That Was The Week That Was

The Principality Stadium, as its now called, was the venue for the Welsh’s first game back in seven years. Spain were the opponents, the side who probably take football too seriously. If there was an oval ball being passed around the pitch, it would have been everything you’d expect to see in a Rugby game. Four corners of the stadium were filled with supporters flashing their phone torches, grown men wearing daffodil hats, and the dreaded air horns. God almighty, the air horns. I’d rather listen to an endless loop of Freddie Flintoff and Ricky Wilson’s 2018 official England World Cup song.

Luis Enrique opted to start Atletico Madrid’s Rodi, who is seen as Spain’s successor to Sergio Busquets. With a name like ‘Rodri’, he really should have been on the Welsh side. Inevitably, Spain strolled through the match without having to break a sweat. With the score at 4-0, the final ten minutes saw Wales finally pile on some ounce of pressure on the visitors, and were rewarded. An impressive cameo from David Brooks, his outside of the foot pass found the head of Sam Vokes to send the ball home.

Post-match and Welsh football fans were in social media meltdown after being hammered at the Millennium Stadium. Sounds familiar to anybody? Someone out there must be achieving some luck while working on a time machine.

The Nations League has provided sides a backdoor route in qualifying for the European Championships. To Scotland, it’s just another opportunity to project their abject inferiority complex onto the rest of Europe. The game out in Tel Aviv against 93rd ranked Israel, saw Scotland let a first-half lead from Mulgrew’s penalty slip to finish with ten men and an embarrassing 2-1 defeat.

To be fair, preparations for the game were far from ideal. Nose picker Leigh Griffiths allegedly pulled himself out of the Scotland squad after being told by Alex McLeigh he was not going to be starting in Israel. He also liked a derogatory tweet aimed at Alex McLeigh and Everton legend Steven Naismith.

In contrast, it looked like Wes Morgan seriously did not want to play any part of Leicester’s home game with Everton, which the Toffees won 2-1. After receiving the yellow, he persistently stuck his foot into the Everton players before he was finally sent off.

Less than 24 hours before Manchester United played Newcastle United, social media was awash with rumours of Jose Mourinho getting sacked following the match, whatever the outcome. With how well Newcastle played in that first half, he could have quit Old Trafford half time. At half-time? In the NFL, Buffalo Bills cornerback Vontae Davis did exactly that last month.

Instead, Jose Mourinho must have come out with an inspiring team talk at the break, as Manchester United completely destroyed Newcastle in the second half. A couple of goals from Juan Mata and Anthony Martial rescued a point for Jose. Then the unbelievable happened, Alexis Sanchez popped up with the winner in stoppage time.

What does this mean? It provides a much-needed win for the Reds.

No, what does this really mean? It means Alexis is only one goal behind Usain Bolt during the 2018/19 season. Oh, that.

Former teen prodigy Ross Barkley has endured an awful last couple of years. In my view, it was an asinine decision to move to Chelsea. After all, young English players haven’t exactly been flourishing there lately. They just flourish at different clubs, whilst still being a Chelsea player. Well, Maurizio Saari appears to have taken a liking at Barkley.

And he played well on his latest start at Southampton, grabbing a goal for himself as Chelsea comfortably won 3-0. He’s even been recalled to the England squad.

And to think I spent the whole of the 2013/14 season spreading the propaganda that Jordon Mutch was Ross Barkley’s superior. Now, Jordon Mutch is regarded as one of the worst Crystal Palace players ever and is on loan at Vancouver Whitecaps.

As a neutral, I was buzzing with excitement for the Liverpool vs Manchester City game last Sunday. Then it kicked off. The least said about it, the better.

The re-branding of Cardiff City a few years ago split our fan base to such a point, many supporters have still not returned to the Cardiff City Stadium since. Never did I think supporters would be divided to that extent again, until last Saturday during the 1-0 defeat against Spurs. Having already been a goal down courtesy of Eric Dier, Cardiff lost possession on the touchline and Lucas Moura collected the ball before Joe Ralls cynically took out the Brazilian.

There were Cardiff fans who believed it only warranted yellow, other Cardiff fans agreeing with referee Mike Dean’s decision, while others simply called Joe Ralls a thug and claimed it was a typical Neil Warnock player.

Preposterous. Anybody who has seen the incident could clearly see that Joe Ralls clearly got the ball first. Warnock never held back with what he thought on the matter, and subsequently came out with one of the finest quotes in football “He’s not endangering the life of a player; I don’t know why it’s a red card”.

Have a great weekend everyone.