Keep those emails coming in to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Sanchez decision not based on money
I cannot believe Sanchez deal is all about money or that he is a mercenary. This narrative that he went back on a deal with City for more money is convenient and simplistic.
It is difficult to believe that an extremely talented and workaholic footballer would choose one club over another for just money. if that was the objective, he would be holidaying in China.
Sanchez barely played under Guardiola. He in fact left Barca and joined Arsenal because he didnt want to be a bit part player who won titles. He wanted to play on the pitch. I bet he had multiple offers back then too. He chose Arsene because there was a guarantee that he would play all the time. That was fulfilled. I bet he didnt get paid a ton to do that. Arsenal arent the top pay masters anyways. He chose game time over money. A mercenary wouldnt do that.
He really wanted to leave and play for City last year. They had a modest campaign. He saw himself as an automatic starter in a team competing with Sane/Sterling. Fast forward six months and there is a winning team there. He is going to just be another cog in the machine and there is a good chance he splits game time. If you are Sanchez and value game time, where would you go?
A less than fluent United side where the manager doesn’t trust youth
A less than fluent Chelsea side where the best player is flirting with Madrid
A winning side where you may not play as much as often.
The man has a decision to make and i highly doubt it is just money. Which way do you think he will go?
Butland is Mignolet Mk II
I see the sage that is Robbie Savage is calling for LFC to bid 30-40m for Butland basis he’s a brilliant keeper…
What brilliant enough to be in goal as Stoke are the first team to let in 50 league goals this season…
This would be exactly the same mistake that Liverpool made with Miglonet , signing a keeper from a side at the bottom (Sunderland) basis he’s a shot stopper..
Liverpool need a calm , concentrated figure at the back , as the numbers prove they don’t give the opposition many chances , but manage to let in a high proportion of goals to chances … why on earth sign a keeper that lets in the most goals in the league…
DL, LFC, Geneva
Fan ownership of foreign investment?
Chris Hardy raises a really interesting question regarding what I prefer to have happened to my own club – success or it to be fan owned. First a bit of context – I am from Northern Ireland, a place where many people arbitrarily select a football team from the mainland to support (Celtic, Rangers, Liverpool and Man U are the most popular ones). I however, am a Chelsea fan and have been from the late 1990’s. When I was younger – around 13 or 14 – I actually had a Man U top (as many of my friends did), though mine had “Van Der Gouw” on the back. My friends occasionally delight in reminding me of this, calling me a turncoat, but at some point around the age of 13 or 14 I “switched”, deciding to support the significantly less popular and less successful (at the time) Chelsea, such is my contrary nature. The reason for “switching” was that when Zola signed for Chelsea in 1996, I had someone I could identify with. Zola, like me, was small and often the smallest player in the team, just like me. I had watched him in awe for years in football italia and when he moved to Chelsea, that was it. Chelsea were my team and the rest, as they say, is history.
Over the next 20 years, the club transformed, largely due to the investment from Roman Abramovich and I gleefully mocked my Man U supporting friends, noting that they’d no longer be able to get it their own way, Chelsea had arrived and established ourselves at the top table. I found it easy to identify with the multi-cultural nature of the club, loved the fact we often had 10 or 11 different nationalities playing for the team and loved the success. When I moved to London in 2006 I had secured a season ticket before I had a place to live and got to see Chelsea win the league at Stamford Bridge, getting to see some of my favourite players (Ballack, Carvalho, Lampard and others) lift the trophy. It was as close as I’d ever felt to any football club, feeling genuinely part of something bigger than just myself. This for me, was what football was all about, it wasn’t about money, it was about a great game and belonging.
However, over time, this creeping feeling began to develop – I could not help but feel a bit like elite level football – Chelsea included – sold its soul to the devil for success. Football has become a sport now that treats fans as “customers”, rather than “members”, charging excessive fees for replica tops, tickets and even food and drink at the games. You see the fans regularly ripped off whilst players get paid per week what most people can only dream of earning in a year. Over time I began to see how the clubs – my own included – cared more about securing TV Money than they did giving fans an affordable experience. The players are treated more like movie stars than they are athletes and fans become more and more removed from getting to know the players. I am sure that it was like this back in 2008 and earlier, but it was the growing realisation that the game I loved had ceased to really be a game, and instead was actually an entire entertainment industry. Now, more time is spent debating press conferences than is spent discussing tactics.
I for one find it hard to be too harsh on Roman Abramovich – he transformed the team that I have supported for 20 odd years and I got to experience first-hand both tremendous success and extreme disappointment. I also don’t think he got into Football to make money per se (but I could be wrong). However, this is now tempered with a cynicism that, rather than money being the tool that creates wonderful football, football is the tool to create money for a closeted group of individuals at the top end of the game – the 1% of players and agents and some owners, while the rest of us are just the cogs in the machine that sustain this.
Maybe I am getting old and grumpy, but looking back, I can’t help but feel, maybe, just maybe, we’d all be better off if the investment never happened and the club struggled on, celebrating the odd FA Cup success, bringing through our own players and the odd glororious ageing pro to build something that was further from the top but closer to the community it serves.
Just when you think you’re out
I was talking to some friends on the weekend about how my enthusiasm for Arsenal was at an all time low. It’s not about the results (I accept that football can by cyclical, and Arsenal may go through troughs and not win 70+% of matches) but the sheer incompetence operationally, the clear lack of motivation in the squad and too much dross.
Fast forward to Tuesday morning, and Coquelin is gone, Sanchez (not dross but a poison) and Walcott are going and we might be getting three quality players (Mkhiktariyan, Aubemyang and Malcolm) and that Arsenal wave has just sucked me right back in again.
Our defensive coaching/discipline is still garbage, to play all the aforementioned players together we need a Viera/Petit (or Silva) combo, not Wilshire and Xhaka and Cech is deteriorating fast, but all Arsenal fans need is some shiny objects and we’re instantly temporarily pacified…..
Then Mkhi holds out until end of Jan before turning down Arsenal offer, meaning Sanchez stays, Bordeaux ask for that extra £1m so Wenger says no, and Aubemyang was only doing this for a move to Bayern, so he’s a no too. Wenger pulls out of selling Walcott saying we need squad depth and we’re back to square one.
That’s where the Arsenal wave does the crushing bit.
And then it starts again….
Tom, Not West Hampstead
Some Arsenal fans won’t have it
Forget multiple marquee players. If anyone truly believes Arsenal will sign even one player of note this window, then they’re delusional.
We’ll sign no one. There will be “no value in the market” or “the right player is not available” or “we have the required players in our squad already” or whatever other bullshit Wenger and the board will sprout to justify their penny pinching, profit over performance ways.
We’ll sign one good player early in the summer transfer window and spend the rest fart arsing around talking about and being linked with world class talent only to be left with several glaring holes in our squad as the new season kicks off.
Repeat ad infinitum.
For all Arsene has done for us he can never screw things up enough to completely destroy his legacy, but he sure as hell is going to make his memory very bitter-sweet.
Matt Wright, Gunner in Aus.
…WHY! Given the cash they have made from transfers in last 2 years are Arsenal waiting for Sanchez to leave before buying a replacement?
Thom (Because it’s Arsenal), Newport
City don’t need Sanchez
Sanchez looks to be off to United, and I’ve seen quite a few people saying City should just pay the money if they want Sanchez because they have it (including on MNF). I’m not so sure it’s quite as simple as that with this transfer.
I’m going to assume the rumoured £400k per week Sanchez’s agent is demanding is true. If that’s the case, that’s twice as much as City’s best player this season (De Bruyne) and about £150k per week higher than the top earners at the club. While City already significant quality and depth in that area of the pitch, they also have excellent team spirit. Reading books and articles about Pep, you get the impression that one of the most important qualities in players that he looks for is their impact on team spirit, so bringing in a player on those wages, shattering the existing structure, is a huge risk. Signing Sanchez on £400k per week may lead to a big chunk of players (or rather, their agents) demanding parity, or at least a significant rise. While City could agree to increase wages, until those contracts are agreed there would be an overall negative impact on morale and team spirit. They might be well ahead in the league but that’s absolutely not what they will be wanting when the Champions League knockout stages get underway.
City are not struggling in that position, particularly with Jesus expected back in a couple of weeks. They wouldn’t want to risk making a mess of a season that’s theirs to lose by upsetting some of the season’s top performers. I think City have a clear plan. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those top players are rewarded with new contracts over the next few months to change a wage structure that would accommodate some big name transfers in the summer while keeping the current squad members happy (assuming £300k+ per week is the going rate for a premium attacking player next summer). They don’t need Sanchez now. They don’t need any disruption now.
A selection of replies on Sterling
Tolly plaintively asks “what am I missing here?” and being the kind-hearted chap that I am I thought I’d help him out.
The short answer is quite. a. lot. F*ckloads, you might say.
For a Kick Off (loved that game and especially the follow on Player Manager – Dino Dini and Anco have a lot to answer for) it was a United fan – and all round toe-rag by all acounts – that was convicted for racially abusing and kicking Heemio outside City’s training ground. So quite how you manage to blame Liverpool fans for that one is quite the uneducated leap.
Setting aside this fundamental error he [Toiling Tolly] does have a semblance of a point. Why do certain players get singled out for special treatment after leaving their employers for a seemingly better one? And why does this not continue in perpetuity with fans of the selling club forever feeling personally slighted. Keeping with the player in question had QPR and Liverpool met during his time at Anfield would he have come in for dog’s abuse from QPR fans that we got him for £600,000 rising to £5M for their star academy product. Would their stance now have softened if it were a game against City and with QPR benefitting massively thanks to the sell-on clause once he moved to City – a record fee going QPR’s way thanks to the inserted clause.
And the answer to this is complex in many ways but obvious in many others. For my part I was at Torres’ first game for Chelsea (as fate would have it versus us at The Bridge) and fair to say Torres got plenty. Not from me, nor many around me but he got what many thought he deserved. Rooney when he went back to Goodison has been an obvious example down the years. Adebayor versus Arsenal. I remember vividly how often Ince and the chicken run at Upton Park was always high on the agenda. It is far from being a Liverpool malaise in spite of what Toiling Tolly thinks.
Will we boo Coutinho and Suarez asks TT? I cannot speak for everyone but if I am in the stadium (a regrettably increasingly rare occurrence but do still get to a fair few games) I can tell you I won’t. It is fairly obvious they left these shores to play for the best team in the world at one of the biggest Clubs in the world and we trousered serious profit each time. I don’t think we can truly say they downed tools and certainly gave us plenty of effort and result. Neither were the arses that Torres and Heemio were in how they acted (Torres all but downed tools in the last year and put Spain first everytime and Heemio has always got that FootballFocus interview to answer for) so I cannot see the boos ringing out. You’d have to ask Southampton fans as to how they feel about VVD but maybe they would have issues given club Captain and best player agitated for a move for a year to another club in England.
In conclusion it’s more about player conduct and destination Tolly but being all the way over there and having to really on local coverage for your Soccer insight might not be your friend here. Though you have access to the internet so coming across as really stoopid is really rather unforgivable.
Seems like Tolly has latched on to some boos that Heemio got on the weekend as a weak excuse to have a pop at fans of the Mersey Reds or whatever he calls us.
Gregory Whitehead, LFC
…I’ll try to answer Tolly’s question from the mailbox. First of all, what did Sterling do different from Van Dijk? Simple, one left Liverpool and one joined Liverpool. Fans are fans. No one expects them to be rational.
The major factor in comparing Sterling to Coutinho and Suarez is that Sterling joined a direct rival and neither of the others did. Coutinho and Suarez both left for their dream club, rather than a club that had pipped Liverpool to the title a year before.
Further to that, the other 2 players left at an age where they were at or just about to reach their peak. At that point as a fan you say, fair enough, we can’t offer you what you deserve, so off you go. Sterling was different. He had just started to develop and had his whole career ahead of him. He could easily have given Liverpool a few more years, given the club a chance to show progress, rather than jumping ship first chance he got.
Having said all that, I never blamed him. He was going to a club that were clearly in a better position to compete for trophies. And recent success has proved his decision was undoubtedly correct. I was disappointed when he left (and it would have been great to see him under Klopp) but he made a fair decision.
At the end of the day it’s football. If you join a direct rival, you can expect a fair few boos coming your way. Goes without saying though that anyone that takes it further than that doesn’t deserve to watch football. Unfortunately there are idiots everywhere.
Mike, LFC, Dubai
…Does Tolly, Dallas realise that the whole point of a home crowd is to be partisan?
Sterling has crumbled in the face of crowd pressure every time he has come back to Anfield, and so long as that enhances LFC’s chances of winning, long may it continue. It’s not the job of a crowd to be “fair” or “nice” to the opposition, it’s to create a hostile atmosphere to help the home team
…Re: the thoughts of Tolly from Dallas and Liverpool fans and their treatment of Raheem Sterling.
Firstly, the gentleman who racially abused Raheem Sterling was officially indentified, convicted and sentenced. He was a notorious Manchester United supporting hooligan with a record of unsavoury incidents as long as your arm. Secondly, as someone who follows Liverpool around England & Europe I personally have never heard even the merest hint that any anomosity from supporters felt toward Raheem Sterling is based on the colour of his skin (we’re not the Daily Mail). No offence Tolly, you may well fly over from Dallas to the North West every other weekend for all I know, but erm you’ve come across as an uninformed, biased keyboard warrior with a grudge on this issue.
In comparison to Suarez and Coutinho, well actually we’ve not had the chance to boo or abuse them as yet while playing for an opponent – I dearly hope it happens this season as it will mean that both Liverpool have progressed in the Champions League and that Chelsea have not!
But on a serious note the optics of the Sterling to City move were not good, his agent’s behaviour at the time did him little favours. And it is your right to espouse the view of how you see the modern game and a modern footballer’s rights, but the fact is Liverpool up to that point had invested and nurtured Sterling’s talent and obviously we were convinced that if he remained with us he could help us and himself to win the trophies he so apparently desired. He was far younger than both Suarez and Countinho when he left and quite simply the club and supporters felt a couple of more seasons with us would have been reasonable. And given that most rational LFC fans recognise that all it entails, when a Latin player wants to move to a Spanish giant it does seem more acceptable than hopping in your car for good up the M62.
So, yeah, that is for me why Raheem Sterling gets booed when he plays us. Also, he’s a very good player, and I don’t know if you’re aware but for some years now opposition fans in the ground do like to try to put off the other team’s good players. Barcelona fans threw a pig’s head at Figo once. Seriously, Google it.
Oh, and if you think Southampton fans give a generous round of applause to each one of their players we’ve signed then you’re sadly mistaken. “Lovren, Lovren you’re a c**t” rings out a clear as bell whenever we visit St Mary’s.
In response to Matt, AFC and John Nic
I would say leave the moralising to religious types. Banter has always had a narrow line between abuse and fun and it all depends on the person. If that person takes offence, you stop it, apologise and talk to them on a normal level. Additionally, if you put any comment in the media whereby you express an opinion, any “idiot” can take offence.
I wonder if Matt, AFC and John Nicholson have ever been to a football match or is this what we’re now drawn to…. watching from a TV screen noting down all the things that you can vicariously get offended by?
Get this: you cannot suppress human nature, especially when it is contained within tribalism. Football is tribal by it’s very nature and so people will always bantz. If said comments are on a media outlet, then it is down to that media outlet to control the output to ensure that no-one gets offended by it. If it’s people taking the piss out of each other at a game, where is the harm in that? You would probably laugh most of the time, but as soon it’s on TV, on twatter or facefuck the social justice warriors come out in force.
Perhaps one day you will learn tolerance, but I doubt it.
Fat Man Scouse
What a wonderful article by Daniel Storey. How about we extend it to other countries.
1. Portugal: Ricardo Quaresma
2. Brazil: Adriano
3. France: Gabriel Obertan
4. Russia: Roman Pavlyuchenko
5. Italy: Mario Balloteli
6. Belarus: Alexander Hleb
7. Spain: Iker Muniain
8. Serbia: Kezman
9. Denmark – Bendtner
10.Holland – Royston Drenthe
Tico, Windhoek, Namibia
Read up on Regis
As I just opened the football365 website and worryingly saw that already there is no mention of Cyrille Regis anywhere on the front page, I just thought people should read this; and in particular they should watch the Brian Deane interview.
I realise most readers are probably too young to remember Deane playing, let alone the great Regis himself (I just about remember him from his time at Villa). Anyway, on the pitch Deane was an absolute giant, not to mention United hero (he got England caps whilst playing for the Blades, that’s how good he was!). He was also tough as nails. The video is incredibly moving.
Rob, of Sweden.
MORE FROM PLANET SPORT: Watch Will Ferrell interview ‘silky gazelle’ Roger Federer (Tennis365)