I suppose it’s nice to see that lands beyond our own struggle with some of the same issues around their favorite sports – the constant push and pull of tradition vs. economic reality, for instance.
Ahead of today’s FA Cup final, one man who has played in this historic event wonders about the timing. Former England international Sol Campbell, writing in The Guardian, says the kickoff time is wrong (later in the evening, to capitalize on greater ad revenue in the TV slot). And he says the relocation on the year’s sporting calendar (landing on the next-to-last weekend of league play) is a mistake, too.
Campbell’s piece in The Guardian is here.
In terms of tradition, he’s got it right. But Campbell and so many others benefitted (and continues to benefit) from the vast pools of money in the game. And at some point, you have to feed the golden goose rather than just gathering the eggs.
It’s no different than Major League Baseball playoff games that start well into the night – at times when children are less likely to hang in there through conclusion. We’ve been arguing about that one for 30 years.
The FA Cup, perhaps, is one of the properties so filthy rich with tradition that maybe it shouldn’t be touched. Campbell certainly believes so. He’s also bothered by the Saturday kickoff rather than Sunday.
Playing the final on this Saturday has also taken some sheen off the game. Don’t get me wrong, Chelsea versus Liverpool at Wembley in an FA Cup final has sparkle, but it is taking place on the same weekend that the two Manchester clubs are playing in huge, title-deciding league matches, and arguably Manchester City’s match at Newcastle on Sunday is the biggest of the weekend given the quality of both sides and what’s at stake. So to play the Cup final now is bizarre. The fabric of the game is being stripped away and in 10 years’ time we may not recognise it at all.
Rog and Davo marvel at Mo Salah’s four goal, one dime haul in Liverpool’s 5-0 beatdown of Watford, analyze Jose Mourinho’s recent rants about football heritage at Manchester United, and recap Rog’s family trip to Stoke vs. Everton.
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A 106-year-old footballing relic has been snatched from a house in England.
The home of the 82-year-old grandson of former Barnsley player Philip Bratley was burglarized last weekend according to the BBC and other reports, and among the items stolen was an “invaluable” FA Cup winner’s medal from 1912.
That year, Barnsley defeated West Bromwich Albion in the finals of the 41st FA Cup, with Bratley scoring the winning goal in the semifinal replay over Swindon Town. He went on to make over 100 appearances for Barnsley between 1910 and 1014 before moving transferring to Liverpool, where he spent one season before he left during the first World War.
“This item is of great sentimental value to the family and belonged to the 82-year-old victim’s grandfather who, at the time, played for Barnsley,” the South Yorkshire police said. “The family is extremely upset that this, along with many of their belongings, have been stolen. If you have any information please get in touch so we can try and reunite this invaluable item with its rightful owner.”
Barnsley has offered to assist the South Yorkshire police in their search for the stolen artifact, as those with any information are encouraged to contact either entity to share what they may know.
French striker Antoine Griezmann is no stranger to seeing his name in the transfer rumor mill, but that familiarity doesn’t make it any more enjoyable for the Atletico Madrid attacker (who celebrates his 27th birthday on Wednesday).
Long-tipped for a move to either Barcelona or Manchester United, Griezmann knows one thing: He wants his future sorted before the World Cup.
[ MORE: Key newcomers for USMNT friendly ]
“I want to travel to Russia without this concern,” he told L’Equipe. “It’s not about knowing where I’ll play, but about having the peace of mind if I’m still in one place or another.
“It may be boring, but I have told my sister that, whether I stay or not, this will have to be resolved beforehand. What bothers me the most is that everyone asks me about this issue.”
That’s both honest and reasonable, and we can imagine it’s not a blast to answer questions on your future every day. He also has a contract through 2021-22, which won’t make any transfer a simple one.
Griezmann has 23 goals and 13 assists in all competitions for Atleti this season, as La Liga’s second place side remains alive in the UEFA Europa League. He’s scored 106 goals for Atleti since arriving from Real Sociedad.
Four years, two Homegrowns.
That’s the decent track record for New York City FC, which has spotted a second youngster from amongst its ranks in 15-year-old Joe Scally.
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Scally joins United States youth international James Sands as Homegrown Players from NYCFC. Here’s USMNT legend and NYCFC technical director Claudio Reyna:
“Joe has been one of the top performers in the Academy for the past few seasons and represented US Soccer at U-15 and U-17 level.”
“He has all of the attributes we look for in a right-back: he’s strong in defense and can support in attack to help create chances from wide areas.”
Sands was signed last summer, and played 23 minutes for NYCFC against Colorado in his lone senior appearance.