Thursday, 6 September 2007

International Break = Football Poverty

Ho hum,

Things have been a bit quiet on the blog this week, which was not intentional but reflects the poverty of happenings in the football world this week.

We had a great weekend in the Premiership but after the reflection of Monday, we crashed back down to earth. We've had days of tedious news on Steven Gerrard's injury and whether he will play or not on Saturday. Hargreaves is missing and Heskey may play upfront. Does it really matter who plays for England? They all underperform anyway.

In Ireland there are doubts over Steve Finnan and what fresh madness Steve Staunton will come with up with next.

In the general scheme of things, Ruud Gullit and Sir Trevor Brooking having been banging on about English youth development which is at least the tenth time this year that there have been debates about the number of foreigners in the English game.

And in a couple of weeks, there will only be 1 game kicking off at 3pm on Saturday, the traditional time, which, despite the fact that it has been like this for years, has occasioned even more hand-wringing about 'the state of the game'

Then after various inevitable humiliations on Saturday, we only have next Wednesday's further horror to look forward to. It's gonna be a tough week.

There is nothing else to say, let's just fast forward



JJ said...

But of course folks tune in for the latest podcast;o) At the very least, while internationals will be discussed, we're hating Lee Hendrie for a solid ten minutes. Which is a bit less time than his ex wife has hated him since they spilt up three hours after the wedding service. Classy fella this hendrie.

Mr C said...

It will be interesting to see what McClaren does against Russia now he can't simply pick his starting XI by reputation. Fingers crossed, Bentley will start on the right over Wright-Phillips but either could cause a problem. Gerrard will probably play even if he's only 50% as I suspect SMcL will play him and hope for the best. Hopefully common sense will prevail and he is used, its from the subs bench for the last twenty minutes with perhaps Cole and Carrick in the centre and Downing out on the right. This is all wishful thinking though, Gerrard if even remotely fit will no doubt start and run out of gas before half-time.

As for too many foreign players, well tough shit frankly. Firstly a quota is nonsense, Italy ( the last big league with such a measure) tends to see Serie A's time with overseas restrictions as a disaster and secondly, if you don't want people making quick-fix foreign signings, you need a more patient approach to money and results. The reason why the lower league teams in England (League 1 and below) are all largely made up of English players is that there is little cash to entice people over. Having recently moved up to Edinburgh, I go along to see Hibernian on most home games and at least half of the squad is from the academy. Invariably, clubs working on lower fiscal platforms can't take the risk of buying someone from overseas only for him to be crap, disenchanted at the city he's living in, the wrong personality for the squad etc. This coupled with a more patient attitude from club chairmen who accept that progression takes time means that managers are more inclined to bring through local players. In the Premiership/championship, everything is about instant results and not selling players to league rivals and so its simply easier to bring in overseas players for less wages, less money and of the same skill as the more over priced English ones. My conclusion: Brooking is full of shit and if he wants to change it, maybe he should exercise some influences on his chairman through his honorary position on the West Ham board rather than play the martyr. If it wasn�t for Overseas players like Tevez and Bennayoun last season, his club would be playing Hull and Bradford right now.

Oh, and Lee Hendrie shagged Jade Goody. The mere image makes the world a more unpleasant place.

tyduffy said...

I think that the only purpose for international weekends is to keep awful columnists employed. Players are cobbled together from different clubs. There are no good or coherent international squads. Why, except for the various FAs to look like they actually are doing something, do we have this crap in the middle of the season. Just as the Premier League is starting to heat up BOOM International Weekend to kill it.

Can we not just get all of the qualifiers out of the way in June? Players would have time to train together and not be exhausted from flying across country at the midweek. It would be more coherent. It would be better football. It would alleviate the fixture congestion. It would rationalize the selection process. Who would be against this?

Mark said...

2 quick points - Brooking is a fool. He's the bloody head of youth development, it's your fault Trev!

and the Internationals - a celtic cup - good. International breaks - bad, in their current format. Qualifying would be better done in bigger chunks, rather than 1 here, 1 there with a friendly or 2 thrown in.
something along the lines of august (before season), january (mid season break), june (after season)

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