Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not Enough10 things we have learnt this weekend - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough 10 things we have learnt this weekend - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

10 things we have learnt this weekend

England can win ugly and we should enjoy it:

Only 48 hours have passed since England beat the world champions, (I repeat, the WORLD CHAMPIONS) and already we have seen the national press roll out such empty platitudes as “Room for improvment” or “ 5 things England must learn”. Ok, so it may not have been the greatest display in the world, but English supporters surely must learn to savour every victory and dispense with the institutional negativety that has clouded the national team for so long. It must now be time to release ourselves from the shackles of our own self loathing, and enjoy game’s like this for exactly what it was, a brilliant win.

FIFA have a heart:

Much was made this week of the fact that the England side were initially banned from displaying poppies on their shirts for the friendly international against Spain. After a public outcry and an apparent personal intervention from Prince William, the decision was reversed. Whether it was the correct decision by FIFA remains to be seen, but it was definitely the sensible decision, and might help the public image of the sports governing body after recent trials and tribulations

Don’t mess with the Geordies:

Ok, I understand that it may be a necessity in the current climate, for some teams to look outside of the usual parameters to generate revenue, and again I understand that this may include the sale of the stadium naming rights. It seems to have been hugely successful for the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City, and is particularly prominent with our trans-Atlantic cousins. However, if there is one group of fans that are not to be messed with in such matters, it is surely the toon army. As pointed out by every commentator at every Newcastle game throughout the history of time, the Geordie folk are particularly boisterous when it comes to anybody messing with their baby, and this is possibly a step too far. Especially as “The Emirates” or “The Reebok” have a certain ring to them. Where as “The sports direct arena” might describe somewhere you would find two adolescent street urchins scrapping over a Kappa tracksuit.  

Zlatan is a Ferrari, not a Fiat:

What more could you want from a moderna day footballer than an exceptional talent, a nonchalant playing style and someone that is mad a as a box of frogs. If all those criteria are ticking your boxes, the look no further than Sweden’s prodical son Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Tuesday sees the launch of Zlatan’s autobiography “I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic”, (dangerously close in title, and probably sentiment to “I partridge: we need to talk about Alan”) a work that tragically will not be published in English. However snippets that have been made available this week would indicate that the Italian and Swedish audience’s are in for a treat as Ibra ponders over some delicious moments such as being compared to a Fiat when he is actually a Ferrari, breaking Oguchi Onyewu’s ribs during a training ground bust up and launching several scathing attacks on Pep Guardiola whilst at Barca.

Everyone loves the Republic Of Ireland:

The majority of the worldwide footballing fraternmity took a collcetive sigh of releif as the Republic Of Ireland took a giant step towards qualification with a 4-0 victory over Estonia in Tallinn this week. The Republic have long been a plucky and immensiley likeable team who have generally performed well at major tournaments. Let’s hope that the dissapointment that was felt right accross Ireland after they failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup at the hands (pun very much intended) of France and Thierry Henry will now be cast aside as we see the Irish march on to Poland and the Ukraine.

Wales are turning the corner:

It should really come as no suprise that Wales are more than capiable of acheiving decent results, with the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Gareth Bale and the evergreen Craig Bellamy making up the back bone of the squad. What the Welsh have lacked in the recent times would appear to be stability, which they have now found in the shape of Gary Speed. Speed’s firm hand on the tiller was evident at Wembley in September, and even more so in their recent 4-1 victory over Norway. Speed has now instilled a confidence into his squad that is allowing them to play a more free flowing style of football. Don’t be suprised if the boys in red carry on their fine form to World Cup qualification in 2014.

Carlos Tevez’s heart isn’t in it:

Something that we already knew really, but it has becoming blindingly obvious this week that Carlos Tevez is not really enjoying his time at the Etihad stadium. Mr Tevez seems to be of the opinion that being a professional footballer on an exorbitant wage excuses him from his erratic behaviour. If I walked into my office, refused to work, was suspended from work then went on holiday, then didn’t show up for my disciplinary hearing, my guess is that I would not have long left as an employee of that company. It would seem that Carlos is trying to make his way out of Manchester, by any means necessary. 

Neymar is staying put:

This week has seen the electrifying talent of Neymar sign a contract extension at Santos that will keep him in Brazil until after the 2014 world cup. A deal has finally been done to increase his wages to a level that would befit’s his glorious skills, and that would compete with the biggest wallets in European football. It is probably an inevitability that Neymar will eventually end playing for one of the European big boys, but the Brazilian way seems to be helping the young man develop his game, and curb his impetuous streak and turn him into the full article.

Harry Redknapp can do no wrong:

It would appear that the footballing gods are beaming down rays of glorious sunshine onto Harry Redknapp. This week we learnt that Harry would stand trial for tax evasion. You would be excused for missing that particular nugget of information however, as barely a squeak was made by the British press or media outlets. For a man who in the past publicly berated members of his own playing staff, he still seems to be heralded as an outstanding man manager, and is the media’s number one choice to be the next England manager. Is there anything Redknapp can do to upset the apple cart?

British football fans are rubbish:

The bad old days of English football seem to be rearing their ugly head again, as the past week has seen two separate incident’s of “fans” sending racist tweets, Newcastle’s Sammi Ameobi and Sunderland’s Frazier Campbell being the targets on these occasions. Thankfully, long gone are the days of national front banners at games and institutionalised racism, but these recent incidents could be far more worrying. Individuals now have a direct line in communication with top professionals, and are using the anonymity of twitter to launch these sickening attacks. The worry is that it will drive the pros away from social media, once again meaning that it will be the real fans that lose out.

Sam Wingrove


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