The release of the fixtures has put into sharp focus the need to hit the ground running in August, and hopefully with all transfer business having been concluded.
After a gentle loosener at Newcastle, where we should just about secure the points providing we can score five by half-time, we are into the serious business of two Champions League qualifiers, Liverpool at home, and Manchester United away, in under a fortnight and before the transfer window has closed.
Next check was where we are playing after the Champions League group stage matches, assuming of course we are in there. The first two are followed by trips to Blackburn and our friends at the dirty end of Seven Sisters. I sighed, but then saw only home fixtures following the remainder, although we are at the bus stop in Fulham immediately before matchday four, so it is a fair bet that will be moved at the whim of Sky. No real complaints on that score then.
December and January will test the squad to the full with potentially fifteen matches if we progress in the Beer Cup. Talking of which should we reach the Final of that competition for the second consecutive year the home leg of the North London derby will be shunted, as it is scheduled for the same weekend.
So to the end of the season. Re-arranged games may yet disturb what looks an astonishingly comfortable run-in if we should be in contention. As things stand our last six matches, although they do include Chelsea at home, also pit us against Wolves, Stoke, and West Brom away, Wigan Athletic and Norwich at home. The word OPPORTUNITY jumps out at me in bold print, and yes, I know. You don’t have to remind me!
So Is There A Difference – Modric and Cesc?
OK, so I know we are outwardly chuckling at the discomfort of our neighbours, but I for one am heartily sick of players showing complete and utter disregard for those who pay them, and those who invest far too much emotional attachment in them from the stands.
“Is there a difference between Modric and Fabregas?” asked a friend earlier today. I think there is an important distinction to be made. Last summer both North London clubs attempted to secure the future of their marquee players with offers of extended contracts on much improved terms.
We all know Cesc will one day return home, just as soon as Barca find the money to buy him. He has an emotional investment of his own in Catalunya. He has however given us exemplary service since he arrived eight years ago. He has maintained a dignified, if frustrating, near-silence as Barca’s vulgar attempts to lure him have become more embarrassing and desperate. He knows it will happen though, and did not come to an agreement with Arsenal on an extension to his current contract, which he shows every sign of honouring if Barca don’t do the right thing and pay his market value.
At the same time Modric, just two years after Tottenham had taken a punt on his fragile potential, happily signed a six year extension in return for a massive increase in Levy pounds. Twelve months on the ungrateful wretch flutters his eyelashes not in the direction of his homeland. No, this avaricious little shit is cutting a lustful glance at Roman Abramovich, or perhaps more accurately, his wallet.
I don’t care who he plays for. He is simply the latest, and the most high-profile example of the sort of character currently bleeding football of the millions that would be better invested within the clubs, and within the game. Financial sanity will have to prevail soon, surely? These obnoxious mercenaries must be starved of the riches they snatch with little or no loyalty in return.
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