It’s been another entertaining week in the footballing world, with the intrigue of potentially season-changing transfers and the hilarity of inexplicably poor marketing decisions rife among the sport. Beginning with the intriguing goings on of the week, and from an outsider’s perspective, I must say that I think the exchange involving Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will do a lot of people a lot of good. Alexis’ situation was clearly disrupting Wenger’s dressing room, and Mourinho’s systematic dismantling of Mkhitaryan’s career – not dissimilar to his antics involving Bastian Schweinsteiger – was starting to grate on me.
I found myself wondering if the transfer would have gone through had both sides qualified for the Champions League last season, which would have resulted in both players being cup-tied for the competition. Of course I then subsequently wondered whether there’s any solace for Arsenal fans in the knowledge that they’ve effectively swapped Champions League football for Mkhitaryan, given Alexis would have certainly left on a free at the end of the season. Regardless, however exciting the impending gloating when either player scores on their debut, this week was not all about Manchester United and Arsenal.
It was, in part, about Leeds United. I mean what else is there to say that hasn’t already been said? I have to admit, however much it pains me as a bluenose, that Aston Villa’s tweet, poking fun at the likeness of the club’s new crest to those dreamt up for serial license lackers, Pro Evolution Soccer, was superb. Never before has a decision, made purely to benefit the people who love the club, received such unanimous negativity – so much so that it took a mere 24 hours and 51,000 signatures for the club to reconsider the decision.
If only it was so simple to go back on other, increasingly obvious terrible decisions that an astronomical amount of people were against from the beginning: the sacking of Gary Rowett by Birmingham City, the purchasing of Andy Carroll for £35m, the democratic decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union? Alas, I digress.
Although the tribulations of Leeds United have provided us all with superb entertainment, a certain individual, relatively new to the Premier League, has caught my attention with a string of exceptionally ambiguous analogies. No matter the situation, Carlos Carvalhal has the analogy you never knew you needed. What was his game plan for Swansea’s 1-0 defeat of Liverpool?
“If you put an F1 car in London in 4 o’clock traffic, it will not run very fast”.
Fair play Carlos. What’s his perspective on Swansea’s survival in the Premier League?
“We’re still in hospital, but we’re accepting visits”.
I dare say someone’s been taking inspiration from King Eric.
Putting football’s entertaining stories to one side, this week sadly brought with it the passing of Jimmy Armfield, a man who, to me, was so often the soundtrack to return journeys from football games. A man who said “as much as anything else,” as much as anyone else, he will be greatly missed.