JOHN CROSS COLUMN: EFL World Cup schedule plus Premier League catering, Newcastle plans in January and Arsenal’s Champions League snub
The EFL fixture list was decimated over the weekend due to international calls.
And next year’s World Cup will also provide a major headache as the tournament is played mid-season from November 21 to December 18.
But the EFL is expected to agree that the Championship will follow in the footsteps of the Premier League by ‘suspending’ matches, but they could resume matches earlier as, realistically, few clubs will be affected by the final stages of the FIFA World Cup. world.
Incredibly, only six Ligue 1 games have survived this Saturday due to call-ups, but the EFL is expected to allow the two lower divisions to continue for the duration of the tournament.
The reasoning is that the majority of Ligue 1 and 2 matches are canceled during the international week not because of the senior players, but many sign up for the under-21s and younger age groups, this that won’t be a problem at the World Cup.
Therefore, the EFL will continue to play matches with the final confirmation of next season’s schedule likely to arrive in the coming weeks, as they will also have to decide when the Carabao Cup rounds will be played to avoid another delay of matches.
Premier League club meals for home players
Emile Smith Rowe surprised a few people this week by revealing that Arsenal hired him a personal chef to cook his meals with the idea of improving his fitness.
But the reality is that the majority of Premier League clubs do something similar for their players and, for example, Chelsea even use the same boss because the players ideally live an easy distance from the training ground, so he does. a tour of the first team and their kitchens almost every night.
Another club claims their chef prepares pre-cooked meals – often chicken and fish, but many players have gone vegans to improve their health and protect the environment – in special containers and bags for the food to be reheated.
Chefs can either cook the meals or deposit multiple meals to last two or three days. What a wonderful life they lead. But that means footballers’ favorite Nandos every night is no longer on the menu.
Newcastle chase center-backs in January
Eddie Howe made it clear during his unveiling press conference at Newcastle that he would not welcome endless transfer speculation in the build-up to January.
Good luck with that one, Eddie. But perhaps one of the reasons behind this is that the words are that, despite their enormous wealth, Newcastle don’t want to go crazy in the next transfer window.
They definitely want a Premier League-ready middle half – Burnley’s James Tarkowski and Wolves’ Conor Coady have been mentioned – to bolster the defense, but any other signing can come in the form of a loan.
Therefore, Howe doesn’t expect a crazy January window – and doesn’t want to rack up expectations just for it to end in disappointment.
Arsenal were not escorted to the 2006 Champions League final – but Barcelona were
There was an Arsene Wenger love-in this week with a benefit party at the Palladium and the launch of Gabriel Clarke’s excellent new film Invincible.
A little nugget was revealed during Wenger’s conversation with former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein, which even this seasoned observer has never heard before.
The Arsenal team bus only arrived 50 minutes before the Champions League final in Paris in 2006, as Barcelona had received a police escort and Wenger’s men had not.
Wenger is well known for cutting things off well with his timing, but even he admitted that he expected the kickoff to be delayed – and it wasn’t. Barely good preparation before Arsenal lost the final.
Dein is doing brilliant charity work with his twinning project to try and help reform offenders. The Palladium event raised thousands of dollars. And, incredibly, a meal with Wenger and Dein brought in more than two tickets to the World Cup final, as well as plane tickets and a five-star hotel up for auction.
The FA cancels the Christmas party
Rather, the Football Association have wisely postponed plans for the lavish traditional Christmas party, keeping in mind the job cuts and savings that were imposed last year.
Rangers’ long-standing conflict with the media
Steven Gerrard worked brilliantly at Rangers, which is why he got the job at Aston Villa.
And his success at Ibrox comes against a backdrop of major difficulties behind the scenes as former England midfielder Gerrard found himself in the midst of a long-standing ugly dispute between the club and the media.
The Rangers charged £ 25,000 for media access for non-rights holders which created a lot of discontent and affected coverage.
It is indefensible and a shame to hear some media outlets be so gullible when it comes to swallowing Rangers’ apologies for not allowing BT Sport pundits Chris Sutton and Neil Lennon to cover a game at Ibrox due to their Celtic ties.