Take A Break

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I don’t know what it is about the international break that loosens footballers’ lips? When they’re with their clubs, it’s the same mixture of bland quotes: ‘Football’s a game of two halves,’ We’ve got to stick together,’ or ‘No, I don’t think the gaffer’s a fucking idiot for playing me out of position.’ Maybe it’s the break from the monotony of day-to-day training with the same players and the same coaches. Or perhaps flying out of town for a week has a holiday feel to it. Whatever the reason, I appreciate this unique type of BS that the players are slinging.

What a difference ten days can make. A week and a half ago, Liverpool had conceded the title to Manchester United and the future of ‘Facts’ Benitez was in doubt. Now they’re the world’s greatest team and the ‘Fact Man’ is the greatest manager in the history of the sport. And apparently, if you believe nobody Alvaro Arbeloa, Liverpool are about to become bigger than The Beatles. I guess he’s not one for hyperbole.

Now that fortunes have turned in the Reds’ favor, their captain Steven Gerrard wants to stay at Anfield for the rest of his career. Or until the next time they finish in third place. And not only does he want to stay, Gerrard actually believes in Benitez’ management style. And it only took five years—way to come around captain kiss the camera. Now if only Fabio Capello would let him play like he wants.

It’s good to know that Manchester United’s recent form hasn’t worried left-back Patrice Evra. The Frenchman calls United’s losses to Liverpool and Fulham ‘a little accident.’ Teammate Darren Fletcher agrees, only he calls the losses ‘blips.’ I guess if United blow the title, they’ll just call it a trivial little nothing.

What’s not trivial to Evra is the behavior of the French fans. He claims the French lack a football culture. He also goes on to speculate whether or not the French even like football. That should get the fans on your side and stop the boos from raining down.

Why has the Ledley King story has become as huge as it has? He’s a fine player the ten games a year he plays. That’s why I don’t understand why Capello would want to include him in a World Cup squad. He can’t play two Saturdays in a row, how could he possibly play a World Cup tournament schedule? Anyway, Capello’s angry at Spurs and Spurs are angry at the English FA for what happened to King under Steve McClaren. And Steve McClaren’s angry at the guy who sold him that umbrella.

Speaking of buying and selling, apparently you can now buy Portsmouth for the price of Robinho. And the sad thing is there are more offers for the drug using, bad penalty taking Brazilian. Sorry about the drug reference Robbie, please don’t sue me.

While we’re on the topic of money, UEFA wants to limit the amount of players per squad in order to keep wage bills down. Predictably, PFA boss Gordon Taylor is completely against it.

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