Rumours and innuendos!! Who do you believe? It’s been fascinating keeping up to date with the soapbox that the Football transfer window is. The current saga causing much debate is the pursuit of Coutinho by Barcelona from Liverpool. Barcelona have made his signing their main pursuit of this transfer market and I say market with the utmost respect. But the way it to’s and fro’s it seems like the players are treated as market items. Liverpool owners have made a strong stand and said he won’t be leaving. Coutinho responds by putting in a transfer request. Who has the moral ground here? Coutinho signed a new 5 year deal only last year and now he wants away. Once upon a time a contract was unbreakable but now they mean little. Liverpool could conceivably turn his request down but 100 million in the bank is tempting.
Not to be outdone by rumour and innuendos, Brad Hardie the former footballer and now media pundit, has stirred the pot by saying Ross Lyon, or a representative of his, has approached Collingwood about their coaching position. Ross Lyon and the Dockers have come out all guns blazing to deny these rumours. How far can limits be pushed with rumours in order to make a story that is deemed newsworthy? When does a rumour that turns out to be a lie become a court case? It’s a thin line to cross and if crossed too many times can seriously discredit the reputation of the pundit.
Now that the cricket dispute is over bring on the Ashes. England have just bundled aside South Africa with ease and the disturbing factor for Australia is that they have done it with real doubts existing on a number of their batting line up. They now have a series against the West Indies ahead and should a couple of batters be found then the England line up has a formidable look about it with probably the 2 best all rounders in world cricket taking down all comers. I’m talking about Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali. Ben Stokes has history over in Australia already with a superb hundred in Perth but it’s Moeen Ali who has gone under the radar somewhat. He is a batting all rounder that has had to develop his off spin bowling on the Test match run. Sides have continually targeted his bowling through a sign of not really rating it but he continues to establish a wonderful record for himself and the daunting thing for opposition sides is that his bowling just gets better and better. A series on the wickets in Australia will surely test him and he will get targeted again as a weak link but history suggests you do so at your own peril.
The retirements in AFL keep on coming. This week Armfield of Carlton and Stevie J have announced theres. I reckon you know when someone is pretty special when you only have to mention half a name and everyone knows who you are talking about. The cheekiest of all Bob Murphy’s rascals, Stevie J always seemed to play with a free spirit. At times he could be a coaches nightmare but at others their saviour. In a game of trends and roles he has been a maverick that could always come up with the unexpected. Oldies always talk about the lack of characters in today’s sport but in Stevie J we had an exception.
The Athletic world Championship’s has been the big party pooper of the week. Fairytales were waiting to be had with Bolt and Farrow in their last races. But alas time has a habit of not waiting for everyone. Neither went out in the way they would have wished, Bolt pulling up short with a hamstring injury and Farrow only able to take silver in his final 5000 metres. A case of the big bad wolf stealing the show!! But amidst all the oohs and aahs at their disappointment a shining light appears from the wilderness in Sally Pearson to show that maybe fairytales can still be had. It has been one of the great comebacks out of injury and despair. She has had little fanfare or expectation coming into the championships otherwise than a couple of decent warm up races. But nothing that said another gold medal was on the horizon. It’s what makes champions, that ability to do things against the odds, the talent to rise to the occasion and put negative thoughts into the background. The sense of timing to peak right on cue and that undeniable will to win. The never say die attitude to keep fighting back from adversity. Sally Pearson, undisputably the Champion of the week.