Matty Simon played his last game for the Central Coast Mariners last night, scoring 2 goals en-route to the teams 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory. His dream of playing for a club overseas has been realised after penning a deal with Korean K-League club Chunham Dragons.
Long time Central Coast Mariners forward Matt Simon is bound for the Korean K-League in a weeks time, after inking a three year deal Chunnam Dragons. Although I spent most of last night’s game berating him (not his best game, not a good game by the whole team, and an awful game by the ref), he will be sorely missed at Blue Tongue Stadium.
While the possibility has been floated about that Thierry Henry could be returning to Arsenal, news has come out that Arsenal have finally offered him a two-month loan deal. And while many people have debated whether the move would be worthwhile or not, this observer just has one question? What exactly is the downside? There is no transfer fee, the move is short term, and with Gervinho and Chamakh gone for just a month for the African Cup of Nations a long term knee-jerk reaction transfer signing may not be the best idea. Henry is pure Gunner royalty and presence in the squad will at the very galvanize the Emirates during a period that has not been the greatest of times for Arsenal.
There are concerns that it will undermine some players in the squad, and perhaps stunt the growth of those who may be on the periphery of the first team, but having Henry in the squad does not have to equate to, let’s say, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain not getting opportunities, for example. Henry would simply provide another option for Arsene Wenger, albeit a legendary one, and if worst comes to worst, the man would be off to New York by March anyway. The move is low-risk, it would be great theater for the neutrals, and for gooners, well you can just check the Arsenal tag to see how ecstatic they’d be. All in all, having Henry back in North London would be great move a move for Arsenal. Plain and simple.
The Empty Newspaper that Promoted Peace in Peruvian Futbol
Violence was rampant. The government wanted to have matches play in empty stadiums after a fan was killed. Instead, the Peruvian Primera Division chose to suspend league fixtures. You know how it is in a country that loves its sport. When futbol stops, the country’s spirit weakens. Newspaper El Bocón took a bold stance by printing absolutely nothing about futbol. Not only that, but it left the space that futbol usually occupies completely blank. The message? “Continuing with the violence will only make futbol disappear.” It was heard loud and clear by every fan in the country.
As the career of one legend sets, the career of another is about to explode. There will never be another quite like O Fenomeno, but even after is playing days are over (no, scoring in a Match Against Poverty does not count as your career living on) the man continues to be a class act. On twitter earlier today, Ronaldo was praising Messi and giving advice to Neymar, who we need to remember is still only 19 years old. Ronaldo’s body has taken a beating, but his mind and his character remain as vibrant as ever.
Paying tribute to the player in June, he was able to make a 15-minute appearance versus Romania as a last chance to capture some of the irreplaceable nationalistic pride and excitement that comes with pulling on the iconic yellow kit, which was captured through a short film that includes the striker’s own thoughts and some appearances from Brazil’s new crop of superstars.
Defend the referee or defend AZ Alkmaar keeper Esteban?
In case you missed it, things got pretty heated at the Amsterdam ArenA last night. In the 37th minute, when Ajax were up 1-nil in the Dutch Cup, an Ajax fan ran on to the pitch and attacked AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper Esteban. The Costa Rican keeper, seeing the threat of a 19-year-old hooligan coming his way, retaliated. And man did he retaliate. Esteban got two brutal kicks in on the hooligan before Ajax security held him down. The ref then decided to give Esteban a red card for the violence. AZ were furious and the match was abandoned because AZ Alkmaar manager Gert Jan Verbeek ordered his team to walk off the pitch.
To a degree, I can understand both arguments being made. The referee, who was far from where the incident occurred, probably saw a young Ajax fan already on the ground getting kicked by a professional athlete mercilessly, which is violent conduct. On the other hand, Esteban had every right to defend himself. After all, the fan (now banned for life from the stadium, by the way) could have been running with a knife. Esteban took no chances and dealt with the situation himself. Do you think the referee was in the right with his decision to send Esteban off or were the keeper’s actions justified?
Tough call. I understand the ref’s decision, but in hindsight he should have left it to the governing body to punish me. The standard red-card ban should remain, even if AZ appeal it - yeah, the guy invaded the pitch but you don’t kick somebody - with studs - while they’re already down.