Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger are so predictable. Just can’t resist it, can they? I wrote most of my club vs. country blog before Christmas. We waited to post it until it was topical, i.e. just in advance of the England vs. Brazil friendly at Wembley. Now here we are, just a few days later and the usual suspects are at it again. There would be no need for it if the authorities introduced the rules changes to look after the players that I suggested.
Last weekend, Jermain Defoe, Michael Carrick, Phil Jones and Daniel Sturridge were withdrawn from England international duty due to injury. Defoe is out for three weeks. Jones started for United against Everton with Carrick coming off the substitutes’ bench to replace him. Sturridge is expected to be fit to play for Liverpool against West Brom tomorrow evening.
- In his interview on Sky yesterday, Arsene Wenger said he was concerned that Jack Wilshere might burn out because he did not expect him to play 90 minutes for England in midweek.
- Alex Ferguson is throwing Phil Jones back into the fray days after keeping him out of the England squad, having claimed that he had shingles which, if true, would have kept him out for weeks. In a thinly disguised swipe at Stuart Pearce, he has got the brass neck to complain that the FA should not have revealed the nature of the health problem that United confidentially declared to them. Why it should be confidential in the first place, I don’t know. It’s a legitimate point of public interest and not like revealing he had a venereal disease. I’m not surprised he’s complaining, it makes United’s actions look self-satisfying and embarrassing. That may not be the case of course.
As I said in my original blog, doctors including United’s can make mistakes which is what Sir Alex now seems to be suggesting (just like referees but presumably Sir Alex is nor crucifying them in the press, like he did the linesman in the Tottenham game. Incidentally, at a reported salary of £6.5 million a year, his fine of £12.000 would be 0.19% rounded up. On their i-pod app, Sky call this a heavy fine. That would be £38 for someone on a salary of £20,000 p.a. Do you think that’s heavy? Would that be enough to deter a repeat offender, do you think?).
The answer in both cases is simple.
If you are two of the biggest clubs in the world, make sure that you have a big enough squad of experienced players to protect your youngsters’ health and safety. Governing bodies – make the fine fit the crime (and the salary) no matter how rich and influential the offender.
Since I wrote my blog, the government report came out to say the governing bodies need to get a grip and the financial influence of the Premier League is too great compared to that of the F.A. They could do worse than include these provisions in any changes.
Wise Words from Roberto Mancini?
Roberto Mancinin has been quoted as saying it is not fair to limit the amount of money clubs spend on players. He says that Manchester City should be allowed to spend as much money as they like. What a good idea. Why don’t we take that premise to its full logical conclusion? Instead of buying players, the authorities could cut out the middle men and clubs should be invited to buy trophies direct. The likes of Chelsea and Man. City could spend their money as they like, outbid everyone else and split the trophies between them. They could do that in the first week of the season and then there would be no need to put all that effort into organising football matches at all. Following the popularity of Tom Daley’s “Splash!” we could all go and watch real diving for the rest of the season instead. Players could get themselves real jobs and the managers’ salaries could be paid to brain surgeons.
Over To You!
What do you think?