By Tony Attwood
There are no secrets in football any more. Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin are having a little break from the rigours, and Gaël Clichy has hurt his back – everyone knows. Henri Lansbury has gone on a short term loan to Norwich (a small island just off the western coast of Ireland), and otherwise it is business as usual.
There’s a lovely way the papers report injured players too – try this for size…
Manuel Almunia (elbow), Thomas Vermaelen (achilles) and Abou Diaby (ankle). Succinct but lacking a certain literary quality I feel. Would it not be more informative (or at least more enjoyable to the readership) to say,
Almunia (a little tickle somewhere above the wrist, which is irritating, but nothing to write home about), Vermaelen (the old back of the foot stuff, just above the heel – a pesky thing done while playing for Belgium), Diaby (a twinge above the foot just where people like to kick you – not nice but part of the game it seems and those stupid refs won’t do anything about it and it’s doing my head – and foot – in).
Aaron Ramsey must be ready soon to trot around a bit, but there’s no sign of his yet. Since I believe he is Cesc II it would be nice to see him before Xmas.
Here’s another thing from the papers… “The England defender Kieran Gibbs looks set to start, while the striker Nicklas Bendtner returns to contention after his groin problems.”
Why not, “Gibbs will play”. What does “set to” mean anyway? Manchester United are “set to” make a 50 trillion pound offer for a Bulgarian anchovy…”
(Sorry, got carried away there – I like anchovies, but not enough to write about them in a serious football blog).
Anyway, this leaves us with the old 1-4-2-1-3 formation. (Well, yes, I included the goalkeeper, because I felt sorry for him always being left out).
Gibbs, Koscielny, Squillaci, Sagna,
Rosicky, Walcott, Bendtner,
Sitting looking at the scenery so elegantly described by Walter in his previous piece, we would therefore find… Szczesny, Denílson, Djourou, Eboué, Chamakh, Vela, Fábregas, JET, Eastmond.
If this were to be remotely like the team to play in the economic land of “Anything-Ireland-Can-Do-We-Can-Do-Better” then the key point is whether you stick Bendtner down the middle, or Walcott. Personally I would have them both playing both positions – although perhaps not simultaneously. Regular swap overs would do.
Meanwhile, there is other news. Not big news, but other news of a newsy kind of nature from the noisy part of Fulham.
It seems that having found themselves a rather good manager in Ancelotti the strange oligarchs from the region of the ‘Hel Sea in south west London are going to move him along.
Our russian friends are reported now to have paid £35.6m in compensation to staff for having contracts ended prematurely in the last four years alone. Removal of one Wilkins (Raymond) cost getting on for half a million on its own. Funny thing to do, when you are not buying players.
It is an interesting Jekyll and Hyde situation in that they are spending all this money on compensation, while pulling it in from selling old time has beens (around £70m over the same period).
In fact year on year they are now bringing in more money from sales than they are spending on buying – but they are still hampered by a very high wages bill. Must be something to do with this financial fair play thing that everyone is chatting about. Point is, if they are taking it this seriously, why isn’t Man IOU – or maybe that is what the restructuring of the PIK loan was about.
Funny old game.
- The Big 7 clubs, how much they spent and what good is it doing?
- What the media won’t tell you about football 5: Fifa lends money to Switzerland
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 4 – referee variations
- The final transfer rumours: 3 new names to make 66 players tipped for Arsenal
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 3 – referee home bias