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Something For The Weekend (241)



A flipping good week.

With tennis on one channel and the Confederation Cup on another it has been a week of flipping, as I spent my evenings hopping from one sport to the other. I am not that much of a tennis fan but where else can you look up a schoolgirl's skirt and not get arrested?

I am not saying tennis is not a great game but for some reason I find all those posh people hoping that Johnny Foreigner might break a leg so a Brit can win it, a bit 'orf' putting. Well, I say Brit but history tells me that this is an elastic term which may include South Africa, if things are desperate enough. And, when they say Brit, they really mean English, which has necessitated the Murray man to crassly declare his Scottish identity to prove he has not been subsumed by the sport's English hegemony.

To confuse things further, Murray has been seen wearing a Wolves shirt.

And of course, when I hear people wittering on about what a jolly good thing it would be if some Brit/Scot/South African could win it, I can't but remember how disgracefully they treated Fred Perry when he won it, but was considered to be not quite a gentleman enough to be publicly presented with the trophy, or even congratulated.

These thoughts are just far too complicated to be contemplated while simultaneously admiring the pristine gusset of a fifteen-year-old Amazon.

It can't be done.

So, as ever, I drifted towards the footie instead and left the gusset-gazing to Sappho and her mates.

With domestic partizanship removed, or at least set aside, football is a wonderful game and for nutters, dreamers and fantasists there is nothing better for inspiring a belief in and even the expectation of miracles.

Seeing the USA beat Spain was fantasy football writ large and for those who crave the miracle that the Premier League top-four gulf might one day be bridged, need look no further than America's unlikely and resounding victory. Spain, whose twin attacking force of Torres and Villa, might be worth 150m, at today's prices, were brushed aside by power and enough sweat to require the pitch to be desalinated, afterwards.

While Villa fans might take heart from seeing the journeymen beat the thoroughbreds, England fans might take heart from seeing that the USA have managed to reach the final while only winning two games. They might want to avoid the knowledge that the knock-out stages started and finished with the semi-finals but hey, you have to be a bit selective if you want to keep a dream intact.

All the USA have to do now, is to beat Brazil and they will be the new Greece, if you know what I mean.

Villa's Brad Guzan might even make the bench.

But if you want romance, you just have to check out Fulham's Clint Dempsey's biography, who learned his football on a trailer park in Texas off Mexican immigrants. As far as I know, you just don't get shit like that with tennis. I think a trailer park is about as close to the bottom of the heap you can get in the US of A, and it sure is one hell of a long way from the Southfork Mansion.

Yeah, football's the people's game alright.

Back home in Footballus Domesticus a certain amount of craziness seems to have broken out, as Setanta went tits-up and left a 100m hole in the FA's finances. With mortgage payments due for their white elephant down Wembley way, they sure do need someone to come a knocking. Its at times like these that England manager Fabio Capello looks worth every penny they are paying him, as contrary to recent tradition, the England friendlies are now worth watching, even though 100m still looks like a lot to ask, for the privilege.

More surprising was the announcement of the almost certain departure of Tevez from Man United. Even in a United shirt I have nothing but admiration for Carlos and the combination of that ugly childhood scar and his wonderful spirit, makes him a character as well as a great player. I would love to see him in a Villa shirt and I am sure he would suit O'Neill perfectly. Tevez once said that all he does is sleep and play football and I kind of believed him.

The complications surrounding who owns him (MSI), seem rather daunting at first and second sight, and it must be presumed that he signed some kind of contract with Corinthians which is still valid but which has been complicated by him going on strike prior to his move to West Ham, leading to a series of loan deals. But presumably, as that contract was started in 2004, surely it must be due to run out soon. Clearly Man United think the same and were not prepared to pay the 20m+, when freedom under a Bosman looks likely.

The whole thing looks about as transparent as an MP's expenses form.

So, great player and one more likely to suit Villa than Berbatov, say, but who carries a bit too much baggage. He may suit the money-bags at Man City who possibly won't quibble about paying big bucks for someone, they might be expected to get for nothing, or at least for a fee commensurate to the time left on his contract. He seems to have turned himself into the ultimate football mercenary. But I still think he's great.

Not as though I expect the Villa to be buying such players. Some clubs will be throwing a Potlatch for their fans, as they chase the headlines and the cheers of the citizens but I don't expect Villa to be one of them. I am sure that with the likes of Man City in the market, the value of players, who are good but are maybe not quite good enough to be considered top-four material (Barry et al)(Miaow!), will have gone up. As is the tradition I expect Villa to be seeking value for money and players with potential for future added-value.

If Villa were to sign Mikel John Obi to replace Barry, and a new Laursen, I think I would be quite satisfied, and might just stop moaning for five minutes.

Anyway, the Confederation Cup final is not until Sunday and its raining outside, so it looks like I have no other choice, than to get back to those snow-white gussets.

Its not such a bad life.


The Journalist

Writer: Steve Wade Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday June 26 2009

Time: 3:44PM

 

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