Premier League News, Daily Ticker: Aug. 23
Blatter: An English World Cup Would Be “Easy”
FIFA officials arrived in England today to begin their four-day inspection of their 2018 World Cup bid. The 1966 hosts received a boost from FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who said, “The easiest way to organize the World Cup is to go to England. Everything is there – fans, stadiums, infrastructure – it’s easy.”
“The performances of bidding countries’ national teams does not matter, definitely not. It is the quality of their bid that matters,” continued Blatter, which should assuage fears of England’s falling status as a soccer power becoming a negative in their bid.
But Blatter, who will meet with deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today, said Russia were strong contenders. “You cannot deny Russia if they bid for something. They are more than a country. They are a big continent, a big power,” he said. FIFA will vote on the locations of the 2018 an 2022 World Cups on Dec. 2.
Ferguson Could Face Sanctions Over BBC Boycott
Sir Alex Ferguson could face disciplinary action from the Premier League after continuing his refusal to participate in post-match interviews with the BBC. It was reported that the Manchester United manager would break his silence but it was assistant manager Michael Phelan who fielded the BBC’s questions.
“The Premier League is disappointed that the BBC and Manchester United have, as yet, been unable to resolve the issue of Sir Alex Ferguson providing post-match interviews,” the Premier League said in a statement. ”However, this is a breach of Premier League rules and the board will consider the appropriate course of action at their next meeting scheduled for late September.”
Walcott Could Be Moved Up To Striker
Theo Walcott could be moved up into a striking position following his hat trick against Blackpool said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. The 21-year-old is trying to return to form after being left off the England World Cup squad.
Wenger is likely to move Walcott, who has been incosistent in his right position, to the center of Arsenal’s 4-2-3-1 formation. “I believe he can score goals because when he was young he scored goals, and I am convinced he will finish in the middle. He times his runs well, once he is a yard clear nobody in the world can catch him, and now he is more composed in front of goal,” said Wenger.
“The boss signed me as a striker but I’ll happily play anywhere for Arsenal,” Walcott said. “There’s a lot of competition up front now with Marouane [Chamakh] and Robin [van Persie], so as long as I provide goals and pop up with one now and then I’m happy with that.”