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Well that was quite a day! Belgium can now look forward to trying to be the third best team at this World Cup when, in actual fact, they were probably the best albeit with a manager who didn’t know it.

They created very little in their semi-final defeat to France and, apart from a couple of shots from distance, the French defence coped very well and relatively easily with anything the Belgians threw at them, which wasn’t very much.

The management ability of Roberto Martinez must again be called into question though. In the win against Japan he brought on impact subs at 2-0 down and, through no fault of his own, ended up with them both scoring and winning the game. Since then they have played in every match which means that others, who have little or no impact, have replaced them on the bench.

Against France Fellaini was effective at what Fellaini does which is to break up play, commit fouls in not-too-dangerous areas, (most of the time anyway), and represent a threat at set-pieces.

In actual fact, the French goal came from a corner and Samuel Umtiti rose above and in front of Fellaini to head the ball in so even that selection could be said to have failed!

Nacer Chadli, on the other hand, was woeful from the first minute to the last and that is the point. Why was he still on the pitch in the last minute of normal time? He was replaced, with only added time left in the game, by Michy Batshuayi, a goalscorer given around three or four minutes to come up with a goal when his side had needed one since the 51st minute.

So Belgium have to hang around in Russia to play a meaningless game of football nobody really wants.

Meanwhile France await the winners of the other semi-final in the game everyone wants to see. How fickle knockout competition can be and how things can change in the space of a few short hours.

By bye Bobby Martinez.

Transfers at last…..

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Cristiano Ronaldo will soon be getting a Juventus shirt to go with his newly acquired “Gareth Southgate” waistcoat.

The transfer market finally came alive having been a victim of the circumstances surrounding the World Cup for the last three weeks.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who was drowning his sorrows with Ouzo and Retsina in Greece was contacted by his agent to see if it was OK to interrupt his holiday with a contract that needed signing.

When the Portuguese realised that this contract was going to add many millions to his bank account he immediately agreed, hiding the bottles of booze and doing a quick tidy-up of the room.

And so it came to pass that he became a Juventus player at the ripe old age of 33 for a fee in the region of £105 million. Quite what this will do to the transfer fees of other 30-somethings is, as yet unknown, but there will probably be an increase, there usually is.

Riyad Mahrez signed for Manchester City. This came as no particular surprise to anybody. What was a little surprising was that he signed a five year contract citing that he thought Pep Guardiola would improve his game.

Now he probably knows more than we do about these things but past evidence suggests that Pep Guardiola won’t be around for the five years of Mahrez’s contract. In fact, the pupil will do well if he gets two years of tuition from the master, who doesn’t have any history at all of staying as manager of a club beyond three years.

We just hope that Pep hasn’t been telling porkies like a certain Manchester United manager once did to Robin van Persie.

These were the two “big deals” of the day and since then the Ukrainian striker, Andriy Yarmolenko, has signed for West Ham from Borussia Dortmund for £17.5 million and Arsenal have signed Matteo Guendouzi, a midfielder from Lorient. The fee for this deal is undisclosed meaning that Arsenal got him on the cheap and are too embarrassed to admit it!

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Matteo Guendouzi, obviously a fan of David Luiz or maybe just hairstyles of the 1970’s!

And finally…..

Having spent the last few years moaning about the summer transfer window being open for too long and disrupting the opening fortnight of the new season, managers are now complaining that it is being closed too soon!

They now say that the World Cup has prevented them from making adequate signings and need more time.

This all goes to show that football managers will always look for excuses rather than look at themselves if and when anything goes wrong within their squad.

So they are just like the rest of us after all!

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Comments
  1. RedMe says:

    A good team with a poor manager. How could he leave Chadli on until the 90th minute? Just because he was a good sub in another game does not make him irreplaceable. Disgusting Henri looked like he was glued on the dugout seat.

    Like

  2. RedMe says:

    Ronaldo’s fee would have gone up after his world cup performance. He still is the best in the world.
    Any other player over thirty is going down so so why should their fee go up. There is only one Cristiano Ronaldo. I belive we can expect more big name exits from Real Madrid.

    Like

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