Alan’s 2013-14 Season Diary continued Friday 31 January – Good news. Justice for Danny Rose. He has won his appeal against his red card. The panel obviously saw what we all did on the video replay. It was a great tackle from the side and he got the ball. The linesman was mistaken. I just wish he had let the ref go with his initial reaction. It put the mockers on an unlikely rally against Manchester City.
Transfer deadline expires
No one in for Spurs. We remain striker-light. They say Arsenal have a striker deficiency – we should be that lucky. We are relying on the mercurial Emmanuel Adebayor maintaining good form, behaviour and fitness for longer than he has ever done before and Roberto Soldado finally finding form and confidence which he has shown no sign of doing so far.
Lewis Holtby has gone on loan to Fulham on loan. We can review our options at the end of the season if we qualify for the Champions League. If we don’t, our best imports will be off anyway and we’ll be back to square minus 1.
Respect to Southampton for displaying some moral fibre by shipping out Osvaldo who must have disappointed them by repeatedly showing a preference for hitting people rather than the back of the net after they had spent a club record transfer fee for him last summer. Southampton have set the sort of example that some of the bigger clubs should have done rather than pander to the disgraceful behaviour of their mega stars. Not that it will do them much good, sadly.
Wenger has done it again, putting his neck on the line by not signing a striker. He is trusting in Bendtner to deliver at the crucial time in a way he has never managed to before. It looks like he is settling for a top 3 place again, rather than the Premiership title and will spend big on a striker for next season in the summer when he can get better value for money. If he does win the League against the odds, great for him and Arsenal. Obviously I hope it doesn’t happen. If not, they have no need to panic. A new contract is on the way and he should get his pick of world class strikers.
More Russian Roulette
I am sure it is pure coincidence that for the second consecutive transfer window a Russian/Ukrainian club owner has stepped in at the very last moment to ensure a transfer that would benefit one of Chelsea’s rivals for a Champions League place does not go through. Liverpool appear to have been encouraged/allowed by Dnipro to proceed right to the brink of signing Konoplyanka (now that would have been a tempting rhyme for the wags in the crowd) and then the rug has been pulled from under their feet just when it is too late to sign an alternative.
Last time it was Spurs with Willian. The plot reads like an Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes mystery. What do they say in cases like this? Who stands to benefit when the smoke clears? Or, “Follow the money Barney”. It doesn’t take much of a leap to imagine both trails lead to Chelsea who are also benefiting from Eto’o goals after he was snapped up following the collapse of the Belarussian Potash Company (seriously) and the fire sale at Anzhi.
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I am sure we are all looking forward to the free-flowing attacking football Mourinho will employ against Man City at the Etihad on Monday. In today’s Sun, Terry Venables says that Chelsea did not fail to beat West Ham because they played 19th century football but because Chelsea don’t have 21st century strikers. Nice one. Also how sporting is it of Jose to buy up yet another player and leave him where he is, just so he can make sure that no-one else gets him next summer? He is certainly fighting on all fronts.
Raising Sport to Another Level
Another great piece of writing in last Wednesday’s Times. Mathew Syed on Nadal’s refusal to quit when injured in the Australian Open final.
“Over the past few days my mind has been drawn to the gloriously futile heroics of Nadal…As his career has progressed he has come to embody an indomitability that resonates beyond tennis…for this observer at least, the final with Wawrinka is the equal of anything that has gone before. Nadal was battling a magnificent opponent, seeping blisters and excruciating back spasms. He was battling an unsympathetic crowd. At times, he seemed to be battling a complete absence of hope. But he kept fighting, kept striving. As a motif for sport, as well as life, it is difficult to think of anything more inspirational.”
Well said. From personal experience, I can confirm it has helped to have such behaviour as an example to try and follow. Someone could do worse than to play the video on a loop to Michael Schumacher when (not if) he comes round.