As always, there is a lot going on in the footballing world and only limited space in which to talk about it. So in addition to being the usual Friday place for off-topic discussion (although that’s really every CF if you want it to be), today’s CF is going to be a short list of things that are really grinding my gears and a few words about that.
- NWSL: I hope you’ve all been keeping tabs on what is going on in the NWSL and women’s soccer in this country. If not, please take a minute to catch yourselves up - this is a good place to start. Believe women. Support the players. Advocate loudly for justice and for structural change.
- Journalism / reporting: that NWSL stuff might never break without good journalists doing their job correctly. Journalism is important. Local and “smaller” (although there is nothing small about the NWSL story - take it to mean less-represented / less flashy stories) reporting is critical to shining the light where it needs to be.
- Newcastle sale: there has been plenty written about Newcastle’s sale but one thing I haven’t seen much of is (some) of the loud anti-Super League voices reciprocating that same energy. It seems to me that if you’re concerned about the sporting integrity of your leagues, that you should oppose any owner with astronomical wealth coming in and spending gobs of money to buy players - read: improve a team in a non-merit-based way. If you’re so concerned about the sanctity of the competition on the field, you should be opposed to financial “competition” carrying the day. But I guess that ship sailed long, long ago, see e.g. Manchester City, Chelsea, PSG, and so on.
- USMNT qualifier: I think this tweet about sums it up. I’m incredibly excited about all the young talent the USMNT has, and it’s awesome that they represent the diversity that gives us strength.
A Mexican-American kid from Texas scored a brace for the US tonight, one off a nice move from a English-Ghanaian-American kid and a Dutch-American kid, one off a nice dish from a kid from NJ, and then George Weah’s kid nearly got us a couple more.— Adam Whittaker Spookily (@Snaves) October 8, 2021
That’s my US team.
- CONCACAF refereeing: oh look, Aaron is talking about refereeing again. Jamaica arguably should have had two players sent off in the first half. They didn’t, in part because CONCACAF doesn’t have VAR for WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS. Supposedly it’s because the other countries don’t have the infrastructure in place to use it. Hogwash. CONCACAF has enough money. Put it in place. Or use it in the venues in which it’s available. I don’t see having it for some matches and not for others as the argument against it that the federation seems to think it is.
- Jack Wilshere back at Arsenal: the currently team-less former Gunner has been training with the club this week. Arsenal were quick to point out it’s more of a favor and to help him prepare for his coaching level exams and not because a return to the roster is imminent. It’s at once cool and a bit strange how former players just show up at training. Remember when Robert Pires spent the better part of several seasons just hanging out at London Colney?