Blizzards, bursting bubbles & barmy Benitez

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The snowman scarf count in Shepperton this week is Chelsea 3 Arsenal 1.

Meanwhile, away from Blizzard Britain, football continues to suggest that it is full of, to paraphrase the classic Elvis’ gospel song Run On, long tongued liars, ramblers, gamblers and back biters.

Red divide

Explaining why he sold Robbie Keane, Rafa Benitez said: “We still have [Ryan] Babel, [David] Ngog and Dirk Kuyt as well as Torres. It is a risk but the situation was not good and we needed to do something.”

Here are the stats on the strikers supporting Torres:

Ryan Babel: 76 games, 13 goals, 0.17 goals a game.

David Ngog: 9 games, 1 goal, 0.11 goals a game.

Dirk Kuyt: 128 games, 32 goals, 0.25 goals a game.

Luckily, Torres’s stats are: 68 games, 41 goals, 0.60 goals a game.

Who needs Robbie Keane when you've got David Ngog

Compare this to Manchester United’s firepower.:

Dimitar Berbatov: 25 games, 11 goals, 0.44 goals a game.

Cristiano Ronaldo: 271 games, 106 goals, 0.39 goals a game.

Wayne Rooney: 218 games, 89 goals, 0.41 goals a game.

Carlos Tevez: 80 games, 29 goals, 0.36 goals a game.

Most tedious metaphor of the week

Don’t know if you caught Mihir Bose’s report on BBC’s 10 o’clock news about the Premier League's bubble bursting.

To save you searching for it online, here is the item in a nutshell.

1. The Premier League’s bubble may be about to burst.

2. Quite a few Premier League clubs are effectively up for sale.

3. See point 1.

That was it.

And what graphic device did they use to illustrate the point that the Premier League’s financial bubble may be about to burst?

That’s right. A bubble.

Presumably the BBC think us incapable of understanding the point about financial bubbles bursting unless we are constantly looking at bubbles. Big ones, cuddly ones, like the bubbles we blew as kids. 

Look out! It's going to blow...

The device might have been vaguely witty if they’d shown West Ham in a bubble. Instead, Fulham were cocooned in one as gentlemanly Roy Hodgson tactfully did his best to make the story seem half valid.

It was an odd item to run on the day the Premier League announced it looked set for another record TV deal, a daft whim.

Presumably the bubbles came from the same graphic whiz who decided, at the height of Olympics fever, that we couldn’t understand a story on Britain’s economy without our performance being rated gold, medal or bronze.

(Obviously, we now know, thanks to the IMF, that if economic performance were an Olympic event, Great Britain wouldn’t get out of the heats).

I can’t wait for Mihir’s next report. His searching expose of the difficulties facing Fabio Capello’s England will be presented, in its entirety, from a cage at Whipsnade Zoo occupied by three lions. Hey, we can all dream can’t we?

Backhanded compliment of the week

Arsenal nut Christian Skindballe’s defence of Nikolas Bendtner, quoted in Arsenal’s official newsletter would be a bit more rousing if it didn’t include this sentence:

“People need to remember you don´t have to like the person to appreciate the talent and contribution.”

Gamble of the week

Andrei Arshavin’s arrival at Arsenal had me wondering: has any Russian footballer ever really done the business when playing for a foreign club?

Arshavin: Will he break the mould of Russians flopping abroad?

When Rangers bought Oleg Salenko, joint Golden Boot winner at USA '94, the Russian striker did more shooting mucking around in Paul Gascoigne’s garden than he did on the pitch.

Midfield schemer Aleskandr Mostovoi was so popular at Celta Vigo the fans dubbed him “The Tsar of Balaidos.”

Can’t think of too many other Russian stars in exile but feel free to suggest a few.  

I hope Arshavin is the catalyst Arsenal needs because the Premier League is poorer without the Gunners on song. This season has – thanks to Manchester City’s massive good fortune – been more exciting on the back pages than on the pitch.