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All Things Footie | Wednesday, December 22 | Jordan

Christmas is coming

And so is the usual hectic programme of games, 25 in 6 days or something. My usual bah-humbugism has been put on the back burner this year and I’m in a very Christmassy mood, to the point of actually enjoying the Christmas songs on the radio and everything. I just wanted to take a quick moment to wish all our readers a very happy Christmas and a very drunk and enjoyable New Year, and thanks for sticking by ATF over the last twelve months, we hope to see more of you in 2005 where you can expect more hilariously biased ramblings on the beautiful game, and maybe even a new design.

Without wanting to sound like I’m on a crusade, I’m beginning to feel thoroughly worn out by the useless, hypocritical, false morons at UEFA. Apparently, last year was an ‘anti-racism’ year, a year for putting in place those clubs and countries who still think it’s acceptable to abuse black footballers. Italy, Spain, Greece, Eastern Bloc, we’re looking at you. Given this, you’d expect Spain to be punished for the disgraceful behaviour of their fans against both the England seniors and under-21s earlier this Winter. Am I surprised that a paltry £44,750 fine was handed out to the Spanish FA? No. Is it an absolute disgrace that this fine will cost the FA less that the sum total of the match fees for the senior players for an International? Yes. When you add to this the even more pathetic fines handed to PSV Eindhoven, Real Madrid and Lazio over the last few years for similar incidents, it proves that UEFA’s ‘commitment’ to stamping out racism is superficial in the extreme. Players, managers and clubs are routinely fined more for minor, petulant breaches of UEFA’s disciplinary code, and it just drives me mad.

Sticking with governing bodies, I know it was democratically voted for but I’d like to hear a convincing argument for Ronaldinho being the best player in the World in 2004. Of course the award’s a load of toss, with no disrespect meant to Trinidad & Tobago or Mongolia, Bertille Saint Clair and Ishdorj Otgonbayar have the same weight of vote as Marco van Basten and Lothar Matthäus. Enough said.

The winner of this award is simply who the FIFA highlight reels laud the most, or who does the fanciest tricks in Nike adverts. The player who scored the least goals, had the fewest assists and who won the least took the award. Now don’t get me wrong, I love watching Ronaldinho and 2005 could be Barca’s year, but how you can justify a Player of the Year award on a few nice goals and some fancy tricks in the defensively weakest major league in Europe, I don’t know. When you’ve got the robotic goal-machine of Andrej Shevchenko and the everything in one package Thierry Henry (league win and unbeaten season in which he scored more goals than anyone else and provided more assists than anyone else as well as winning consecutive domestic player of the year awards).

You could argue that Henry’s poor performances in Euro 2004 let him down, but as the Ukraine didn’t qualify for that competition, and as Ronaldinho didn’t even travel to the Copa America with Brazil, I don’t see how it can be a valid argument. Add to that AC Milan’s failure to get any further than Arsenal in the Champion’s League and Barcelona’s Fourth Round exit in the UEFA Cup, and you can’t argue European form played a part. Nonsense, utter nonsense, but if you really want it, here’s a list of manager/captain’s votes.

That’s enough moaning and whining for one year, I may post something before new year, but certainly not before christmas, so y’all have a good one. Eat, drink and be merry ; listen to some good music ; watch some good films ; and most of all, enjoy the festive footie!

(20) Comment(s) | Permanent link to this article

# Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1:44 PM
luogo interessante, soddisfare interessante, buon!
# Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 10:41 PM
Luogo molto buon:) Buona fortuna!
# Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 2:03 PM
E evidente che il luogo e stato fatto dalla persona che realmente conosce il mestiere!
# Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 10:58 PM
luogo interessante, soddisfare interessante, buon!
# Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 5:17 PM
Lo trovo piuttosto impressionante. Lavoro grande fatto..)
# Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 8:27 AM
Stupore! ho una sensibilit� molto buona circa il vostro luogo!!!!
# Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1:14 PM
9 su 10! Ottenerlo! Siete buoni!
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# Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 9:19 AM
Interessare, molto interessante. Come avete fatto questo?
# Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 2:25 PM
Ich besichtige deinen Aufstellungsort wieder bald fur sicheres!
# Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 4:07 AM
L'information interessante que vous avez! I'am allant revenir bientot.
# Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 9:13 AM
Du musst ein Fachmann sein - wirklich guter Aufstellungsort, den du hast!
# Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 6:59 PM
Stupore! Amo questo luogo!:)))))))
# Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 11:09 PM
Luogo molto buon:) Buona fortuna!
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