Talking Sport: Toure helps football silly season arrive early

Belated Happy Birthday, Yaya
Belated Happy Birthday, Yaya

It’s normally August that signals the silly season in news stories, but recent weeks have seen football excel itself, writes Jon Rose.

From Yaya Toure reminding the world how the club missed his birthday, to Greg Dyke proposing an extra league to give the Premiership reserve players more game time, and Chris Smalling being picked for England, it’s been farcical all the way.

Toure’s complaints are laughable in that there’s a video doing the rounds of a cake being presented to him, happy birthday being sung and the club generally celebrating with him as he became 31.

Did he seriously think the club would offer him a Bugatti Veyron as Anzhi Makhachkala did to Roberto Carlos?

Incidentally, Anzhi have had to sell many of their squad recently as their rich owner has had problems with a business deal. Can’t see that happening at City, but Toure needs to realise the club aren’t a bottomless wallet for his financial wants.

Smalling seems to be the main target for fans’ concerns after Hodgson named what, to me, looked a decent squad for the World Cup.

The squad has youth and experience in equal measure and as it’s possible we won’t win the WC, it seems a good squad to keep together for the Euro qualifying. Give the players decent game time and big tournament experience.

Meanwhile, Greg Dyke’s idea for a League Three isn’t so appealing. Yet again the smaller clubs are being asked to make way for the Premier League big boys – but why should they?

The mere thought of having to go through another level in the promotion pyramid makes a mockery of the league structure as it stands.

I’m all for having something that allows homegrown talent to prosper, but how about starting by limiting the amount of foreign players in Premiership starting XIs?

That’s ‘restriction of trade’, some may cry. Oh, and what about the restriction of trade of the youngsters frozen out by some journeyman looking out for his last glory pay-day in the Premiership?

The League Three idea needs killing at birth, and more emphasis given to promoting benefits to clubs who allow their youngsters more first-team action.

The fact Cardiff City got £62m for finishing bottom of the Premier League tells you all you need to know about the greed of those at the top table.

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