akvbcfc returns with this weeks Penny For Your Thoughts.
But I thought you didn’t see it?
Arsene Wenger has hit out at dangerous tackles once again, no surprises there then. But, maybe this time he has provided us with the answer to the question. While some of the measures that Wenger would like to see brought into effect are extreme, they are along the right lines. In an interview in the Daily Mail, Wenger said,
“They could create a special committee to analyse if three games is enough because, in some tackles, 10 is not enough.”
Okay, okay, 10 games is excessive to say the very least, but the idea is correct. There are some challenges (see the recent Wigan v West Ham game) which have been atrocious by anybody’s standards, and they should be punished. The standard 3 game ban sometimes is not enough, and in that respect I agree wholeheartedly with Mr Wenger.
Wenger’s idea about a committee seems sound, but who would be on this committee? It would have to be…have to be ex-professionals and leading figures in the sport alongside only one or two referees. It is players who understand how other players think and react, and it is players who would be able to judge challenges better than anyone else.
But, it is imperative that a line is drawn. We cannot allow the passion to be extracted from the beautiful game.
It is the passion that makes this game unique in comparison to any game, anywhere in the world.
So, the semi-finals of the FA Cup will both be played at Wembley…it’s another victory for the pen pushing imbeciles trying to balance the books.
The only reason that the semi-finals will be held at Wembley is because those at the FA are in a fix. The stadium has ended up costing the FA around £900 million pounds, and they need to pay the money back. So, how do you pay it back? Simple, host any and every event going at the stadium. Never mind tradition, never mind the romance of the cup, this is all about cold hard cash.
What was wrong with the old system, where the semis were held at neutral venues? Oh, of course, the FA didn’t get enough money out of it. Silly me.
The sooner we return to the old system where the semi-finals are played at neutral venues, such as Old Trafford, the Emirates, Stamford Bridge, Anfield, St James’ Park or even Villa Park.
Holding the semi-finals at Wembley just ruins a bit of the romance of the cup. The cup final traditions of going to Wembley are tainted. The event has been damaged as a spectacle, and it is all done so that the FA’s coffers are not damaged in any way.
Cashley does it again
Once again Ashley Cole takes the reputation of footballers everywhere down a few more notches. After going to an official club charity function alongside John Terry and Michael Mancienne, Cole then went to a nightclub where he was arrested in the early hours of the morning.
So, if Mancienne, a young and up and coming 21 year old, and Terry, a 28 year old England international can stay out of trouble, why can’t Cole, a 28 year old left back who is number one for club and country? It is a disgrace. If you are a professional footballer you know that you are there to be shot at, and Cole should know better. He lost £160,080 as a result of his night out after a fine of two weeks wages but something tells me that he won’t lose too much sleep about it.
Time to restore faith in human nature?
With a million Ashley Cole’s out there, it is truly a breath of fresh air to see players like Deco who are using their position as a well respected international star to do some good for others. Deco is the founder of the Deco Institute, which gives children between the ages of 6 and 17 a chance to develop and prepare for adult life. He wants the youngsters to have the best chance to be successful in life, be it though sport or other methods. Not only does Deco’s Institute help children to practice their footballing skills, the youngsters are also prepared for the eventuality that they do not succeed in football.
Deco is one of the precious few footballers who realises how he can use his role as an international icon to help others, instead of setting them a bad example. Maybe Ashley should have a word with his Chelsea teammate next time.
A genius amongst fools?
Michel Platini recently conducted an interview with The Times, and it was an interview which provided a truly fascinating insight into the mind of one of the most influential men in European football. His brainchild is the UEFA Club Licensing System, under which only those clubs observing certain specific criteria on debt, playing budget etc. can play in the Champions League and the Europa League (formally known as the UEFA Cup). The basic idea is, if you are in debt, you will not be allowed to participate.
Platini wants to try and level out the playing field, so that you do not get such mismatches in European football such as Real Madrid vs FC BATE or Chelsea vs Cluj.
Sure, at first glance, this idea seems as if it is anti-English because of the large pots of money available for the top English sides whilst other teams struggle to break the monopoly of the Big 4. But maybe he has a point.
Platini has recognised certain problems within European football, and he realises that he cannot tell “people in Ukraine, say, what to do.” And quite right.
Platini is “determined” to find a better balance in European football, or in other words, he wants to make things better, or to stop them from getting worse. It is Platini’s view that “if team A has 40 professionals and team B has 15, team B has no chance to win.” You think that idea is anti-English?
Whatever you think, the guy is right. Let me give you a scenario. Replace team A with Manchester United, and team B with Stoke City…it all makes sense doesn’t it?
Platini’s idea means that only the number of senior players at a club will be affected, and clubs will be able to have as many youths and trainees as they want.
The fact remains, that Platini is a footballing man. He is a football fan and it is clear that he cares as much about this game as we do. He is a fan who is worried about the situation that football finds itself in, just like you or I may be, but the difference is that Platini can do something about it.
Platini has said that he wants to return football to “basics, to being a sport, each club connected with its loyal community.”
Sounds good to me.