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Chelsea v Palmeiras: Final - FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021

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Roker Ramble: Your weekly round up of all non-Sunderland AFC news

Doesn’t it just warm the cockles when people you suspect have been up to “interesting” things over the years get a little back in return?

Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Penniless, thrashings, and owners who couldn’t look less like what they are doing than if I was in front of a bomb, some wires and a timer counting down to zero, armed with only a pair of scissors.

Sound familiar?

Countless millions spaffed on what they thought were oven ready signings, when in fact they were mercenaries looking for one last pay day, or over-hyped mediocrities who couldn’t handle the heat.

Sound familiar?

Everton’s demise isn’t a bad run of form - this has been in the post for a while. In their last 18 games they have only won two, and “amassed” eight points.

Sound familiar?

To describe things as going badly wrong on Merseyside would be somewhat of an understatement, but that’s what you get with bad administration. £25m on Keane, £45m on Sigurdsson, £27m on Mina, £24m on Kean, £27m on Iwobi, £30m on Pickford (sorry, Jordan but it was quite a lot back in 2017). These fees are insane - and they didn’t have to pay them - if a barman tells you that a treble and coke is £21 you don’t have to actually shell out, you know.

And the blue half of Liverpool are shocked this is happening? Hardly - it’s like expressing surprise that Elton John can play the piano.

Some of the more mean-spirited Liverpool fans out there claimed that Everton’s new stadium at Bramley Dock had been put on hold, because Toffee tears have caused water levels to rise to dangerous levels - careful now, or it’ll be another 30 years before you win the league again. Actually that would also be quite funny.

Clearly, this isn’t a situation that many, if any, managers could fix. Benitez and his managerial style - which he serves up ice cold - couldn’t even lay a glove on the issues Moshiri and his crew have created. So if he’s got no chance then Frank Lampard has got about as much chance as Phil Parkinson of turning things around.

Nevertheless it makes Donny van de Beek’s decision to choose Everton over a resurgent (boo) Newcastle because he didn’t want to be involved in a relegation scrap look a tad silly.

It also begs the question, was it just a coincidence that our downfall was, at least in part, brought about by the signing of over-the-hill or injury prone flotsam from Everton in the form of Pienaar, Gibson, Oviedo, Lescott and Anichebe? Though I hold a soft spot for the latter. Can I include David Moyes in this list? As well as his useless agent brother who seemed to be present in quite a lot of those deals.

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Scotland v Ukraine aff

Sadly we’re going to have to wait a little longer to find out whether our tartan cousins will be joining England in the face-melting heat of Qatar this winter.

The current war in Ukraine means that FIFA have agreed to postpone the match until a later date, probably some time in June.

*Crass joke about excess Scottish drinking before, during and after removed*

Good job the Qataris bribed their way to a winter World Cup wasn’t it? Imagine it it was being held this summer...

I for one hope that they do join Gareth Southgate’s men there but I’ll leave it at that as any more effusive praise for the Tartan Army leads my wife - who is Scottish - to call me a plastic, wannabe jock. Fair enough, I bloody love the place.

Scotland U21 v Kazakhstan U21 - UEFA Euro U21 - Qualifying - Group I - Tannadice Park Photo by Steve Welsh/PA Images via Getty Images

Abramovich gets his comeuppance

Well, if you dance with the devil you’ll get what’s coming do you, won’t you?

Doesn’t it just warm the cockles when people who you suspect have been up to “interesting” things over the years get a little back in return.

Well Abramovich, you might look like a smiling, mute, unthreatening teddy bear, but you’ve certainly got yours.

Now readers of the Ramble will know there is no love for Chelsea here - or the behaviour of some sections of the UK government. But if it is as it seems, they should be given credit (cough, gag, choke etc... no I can’t quite do it) for putting the shackles on Roman “Vladimir who? Don’t know him, mate” Abramovich.

Of course what this does mean is there will be an impact felt at Chelsea - the fact their owner cannot do any business in the UK must surely mean that he cannot sell the club. Who therefore, will fund it? What will this mean for contracts, player incomings, outgoings and the future? I for one couldn’t give the shiniest of shites but we might get an answer soon.

It’s actually somewhat of a surprise that he was sanctioned in the first place, given that deputy PM Dominic Raab is a Chelsea fan. Which let’s be honest comes as no surprise. Isn’t it always the way that some of the biggest balloons in society support the clubs you hated anyway? Raab - Chelsea, Jeremy Kyle - West Ham, Ant and Dec - Newcastle.

Time will tell what impact this does have on the Blues, but I think I speak for most of footballing society when I say I hope they absolutely tank it.

Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Alexander Hassenstein - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

News in brief

Continuing the Chlesea theme, John Terry’s love affair with NFTs which was featured here a few weeks back appears to be going sour. Sadly, their value has declined by 90%. Shame, that.

FIFA have announced foreign players at Russian clubs can suspend their contracts until June, allowing them to sign for other sides, as they will be considered out of contract. This has been criticised by players union FIFPro, who would have preferred their members to be able to terminate their deals.

There were incredible scenes in Mexico this week after a brawl left 26 fans injured during a match between Queretaro and Atlas in the country’s top flight. League authorities took a pretty dim view of the violence, banning Queretaro supporters from away games for three years and telling their owners they must sell up. Footage is not for the faint hearted.

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