‘Not good news tweeps, speak tomorrow :(‘
Well, good morning to you, if by good morning you are the kind of person who likes pouring bad news on top of bad news and then putting a bad news cherry on top.
The above words, tweeted by Stuart Holden late last night, have got us all fearing the worst. From the sounds of it, his Jonny Evans inflicted injury is worse than just a bad cut on the knee.
That this has happened at all is not good, but that it has happened to our most accomplished player this season at this particular part of the season will cut us deep, if you’ll pardon the pun.
Holden has, without doubt, been our player of the season and has managed it without many outside the club noticing. In a season when we have gone under the radar in our achievements, Holden has epitomised how far we have come. On Saturday, he, alongside Fabrice Muamba, mostly nullified the United midfield and it shouldn’t come as any surprise that, as soon as he went off, the ten men of United poured forward.
Any games that he will miss will be one game too many. But, with no game for a fortnight, by the time we return he will be a fortnight nearer playing. However, if the rumours that it is at least six months are anything to go by, then we may as well wait until September.
Jonny Evans’ tackle was a bad one, but it was neither the Chopper Harris type tackle that some are making out it was, nor is he as unfortunate as Messrs. Hansen and Kamara made out on Saturday night and Sunday morning respectively. If you go in with your studs showing and off the floor then you are a red card waiting to happen. It doesnt’t matter if it is a 50/50 tackle, the end result is your studs have ended up where they shouldn’t, and this time they ended up slicing another player’s knee.
It really, really, bothers me when commentators try and apologise for reckless tackling. We have been on the end of it on more than one occasion. Diaby on Campo, Flamini on Gardner (and not for the last time if the tackle by Flamini on Corluka in the first Milan – Spurs game is anything to go by), De Jong on Holden himself and William Gallas’ tackle on Mark Davies are just four that spring to mind. People come out and say that ‘he’s hasn’t got a bad bone in his body’. Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter one jot. Ryan Shawcross probably hasn’t got a bad bone in his body, but it didn’t stop him putting a talent like Aaron Ramsey of the game for a year.
I couldn’t care less if players give the rest of their time helping orphans in Lesotho or keeping old donkeys on their farm. Craig Bellamy and El Hadji Diouf do that kind of thing, but it doesn’t stop them being arseholes on and off the pitch.
An answer is to give a player a ban commensurate with the amount of time the player he injured is out of the game. Jonny Evans will serve a three match ban and be back in for the run in to the campaign. By the sounds of it, Stuart Holden won’t. There is something decidedly lop sided about that. In the end, United probably won’t miss Evans. You can’t honestly say the same thing about Bolton Wanderers and Holden.
Moving on and, as expected, Gary Cahill has found himself in the England squad for the games against Wales and Ghana. With Michael Dawson and Mr Worf in the squad as well, you’d have thought that he would have a good chance of getting into the team alongside the ‘Dad of the Year’. If Capello has any nous about him. This means he’ll probably get his third cap as a meaningless substitute with about twenty minutes to go against Ghana.
As expected, the England management know what Kevin Davies can give to the squad and have decided it isn’t something that they want. Andy Carroll is still coming back from an injury that kept him out for three months but, hey, he plays for Liverpool now so he’s ahead of the captain in the reckoning. I suspect I told you this would happen at the time he was transferred. And if I didn’t, I definitely thought it.
It’s good to see that St Owen didn’t blame Jussi for the defeat on Saturday. I see that someone put an article on 6-0-6 saying that Jussi was the weakest link in the team, completely missing the mare that Al-Habsi pulled against Citeh for Wigan. Jussi has kept us in games this season, and to malign him for one mistake is unjust. He has his moments, but none as rash as Almunia’s against The Baggies on Saturday. Look at that and then pray you don’t get what you wish for.
Fantasy League update now, and Gill Ashton and her Platt Vegas Allstars still lead but are being slowly caught by Phil Caine’s Heskey’s Legacy. Only ten points in it now. Scott Allen’s Ex-Presidents consolidate third with a team of the week performance. A hearty congratulations to him. Team of the Month for March were Oliver Butterworth and his Real Bolton FC, so double congrats to him.
Righty-ho, I’m off to stick my head in a dark room so I can avoid the confirmation on Holden’s injury. I will return tomorrow though, as I’m contractually obliged to.
11:30 update. Well that didn’t take long did it? Confirmation that he is out for six months has appeared on the official website. I’ll get the pitchforks, you get the torches. Let’s all go down to Jonny Evans house.