Even the least superstitious football supporter feels a certain discomfort when hearing others bang on about a certain win in their next Premiership fixture, or that surely even their club ‘can’t bottle it’ late in a match. It’s that feeling that you’ve just jinxed yourself.
But the self-fulfilling prophecy is just as bad, and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger sealed his own fate and that of his players on international duty when he came down rather harshly on those currently enjoying football’s cushiest jobs,
He said: ” (Former Liverpool manager) Gerard (Houllier’s) thoughts on the matter echo mine. He thinks that what the national coaches are doing is like taking the car from his garage without even asking permission.
“They will then use the car for 10 days and abandon it in a field without any petrol left in the tank.
Well, a long, boring international break is finally over and with Premiership action due to resume this weekend Arsenal have had fine automobiles Emmanuel Eboue and Freddie Ljunberg returned with a few tires missing.
Wenger can’t be particularly pleased and it’s difficult not to feel sympathy for Premiership bossese. Of course, the clubs who have players off representing England have it even worse – if the player doesn’t come back injured it’s likely he’ll at least be depressed or mentally traumatised.