Day: January 20, 2012

The 2012 African Cup Of Nations: A Preview

The African Cup of Nations’ effect on Arsenal sums up the slightly oddball line-up for this year’s tournament. That Alexandre Song could line out against Swansea was a huge boost (at least until his somewhat floundering performance on the day). That Marouane Chamakh could not was… well… a huge boost too. Cameroon’s absence from the ACN finals seems the biggest surprise, with our focus, disappointingly but understandably, on which Premier League players would be missing for the next few weeks. Nigeria’s absence is a surprise too, though more through past reputation than present achievement; the teams that have taken part in more recent international tournaments – ACN and World Cup finals – have been a ghastly shadow of teams of yore.  So Blackburn Rovers weren’t going to be shorn of their “goals for column”, better known as Yakubu, for the duration. This would have been a huge boost, too, if the silly man hadn’t got himself sent off against Fulham. Still, with some astute ownership and experienced, realistic management, Rovers should be fine…oh… Morocco’s presence, with Chamakh up front, is certainly a surprise in London N5. But the real shock is Egypt’s absence. The reigning champions actually retained their crown in Angola in 2010, having won the 2008 competition in Ghana, where they actually retained their crown having won the 2006 competition at home. Yet they finished bottom of a...

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Does The Premier League Now Wish To Join The Football League?

It took barely three weeks for the blue sky thinking to start again in 2012, but this time the idea came from one of the more unlikely of available sources. In an interview with The Guardian, Andres Villa Boas has stated an opinion that Chelsea should be allowed to field a ‘B’ team in the Championship. In some respects, he is merely verbalising what the vast majority of us already hold to be a truth in any case – that the Premier League doesn’t give damn for anything other than itself – but this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t look at how his idea might play out and why it might not work out for anybody. First of all, there is the small matter of legislation. The first hurdle that any serious attempt at establishing the Football League as some of feeder league would come up against would be to require a change in Football Association rules on the ownership of clubs. Currently, people are banned from owning more than one club in the league system. Proponents of a feeder league system might well argue that reserve teams would not fall under this rule since they are already part of a club, but the rules in ownership are written under the system that we have in place already and may prove difficult to change. Next up, of course, comes the hurdle of getting the agreement of...

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