When I was 15 or 16, I interviewed Brighton & Hove Albion manager Liam Brady for a school magazine piece that never got published (the magazine never made it to print), and found him to be an amicable and thoughtful man oddly willing to listen patiently and answer a school kid’s long-winded questions about his time playing for Juventus and what he thought of Fever Pitch.
Brady eventually moved on to Arsenal’s youth development program and then to the Republic of Ireland as assistant manager, and he showed a side I wasn’t sure he had in him today having met the genial Irishman, ripping into Sepp Blatter in a manner few prominent national association figures have ever had the balls to do: “He’s a bit of a loose cannon,” Brady told Sky Sports News. “He’s an embarrassment to Fifa.”
Sure, we all know that. But some of Brady’s details — particularly his explanation about Ireland’s private query about adding a 33rd team to the World Cup, and their disgust at Blatter’s attempt to humiliate them by going public on it — ring true in terms of what we already know about Blatter’s disregard for the integrity of the game.
“I’m afraid Mr Blatter is a law unto himself,” Brady said. “I thought it was very disrespectful how he presented this fact. He’s currently ignored most of the controversial things that went on that evening. He never had anything to say about that at all, like Henry’s behaviour after scoring the goal and how that stands within his campaign to have fair play within the game. Henry celebrates as if he’s done nothing wrong. Is that fair play? Hardly. But Mr Blatter chose to talk about the request to be considered as the 33rd team. People will be watching Mr Blatter closely and his decisions closely from now on.”
Now, he just needs to get started on Blatter’s slimy right-hand man, Jerome Valcke.
- Agents play a “vital role” in the world’s game says…an agent, just a day after the enormous spending by the Premier League on agents was revealed.
- A little more on the man who bought Detroit’s Silverdome, and it’s sounding a little less likely we’ll be seeing MLS there anytime soon. Surprise!
- At the Daily Soccer Fix, Steve Davis has an interesting review of Philadelphia’s MLS expansion draft selections, looking at the historic contrasts to Seattle (who did well and profited hugely) and to Toronto (who completely blew it).
- There’s a historic clash ahead in Scotland, as a “junior” (essentially lower non-league) team takes on a Scottish Premier League team in the Scottish FA Cup for the first time this weekend.
- A nice historical piece on the first world champions: the unlikely West Auckland FC.
- And in case you missed it…The worst miss in the history of football took place this weekend. Classy video, though.
The Sweeper appears daily. For more rambling and links throughout the day every day, follow your editor Tom Dunmore @pitchinvasion on Twitter.