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All Things Footie | Monday, June 30 | Jordan

Still Nothing?

So Inter are going to sign Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg, Real Madrid - frustrated in their bid for Ronaldinho - are going to sign Thierry Henry, Bergkamp is going to Wolves, Patrick Vieira to Juventus, Francis Jeffers is going to Everton and Sylvain Wiltord to whoever will have him. Oh, Edu is off to Middlesbrough and Harry Kewell has chosen UEFA cup over the Champions League and will move sideways to Liverpool.

I hate summer football talk, especially when it’s pouring down with rain. Every TV program and newspaper takes the dartboard approach; arrange twenty clubs around the face of a dartboard and put a load of players’ names in a hat. Pick a name, throw a dart. Repeat. Even by usual standards this year is slow though. No-one who’s anyone have signed anyone so far and it’s July already (well, nearly).

Competitions like the Confederations Cup really get on my nerves. Who actually cares about the trophy? Is it more or less valued than Le Tournoi? or the King Hassan II trophy? When players have pushed their bodies through two grueling seasons (particularly for the Premiership players) without a break and are then told they’ve got to play in this mickey mouse tournament that no-one outside of FIFA headquarters gives a toss about, it’s no surprise they start dropping like flies.

The only thing worse than actually playing the final yesterday was having to listen to Jonathan Pearce commentate on it. Listening to him eulogize over a player he couldn’t have cared less about a week ago was absolutely excruciating. I’m not going to be similarly hypocritical. I never really liked Marc Vivien Foe as a player and I’ve said as much before. I thought he was a dirty, niggly little player without much else to his game. I did have a lot of respect for him in terms of what he has done for African football, and for being a genuine hard worker in a game full of lazy, overpaid, muppets like Juan Sebastien Veron. His death is first and foremost tragic, and most probably avoidable. Hopefully FAs across the World will now sit up and take notice when club managers tell them that a moneyspinning friendly against some no-hopers is not a valid reason for running a player into the ground.

I say hopefully because we all know that it won’t happen like that. We all know that a dubious FIFA doctor will inform us that it was absolutely, 100% unavoidable and it could of happened while Foé was walking his dog. Playing 70 odd matches of the most physically demanding professional sport in the World in just over a year had nothing to do with it.

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10 Previous Articles

  1. A little respect
  2. Excitement mounting?
  3. Adios David!
  4. The search
  5. I give up
  6. Just 11 weeks to go
  7. Every Dog Has Its Day
  8. Best of 2002–3
  9. Writer’s block
  10. They think it’s all over