Thursday, 17 December 2009

A Don Deal

A few words on the England 2018 decision and I’m not bitter…unlike a certain Mr. Wenger!

In-between wondering whether the weather was going to put paid to any/all of this weekend’s fixtures, the main thing occupying my mind football-wise during the past week was Wednesday’s decision on potential hosting cities should England win the right to stage the 2018 World Cup.
And sure enough, as feared beforehand (despite my optimistic previous posting on the subject) when Lord Mawhinney announced the fifteen winners, Hull was one of only three cities to miss out.
Now unlike some of the irate posters on the various message boards in the days since the decision, I’m not particularly bitter about any of those cities/venues which appear to have prospered at Hull’s expense. That said, some posts by supporters of the various victorious cities simply serve to reinforce the outdated, stereotypical view of Kingston-upon-Hull portrayed over the past few years by the media.
It is times like this when you really wonder whether anybody outside the area has actually bothered to look at just what has happened in recent times.
The only other grievance I have is that some of the successful bids are based around stadia not even built yet (and in the case of Nottingham Forest’s proposed new ground, one that is by no means certain to even get planning permission). Should funding for these new grounds be secured centrally then this would provide a double kick in the teeth; especially given that Hull’s bid was one of the soundest financially.
But forgetting the merits or otherwise of those that have won the right to be considered, I’m just very disappointed that Hull has been passed over for something which would have provided the city and the whole area with a huge shot in the arm.
In his presentation and subsequent interviews, I’m yet to hear Lord Mawhinney give any reasons as to why the likes of Hull, Derby and Leicester failed in their bids. I’d be surprised if we ever get to find out.
Some have suggested the lack of hotel accommodation in Hull itself and the fact that Beverley and York had been included as possible alternative bases. I didn’t see this as a weakness. Sunderland’s bid included the whole of Co Durham and was very much a “North-East” bid (although separate to that of Newcastle-Gateshead). Similarly, Plymouth and Bristol both angled theirs around a South-West regional bid. Hull’s was a “Hull & Yorkshire Bid”.
Having mentioned Plymouth, I’m pleased for them as – similar to East Yorkshire – it’s a part of the country sadly neglected for so long (“since the country stopped relying on the Navy” as one Argyle fan put in on a City posting board!). And Bristol also, in view of the relationship struck up with Brizzle City fans during and after the Wembley play-off. Good luck to ‘em.
As for the others, aside from the eyebrow-raising choice of Milton Keynes, the FA have gone “safety first” in choosing tried and tested football cities/stadia. I just wish that for once the Authorities had taken a gamble on this neck of the woods – I’m sure they wouldn’t have been disappointed.
Thankfully my disappointment at the 2018 decision was soon lifted when I awoke on Thursday morning to hear the latest tripe spouted from the mouth of Arsene Whinger. Poor old Arsenal have had to play one more game this week than their opponents this Saturday – the mighty Tigers – and it’s all so unfair.
Hmm, only two weeks ago City were one of only four Premier League clubs involved in midweek matches when they beat Everton at the KC before heading off to face Man City the following Saturday. Did anyone grumble then?
Poor old Arsene also slated Mick McCarthy’s fielding of a “Second XI” in Wolves’ defeat at Man Utd the previous night; insinuating that it was unfair on United’s rivals at the top and that it devalued the competition. This from a man who has consistently played under-strength teams in the League Cup and who only the week before had fielded one in the UEFA Champions League at Olympiakos – without any thought for its effect on qualification from the group.
As with the aftermath of last season’s controversial FA Cup quarter-final at The Emirates, Wenger has once again been shown up for the blinkered hypocrite he is. In the words of Kevin Keegan “I would love it” if he’s still whinging come the post-match interviews this Saturday evening. A repeat of last season’s Saturday night encounter would be nice!
Up The Tigers!

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