Mario Balotelli in Trouble, Thomas Vermaelen Injured and 8 Stories You Must Read
The International football break has been as inauspicious as expected with nothing really on the line.
If anything, most football fans will be hoping their club's star player isn't injured in a pointless friendly half way around the world. Though, there have been some interesting football stories you must be inundated with.
Surprise surprise, Mario Balotelli is in trouble. Also, Ricardo Carvalho has quit and manager José Mourinho will get a chance to polish up on his diplomatic skills.
There are also eight more stories you must read.
IPad to Blame Not Mario Balotelli
Italy laboured to a 1-0 win over Faroe Island in Euro 2012 qualifiers.
Substitute Mario Balotelli was preoccupied with his iPad during the game, which did not please manager Cesare Prandelli. It is believed that Prandelli would have given Balotelli more time on the pitch if the Manchester City forward warmed up properly.
His lazy warm-up coupled by his attention to his iPad resulted in him only coming on for a six-minute cameo.
Though La Repubblica reported Balotelli refuting this claims, "I only had the iPad during the warm-up, I did not take it with me on the bench."
Italian team manager Gigi Riva defended Balotelli claiming the media were making something insignificant significant.
Thomas Vermaelen Sidelined
Thomas Vermaelen's Achilles injury will expose Arsenal's Achilles for two months.
Arsenal's at times shambolic defence will now be led by Per Mertesacker. It also gives inconsistent Laurent Koscielny two months to prove his doubters wrong.
There is no doubt he can defend, just watch the game against Barcelona. But for some reason, he switches off from time to time.
Jack Wilshere Sidelined
Not good news for Arsenal supporters, Jack Wilshere will be out until November.
"I will be out for around 2-3 months! I am working hard in the gym to stay fit and I am gutted but I will be back stronger!"
Arsenal will be relying on Aaron Ramsey who has been ok whilst big signing Mikel Arteta has to start producing the goods from the get go.
Just for your information, Wilshere will also become a father very soon with ex-girlfriend Lauren Neal heavily pregnant.
So maybe his injury is a blessing in disguise.
Though his injury, plus Thomas Vermaelen's injury, combined with the departures of Cesc Fàbregas and Samir Nasri will have some negative ramifications on Arsenal's season.
Ricardo Carvalho Quits
Ricardo Carvalho sensationally walked out of Portugal's training camp in the lead up to their Euro 2012 qualifying game against Cyrpus.
Portugal won 4-0, but it was national manager Paulo Bento's military-style language, presumably Latin-styled hairdryer treatment of Carvalho which led to him walking out.
This will suit Real Madrid manager José Mourinho, who would be smart to just keep his mouth shut, because surely he's learnt it's best not to burn bridges.
If Mourinho wasn't so anti-Barcelona, ironically it was Barcelona that gave him the start, and if Pep Guardiola failed; maybe the Special One would have returned to a place he once called home.
I'm sure he won't make the same mistake with the Portuguese national team; plus he endorsed Bento's appointment a year ago.
C'mon Barcelona! That Was Below the Belt.
Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu commented on his club signing Cesc Fàbregas for €34 million,
"His [Fàbregas] real price was what Arsenal initially asked – at least €60m."
I don't know how to approach this. On one hand, I'm impressed that Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger had the cajones to ask for €60 million. But he then went from inflating the transfer fee to deflating it.
It worked against Arsenal and worked in favour of Barcelona.
So Carlos Tévez Was Right! Garry Cook Is a Jerk
Nedum Onuoha, who should be playing football instead of sitting at home presumably playing FIFA 11, has been entangled in an awkward situation involving his cancer-stricken mum and Manchester City CEO Garry Cook.
Cook became mainstream when star forward Carlos Tévez engaged in a weird power struggle and P.R. stunt against the CEO. Now we know why.
It seems Cook is a jerk.
Onuoha's mother, Dr. Anthonia Onuoha is claiming Cook was insensitive to her struggle with cancer, in light of her elongating her son's contract negotiations with the club.
Dr Anthonia sent an email to administrator Brian Marwood Cook,
"[...]"My body might be ravaged by cancer and ongoing chemotherapy but, thankfully, my intellectual and mental capacities remain fully functional [...]."
Cook then mistakenly sent Dr Anthonia a reply, which was intended for Marwood.
"Brian, Ravaged with it!!.......I don't know how you sleep at night.[...]."
So what's Cook's excuse? He claims he was hacked as does everyone when they do something stupid on the Internet.
Short Term Compromise Mean Serie A Football Is Back
Like La Liga, Serie A have avoided a potentially costly strike which would have made the league's reformation to copy the Premier League useless.
Former Roma player Damiano Tommasi, whose moral code led him to play for trainee wages due to injury, was staunch as leader of the Players' Union.
Tommasi held out until certain conditions for players dropped from their club's first team squad were met.
It's only a temporary deal which expires at the end of the season.
Japan's Mike Havenaar
When Keisuke Honda withdrew from the Japanese national team with injury, Mike Havenaar was the lucky person on hand to answer the emergency call-up.
The 24-year-old 6'4" tall centre-forward doesn't look Japanese, nor does he have a Japanese sounding name, but he is 100 percent Japanese.
Born in Japan to Dutch parents, of which his father Dido played 12 years of Japanese football, Havenaar has slowly risen up the ranks.
He didn't cut it with Yokohama F. Marinos, but since moving to minnows Ventforet Kofu, Havenaar has established himself second only to Josh Kennedy as the league's best target forward—not that there are many.
I don't think since Alex, has a player that looks so foreign debuted for Japan.
Japan does have a noticeable issue with racism and xenophobia, so hopefully the Japanese public can accept Havenaar because he is one of them.
Johnny Black's Wonder Goal
This goal has gone viral, so if you haven't seen it, here it is.
First and last time you'll ever hear the name Johnny Black. He plays for Coleraine in IFA Premiership, which is Northern Ireland's top flight league. Black scored in a 4-3 victory against Portadown.
Ironically last season, Matty Burrows' awesome goal also came against Portadown.
I wonder if the IFA Premiership specialise in astonishing goals because it's giving the league some exposure.
Roy Keane Icey Intentions
According to The Telegraph, Roy Keane will become manager of the Icelandic national football team.
Interesting career choice given you'd think someone as young as Keane would want to face the daily interaction of football, as opposed to the monthly and sometimes empty months international managers faces.
If Keane does become Iceland's manager, he should really take a look at Gylfi Sigurðsson because the lad has some talent.