More From THAT Semi-Final, Manchester And Some Transfer Activity At Last!

Posted: July 11, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, International Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, The World Cup, Tottenham Hotspur, Transfers
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It’s not a bad time to be Mancunian at the moment. The city itself is far and away the best in Britain and would do well, if it were possible, to sever all ties with those idiots in Westminster who think that life begins and ends in London.

The weather is hot and sunny, the two Manchester Premier League clubs are the best two teams in Britain, Lancashire have just beaten Northants in a T20 double header at Old Trafford and England are in the World Cup semi-final.

Now, some of our more discerning readers may be wondering what the last bit about England being in the World Cup semi-final has to do with Manchester but there are tenuous links.

Firstly, Manchester City and Manchester United are providing a total of eight of the current England squad. City have sent Raheem Sterling, (who could have stayed at home and nobody would have noticed except, maybe, his wife), Kyle Walker, John Stones and Fabian Delph whilst United have Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones and Ashley Young.

Again the connection to Manchester, when broken down even further, is slight although Marcus Rashford is a genuine Mancunian. Jesse Lingard is from Warrington which, unfortunately for him, makes him slightly more of a Scouser than a Manc. Phil Jones is from Preston and Ashley Young is a Southern softie.

On the blue side, John Stones, Kyle Walker and Fabian Delph are all from Yorkshire which explains why they have taken their own teabags and a washing line to Russia. Raheem Sterling is from Jamaica.

But they all play for Manchester clubs which makes them honorary Mancunians at least.

Nobody, when asked about Denis Law or Bobby Charlton for United, or Mike Summerbee or Colin Bell for City, is particularly bothered that none of them are from Manchester or even anywhere nearby! They will forever be associated with the clubs for whom they played.

The two Manchester clubs are also providing two players each to the Belgian team which is the favourite to win the tournament.


More City players in the World Cup semis

Kevin De Bruyne and Vincent Kompany are there from City and Marouane Fellaini and Romelu Lukaku from United.

Paul Pogba and Benjamin Mendy are also in the France squad meaning that Manchester has provided a total of 14 players to the semi-final teams.

(Pause from writing to watch Sky Sports News who have interrupted everything to go live to Repino. We are now watching a coach, reportedly containing the England team, leave a car park and join a main road. Fascinating stuff and riveting television)!

So it’s coming home, as everyone keeps saying. Assuming that England beat Croatia, which they should and then France or Belgium, which they won’t, then the World Cup is coming home.

Is it really? The trophy was actually made in Italy and, had they qualified and then gone on to win the tournament, then it would really have been “coming home”.

England, having only ever won the thing ONCE in it’s history, can hardly call itself the “home” of the World Cup.

Or does this song about it coming home relate to that age old claim that the game was invented in England? Even if it was, the World Cup wouldn’t be “coming home” for the previously mentioned reasons, so the song itself is pretty misleading and certainly a false representation of England’s position in the world game.

In actual fact the game was originally codified in England in 1863 and was a combination of many ball games from around the world so it is fairly clear that several countries would have had a hand in inventing football as we know it today. Here is what Wikipedia says about it:

Association football is one of a family of football codes which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity. The modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association.”

So, although the English decided to make one game from several others and write some rules down, they can hardly claim to have invented it!


An early Manchester derby with players already practising the art of injury-feigning!

And finally…..

With the new Premier League season just a month away the transfer window, like a bubbling volcano, has finally erupted.

Here’s what we know in the shell of a nut:

Jannik Vestergaard is having a medical at Southampton. (Defender from Borussia Mönchengladbach)

Arthur has signed for Barcelona in a €35 million deal. (Midfielder from Gremio)

And West Ham have had a £25 million bid for Jamal Lascelles, the Newcastle United captain, rejected because they can afford more than that and Newcastle know it!

In other transfer news Arsenal have signed Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria for around £26 million.

Riyad Mahrez is having a medical at Manchester City after a fee of £60 million was agreed.

Oh…and Cristiano Ronaldo has signed for Juventus for £105 million meaning that, when he reaches 45, he will be worth at least £500 million!



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