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The European Super Cup

So the European Community Shield Super Cup was played tonight between Manchester United and Real Madrid and everyone had a jolly day, (and night), in Skopje, Macedonia. Or, as it is more romantically known, FYROM.

Other than the obvious enjoyment of even more travelling and another meaningless game coming just three days before the start of the new season, what is the point of this fixture? Even United and Real Madrid fans will be struggling to remember it a year or two from now.

There is a further risk of injury to a key player as, for some reason, they are all queueing up to play in this one, more so than in some league games, particularly in winter!

If this game HAS to be played, which it doesn’t, then it should be played one week after the Champion’s League final before the two teams have signed any new players. At least let the ones who won the tournaments play in this “prestigious” game. Otherwise do the sensible thing and scrap it altogether.

NB For anybody interested the game finished 2-1 to Real Madrid who scored an offside goal and a good one against a very ordinary Manchester United.

Virgil van Dijk

He has finally put in a transfer request at Southampton citing his ambition to play in Europe.

What!!? If that is the case then why did he leave Celtic? He was guaranteed European football EVERY season and not just one competition, but two!

In fairness, he did want to play in the Premier League at that time so his career has seen a slow and gradual rise.

The only mystery as far as we are concerned is why he went to Southampton. We have to assume that none of the bigger clubs were interested and that begs the question; why? We were convinced he would end up at City, United, Chelsea or even Liverpool when he left Celtic but no, those clubs would much rather pay £50-60 million for him than the £13 million Southampton reportedly paid at the time.

Anyway, he is about to get his transfer and it will probably be to Liverpool although there is strong interest from Chelsea so, as usual, it will come down to who is prepared to pay the most.

Alexis Sanchez

If Alexis Sanchez is allowed to run his contract down and leave for nothing next summer then Arsene Wenger has gone crazier than even we thought possible. He could sell him for £50 million and nobody would blame him. With no Champion’s League and little chance of even finishing in the top four in the Premier League, let alone winning it, it would make sense to cash in now.

Never mind that Wenger has said he won’t be sold. That doesn’t matter as he said the same about Fabregas, Nasri and van Persie shortly before selling them. Long suffering Arsenal fans will just put it down to his age and fading faculties.

He risks being ridiculed next year if Sanchez walks away having won nothing in his final year at Arsenal. It would totally negate any slim reason there had been for keeping him. It would also represent a zero return on the reported £31.7 million that he cost back in 2014.

Yes, if Arsenal had any chance of winning the Premier League then keep him, Yes, if Arsenal were competing in the Champion’s League then keep him. But just to keep him, against his will, is a show of petty selfishness and is just plain stupid.

In other news all remains quiet on the western front and, for that matter, all the other fronts.

Antonio Conte does not appear to be any closer to getting his additional signings so there could be a small earthquake about to shake the land around the Cobham area.

Manchester United are being linked with Sergi Roberto, Serge Aurier, Anderson Talisca, Danny Rose and Gareth Bale, so we can expect ONE more player to pitch up at Old Trafford. (That player won’t be Gareth Bale).

Tottenham are still counting the Kyle Walker money and weighing up whether they should give any of it to their manager. Mauricio Pochettino is slowly discovering how difficult it is to work with Dastardly Dan.

Everton haven’t signed anybody in absolutely days and Pep Guardiola has finally stopped looking for full backs.

  1. Dory says:

    Keeping Sanchez this year is worth more than selling him for 50 million. Here’s why:

    With Sanchez Arsenal have a better chance or even good chance to get back into the CL by either winning the Europa Cup or finishing in the top 4 of the PL. Getting back into the CL is worth more than 50 million.

    The added money from CL is about 30-35 mil (based on last years CL bonuses paid to teams). This money comes mostly from TV broadcasting deal the CL has with FoxSports.
    Additional game revenue. This is hard to estimate because we don’t know exactly how many additional games they will play. In addition to ticket sales, this category includes concession sales on day of game. Conservative estimate of about 10-15 million revenue.
    Product sales and Merchandising. Keeping Alexis Sanchez on the team will yield additional money in sales of Sanchez product and merchandise. This includes kit (shirt sales) with Sanchez’s number, increased sales of blank kits, and other Sanchez related product and merchandise. Conservative estimate of 5-10 million.

    Other deals for which Arsenal get a percentage. Depending on contracts, when Sanchez gets a contract to sell a product or appear somewhere, if he wears any Arsenal gear the team gets somewhere between 2-4% royalty (depending on how contract is written). Very hard to estimate this as we have no idea what will happen on this front or what contracts say. Ballpark: call is $5 mil. Although this can be waaay higher and in excess of 10mil.

    Added together this equals 60-75 million alone just by keeping Sanchez on the team.

    PLUS, the higher Arsenal finish in the PL table the more money they get. PLUS, if they win the league these numbers would be so much higher and well over 100mil

    Without Sanchez, the chances of realizing this money decreases exponentially. Plus, the team would have to pay 25-60 million to replace him.
    Keeping Sanchez makes complete sense. 100% financially better for Arsenal to keep him.

    Lastly, I completely disagree that they have no chance to win the PL. While they may not be favorites to win it all, Arsenal still have a chance and a decent one at that especially when compared to teams like Swansea and other bottom half clubs.


    • Thanks for your informative comments Dory.

      I agree with most of what you say but can’t help thinking that the club are going to struggle to sell any Sanchez related merchandise when everybody knows he will be leaving next year. Even hard done by parents won’t be buying shirts for their kids when they know they will want replacing very soon.

      Also, I agree that Arsenal’s chances of winning the Premier League are excellent compared with Swansea City but, unfortunately, that’s not the team they have to be concerned with. I am thinking more of Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and even Everton, all of whom will probably finish above them.

      It is also worth remembering that Arséne Wenger doesn’t agree that winning the Europa League should be rewarded with promotion to the Champion’s League, even though every lower league in the world has promotion at the end of the season, so it is only reasonable to expect that he will turn down the invitation as it would be against his principles to enter it.

      Thanks again.


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