Herrera’s PSG deal just another sign football’s f*cked…

Ian Watson

Send your thoughts to theeditor@football365.com…

Why are managers so cheap?
The £4m compensation package Chelsea have agreed with Derby County for the services of Frank Lampard got me thinking.

Imagine a Championship club parting with a vital player for such a paltry sum. We live in a world where Matt Targett costs £17m, or more than four times as much as Lampard the manager. The 2010 version of Tomas Kalas cost more than Lampard. In 2017, Derby themselves squeezed £11.3m from Huddersfield for Tom Ince.

Quality managers have the same or greater scarcity value as players. In Lampard’s case, this is even more pronounced, given his legendary status at Chelsea. Whether or not he turns out to be the right man for the job, there is arguably only one other person, John Terry, whose appointment could galvanise the fanbase in the same way.

Managers are under contract to their clubs – are they not then considered assests in a similar way? A top manager is more impactful than any single player – they can create dynasties. Stranger still, top players tend to get paid much more than managers too.

Why, therefore, is the transfer market for managers not really a thing? Yes, you get a few bits of compensation chucked about, but in a time when clubs are so adept at squeezing the maximum value from their assets, what explains this apparent oversight?
Pierre (parentheses) Taco, CPFC


United are on the right track
I wrote many times about how Mourinho was not the right manager for United , and would argue that the jury is still out on Ole and probably will be until the end of next season. I also criticized their transfer business basis signing players who were on their 3 rd big club. Sanchez , Lukaku , Pogba which is still my pet hate and why I believe Coutinho has struggled at Barca ( it’s about desire and should make buyers beware of Neymar)

However their transfer business so far make sense. Wan- Bissaka is arguably still a little green but so was Trent at the start of last season and look how that turned out. Bissaka is probably the better defender of the pair which is what UTD need.
With James they are buying potential , if they are wrong then surely basis current market conditions he can be sold in two years for 7 or 8 million so no harm done.

The pursuit of Maguire although pricey is also in my opinion correct ( better than Stones , Pep knows this ) and is the right age and profile to come in.

Add in a potential Portuguese wildcard superstar and suddenly with De Gea and Rashford signed the outlook is not bad at all.

If they do all the above certainly champions league football should be attainable and with Arsenal and Chelsea vulnerable for various reasons I’d expect progress at the very least and some smiles back at OT.
DL , LFC , Geneva (hoping for our real historic rivals to up their game)


Your first love
In the light of Fernando Torres retirement and the subsequent look back at his career, numerous montages and flashy youtube highlight videos, I thought I would share an experience we have all probably experienced before.

They say you never truly forget the first love of your life. Fernando Torres was mine.

I had been a liverpool fan for a couple of years but more as a passing unit, my father had always been an avid supporter but I never really understood the gist of his own obsession, I was more a support in name to appease his concerns I may one day support Man united. In my routine check up of transfer news I came across news of our transfer of a sunny lad from Spain.

Now the attraction for some reason was instant. I will never know why, maybe it was the fact he was Spanish, maybe it was the long golden hair, the record fee, the fact he was 23 and captain of his club, there are alot of factors to consider but I was immediately invested in Fernando Torres.

So much so that I was immediately finally invested in Liverpool, my fathers surprise was paramount as I began watching pre season games, following results. I remember his goal against Chelsea as I celebrated my new Hero, I bought his autobiography, his picture book, I used our dial up internet ( we are from the third world so figure us we only just figured out independence ) to watch a 2 min clip of him in 60pp that took 3 hours to load. Torres was my gateway into Liverpool and he was my hero, more than Gerrard ( sorry like I said I only started truly following around 2007). I made my father take my to 2 world cup games in 2010 to watch a almost crippled torres sit on the bench.

I would always buy him in fifa, soccer manager, fifa manager, football manager, LMA, cellphone bootleg management games. I would base my entire footballing philosophy and club model on Torres ( I once had him stay at Liverpool from 2009 to 2021 and retire with 700 goals and 9 ballon d Ors).

When he left Liverpool I was heartbroken, even though my love for Liverpool had grown beyond the player and I knew deep down he was not the same player I had first seen ghost the Israeli Beckenbauer (yes I just made it up to make it sound better). It was a difficult moment to handle, like watching that cute girl you grew up with and shared your first kiss with be in the hands of a sexier man in high school while you had acne. You wish things could be different but you just not up to her standards.

I was happy for him to grab a couple trophies around his career, would have rather Liverpool won them but we can’t choose to have everything. There have been crushes since, maybe even moments bordering on some semblance of love. Suarez was close, Barcelona antics mean nothing to me even now, I crushed on him like the bad boy biker that your parents tell you to not hang out with at the roller disco ( watched Grease recently). Firmino is a secret admirer and the whole Liverpool squad right now are quite a lovely group of individuals but I still have not felt that ‘love’ for a player since seeing Fernando tear up the opposition.

So in my declaration of such a feeling, I pose the question, which player invokes that moment of adoration, maybe it was your first hero, a cult icon, or hell the dude that ate the pie to win a bet.

Kind regards
Cole (Rhian Brewster just does not look like an adult playing football, LFC)


Game’s gone
Ander Herrera has signed a five year deal with PSG, worth £350,000 a week.

Thats £91,000,000 over the length of the contract.


He will be 30 before the season kicks off.

Games f**ked.


Frank talk
So I’ve had 24 hours to digest and think about Frank Lampard and what him being appointed as the new manager of Chelsea means for the club’s future, I’ll keep it short don’t worry.

It is going to be difficult at first I imagine, however we have been so focused on the short term success that we may finally be focusing on long term success, similar to how Klopp, Pep and Poch have galvanised and built their squads , the board clearly are making the right statements about backing Frank, that can always change depending on results but still, the appointment of Petr Cech in the boardroom is certainly a huge positive and can only be a good thing going forward in regard to creating that connection between manager, team and boardroom.

Youth will finally get their chance, it won’t be easy as Lampard said but the opportunities will be there, when I heard this week that Sarri hadn’t even attended a Youth game it shocked me and you can understand why players like Hudson-Odoi wanted out, they want to play football, simple as that.

It was great to see on social media a fanbase united and excited by this appointment and the potential it has, like him or loathe him Sarri caused divide amongst fans for a variety of reasons and that negative atmosphere is something no club wants, so his move to Juventus I believe will be a blessing in disguise.

It could all end in tears of course but I hope that this is finally the start of something truly special at Chelsea and we will finally build for the future.
Mikey, CFC (Looking forward to the season!)


Why Neymar to Celtic makes sense
Not sure if this has been mentioned before but I think I found a way of getting around Neymars Champions League Ban, hear me out.

From my understanding, Neymar is banned for 3 Champions League games. Seeing as PSG have already qualified for the group stage, that means he will miss 3 probably vital games. However, UEFA have recently announced that they have scrapped the “cup tied” rule meaning any player can play for more than one club in any stage of the tournament.

The French League starts back on the 10th of August or so meaning there is around a month now where PSG will only play in friendlies and the like. Celtic play their first qualifying match in the Champions league on Tuesday 9th of July. Assuming that they qualify they will need to play in both a second and third qualifying round as well as a playoff round before they reach the group stage which means 8 matches in total (4 rounds, home and away ties).

If PSG were to loan Neymar to Celtic for a month from today, he could be registered for at least 2 rounds of fixtures (4 matches) meaning he would have his ban served out, possibly still even get a match for Celtic as a promotional match or the like to earn some money for them and still end his loan move in time to be back for the first round of French fixtures.

Celtic would get a good bit of publicity and maybe some extra match revenue and shirt deals, PSG would get a star player back for the Group stage of the Champions League and Neymar could try a deep fried Mars Bar. Wins all around.

I’m sure there’s some loophole I’m missing here but as far as I can tell, there isn’t a requirement that a player has to serve their ban with the club they got it from. It’s completely against the spirit of the game but from a technical standpoint would this work?
Anna (When there’s no football on my mind wanders)


We support Juventus now
Can Juve just win the champions league this year so Gigi can retire? He must be 90% dust at this stage.
Edwards Canhands (Insert something clever)


Futile contracts
To go Benitez for a bit…. FACT: Suarez did have a release clause. John W Henry has admitted as much, and stated that they wilfully ignored it.

Obviously quotes from Arsene Wenger have muddied the water here. He’s on record saying that his team were “misinformed” – prompting a mailbox full of lots of LFC fans clinging to the belief that no clause existed. But why has Wenger gone on record saying that?

Was it an attempt to mask the egg on Arsenal’s faces? Ham-fisted if it was. It’s really weird. He could’ve gone on record and said, “Liverpool chose to ignore the contract they agreed to and all players ever considering signing for them should think about that before they agree any terms in future…”. That would’ve been stronger.

Unfortunately, I think the truth is in John W Henry’s justification for ignoring it in the first place. “…we’ve found over the years is that contracts don’t seem to mean a lot in England – actually not in England, in world football. It doesn’t matter how long a player’s contract is, he can decide he’s leaving. For the first time we took the position that we weren’t selling.”

Basically, Wenger can’t hang Liverpool out to dry for failing to honour a contract… because nobody, on either side, does anyway. I’d bet that Arsenal have also ignored release clauses when it suits them… after all you only have to spin it out until the window closes, and court cases are not doable in that timeframe.

So, it’s easier to pretend you were misinformed, and preserve your ability to ignore a contractual clause when it suits you.

Dunno how I feel about it. The idea of loyalty in modern football feels naive to even mention. But perhaps that’s because we rely on contracts too much? Proper loyalty shouldn’t have to enshrined legally anyway.

If contracts were abolished and players could move freely (with transfer fees arbitrated like they do with young players), clubs would have to generate loyalty through other means; an attractive footballing philosophy, a great culture, treating people well, improving their careers….. you know, like every other business in the world.


Rob (MUFC), London


Cuppa, anyone?

It was lost on CP, Cambridge that I was talking with my tongue in cheek when talking about the German Bomber song (and the battle of Waterloo for that matter).

As an aside, CP is being disingenuous when he divorces reference to the Boston Tea Party from the obvious context of the war of independence (Wikipedia even refers to it as the starting point of the war – so its an irrefutable fact) together with the death and suffering in that conflict.

That wasn’t the main point of my first email and it isn’t intended as the main point of this one.

So if I may respond by reiterating the actual point I went on to make, which was then ignored:

Morgan chose to celebrate her goal in the World Cup semi-final by mocking her opponents. That is not a cool thing to do during sport. It speaks to a poor attitude that rather than enjoy your moment, you want to make someone else’s worse.

Hell, it’s not something I can recall seeing from players playing in some of the most bitterly contested derby games out there – I’m sure it has happened, but I honestly can’t think of an example…

Hope that clarifies.
Andy (MUFC)
P.s. to clarify, I was being tongue in cheek again when referring to Wikipedia as providing irrefutable facts.


Stu’s VAR email was absolutely spot on. Thanks to increasing levels of technology, the laws of certain parts of the game, namely penalties and offside, have been shown to be woefully insufficient for the modern game. It reminds me of the controversy in cricket a decade ago; thanks to technological advances, scientists found that it was impossible for a bowlers to keep their arm perfectly straight in delivery. Turned out everyone was “chucking it”, so the laws now permit 15 degrees straightening in delivery.

Returning to offside, the “daylight” rule seems a sensible option – especially if the cameras can’t detect the exact moment in which the passer’s foot first comes into contact with the ball – which is what the wording of the current law should be altered to, in my opinion. You might have to cut players off at the elbow and the knee to discourage “danglers”, though! What matters, essentially, is that the spirit of game (and of the Law) is upheld.

The penalty law is also one that warrants close attention, and VAR has brought its current absurdity into sharp focus. There are 4 broad categories of handball inside the box, and what I think the punishment should be for each are as follows:

1. Intentional handball, clearly preventing a goal. Such an offence should be a sending off and a penalty goal. No penalty kick required.

2. Unintentional handball that stops a shot on target. Penalty kick. No further punishment.

3. Any other intentional handball within the box. Penalty and yellow card.

4. Unintentional handball that stops or deflects a pass/cross/shot clearly off target. Indirect free kick in the “D”.

# 4 is where some creative solutions have been previously proposed in this mailbox, such as a free kick line in a newly defined area outside the box. I think most of us can agree that the current punishment is disproportionate to the crime, and that something needs to change. Such a cut and dried rule as current exists requires a little nuance.

The coming season is going to be mayhem.
Rob S


Mr Men footballers
I am so bored without the premier league

Someone suggested any part of your body being onside makes you onside got me thinking how useful Mr Tickle would be with that rule change.
Mr lazy…..Paul Pogba with his impressive walking stats
Mr Bump…..jack wilshere, I am guessing he is injured at the moment
Mr Funny….Patrice Evra, honestly when he is not being homophobic, he is hilarious
Mr Tall…..crouchy of course
Mr grumpy…..Jose was a candidate for about 20 but this suits him the most
Mr greedy…..was tempted with raheem but let’s be honest it’s Sanchez all day
Mr Cool…..VVD, no explanation needed
Mr clumsy….alberto Moreno, literally a walking mistake
Mr messy…..Lionel I guess, made a right mess of the semi final
Mr Snow…..Robbie Fowler, down the line
Mr slow….mustafi all the way, towing a caravan
Mr clever….Graeme le saux, he went to school once apparently
Mr muddle….John stones, maybe clear the ball occasionally
Graham Kirk, Sunny manchester.