Robert: 8 games for Suarez!!! Crazy!!! What’s this mean for Terry?
J-Rodd: Suarez’s ban is long but in this country, ‘Give Racism the Red Card’ and ‘Kick it Out’ are campaigns aimed at getting rid of racism and all clubs support this. When the English team is racially abused in an international match, the whole country claims it is disgusting and rightly so. However as a result, if a player racially abuses someone in this country, they need to be dealt with strongly. With regards Terry, his case cannot be discussed as his apparent offence was heard by and complained about the public and so the police are involved and he is going to court. It is therefore impossible to speculate.
Christmas has come and gone and the league is very exciting. man Utd were beginning to find form however it was a shocking loss at home to Blackburn. However, to put it into perspective, we are now half way through the season and every club has played each other once and the two Manchester clubs are level. City are the darlings of English football and everybody raves about their beautiful football but they have had no injuries to key players whilst Manchester United are in crisis almost every week and yet have got more points at this stage than ever before and we have so many injuries that are defence is made up of midfielders and our bench against Blackburn was made up of Lindegaard, Anderson who was returning from 4 months out and then our reserve team. Based on this, if we get some players fit, I think United will win the league. However, unfortunately I believe that City will win the massive cup tie which is coming up at the weekend.
Tottenham are still looking good, Chelsea are very average and have serious problems, Arsenal are suffering from injuries and are inconsistent and Liverpool are still struggling to score though Gerrard being fit is a massive boost.
In terms of relegation, it is hard to predict. Blackburn have shown against United and Liverpool that they can pick up points against anyone but they then lost at home to Stoke. Bolton are still losing and look like a side who do not know when they will next win. Wigan got battered by United but have also had a good run since the start of December and I still think they may survive. I still think Wolves will fail to beat the drop and are struggling at the moment whilst QPR are dropping like a stone at the moment.
Exciting times in the EPL!
Robert: If Terry gets anything less than an 8 game ban it’s ridiculous and the EPL will appear to being letting English players get away with racism, but not foreigners. I agree that racism needs to be stamped out in the sport, but the worst offenders seems to be the fans. Look what Adebayor has had to deal with when playing against Tottenham previously as well as the match between the Spurs and Arsenal. The president of FIFA also has found himself in trouble because of racial comments. One only needs to enter racism in association football to be littered with a list of incidents that have happened throughout the varying different leagues, these incidents aren’t decades only, but the majority listed occurred within five – seven years (they don’t list the racism of national team games, but one would think racism would be worse then) and the agitators were listed as spectators. It’ll be interesting to see if Suarez’s ban has any effect on racism on the pitch, but I think the larger problem is racism off the pitch which is much trickier to solve and police.
On a lighter note, I am saving about to buy an RvP jersey, and maybe and Henry (both home kits, although Arsenal’s new away kit looks great).
Oh yeah Newcastle shut out Manchester United, what was that about them being level with City?
J-Rodd: Speaking about Newcastle v man Utd is not a lighter note at all. The reaction over here has been unbelievable. People are asking if this is the worst Man Utd side under SAF etc etc. We have more points at this stage of the season than ever before despite our apparent weak squad and huge numbers of injuries. I honestly think we will lose to City in the FA Cup this weekend however I still think we will win the league. It may be blind optimism but we have done it before when people have questioned us and if a couple of key players have a good end to the season, we may still do it.
Be careful about getting an Henry and RvP shirt. Henry is a short term deal and RvP may leave in the non too distant future. I dont think he will but in football anything is possible. Would he really turn down Barca, Real or even sadly City to stay at an Arsenal side who realistically will not win either the Champions League or EPL for years to come.
Speaking of Americans in the EPL, Tim Ream appears to be close to signing for Bolton as a replacement for Cahill. Good player??
Robert: I should have specified about the Henry jersey. I was thinking of getting one before he came back. I always lean towards getting a ‘throw back’ jersey (someone who has retired from any team I support) this way I know they won’t get traded (sold), or leave for another team. That said I think RvP stays and it would be worth it to get his. Right now I only have a cotton pseudo jersey of Fabregas.
I think Ream will play okay for Bolton. The American style of play at least the physicality is more English than Spanish, so that won’t be a problem. I think the problem will be pacing. I’m worried he may get unfairly blamed if Bolton stumbles (their defense was porous with Cahill so losing him will downgrade it again). If they allow Ream to develop (he’s 24) over the course of this season and next he will be a solid addition for Bolton, It’s always nice to see American’s get called up to a European League and I think it helps grow the sport over here. I think the same is said when stars like Beckham and Henry decide to play in the US.
Congrats on the win against City (an undermanned City, but still)