QPR’s Joey Barton, who nowadays seems to be known more for receiving red cards and his Twitter posts than his playing ability, did not hold back in tweeting his criticism of his former manager Neil Warnock. Barton is one of those rare footballers, he is educated and articulate, but his comments about Warnock lacked class. Love him or hate him, Warnock is a dedicated football man, who has put in his time and despite his propensity to make some outlandish comments, he is a respected manager. Barton has earned no such respect.
Aberdeen drew at Ibrox 1-1 to take two points off the defending champions Rangers. Gers’ fans have complained that Aberdeen only try against their club. Nonsense. Aberdeen have not won at Rangers in 21 years, a run of 40 games without a victory, but why let the facts get in the way of the story. That is a motto that also seems to apply to the Scottish media which has abdicated its responsibility in its lack of coverage of Rangers’ financial collapse. It as if they are in denial about the biggest story in Scottish sports history.
The African Cup of Nations is well under way in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. It was not long ago that the tournament was considered an event that would help to identify the sport’s next great talent. That is no longer the case. For some reason the Cup of Nations has lost its luster. There are still some big name players representing their countries, but the likes of Didier Drogba are no longer considered the fresh faced talent of the African continent. And without three time defending champion Egypt, Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa, the tournament lacks some of its historically top teams. It will still throw up some entertaining football, but maybe the time has come to make the cup a quadrennial event like the European Championships.
Howard Webb is supposedly one of, if not the best, referee in England, Europe and the World. Who says so? The FA, UEFA and FIFA who all have given him high profile games such as the Champions League and World Cup Finals. Spurs fans don’t agree with that assessment, a sentiment that may be shared with many fans of other clubs, especially those who have played against his ‘favorite’ team Man United when Webb was the match official. Yes, Jermaine Defoe could have got Webb off the hook had he stuck away his great chance in time added on against Man City ’08 on Sunday. He didn’t and so Webb’s decision not to send of Mario Balotelli for his kick out at Scott Parker allowed the Italian to remain on the field, earn and then score the winning penalty. Even with a win at the City of Manchester Stadium Spurs were never likely to win the title, but Webb’s poor decision may have helped City secure it. Webb does not have a great track record where Spurs are concerned – a disallowed a goal at Liverpool ruled offside on a back pass, a penalty awarded to Man United at Old Trafford despite a great save by Hurelio Gomes and goals against United and Chelsea both disallowed when no infringements were evident even in replays. The FA would do well to avoid having Webb do a Spurs game for the next few weeks.
On the day that their former manager, Harry Redknapp, and their former owner, Milan Mandaric, were giving testimony to Southwark Crown Court in their tax case Portsmouth Football Club were being issued with a winding up order by Her Majesty’s Government. If I was a betting man I would put a tenner on the two cases being related.