Last Friday, the Saints pummelled their closest rivals, London Irish, at Franklin's Gardens, without 6 internationals and of those 6 internationals most, if not all, of them are bloody good. The win put the team 8 points clear of the chasing pack and we're fast approaching the halfway stage of the season.

Admittedly, as an Association Football aficionado I struggle to comprehend the fact that the Saints can walk over the league and still not end up as champions, because of the play offs at the end of the season that allows the team who finish 4th to probably win the play off final and be crowned Premiership champions even if they end up being 20 points behind the 'winners' of the league.

What I struggle with the most is genuine rugby fans accepting this with little or no complaints. Can you imagine the football premiership's top 4 going into play offs and Spurs, limping into 4th place, 10 points behind 3rd and 30 points behind the winners having two cracking matches and walking away with the prize? I'd be happy, but ManUre, Chelski and Arse fans would be storming parliament...

***

Sitting here looking out of my window, I am glad that there isn't a world snowball throwing championship because if the two young lads who just walked past are anything to go by we'd lose to Namibia...

***

* Why Warwickshire? I've not mentioned this before have I? I think I might have... When I returned to the UK in 1969 after spending 6 years in Canada, we went to live in Daventry, which is out on the far west of Northants. Except, for some reason I thought Daventry was in Warwickshire. It might have had something to do with us always going to Rugby or driving out to Coventry or Leamington Spa; but when it came to picking sides in the bizarre game that is cricket, I went for Warks and at the time they were great - the likes of Denis Amis, Rohan Kanhai, Alvin Kallicharran, Derek Murray to name just a few. So when I discovered I lived in Northamptonshire and saw that their cricket team were a load of shit, I stuck with Warks.

2 comments:

  1. Yes, you have mentioned that before.

    I don't like that rugby league -- small "l" -- structure. It smells a bit American to me; why complicate a perfectly good league with a pointless elimination thing at the end? If you want the excitement of a knockout stage, just run a concurrent cup competition. You know, like in the other football.

    On the other hand, I suppose it's there to head off a Rangers/Celtic type situation where one or two teams dominate from the outset, by adding a bit of unpredictability to the final stages of the tournament.

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