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Fab Four Beatles To The Bridge


Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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British press predictability being what it is, none of us would have been surprised when the opening day of World Cup 2014 was selected as good,certainly better than any other, to bury bad news. Even Sky Sports News couldn‘t resist restraint, at a time when they were ‘Breaking Bad’ [stories] by the bucket load, including a particularly demented piece from the heart of downtown Rio, where a gap-toothed reporter named Gary ate freshly-cooked sausages with locals and asked them daft questions. These Brazilian fans were deemed to have the finest view there was to be had of the outside of a stadium that, at that very moment, was hosting an opening game featuring their team. How lucky were they!? Extremely, according to Gary, who promptly asked the gathered throng to confirm agreement by cheering, while he placed a plate of sausages in front of the camera, so viewers could feast their eyes.

Good day for bad news burying indeed, and so great was that need not to dwell on Cesc Fabregas confirming his move to Chelsea that I had to wait until all this flummery was over before learning of the impending transfer, treated in the studio like a sad passing, the intrusion on Gooner grief being decreed too much for them to bear if it lasted longer than a solemn minute, wedged reverentially between news of Joe Root’s hundred and the earlier sausage-eating session. The newspapers are no better today, preferring to major on a £5m free boost to the Gunners coffers (hah-hah!) swelling them to £105m, an increase thereafter judged likely to tip every balance in their favour once the transfer window opens ....oh. Still, never mind on that one, as there is always the Barca-bashing of Cesc to retell, to reinvent, to warn us of, as stories emerge of his three-year failure to impress.

Doubtless too, once a suitable period of mourning over Mou’s move for the Spaniard has taken place, there will be reflection in the form of inquest. For make no mistake, the Media will want to know why Le Professor, having first refusal, decided to decline career resuscitation. Hard-bitten hacks wont buy into an increase in salary argument for long, nor will the fans, especially those that remain unconvinced Arsene knows, believing instead in the theory that he’s on a cushy number, under no pressure, and grows fat-cattier every season. Okay, saving grace may well be found in thinking Wenger has his own targets and a midfield player isn’t one of them, but only time will tell, tempus fugit, grass growing under feet and opportunities are missed so often in football these days that managers soon wake up and smell the coffee, Brazilian or not. Or at least some managers do.

In short, waiting until a World Cup is over, when the bigger picture is revealed and talents have performed on the biggest stage on earth, never mind on Planet Blatter, may not even be a realistic option anymore - and coaches like Jose are nothing if not cold-eyed pragmatists. Suddenly, a quality player like Fabregas is available, you’ve just lost the best player your club has ever had to the ravages of time and this one can play in the same position. He can do the same job, slightly differently. Perhaps he will never do it as well, but he’ll learn to appreciate the situation, probably when Frank’s statue goes up. And anyway, Jose will soon knock him into shape regardless of initial attitude which, I firmly believe, will be one of steely determination to succeed, to win trophies in the Premiership, to prove others wrong and unknowing in the extreme. Good news all round, I’d say.

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