1. Under soil heating isn’t particularly beneficial against snow and ice.
While it may be a boon for clubs to be able to switch it on and defrost the pitch to allow a safe playing surface for the players such as they have installed at Anfield, Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge etc, it seems that to do so in conditions that have beset Britain this week is almost pointless. The Health and Safety brigade will have to ensure that the area surrounding the ground, including roads and pavements, are free from ice and snow and allow people a safe passage to the ground. If they are not then having a playable pitch doesn’t really matter as if it isn’t safe for the fans to get to the ground, the game will be called off regardless of the condition of the pitch. It is strange to think that while you can’t walk to the ground on snow and ice, they still serve undercooked hamburgers at most grounds that contain less meat than a Linda McCartney Sunday lunch and more strains of bacteria than can be found under the rim of a male public toilet.
2. Roberto Mancini has plainly gone mad.
What else would explain signing a player, deemed not good enough in Serie A by Inter and who, when facing English opposition in recent seasons, has looked a pale shadow of his former self, for a staggering £150,000 a week? Is this some form of snow madness that has afflicted the Italian? Then to compound it all, he made a £7m bid for Juan Veron. Yes that Veron, the one who arrived with great fanfare at Manchester United and was an utter flop in the English game both at Old Trafford and also in his short and entirely forgettable spell with Chelsea. What next? A move for Kare Ingebritsen? Jamie Pollock? You may laugh but I think they’d be about as effective as a Vieira / Veron combination in midfield.
3. Alex McLeish has £40m to spend…very carefully.
Seriously, Birmingham looked a quality side once again at the weekend against Manchester United and they were full value for the draw against Sir Alex Ferguson’s charges. Admittedly, they rode their luck in the first half at times, but they were much stronger in the second period. McLeish has a £40m war chest to spend and seemingly a lot of choices, but does he need anybody? Why risk unsettling what looks a very good team by signing 3 or 4 players? Would Alex McLeish be better suited signing maybe just one or two top quality players in key positions? Or would he be foolish to rock the boat while things are going so well?
4. Everton really are a much better side than their position suggests.
They’ve drawn at Chelsea and now at Arsenal in recent times and could have won both games. They seem to be finding their best form once again at this crucial time of the year and their early season struggles should evaporate as the club heads into 2010 in much better form.
5. How annoying postponed games are.
Not just for the clubs who now face a fixture backlog to clear in the coming weeks and months of the season. Wasn’t the weekend dismal? Ok, I admit Chelsea fans must have enjoyed Arsenal and United dropping points, but what was the point of Gillette Soccer Saturday? Charlie Nicholas giving us the latest news on Cardiff v Blackpool? You palpably feel the envy of the other pundits towards Matt Le Tissier who was watching Arsenal v Everton. It was a deadly dull Saturday afternoon, it almost made me hanker after spending it wandering aimlessly around B&Q.
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