After a couple of surprisingly promising England performances the Premier League returned this weekend, bringing back with it the usual helping of controversy, shocks and outright stupidity.
This round of matches we have more goal like technology fun and games, swearing to television cameras and Mohamed Al Fayed unveiling an awful statue.
Wayne Rooney grabbed the Sunday headlines for the wrong reasons once more. The Manchester United striker bagged himself a superb hat-trick in a 4-2 win over West Ham, which United trailed 2-0 after two Mark Noble penalties were converted. On netting his hat-trick, Rooney ran to the travelling United fans to celebrate, but then vented some frustration to a nearby television camera and uttered an expletive.
Now I can understand swearing when playing or watching a match, at whatever level it might be. I’ve sliced a fair few shots in my time and cursed the ground as it clearly wasn’t down to my shooting abilities, but this was a little different.
Wayne Rooney is a role model to kids, it’s not up to debate as to whether he is a good one or not but kids look up to him. Now I can understand that it might not be in the forefront of a player’s mind that they need to be careful in their actions when playing, as each Premier League game goes out to millions of impressionable youngsters there is bound to be a strong reaction when something like this happens.
When Rooney steps onto a pitch he is an ambassador for Manchester United, England, Nike, Powerade and whatever else he promotes to make a fortune. The companies that pay Rooney to be their front-man have to be very careful. They have their own “face” to protect, take Tiger Woods he was dropped from numerous brands and even the cover of his own video game, as they claimed he wasn’t the right type of representation. A brand has to protect themselves, they can’t be seen to be promoting infidelity or abusive behaviour.
What will be forgotten in all of this is Rooney scored a hat trick in a fantastic fightback from United, which edged them closer to their 19th league title.
Rooney today received a two-game suspension from the FA for his actions which is fitting and hopefully this will act as a standard for any similar future offences throughout the English leagues.
The goal-line technology debate has harped on for long enough, so I promise to keep this short.
Everton will have the right to feel aggrieved after Jermaine Beckford’s strike appeared to cross the line after rattling the crossbar. Aston Villa then promptly went up the other end of the pitch and Darren Bent tucked away a finish to put them in front. It would have taken a few seconds to review the decision which was near impossible for the officials in normal play. Add this as another note in the heavy book to throw at Sepp Blatter.
Elsewhere, down at Craven Cottage Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed unveiled a statue of Fulham great Michael Jackson; which looked like it was put together from the plastic toy parts found inside a Kinder Egg.
The statue received a mixed review (to say the least) from the Fulham faithful, although Al Fayed responded by saying those that disliked it can “go to hell” or “support Chelsea”; I’ll let Fulham fans decide what’s worse.
Massive Norweigan centre half Brede Hangeland doesn’t think the statue is that Bad (sorry couldn’t resist) and remembers former Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard’s attempts at Wacko Jacko’s moves:
“When Jimmy Bullard was here he used to dance to Thriller in the changing room. It was a little warm-up dance before games, and he could do the moonwalk!”
Now I’m pretty sure my Mam mentioned that she once saw Take That at the Stadium of Light, so as a Boro fan I propose that statues of Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams and whatever the others are called deserve honouring outside the ground alongside Bob Stokoe.
Or on a serious note football clubs should honour legends that made outstanding contributions and actually deserve to be immortalised outside of the stadium, players like Johnny Haynes or Eddie Lowe truly deserve it.
Oh yeah there was a game at Craven Cottage too, Fulham won convincingly 3-0 over Blackpool with Bobby Zamora getting himself on the scoresheet on his return.