We survived the weekend and emerged with some decent mails. Send more views to firstname.lastname@example.org
Real Madrid the sensible spenders? Crazy times
You know the football world has gone mad when Real Madrid look the most sensible in the transfer window among the big European clubs.
After seeing the Neymar and Mbappe transfer, can UEFA also just do away with the sham that is FFP? If it’s so easy to find loopholes, then really what is the point? Just let the clubs spend whatever they want, it’s not ours anyways.
Ironically, PSG seem to be going the galactico way just when the original galactico club has found tremendous success after giving up on that model. Selling Matuidi looks suspiciously like selling Makelele. Their squad looks bloated in attack while totally unbalanced elsewhere. Someone like Draxler and Lucas Moura would be great January signings as they inevitably become unhappy with lack of playing time.
Real Madrid seem to have realized that having a squad of a few superstars, some proven regulars along with hungry youngsters is the best squad mixture and their transfer policy indicates the same. Players like Carvajal, Isco, Asensio and Lucas have all flourished in this model with Theo, Llorente etc looking set to follow. It is the exact model that worked for Barcelona in the Guardiola era. Except, now that La Masia isnt producing exceptional talent, they have forgotten to buy youngsters from elsewhere. Hence the rot in the squad. It is a model that English clubs should also look at, especially Chelsea. They have the hungry youngsters but prefer to send all 429 of them on loan. It will let them be competitive for more than a season at a go. United had the strategy in the Fergie era but have been busy lately firefighting. Hopefully a couple of seasons of stability under Mourinho will bring that back on track.
It was a magical window
I personally disagree with Simon, CFC. I will miss the window and it was the best in recent memory that I could recall.
Was it an overpriced sham? Hell yes, but it’s nice to see all the scrambling the panicking all the clubs and all the drama. Just look at the stuff that happened.
How high will Barcelona go? Liverpool got complained over VVD? How furious was Sanchez over the collapse of that deal? Did Barkley seriously changed his mind while at a medical? (Did he not like the room?) What ancient sorcery did Woodward use to convince Chelsea to sell Matic? Mahrez “disappeared” to sort out his future club and didn’t move. Arsenal was thrashed 4-0 and suddenly are the losers of the town, “had no money” and their players were heading for the lifeboats. Swansea got mother****ing Sanchez for a steal (on loan but still).
Zlatan signed for United and posting a picture of him as god/angel joining hands with the devil – and doing a kickboxing video of his miraculous recover. Barcelona – yes BARCELONA had Neymar poached and was throwing ridiculous money for Coutinho.
And I’m fairly sure I missed some. That’s how wild it was.
I was watching videos everyday about the updates and I was loving it. Is it disconnected from everyday life? Yes. But ‘real’ football is what’s that for, whether that be more local clubs or actually playing yourself with your mates. The EPL is about the spectacle of it all and the window itself was nothing sort of magical.
May be future transfer windows even be more ridiculous. I will have my popcorn ready.
Pep was no loser
So Mr Storey included Pep in the loser section. Hmmm, interesting selection there from Daniel. I think he might be disappointed in himself with that one.
You see, last season the ‘Football masses’ were generally of the opinion we had too ageing a squad, which needed refreshing going into the transfer window. City fans nodded in agreement.
Based on what I’m seeing, City fans are now generally of the opinion that it’s the best net transfer window we’ve ever had, and was only slightly tarnished by the failure to land Sanchez, but with Aguero, Jesus, God, Silva (II), De Bruyne, Sane, Sterling, not to mention Diaz and Foden, I think we’d be spoiled if we didn’t consider ourselves ‘OK’ in an attacking sense. We’re hopeful the creativity will be enough to get behind the line of parked buses we’re coming up against, and that it will prepare us for the world’s most expensively assembled ‘Parked bus Champions elect’ we’re up against on December 10th.
City’s net transfer business can be summarised as.
Mendy/Kolarov and Clichy
Plus the removal of some other expensive dead wood, some cash for fringe players…and Kelechi with a decent sell-on clause.
Generally, a very good window, with an unquestionably improved squad and with few regrets. Could it have been better…sure…but couldn’t everybody’s?
In a nut shell, Mr Storey is saying Pep is a loser because he doesn’t have arguably a perfect squad at his disposal?
Along similar lines, I now consider my mate a loser. Having dumped his old and ugly girlfriend the other day, he went out and pulled a lingerie model. What a loser…he was after Jessica Alba!
Blame the parents, not the child
Emmanuel Petit criticizing Arsenal ‘babes’ is like someone criticizing a fat kid eating cake all the time. Blame the parents for allowing the kid to have cake and sweets all the time. You can’t blame a kid for having a sweet tooth but you can blame the parent for not being strict with their diet.
I believe that every team is made in the image of the manager. For instance, Sir Alex Ferguson’s sides never knew when they were beaten, they kept going until Fergie time. Wenger’s teams, on the other hand, now seem to lack ‘mental strength’. Petit shouldn’t pass the buck because it all starts with the manager being strict and enforcing the will to win…
Life at Arsenal is bad enough without…
F365 Headline: ‘Chilean coach: Sanchez looks fatter than normal’
Actual story: 77 year old former youth coach who managed Sanchez a decade ago comments on compatriot in order to stay relevant.
When the anti-Arsenal ammo is available in abundance, you really needn’t sensationalise it.
George (holding out for the A-League, how far I’ve fallen) AFC, Wellington, NZ
Hopes for Barkley and Wilshere
I know the transfer window is closed and everyone probably just wants to move on and get on with things but I have some (probably ridiculous) thoughts on a couple of English players, Barkley and Wilshere. Both are going to be out of contract next summer and so free to speak to foreign clubs from January. My hope is that Barkely signs for Atletico Madrid. Diego Simeone will then grab hold of him and give him the defensive/tactical discipline he needs to take his game to the next level and England then have a superstar midfielder and we go on to win Euro 2020.
Jack Wilshere on the other hand should join AC Milan. Now Jack has always had a special place in my heart. I thought we (England) had a combination of Xavi and Iniesta who would lead us to glory and make us forget the era of Gerard and Lampard and whether they could play together while he completely dominated the best midfields in international football. AC Milan, if memory serves me correct they have a fantastic sports science department (Maldini, Seedorf et al playing into their late career) and hopefully they can help Wilshere and then we can see two of England’s finest talents develop into their full potential.
Bernard (Alli, Barkley, Wilshere as England’s midfield, phwoar) MUFC
If Rooney were black…
Just reading about the (white) Wayne Rooney arrest for drink driving and the surrounding circumstances, regardless of guilt or behaviour- I can’t help but wonder what the press coverage would have been like if that was (black) Raheem Sterling involved? Certainly not the low key, brush the details under the carpet, print lots of other stories where Sterling gives his opinion on football kind of coverage that Rooney seems to benefit from.
If I were Gareth Southgate…
…I’d tell all those booing, negative cheating England fans at the Malta game to stay away. I wouldn’t pander to them; instead, I’d tell them to keep their money and spend it elsewhere. I’d rather England played in front of nobody than a set of fans who aren’t going to help matters inside the stadium.
We all get frustrated and we all have to deal with turgid performances sometimes. But if you make a continued choice to go and watch England and keep getting served up dross and you don’t like it, then it’s your own fault for your continued attendance. (I half heartedly watched on TV whilst lesson planning for the return of school). England fans surely must see that for the vast majority of the time supporting the country they are going to need bags of patience: we are not world beaters.
So if I was Gareth Southgate, I’d tell them all to bog off and leave us alone – we’ll welcome you all back when we qualify top of the group. And you can’t stop singing Three Lions.
What would others do if they were In somebody else’s shoes? Arsene? Rafa? Costa?
…In my 10+ years reading F365 I have never written in but FFS someone has to say something.
England won the match 4-0 and are then subsequently battered by the British press and fans. Yes the opposition was crap and the game was crap but they won!!!It may have only been Malta but it was still a game England had to win to maintain top of the group and they did it.1-0 would have been a good RESULT!
This is pretty much the same group of players that were knocked out by Iceland just over a year ago.instead of booing your team at half time maybe it’s time to consider if your expectations are realistic.
Has any team been successful in this climate?
Steve K (MUFC, NL)
A World Cup qualifying round-up
I know it isn’t fashionable to say but qualifying has been pretty interesting this week especially with all the stories that are wrapping up.
Asia: Japan and Iran are in now there going to round up this round this week with six teams battling for two guaranteed spots in one group and nothing looks easy all except Australia have difficult games either away or against each other.The saving grace for whoever narrowly misses out is they get to play the fourth in…
Concacaf: Well Mexico are through, Costa Rica could join them week the real intrigue is the way the US are so far struggling to get through you expect they will take the final spot but aren’t inspiring confidence especially by losing at home in their last game against Costa Rica will probably need a good result against Honduras and Panama – two defeats and they will be taking Trump’s isolationist policy even further.
Oceania: It’s a tense play-off between…just kidding, New Zealand won the first game by five goals and should wrap things up on Tuesday before having the way harder task of facing the 5th place team in…
Conmebol: This has seven teams battling for four places a bit like the Premiership and eerily Sanchez is in the team that’s currently fourth – fortunately that actually guarantees you a direct spot at the World Cup. Unfortunately they had the worst result possible at this stage losing 3-0 at home.
The gap between second and eighth is just five points and a lot can change in the next round of games
Caf: Nigeria look the most likely team to qualify with a 100% record and five-point lead they could wrap things up with three points on Monday. Elsewhere, Ghana, Algeria and Cameroon have all been disappointing and Uganda and Burkina Faso look the most likely debutants with both currently leading their groups. The reverse fixtures this week should tell us a lot more.
Europe: The biggest stories in the last set of games were Spain probably deciding their group by beating Italy and France compounding the Dutch’s recent problems by pummeling them four zip. The next round should see some teams edge closer with Germany and Belgium the most likely to get it done.
Overall it hasn’t been bad if it was like this every time it would almost make up for no Premier League.
Recommending Egypt v Uganda
If you’re looking for a hipster match in the World Cup qualifiers, check out Egypt-Uganda on Tuesday evening. Egypt are a long-time power in African football, and Uganda are most definitely not. In fact, when the Cranes qualified for the most recent African Nations Cup, it was the first time they had done so since their famous runner-up side of 1978. But Uganda top the group by a point over the Pharaohs, courtesy of a victory last Thursday in Kampala.
That match featured an Egypt side that started Mohamed Elneny, Ahmed Hegazi and Mohamed Salah, and used Ramadan Sobhi as a substitute. Uganda, on the other hand, fielded only one player from a European club, 19-year-old Farouk Miya from Standard Liège. But the only goal was scored by Emmanuel Okwi, Uganda’s 58-times-capped striker from local club SC Villa. (To be fair, Egypt had an earlier goal incorrectly ruled out for offside, but Uganda were at least their equals over 90 minutes.) What makes the win even more remarkable is that the Cranes are currently under interim local managers Moses Basena and Fred Kajoba, their Serbian manager Milutin Sredojević having quit over the summer because he hadn’t been paid. This happens a lot in Africa.
The Cranes have now played three games, allowing zero goals. Considering they get a very disappointing Ghana at home in the next round, and finish at relative minnows Congo, a draw or better in Alexandria on Tuesday would put them in clear pole position for their first-ever World Cup spot. I’ve never been to Uganda, but I follow African football, and if they somehow did qualify, the nation would go insane.
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA
Daniel, the hero
Received my copy of Portrait of an Icon this morning. I’m sure you will be told by many, but I’d just like to add my own congratulations on curating all of your articles into one book, and of course for doing so in such an altruistic manner. I am sure all of the people you asked for help did not take much, if any, persuading to lend their support.
Thanks again, and well done !!!