Maddy’s Note: Our Journo pal Swaroop is back with his typical style and eloquence. Here’s an Arsefan with an honest, tells-it-as-he-sees-it assessment. Of course his views are his own you may not agree with them. At least not entirely.
It was September 2003. And I was watching Football Mundial – back then it was not clichéd and used to come in Star Sports/ESPN. They used to have a five-minute section dedicated to profiling upcoming youngsters. It was Cesc Fabregas’s first celluloid moment in India – and not coincidentally my first ever opportunity of watching the youngster play football. (more…)
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Journalist: Xavi Hernandez, I would firstly like to thank you for giving us a few minutes of your valuable time. I would also like to congratulate you on the World Cup triumph. You must obviously be delighted.
Xavi: As you say, it is obvious that I am delighted. As obvious as the fact that Cesc is coming to Barca next week for twelve pounds ha’ penny. I am very happy. I feel like slurping up strands of Cesc’s genes like some genetic spaghetti eater.
Journalist: Err… OK. Have you joined up for pre-season training yet?
Xavi: No. Pre-season training is le cack. Always the same old things.
Journalist: Yes, the laps and stretches can get a bit tedious. But what better way to prepare for the new season, right?
Xavi: Oh, the laps are alright. It’s the indoor training games that are hell. Pep is a hard taskmaster. He puts Messi and Loretta the cafeteria lady on one team and the rest of us on the other.
Journalist: Umm.. well, don’t you think that’s a bit unfair?
Xavi: Tell me about it! Have you seen the fight in that bitch? She goes putting in tackles like Yaya Toure who’s just been asked to lend money to the poor. And all we have is Sergio Fucking Busquets. Of course it’s unfair! Almost as unfair as the bonded labour Cesc is under at QPR.
Journalist: You mean Arsenal.
Xavi: Yeah, whatever. All London’s the fucking same. It’s an outrage, that’s what I’m saying. (more…)
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On most days, I’m an angry and frustrated boy. I still don’t know whether I subconsciously choose to loathe the ‘big boys’ of other Leagues or if they really are overgrown schoolchildren (see what I did there?). The latter possibility seems more likely because we know a) the huge number of supporters these clubs have and b) the huge number of overgrown schoolchildren in the world. It was therefore with considerable surprise that, at the end of the 2008-09 season, I looked at a team lifting a trophy without cringing. As Manchester United were beaten by a Messi header (for more oxymorons, see ‘Chelsea youth product’ and ‘Clichy goal’) and the Catalans cavorted around with Old Big Ears, a ghost of a smile may have passed my face. I was even prepared to put the Henry tapping up incident in the ‘water under the bridge’ category. Here was a team that played wonderful football, had a likable manager and whose crux was players from their own academy. If these weren’t ideal champs, who were?
But many things have happened over the past year. In a nutshell, Barca have proved how shallow, spoilt and stupid they are.
Shallow, because they clearly have no pressing need for a midfielder of Cesc’s type. Joan Laporta wants to be the man who started the process of bringing the ‘Golden Boy’ back home while Sandra Bullock (or Rossell, same difference) wants to be the man who finished it. (more…)
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