By Billy the Dog McGraw
Editor in chief, and Prince of the market gardners.
Obviously to be able to write Untold, as we do, those of us involved in this site read the press, watch TV and watch the games, as well as take the occasional drink.
But it has become our habit to gather from time to time (de temps en temps as they say in the Arsenal dressing room) at the Depths of Despair, a well known watering hole in Wapping Swamp, to discuss great matters of the day, question who had the unpronounceable liqueur and argue about the bar bill.
After all, there’s no way we are going to be able to interview the likes of Alan Pardew or the awfully funny chaps who run Chelsea and Tottenham (well at least not since that last unfortunate incident with Tony, the beagle, Mr Redknapp and the jaffa cake.) We can’t even get an interview at Man City ever since I addressed their Great Leader as “Your Sheikness,” and asked him if he would consider paying the British taxpayers back for the cost of building the stadium.
But generally I think we’ve all taken it that neither the media nor those who work in football clubs would be bothered with reading the likes of us. We do get a lot of hits on the site (just under half a million hits a month at the last count) but we are way outside the mainstream when it comes to commentating on football.
And yet, and yet, then I read a piece that said that Alan Pardew had woken up to the fact that if Chelsea win the Champs League and come fifth, the fourth placed team in the league goes into the Europa (that’s the competition that Man C and Man U set alight this season) rather than the Champs.
Now that, you may recall, was a story that Untold ran a few weeks ago. Of course I am sure other places ran it too – although I don’t recall seeing too many of them. If I had, I wouldn’t have written it – we are after all, “Untold”.
But now Mr Pardew is getting interested in the prospect. Did he read us? Or someone who wrote a piece who copied us? I dunno, and it doesn’t matter, but it did give Mr Pardew a chance to make one of his quotes:
“Chelsea haven’t won it yet,” said Pardew (according to the Guardian). So now we know.
Meanwhile, people are talking about referees quite a lot, as you will have noticed. And where is the home of referee talk? Well, here. Roberto Mancini said recently “the rules are not the same for everyone,” which is pretty much what we have been saying for 3 years, and about which for three years supporters of other clubs have been telling us that we only say this when we lose, and that we don’t have proof.
He also said, “When I was in Italy I always thought here there were the best referees. My idea has changed, probably.”
Which was somewhat more coherent than the ramble of Kenny Dalglish recently – although to be fair that is probably because Mancini speaks better English than Dalglish.
But some good is emerging in that people are talking in the media about the fact that Mr Wenger was fined by Uefa double the amount Porto was fined. Mr Wenger was fined for questioning the referee. Porto for the monkey chants of their supporters. Time was when Uefa was not a subject for ridicule and debate. No more it seems, and maybe we can take a tiny bit of credit for that. (I always wanted to have a chant before each Champs League match to the tune of the conga which went, “Let’s laugh at Uefa, Let’s laugh at Uefa, da da da da, da da da da.)