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All Things Footie | Wednesday, August 20 | Jordan

International boredlies

The season’s only been going four days and already it’s interrupted by pointless, boring, dull and player-tiring international friendlies. No-one learns anything from these games, players hate them, managers hate them, fans hate them (apart from the eerily nationalistic weirdos who’d watch paint dry if it had a St Georges painted on it).

I won’t be watching the game tonight, I can think of few things I’d rather do less, though I might catch the highlights if there’s nothing else on. It’s not getting difficult to predict England results (with the exception of the shock win over Turkey) but I would say a desperately mediocre performance. First goal to Crotaia courtesy of a defensive error after the ball has been given away cheaply in midfield. We’ll get one back from a David Beckham free kick (surprise!) and concede a further goal from a set piece just before half time. Second half, youth will battle impressively but fail to make an impact goal-wise. See? Easy.

I sincerely hope that Sol Campbell’s rumoured threats to quit England are true. Even the FA’s chosen being on Earth, SGE, thinks Campbell has been hard done by. It’s important to remember that a little kick up the arse is far more violent, malicious and likely to cause serious injury than a kung-fu kick in the testicles. And that’s why Campbell should be punished to the full extent of the law why Eric Djemba-Djemba receives an MBE.

A few transfers over the last couple of days. Middlesbrough have signed Gaizka Mendieta from Lazio on a season long loan. Mendieta is a top player, and it’s unbelieveable to imagine that just 24 months ago Lazio paid Valencia nearly £30m for him. He was playing superbly at the time, and just about any top European club would have taken him then. I’m surprised more of the top sides (no disrespect to Boro) didn’t make an effort to bring him in now — the deal comes with a definite option to buy. I didn’t think he was that bad at Barcelona last season.

Sticking with Spaniards arriving in the Premiership, Arsenal have reportedly signed ‘starlet’ Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona’s youth team. they’re a bit annoyed I think. USA captain Claudio Reyna looks like he’ll sign for Fulham and Bolton have signed aging goal machine Mario Jardel.

Would anyone that reaches all things footie by clicking on a link from this page http://bcnet.britishcouncil.org:8000/big picture/sport_review.htm please e-mail me and let me know what the referring page is. To say I’m intrigued would be a scandalous understatement.

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