How even the Chinese football revolution became a chance to knock Arsenal

By Tony Attwood

The story of football in China really is something to behold.  It goes like this:

The Chinese government realised a while back that most sports at which the Chinese excel are individual sports like table tennis, rather than team sports like football.   But they realised that for the economy of China to develop further and further they needed to promote team work and team spirit.  So they decided to invest in football.  Big time.

The idea was that by encouraging football they would not only improve the co-operative outlook of their countrymen and women, but also the lives of everyone in the country.

So every school now plays football.   But this is not like we do it in England with an FA that pretends to promote youth football, but actually is so negligent that even Sport England loses patience and removes its funding.

No, China goes for it big time – and then starts making clubs pay additional taxes for all foreign players in the teams.

But now, here is a new development. Because Tyias Browning of Everton, who played for the England under 21s has become Jiang Guangtai – a Chinese citizen.   And there is Nico Yennaris who played for Arsenal under 23s and is now a Chinese citizen known as Li Ke who recently played for China against  Guam.

Of course such matters by and large are ignored by the national press, not least because there are very few areas in which they can criticise Arsenal within such an article.   And if there is no Arsenal knocking to be had, then it is not much of an article.

Except the Guardian did manage to find a way, as they discovered that Nico Yennaris played in a game against Everton under 23 at London Colney some years ago, and Arsenal beat Everton 4-1.   And they have found (or at least alleged for I have not bothered to go through the records since they don’t give us the exact date) Shkodran Mustafi was in the Everton defence, and apparently the goals against were all his fault.

So there we are, even the development of Chinese football can be found as a way of knocking Arsenal.

But it could be something else.   For the FA is funded by the British government, and the British government pays lip service to the notion that the FA should be supporting young players, providing pitches that are fit for purpose, providing all-weather grounds, and overall encouraging youngsters to get active.

But are they?  No, there is no evidence that they are doing that at all.

And this is where a campaigning newspaper like the Guardian, a paper with a strong social conscience in most matters, could really start to develop a theme, blaming the FA for its grotesque failure at developing grassroots facility, and calling it to account.

But they don’t.  Indeed when Untold broke the story about how Sport England was withdrawing funding from the FA for youth football because it had not been spending the money it had been given on new facilities for young players, the Guardian didn’t even cover that story at all.

Why is this?  Why sneak in silly little comments about Mustafi when the key issue is the failure of the FA to spend money granted to it on community facilities?

One can only wonder.  But one thing is clear.  If there is a chance to knock Arsenal, then that opportunity overrides everything else, no matter how important.

7 Replies to “How even the Chinese football revolution became a chance to knock Arsenal”

  1. It is somehow unnatural for these British born players to become Chinese, just like a lot of countries now, especially with deliberate change of names. It’s like dog inter breedings for sports. I’ve seen similar unethical trends in Japan for many years.

  2. Nico has a Chinese mum didn’t look into the Brazilian player nor the Everton player.
    Mustafi was at Everton in 2012 according to Wiki.

    I wonder if China making these investments is to do with Wenger saying during a pre-season that they do not have the infrastructure to produce a Messi like player at least once.

  3. OT Arsenal Women v Slavia Prague

    Game starts in 50 minutes (or so).

    XI: Peyraud-Magnin, Beattie, Williamson, van de Donk, Nobbs, Little, Miedema, Waelti, McCabe, Evans, Mead

    Beach: Zinsberger, Veje, Mitchell, Roord, Quinn, Fills


  4. OT Arsenal Women v Slavia Prague

    It’s half time in the womens game. Miedema with the hat trick in the first half, and McCabe picking up a yellow between the second and third goals.

    LiveScore doesn’t have commentary or statistics: UEFA has both. We had 12 shots in the first half, with 5 on target and 3 goals. We committed 4 fouls for 1 card, and they committed 98 fouls for 0 cards.


  5. OT Arsenal Women v Slavia Prague

    It’s at 51m in the womens game.

    Mead with the first assist. Two minutes later, Miedema got her second, assist to McCabe. Thirteen minutes later is Miedema’s third, assist to van de Donk.

    It would appear that Arsenal are enjoying most of the possession, but I didn’t see a stat on that.

    And might as well keep things going, Miedema gets her fourth of the game at 52m, assist to Mead.

    At 54m, Slavia Prague pick up their first yellow.


  6. OT Arsenal Women v Slavia Prague

    It’s in 2 minutes of extra time in the womens game.

    Little scored a penalty in the 58th minute (after Slavia picked up their second yellow. The foul on Little for the penalty was what that second yellow was issued for. At 71m Slavia scored, and then the Little fouler scored at 88m.

    It looks like Slavia had more possession in the scond half. We ended the game having taken 19 shots, of which 8 were on target. They ended with 12 shots of which 6 were on target.

    Congratulations Gunners!

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