The Real Football Thread

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Mar 25, 2013
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Arsenal now supposedly are signing Flamini on a free if reports are to be believed. Take his 9 years between Arsenal and Milan and he's had only one good season in 07/08 and he's a shadow of that player now. He's training with them at the moment and I knew Wenger would do it. That he's training with them over the last number of weeks while they weren't a queue of clubs of trying to sign him in the meantime says it all really.

facepalm.
 
Mar 25, 2013
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Zam_Olyas said:
That is brilliant. I know they need a defensive midfielder but flamini:confused: lol
And when you think of guys like Capoue(who was impressive for Spurs yesterday) and Wanyama on the market this summer and we could end up with Flamini, it's frankly embarassing. I see some Arsenal fans saying he will add a bit more depth to the squad and he would be a decent addition, obviously none of these have seen him play for Milan these last 5 years then.

Just further proves my point that Wenger is past his best as an elite manager. No way did he enter this summer transfer window with plans to sign him and it all smacks of desperation on his part now.

On Capoue, can someone tell why he was deemed good enough by Wenger for a deadline bid last January but not now in the summer?:confused:
 
Oct 21, 2012
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This is borderline acceptable from Mourinho because Man Utd are better than us; but he will pull this sort of rubbish against a League Two team. Go one or two nil up, then kill the rest of the match as a spectacle :mad:.

Every manager we've had since Mourinho would let the team keep attacking and maintaining the intensity and entertainment in the match. Ancelotti was the best at it (all those 6 goal wins we had were great :D).
 
Oct 21, 2012
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Gutted that Shakther Karagandy have been eliminated :(. Ah well, three amazing/impossible underdog stories (Cape Verde in January at the Africa Cup of Nations and Tahiti at the Confederations Cup) was too much to expect in one year.
 
Mar 25, 2013
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Alphabet said:
Gutted that Shakther Karagandy have been eliminated :(. Ah well, three amazing/impossible underdog stories (Cape Verde in January at the Africa Cup of Nations and Tahiti at the Confederations Cup) was too much to expect in one year.
All they were doing was fouling off the ball and trying to disrupt Celtic's rhythm in the process. While qualifying was all that mattered, Celtic shouldn't be needing a late winner over two legs to beat this team. Only a couple of years of ago they lost to one of our sides St Pats in Europe which says everything. Lennon badly needs a few signings now and defensively is a big concern. Ambrose is dodgy and van Dijk and Moyoukolo were terrible in the first leg. He will probably look to strengthen the whole spine of the team and the pull of the Champions League should help a lot more in achieving this.

As much as it pains me to say it, I have to give it to Spurs at the moment in how they are handling the near certain sale of Bale. Capoue, Paulinho, Chadli and Soldado are very good additions and now we see they are on the verge on signing Erik Lamela from Roma and in negotiations to sign Eriksen from Ajax. Plus a Romanaian international defender seems to be on his way as well. Bringing in Franco Baldini as director of football this year was a brilliant and shrewd move on Daniel Levy's part.
 
Alphabet said:
This is borderline acceptable from Mourinho because Man Utd are better than us; but he will pull this sort of rubbish against a League Two team. Go one or two nil up, then kill the rest of the match as a spectacle :mad:.
Who do you think can win this year?
Personally i think Man U look good- Van Persie great :D
Man City i would have thought as our closest challengers, but then they lost- so maybe Chelsea will be the closest challenger?
 
greenedge said:
Who do you think can win this year?
Personally i think Man U look good- Van Persie great :D
Man City i would have thought as our closest challengers, but then they lost- so maybe Chelsea will be the closest challenger?
Far too early to say, when will Moyes finally win a game at OT:p

The Liverpool game will be a pointer to the fortunes of both clubs though, hopefully the scousers can pull of a victory before fading to mid table mediocrity
 
Oct 21, 2012
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greenedge said:
Who do you think can win this year?
Personally i think Man U look good- Van Persie great :D
Man City i would have thought as our closest challengers, but then they lost- so maybe Chelsea will be the closest challenger?
Chelsea haven't got a chance. Man City might push United, but I think Chelsea will scrape into third. The team just isn't good enough, recruitment has been absolutely woeful for years now (with an unhealthy obsession on beefing up attacking midfield/the wings at the detriment of areas that have needed serious reinforcement for a long time now, like defence and attack), and I expect Chelsea to finish at least a dozen points behind the winner, and probably go trophyless the whole season. Then Abramovich will end up sacking Mourinho and we can finally get who we should have gotten in the first place- Capello.

You can read my tip with a pinch of salt if you like, I'm always a pessimist when it comes to sport.
 
gooner said:
United had a bid of 30m euros rejected for Ander Herrera with A.Bilbao. His buyout clause is 36m so it will be interesting to see if United will up the money to match that figure. He would be a great signing if it goes through.

http://www.goal.com/en-ie/news/3921/transfer-zone/2013/08/30/4224792/athletic-bilbao-reject-manchester-uniteds-30m-bid-for-ander?ICID=HP_BN_3
36m is plausible as it's not that big a jump from where they are at present, but as usual Bilbao are playing hardball; Ander is of course more important to them than he could ever be to United, on ideological grounds. Also, jumping to a league falling in importance of course.

Is it just me or has the transfer market gone absolutely insane recently? There are players you've barely heard of and who have never performed at the highest level going at over €10m. As a Bilbao fan I know that they have traditionally over-paid for talent because of the ideology at the club, meaning a team with a talented Basque player know they can charge Athletic whatever they want, effectively, and I also know that because of that they tend to overcharge to teams wanting to buy their players (they lost out on many, many millions on Llorente by insisting on keeping an unmotivated player until his contract ran out rather than sell him for less than the extravagant buyout clause in his contract), but the amount of money seems to have shot back up again. Maybe the EPL needs to replace the now aging core of players that made it the biggest league, because now La Liga and seemingly the Bundesliga are usurping it, and have a much, much higher turnover of young local talents (now it seems being English and getting into the starting lineup at a top half of the table EPL side = national team) meaning less transfer money needed to rebuild the team.

As an Arsenal fan, I'm sure you can see some of the same frustrations, as Arsène Wenger continues to hold fast to his conviction in paying real value for players rather than inflated market prices (the price for Gareth Bale being thrown about is pathetic, I wouldn't pay that much for fricking Messi), which strangles the team in the transfer market in a similar way; but unlike Bilbao where the club's transfer policy necessitates having to pay these inflated figures for players, Wenger when handed an exorbitant price tag on a player he's approaching will simply walk away. I have a lot of respect for Wenger for sticking to his guns and refusing to pay silly money for players undeserving of the pathetic prices being thrown around at present, but at the same time I have to sympathize with the Arsenal fans who fear themselves being left behind in a market of clubs owned by billionaire oligarchs, Sheiks, entrepreneurs etc. Unfortunately that surplus of money was what built the Premier League up, so it seems they don't have a plan B for when the league starts to fall from its perch at the pinnacle of European football just as Serie A did before it, and the solution is just to throw more money at it...
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Gooner, I'm chuffed for you! The team that's spent nothing beats the team that cashed in on a fortune, and already blew all the money.:D

Rumors tonight say Ozil is headed to L'A'rse for 50m after the Bale deal is finally officially confirmed.
 
Aug 5, 2012
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All Arsenal players playing today came through the academy or were signed on free transfers it would seem!
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Cyivel said:
All Arsenal players playing today came through the academy or were signed on free transfers it would seem!
Pedant. "The team that's spent nothing this summer...." Better?

;)

I haven't yet expressed the delight experienced by all lovers of the game last Friday night, when the anti-football team lost in the most utterly delicious way!:D
 
Oct 21, 2012
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There is no way a small club like Spurs comes anywhere near the disgusting corporate culture displayed by big clubs such as Arsenal. If anybody is 'anti football', it's always the bigger, more historically successful club. Just because a traditionally non influential club suddenly has a bit of cash to spend doesn't put it in the same stratosphere; big clubs have actively harmed football by a) monopolising the best players since time immemorial; b) creating rules that restrict the ability of a small club to bridge the gap (see: FFP) and c) turning football into a business. Let's not forget here, that Arsenal are the club that charge their fans between 1000 and 2000 pounds for a season ticket, which is utterly disgraceful and is taking football away from its working class roots to a new corporate/middle class culture that have had nothing to do with the sport until they realised there was easy money to be made. It is the big clubs that hurt your wallet when you go to buy a ticket, not the Chelsea's and Man City's and Tottenham's of the world; and it is this commercialisation that is 'anti football', not billionaire owners bankrolling their teams. It is the big clubs that structure TV deals to favour them hugely while ignoring the needs of the little clubs.

This is one of the reasons I resent Chelsea slowly morphing into a 'big club' mentality. I don't want Chelsea to become some reprehensible monster like Barcelona or Ajax or Bayern or whoever else, but trying to stop the growing businesslike nature of football is as futile as shoveling excrement against the tide.
 
Mar 25, 2013
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Alphabet said:
There is no way a small club like Spurs comes anywhere near the disgusting corporate culture displayed by big clubs such as Arsenal. If anybody is 'anti football', it's always the bigger, more historically successful club. Just because a traditionally non influential club suddenly has a bit of cash to spend doesn't put it in the same stratosphere; big clubs have actively harmed football by a) monopolising the best players since time immemorial; b) creating rules that restrict the ability of a small club to bridge the gap (see: FFP) and c) turning football into a business. Let's not forget here, that Arsenal are the club that charge their fans between 1000 and 2000 pounds for a season ticket, which is utterly disgraceful and is taking football away from its working class roots to a new corporate/middle class culture that have had nothing to do with the sport until they realised there was easy money to be made. It is the big clubs that hurt your wallet when you go to buy a ticket, not the Chelsea's and Man City's and Tottenham's of the world; and it is this commercialisation that is 'anti football', not billionaire owners bankrolling their teams. It is the big clubs that structure TV deals to favour them hugely while ignoring the needs of the little clubs.

This is one of the reasons I resent Chelsea slowly morphing into a 'big club' mentality. I don't want Chelsea to become some reprehensible monster like Barcelona or Ajax or Bayern or whoever else, but trying to stop the growing businesslike nature of football is as futile as shoveling excrement against the tide.
LOL.

Spurs have the second highest season tickets in England which are only slightly lower than Arsenal. They are trying to move into a new stadium so watch what they charge then if they manage to pull that off in the future. No different.

As for Chelsea, give me a break. Short memories. You seem to forget the huge transfer fees and wages paid out when Bates was chairman during the Gullit, Vialli, and early period of the Ranieri eras. Did Sutton, Casiraghi, Hasselbaink, Lampard, Gallas, Petit, Zenden, Le Saux and Gronkjaer cost peanuts? I didn't hear any Chelsea fans complain about this at the time which resulted in them nearly running their club into the ground in the process. Still 10 years after Abramovich we see them still paying big fees and wages with no inclination that they could run their affairs on a self sufficient independent basis. I say something about the spending at the start but they are still doing this to this very day. For crying out loud, Chelsea fans wouldn't even give up Stamford Bridge and blocked the move in a vote when Abramovich said they needed to move to a new stadium to go down the more self sufficient route. Chelsea fans are just going around now with a sense of entitlement where they expect handout after handout from Abramovich.

You mention Ajax and they just sold Alderweireld and Eriksen. Their wage bill would be less than the clubs like Spurs.

The Premiership TV deal is divided on a more collective basis so I don't know where you're going with that one. So is Italy as well. They are nothing like Spain with Barca and Real doing theirs individually.
 
Mar 25, 2013
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Amsterhammer said:
Gooner, I'm chuffed for you! The team that's spent nothing beats the team that cashed in on a fortune, and already blew all the money.:D

Rumors tonight say Ozil is headed to L'A'rse for 50m after the Bale deal is finally officially confirmed.
Result was all that mattered in the circumstances with and I wasn't too worried about the performance. Ramsey has started the season very well and is really maturing as a player now.

Ozil would be a super signing. I read they are still in for Di Maria as well. A few journalists said Wenger seemed confident of some big signings in his after match press conference.

Lets see, it's going to be one hectic day on all fronts. Could be one of those deadline days to remember with United and Liverpool active as well.

Everton had a bid rejected for James McCarthy which probably means Fellaini is gone to United.
 
Oct 21, 2012
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Who is ultimately responsible for all these hugely inflated costs associated with football? None of this would have happened if the TV companies didn't move into football in the late '80s. As a result of that, you have the likes of Arsenal and Man United, owned by people that have an obsession with profiteering and run like businesses.

Previously, club owners were 'football people' (I hate that term) that had a knack for business. They have been replaced by coldblooded businessmen who run their clubs like it was a company listed on the Dow Jones Index. Who cares about performance on the field or what the hardcore fans think, when you can milk the casual fan (or "customer/consumers of our product", as is now the football administrator speech) on the far side of the world?

But at the end of it, big clubs are to blame, far more so than the people that first injected serious money into the sport (i.e. Broadcasters and sponsors) or tycoon owners. If their dominance was lesser, then there wouldn't be a need for somebody like Abramovich to come in and have to spend in excess of a billion pounds- just to catch up to the established elite. Chelsea still have a long way to go to fully establish themselves as a member of that elite group of European clubs taht have dominated the sport for the past 50 years or so; and it's already cost over a billion. It may take another decade, another billion, before that can happen, and this is from a club that has invested its money more sensibly than other noveau riche clubs. Man City for example have largely wasted their money and it will cost them far more than what it will cost Chelsea to crack the golden egg.

Can't you see the problem? It's not that Team X is spending a billion. It's that Team X must spend well over a billion to drag itself to a position of equality to Teams A, B and C. And this situation has only arisen because A, B and C have run football with an iron fist. You can't try to eradicate the symptoms of a problem when the causes are so deep rooted. Personally I don't see anything wrong with a billionaire making it possible for a club to elevate itself to that exalted status. People that oppose this need to ask themselves a question: If you won the lottery, would you continue living in a shack surviving off roadkill, or would you build yourself a palace in the richest neighbourhood in town? I would wager everything I own that nobody on the planet would choose the first option. It's the same concept with a football club, if they luck out, what is the problem with them upgrading their lifestyle, so to speak? With the amount of bitterness that is directed towards historically irrelevant clubs having the cash to be able to compete for trophies, one would get the feeling that football fans are aristocratic dinosaurs that don't want to permit commoners to be able to dream of a better future.
 
Oct 21, 2012
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As for the 'expecting handouts from Abramovich' and 'entitlement', I obviously can't speak for each of the several million 'fans' of Chelsea, but for me, I have no idea what you're talking about.

I don't expect anything from Abramovich. He has saved the club, it would have gone into bankruptcy and done a Leeds by now, because Bates ran the club into the ground, spending way beyond sustainable means. That in itself is enough to secure him the never ending loyalty of Chelsea fans, but then he went and spent so much, out of his own generosity, on actually improving the club's standing, which is why he is regarded as a hero in the eyes of pretty much all Chelsea fans. He is so popular because the fans feel that he is one of us- not some corporate moron who's only out to make himself a quick buck like the Glazers, but somebody who cares enough about the fortune of the club that he is willing to pay out of his own pocket without wanting any monetary return on investment. In short, he feels like an old school owner, a football man who has some money. Because the club is so indebted to him, nobody expects or demands anything from him. Whatever it is he wants to dole out is accepted gratefully.

The stadium move was rejected, with good reason. Chelsea may not have a historical tradition of success, but we do have a long and proud history nevertheless. There are loads of sentimental things that tie the fans to Stamford Bridge. For one thing, the greatest ever to play for the club, Peter Osgood, has his ashes buried beneath the pitch. The stadium is the site of the old Chelsea, a perpetual reminder of times when things weren't as good. You can't expect people to want to give that up- would it be reasonable to expect the England Cricket Board to stop playing matches at Lords just because it's more profitable to play at the Olympic Stadium or whatever? Also, there were no suitable areas nearby Fulham/Chelsea where a stadium could be built. The identity of the club has always been its location, moving to somewhere several miles away doesn't sit well with the matchgoing fans. Finally, the fans naturally are holding onto the only guarantee they have left. There was no indication from the board that a similar share deal would be reached at the new stadium, allowing the shareholders to maintain control over the stadium and the name of the club. Giving Abramovich total power would be a risky move- yes, he is popular, yes he is extremely generous, but the fans don't trust him because he has repeatedly shown that he doesn't really care what they think. Abramovich could well end up doing an MK Dons and moving the club to Moscow if he felt like it. The current Stamford Bridge deal means that he can't do that, the club is tied to the stadium and the stadium is owned by the fans; if he wanted to move the club he would have to terminate the contracts of every employee, set up a new club in Moscow that can't be called Chelsea FC, and then re-hire all the employees and players.
 
Mar 25, 2013
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I wonder would Chelsea fans want to stay in Stamford Bridge if Abramovich was ready pull back majorly on the spending front to the point where it affected potential success in the future? Somehow, I think they might change their minds fairly quickly.

In the words of Ken Bates who campaigned against Abramovich in his efforts to move from Stamford Bridge and voted against him:

‘Roman Abramovich is said to be worth between £9bn and £10bn. According to the newspapers he has spent £800m on the club already.
‘If he wants to build a new stadium it will cost between £500-600m. He could do it out of his own back pocket. He does not need the freehold.’
That's a sense of entitlement. Abramovich is telling Chelsea fans he's not going to be digging his hand in his pockets forever and is asking Chelsea fans to play their part in setting up the club for its future. Remember it needed 75% of the vote to move. They got over 60% which meant the majority was in favour of it but still not the desired level. History of the stadium played a part but without a doubt another reason they voted against the move is that Abramovich has continued to splash the cash consistently over the last 10 years and take it for granted he will continue to do so in the future. I guarantee you that will change if the flow of his money was to stop going into the club.

For your own information, Kroenke hasn't leveraged the club with any debt from his takeover and hasn't taken out any cash in the process from the club. The high ticket prices were there as well when the board were more Arsenal men like Dein and Fizsman before Kroenke arrived.

You were wrong on this and were wrong on saying big clubs make the tv deals which suit them when the Premiership one is divided on a more even basis. You need a two-thirds majority to get things through in a vote to change this where clubs can sell them on an individual basis. Interestingly you bring up financial fair play and we see the lesser clubs of the the the Championship, League 1 and League 2 vote to bring it in and the Premierships clubs want to do so as well. It's clubs like Chelsea and Man City which have driven up the wages to over 200,000 a week which have also done it to the lesser clubs as a domino effect. Look at Wigan with Dave Whelan as chairman, when they were in the Premiership he was a big proponent of introducing it as he said wages were spiralling out of control. Practically their whole turnover was going on it. FFP's aim is for clubs to build their success on a more sensible basis and it allows for clubs to have debts if it means it's for the infrastructure of the club like a new training ground or new stadium or on the academy. This is a good loophole they allow in all this. I'm a big fan of it.
 

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