The World Cup ended 22 days ago and the continued will he won’t he, involving Cesc Fabregas’ potential transfer to Barcelona finally appears to be subsiding. The way the English media have twisted comments and paraphrased Spanish player’s comments has been yet another example of the sensationalism synonymous with the tabloids in this country. With a month to go before the window closes these fictitious comments will continue to appear but hopefully with the start of the season on 12 days away they can focus on the football instead.
We are also now in the middle of pre-season friendly fever. Yesterday was the end of the Emirates Cup, Arsenal’s pre-season tournament they host and usually win. The level of football displayed in the 4 games over the weekend was not the highest but it was interesting to see the younger players getting a game. Jack Wilshire shone in the game yesterday and one can only hope that Capello will involve him in future England games. However, these games can prove fruitless and do have a habit of providing false hope for sides; as we have seen at the Emirates for the last 4 years. They still look short of quality and I expect them to have another frustrating season.
Elsewhere most Premiership teams have been travelling the globe for TV revenue, merchandising and promoting their own brand name. Manchester United and Chelsea have been playing most of their pre-season in America and earning over £1Million a game; although none of the top stars usually turn out. Surely there was a time when pre-season was about preparing your side for the season ahead and experimenting with different tactics, formations etc. It is now simply about self promotion, which is exactly what the English Premiership is solely concerned about. Hopefully we can soon leave this behind and concentrate on real football issues.