1. Football’s going crazy. As if we haven’t already noticed. Ronaldo’s £80m transfer is insane. The boy’s a good player, but he’s far too much of an individualist to be worth that kind of money. Got all the skills, but an ego to match too. Witness his histronics this season: at home to us he got riled by some tough (but fair) tackling. He got angry at the referee and wasn’t the same player in the second half. His antics against City after being substituted with a big game in the week and unprofessional post-match interview in Rome were hardly endearing either.
2. Newcastle are paying Joey Barton for his image rights. Just another one of the long list of reasons why that club needs a thorough sort out from top to bottom. What kind of image are they paying him to promote? Too bad that the big money takeover might be a hoax and that the man who wants to be the manager and who the players want to play for is being made to wait.
3. TIFF posters get a bit carried away at times. No, I’m not talking about the virulent racism that got pulled on Sunday night (although, that’s discouraging) or the wacky political threads. The fact that we’ve been linked with Jeremie Aliadiere seems to have sent some people over the edge. He hasn’t scored many goals but then he wasn’t playing for a good side last year. If people have learnt anything from this season, it should be not to slag off players before they’ve had a chance. Look at the job that Roy’s done with Pantsil and Etuhu. And if Aliadiere was good enough for Arsene Wenger, then I’d suggest he’d have something Roy could work with. They also don’t seem to credit the song possibilities should we sign the Frenchmen. Think Bon Jovi and you’d be halfway there.
4. Speaking of reasons to trust Roy, I found one at the Confederations Cup. You might have missed the start to that rather pointless over the weekend, beginning as it did with the clash of the footballing titans that is South Africa against Iraq. Actually, that’s unkind to the Iraqis who followed up an impressive performance at the Athens Olympics by winning the Asian Nations Cup in 2007. South Africa, on the other hand, drawn in a soft group and badly needing a win to build some momentum ahead of the World Cup, looked woeful. You might remember that midfielder and his ‘phantom transfer’ to Fulham that Roy quashed so brilliantly in a post-match interview at Christmas. Well, yesterday Dikagoi looked like a poor man’s Dickson Etuhu. Ponderous in possession, he gave the ball away a bit too much and might have scored had his goalbound header not struck his own striker, who tried to turn it into the open net from a yard out.
5. I was going to gloss over the fact that New Zealand got thumped by Spain, but having been so harsh on South Africa you can’t really let it pass. It was something of a fool’s errand for Riki Herbert’s side though. My new buddy Simon Elliot played and did well in central midfield. I thought I spotted Chris James as well, although with the sound down, it was held to tell. The boy who looked a real prospect in the reserves has obviously found Finnish food to his liking.
6. Sad news that Chopper’s considering ending the Hammy End Chronicle. Rich is on a well-earned summer break and I fear my posting might be a little infrequent over the next few weeks. Still, if there’s something you’d like to discuss on HammyEnd feel free to drop me an email or leave a comment.