Good morning sports fans!
So, yesterday was a bit of a damp squib (a miniature explosive) wasn’t it? Firstly I picked up a paper cut on one of my fingers, so typing is extremely painful and secondly England lost the 2018 bid to Russia and even more bizarrely than that, Australia and America lost 2022 to Footballing giant… QATAR!
Now, firstly with the Russian bid.
1) Poor infrastructure.
2) Extremely unfriendly country in terms of police and inherent racism among fans.
3) It’s hugely expensive to get to.
Bar that, it has a strange lure. I’m not dead set against it if I’m honest. Russia have been dying to show everyone they’re still a super power and I can’t imagine they’re going to cut corners. It should be a world cup to remember and at least they have a rich footballing history to back their bid. It was nice to see an Arsenal player as the focal point as well. I can’t imagine for a second anything shady went on behind the scenes. It would be preposterous to suggest that a man as rich as Abramovich would ever look to swing votes with anything other than his charm and persuasive manner.
Now, the second bid is the most bizarre. One of my very good friends from way back when grew up in Qatar. He spent the best part of 5 years persuading me to go over there. I must precursor this by telling you before he’d invite me, he would insist that Doha is by far the most boring place he’d ever lived and the best part about it is shawarma and shisha. Accessing drink is a nightmare, the rules are strict and the temperatures are beyond ridiculous.
How mad is it to firstly build 9 stadiums from scratch. Secondly, to bring 3 million fans together and house them within 60km of each other and thirdly, give the world cup to a country who has no famous player of note and has never qualified for a World Cup. Not to mention the carbon impact of air-conditioned stadiums (carbon neutral my arse).
Imagine a World Cup where you couldn’t enjoy a beer in public? Imagine being a Geordie and told you can’t dress provocatively? Imagine being gay and landing 5 years for doing something that is illegal there? Jeez, they give the death penalty for espionage… watch out 2022!
At least we know Zidane backed the bid with only a small incentive of $15million. I’m sure no one else on the bid team benefitted from anything other than the occasional flat white at Costa.
Anyway, moving $wiftly onto football and all things Arsenal!
Chamakh has been speaking to the press about how he has endeared himself to the fans. He told Arsenal.com he thought the Arsenal fans like him because,
‘I give 200 per cent, I play with my heart, I’ve got guts, I give everything I’ve got.’
It’s pretty hard to disagree with his astute assessment. He gives everything to the team and he never gives up. Much in the same way Adebayor used to when he had a contract to play for. He also mentioned his previous poor goal scoring record. He’s never bagged more than 20. Well, he’s at 10 already and I’m hoping he’ll finish the season with at least 17.
Wenger will always be remembered by me as one of the best attacking coaches in world football. He takes players with the right ingredients and he moulds them into finishers.
Marc Overmars, Bobby Pires, Thierry Henry and Adebayor all arrived at Arsenal with poor scoring records. 3 of them said they weren’t goal scorers so don’t expect too much. That’s why I’m confident Chamakh will continue his scoring this season. That’s why I’m interested to see how Robin is introduced into the side. Will he play in the hole just behind Chamakh? Will he be pushed out wide? Or will he just wait his turn?
In Russian news today, talk of Renat Yanbaev is on the lips of most. He’s the Russian left back we were interested in last summer. He’s been capped 7 times by his home nation and rumour has it, he’s on the January transfer target list. If one exists of course…
Fulham are up this weekend and we’ll be without Cesc. Mark Hughes has prepared well for this, nipping off to the Barcelona game on Monday. We’ve got to be slightly wary of his side, they’ve got some good players and they’re capable of an upset. Statistically we should win, they’ve never beaten us at home… not since we started playing each other in 1914 apparently. Should be a walk in the park!
More from us on the game tomorrow, until then, drive save and say no to organic lemon snow cones.
See you in the comments!