Writer: Tim Stillman
Date:Wednesday October 8 2008
With the outmoded, outdated and frankly uninteresting prospect of international football once again lugubriously darkening our doors, I thought I would construct a checklist of sorts for things to watch out for during another arcane two week hiatus. So grab your binoculars, avert your lubricious gaze from the bedroom window of that 19 year old girl who lives across your road and be vigilant for the following occurrences in what is bound to be an otherwise moribund fortnight.
Moronic comment from Blatini/ Platter- With their beloved international game back on the immediate agenda, expect Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber to rise from their crypt and explicate more of their ill informed, bile coated ideologue onto the already anaesthetised ears of the footballing world. Septic Bladder has got his turn in early and lambasted the common occurrence of billionaire ownership in the Premiership. Uncle Sepp was all bleeding heart concern and the paradigm of the weepy eyed romantic when he said, 'There are national laws in Switzerland, for example, when you buy property or make an investment, you must prove yourself,' he explained. 'You have to prove your link with the area.
'We must ask ourselves about what motivates these owners and are they really interested in the game or just making money?
'There must be better control of football's finances especially in the difficult climate we are facing. I urge Uefa to work with the EU to tighten up the rules; otherwise there will be big financial difficulties in the future.'
Sage advice for UEFA indeed. Of course Septic must have shelved his volumes of Coleridge and Wordsworth poetry when he pocketed €1.9bn in marketing revenues for the 2006 World Cup, including €1.08bn for the sale of TV rights and €120m to cover new media rights. He must have been temporarily inebriated by Oliver Stone`s 1988 masterpiece Wall Street during that same tournament, because in a coup that would have made Gordon Gekko`s braces twinge with delight, he also trousered a cool €700m through sponsorship and hospitality, with ticket sales alone bringing in around €250m. Bladder maintained his concerns with billionaires tangible links to football when he sanctioned Avaya, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Continental, Deutsche Telekom, Emirates, Fujifilm, Gillette, Hyundai, MasterCard, McDonald's, Philips, Toshiba and Yahoo to sponsor the same tournament, all local sporting institutions good and true I`m sure you`ll agree, I`m currently on the McDonalds and Budweiser diet you`ve heard so much about in heat magazine. Funny how Septic the bleeding heart sceptic suddenly goes all doe eyed at the globalisation of football when it is his pockets being lined. For once Sepp, you and I might agree, the billionaires really are destroying football. Expect Pratini to follow suit with some stultifyingly ignorant diatribe regarding his distaste for any manager from the Alsace region taking charge of any club anywhere in the world. It will likely occur shortly after Mrs. Pratini yells, "ooooh Arsene" while being fraternised by her woolly headed fucknut of a husband.
Emmanuel Adebayor to fall out acrimoniously with Togolese F.A.- Once again I have been pre empted by the Togonator, after performing a passable Mr. T impression last month based on a Final Destination style premonition involving flaming planes and apocalyptic horsemen, Ade has found new cause for ire with his chums at the Togolese F.A. Emmanuel has done what all Arsenal players should do (!) and enervated his international career in preference for all things Arse. However, his reasoning does seem to strike a chord of hypocrisy with your dear writer. Adebayor complained about days spent lounging around airports with his national team. Strange that, I did something very similar not three weeks ago, bumming between international airports en route to Kiev to follow Adebayor and his team mates. So of course Ade and his Gooner chums will be more than empathetic about our travails, particularly as we spent a good £600 for the privilege. Though Adebayor and the Arsenal team mates he loves so dearly had a funny way of expressing their empathy to the travelling support who had braved the very conditions he bemoaned, because he and all of his team mates (with the exception of Theo, Toure and Eboue) trudged back to the dressing rooms without acknowledging our efforts.
Robin van Persie to fall out with someone…about something. Probably hair gel- Our perma crocked Dutchman has been known to arouse a frisson of terror amongst his colleagues, building up an impressive curriculum vitae of nemeses. Following a relationship with Freddie Ljungberg that made Ferguson and Wenger look positively chummy by comparison, Robin also foolishly picked a fight with Eboue in a 2005 training session following a heavy challenge from the Ivorian Kaka. Of course, Eboue the Beneficent has applied jedi mind powers that have left RvP with the limb elasticity of an arthritic centurion ever since. Van Persie also had plenty to say on Dutch team mate Arjen Robben`s reluctance to share the ball with his team mates during the 2006 World Cup. In truth, that`s the equivalent of Didier Drogba complaining about footballers being big Jessies nowadays. Now it seems van Persie has averted his poisonous gaze onto Wesley Sneijder, as the two have remarkably conducted a two month media squabble over who should take free kicks. To be fair, I can empathise, when turning out for the legendary Beckenham Town I once fought with a team mate over who should take a corner. Of course, I was nine years old at the time.
An Arsenal player to get injured- Probably in the final minutes of a 17-0 victory over the Isle of Wight. The Arsenal medical staff will reassure us all that the player in question will be back in "two to three weeks", at which point he will flee the country, undergo reconstructive facial surgery and take up a new life as an offshore fisherman in the Shetland Islands. Come November 2010, Arsene Wenger will confidently acclaim "I am certain he will be back before Christmas." Expect the injured party to be Robin van Persie, as a teary Wesley Sneijder wails, "he started it!"LD.
Date:Wednesday October 8 2008
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