There are certain rules of behavior that even
tongue-in-cheek football blogs have to follow.
Not condoning violence, for example. That's a pretty basic
This morning, though, and to the likely horror of our legal
team, ED is about to wilfully break that rule.
Because this week violence has come to the fore in football,
turning the beautiful game into an episode of Itchy 'n' Scratchy... And ED, to
its guilty horror, has loved every minute of it.
Watching Roberto Mancini and David Moyes tussle on the
Eastlands touchline, for example, was like watching a classic playground fight.
The two protagonists jostled and barged, both clearly too scared to throw a
punch lest they get one in return, like a pair of fifth formers (that's roughly
Year 11, for readers under 25) squaring up in the playground over the blonde girl
Then there was the fun and games at Newcastle, where it
appears to outside observers that the club's elder statesman Joey Barton has been
passing on his years of wisdom and experience to younger team-mates. Whatever
the cause, the Toon's star striker Andy Carroll is alleged to have punched
team-mate (and club skipper) Steven Taylor over a couple of saucy texts from an
Then there was Chelsea's all-out blitz on Portsmouth on
Wednesday, with Florent Malouda elbowing Ricardo Rocha and Daniel Sturridge
breaking Tommy Smith's nose. You'd have thought Pompey's players had suffered
enough this season, but the Blues seem to have no problem kicking - or rather
elbowing - men when they're already down. Fine careers as bailiffs, traffic wardens and insurance assessors await them
on their retirement from the game.
And if all that weren't enough, there was yesterday's
glorious video of riot police invading the pitch and attacking players with batons
and pepper spray during a match in Brazil. Yes, you read that right; if you
didn't see it yet, you have to watch it. And if you did, well, you'll know it's
worth another look.
Aside from the pure comedy value of seeing serious
professionals act like Abbott and Costello, there's another delicious level to
all these flaring tempers.
Because ED can feel the whole of the sport bubbling away
like a giant cauldron of chilli, full of the meatiness of a close title race, the
spice of critical relegation battles, the tang of epic FA Cup runs and the, er,
tortilla chips of an upcoming World Cup in South Africa.
Football has rarely been more exciting, and if things spill
over into fisticuffs from time to time it's only because the entire game is bursting
at the seams at the fantasticness of it all.
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HEADLINE OF THE DAY: "Wenger turns contract killer" from the Daily Mail keeps up our 'violence in footbal' theme nicely. But disappointingly, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger not jacking in football for the life of crime, only putting off player negotiations until the season is over.
FOREIGN VIEW: Argentina will change tactics if necessary to let Lionel Messi shine at the World Cup,
coach Diego Maradona said on Thursday. Messi has been brilliant for Barcelona
but struggled to make an impact for Argentina, sparking criticism of his performances
and Maradona's failure to make the 22-year-old fit in. "If I had to change
for his good, I'd change," Maradona told local radio station Cooperativa. "But
I think that with the system we have and the players we have all he needs is to
explode, and surely he will do that at the World Cup."
COMING UP: Paul Parker gives his ever-controversial take on the weekend's big Premier League fixtures, with tough clashes for Arsenal at Birmingham and Chelsea against Aston Villa. Bet on any of the matches at Eurosport Bet.