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International Break Checklist

With the outmoded, outdated and frankly uninteresting prospect of international football once again lugubriously darkening our doors, I thought I would construct a checklist of sorts for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.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday October 8 2008

Time: 12:20PM

Your Comments

If only our troubled internationals would opt for 'International Retirement' rather than get into a paddy every time they have to mix with their own countrymen! Unfortunately this seems to be a trait only shown by Englishmen at the moment, and I think Theo must be a tad too young for that;-)
navydave
http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_4261261,00.html Prophesy.
Little Dutch
Isn't Robin injured ALREADY? One tick.
GoonerLou
you didn't know RVP was out before this article? then well done on predicting that one LD, very good article as well - as usual.
gazzap
And come on LD, there's so much more to this list! Another thing that always happens is that Nik and Carlos play well and score for their countries only to come back to our bench, while Robin sits out these 2 weeks injured but walks straight back into our starting lineup when the real football's back. Oh, and let's also watch out for the usual bust-ups within the French camp and Domenech's funny lineups and tactics.
GoonerLou
Predicting RvP will get injured is a bit like eating food and predicting that a turd will come out of your arse.
Little Dutch
Hmm, interesting anology but accurate all the same! lol! I wonder if he is actually injured or if it is a phantom injury much the same as Nasri's was when he couldn't play for France yet played for us the following weekend? It's ok Arsene, we knoe your game ;)
Gunnerman
Also - great piece, very funny. I "invented" a drinking game with my buddies called "Drink For England" which we all play when they are round my house watching the pride of our country (ahem.) Simple, crack open a can of your fave strong continental lager and proceed to drink as normal. However, take an especially long swig when the following occurs: 1) A Long ball 2) Rio pulls a funny face 3) Joe Cole does a step over when there is no opposition near him 4) Lampard loses possession 5) Gerrard has a shot 6) Capello getting angry and shouting 7) John Terry getting away with murder. You will rinse through several crates before you know what's hit you.
Gunnerman
Brilliant piece, LD!! OF COURSE RVP's injured before even playing a game with Holland! Did he get his latest knock in training? I ran across this quote from Platini in an interview on the FOURFOURTWO site: "Q: What will be the biggest change you would like to see in European football in the next five to 10 years? A: I suppose it’s quite simply to make sure that football remains primarily a sport and is not exploited by business. I’ve always said that football is based on prevailing values. If football drives business, that’s fine; but under no circumstances can we allow business to drive football. Otherwise we’re dead. We have to make sure that youngsters taking up the sport do so for the right reasons - because it’s a game. Q: Is that feasible, realistically? A: Yes, I’m sure it is – if we keep our eyes open and work hard. But if one day the business of football becomes more important than the sport, I’m off. I’m in it for the game, not the business." Ok, putting aside the obvious hypocrisy of this given the amount of money he himself has pocketed in his job, it's amazing that a man with those views attacks Arsene Wenger, a man whose views coincide exactly with his own on this issue.
jaelle
..k
ajwb
@Jaelle: Yes, but we all know Platini is stark raving bonkers. The man barely knows what day of the week it is, to ask him to actually think about what he says before he says it is asking a bit much to be fair. Feckin lunatic - the political side of the game is far out of touch with the playing side it's barely even funny anymore.
Gunnerman
Expect annoying opposition fans to come on your site and comment on topics that have nothing to do with them. lol
k_chelski
*so far
Gunnerman
Bem vindo, kevin! :-)
jaelle
the scarey thing is... your probably right about most of those... (sorry, just wanted to fulfill K_chelski's prediction too)
pompeycarpet
"Robin van Persie to fall out with someone…about something. Probably hair gel" LOL!
Thing
Thanks, jaelle.Tottenham players really love internationals, two weeks off for them.
k_chelski
Thanks for the jinx LD...But the injury could be the best thing for Arsenal. The only negative that could come out of this (apart from losing RvP) is that we may play a 451 (please god no!) But in my opinion Wenger will see sense and play Bendtner and Adebayor up front. There is so much competition between them to play well with each other that they will have no choice other than to pass to each other, work well and, of course, steal the headlines!
Tom14
Maybe Vela would work better with Ade up front! Although I think Nicky and Ade could play together, I think Vela would play similarly to Eduardo and they would work better together.
navydave
Moronic comment from Pratini, check http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_4264505,00.html To be fair, he's right, if we don't stop foreign owners and foreign players, pretty soon it'll go too far. I mean, what next? Frenchmen playing for Juventus?!
Little Dutch
Oh well, Gallas is out injured too.. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11670_4274100,00.html
GoonerLou
So out-of-form Gallas is out for the France team, Domenech has a chance to replace him with a defender who's much more effective than Gallas has been for France in recent games and who does he replace him with? Boumsong! *shakes head* I dunno, I just don't know anymore... Why can't DOMENECH get injured and be replaced?! / Excellent article from Martin Samuel about Blatter and Platini's positions on foreign ownership, love his first paragraph: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/columnists/martin_samuel/article4902271.ece
jaelle
Pires pleads for the FFF to make Wenger manager of the French national team: http://http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1075591/Put-class-act-Wenger-charge-French-team-urges-Pires.html
jaelle
You What! Pires pleading for Wenger to manage the French Team. Thanks alot Bobby, Just Great!
hackneyval
It ain't gonna happen, hackney, AW has no interest in int'l football, not until he finishes out his latest contract at least. Pires says barring AW, he'd like Houllier to take over.
jaelle
isle of white dont have a football team. Cowes, or newport. ***Not enough research has gone into this article*****
KingGunner
Er, the Ade falling out with Togo thing only lasted a few days. He's back in love with his country now: http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11670_4290870,00.html
GoonerLou
I just read Sagna has injured his knee. Anybody know the details on this?
smithdj74
 

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