Home > An Englishman In Australia > A good point, devious voters and an impulsive knee jerk reaction

A good point, devious voters and an impulsive knee jerk reaction

In front of some gloriously raucous travelling Stokie support, we deserved the point we earned on Saturday at Wigan.  Some aspects of the match were fortuitous, it wasn’t a foul on Fuller that led to Huth’s deflected free kick.  Wigan missed some simple chances before equalising through Collins being seemingly wrong footed to slice the ball into his own goal.  We responded immediately with in delicious style.  Jonesy released Fuller who jinked in the box and threaded a ball through for Etherington to drill home.  Again we couldn’t hold onto the lead and a hopeful Wigan punt was again deflected in, this time by Rory.  In the second half either side could have won it but our forward play was usually far too disjointed, but there is little doubt in my mind that the best strike partnership we have is Fuller and Jonesy.  On of the things a Jonesy brings to the team is that he’s so hard to mark.  Sometimes he hangs deep knowing he keeps two markers with him and that stretches defences when Etherington or Pennant break forward…. especially when they cut inside. It means he looks lazy but at times it’s deliberately done to bring colleagues into the game.  So a well earned point and another small yet crucial step en route to the magical 40 mark!  As ever, upwards and onwards and it’s Blackpool next.  In his post match comments Tony Pulis said that Blackpool would be the toughest home game of the season.  Methinks our gaffer was sensibly  managing expectation!  There are few times when we can go into a game (even a home game) confidently expecting a victory.  Trying to keep a lid on the expectancy was a wise move but he must know that Blackpool are preferable opponents to Chelsea or Man Utd!!   Not that Blackpool will be an easy game of course.  There are no easy games in this league… cliche number 112!!

Despite playing the usual inane vacuous superficial lip service, FIFA  decided that the votes to decide 2018 World Cup hosts must not be influenced in any way by the subject of racism. So what was the point of that campaign they have been running? During the Russia v Andorra match the black players were targeted throughout. Wouldn’t the threat of being cast aside in the World Cup bidding process be a just action and a deterrent? So the nation in which racist abuse is commonplace get the punishment of…. hosting the 2018 World Cup.  Preposterous though it may seem, that’s FIFA justice.  The fallout from the humongous scale of the England bid’s humiliation continues to resonate.  There was some bombastic talk of withdrawal from FIFA which would ultimately prove self defeating and  futile.  An underrated aspect of England’s failure is that the ruling bodies need to learn to develop positive relationships with other associations not further isolate themselves.  The talk of betyrayal regarding promised votes that didn’t materialise was naive in the extreme.  Did those running the bid really think upstanding ethical bastions like the hideous Jack Warner could be trusted?  There is a precedent, in 1920 England did withdraw from FIFA and, in some respects, particularly in regards to internal politics, has never fully recovered from self imposed exile from the international football community.  In the immediate future England need to focus on applying long term strategies to win a tournament on the pitch, not just a bid behind the murky walls of Zurich.  

Though it was a long shot Australia’s failure to win the right to host 2022 is a huge blow to the game here.  45 million dollars have been spent with nothing to show.   It has increased  Australia’s football profile  on the world stage slightly but when A-League clubs are struggling to pay the bills, and one could have to fold at the end of the season it doesn’t look like money spent wisely at all.   It’s another watershed point for the game here.  Another stage where Australia has the sheer scale of football imposed on it.   It’s all part of the steep learning curve. 

It’s widely believed that much of the Russian infrastructure for 2018 will be funded by Roman Abramovic.  If that’s the case it’s a huge financial commitment, even for someone with that colossal wealth to their name.  With a project of that scale on his hands, could he soon lose some of his interest in Chelsea?  It’s a while now since blank cheques were handed out and the curiously timed dismissal of Ray Wilkins, ill advised though it was, may well have simply been a cost cutting exercise.   There is nothing to suggest they will be spending big in January and Carlo Ancelotti may have to sell before he can buy.  The players are clearly edgy, the manager said as much in his post match comments.  The habitual six  goal hammerings of August must feel like a lifetime ago.  Even with those backstage wranglings Chelsea is a haven of stability compared to Newcastle United.  After seeking and appointing messiahs, Chris Hughton demonstrated that the answer had been in front of their nose all along.  What more could Hughton have done and what exactly was expected?  Was he sacked solely  because of the admittedly lacklustre showing on Sunday?  There can be little else to explain it?  He took over when they were a club depressed from top to bottom, won the league to get promoted straight away and were well on their way to stabilising in the Premier League, and adding  stability to the club they have required for many years.  His reward is the sack.  Mike Ashley is known for his impulsive nature, after this debacle he’ll soon be known for his stupidity.  The perfect example of someone who doesn’t have an understanding of the game.  Isn’t Hughton a big enough name?  The word supercilious springs to mind.   

Congratulations should be offered to Alloa Athletic, in a fixture programme decimated by freezing weather and postponements and snopw and a litany of unpleasantness they managed to host the only match in Scotland at the weekend.  They might not have the best team in the land but the groundsman is a superstar.    A move to and old firm club is imminent!!

 Milan are looking increasingly comfortable on top of Serie A.  It’s Amusing that there has been talk for a few years about having to offload Gattuso yet he continues as strong as ever.  Robinho’s hunger for football has clearly returned and as well as intrinsic touches of skill, he’s working aard and supporting Ibrahimovic.  It’s hard to mention the Italian game without pondering how long Benitez will last managing Inter.   It was always goint to be tough to follow Jose Mourinho but surely the most pessimistic of the black and blue half of Milan couldn’t have anticipated a fall so rapid and comprehensive.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.