Then Saturday Comes… the half decent football blog

Eduardo-gate, Scottish football & Lottsamoney County
August 29, 2009, 12:44 pm
Filed under: Mat Reville's Football Blog | Tags: , , , , ,


Arsenal striker Eduardo is at the middle of a Uefa investigation after being charged with diving in the Champions League clash with Celtic.

The Croatian could be banned for up to two games when its disciplinary body meets on 1 September.  Good to see that just two weeks into the new season the football authorities have already exposed their infinite incapabilities.

Firstly, at the beginning of every season the media has one ‘hobby horse’ to talk about.  Last year they fixated on the ‘Respect’ campaign, and this year it’s obviously how to help referees make decisions in the box.

We’ve already enjoyed the inevitable furore after Crystal Palace had that perfectly good goal disallowed because… well, who knows?  Probably just because none of the refs were watching.

The resulting media backlash has called for television replays or additional referees.  Fifa and the FA have both openly criticised the idea of TV replays as they would slow the game down.  So what is the solution?

Seemingly, wait until the game is over and then punish players with television evidence.

OK, that makes sense in some instances.  For example, when Chris Morgan decapitated Iain Hume last season the Sheffield United man deserved to be suspended after the event.  He clearly set out to commit a red-card offence.

However, what Eduardo is facing a two-game ban for was no more than a yellow card offence.  He would not have receieved his marching orders for the dive, which admittedly was absolutely disgraceful.  If you’ve not seen it ici voila;

Lamentable yes, but not worthy of a two-match ban.  All this does is create a ridiculous precedent where teams can appeal against every little incident that happens and get opposition players retrospectively suspended.

If Eduardo gets a two-match ban for this yellow card offence, what’s to stop a goalkeeper receiving a similar ban for handling outside the area?  Or how about if a replay shows that the wall was less than ten yards away for a free kick?

Ban all five players for two games?

Of course this ridiculous state of affairs won’t happen and I’m clearly being facecious.  However, I’m sure Arsene Wenger and Arsenal won’t see the funny side of it.  And you just know Wenger will store this up for a good old moan next time something goes against him.

Finally… why does Eduardo receive such over the top reactions?  An injury and a dive have been blown up like 9/11 and Jacko’s death.  The media loves itself some Croatian/Brazilian drama!


My Scotland team would beat George Burley's

My Scotland team would beat George Burley's


The logical step from Eduardo-gate #2 is a look at the decline of Scottish football.  Champions-elect Celtic were thoroughly dominated by an Arsenal side expected to finish no higher than 4th this season, losing 5-1.

Elsewhere, Aberdeen crashed out of the UEFA Cup to the migthy Sigma Olomouc with a thoroughly unrespectable 8-1 aggregate score.  Similarly, Hearts returned from their preliminary match at Dinamo Zagreb with a 4-0 loss that cut short their European aspirations.

At this stage Rangers are the only team who qualified for Europe who have not been humiliated.  Then again, they are also the only team not to have played yet.

Meanwhile, the national team’s last result was a 4-0 loss in Norway (who were second bottom of their group at the time).  So what is going on north of the border?

A country that has produced players such as Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness and even Matt Elliott is now probably the weakest of the home nations.  Don’t forget Northern Ireland posses the lethal David Healey.  It’s all rather a shambles.

Yet the calls continue for Celtic and Rangers to join the English leagues.  This would be disastrous, and as anti-football as when MK Dons’ usurped Wimbledon’s place in the league.

They would take away two spots in whichever division they entered (presumably the Championship), and there is nothing to suggest they would improve anything about the English league.  Who was the last player to move from Scotland and make a real impact in England?

Other than Mickael Arteta I’m struggling for a single name.  Frankly League One has a better record in the Premier League.  If you don’t believe me, compare Fabien Delph and Barry Ferguson over the next 12 months.  You’ll see I’m right.  I’m always right.

More importantly moving the Old Firm down south would certainly weaken the Scottish Premiership.  The already floundering league (thanks, Setanta) would lose its only marquee sides.

Although on a sporting level it would be more interesting to watch a genuine title fight between Hearts/Aberdeen/Dundee Utd, the reality is that the removal of the big games against Rangers and Celtic would be the final nail in Scottish football’s coffin.

In conclusion, keep Rangers and Celtic where they are until they are, especially when they aren’t good enough to make an impact anywhere else.


M'm! M'm! Good! M'm! M'm! Good!,  That's what Campbell's soups are, M'm! M'm! Good

M'm! M'm! Good! M'm! M'm! Good!, That's what Campbell's soups are, M'm! M'm! Good!


Delightful news at Notts County: Sven’s revolution is in full swing.

Sol Campbell, a player who could still play at the top level in any league in the world, has decided to go to League Two and join the Meadow Lane express.  Good for him.

Everyone will say “he’s lost his appetite and wants an easy pay day at a lower level”.  Maybe, but isn’t that what Rangers and Celtic used to be?  Oops another pop at the SPL, but it’s true.

John Hartson, Chris Sutton, Ian Wright, Steve Guppy, Rod Wallace… all Premiership players who snuck off to the SPL when their legs packed in.

Sol’s trip to League Two is more exciting than this.  He has signed a five year contract, which will more than likely enjoy at least two title-winning seasons.  He is a man who has famous personal problems (remember the West Ham walk-out?) and the chance to become a club’s number one legend is a great opportunity to leave football with one exciting last chapter.

And also good on Notts County.  They are buying some quality young players (Jordan Stewart, Kasper Schmeichel and Billy Sharp) that will make them a force to be reckoned with.  True, it would be mental if they added Pavel Nedved or Luis Figo to that list, but I think having the odd world class player in League Two is a great thing for football.

Just like having 24 at the Walkers Bowl is.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

What about stillian petrov and carlos cuellar at villa eh?
Stevn fletcher could have an impact this year… maybe. And there has been lots of talhk about the possibility of scott brown and aiden mcgeady making a trip soutward.
I also noticed there was no mention that arsenal didnt start a SINGLE englishman over the two legs against celtic…talk about the state of scottish football, what about the state of english football. So called greatest league in the world overturned in a season by Spain thanks to some creative accounting. At least Scottish teams don’t have delusions of grandure. Tony Mowbrys comments after the arsenal game say as much.

I’m not arguing against moving the old firm down south though. Doing so would only rip the arse out of the Scottish league and contibute nothing to the English League!
Mon the Hooops!

Comment by john stewart

La Liga? The Championship’s the greatest league in the world, although admittedly last year it was League One. Maybe that’s why you’re getting confused.

Carlos Cuellar and Stillian Petrov? Jeepers creepers. Robbie ‘Long Throw’ Neilson is the only true SPL gem in England!

Comment by thensaturdaycomes

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