The talking points of the week I have found most interesting are the two Champions League matches involving English clubs, the announcement of Rooney’s ban and the unvieling of the Michael Jackson statue at Craven Cottage.
On Thursday it was announced that the FA would uphold the two match ban put in place for Wayne Rooney who swore into a camera. Rooney’s reaction was of disappointment. He said: “Unlike others who have been caught swearing on camera, I apologised immediately. And yet I am the only person banned for swearing. That doesn’t seem right.”
Rooney proves why he is a footballer and not a lawyer or a judge. The difference between searing ‘on’ camera and swearing, with malice and intent ‘into’ a camera are very different things. With this saga surrounding Rooney going into Stamford Bridge he did well to keep his head down. He not only scored a crucial goal but reacted with a smile. He, at least, disproved the accusations that he was no longer enjoying football.
The match at Stamford Bridge however was not without its own element of contoversy. Fernando Torres, who still hasn’t scored, went to ground without being fouled twice, before Ramires was actually scissor-kicked in the box by Evra in the dying minutes. The first two were not penalties, the third certainly was.
Sir Alex Ferguson, when asked what he thought of the Ramires decision, deflected onto Torres’s “dive”. He went on to comment on the Evra tackle – “it’s the first decision we’ve had in seven years, we are due one. I don’t feel guilty”.
Carlo Ancelotti on the other hand bemoaned a lack of “courage” from officials, he said that “everyone knows it was a clear penalty” but remained philosophical. Going to Old Trafford, the game lies in the favour of Manchester United, but they will have to play well to guarentee progression in the Champions League.
The tie at the Bernabeu was not without incident but there was no major controversy. Crouch deserved to be sent off. the Bernebeu became the ‘Crash and burn-abeu’ – Tottenham lost 4-0 as Adebayor scored a brace. Quote of the week probably comes from the Togolese Striker, “At Arsenal the fans loved me, I think even today they love me.” He must be joking?
Harry Redknapp’s reaction to the defeat and Crouch’s sending off was “he shouldn’t have taken the chance, I’m disappointed”. Both Redknapp and Mourinho agreed it was an “impossible task” for Tottenham to compete with only 10 men.
Finally, at Craven Cottage Mohamed Al Fayed unvieled the new statue of Michael Jackson. Unlike other cast bronze statues of footballers at various grounds accross the country, the statue of the late popstar is in full colour. It has been met, in part, by ridicule from fans around the country. The Fulham Chairman remained diplomatic: “If some stupid fans don’t understand and appreciate such a gift they can go to hell.” Lovely.