Football is no longer the beautiful game; it’s an unhinged supermodel on the game.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the exasperating lunacy of Carlos Tevez and his relentless quest to unshackle himself from the tortures of unimaginable riches, adoration, and regularly seeing his every beck, whim, and diva demand ceded to. Our heart goes out to the Argentine One and we can only hope Amnesty International is on the case.
Madness can also be found at Villa Park where Randy Lerner – an owner who had previously built up a rare reserve of widespread respect even if he does sound like a novice porn star – decided to eschew the numerous talented and available coaches out there and instead messily prise away the services of Alex McLeish from his Brum neighbours.
Fresh from sending the blue half of Birmingham down – and known for favouring a stolid, unattractive brand of football – the huge ginger freckle is a bizarre choice irrespective of his unpopularity that will surely doom him to failure. One of life’s courser axioms is that you never shit on your own doorstep. Lerner has not only ignored this wisdom but he’s gone a stage further and decided to employ it.
Meanwhile the transfer market is as nonsensical as ever with mediocre fare such as Stewart Downing going for twenty million plus. Downing is predominantly a wide man who has never knowingly beaten an opponent in his life and has repeatedly been unable to break into an England team who have long required a player if his ilk. With a similar inflated fee for the grossly over-rated Henderson the Cutter fails to see how Dalglish is somehow ‘keeping it real’ according to an approving media whereas Man City shelling out such figures for their English recruits in Milner, Barry and Lescott constituted a ruining of football. Over-priced domestic players are precisely that regardless of how likable the gaffer is.
Abramovich has gone back to the future by appointing the ‘new Mourinho’ whilst finally remembering his PIN number
Such splurging almost makes us wistful of the all-too-recent innocent summers that were entirely dominated by whether Benni McCarthy would be leaving Porto for these shores all for the princely sum of a couple of mill.
Almost. Because here at the Cutter we simply wouldn’t have it any other way. What is the point in investing a considerable amount of emotion into such an other-worldly circus if the big tent is solely populated by dullards such as James ‘Teacher’s pet’ Milner or goody-two-shoes family men like Ryan Giggs? Our work, love-life, and social environment are supposed to make sense – or at least we forever strive to make it so. Football is where we go for our hit of crazy.
This season – indeed with the Euros and Olympics to follow, this next year – promises to be an absolute belter with a fascinating array of differing approaches undertaken by several of the major clubs.
Abramovich has gone back to the future by appointing the ‘new Mourinho’ whilst finally remembering his PIN number; Wenger’s beautiful experiment at the Emirates looks to be on the brink of disintegration; Liverpool seem intent on assembling an expensive Great Britain B team; United started their reconstruction early but are yet to bring in their most required recruit – a scheming midfielder in the Scholes mould. City meanwhile are preparing themselves for stage three of their grand project which should have entailed a simply tweak here and there until the spanner Tevez threw himself into the works.
Further down the pecking order Sunderland have hoovered up the United sub’s bench – expect the Black Cats to be pretty average until the latter stages of each game before fluking plenty of injury-time winners – whilst Mike Ashley must be forlornly hoping that memory loss is a side-effect of a poor diet and STDs and that Newcastle supporters don’t recall his pledge to reinvest all of the Carroll windfall. Either he lied or West Ham duffer Demba Ba demanded an astronomical signing on fee.
There is also the usual blend of returns and new arrivals. Martin Jol heads back to the Prem seeking retribution for his callous Spurs dismissal (weirdly looking increasingly like his successor Redknapp after an aggressive face-lift) and there are the Welsh boys from Swansea to welcome so expect banter on the terraces to occasionally revert back to the middle ages.
Will the mad professor Wenger finally succumb to outright insanity and blu-tac two pencils up his nose?
Last season events off the pitch (such as Liverpool’s boardroom wranglings and the superinjunction fiascos) were often more entertaining – and contained more drama – than what was served up on matchdays as teams largely under-performed. No club managed to string together a sustained period of excellence and disappointingly only central defenders were capable of maintaining a consistently high standard throughout. This time however things are shaping up nicely for a series of intriguing soap operas that are still very much at the development stage. Will Villas-Boas revitalise Chelsea? Can City find the consistent, arrogant cohesion required of champions? Will De Gea embrace the big Old Trafford stage or flap like a young Taibi? Are Dalglish’s home-grown convictions outdated? Will the mad professor Wenger finally succumb to outright insanity and blu-tac two pencils up his nose?
So many questions. So many possibilities. It’s time to get excited people because the circus is once more coming to town. Just don’t try to make sense of it all.