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Once the English press has sunk its teeth into you, it’ll find anything to try and ramp up the pressure, making a parody of itself in the process. Hence the new “storm” today over John Terry’s selections for FIFA’s World Player of the Year award.
“John Terry FIFA vote storm: England captain names Chelsea pal Michael Ballack as No 2 player in the world (but doesn’t rate runaway winner Lionel Messi)” headlines the Daily Mail, “revealing” (as if all the votes hadn’t been available to the public as PDF downloads since the vote winners were announced yesterday) Terry chose Drogba, Ballack and Iniesta as his vote-winners, meaning he apparently “faces further questions about his professional judgment” (from who, it’s not said).
Last year, Terry voted for Xavi, Fernando Torres and Cristiano Ronaldo, suggesting he just doesn’t rate Messi has highly as some of his Barcelona teammates, a judgment some might say is actually fairly astute. Voting for his own Chelsea teammates this year might have been a little selfish, but it’s pretty clear the “nepotism” Goal.com says questions the validity of FIFA’s system because of Terry’s choices is neither restricted to Terry not exactly much of a secret.
After all, looking at the list of votes, Eto’o voted for three of his old Barcelona pals, Javier Mascherano picked Steven Gerrard in his votes, Thierry Henry picked three current or former Barca teammates (Messi, Eto’o, Xavi), Iker Casillas picked two of his Madrid teammates (Ronaldo, Kaka) and Zlatan Ibrahimovich picked three Barcelona teammates (Messi, Xavi, Iniesta). I could go on, but I’m starting to feel sympathy for John Terry, and that isn’t a pleasant feeling.
- The English football world has settled on its villain in the Man City debacle, and it’s bumbling CEO Garry Cook, who kindly dug his own grave for the press yesterday by sending out a press release with a blatant lie about when City had first discussed the managerial job with Roberto Mancini. The text of the press release, incidentally, has since been altered on City’s website to reflect Cook’s new recollection of the course of events.
- Meanwhile, the growing number of Italian managers in the English game is shockingly revealed to be down to the money they are paid here and not “altruism” by the Independent, in an otherwise good piece on the contingent.
- Following up on yesterday’s discussion about Marta winning the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year award, there’s an excellent podcast discussion of the award with Shek Borkowski at Set Piece Analysts. Worth a listen as Shek discusses the lack of global awareness even within the women’s game on performance around the world.
- Latest stadium news across North America: the heavy machinery has arrived in Kansas City, Missouri as construction begins on the Wizards new digs; the Vancouver Whitecaps find a temporary location while BC Place is renovated; there is more on the Houston Dynamo’s continued hunt for their own home; and the Portland Timbers’ design plans for PGE Park are revealed, looking like it will keep its intimate feel.
The Sweeper appears every weekday, and once at the weekend. For more rambling and links throughout the day every day, follow your editor Tom Dunmore @pitchinvasion on Twitter.