The agitation game – why players throw tantrums to get that move

THIS has been something of an unsatisfactory summer for the reputation of footballers and their commitment to their contracts. A string of major players have made themselves the proverbial “pain in the arse” in order to push for a transfer, mostly when they are in mid-contract. The most recent example appears to be David Luiz, who moved from Chelsea to Arsenal in the closing minutes … Continue reading The agitation game – why players throw tantrums to get that move

PSG’s light still shining, albeit less brightly

LIGUE 1 gets underway next weekend and regardless of whether Neymar stays or goes, Paris Saint-German will be favourites for their seventh title win in eight seasons. PSG were champions once more in 2018-19 by a 16-point margin, suggesting the gulf between the Paris club and the rest of the division shows no sign of diminishing. With 105 goals and 29 wins in 38 games, … Continue reading PSG’s light still shining, albeit less brightly

Football Media Watch: Neymar’s Lament

DEPENDING on which newspaper or website you read, Neymar looks set to leave Paris Saint-Germain in the coming weeks. Or maybe not. There are rumblings from the French capital that Brazil’s troubled talisman has had enough of life in Ligue 1, that he’s longing for a move back to Barcelona. It has been a fractious few months for Neymar, whom Barney Ronay of the Guardian … Continue reading Football Media Watch: Neymar’s Lament

The Grey Neutral: Who can truly blame Sarri?

CHELSEA may be in the process of being treated in the same way they have dealt with their long stream of managers in the Abramovich era. In other words, Maurizio Sarri has told the club he wants to leave – just one year into his contract. Sarri, of course, ended the season with Champions League qualification and a trophy – his first (and probably only) … Continue reading The Grey Neutral: Who can truly blame Sarri?

GOTP Notepad: Barca in the money

BARCELONA have announced their financials for the 2017-18 season and they’ve reported record revenues of € 914 million, the highest ever by a football club. Revenues were obviously boosted by the vast sum (some € 200 million) received by the club from the sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain a year ago. The La Liga champions made a net profit of € 13 million in … Continue reading GOTP Notepad: Barca in the money

Russia 2018 underlines where global power is shifting

WITH Brazil and Uruguay falling at the quarter-final stage, the 2018 World Cup became an all-European affair, not a total surprise, but the old excuse of geographical disadvantage, used for decades to explain early disappearance in the competition by Europeans or Latin Americans, is becoming somewhat outdated Only Brazil and Germany have won the World Cup in another continent, Brazil in 1958 (Sweden), 1994 (USA) … Continue reading Russia 2018 underlines where global power is shifting

Fanfare for the common team

DOUBTLESS the euphoria that greeted England’s penalty triumph over a Latin side schooled in the dark arts will have raised expectations beyond the wildest dreams of Gareth Southgate and, indeed, the nation. When England embarked on this “journey” (everyone is on a journey these days), a place in the quarter-finals would have been seen as “job done” by a squad relatively inexperienced in “tournament management”, … Continue reading Fanfare for the common team

A soft power-play with far-reaching consequences

QATAR is never going to win popularity contests. Nobody wants the middle eastern state to host the World Cup and no matter what they do, they will never be looked upon as a genuine football nation. They don’t have many friends, but they have plenty of money, and as we all know, this makes the world go round. It is certainly what makes the football … Continue reading A soft power-play with far-reaching consequences

Neymar, PSG and the decline of the contract

JEAN-MARC Bosman really did create the future of professional football when he challenged the laws around football transfers. It didn’t do him much good, but every major footballer in Europe has been the beneficiary of Bosman’s actions. Neymar may or may not move to Paris St. Germain in the coming weeks, despite signing a five-year contract in October 2016 with Barcelona. Neymar is idolised in … Continue reading Neymar, PSG and the decline of the contract