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All Things Footie | Tuesday, January 24 | Jordan

Oh dear, Sven

You’ve really screwed it up this time.

I saw something on a website a week ago, some kind of petition bertaing the News of the World for unsettling ‘our’ England manager before a World Cup, and criticising the whole ‘Fake Sheikh’ sting. I don’t know exactly how stupid you have to be to fall for the Fake Sheikh scam—maybe there are loads of Sheikhs roaming London offering tantalising jobs in football and I just don’t know it—but there’s no doubt in my mind that, on the ‘Bush scale’ of stupidity, Sven’s always been a high scorer. Emile Heskey’s 43 England Caps are evidence enough of this. Actually, the fact that he said he’d consider quitting the cushiest job in football to work under Doug Ellis makes his lack of brain power almost indisputable.

I love the way that because he wears rimless glasses and is quiet as a church mouse, he’s always been portrayed as a ‘thinker’, an intelligent manager in the mould of Arsène Wenger and Fabio Capello. Which is of course, utter nonsense. He’s quiet because he’s got nothing to say, he wears glasses presumably because someone once told him they were magic glasses that would enable him to see potential in even the most incompetent of footballers (see Owen Hargreaves, Danny Mills, Darius Vassell, Emile Heskey, Peter Crouch, David James). I’m increasingly of the opinion that Alastair McGowan and Ronnie Ancona’s portral of Sven and Nancy is less comedy invention and more faithful satire; odd as it sounds, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was the ‘brains’ behind it all.

There’s no doubt that Sven will be off at the World Cup, but his departure can’t come too soon in my opinion. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he was to leave his post before the end of this week.

I was amused this morning to see Jermaine Pennant warning Theo Walcott about joining Arsenal. Apparently, you have to suffer the ‘hell’ of:

“you start thinking ‘what have I done here? why am I not playing? what’s happening?’”

What he forgot to say was that it was also not a good idea to turn up to training pissed, get banned from the road for drink driving, then wrap your car around a lamp-post (drunk) and claim to be Ashley Cole to the police. If there was ever an embodiment of the deep-rooted malaise in English football, Pennant is it. his advice for Theo:

”’just be patient, train hard and make sure your attitude is right’”

Just like you, eh Jermaine?

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

# Posted by Blogger Scherzbit at 3:31 AM
If Sven is ahigh scorer on the Bush scale, what is Jermaine Pennant? Undisputed heavyweight champeen? Sure, he's never speciously invaded a sovereign nation, but tha's a matter of opportunity, not desire.
# Posted by Anonymous Obispo at 7:55 AM

Alot of points of yours seem to be a double edge sword don't they? I seem to recall you using Emile Heskey's 'fall from grace' as a demonstration of how Michael Owen ruins his strike partners.

A point I happened to agree with. Sadly though, I have to disagree with you here - Heskey, Crouch and Hargreaves are all good footballers, not worthy of a mention alongside Danny Mills.

As a Liverpool I can vouch for crouch (...yes, that rhymes. Unintentionally) - he's been fantastic this season. He's a deceptive player. Woeful in the air, appauling physical strength but a great touch - not just a good touch for a big man.

He's key to our system particularly away from home and has great awareness, more so than Owen's ever had.

Heskey is just a victim of an insane media campain. I find it amusing that there was virtually no call for Rooney's head after an utterly abysmal World Cup qualifying campain from him - ZERO goals.

Had that been the Birmingham striker then we would never have heard the end of it.

Hargreaves seems to be England's current scape-goat.

What do you want from a defensive midfielder? The public here gets to see 15 minutes of him when he comes on out of position - when England don't conceed when he's on - he has nothing to do with it. BUT, if England are chasing a lead and they fail to score, then HARGREAVES gets part of the blame.

Would Arsenal blame Flamini if he brought on as a rightback when Arsenal were chasing a lead and they failed to score - of course not.

Hargreaves is England's best defensive midfielder. The fact that Ottmar Hitzfeld - probably one of the best managers in the world over the past 10 years - rates him extremely highly is a good sign.

I also believe he won the young player of the year in the 2001 champions league for being a KEY memeber of Bayern's first team.

Oh, and he looked no more out of place before the 2002 world cup on the left than anyone else has.

He did a far better job there than Cole, Cole, Bridge, Scholes and Gerrard have managed, let's be honest.
# Posted by Blogger Jordan at 10:22 AM
Scherzbit: hahaha. Agreed.

Obispo: your opinion of Crouch is unarguably clouded by the fact that you're a Liverpool fan. For reasons beyond my comprehension, I see he's become some kind of cult figure up there, despite the fact that on all the evidence I've seen, he's abolutely awful.

His positional play is atrocious, his movement seems to be completely unsynchronised with the rest of teh team, he's awful in the air, his distribution is poor, his finishing slack (at best).

Ask a Southampton fan, ask a QPR fan, a portsmouth fan, a Villa fan ...

Obviously I'm exaggerating his faults a little, his abilities are not so poor that he'd look out of place at a championship club; but Premiership or International level? No way. No way at all.


When I said Owen destroys his strike partners, I was thinking more about his good strike partners, you can't destory something that's already broken beyond repair like Heskey.
# Posted by Anonymous Obispo at 4:51 PM
@ Jordan.

Unarguably clouded? I thought he was a decent player at Southampton.

It's not small surprise that our away results have improved dramatically this season because Crouch holds up our play.

Positional play? Does any English player have decent position play?

Rooney drops off to the edge of his 18 yard box. Gerrard is insistent on covering every blade of grass on the pitch, ususally to little effect.

I'm sure most Southamption fans would say he was their best player last season.

He doesn't look out of place at the european champions.

Heskey had plenty of 'premiership' style talent.

Plenty of pace, power and aggression. No guile or touch.
# Posted by Anonymous canizares77 at 6:01 AM
I think that what we have here are two extremists. One hates Crouch. One 'vouches' him.

Crouch is a decent enough player, although I think he is trodding Stan Collymore's path a bit. He was a big fish in a small pond at Southampton, but now he's a small fish in a much bigger pond at Anfield.

Hopefully he doesn't end up like Stan though.

Anyway at the start of last season, people were cristicising Paul Sturrock's decision to sign him for 2 mil quid. But I am absolutely sure NOBODY knew he was going to score the goals he did last season.

Last year he had luck to score his goals.

This year he has quality service.
# Posted by Blogger Jordan at 10:28 AM
I still think Sturrock wasted 2 million on him -- he didn't stop them getting relegated did he?

2 million is too much for crouch, 7 million is just funny.


As for the stan collymore comparisons; Stan Collymore was a superb technical player, he was, in short, a fantastic footballer, whose perfsonal demons and bad attitude stopped him from ever being great.

Crouch is a great lad, nice as pie and he seems well humoured and professional. He is however, a shit footballer.
# Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 5:55 PM
When a club's fan has a bias one way or the other, it's usually accurate but exaggerated - listen to Arsenal fans. Gilberto is apparently the worst defensive midfielder in the world, Cygan couldn't play in a Conference side... while van Persie's the best young striker in the world, Henry's the best footballer in the world, etc....

So when a Liverpool fan says Crouch is great, he's probably exaggerating, but if Crouch was in truth awful, the Liverpool fans would be the first to crucify him :)

That said, I've only seen him play once (the Liverpool-Everton derby) and he looks like he's stuck between tall strong target man and quick technical forward - without any specific strengths. :)
# Posted by Blogger Tomanbay at 11:27 PM
Join the revolution
# Posted by Blogger Scherzbit at 6:19 AM

I understand your discontent, but replacing "football" with "sadly bastardized form of eggchasing" just won't work with us lazy Americans.

BTW, we know who you are, and we've never taken criticism well. If you have any exploitable natural resources, you're well fucked. Sorry.
# Posted by Blogger Tomanbay at 8:29 AM
actually this is just an experiement i was doing...because in case u dont know there is another type of boycott going on...and i was trying to make fun of that...for all i care they can call it tennis!
# Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 5:28 PM
Check out the owen hargreaves fan club - his idol is michael jordan - not known for his defensive midfield football skills. Although come to think of it nor is Owen - so why is he in Germany - as a translator?
Is the Jordan further up the page the same one I wonder?
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Luogo molto buon:) Buona fortuna!
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E evidente che il luogo e stato fatto dalla persona che realmente conosce il mestiere!
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Lo trovo piuttosto impressionante. Lavoro grande fatto..)
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Stupore! ho una sensibilit� molto buona circa il vostro luogo!!!!
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