Posts Tagged ‘Football’

image

Jack Grealish has decided to represent England at international level.

This assumes that, at some stage in the future, he is actually selected. He should be though, as England do not have a plethora of gifted players from which to make their selection.

He has already played for the Republic on nearly twenty occasions from under-17 to under-21 levels and qualified under the grandparent rule. Now, by choosing England, he stands to make a lot more money but little else.

Small fish, large pond or large fish small pond. Basically that was the choice facing Jack Grealish, who has always maintained that his heart is Irish, unlike his wallet which is English. (more…)

image

How many transfer targets have Manchester United actually missed out on?

To start with they haven’t missed out on Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Darmian, Romero or Depay, as they signed all of them, and remarkably quickly based on Ed Woodward’s previous perfomances.

There are three players United are reported to have missed out on, but have they really? That’s not to say they never wanted them, just that their interest ceased before anything transpired. Let’s take a look at the individuals. (more…)

image

Why is it called a “transfer window?”

It does seem a very strange name for a period of time during which football players may be transferred from one club to another.

A window may be open, closed or broken. The transfer window appears to go through all three states at some time or another.

Usually it is closed. This means that professional football players who are contracted to play for a particular club cannot leave that club for another during this period.

On two occasions per year it is open. This means that professional football players who are contracted to play for a particular club can leave that club for another during this period. (more…)

image

Shortly before the transfer window officially opened Louis van Gaal told everyone who would listen that he wanted ALL his transfer business concluding before the pre-season tour to the US of A.

This makes sense in many ways. It gives any new signings the chance to get to know their new team mates on and off the pitch. It gives them the chance to get to know the club and the way it works. It also gives them the opportunity to play some games where the result doesn’t really matter. All of this culminating, hopefully, in a harmonious and reenergised team returning to the UK raring to go. (more…)

image

When a footballer is genuinely injured he is usually substituted and the game continues with eleven against eleven. When a footballer feigns injury he is usually booked and the game continues with eleven against eleven, (assuming the referee or linesman spots the deception). In between these two extremes is the “ouch, that hurt!” type of injury.

This is a minor injury which is not serious enough to warrant a substitution. It may not even require any attention from the physio but this one is the difficult one to call. If the player is more seriously injured than at first thought, the physio will be in trouble for not immediately attending. If the physio attends and the injury is not serious then the club may suffer as the player will need to leave the pitch until allowed back on by the referee.

All the annoyance and confusion caused by Eden Hazard going down injured against Swansea City towards the end of the game at Stamford Bridge can be summed up in five words. The law is an ass. (more…)

The Scout

Posted: August 11, 2015 in Football
Tags: , ,

image

Speaking entirely as a novice I am caused occasional frustration when I see the top clubs spending millions on players.

You would think that, as the richest teams in Europe, the top clubs would have the top scouts. If that is the case where are the unknown players? We see the occasional kid being signed at fifteen or sixteen, only to go out on loan for the next three years, then usually get sold as he wasn’t quite good enough for the first team. Scouts obviously attend the youth matches because they need players for their own youth teams but, as has been said a lot lately, where are these players coming through?

Good scouting is more evident from about 8th or 9th place down in the Premier league. It seems that every club from there downwards has a decent scouting system and can bring players through themselves. (more…)

image

It has been a feature in many countries for many years. The great North/South divide. Usually about distribution of wealth, occasionally about principles. The first time I was made aware of it, historically at least, was the American Civil War but it stretches far and wide.

Most people will be aware of the split in England which starts, (or finishes), somewhere around Watford according to popular beliefs. Apparently it actually occurs somewhere around the Midlands, which makes more sense.

Politically, it is a divide designed to keep most of the wealth in the South and, to this aim, it has succeeded. Where it becomes distasteful is when sport is involved and you look at the lengths the sporting bodies will go to to make sure any available profit goes South. (more…)

image

(This is an article I first posted back in August of last year. The reason for republishing this edited version is simple, it is still pretty relevant.)

Well, that ‘s the halfway stage reached with United in fifth place. The expectation after the last spend would have been a little higher, maybe fourth or third, as everybody expected Chelsea and City to be one and two, so a little down on target to date.

Now, all that remains to be done is to strengthen the squad so that the second half of the season culminates in a top four finish.

So let the problems begin. Firstly, everybody who is anybody will be linked with a move to United except the three, now untouchable, at Barcelona, (as eagle-eyed readers will know, since this article, Neymar actually has been linked with United).This, in itself, is a problem. Gone are the days when you merely had to say that you represented Manchester United for the targeted player to immediately pack his bags and instruct his agent to negotiate his departure. (more…)

image

Let me start by saying that Sky TV’s coverage of sport is second to none. The effort and imagination, (not to mention the money), put into any given sport is commendable.

As soon as they won the contract to show Formula One racing, what happened? Sky F1 suddenly appeared. They were never going to be accused of taking it lightly and, as with most sports they cover, they have taken it to a different level.

They were the first, as far as I remember, to get ex-players involved in presenting and commentating. In the past, Match of the Day for example, would have footballing guests to talk about the game, but that was the extent of their involvement. Now they are present hours before the game and quite a while afterwards as evidenced by Soccer Saturday. They have ex-footballers at the matches to bring us up to date with the game and they seem to have cameras at every game. (more…)

image

Just before this time last year I was imploring Manchester United not to buy Angel Di Maria. I was reading every newspaper online as well as all the other publications I could find that were headlining that United were interested. I posted my disagreement on every one of them where comments were allowed.

I based my opposition to his purchase on a couple of things. Firstly, I live in Spain so I had seen quite a lot of him. Real Madrid, as you can imagine, is quite a popular team over here. What I had seen was nothing more than average. I had seen him cut in from the right and score a couple of decent goals with his left foot and had seen a couple of decent dribbles where he had actually beaten a player or two then put a decent cross in. Nothing to show me, (or any watching United scouts I would have thought), that he was world class and worth a fee in the region of £60 million. (more…)