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  • When England were beaten 4-1 at the World Cup last year, the media and the supporters were asking lots of questions. There were questions of management, questions of players, and questions of a disallowed goal (which would have obviously propelled us from abjection and into the world cup final). But perhaps the bigger, infinitely more interesting question came from looking at the players that made up that excellent German team. Why can’t we produce young talent like that German team? Following this there has almost been a co-ordinated offensive to find THAT team and THAT player. Where were our Ozils and Mullers? Despite having a team of players supposedly at their peak (or was that 2006, I forget), something was clearly wrong at the core of the team, rotting were the roots, of the roots, of the grass roots. Now, seemingly from nowhere our teams are bursting with English talent. All of them spitting in the face of the old English clichés with their ability to control a ball and perhaps pull off the odd step-over or Cruyff turn. Cleverley and Jones from United, McEachran and Sturridge of Chelsea and Arsenal’s latest talisman, Jack Wilshere. But what of hot prospect Jack Rodwell, the boy who has seemingly been six foot since primary school and built like the proverbial brick shit house? Like Rooney and countless others before him, it took a goal against one of the mythical ‘big four’, in this case Manchester United, to get the attention of the masses. In a rare feat, almost unheard of, Everton were in the lead against United and still pressing the attack (no seriously). With two minutes of normal time left, Rodwell entered the fray, walked past Jonny Evans and slotted the ball into the far corner with a neat finish. Now the red tops and the rumour mill began to stir. Rodwell continued to play well in the selective starts he made. Fast forward one year and one month from the goal against United: “Alex Ferguson has reached an agreement in principle to sign Everton whizkid Jack Rodwell for £25million.” Wait a second, did The Sun just a make up a story? Well I never. Anyway Rodwell never made the much touted move to Manchester and suddenly everyone eased off a bit. Rodwell hit a patch of bad form, of course leading everyone to brand him as overrated. So how should we rate this player? What are his attributes? As I don’t have the Match of Day team’s sorcery at my disposal, I can’t just find a game and pick out his good bits. However, as an Everton fan and doing my utmost not to sound too biased, here are my two cents. Rodwell is strong on the ball with good control and impressive composure. He is two footed and can put in a tackle (don’t mention the ridiculous red card). I think a lot of people who have heard all the speculation and seen the odd cracker, mistake Rodwell for an attacking midfielder. This isn’t the case. He actually started at centre back and has gradually moved up. Despite what people might think, Rodwell is actually our combative midfielder, not Fellaini. His role is to cover the back four and mark the creative midfielder in the opposition team. I actually think that Rodwell is improving as a player in this role and the lack of media exposure at the moment is allowing him to concentrate on playing well for the team. To simplify, if you think Rodwell should be Gerrard, he isn’t, much as we’d all like him to be. What he actually is, is a very solid player who is still very young and could still be very good. Now just wait for the next big goal he scores and we can start all over again. See you then.
  • Here’s something from the weekend that will bring some joy to your internets. Dani Alves decides ‘eh, go on lets have a crack’ against Real Mallorca. They we’re already 3-0 up thanks to a Messi hat-trick, but that doesn’t take anything away from the fact that this is a thunderous strike. In off the crossbar as well. YEBOAH.

  • John Terry has to be the most hated England captain ever. After Chelsea’s controversial one nil loss at Loftus Road on Sunday, videos swarmed the internet showing the blue’s captain shouting obscenities at Anton Ferdinand. It is believed that the all important word that has caused controversy is ‘blind’ or ‘black’. It wasn’t long before the country made up their mind and branded our national captain as a racist.

    I knew that Terry wasn’t the most popular of players, but these last few days have shown him to be one of the most hated. A man that has led our country with pride for the last few years and although he is not the player he once was, there is an undeniable hate for him, unless of course you’re a Chelsea fan.

    This all stems back to the alleged affair between Terry and (then team mate) Wayne Bridge’s girlfriendVanessa Perroncel. Something that I in no way condone. As a result John Terry had his national captaincy stripped from him. But when nobody else really wore the armband with the same leadership as Terry, he was reinstated. Since then I feel the country has been waiting for another excuse to get Terry out and here it is.

    We all know how bad the problem of racism is in football and know that this is something that needs to be addressed but do people really think that branding these players as racists is going to help? Anton Ferdinand has recently come out and said that he just wants the truth but hasn’t accused Terry of racism, a fair comment. So the only person that really started this was a lip-reading Youtuber. This has been blown well out of proportion for what has actually happened. I understand the hate for him – he plays for a hated team, is constantly in the referees face and does look off the pace when playing for England, but is he the only one? No. I feel someone needs to fight JT”s corner and that’s what I’m trying to do. I am in no way trying to say that racism is not a problem in football, I’ve been to enough football games to hear what is said in the stands. I just feel throwing the ‘racist’ card at everyone is not going to help the problem.

    Another scary conclusion of this is how quickly it all came out. Chelsea played the last game of the weekend’s fixtures at QPR, by Match of the Day 2 in the evening Colin Murray was looking down our screens and giving us a statement from John Terry himself. This in an incident that happened about four hours previous to this. In that four hours someone had used the internet to spread the message of John Terry being a racist. We don’t know who this person was, we heard no official word but people still made up their minds. To me this shows how quickly a message can spread via the internet which is amazing thing. But I don’t feel a public hate campaign spreading this quickly is as positive.

    I’m not trying to clear John Terry’s name here I’m just trying to practise an old cliché – innocent until proven guilty. And if Terry is guilty, then he should not be the England captain. If innocent, then hopefully we can move on and really kick racism out of football.





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