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This is really the beginning of the end
Well, opening up football365 yesterday and a few other sites I peruse for my football news got really depressing this morning. Reading that Kroenke is going to be the sole owner of Arsenal will bring the league down to 5 teams in the next 3 seasons. People will say it won’t be that bad, but I have seen nothing that Kroenke has his fingers in that isn’t total **it. He managed to turn the Colorado Avalanche from Stanley Cup winners to the equivalent of Aston Villa in about 4 seasons, he is nothing but a black hole sucking any ability a team has into his pockets.
The fact that Asimov is selling his shares is disappointing but I understand it, why keep something that doesn’t do you much good and the organization won’t allow you to be part of it. I get it, it’s the death knell for the club though.
Enjoy this season, it may be the last where we are anything like we were, I honestly don’t think we will ever win the league again. Within 4 years Arsenal will be a truly midl level to bottom level club. I know it’s an extreme view, but there is nothing he has touched in the sports world to show anyone it will be different.
Wade (this is a tragic day) gunner 4 life
Modern contract rules persuade players not to sign on
I’ll tell you what irks me a little bit these days – player contracts. Or rather, the discussion surrounding player contracts and why players can’t be tied down to contracts instead of being allowed to go in to their final years. Ozil, Sanchez and Ramsey are three big names, but there’s more. All have famously gone in to the last year of their contract to much consternation from fans, with the line being that the person who sorts out the contracts should be sacked because your best players just DON’T go in to the last year of their contracts.
My argument is, if you’re an elite level player, then you most certainly do go in to the last year of your contract. It’s actually in your interest to do that.
Now if I’m a regular football player, and one of the 99.9% for whom any career is – in very relative terms you understand – doing your utmost best in every match and training session just to get another contract at whichever club will have you, then yeah sure for the best part you do want the security of a long term contract. You want health insurance and a steady wage and the coaching and hopefully game time that a contract gives you.
However if you’re one of the 0.01%, if you’re Alexis Sanchez or Thibaut Courtois or Aaron Ramsey. A player so elite that not only do you play for one of the best sides in the world but you’re also their best player, then it’s in your interest to go in to the final year of your contract because you KNOW a better offer will come along soon enough. That £50m transfer fee that your club wants suddenly disappears, but the £50m doesn’t. Once you’re out of contract that money can go to you.
If I was, say, Aaron Ramsey (and good lord I wish I was)… then I don’t care if my name was Thierry Herbert Chapman Henry-Adams, I’ve just seen Ozil get his wage doubled, I can see the rivals buzzing around Arsenal waiting until January to actually throw money at me. Of course he’s going to wait – anyone would. Why sign on now for wages Arsenal want to give you when you can sign for whoever (probably Arsenal again) but for wages someone else was willing to pay you?
Dale May, Swindon Wengerite
Martial needs to do a James Rodriguez
The curious case of Martial and the perfect solution for it. With the window is about to “slam shut” United clearly have a player that doesn’t want to be there. A manager that doesn’t want the player and a squad that is left side heavy and doesn’t desperately need the player.
However United can’t get rid of Martial because they want the full whack of 75 millionish for a player with immense potential and talent (fair) but clubs don’t want to pay it because that talent hasn’t been on display consistently in almost 2 full seasons (fair).
The United board are also probably very reluctant to sell knowing the Martial has the potential to be a world beater who could conceivably be valued in the 100 million transfer bracket with a couple of great seasons behind him.
Surely a James Rodriguez style two year loan with an option to bring him home after one season is the perfect solution. The player gets his move, an opportunity for a fresh start away from the toxic Mourinho. He would probably get great coaching and European experience too. The club hang on to their asset with his value possibly going up. A League rival isn’t strengthened if he moves to Bayern for example and maybe you get 15 million per season in a loan fee? Furthermore Rashford’s progress isn’t stifled as he is offered more game time.
In a year or two once Mourinho has undoubtedly self imploded and is no longer at United, Martial comes back with experience, happy and with a point to prove again. As they say “like a new signing”. Or you move him on then with his potential and talent matching that higher valuation.
No brainer solution!
Hakim, Sri Lanka
Things that definitely won’t happen this season
So it’s nearly here. The talking is over and we can actually get back to watching real football. Can’t believe it’s the 27th season of the EPL. Where did half my life go……….. So here is my take as to what could definitely possibly occur this year.
– No Premier League manager gets fired, as all through the season the gap between 7th and 20th is never more than seven points. On the last day of the season any three of nine teams could be relegated.
– The quality of football played by the “big 6” results in the F365 mailbox being full of rival fans congratulating each other on how entertaining each others team is playing.
– Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba attend all pre match press conferences, hugging and laughing together. Pogba and Mourinho’s eldest daughter announce their engagement.
– Stan Kroenke gives shares in Arsenal to all their season ticket holders, and pledges to not increase prices for at least ten years.
– Daniel Levy signs a player on the first day of the January transfer window.
– Raheem Sterling buys some stuff for his mum, gets a new car, and none of it is reported in the press, as the red tops drool over the quality of his football at Man City and for England.
– The Premier League announces that from 2019/20 all team owners must pass an ethical standards examination, a world class, fit and proper persons test, and run a viable long term profitable business model.
– Safe standing is to be allowed at all stadiums.
– 1% of all income generated by the Premier League is to be donated to charities, voted for by match attending fans.
– I wake up from my Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe dream.
An assessment of the Newcastle mood
Around March, I expressed to my Palace-supporting Canadian friend Tim my belief that the Newcastle sale to the Stavely group would go through for 300 million quid, and the Toon would be on the up. Tim, whom I pity for having to experience Alan Pardew, forthrightly told me that was wishful thinking, and my club were f*cked.
I tried for months to pretend otherwise, but Tim was entirely right, and it breaks my heart. Mike Ashley seems to see himself as poor, if only for a multi-millionaire, and so wants to extract the last possible ounce of lucre from the club. Thus, Newcastle United are being treated less as a business concern than as a distressed asset.
Note that I said “lucre,” not “profit”; Ashley’s ownership has seen only about a 20% increase in the club’s reputed value, and that lags far behind the economy as a whole and particularly far behind the increase in big-club valuations, which as I recall saw NUFC valued at better than half of MUFC’s worth in the late 90s (and he’s probably been pointing desperately to their consistent presence in the world’s top 20 clubs for years).
There can be no doubt that he absolutely blew this investment, and now he’s just making a spectacle of himself. And so are the supporters, truth be told. I’m one of them myself, and my club’s current situation *hurts, but asking Parliament to make our club not suck is just f*^%ing sad.
Even the players are mulish after last season’s precious-to-me display of spirit; they’ve been refusing media duties during a largely goalless pre-season over basically the same bonus dispute they had a few years ago. Ashley apparently can’t help being a dick. I would suspect he spent big money on the Brexit campaign, if I didn’t believe it would’ve hurt his web-based business.
Expect us to struggle. And if Rafa makes it through the year, it will be as much a miracle for the club as a tragedy for him.
Chris Crenshaw, Toon Army NoVA
And the crucial point
In response to a couple of posts about Newcastle recently, latest letter ‘Ashley out’ by ‘The Ginger Pirlo’ why are people, flummoxed, surprised, wish to show a new path and feel confused why ‘Cashley’ does what he does. It’s nice and easy:
Sports Direct is a high volume low cost popular enterprise
Sports Direct treats their employees poorly
Sports Direct under invests in their facilities
Sports Direct has low morale
Sports Direct directors and owners are well paid
Sports Direct doesn’t care about customer satisfaction
Sports Direct could be better
Sports Direct makes good profits
Now replace ‘Sports Direct’ with ‘Newcastle’.
Some valid transfer questions
A few questions I have concerning moves I feel are logical, but somehow not being linked:
Why aren’t Real after Lewandowski? He’s open to a move and they need a goal scorer to replace Ronaldo. And to improve on Benzema.
Why aren’t Man City, after missing out on two midfield players, chasing Kovacic? He wants out, they could use him, and he’s talented enough that he just might end up being the best of the bunch (Fabinho, Fred, Jorginho, Torreira).
Why isn’t Man U interested in Leon Bailey? I know he has some questions around him, but his talent is clear, he wants a move, and he can play on the right!
When discussing Chelsea replacing Courtois, why aren’t they interested in a swap for Navas? He has proven himself at a top club, and he’s the best option available aside from a big money move for Oblak.
Philip AFC Ajax (reign in the agents!)
Just one of the fawning, fanboy emails we get (he thinks we’re a paper)
What an absolute pathetic article I have just read in your awful paper? Sports column? Whatever you wish to call it? Way down the depths of any relevant sports news!!
Manchester United biased sh*te as always!! United will win nothing this coming season! United will be lucky for a champions league place,never mind finishing above Liverpool?
What planet are you f*cking on you clown? Editor?yes you must be? Because any self respecting journalist would never be so blase.
F*cking anti scouse c*nts! The end of the season I shall email you back. You stupid little c*nt. Get a proper job bellend