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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

A few thoughts from the last week in Football (February 1-7)

Due to the work load in the early part of the New Year, I have not been able to get too many of my own thoughts down in recent weeks, although it does seem a little easier now there is no Grand Slam tennis, the American Football season is over and there is a slight lull in the amount of football to be played this week as the Champions League and Europa League begin next week.

There have been some real issues over the last week that have caught my eye and I will get to them now:

Kenny Dalglish's latest comments are just ridiculous: Over the last week, we have seen Fabio Capello being roundly criticised in the media for his comments about the FA stripping John Terry of the England Captain role after his trial for alleged racial abuse was pushed back to July, after the Euro 2012 tournament was to be concluded.

Capello told Italian TV that he did not agree with the decision and that Terry should only have been punished if he had been found guilty and not beforehand, something I have to disagree with myself.

We all saw how the Pittsburgh Steelers dealt with Ben Roethlisberger's indiscretions a couple of years ago, even though there was nothing that he was charged with by the police at the time, so I think the FA have made the correct decision to not have Terry representing the country in a European tournament.

So while Capello has been ridiculed in places, while others have asked for him to be removed as manager of the national team, Kenny Dalglish told Sky Sports that 'Suarez should never have been banned in the first place', comments that have not provoked the outrage that Capello's did.

Now I don't know how Dalglish can continue to undermine the FA's decision without being punished, and I really don't understand why he is not being criticised heavily for a foolish defence of a player that has been found guilty of racial statements.

I understand managers want to protect their players, but to continually bring up the issue with these crass remarks shows little class, remorse or regret at the way things have been handled.

These kind of remarks make it easier for the morons out there to make their own ridiculous gestures and statements, as we have seen at the Liverpool-Oldham game in the FA Cup, as well as another being caught in the recent game between Liverpool and Manchester United making monkey gestures at Patrice Evra... The manager has shown little or no intention to let this issue go, and some of the supporters are taking it as their cue to act out their racial tendencies, believing there will be no repercussions.

Talking about morons, what was with the Chelsea fans booing Rio Ferdinand? I could not believe for the life of me that Rio Ferdinand was booed throughout the game at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and it makes me really worry about the mentality of some people that are allowed into football grounds...

You see I am of the opinion that the people booing Ferdinand are in one of two camps: Either they are too stupid to realise it was ANTON Ferdinand of QPR that made the allegations against John Terry and not RIO Ferdinand of Manchester United, OR they are knowingly booing a player whose brother was supposedly racially abused by another player?

Personally, I don't particularly care the which of those two reasons the Chelsea fans decided they fall into, either way they sounded like a bunch of morons... It goes to show how far some people leave their morals at the gates when they go to 'support' their football team and I personally think it's a disgrace.

The fella arrested at Old Trafford for alleged racist comments during the game with Stoke City: I hope this guy is banned from coming back to a Manchester United game as it is something I have never encountered in all my years of watching our boys play.

United fans have always been proud of being Reds, and that is the only colour we have ever cared about, so anything else is not welcome at Old Trafford.

The 3-3 draw between Chelsea and Manchester United was a fitting tribute to the Busby Babes: The anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster was on Monday and it was a fitting game of football played between Chelsea and Manchester United on Sunday, one that would have made Sir Matt very proud I'm sure.

Over the years, we have always heard the rubbish about 'Fergie Time' due to the number of late goals we get, but this game on Sunday showed WHY United have done so- they just don't know when they are beaten!

It was sloppiness (and a tremendous finish from Juan Mata) that left United in a huge hole after 50 minutes, but the game was dominated by the Reds and they deserved a lot more than the 1 point they earned, although it felt like more than that at the end of the game.

It could have been a lot better for the team if Gary Cahill had perhaps received his marching orders in the first half for a mis-timed tackle on Danny Welbeck, while Sir Alex was understandably upset over the lack of decisions made by the Assistant Referee in the first half.

However, all of that should not distract from a fabulous game of football, a game in which both sides played their part.

It will be more than just a miracle if Wigan can maintain their position in the Premier League this season: I really like Dave Whelan and I think Roberto Martinez is a very good young manager, but I think this is going to be a step too far for them to save Wigan this season from the drop back to the Championship.

The problem is that the other sides in the bottom 6 places all seem capable of picking up points, even from games against sides in the upper end of the table, and that is the clear difference between those teams and Wigan.

They must consider the 1-1 draw with Everton at home as 2 points dropped after taking the lead with less than 15 minutes left on the clock, and this weekend is perhaps the biggest game they will face as they visit Bolton Wanderers... Lose that one, and I think the Funeral March will begin playing on their Premier League future.

I can't praise Alan Pardew and Newcastle United enough: I have said this before, but I remain totally impressed with the job Alan Pardew has done this season as Newcastle United remain in the hunt for a VERY surprising Champions League berth.

I really thought they may have a tough second season back in the Premier League, but Demba Ba has been an inspired signing, while the rest of the team have bought into the work ethic that has made them so tough to get the better of.

I still think getting into Europe through their League place would be an amazing achievement for the side; It still will be tough for them to finish above Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool for the 4th Champions League spot, but Pardew has to be in consideration for the 'Manager of the Year' award.

The only negative I can give the team is their lack of a real Cup run after this club has been starved of silverware for so long, but I have nothing but praise for their performances.

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