Echte Feinde des Fußballs haben verloren….. Manchester City wird NICHT weggehen.

What do they think is going to happen, these masters of the universe, the entitled elite of European football? That they will unleash the full force of UEFA and Financial Fair Play on Manchester City, and they will go away? It’s too late. They lost. New money did get in. New powers have emerged.

Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea — the original cause of all this fear, do not forget, because FFP was initially intended to ward off Roman Abramovich, not Sheik Mansour — are here to stay. We must hope other, ambitious clubs join them.

We must hope that one day all the greatest leagues of Europe have six or more teams who start each season thinking they can win it. We’re blessed over here. We’ve got a competition. That is what terrifies football’s rich. That is why they want to see City and PSG regulated out of successful existence.

It won’t happen. Even if UEFA take action against City — and that is not guaranteed due to the historic nature of the claims and the criminal way information has been obtained — their reach only extends so far.

City have endured financial penalties before. A European ban? It would be unhelpful, but not ruinous. Relatively short term, too. A bump in the road, not an impasse.

Anything draconian or longer than a year or so could be challenged in court and the fact UEFA have avoided that route in the past suggests they are not convinced their rules would stand up to legal scrutiny. So this is a losing battle for the elite.

One look at the time devoted to building the City Football Group shows there is a plan for the long term, as well as the short. Yes, City were a club in a hurry. But what has followed, the construction of a global empire, is a lasting strategy.

China is the latest arm. They have been talking about it for two years, not two minutes, in an attempt to refine the strategy. That is not a commitment that will be surrendered on the back of one setback. Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona are pushing for UEFA to punish City, again. But even if that happens, what next? City will be back, PSG too.

Chelsea — the only one of the new money clubs to actually win the biggest European prize — have never gone away. The landscape has changed, for ever.

All this desperate talk of European super leagues and breakaways is just the big clubs trying to stem the tide. They want to freeze time, and you can’t. This is a moment in time. City will not win seven titles on the spin, as Juventus have in Italy, because English football does not work like that, and their present structure is not for ever.

Pep Guardiola will be done with Manchester soon, just as he was done with Munich and Barcelona. Maybe next season, maybe a little longer, but this isn’t a dynasty — this isn’t even Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool. And Guardiola is a tough man to replace.

His style is inimitable, his relationship with the players intense, almost cultish. After only three or four years there will be succession issues as problematic as those undergone by Arsenal and Manchester United, after decades under one man.

And, yes, City can throw money at any difficulties. But they have been doing that since Mansour arrived in 2008, and won the league only three times. City were throwing money at the problem when Leicester performed a miracle, when Chelsea rewrote the record books under Antonio Conte, when Sir Alex Ferguson won his final title with a markedly weaker Manchester United.

City have made mistakes, too, like missing out on Robin van Persie. And they are only two points clear of Liverpool — 44-pass, one minute and 53 second moves notwithstanding. It is beautiful to watch, but they remain a single defeat from sitting second. This is far from a procession. So while City won’t go away, they won’t always win, either.

Ajax didn’t, AC Milan didn’t, Liverpool didn’t, not even United. No team will as long as leagues continue to allow competition. That is what we should fear.

Not new money, or new challenges, but a protectionist elite determined to keep all the loot, the prizes, and the fun, for themselves. They are the true enemies of football.

The FA’s pursuit of Jose Mourinho over his touchline exclamations makes even less sense now we know the case is based on the evidence of lip readers.

There has barely been an incident in football that has not been made worse and more confused by their influence.

Lip readers proved useless in John Terry versus Anton Ferdinand, and wildly inaccurate when determining what Marco Materazzi said to provoke Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final.

It was variously reported that Materazzi had insulted Zidane’s mother, sister, wife, family, the late coach of AS Cannes, Jean Varraud, and the Muslim religion, broaching topics including, but not exclusively, terrorism, prostitution, incest, sexual preference and his wish for the aforementioned to suffer an ugly demise.

Considering that Materazzi’s address lasted no more than two sentences, this seems rather a mouthful. Understandably he sued several media outlets and won. Lip readers, meanwhile, sail on.

We have been here before with Mourinho. At the time of the Eva Carneiro row at Chelsea, some proactive souls engaged the Portuguese lip-reading fraternity and tried to claim he said ‚filha da puta‘ not ‚filho da puta‘ in the heat of their argument, changing ’son of a b***h‘ to ‚daughter of a b***h‘ and making the attack more personal.

Again, this was an argument that went nowhere. The fact is ‚filho da puta‘ in Portuguese-speaking countries is bandied about as frequently and in as many contexts as the F-word is here. You might make a mistake and say, ‚Oh, f*** off!‘ Yet there is nobody in the vicinity that needs to f*** off.

This is your mistake, between you and your computer, or the spilled milk, or the misread map. We do not always mean what we say when we swear. It’s a release of emotion.

Pursuing Mourinho in these circumstances always seemed a rather extreme reaction, and now we know it is on the evidence of lip readers, even more so.

To lose the charge and then appeal, meanwhile, as the FA have done, appears both rash and vindictive. Surely the governing body has more to worry about than this; Mourinho certainly has.

Last time we checked in on Brentford, the club were working on persuading the Premier League to relax their health and safety rules next season, to permit standing at Griffin Park, since when they have lost four games out of five and fallen to 15th.  It might be an idea to stand down the finest legal minds in Britain. Better players, that’s what they need.

Leeds are three points off the top of the Championship. Equally, they are three points off Nottingham Forest, in seventh place, outside the play-offs.

This is why owner Andrea Radrizzani is pushing for a Premier League 2. He thought he had the nap hand with the appointment of Marcelo Bielsa, but even with a super-coach in charge, the Championship is a devilishly difficult league to escape.

At the weekend Leeds lost 4-1 at West Brom and half the division currently thinks it has a chance of coming up. Some, like Swansea, are hoping to bounce straight back to the top division; others, like Blackburn, are hoping to power straight through from League One.

There are teams who have invested impressively, and others that get by on greatly inferior budgets. That is what makes the Championship compelling in a way Premier League 2 could never be. Leeds will just have to do it the hard way.

Sometimes it pays to take what Eddie Jones says with a pinch of salt. He has a cavalier attitude to statistics and will invent entire situations if he thinks his team will get a rise from it. Take his stirring of the pot before the match with Japan.

‚If I was Japan I’d be worried,‘ he said. ‚We want to physically smash them, because I know they’re going to come full of confidence. I’ve heard some of the things they’ve said, and they’ve been a bit cheeky, so look out.‘

The Japanese journalists seemed bemused; as anyone might, given Japanese culture. As Jones knows better than anybody — he has a Japanese mother, and was coach of Japan at the last World Cup — the cornerstone of the nation is its politeness.

When Philippe Troussier, a Frenchman, took over the Japanese football team in 1998, his first job was to persuade the players to stop addressing each other formally, during the game. Even in the heat of a match, Japan’s best player, Hidetoshi Nakata, would be spoken to as ‚Nakata-san‘. Imagine if England’s players used ‚Mr Rooney‘ rather than just shouting ‚man on‘ during Thursday night’s match.

Troussier also said his players had no way of expressing dissatisfaction with training or any aspect of their professional lives. ‚They only knew to say they were happy,‘ he recalled.

And this is the country that, coming to play England at Twickenham for the first time, have spent the last week rubbishing their hosts?

Even if many of Japan’s players weren’t born Japanese, it is hard to imagine them going rogue. But what’s this? An interview with the captain, Michael Leitch, in The Japan Times.

‚We are looking forward to playing against one of the best sides in the world — it’s exciting,‘ Leitch said. ‚We’re also looking forward to facing Eddie Jones. We’ve been bullied a lot by Eddie. We’d like to give it back by beating England, as a sign of gratitude.‘ Well, you can see why he’s furious.

Steph Houghton should have made her 100th England appearance in Austria last week. She didn’t, because within the increasingly image-obsessed FA, it was decided this honour would look better taking place at a home game. Errant nonsense, of course.

Players play. If Houghton had made her 100th appearance away, that would still be a fantastic achievement, and could be saluted by the crowd at the next home game, when she would win her 101st cap.

Instead — and we can only presume the manager, Phil Neville, bought into this, too — by turning the match against Sweden on Sunday into a Steph Houghton tribute game, the focus was lost and with it England’s unbeaten home record that had stood for close to four years.

There is a cautionary tale here about devaluing international football, if the FA care to heed it.

Neville was one of those who couldn’t understand the opposition to Wayne Rooney’s ceremonial 120th cap. Maybe now he knows.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is the seventh Arsenal substitute to appear on the scoresheet this season, meaning one of two things: either Unai Emery is a tactical genius, or he’s picking the wrong team.

When Manchester City played Reading on October 26 in the Women’s Super League, David McNamara, the match referee, forgot his coin for the pre-match toss-up. He should have returned to the dressing room, or at least the touchline, to get one. Instead he had a brainwave.

This is how Steph Houghton, the captain of England and Manchester City, and Kirsty Pearce, the captain of Reading, came to decide ends or kick-off with a round of rock, paper, scissors in the middle of the pitch.

It sounds funny. It isn’t funny. You’ve got to feel for the individuals involved. Not the referee. He’s an idiot. But the players have done nothing wrong, except indulge him his foolishness. They should have said no. They should have asked if he would require this of Harry Kane in similar circumstances; and we all know the answer to that.

Yet this is part of a wider problem. The women’s game is being promoted as, among other things, super when it is anything but. The infrastructure, such as the quality of match officials, really isn’t there.

The promotion the game is getting pushes it into the public eye, obliges it to run before walking. If a league is super it doesn’t start with a nursery charade. And, if it does, the FA should review its processes and standards before exposing their competition to further ridicule.

Maurizio Sarri is the first manager since Tom Whittaker at Arsenal in 1947 to remain unbeaten in his first 12 matches in England’s top division. He has also matched the opening points total of title winner Antonio Conte. He’s third. Tough league, this.

It was fascinating to read in this newspaper on Monday that when England played Scotland on April 26, 1919, in the first international held after the war, there is no record of a minute’s silence, and no suggestion this was in any way disrespectful.

Football knew what it was then, and did not feel the need to insert itself into every aspect of national life. The country was clearer in its notion of remembrance, too.

There is a fashion for setting rants about football to the music from Blur’s Parklife. If you have a minute and a computer, type in ‚Charlie Austin Parklife‘ because I think we’ve hit a peak.

Teilen Ist Liebe! ❤

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