They don’t miss a beat do they, namely Ski Sports as Dustin calls it. Just 48 hours after it was confirmed that there will be no English team in the last four of the Champions League for the first time in seven years, Ski are back into overdrive, selling some Godawful game to the public that no one, not even the parents of the players involved, has any interest in.
In fact, a lot of the players involved have no interest in it either. As was pointed out in an article by a former pro recently, some players find being picked for their team actually interferes with their plans for the weekend.
The sight of their name included in the squad, particularly for an away match, is greeted with dismay and has them running to the doctor for a sick note.
Meantime, in the myopic World of Ski Sports, United’s defeat to the remarkably average but resilient Bayern Munich and Arsenal’s capitulation to Barcelona are mere inconvenient truths.
They look at the scores, blink once and then go back to the hype and bullshit.
Chelsea, who were also dumped out of the Champions League, United and Arsenal occupy the three top spots in England’s top flight. So how can Ski Sports keep referring to the Premier League as the top league in the world?
Easy really. You just keep saying it and enough craven fools will believe you.
Meantime, lets get the idle speculation out of the way.
Liverpool have denied that they have offered Barcelona the entire Beatles back catalogue – and the John Lennon Airport with the brilliant cast of Shameless thrown in – for their mercurial striker Lionel Messi.
The little Argentinean had the hacks dusting down the clichés on Tuesday after he went on a four goal rampage – including a first half hat-trick – against Arsenal at the Nou Camp.
Even Arse boss Arse Wenger, who is doing a lot of passable imitations of Basil Fawly these days, admitted that Messi was brilliant.
In the end the hacks all appeared to settle for one word, “Messiah”. But he’s much more than that.
Maybe they should haul him down to Rathkeale so we can pay homage to himself and our Lady of the Tree Stump.
Tuesday’s four goal salvo took his haul to the season to thirty nine. The 22 year old is already being mentioned in the same breath as Pele, Best and Maradona, and er, Paddy Mulligan, who was quite skilful in his own right, after a fashion.
The London Times described Tuesday’s performance as an extraordinary display of verve, balance, technique, power and poetry. He got 10 out of 10 in the match ratings.
The last sports person to get a perfect ten was Romanian gymnast Nadia Elena Com?neci at the 1976 Olympics – but was she happy out there behind the Iron Curtain?
Matt Dickinson of the Times believes that Messi has taken the debate about who is the best players of all time into another realm. However, he also believes that the diminutive Argentinean has still to catch up with Zinedine Zidane.
Dickinson said: “Of recent greats, he sits below Zinedine Zidane, too, in that Messi does not aspire to be the conductor of his side, simply the dazzling virtuoso.”
So can Messi usurp Maradona, Best, Pele and Zidane – find him an Italian to head-butt – in the pantheon of all time greats?
Whatever about the best player of all time accolades, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he is currently the best player on the planet.
Wayne Rooney (34 goals this term) has almost single-handedly rescued Man United’s season and rent boy lookalike Cristiano Ronaldo has netted 25 goals for Real Madrid – who top the table ahead of Barca on goal difference in Primera Liga – are the only two coming anywhere near Messi.
Between the three of them they have scored almost 100 times this season. According to his coach Pep Guardiola, Messi is playing football from another planet, but Guardiola was also quick to praise his modesty.
“The good thing about Messi is that tomorrow he will get up and look for the affection of his people and his team-mates. I like the love he has for football and his anonymous character.”
Meanwhile, Messi will line out for Barca away to Real Madrid in “El Classico” on Saturday night. If he produces anything like he produced against Arsenal on Tuesday they’ll bus him straight up to the Vatican for instant canonisation. God knows the Holy See could do with some decent PR these days.
But best do it fast as the Messiah could go on another rampage against Bayern Munich. We hear that yer man on the throne of St Peter is a fan of the Bundesliga side.
Meantime, how did Messi escape the clutches of the coaches, with their FIFA badges and bullshit? If they had got their hands on him a few years back they would have knocked all that four goal nonsense out of him.
I saw one of them in action recently and he was telling an U/14 side to keep playing it into the “hole”, that point in between the full back and the centre half. The idea is to risk losing possession as far up the field as possible in the hope of gaining second phase possession after you’ve turned the defence.
However, why not pass it in behind the back four? As Brian Clough once said, football is a simple game. You pass the ball to a player wearing the same colour shirt as you and proceed in an orderly fashion toward the opposite goal.
But spare a thought for the poor coaches folks. They’re out there trying to knock every ounce of imagination and creativity out of the kids while this Barcelona guy is undermining them every step of the way, with his goals, skill, power, verve and poetry, going forward.
You won’t find what Messi, Best, Pele or Maradona and thousands others were and are doing on the FIFA coaching manuel kids. But you will find it on the streets, where what Messi is doing now was conceived and perfected after thousand of hours of practice many years ago.