Somebody mentions Paul Scholes and everybody writes in with those quotes from Zidane etc. Dull dull dull. We've ignored them. There's plenty more to enjoy here...
It does seem logical that the best thing to do with the best players is to play them from the start, when they have the most time to make an impact, rather than the last 15 minutes...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our New Best Friend Is Back
So, the worst player ever to win the Ballon d'Or...
First of all, it's worth looking at the top ten from the year that Owen won it. The list is as follows. Raul, Kahn, Beckham, Totti, Figo, Rivaldo, Shevchenko, Henry, Zidane. Not bad eh? It's also worth remembering that this is voted for by players all over (at the time) Europe.
Going back to my much vaunted stats, they point to Stanley Matthews as the winner with the lowest score. I'm happy to exempt him however, as he won the first ever award in 1956 (just edging out none other than Alfredo di Stefano), which means he can't have amassed any points before that date (and he surely would have been close to the award in 1953). So, next in line for the 'throne' would be George Weah, the 1995 winner. Again though, he is exempt because non-Europeans were ineligible to win the award before 1995.
So, the dubious honour falls to the Russian, Igor Belanov of Dinamo Kiev, who pipped Gary Lineker to the award in 1986.
Other contenders would be 1961 winner Omar Sivori, Matthias Sammer (1996), Josef Masopust (1962), Pavel Nedved (2003) and Allan Simonsen (1977). Next in line is Owen.
Difficult To Describe 'Best'
I just saw that Negredo is running away with your signing of the season poll. I think its strange that he's dominating it the way he is when arguably a player like Ozil or Huddlestone were much bigger coups for their clubs. Without Negredo, City would just play one of their other world class forwards (or god forbid play with 1 up top). Yet without Ozil Arsenal would surely not be top of the league and Hull would be a much much weaker side without Huddlestone. I just think there's more to evaluating the signing of the season than just the amount of goals and assists he's got but rather the impact he's had in changing a team's fortunes. In this respect I'd say Negredo should never be considered the signing of the season.
He does rock a pair of denim hotpants though.
Those talking about Mr Allam of Hull as if he is a fly-by-night foreign pimpernel in the same bracket at the owners of City, Chelsea, Cardiff etc. should research more about who he is, where he comes from, and what else he has done for the City of Hull, Hull University and other institutions local to the area.
Just because his name is not Bob Johnson, we assume he is not as 'British', or as much of a permanent resident of Hull as any other business owner in the area, which is quite embarrassing.
Allam is local business man, who invested tens of millions of his own money to rescue his local club, which was nearing the brink of extinction. He now wishes to use the club's traditional nickname (Tigers) as the clubs real name, in the hope of giving Hull the global appeal to be financially sustainable without him having to shovel cash into the club. There is no other way of doing this that would be less disruptive.
Even if it was 'only' a greater brand awareness / better market research results, (rather than direct revenue) that any new foreign fans might provide - this is not a useless boon. Sponsors would be very interested in the new profile, and would assumedly pay to associate themselves with the Tigers accordingly.
The Worst Puns We've Ever Seen
I am sure Liverpool's new deal with Dunkin' Brands to proivde tea, coffee and ice cream will soon see them Zoom-ing up the league. I bet Bendan et al are cracking open a Magnum of champage to celebrate! I am all for clubs Minimilk-ing sponsoship deals and hope my own club join in sooner rather than Latte. This kind of deal will make them the Darjeeling of the premeire league.
I look forward to this new funding stream allowing them to buy players like Robert Solero, Shane Oolong, Carols Mocca-neggra, Patrick Vienetta, Franc Raspberry Ripplery, Robbie Flake, Lucas Fab-ianski and Knickerbocker Rory Delap...
I'll get me coat...
Paul (Why haven't we signed up Greggs?), Newcastle
The Brooklyn Nets
I was surprised to see no-one take Paul Jones to task for his comparison of Hull to the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets are owned by one of Russia's richest men, Mikhail Prokhorov.
They've absolutely blasted through the wage cap and are paying a luxury tax somewhere in the region of £80m. That's £80m that they simply have to hand over to the league to be redistributed, on top of wages. £80m they have to fork out just for pleasure of paying the huge amount to the players in their team.
They're currently sitting very near the bottom of one of the worst divisions in NBA history.
One of the major differences in the NBA though is that there's no relegation. The Nets will still be there playing the same number of 'top flight' games next season regardless of how this season goes. They will still get the same exposure and so their brand is something which can be built on year by year.
If you're going to compare the Nets to anyone, I think Anzhi Makhachkala would be a far better comparison. Or City. Or Chelsea.
Not Hull though.
Marky B. MUFC.
Dutchmen and Mediawatch
Just to follow up on Mediawatch's highlighting of Steven Howard's mental deficiencies with 2 things:
- Firstly clearing he's referring to Robben with his "other Dutchmen before him" which if anything just makes the stereotyping even lazier as surely you can think of more than 1 other Ducthman and while I've never met Jaap Stam, Mark Van Bommel or indeed Edgar Davids but I'm confident those lads basically didn't feel pain.
- Secondly I'm really sick of the tabloids and their terrifying belief in the sanctity of all things "old fashioned British", true Howard dresses his up a bit but his basic point is that RVP is not like a good English lad who'll run all day for you on a broken leg. If someone I know advanced that opinion I'd verbal abuse them as the small minded, jingoistic simpleton they clearly are so why in hell is a man being paid to put forward articles the content of which is no more than the deranged babblings of that guy in a pub who everyone just puts up with?
These are the same people who just after the world cup will be telling me that English football is stuck in the dark ages and how we need to rethink our approach to the game at every level. Here's a thought lads how about you stop being part of the problem?
Adrian Fletcher, Warrington
It's Sad, But No-One Cares
That's a lovely piece about Anzhi by Daniel Storey but the summary at the end serves as a summation of the point it misses. Nobody cares.
Nobody cared about Portsmouth, where almost exactly the same happened. Nobody cared about Chester. Nobody cared about Southall. Nobody cared about Luton, each of whose three insolvencies have been as a result of having to oust some utterly undesirable (at best) owner. Luton plummeted (with a little help from our friends at the FA and FL) from 6th in the Championship to five years in the Conference. Portsmouth may yet fall as far, maybe further. Nobody cared about those warnings. Nobody will care about Anzhi. Nobody will care about the next warning, even if it's Chelsea or Man City. Man U fans will continue to argue about whether to give or not give Moyes time. Liverpool fans will continue to believe next year's their year. Stewie Griffin will continue to look for a cloud where others only see silver. Only those that support these clubs will give a flying one. That's why it will carry on. Brian Mawhinney will tell everyone who'll listen about Luton spending beyond their means (cough, bullsh!t) and how he, more than anyone, is responsible for "saving" (no cough, just bullsh!t) them and only Luton fans (and not even all of them) will know or care about the truth. Everyone else will nod sagely and cluelessly shrug about "financial mismanagement" and "cheating".
My word, I'm still very angry about it all. I'll cheer myself up with a lookalikey. Mauricio Pochettino and Coach Taylor (off of Friday Night Lights to those who don't watch utter toss on TV).
Jim (angry) Essex
This City Fan Doesn't Care
Just had to get my retort to all the 'what happens when the money gets pulled' mails this morning. As a City fan I love the success we have had courtesy of Shinawatra and the Sheikhs. I know it won't last, and do you know what will happen when the plug gets pulled? Our big earners get sold...we get relegated...lose a pile of money we were lucky to have...and that's it. It's a football club, no-one dies, you just play a lower quality of football (trust me, it doesn't get worse than 90s City for sh*t football) and get to see FA Cup action a little earlier in the season. The Division 2 play off final against Gillingham was every bit as exciting as the QPR game. The likes of Hull and Cardiff will almost certainly reclaim their original name and colours as new owners make promises to secure their own bids.
Will I be sad when City are no longer one of the Big Four? Yes. Will Anything really change? No. I still love my club, my wife will stay with me and the kids won't run away*.
I think some people need to get a sense of perspective.
Blue Tim (*Well not for football reasons)
After reading The Peng's note on Degsy's diorrhaea-afflicted Cheeky Punt, I browsed the article fearing the worst but in defence of Degsy, I did get one big chuckle out of it - specifically the phrase "a full set of pubes" which brought to mind the idea that, like teeth, everyone has the same number of pubes and that I, as a 30-year-old, may soon experience the onset of wisdom pubes.
Anyhow, last night I placed a bet on the weekend's footers and due to the slightly terse betting column I thought I'd share details of what will almost certainly be a waste of £4.30. I've plumped for a three-way accumulator, combining:
- Arsenal to beat Fulham to nil. Arsenal are tighter at the back than a... Erm... What would Degsy say. A nun in a Colombian prison? That'll do. And Fulham have less firepower than Nicolas Cage at the end of The Wicker Man when he realises his girlfriend with the crazy face has nicked his bullets. This analogy business is easy. Next.
- Liverpool to beat Villa but both teams to score. Liverpool are nailed-on like a set of wooden planks across a burnt-out pawnbroker's shop window on the outskirts of Bolton, but hate clean sheets like someone with sensitive skin who's just realised they accidentally bought bio washing powder instead of non-bio and is now worried they'll suffer from mild dermatitis should they get into bed.
- Scunthorpe to beat Wimbledon. If Wimbledon still had Kenny Cunningham, Chris Perry, Marcus Gayle, Efan Ekoku and Oyvind Leonhardsen I'd give them a shout - but they don't. Scunny are available at almost evens and are unbeaten in nine league games, winning their last three.
That amounted to just under 9/1 which, if my calculations are correct, should see me £4.30 worse off come Saturday teatime.
Dan, (I did get two numbers of the Euromillions last week though) Brighton
Oh dear god I hope you don't get a million facebook likes.
Maybe i'm selfish, but i don't want MY website overrun with the masses of idiots who populate this earth. Football365 is the best source of football news/discussion, and it is mine. And it is yours.
Lets keep it that way, please?
Ok Mediawatch was pretty good today, and the mailbox was a good one as well (aside from that idiot complaining about content on a free site - ungrateful peasant).
Keep up the good work.
Having just finished reading Mediawatch and the NFSOTD, all I can ask is, what in the blue f*** have I just read? Pretty sure that's enough internet for me today!
John Whelan, Dublin (What has been read cannot be unread)