Prison News, by Billy “the Dog” McGraw, our man on the inside.
If it’s not a funny old game it is at least a sometimes rather droll and occasionally annoying pastime.
Robin Van Persie (a man familiar with the inside of a Dutch prison) is reported as saying that not only does he want to see through his contract with Man U, but wants to sign a new contract which will take him to the age of Ryan Gigs.
It seems unlikely that anyone will agree to such a thing – as is widely recognised Ryan Giggs managed to get his longevity on the pitch in part by totally refusing to play any friendly games for his country. Judging by some comments on Untold a couple of years ago, this never went down very well in the Principality, and the re-writing of the Giggs history into that of a mythical man who always turned out for Little Wales no matter what, annoyed quite a few – although I don’t think he was ever put away for the offence).
Anyway RVP has always been the opposite – going off to the Netherlands to get injured at the drop of a court case, and then loafing around at his club doing bugger all for months on end. When he was fit for Arsenal he was excellent, but he was unfit a lot of the time, and unfitness (even Man U might realise) increases with age.
Then after that strange story, Tottenham lost at home to Benfica, and there was a spot of argybargy (as Radio 5 used to call it – whatever happens to all their funny old words once they are retired and now that Stuart Hall is quite rightly in prison), between the Tottenham manager and Jorge Jesus. Ah well, it is something to get excited about I suppose.
To be fair, I can recall (as I was there) when we lost to Benfica in extra time at Highbury in the European Cup, and it isn’t nice. Still, Tottenham will soon have another manager – just as Mr Wenger signs yet another extension to his contract (presumably his last, given his age). So with a new man at the helm next season all will be well at WHL – as we have so often seen in the past.
That also presumably means we will then hear more about the building of the new Tiny Totts stadium. A number of Tottenham supporters did write in and tell us that the funding was no problem as the money was coming from the owner, but I’m still not convinced.
Public funding for the project (not a criminal offence) was revealed on 30 October last year, and Tottenham’s last public pronouncement that I can find was on 6 November 2013 when Sainsbury’s opened a new store. (Honest). “All gone quiet over there” perhaps.
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Meanwhile the football authorities are squirming a bit in England now it is quite clear that the owner of Birmingham (now in prison in Hong Kong) had money laundering convictions before he took the club over, while paying quite a bit over the odds for the club (a common money laundering ploy). There is a squirming explanation emerging from the authorities about how Yeung was allowed to take over and the club with mega promises of dosh, only to end up in prison, but it doesn’t make convincing reading.
What used to be a fit and proper person’s control has always had more holes in it than something with lots of holes in (Massimo Cellino’s takeover at Leeds is another example) and I wonder why the authorities continue with it, since it doesn’t seem to prevent any problems at all. “English football is open for business – all crooks and con men welcome” would be a good notice.
Which reminds me (although of course there is no connection) that QPR have said they are very appy with Arry, while in Denmark Nic Bendtner freaked out and attacked a taxi, according to some reports. Well, I don’t know what to say.
Back with the crooks, Uli Hoeness at Bayern was duly sent to prison for fraud, Eric Cantona has been arrested and as we reported recently, Romania has locked up some of its past football headline makers.
Yet what of Arsenal? As Walter announced yesterday, we’re starting a new series on injuries – which seems a rather pointed topic at the moment as Ramsey’s return is delayed and Kim Kallstrom still maybe not fit for the spare chairs near the pushing and shoving zone at WHL.
The press had a lot of fun over Kallstrom while totally ignoring the fact that the deal Arsenal struck with Spartak M. is that they pay the wages until he is deemed fully fit. That actually was a very clever move by Arsenal – there is no way they can lose – but of course the press turned it into a nonsense.
The press, as was examined in detail in Blacksheep’s article yesterday, have now reached the point of saying that getting a hamstring injury is a humiliation – and that event now means that Mesut Özil is also out for Sunday against what are, I suppose we should say, the battling Tottenham Hotspur side.
Ramsey is now said to be possible for Swansea City on 25 March while Mesut could be back for the Cup semi-final. (Speaking of which when do we find out how to get tickets?)
Yaya Sanogo is also back and fit and quite possibly Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal will both be ok. Laurent Koscielny will play accordion.