I’m pretty excited about the game this weekend!
Ramble of the Day
The other day, The Athletic’s Meg Linehan had sports journalist Shireen Ahmed on her podcast Full Time, and a large chunk of the conversation was about the women’s game in Canada. The whole episode is worth listening to, but there are some pretty good points made in just this clip:
So, um. If you need something not-the-news to listen to, @_shireenahmed_ kicks off 2021 at Full Time with Meg Linehan, discussing sports driving change, Canada WNT and more.— Meg Linehan (@itsmeglinehan) January 7, 2021
and more https://t.co/D9rNk53Cic pic.twitter.com/HFLWUPPO4h
I like to think that, in order for the women’s game to reach any semblance of the height the men’s game has, it needs to share a pretty similar foundation. There are a few accepted standards any half decent footballing nation has, I think — national teams, youth national teams, and a domestic league. It says a lot that Canada does not have a league for its female players — it also says a lot about Canada’s talent pool that they’re eighth in the world and won the 2012 and 2016 Olympic bronze medals.
That’s basically the definition of a failure on the part of the institution, in this case the Canadian Soccer Association, to provide more resources for its women’s team. The fact that this failure is part of a bigger failure that Canada is missing professional women’s sports leagues is even more troubling.
Links of the Day
Multiple people at Aston Villa, Burnley, and Shrewsbury Town tested positive for COVID-19.
Two FA WSL matches and the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana semifinal were postponed because players tested positive for COVID-19.
Arsenal took out a £120m loan from the Bank of England to cope financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema will face trial for allegedly blackmailing France teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
Transfer updates: Manchester United signed Amad Diallo from Atalanta; Arsenal women signed Anna Patten on a free; Arsenal men signed Omar Rekik from Hertha Berlin
A longer read: Rob Harris on the text messages that led to Kieran Trippier being charged by the FA for breaking betting rules for the Associated Press