Posts Tagged ‘transfer’

Dear Barcelona

06/07/2010

So you today say you won’t wait much longer for Cesc Fabregas. Is that a promise? Will you just piss off if Arsenal continue their refusal to sell? That would be nice.

The daily ‘negotiating’ tactics are pretty hilarious, and it seems the more silent Arsenal remain, the more desperate Barcelona start to sound.

Barcelona won’t pay over the odds. Of course,why should they? Arsenal should just accept the opening offer and sell their captain and one of the best midfielders in Europe for little more than the Catalans received for Yaya bloody Toure. Oh wait… Also, if they want to move on to Mascherano or Robben please be my guest. It’s not like they lack enough diving players already.

Sandro Rosell also regrets the topic being public as it “increases the selling club’s expectations”. And whose fault is that exactly? Arsenal have made all of about two statements on the matter; I think he needs to be looking closer to home. They will never pay 50 or 60 million euros? They won’t even get to negotiate let alone buy if they don’t.

Because he's worth it.

Is saying you won’t wait meant to be a threat? Let’s not forget which club is in the position of power here. Arsenal have no need, and no desire to sell. Yes, Fabregas may want to join Barcelona but he is also Arsenal club captain and last time I checked he still has four years left on his contract. If it came down to a war of stubbornness Arsenal can simply hold him to it.

Oh and getting your whole squad to day by day comment that Cesc’s heart belongs to/is already in Barca does not reduce the fee. It just makes you sound like twats.

I could hazard a guess at what the FC in FC Barcelona stands for but this is a family blog...

If you want to buy Cesc Fabregas, offer a proper transfer fee. Like you did for David Villa. Like you did for Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Arsenal should really call Inter for some tips on how to screw Barcelona over).

Arsenal will then say no, and you can be on your merry way. At least until next summer. Thanks.

T.

Weekly Photoshop – Beachballgate

29/10/2009

After all the fuss and furore surrounding Darren Bent’s the beachball’s winner against Liverpool, it was inevitable that this would be the theme in this week’s Guardian Photoshop comp. As we all know, it shouldn’t have been given, which makes it all the more funnier that it was! Lots of different things you could do – I went for a slightly leftfield entry as you can see below.

Liverpool beach ball

Seeing as there's seemingly no problem with inflatables being on the pitch, Rafa's taken the opportunity to increase the much maligned squad depth at Liverpool with a few bargain signings.

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Plenty more entries can be found in the rest of the gallery here.

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T.

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Archive.

Fantasy Premier League – Gameweek 5

11/09/2009

Very quick one this week as I had to write this quickly yesterday before going to Bestival (the downside of this is I’ve had to make my transfer early too, which is never good).

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Gameweek 4 Top Gun (aka Tom Cruise Approves) – Ashley Cole

Maverick liked Cole's score but is disappointed he doesn't still play for Arsenal as then he really could have been Top Gun.

Maverick liked Cole's score but is disappointed he doesn't still play for Arsenal as then he really could have been Top Gun.

Yep, a defender wins it for the second time this season as Ashley Cole scored, kept a clean sheet and got two bonus points for a grand total of 14. He has been excellent so far this season and is fully justifying his high £7.5m price tag. Credit to Baines and Torres who were next with 12 points each.

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Three Captain picks:

1. Gerrard/Liverpool – Gerrard had a decent week last time with the winner against Bolton and he also scored twice against Croatia in midweek whilst playing at Wembley so he’s a) in good form and b) hasn’t had far to travel. Liverpool face Burnley at home this week. I don’t forsee a spanking but what price Burnley holding out for about 75 minutes before Gerrard hits a piledriver for a 1-0 win. I think quite high.

2. Adebayor/Man City – Arsenal travel to Eastlands this weekend and you know that after all the bullshit that Adebayor has spouted over the past few months, he’s going to score for Man City against his old team. This is not a reverse jinx. Well ok maybe.

3. Fulham or Everton defenders – As sure a bet for a 0-0 result as I can see this weekend. Fulham have no strikers but are excellent at home, while Everton are still sorting themselves out after the Lescott saga. Take a gamble on one these defenders if you have them.

Gets a captain tick.

Gets a captain tick.

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Three to bring in:

1. Lennon/Spurs – Players who did well in the international week is this week’s theme and Lennon had an excellent game against Croatia (as well as scoring ten points in the last gameweek). He has a very tough match against Man Utd at White Hart Lane this weekend but Spurs usually do really well against Utd for about 45 minutes and go about 2-0 up before rolling over and collapsing in the second half. Lennon could certainly cause the Man Utd defence a few problems.

2. Bendtner/Arsenal – Scored a lovely goal for Denmark v Portugal and has been making noises about trying to get 20 goals this season. That’s a big ask but he’s an important part of Arsenal’s new 4-3-3 formation so he should start producing soon.

3. Dunne/Aston Villa – Not really related to the international theme but if he is half as good as Martin Laursen was at picking up bonus points for Aston Villa clean sheets then he’ll be a bargain at £5m.

Might be worth a pick.

Might be worth a pick.

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Three to avoid:

1. Modric/Spurs – Out for a couple of months with a broken leg. A shame as he was playing well (though not in fantasy terms). Kranjcar is a cheaper, ready made replacement at £6.9m if you want to keep a Spurs player.

2. Valencia/Man Utd – Still early days but being hauled after 62 minutes against Arsenal is not a good sign.

3. Scotland/Wigan – I still think he’ll come good but for now he’s yet to start a game and has been losing £0.1m value a week. Grr.

Are you taking the mick?

Are you taking the mick?

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T.

Weekly Photoshop – Darren Bent

13/08/2009

The Premier League’s most technologically social player is the the theme this week. Darren Bent and his twitter account got him into £80,000 worth of trouble after he slagged off Spurs chairman Daniel Levy. He also said he didn’t want to go to Hull. Well who would?! This was a bit rushed as I’ve been doing all the pre-season previews but  here you go anyway.

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It seems some of the other players in the Bent transfer saga have twitter accounts too.

It seems some of the other players in the Bent transfer saga have twitter accounts too.

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Funnier ones to be found here.

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T.

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Old entries.

Weekly Photoshop – Zlatan Ibrahimovic

06/08/2009

The summer’s most ridiculous transfer is the theme this week. Barcelona in all their wisdom decided to part with Samuel Eto’o AND 49 million in exchange for one of the most overrated players in football – Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I wrote at the time about how poor value this is and I can only think that Barcelona felt a statement had to be made following Real Madrid’s £200 million shopping trip this summer. He will score plenty of worthless goals but even I could score goals playing up front for Barcelona…

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"Of course you can rely on me in the big games Pep." Zlatan's already epic nose suddenly seems to increase in size...

"Of course you can rely on me in the big games Pep." Zlatan's already epic nose suddenly seems to increase in size...

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More to be found here.

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T.

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Old ones.

The Curious Transfer of Zlatan Ibrahimovic

18/07/2009

Here’s a transfer that’s got me a bit confused. Barcelona are set to give Inter Samuel Eto’o, Alex Hleb on loan for a year AND a fee in the region of £35 million in exchange for the services of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Now I don’t really understand the thinking behind this for many reasons. Not least the valuation. This sees Inter getting around €60 million worth for Zlatan putting him on a par with Kaka in terms of fee.

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Now I know Eto’o is seen as a bit of a disruptive influence and shows no signs of extending the one year remaining on his contract but surely Barca could do better than giving both him and €40m for Zlatan. Famously called “the most overrated player in world football” by Martin O’Neill during the last World Cup, I’ve never understood why he is valued so highly. Yes he makes for a great Youtube compilation (see below) due to his capability for the ridiculous and admittedly he scored 29 goals last year (25 in Serie A), but he has always struck me as something of a flat-track bully who doesn’t do it in the big Champions League games or international tournaments.

Barcelona’s attack hardly needs strengthening after last seasons 158 goals in all comps though I imagine Zlatan (or indeed the rumoured David Villa) would give them more of a hold up option for Henry and Messi to play off. They would be better off getting a new goalkeeper and perhaps some defensive help. I can’t help thinking that having seen Real Madrid break two world records in buying Kaka and Ronaldo, Barcelona feel they have to make a similar statement. The reason that Real had to buy so much was that they were crap last season and even with this new forward line I reckon they’re still a top deep lying midfielder away from being a side that can win things (explains the Alonso interest then).

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It will be quite amusing to see how Eto’o and Mourinho work together too, given the latter’s numerous run ins with Zlatan. Eto’o is not afraid of throwing his toys out of the pram and I can imagine more than one confrontation this coming season. That said he will no doubt still score plenty of goals but it will be an entertaining 09/10 at the San Siro. Hleb as well (funny how quickly he’s become irrelevant) doesn’t strike me a Mourinho player and given that Guardiola didn’t trust him by the season’s end I can’t think Jose will either.

crazy-eto'o

Crazy Eto'o

All in all Inter will be laughing all the way to the bank, while Barcelona will wonder at some point next April why they are on the wrong end of a Champions League exit thanks to an overrated striker who couldn’t score in a big game.

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T.

Weekly Photoshop – Michael Owen

02/07/2009

Ex-England striker seeks Premier League club for short term fling. Teams seeking long term commitment need not apply. As you might have guessed Michael Owen is this week’s theme.

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Owen and Hull might not stay together seven years but there's definitely been some flirting and fantasising about a brief fling.

Owen and Hull might not stay together seven years but there's definitely been some flirting and fantasising about a brief fling.

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More here.

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T.

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Older entries.

Weekly Photoshop – Xabi Alonso

11/06/2009

Liverpool midfielder and Real Madrid target Xabi Alonso this week. Bit of an obvious attempt to be honest but here it is anyway.

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Chavvy Alonso models the new Liverpool kit.

Chavvy Alonso models the new Liverpool kit.

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More can be found here.

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T.

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Past entries.

Fantasy Football – Gameweek 28

03/03/2009

No sooner did the last week end, does the next one come along very quickly. After having five players out, I scored a miserable grand total of 28 points which was below the average – never a good sign. Mark Schwarzer scored almost as many points for me as the rest of my players combined. Still, it’s no time to dwell and with four teams playing twice, there’s an opportunity to make up some ground.

 

Three alternatives to Ronaldo as Captain:

1. Schwarzer/Fulham – Our picks this week will all be players who play twice and where better to start than the Fulham goalkeeper. The Cottager’s defence has been solid all season but Schwarzer has been in particularly good form in recent weeks with 22 points in his last two games. They face Hull and Blackburn, both at home so he’s good value to get double figures overall.

2. Jones/Sunderland – A tough opening game for Ricky Sbragia’s men as they face Liverpool at Anfield but they follow that with a home game against Spurs. A goal at Anfield is probably a tough ask but I think he could cause Tottanham’s defence a few problems in the second game.

3. Santa Cruz/Blackburn – Sam Allardyce’s men are still in a struggle at the foot of the table but since the January transfer window ended, Santa Cruz has been playing quite well. He got an assist last week and faces Everton and Fulham this time around. Both opponents are strong defensively but I’m sure he’s capable of doing something in 180 minutes.

Yay

Yay

 

Three suggested transfers in:

1. Beattie/Stoke – 40 points in six games with a positive contribution in each. Only £5.6 million and has played every minute since signing. If Stoke stay up it will be down to him.

2. Jagielka/Everton – By the far the most bonus points of any defender, he has been man of the match in two of his last three games.

3. Downing/Middlesbrough – On the off chance the win against Liverpool wasn’t a blip, Downing is probably the only player worth having from Boro. They have a vital run of games coming up against fellow strugglers and Southgate will look to him to make the difference.

May(be)

May(be)

 

Three to avoid:

1. Aston Villa players – Just beginning to look a bit tired and inconsistent if the Stoke game is anything to go by. Their next six games are pretty tough too. 

2. Bellamy/Man City – His great run of form has been interrupted by a knee injury which will keep him out for a couple of weeks. Man City are not far from the bottom but another win or two and they will have nothing to play for, never a good thing in fantasy football.

3. Hull players – Still sinking fast and now their best player Geovanni has had a tiff with Phil Brown. Their other best player Bullard is out for the season and Hull’s run is now something like one win in 18. It’s grim up north.

Nay

Nay

 

T.

The Trouble With… Tottenham’s Transfer Policy

08/02/2009

So, the transfer window closed a few days ago and the two big spenders were Manchester City and Tottenham. Spurs ended up spending around £47million on five players –

Robbie Keane from Liverpool – £15million or so

Wilson Palacios from Wigan – £14million

Carlo Cudicini from Chelsea – free

Pascal Chimbonda from Wigan – £3m

Jermaine Defoe from Portsmouth – £15million

All good players in their own right and all will probably help Spurs avoid relegation and climb up to mid table. But what strikes me once again is the short sightedness of their transfer dealings. 

Hey big spender

Hey big spender

There is the bizarre scenario of Keane and Chimbonda rejoining a club they only left six months ago, while Defoe was only gone for a year. Redknapp seems determined to rebuild much of the squad that were a dodgy lasagna away from Champions League qualification under Martin Jol in 2005/06 and not too far off in 06/07. The problem with this idea is that he has no chance of getting Michael Carrick or Dimitar Berbatov from Man Utd and they were the respective heartbeats of those sides. There’s a reason Fergie signed those two and not say, Jenas and Keane.

As close as he'll get to the United team

As close as he'll get to the United team

We talked recently about how signing Keane is a very odd move after signing Defoe. Defoe left Spurs the first time round as he wasn’t getting games due to Keane and Berbatov being first choice. As a partnership him and Keane never worked and as captain Keane would always play. I can understand that in light of Defoe’s ten week injury it made sense to sign someone but given that they were linked with the likes of Kenwyn Jones and Fred, it seems odd they plumped for Keane. What happens when Defoe is fit? Does Keane, who has been made captain again, get dropped? Does Defoe? If ‘Arry does try and play them together where does that leave £16.5million Modric? You can’t play all three of them at once (well you can, but you’d have a very small, unbalanced side). Bent, Bentley and Pavlyuchenko weren’t exactly cheap either. Redknapp insists they can play together but I’ll believe that when I see it.

I think this is probably Photoshopped...

I think this is probably Photoshopped...

Of course right now, the key for Spurs is to avoid relegation so to that extent the more options the better. Any players out of form, unhappy and eager to leave can be dealt with in the summer. But why have this problem at all? If they thought things through a bit more, they wouldn’t be in this position in the first place – squad wise and table wise. In recent history there are umpteen examples of Tottenham signings which have made you go “Huh? I thought they already a good option there”.  For example – 

  • Why was David Bentley signed last summer when Aaron Lennon was on the books? There’s only one spot on the right and neither are good on the left where there is an actual need.
  • Why was Darren Bent signed in 2007, at a time when Spurs still had Keane, Berbatov and Defoe? How did they think that all four could be kept happy?
  • Why was a good defensive midfielder never signed in the last few years?

 

There is a lack of cohesion over how transfers should be approached. On the one hand, Spurs have adopted Arsenal’s policy of buying up lots of young players to sell later.  They have spent a lot of money on the likes of Bale, Hutton, Dos Santos, Boateng and many, many more. No one has really been a success yet and it just shows how well Wenger did in plucking Vieira, Fabregas, Clichy etc from the rest. They also tried and failed with the continental approach, ex director of football Damien Comolli being responsible for many of the strange deals we have mentioned. 

Would you trust this man?

Would you trust this man?

Part of the problem has been the regular change of manager. Jol brought two consecutive fifth place finishes (their best since 3rd in 1989/90) but was sacked in October 2007 after a poor start. This saw Juande Ramos come which in theory was a good idea (he was quality at Sevilla) but for whatever reason he failed. This was not before dismantling much of the squad that came fifth. I’ve always said that Daniel Levy & ENIC are in a rush to sell Spurs, just as soon as they can market them as a side in the Champions League. The problems with this is that he panics and doesn’t give his managers time to put things right whenever a poor start is made. Thus a vicious cycle is created where, old manager is sacked, new guy comes in with his own ideas and players he wants, new manager then also fails and is sacked, newer guy comes in. And so on and so forth. 

 

We’ll never know if Jol would have turned it round in 2007/08 but I sincerely doubt they’d be in the mess they are now had they stuck with him. Sometimes it takes time but if you back someone they often come good. Martin O’Neill only came 11th in his first season at Villa but now they look like they’ll qualify for the Champions League. David Moyes has had two bottom half finishes in his time at Everton (including a 17th) but has now finally made them a regular top six side. Both have overtaken Spurs as clubs more likely to break into the top four. There’s a lot to be said for stability off the pitch and hard work off it. For too long Spurs have had neither hence their current struggles in the lower echelons of the Premier League.

 

T.


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