Preparing for Man City who have made their worst start to the season since…

By Tony Attwood

So we are playing AFC Wimbledon at home in the next round of the cup – something that none of the media wanted to see (although the club’s website speaks of “draw delight”).  Not because they don’t like Wimbledon of course, but because it means Arsenal were not beaten by West Bromwich.  Oh how they would have adored that outcome.

But last night did remind us that if you take quite a few of the members of the first team out of the squad with injury and illness then, well, things don’t go so well.

I will be interesting to see if other clubs are able to get a match postponed because they have too many players down with covid; it was certainly denied to Arsenal.

Not that the threat of covid has affected anyone in football until yesterday – we’ll all remember the introduction of the Uefa variant through playing a game at Wembley stadium in some competition or other.

But now, having had enough of that nonsense the Premier League and Football League have each decided not to release players for the next round of internationals if the players have to be quarantined for ten days upon their return from Antarctica or wherever the next world cup matches are to be played.

The response of Fifa was of course to be expected.  They threatened the players with being banned for five days from the end of the international break.   Infantino also appealed to Boris Johnson to lift the quarantine regulations, on the grounds that an elected government has no power over a non-elected cartel.

In other words allowing players to come back in with an infection is better than calling off an international game.  That I think is the measure of Fifa these days.  According to the Guardian 60 players from 19 of the 20 Premier League clubs have been selected for matches in red-zone countries.  Spain is also taking similar action.

Infantino put out a statement saying, “I am calling on a show of solidarity from every member association, every league, and every club, to do what is both right and fair for the global game.  Many of the best players in the world compete in leagues in England and Spain, and we believe these countries also share the responsibility to preserve and protect the sporting integrity of competitions around the world.

“On the issue of quarantine in England, for players returning from red-list countries, I have written to Boris Johnson and appealed for the necessary support so players are not deprived of the opportunity of representing their countries.”

Infantino is of course meanwhile glowing in the success of his “great victory” which has meant that over $200m has been returned to Fifa and other governing bodies, following one of the many cases of fraud, bribery, racketeering and money laundering offences committed that has beset Fifa over the years.

“I am delighted to see that money which was illegally siphoned out of football is now coming back to be used for its proper purposes, as it should have been in the first place,” Infantino said.

This will almost certainly encourage Infantino to bring forward his African Super League adventure which the media in the UK have most assiduously been avoiding, while as we have just seen, compliantly running Fifa press releases concerning getting back some of the money that Fifa officials have removed for their personal use.

There’s not much doubt that Fifa’s agenda is to take over complete control of football, without all those pesky little organisations such as Uefa getting in the way all the time.  

Meanwhile back with the Arsenal, the media were forced to throw away their headlines about a further disaster last night, and instead will now wait for the weekend’s anticipated defeat by Manchester City at lunchtime on Saturday.

It was interesting though that Manchester City were not widely reported as having the worst start to a season, after defeats to Leicester in the Community Shield and Tottenham in the League.  Although to be fair did run the headline “Man City make worst start to a season since Hughes was sacked to make way for Mancini”   That was on 21 November 2020.   As you may recall Manchester City went on to win the league last season.

So maybe it is just a journalist thing.  But I wonder, do they ever run a “best start to the season” headline?   Mind you, that’s a bit tough I suppose since the unbeaten season put an end to all that.

The media’s take 

4 Replies to “Preparing for Man City who have made their worst start to the season since…”

  1. To me, as an average fan more invested in the club game, what FIFA does or doesn’t do is pretty irrelevant outside of tinkering with the laws of the game. I’ve recently heard Infantino described as even more corrupt than Blatter, which if true must make him a football gangster.

    It’s never failed to amaze me how disunited the club game is, or corrupt, because it must be a fairly simple exercise in cutting FIFA out of the equation altogether, I mean it’s not as if we need them and if the big leagues did that then the rest would come with us.

  2. Maybe Infantino is trying to establish a precedent before the World Cup comes around next year. Imagine building all those hotels for nothing.

  3. Imagine jumping up and down for your team when you know several thousand people – last February’s figure – have died in the construction of the stadiums. Come to Qatar and play on the skulls!

  4. HITC “writer” Danny Owen has an article about Amine Adli joining Leverkusen. In the article he states “according to Calciomercato, Adli was not exactly enamoured about putting pen to paper with an Arsenal side who missed out on European football for the first time in 25 years last season – long before the former France U18 international was even born.”

    I followed the link to the Calciomercato story, and they said no such thing, and I can’t work out how a former France U18 international wasn’t even born when Arsenal failed to qualify for Europe last season.

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