Mails, mails, mails. Send your mails in to email@example.com…
Damn you and your recommended reading on Lacazette. I’ve hope now. We’re doomed!!!
Néill, (Giroud at £20m is a bargain), Ireland
…Arsenal get their big money signing of the season. Lacazette looks like a quality addition, and would definitely improve their attack, but I can’t help but wonder is he the addition to the attack that was needed or is he the replacement for the outgoing Sanchez? If it’s the latter then there’s a big Sanchez shaped hole left in their attack (Sanchez rumoured to be subject to a 50m bid from City, cheaper than Lacazette!)
Looking at Lacazette’s move I can’t help but draw some parallels to Di Maria’s move to Man Utd. Both players had their hearts set on moving to a different club before they changed their destination. Lacazette seemed to be keen on moving to Atletico, with Lyon president as well as Atletico staff making statements on his desire to play for them.
Excited to see him in the PL, Arsenal fans will hope that he forgets he wanted to leave for Spain soon and hit the ground running.
Finally, a signing that will push Arsenal forwards. Of course I’m talking about Mad Jens.
I can’t see any players staying in their comfort zone with him screaming at them for not putting in the effort.
Adonis (The new striker should be decent too) Stevenson, AFC
A really good Mail defending Manchester City
I really am sick to death of these sort of comments, see:
KC (get it done) – “there’s going to be some (more) serious questions aimed at Stones and Guardiola”.
I’ll paint you a picture:
I doubt we (City) even rated Stones at £30M last season, I am basing this on the fact we had a fee agreed of £39M with Bilbao for Laporte a month before only for him sign a new contract.
But something else happened after Laporte didn’t sign, after working with him for a few training sessions, Joe Hart was deemed to not be good enough to play in a system the new manager wanted to play. So we had a choice, replace Hart with another homegrown keeper (that plays the way the manager wants), I’m sure this took all of 30 seconds to work out this was not an option.
So we look to the association trained players list, which players are on this list who also have potential to play in the first XI and will immediately add depth to our squad?
Are there any players on this list who would significantly improve our starting XI now?
So we come up with Stones, because there is nobody else, Barkley wouldn’t get a sniff and we’re still light at centre back anyway.
Everton receive a bid and must think they’ve won the lottery, a club who have no option but to buy an association trained player have just put a bid in for their association trained player. I bet their only regret was not asking for more than £50M because do you think we wouldn’t have paid it? What were our alternatives? Phil Jagielka? Gary Cahill? Chris Smalling? Phil Jones?
Do you seriously think that we would be paying anywhere near £50M for John Stones if this were not the case? The alternative is to go with nobody, we are in no position to negotiate with a club who do not want to sell their player, and to make it worse, the selling club know this. If it were a foreign player, we have the rest of the world to pick from and tell the selling club as much, we can buy player B for £X but we’d prefer your player, however we only value him at £Y, we can compromise. I can imagine Bill Kenwright pissing himself as he hangs up the phone with Txiki claiming £50M is too expensive and Bill responding with “you can have Jagielka for £30M?”.
What part of this do you not understand? City had 17 foreign players in their squad and Hart, Clichy, Sterling…. We literally had NO CHOICE but to buy an English (or English trained) player.
The exact same thing happened the year before with Sterling and the exact same thing will happen this year with Walker.
This is all to do with the FA changing the rules, (which are complete lunacy with Clichy counting as a home grown player) in an attempt for English players to be a brought up through academies. The reality is that because of the FA’s are incompetent at grass roots, the top clubs look for foreign players who are under 18 so they become “home grown” and all their silly rule has done is inflate the transfer fees of average to decent English players.
League Two: The reality
How lovely of all those Premier League supporters to tell us that the removal of the 3pm blackout won’t affect lower league clubs. We should just try it out and potentially put them out of business, they say. They’re sitting in ivory towers saying that all the world looks lovely.
The Vale are the only club I support, I don’t follow any PL club. I’ve tried on many occasions to care about a PL club due to marital allegiance, but even after years of watching them, couldn’t get the same, soul-deep feelings that Port Vale gives me (I sat in B&Q car park on the phone to my dad listening to his radio on the last day of the season, praying that we could equalize and stay up).
So as much as I love them, it’s not always been an entirely pleasant passion. Imagine you’re in League Two, in the midst of a ten game winless streak, it’s pouring down with drizzle (as it always does in Stoke), the local radio has announced that your “ace” striker is out injured and then a Sky ad pops up for Liverpool v Everton or Chelsea v Arsenal. You know what, there would be times when I might just keep my £25 in my pocket and watch the PL game. It only takes 400 people to think the same, and that’s 10% off our gate and the club is in trouble financially.
I may be criticized for not being a Real Fan™, but I’ve had 12 season tickets and followed the pinnacle of unfashionable teams for another 20 years when geography and cashflow has been against me – I know I’m a fan.
Simon, Vale til I die
The problem is that we’d just pay more for it
Interesting reading on the 3pm blackout and the illegal streaming debate and it got me thinking. It got me thinking about the corporate greed machine that is Sky itself. Charging extortionate prices for what has become a declining sports service.
Paying €100 plus for sky and a sports package that brings you sports such as Netball and Kabbadi (still haven’t a f*cking clue what it actually is) as a substitute for them losing out on Champions League football just doesn’t add up really. No offence to both sports, it’s nothing personal but I wouldn’t pay for them.
I then look at what’s left. Sky Sports News has become a farce alongside tabloid levels at this stage. I remember as a young teen (only 10 years ago jeez), Sky Sources was the holy grail for transfer confirmation. If they reported your team signing a player, then your team signed that player. Nowadays it’s nothing more than a flirt to entice customers to avail of their transfer offers on Sky Bet and take more money from you.
I sound like a very disgruntled football fan at 26, but I’m not. I’m a Man United fan so seeing my team isn’t the issue. I’m just annoyed at this 3pm blackout and stop illegal streaming debate being used as another means for Sky and the boys to extract money from us. Here’s a tip Sky, provide a better footballing service (and I dont mean changing the name of the League Cup for the 4,000th time) and people might be more eager to subscribe.
Dave (I’m not always angry), Kilkenny, Ireland
Want 3pms on TV? Pay the lower-league clubs for it
After reading the 3pm blackout discussion, there seems a blindingly obvious solution.
Lower league clubs are worried about revenue and fans, while tv broadcasters want more games and seem to have an endless amount of magic money trees. So as part of the next tv deal in 2020 and it’s £5bn + pay out, the broadcasters allocate a sizeable proportion (10%?) of funding to all the lower leagues. In exchange, all games at 3pm can be televised.
Now more money isn’t an instant solution and can cause more problems if clubs just splash out on buying players or higher wages, so some type of further regulation of funding may be needed. As a start i’d propose splitting tv revenue into 2 ways for each league.
1 – Grass roots support and engagement. Each club down to level 6 (North / South National League) would receive direct funding to engage schools, local facilities and non-league clubs in their area. Perhaps as some type of regional network from which clubs could pool resources, which also insures against the natural promotion and relegation of teams up and down the league network.
This would serve the dual purpose of simply being good for sport in this country, but also builds ties between a club and the local community from which match day fans come.
2 – A prize pot of diminishing amounts as you go down the league that is awarded as prize money for league positions. This would simply be a trickledown effect of ensuring more clubs benefit and gain financial security from the crazy amounts of money involved at the top of the game. This could also allow match day prices to be lowered to help get people through the gates.
Everyone seems to win under this system and who knows, it might even help strengthen English football as a whole!
Tom Saints (I’m sure it would somehow be more complicated than this..)
Asking the difficult question: Are there too many clubs?
Following on from the discussion about the 3pm blackout, I’d like to ask the wider question; is it really sustainable to have 92 professional clubs in 4 divisions in the 21st century?
Firstly, yes, I am a fan of a big club (also my nearest one) and secondly, I am not trying to rile or belittle any fan of any team lower down the football ladder; I ask the question on the basis of pure practicality. No other country in the world has as many professional football clubs per person as we do, so is it sustainable?
I happen to own a small business that deals with decent sized numbers of the general public, so I have first hand experience of the kind of costs that are involved in the day to day running of a business. There’s costs associated with just having a stadium, gas, electric etc, and I’m guessing the business rates aren’t that cheap. Then you’ve got all the staffing, from groundsmen to service staff to stewarding.
The cost of employment has ramped up markedly in the last few decades, and then you can throw things like workplace pensions etc on top too. Then you’ve got all the bureaucracy; the health and safety, food hygiene, risk assessments et al and none of that comes cheap. Finally, you’ve got your playing and coaching staff and all the costs associated with that as well (including training facilities with ever increasing costs and sports science technology to keep up with so that you’re not left behind).
To fund that, you’ve got 2,500 paying customers (at the smallest clubs) coming maybe 30 times a year. The price that needs to be charged per ticket to make that business economically viable is already pushing the boundaries of value for money, and it’s simply by virtue of the overheads involved. Not many will want to pay £40 a ticket for League 2 football, but that’s what you’d need to turn any kind of decent profit.
It’s a terribly sad state of affairs and I don’t see any way in which the situation won’t deteriorate further. Indeed, much like in many other aspects of life, I expect football to “hour glass” over the next decade or so and the game split into the super elite and the amateur game.
Some kind of glitz and glamour European super league monster broadcast via Netflix, Amazon or whoever else where everything is a razzle dazzle x-factor style nightmare and a community run, amateur affair where the players are semi-pro and perhaps paid per game whilst the stadium is staffed with lots of volunteers.
I’d be curious to know what other mailboxers think, particularly fans of clubs lower down the leagues.
Lewis, Busby Way
The dangers of summer transfer windows
I try not to do stupid things in the summer but I just watched a few clips of Naby Keita having never seen him play.
I totally appreciate that even Florent Sinama-Pongolle did enough for a decent highlights reel but holy moly I don’t care. The hope is going to kill me. He looks magical.
Go easy on Barcelona
I have to say I don’t agree with everything Dan Bridges had to say re Barcelona and La Masia.
Dan states “They are a club who prides itself on its traditional values, but in truth, the way they are operating at present is not wildly different to any other elite club, with a heavy focus on recruitment from outside.”
Barring the “pep era” where you had Valdes, Puyol, Pique, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Pedro et al, Barcelona, in my mind have always been a club with vast wealth looking to buy marquee players. Even during his time there he signed Ibra, Henry, Villa.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the point he makes is at the moment, La Masia doesn’t appear to be able to bring through players with the quality to establish themselves in the first team but you still have Alba, Pique, Busquets, Iniesta, Messi. Denis Suarez spent a couple of years in the B team as well.
From memory, Barcelona have generally brought from overseas where you had the: Maradona era; Dutch era (De Boers, Cocu, Overmars, van Bommel, van Bronkhorst, Kluivert), Rivaldo era and Rijkaard era (Ronaldinho, Deco, Etoo, Giuly, Marquez).
An academy can’t be expected to produce Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol every generation (they’ve still produced Fabregas, Thiago, Pedro…)… so my point is, nothing has really changed at Barcelona.