Read All About It: September’s Pointless Football Stories

September 14, 2012 in Features

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Silly news is part and parcel for a football fan. Stuff that is unreasonable, ridiculous, or isn’t even news tends to compose the information that football fans scour the internet for. So, I’ve decided to pick a few stories a month and question the point of their existence – because let’s face it, I’m sure there will be enough silly stories every month to keep this an ongoing thing. Anyway, here we go…

Firstly, Arsenal have been picking up a fair bit of attention, both good and bad. Olivier Giroud is slowly gaining more notice for not scoring a goal, while Arsenal’s defence is being heralded as some sort of impenetrable force-field due to the appointment of Steve Bould as Arsene Wenger’s number two. The Giroud news is ridiculous; not scoring for three games is completely acceptable, especially in a team whose front line has been almost completely overhauled. Prior to his impressive 25 goals for Montpellier last year, I’d wager most football fans here wouldn’t have even heard of Giroud, and I’m firmly in the camp that believes that Giroud still has a lot of prove. This is not a Fernando Torres or, er, Peter Crouch situation; in Giroud, Arsenal have not signed a world-class player (yet), so his attempts to acclimatise to a new team and league should not be the subject of such intense focus. One title win does not a great player make.

The defence stuff bothers me more, because you have to consider a couple of things. Firstly, the teams that have been unable to score against Arsenal this season are Sunderland, Stoke and Liverpool. Sunderland have only scored two goals, and both were scored by Steven Fletcher, a man who Sunderland had not signed when the two teams played; Stoke have scored three goals, and those were against Reading and Wigan, who aren’t exactly top teams; and Liverpool can’t score to save their lives. Just ask West Brom. Secondly, their defence didn’t look too bad this time last year either, against better opposition. It took a huge injury problem for Arsenal to concede eight against Manchester United, and really, anything looks better than ten goals conceded in three games, doesn’t it?

Admittedly, Arsenal’s defence look a much tighter unit, but it is far too early to make such strong claims. Let’s see how they cope in the second half of the season.

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It’s that time of year again – Handshakegate! Following high-profile controversies, the pre-game handshake has become a good way to just show the world that you’re pissed off, and this seems to overshadow everything else; everyone becomes obsessed whether two players will shake hands, even if normally, you wouldn’t care. Anyway, Chelsea and QPR are in discussions about the pre-game handshake, to avoid any awkward Suarez-Evra situation between John Terry and Anton Ferdinand. Personally, I think it’s reached the point where John Terry should just accept that he’s pissed enough people off to such a degree that there will be MANY people that don’t want to shake his hand, so they should just do the handshake and let the players decide who they want to shake hands with. Besides, say the entire QPR team blank Terry, and he goes on to score the winner, will he REALLY care? I doubt it.

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In other news, Bayern Munich’s Javi Martinez has been likened to a spy. Having ended his association with Athletic Bilbao in, let’s say, not the best moods, reportedly sneaked over a fence to avoid being seen when returning to Bilbao’s training complex to retrieve some things he left behind. The story was reported by Marca, the famously pro-Real Madrid paper, and considering some of the things that publication comes out with, I’m reluctant to believe the story. But it’s still fun to laugh at, especially at the diagram below, provided by El Correo.

 

It kind of makes you think, which other players could be spies? My money’s on Scott Sinclair. There has to be some reason for him to have gone to City, right? Watch this space.

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Norwich’s Jonny Howson shocked the footballing world by claiming that players that play for the bigger clubs are more likely to get call-ups for their international sides. Well done, Sherlock. I get where he is coming from, but it’s a system that makes sense. If a player is not good enough to play for a notable club (no disrespect to Norwich), then why should they be considered for a squad that is supposed to be composed of a nation’s best players? The bigger question, though, is why this was labelled as ‘news’?

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