We don't think AVB will be opening his mouth even if Arsenal lose at City but there will be plenty asking questions. It's also a big weekend for a Spurs side yet to claim a scalp...
Considers Alan Partridge circa 1992 a style icon and enjoys over-vaunting the England team, English players or English teams in Europe. It's Andy Townsend...
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Can F365 please stop posting articles of Barca/Fabregas distancing themselves from the United rumours accompanied by that picture of him doing the L sign at us? As a United fan, the prospect of any midfielder, let alone a world-class one, joining us is tormenting/tantalising enough without pictures of him mocking us. Yes, we know he's not really going to sign for us, but you don't have to make him rub it in our faces.
Is This All A Game?
Could it have occurred to anyone that Jose Mourinho has no intention of buying Rooney?
Manchester United are going through a transitional period with the new manager and the noises that are coming out from Chelsea and Mourinho is simply a message along the lines of "welcome to the top table" designed to unsettle, undermine and crank up the pressure.
If Rooney is upset at the moment, it could be very well that Jose is just sh!t stirring as evidenced by a derisory offer of 10 million cash only, comments about needing to be in the first team to get into the national squad for the World Cup, and consistently hanging off his nut sack telling him how good he is.
It could very well turn out to be a win-win for Chelsea. Even if they don't get their man they would have managed to get the back pages writing about how unsettled Manchester United's star player is and questioning Moyes's ability to manage such situations. If they do prize him away, well personally I think 10 million is not bad business for Rooney. Only if it is £10 million without throwing in either Mata or Luiz which it then turns into bad business. Anyways I digress.
Bad Value For Both Parties
It seems that numerous people have had a crack at (rightfully) disagreeing with Paul, Ireland's assertion that Rooney is worth 'at least £40m'. Unfortunately, none of them seem to have identified the real reason that sort of transfer fee is unrealistic.
The truth of the matter is that, while the media don't like to acknowledge it, you have to actually pay a player. To give an example, Juan Mata reportedly cost Chelsea around £25m. He also signed a 5 year contract rumoured to be worth around £80k/week. That means Mr Abramovich will have to pay him around £21m over the duration of that contract, so his total cost to Chelsea will be £46m (give or take a bit for inaccurate reporting) over the next 5 years.
Mr Rooney's wages are generally reported to be considerably higher than those of Little Juan. Let's say (for the sake of argument) he signs a contract at around £200k/week and let's make it 5 years (because that's Chelsea's standard practice). That's £52m before any transfer fee has been added at all. For those keeping score, £52m is a lot of money.
The closest comparison in recent transfers is David Villa. He has signed a 3 year deal with Atletico Madrid and, assuming he hasn't taken a pay cut, will be earning somewhere in the region of £130k/week. That's £20m over the duration of his contract and is the primary reason nobody other than Atletico were prepared to take him on (and also the reason that they didn't offer anywhere near the kind of money that Barca had allegedly valued him at).
If I'm Chelsea, the only way I would consider buying Rooney is if United let him leave for a transfer fee in the region of £10m.
If I'm United, the only way I would consider selling Rooney is if a team made an offer in the region of £30m.
If this transfer actually happens, I feel reasonably confident in saying that we'll look back on it and say that it was bad value for both parties.
Please Arsene, sign Suarez. That way I can align my two biggest footballing peeves into one focused channel of hatred. Also while you are reshuffling the squad, can you resign Cole, get Diouf on loan, make Neil Warnock your assistant and find a place on the bench for Jamie Oliver.
HbY, Sawbo - THFC (The advert did make me chuckle though)
The Real Question
Interesting answers to the 'what would you do if United finished 4th' question. Though, in reality, finishing 2nd, 3rd or 4th is pretty much the same these days. For all the top sides winning the league is priority one. Priority two is Champions League qualification, which 4th gets you.
It gets really interesting if you ask 'what would you do if United finished 5th next season'?
Zlatan To Liverpool
With the silly season well and truly upon us, Suarez to Arsenal(?), Rooney to Chelsea(??), Graham to Hull(???), I'm surprised not to have seen mentioned what would be a good bit of business all round. Suarez to PSG, with Ibrahimovic going the other way. No plus £10m plus Player X or Y, release clauses or huge sums of cash thrown about. Just a drama-free straight swap with the players moving, hopefully with the fans' best wishes.
This deal would see PSG unite the Uruguay front line (a good thing, right?), Luis gets away from the English press, and Zlatan is once again the main man/big fish he loves to be. Yes, there's the small issue of no European football next season, but with the trophy magnet big Swede around, I don't see this being the case for much longer. And let's face it, the man doesn't exactly come up short on the medals front. Please Brendan, make it happen. If only to show us if he really could do it on a wet Wednesday, etc. etc.
Hello Mr Grumpy
So we're just under two months into the off season and the "Arsenal for the title" bandwagon has started to pick up pace. No doubt these fans are somewhat annoyed that it's taken this long.
"give us a marquee signing!" they wail, "who can I pin my hopes onto?" they cry, "who can I bullsh*t about?" is what they mean.
No football has been played which is prime stomping ground for these fans, they can say what they want and there's no ACTUAL football to prove anything to the contrary. Fiction is their football.
This summer has been a terrible one for the perennial Arsenal bullsh*tter. No Chamakh type to say "he was tearing it up in league X he'll be like a duck to water", no Arshavin type who's had a good world cup/euro for the fans to cite as proof that he will be awesome, no not even a great player for them to piggyback other mediocre players on to for them to say "he'll compliment RVP/Fabregas' game".
Arsenal bullsh*tters, you may have been sitting in your Arsenal room with your Arsenal wallpaper and your Arsenal Posters, complete with an RVP poster that's had a Panini sticker of Steve Bould stuck over his face and you must have been going out of your mind for a way to enlighten (annoy) your colleagues with various tales of grandeur for the coming season. It's been such slim pickings that you must have even been a little tempted to use the 7-1 win against Vietnam as "proof" of progress!
I feel for you I really do but I think that I speak for the vast majority of the F365 collective when I say:
Anthony ("Now I'm no Arsenal fan but..." come out the closet fella), Kilburn
The strangest bit of memorabilia I have is a twenty-pound note signed by the two most expensive Galacticos of all time, Zidane and Figo. They were staying at a nearby hotel and the money was appropriately the only piece of paper I had on me that they could sign.
I say 'have', but it's no longer in my possession. As an incredibly poor student, my resolve was finally tested and I used the £20 to buy a large garlic bread with cheese.
The takeaway still has it up on the wall, mocking me every time I go past.
Adam Thomson (the garlic bread was delicious, by the way)
...I have an Official 4th Round FA Cup ball from a few years back when Coventry played away at Torquay, thanks to some wayward shooting from Freddy Eastwood. My mate standing next to me caught another wayward shot from Kevin Thornton and picked himself up a ball too.
He also has one Magnus Hedman keeper glove that was thrown into the crowd in about 2003 at Highfield Road
In my old house is also part of the old West Terrace Penalty spot from the last game at Highfield Road!
Adam, (Keep Coventry in Coventry) Cov Fan, Coventry
...In response to Conor's (Strange Football Memorabilia) mail this morning I have a couple of strange football memorabilia items. Whilst at a Masters Home Nations tournament in Belfast in 2001; a few friends and myself decided it would be "hilarious" to print out signs saying "SAVE CHIP" and "NUTS" on them encase the cameras happened to catch us at some point during the television coverage. However much to my delight we were sitting near the end where the players warmed up, and several of my heroes were within touching distance. I got close and asked them for autographs; however I didn't have a pen, and the only thing they could sign was my giant "SAVE CHIP" sign - to this day I still have the three signatures of Alan Kennedy, Ray Houghton and Ian Rush on my terrible poster!
The other time I was at a LFC Supporters club fundraiser in my home town to raise money for a local sick child. The guest speaker was Phil Neal, and after listening to an hour of humorous tales of excess drinking and title winning during the golden era of LFC dominance in the late 70s and early 80s there was a charity auction. By this stage I was rather intoxicated and thought I best not look like a tight git and at least bid on a few things; well the first item was some white teddy bear with a Santa hat on it - the bidding got to £20 so I thought this was my chance. I raised my hand "£25" came from our guest auctioneer, then a silence. "£25 going once, going twice, sold!"
I had just bought myself a large teddy bear which I had no need for, however I knew the money was going to a good cause so didn't mind so much. In light of my recent purchase and with Christmas around the corner, I decided to get the bear signed by Phil Neal himself, and then wrapped the bear up and gave it to My Man United supporting sister on Christmas morning. Guess what? She didn't know who Phil Neal was!
Lee (currently enjoying the worry coming from all MUFC fans) Larne
... Regarding having footballers sign something odd, my mum was staying in the same hotel in Nottingham as Howard Kendall's Athletic Bilbao side and got him to sign for me the only thing she had on her at the time - a copy of Women's Own. He signed it in the masthead and for some reason the inside cover of this magazine had a fella with a 'tache modelling a dress on the flip side of the page as HK's squiggle.
Basically I had an Everton legend's signature in the O of Women's Own with a transvestite on the back of it - it was not taken into school for all to see, as you can probably imagine...
On The Women's Euros
Well, it's good to see the women's team going one better than the men and following up their disappointing performances with a convincing group stage exit. Rather than stringing the misery out to the quarter finals. We looked completely devoid of ideas attacking wise, and a bit of a shambles at the back. We missed Kelly Smith badly, and I don't really see where the next Kelly Smith is coming from really. Other nations such as Spain and France seem to have accelerated beyond us, and we now have a team full of tireless workers but not an ounce of creativity. Think nine James Milners and Danny Welbeck up front. Not good.
I'll still be watching the rest of the tournament though. Germany look shaky, while Sweden and France have bit of a class about them - and watching Italy kick seven shades out of their opposition has been very entertaining I must admit.
Olly Cole, THFC (and most refreshingly of all, they haven't mentioned Wayne Rooney once)
The Angry Bastard already exists. He's called Gary Medel, and he's a peril to innocent garden furniture on the side of football pitches.