I’ll be keeping an eye on the draw for the Champions League qualifiers to be held tomorrow. For the first time in many years England have a weak representative and could end up with only three teams in the main draw.
The Tinies will be seeded and will thus avoid the likes of Ajax, Werder Bremen, Zenit, and Sevilla. Redknapp must consider himself really fortunate. I don’t think his team could have qualified against any of those four. Even now Spuds can get into trouble as they will come up against one of Dynamo Kyiv, Auxerre, Sampdoria, Sporting Braga, or Young Boys of Bern.
I hope they get Kyiv. I’m dying to see ‘Arry and his overrated stars in Ukraine. Their performance will expose the gulf in class between the top sides in the Premiership and the pretenders. And it will also give us a chance to laugh at all the Doomers who actually have the temerity to compare the two squads in the first place!
Moving from the potentially uproarious to the immensely frustrating, I note that Vela has been called up for the Mexico friendly just days before the first game at Anfield. All through last season the youngster lost some opportunities to play because of his national duties. He invariably ends up coming back late and misses out on a chance to play. Not only that, at times, it does leave us a bit short on the bench. He also has this knack of picking up niggling injuries in such meaningless games and that doesn’t help his or the club’s cause in any way.
There aren’t many solutions to this. One could be to go the Fergie/Benitez way and declare him unfit. I’m not sure Wenger is capable of doing that. The other option would be for Mexico to play their friendlies in Europe, preferably in England! That will reduce the travel time significantly and will give him a fighting chance, on par with other players who play for their European or even African teams.
In other news, or perhaps a brilliant piece of creative writing, someone has attributed the following comments to Loic Remy. Allegedly, the French striker said this to the French media after visiting Stoke,
It’s terrible out there, but I did not know they were so bad!
I saw the Stoke team and it was really old fashioned. We stopped playing football like that in France in the nineteenth century!
The disgusting food, houses were slums, the center of town has been damaged and the worst was the women. They are all massive and ugly!
Frankly, I can’t believe Remy actually said that but, as they say, every good lie has a grain of truth in it. This one actually seems like a classic rumour because it’s too close to the truth! I mean who can deny Stoke are an archaic team, but can a professional player actually say that in public? If the kid did say it, I’d love to see him in the Premiership. It will be real fun to see him go head-to-head with the English media. For now, let’s just enjoy the words without getting too serious about it.
Of course, the biggest news of the day was the return of the prodigal son. He was lost but is he found?! I’ll wait for the wordings of the official comment before getting into that one.