IT HAS been interesting to hear the criticism of players who left their club in order to move elsewhere. Some clubs and their fans take it worse than others, but ultimately, in the free market that is football, players are like you and me, they have a choice to earn their income from whom they choose to work for. Football is not a vocation, a … Continue reading When will fans realise football is just an incredibly well-paid job?
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
THIS season’s big talking point, aside from the future of Manchester United’s manager, is whether Chelsea’s Eden Hazard will leave London and join Real Madrid in the summer. Opinions are divided about the outcome, with Chelsea’s supporters convincing themselves he will stay at Stamford Bridge, while others believing the lure of Europe’s top club will be too much for the 27 year-old from the land … Continue reading Football Media Watch: Hazard a guess
THE TRANSFER window, thankfully, has passed and some of the bigger clubs have been ominously quiet. Tottenham and Manchester United, and to a certain degree, Chelsea, have not had a brilliant time. Chelsea’s activity in the market at the 11thhour, was out of necessity. Thibaut Courtois was obviously going to leave and he had long targeted Real Madrid as the place he wanted to go. … Continue reading Commentary Box: Windows 18 is full of bugs
THERE’S a lot to be said for continuity and familiarity when it comes to football teams and invariably, successful teams only use a small group of players in pursuit of glory. Some of the best champions have depended on 11 or 12 players that perform like a well-oiled unit that becomes telepathic in its interaction. The importance of squad stability has been underlined in a … Continue reading Stability breeds success… if time permits
THE ONGOING debate over Jack Wilshere’s contract with Arsenal, which is likely to continue for some weeks, took another turn recently with the offer of reduced terms from the club, some months after manager Arsene Wenger told the player he could leave the Emirates if he found a a new club. Wilshere’s new deal, is still an eye-watering £ 90,000 per week, but when you … Continue reading Football Media Watch: Wilshere or won’t he?
THE transfer window has been its usual game of cat and mouse, but there’s also been a degree of interconnectivity, with the move of one player depending on another rubber-stamped transaction that relies on a third deal: Chelsea – Arsenal – Dortmund – Giroud, Aubameyang – Batshuayi. Arsenal’s acquisition of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang raises questions about the future of the club’s last high profile signing, Alexandre … Continue reading Swapping deck chairs at quarter to midnight
THIS week, Pep Guardiola said in the media he foresees that an English club could win the UEFA Champions League in 2017-18. The last team from the Premier to win the competition was Chelsea in 2012 and since then, English clubs’ influence on the UCL has waned. But with the huge broadcasting revenues, it is becoming increasingly clear that the multi-cultural Premier League teams are … Continue reading Sitting on a billion euros of talent
MONEY buys experience and waits for youth to develop. That has to be one of the conclusions from the recent CIES Football Observatory’s analysis of the average ages of top division clubs across Europe. There is a correlation between the average age of a first team squad and the amount of money that a club has at its disposal. If you look at the CIES … Continue reading Accent on youth
AT LEAST some progress was made when the Premier League clubs agreed to call a halt to the transfer window before the season gets underway. But will we ever see an end to the farce that is the transfer deadline? What does the window effectively do? It forces clubs into a spending frenzy, often buying players they don’t really need or want. Makeweights are bought … Continue reading Window of opportunism
IT IS 50 years since Manchester City won the Football League championship with an exciting, free-flowing team coached by one of the game’s great eccentrics, Malcolm Allison. Since then, the club has plummeted and risen, has experienced rebirth, stadium relocation and transformation into a heavily financed marque football institution. They’ve won two titles, but you somehow get the feeling there’s discontent in the blue half … Continue reading Bedded in, now the world’s most coveted coach has to deliver
VIRGIL van Dijk is a decent player and one that is surely going to get better with time. But he’s playing the “not in the right frame of mind” game that is usually the precursor to a move to another club. Does he really think we’re buying this? If van Dijk is not in the right frame of mind, it is because his agent and … Continue reading Do they think we’re stupid? Players and their “heads”
IT may have escaped the attention of some people, but the two most eye-catching transfers of the summer came from Italy – in an age when Serie A is increasingly looked upon as the poor relation among the big five European leagues. In the latest report by Football Benchmark, the record transfers of the summer of 2016 are discussed and the KPMG team has analysed … Continue reading So much for B-list Serie A