Time to improve
If you ever wanted an example of how difficult it is to break in to the highest echelon of English football, there was a prime example for all to see on Sunday at Old Trafford. Manchester United finally secured all 3 points against a very impressive and resilient Manchester City side with a goal in the 6th minute of injury time. This despite the fact that the fourth official had originally indicated just 4 minutes of additional time.
The referee explained that he added yet more time to take in to account Manchester City’s 3rd goal celebration. This in itself should only have been about 45 seconds, rather than the near 2 minutes that he played. And, if he added on the time for City’s goal celebration, how come the final whistle went a mere 16 seconds after Michael Owen’s winner as United’s players sure spent longer than that dancing about the pitch in jubilation? Even worse was the sight of SAF then laughing and joking with the fourth official right in front of a clearly unhappy Mark Hughes. As was brilliantly put on one of the football message boards yesterday, there’s ‘normal time’, ‘added time’ and ‘Big Four time’.
It’s all about giving
According to weekend newspaper reports, even before the recent game at Eastlands, Arsenal’s players were a bit miffed with Emmanuel Adebayor when he turned up for the final game of last season with a black bin bag and hoovered up all the football boots and kit of his team mates. His spokesman explained that this was a regular occurrence as Adebayor often sends old and discarded products to deserving causes in Togo. So, it was a bit surprising to see him giving back some brand new footwear to Robin van Persie’s face. He obviously just can help being that generous.
Real in the red
Following the purchases of Kaka, Benzema, Ronaldo et all, Real Madrid have revealed that they are now £296 million in debt. Added to that, they have announced a budget for the coming season of £381 million. It’s just as bad at Barcelona who have announced record debt levels of £361 million.
At last year’s Real Madrid general assembly, the club had outlined similar plans for a £70m reduction in debt. Well clearly that hasn’t happened. So, with Uefa plans in place to ban clubs living beyond their means from European competition from 2012 / 13 and with the world still in economic flux, here’s betting that neither Spanish giants will meet the new qualification standards in two and half years time. Here’s also betting that Uefa will bend their own rules to let them in.
Goodbye to the v1.08
If you are a fan of the PUMA v1.08 football boot, then make sure you follow your favourite big name players in the Carling Cup in midweek as it’s possibly the last time they’ll wear the boot in action. The v1.08 is will be superseded by the v1.10 which launches later this week.
Following the tremendous success enjoyed by the likes of v1.08 wearers Anelka and Eto’o last season, I do hope that PUMA’s designers have got the new boot right. It is radically different and by adding a lace cover, PUMA are taking a massive risk that their branded players will take to the new technology. It does smack a bit of ‘if it ain’t broke, let’s fix it anyway’!