Thursday, December 27, 2007

Five Quick New Year Wishes

Obviously, in an ideal world I'd say "knickers" to football and go for the alpaca (see left), but this isn't really an option and, besides, this place remains a football blog rather than an alpaca blog (although I'm open to suggestion on this subject as well). Anyway, I'm still a little feverish, so here are a handful of hopes for 2008.

1. That the BBC and ITV take the European Championships as seriously as they should do, even though England aren't there. The big television companies should welcome the opportunity to get away from the jingoistic nonsense that has blighted every major international football tournament since at least 1996. They should grasp the nettle and do something that journalists should pride themselves in doing - telling you things that you didn't already know. Obviously it will be much easier for them to go on and on about how many of the players of view are from the the Premier League and "how much poorer" the competition will be for England not being there, but hope springs eternal.

2. Somebody, please, other than Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool to win a domestic trophy. I am fully resigned to the fact that it is now asking too much for anyone other than the aforementioned foursome to win the Premier League or, indeed, take the top four places in the Premier League table, but I don't think that it's asking too much for somebody else to win the FA Cup or the League Cup. West Ham United bottled it in the FA Cup two years ago, and the jury is still out on whether Spurs are good enough to beat Arsenal's academy team (this is how far we've come).

3. Milan to get knocked out of the Champions League at the earliest opportunity. Everybody knows that Maldini is too old, that Ronaldo is too fat and that there are too many anonymous players in the current Milan team. It's a damning indictment on the current age that a team so average, below half-way in Serie A, have become a trophy winning machine, with just enough genuinely great players (such as Kaka - and even he manages to annoy with me with his seemingly constant exhortations to Jesus) to be able to keep grinding out the major trophies. Over the last two or three years I have come to the opinion that European football ain't all it's cracked up to be, and Milan are living proof of that. If we can get rid of them early on, it will be a sign that there's life in the cadaver yet.

4. Leave Fabio Capello to get on with the job of managing the England football team. Look, I remain steadfast in my belief that the England football team is in a slow, terminal decline but, in taking on Fabio Capello, the FA have at least given themselves a degree of a chance of winning a major trophy. They have got a coach that is of the calibre of the coaches that appear on peoples wish lists - the likes of Mourinho or Wenger. So, this message is for the English press (and I know that it will be ignored), leave him alone, and let him get on with his job.

5. I know that this might be pushing the boat out a little too far, but can we get rid of the two-footed studs up tackles that seem to be happening in every single match at the moment. Look, I know that at the current rate football will have completely converted into competitive pinball by approximately the year 2020, but can professional players stop trying to commit ABH on each other, please? Oh, and while I'm about it, a rule which says that only the captain can speak to the referee or anyone on the opposition team would be nice, as well.


JJ said...

Fabio Capello has just 9 days, 13 hours and 11 minutes left to learn English for his first meeting with the England squad! Pledge your support now and help Fabio Capello learn English!

Anonymous said...

The last team outside the "Big Four" to win a major trophy besides the league cup was Everton winning the FA Cup in 1996.

My New Year's wish is for Sunderland not to get relegated.

CTT said...

My New Years wish would be for Danny Baker and Danny Kelly to restart their Podcast.

Nice top banner, by the way.

Gervillian Swike said...

Two absolutely spot on points - your last one about only the captain questioning the referee (and perhaps the referees using the captains to try and convey his messages and warnings to their sides, as in rugby)...

...and your first one about PROPER coverage of the European Championship. For too long, there's been lazy television (and radio) coverage of major tournaments, the temptation being to fill endless hours boring everyone with crappy interviews and articles on "the latest from the England Camp". For once, instead of this pointless drive (yes, TalkSport, that's you) towards a meaningless home international tournament, let's see one of these media take a rare opportunity to provide some proper football journalism and coverage.

Patrick Gareth Tips' Tip Holder said...

Alpaca wool makes for the most amazingly warm pull-overs
It's quite coarse, but perfect for wearing under a poncho whilst watching winter matches whilst the sea breeze encroaches upon the south coast stadia

Craig Torso said...

1. It'll get a better profile than the wimmin's world cup, but the commentary will be shoddy
2. Yes
3. I'm under the 4th hand impression the Milan side looks very steady at all times,
perfect for the general tedium of the champions league. As I don't have sky I watch it regularly, and on the whole it's dire.
Considering the value of the players on display, it's shit telly
4, Well, obviously. The thing in his favour is that he's been with his missus for years, and seems to be a devout catholic
Other than ignoring the press completely, I suspect he'll have no trouble keeping his nose clean
5, Surely compared to school boy tackles of the 1970s and the 1st division players that inspired them, they're barely tickles these days

A. said...

Are you serious about Milan? Please tell me you aren't so I can take your other writings seriously.

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