The Offside Treble – #2Sides, Greg Dyke & Champions League watch

This week Jen Offord takes a lighthearted look at Rio Ferdinand's autobiography, Greg Dyke's plans to slash the non-EU quota in the Premier League and Arsenal's shocker at Dortmund.

Seeing Red

As is customary for former Prime Ministers and one-time Premier League Big Dogs, QPR defender Rio (who’s middle name is Gavin, FYI) Ferdinand is about to publish his autobiography, #2Sides. No your eyes don’t deceive you – there really is a hashtag in the title of Ferdinand’s autobiography. Presumably because he’s down with the kids and wants to demonstrate a rudimentary understanding of Twitter, straight off the bat. But who can blame him? He must be coming towards the end of his professional football career and this understanding will stand him in great stead if he wants to get a job in marketing, afterwards.

Former United defender Ferdinand has reportedly made some interesting revelations about former teammates as well as managers in his latest autobiography

Former United defender Ferdinand has reportedly made some interesting revelations about former teammates as well as managers in his latest autobiography

The book, which is being serialised by The Sun, promises to be “explosive” or some other conflict-related superlative. Conflict-related because there seems to have been an awful lot of #disagreement in poor old Rio’s #career. Rio makes astonishing revelations about former bosses, David Moyes, who recklessly banned chips from pre-match meals, and Fabio Capello, who was essentially a war criminal*. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say about friend of Manchester United, Mick Hucknall, who is bound to have upset him somewhere along the way.

Sweet F All

Another footballing institution mimicking successive British Governments of the last 60 years, this week, is the FA who wants to cut the number of non-EU footballers transferring in to the Premier League. The rationale for this seems to be something along the lines of “coming over here, taking our jobs”, 122 of them in fact, since 2009. Is that a number that should give much cause for concern when there are 13 non-English EU players in the Chelsea 2014 first team squad, alone?

Greg Dyke's plans have been judged by many to be too little and too late

Greg Dyke’s plans have been judged by many to be too little and too late

FA Chairman, Greg Dyke, argues that the current transfer system for non-EU players is “chaotic” and leads to “mediocre” non-EU players taking places on squads that could be filled by young English players. Given the state of the English national team, this and many other rules recently implemented by the FA with this issue in mind seem to be borne of honourable and necessary intention, but perhaps time would be better spent identifying weaknesses and implementing better training of young English players, as was the case in Germany after a bout of miserable results in the early 2000s. Surely more English players would be filling those spaces if our home-grown talent met a higher standard?

Euro-pop

It was a disappointing start to Arsenal’s Champion’s League campaign, with new acquisition, Danny Welbeck, failing to single-handedly stop the team unravelling as they eventually lost 2-0 to Borrussia Dortmund. Manager, Arsene Wenger, urged “patience” among supporters who were clearly expecting quite a bit more from their new signing. Liverpool fared slightly better, Steven Gerard securing their win with a stoppage-time penalty against Bulgarian champions, Ludogorets Razgrad. Meanwhile, Manchester United were entertaining the #internet, inspiring a series of #hilarious #memes (Sorry, Rio) by not actually being part of the competition. So they went out on the raz with their WAGs instead.

Arsenal slumped to a 2-0 defeat at the Signal Iduna Park

Arsenal slumped to a 2-0 defeat at the Signal Iduna Park

I have to question why footballers bother going to clubs with their girlfriends on a Tuesday night. I mean, if you’re actually there with your girlfriend, you can’t very well be texting pictures of yourself in a dodgy pair of Y-fronts to an untrustworthy hairdresser. I’m also working on the assumption that it’s generally frowned upon to go out and get shit-faced mid-season? So do footballers just genuinely like really bad music? Answers on a postcard.

*Ok, Fabio Capello is not a war criminal but if you’re going to ban mobile phones…

Read more from Jen Offord here!

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