Saturday April 15th 2005. Arsenal played Blackburn in the semi-final of the FA Cup at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. I was there.
In a shockingly dire first half I noticed that Blackburn were using a tactic I had never seen before. Blackburn were taking it in turn to kick the Arsenal players. Many of the awful fouls got a free kick, but none got a yellow card for the perpetrator.
What’s more, it clearly was organised and systematic. One player came up to whoever had the ball, and delivered a swift kick to the ankles. Then the next and the next.
And it was effective. Not only was no one getting booked, the tactics disrupted the game, and ruffled Arsenal. You could see the Arsenal players looking at each other and the ref. I doubt that they had ever experienced anything like it.
I named the tactic “rotational fouling” and left it at that. But soon after I noticed other clubs picking up the idea. Over the coming months I added the phrases “focused fouling” (rotational fouling of one particular player) and “rotational time wasting” which seemed a favourite of Bolton.
Now I notice the Lord Wenger using the phrase “rotational fouling” to describe the Porto tactics, and I thought, had I actually invented a phrase that our Great Leader now uses?
I have just wasted an hour or to checking this out on Google, and to my amazement and pleasure, I find that the phrase is starting to take hold, although no recorded uses pre-date mine. I have found articles in places as diverse as the BBC website, The Times, The Guardian, the Irish Times, Sporting Life and even Le Grove, all saying “rotational fouling”, and all dated in the last year or two.
So, I am thinking, maybe I have registered the phrase, making it Rotational FoulingTM for now and Rotational Fouling ® later on.
But then I had another thought (this is Sunday evening after all, and there’s bugger-all on TV).
I would not in any way claim that Untold was the first every place to comment on the financial turmoil in football, but I do think we are one of the very first sites (if not the first) to say that the crazed situation was because of the eccentric behaviour of certain people.
Indeed I have made the point that all of Arry Headcase’s ex-clubs are in the soup – West Porno (as they now are), Southampton, and Portsmouth. We have all wished him well at the Tiny Totts.
Last Friday, Mr Headcase spoke to the gentlemen of the press about the plight of Portsmouth, but denied that player wages were to blame!!!
That’s curious, I thought. Why would he say such a thing?
Well, what he did not mention, but what others are starting to talk about, is the bonus culture at the club and the high wages of the bosses – who are (one might say, given the state of the clubs) incompetent. Peter Storrie for example earns 1.4m a year.
OK that’s a lot of money for a man who is driving such a wrecked operation – but what about these bonuses?
The word is that Mr Headcase is thought by people with access to far more sources than me, to have been given £1m for winning the Cup, with the players getting £250,000 per man for beating Cardiff City.
In other words because of contracts (which if not negoitated by Arry were approved by him) which gave the players mega bonuses, the club has no chance at all of clearing any debts – because they are still paying past bonuses to players who have been transferred.
Clever or what?
Kanu is 42, Obafemi Martins is 32. Jay-Jay Okocha is 43, Taribo West is 57.
This is according to Nigerian blogs – and Nigeria who are in the FIFA World Domination Through Economic Disaster Cup Finals have got rid of their coach as a result.
It is not a totally new story…
Fifa banned Nigeria from internationals in the last century for not paying bribes to officials, no sorry, for changing the birth dates of players so they could play in the Olym – hey we can destroy countries economically even faster than FIFA – pics.
It seems that just as I win the Nigerian lottery five times a day and have 13 ancestors who have died and left me billions of dollars (not forgetting those awfully nice God-fearing ladies who want my help in getting petro dollars out of the place), so it is possible to change your name, age, etc, and pick up a new passport within half an hour – for about $10.
The last under 17s world cup (held in Nigeria) were so disastrous, that Fifa itself has had to loan Nigeria $3 million to pay the bills. (And Nigeria is an oil rich country, remember). That world cup fiasco had the hosts suddenly getting rid of 15 members of its squad of 22 after Fifa said they had a magic box that could tell a man’s age by looking at his wrist.
Sorry, but when the world gets this weird, I can’t make up anything weirder.
The England captain we signed from Kettering Town.
English football heads for disaster
Magritte and the Champions League
Why did Arsenal move to Highbury, and not somewhere else?
The Porto Free Kick – the Ref’s point of view
Arsenal in 1910 – the complete story in the most wonderful book about Arsenal ever written by anyone, ever, honest, I am not kidding you.
Thanks for reading…
(c) Tony Attwood 2010
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