Morning all and happy Sunday.
I hope you have all done your Christmas shopping by now. If you still have stuff to get, I would suggest heading out to your local High Street.
Most major postal companies (Royal Mail, DPD, Evri, etc), have huge back logs and “next day delivery” will mean 2-3 days across most of the country. I have hardly seen Amazon fans on the streets in the last week, and normally at this time of the year you can’t cross the road without one nearly hitting you!
So the World Cup finishes today, and I am fairy non-plussed.
I do not really care who wins between France or Argentina. We don’t have a horse in the race (or player on the pitch), so I do not really care who wins – yes, William Saliba is in the French squad, but he won’t play and my connection with him is certainly not that of Henry, Vieira, Cazorla, Ozil and others.
I also have no interest in the Lionel Messi debate.
There are two types of football fans. Those that support a single club, and those that support a player.
I support Arsenal. Have only ever supported Arsenal, and will only ever support Arsenal.
The likes of Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and more have fans that support them rather than a club. They change the club who they support depending on what club their favourite player is performing for.
And with many of these sort of fans coming from lesser nations, they end up supporting the country that their favourite player starts for, rather than the country they are from.
Win or lose I am English. I find it a fairly odd concept that people will be fanatical about Argentina even though they are from Nigeria, from Dubai or Singapore. They almost treat international football like they treat club football. Where they “pick” the country they support and continually change it.
Where will Qatar sit in the list of great World Cups? Again, I do not care.
The PR merchants will be out in force making Qatar seem like the greatest World Cup ever. But in reality the quality of football, shocks and competition is no different to any other World Cup of the last 30 years.
Every World Cup has shock early exits, some great football and goals, some horrendous games and a country that reaches the latter stages on passion rather than talent.
FIFA and Qatar will go into overdrive, trying to show the winter experiment in a non-football country as a success. But this is just diversion to take your thoughts away from the thousands that died building the stadiums. The states human rights record, treatment of women and more. Qatar is a perfect example of sportswashing.
On a side note, I did find the virtue signalling of the likes of Alex Scott hilarious.
Happy to holiday in Dubai, happy to go to Qatar to earn some money, but will wear an armband and talk out against the regime.
If Scott (and others) really cared, they would not holiday in these sort of countries. But I guess getting some winter sun is more important than slavery, human rights and journalists being murdered.
The next World Cup is in Mexico, America and Canada. Another sham hosting it over 3 countries that span such a huge land mass.
As for FIFA’s proposal for a new “Club World Cup”, it just shows all these international tournaments are just about generating money to fill the pockets of those that “run the game”.
Corruption in FIFA (and UEFA) is still high. It is all about how many millions those in blazers can take out of the game.
The best 32 teams in the world are European. There is no need for a competition to find out who is better between Real Madrid and some Chinese, Australian, African or Emirati club. Even the best of South American clubs are no better than your average Portuguese side. Brazil and Argentina are just Europe’s academy.
If you’re watching today, enjoy it. Celebrate however you want. I’m heading to Oxford Street for some Christmas shopping.