Day: September 1, 2009

Croatian Conspiracy Theories

Well, it looks as if Lee Bowyer has upset the Croatian Football Association. Following Bowyer’s tackle on Luka Modric during the match between Tottenham Hotspur and Birmingham City on Saturday, which resulted in a broken leg for the Croatian international, the president of Hrvatski Nogometni Savez (the Croatian Football Federation), Vlatko Markovic, has concluded that there is a conspiracy amongst English clubs to injure Croatian players. Last year, Birmingham City’s Martin Taylor injured Eduardo sufficiently seriously for the Arsenal to have to miss out on Euro 2008, and Markovic is now pretty certain that a pattern is starting to form: Maybe someone has something against us and our national team. In the past year, they [English footballers] have injured Eduardo and now the same has happened to Luka Modric. I can only ask whether someone did it deliberately on the eve of the game with England. I can only ask myself whether it is a coincidence or not. Of course, there are a couple of issues that Markovic should take into account before making such pronouncements. Firstly, neither Taylor nor Bowyer are England squad players and, as such, wouldn’t have anything to gain from taking it upon themselves to injure Croatia’s best players. This, therefore, would seem to indicate that the players concerned had no particular to injure Eduardo and Modric. Secondly – and more relevantly – the Premier...

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Transfer Deadline Day – The Last Day Of The Sales

It’s transfer deadline day, that strange combination of inertia and BIG BIG news, as clubs seek to fine tune their squads before the curtain draws and the window stays shut until the start of January. But will anything actually happen? The media are hoping that something will – several media outlets have someone sitting at a desk in their office, taking text messages and emails from people that may or may not have seen footballers sneaking through the gates of grounds that would normally be considered to be away grounds or meeting people shady people in dark glasses at motorway service stations. All eyes, predictably, will be on the City of Manchester Stadium, in the hope that Manchester City will not be able resist the temptation to splurge another twenty millions pounds on somebody or other, but this seems unlikely to happen. The arrival of Joleon Lescott from Everton last week seems likely to put paid to that. This won’t, however, stop the rumours, and that is the devil in the detail. Transfer deadline day is, ultimately, a media creation which keeps people refreshing on their websites throughout the day and keeps people gossiping. It’s not even as if the clubs themselves like it. After all, the hunters become the hunted on a day like today and if Manchester United can lose Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool can lose Xabi...

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