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Pogba transfer solution – based on NBA
Y’all know Paul Pogba wants out and Madrid wants to buy. Of course they don’t want to pay a lot (notice the player plus cash deals). But there’s another issue at Utd, it’s Alexis Sanchez and his expensive contract.
In the NBA, when you got an underperforming star on an expensive deal, you trade him along with a desired asset ( young player/draft picks etc) This encourages the other team to essentially take a bad deal along with a good one. This helps them afford the good deal without paying too much.
It’s cheaper for Madrid, also Manchester United saves 26M a year on salary (plus other Utd players won’t be tempted to demand super high salaries). And Madrid can even sell Sanchez further to save some more money.
Bling bling!!! Savings all around!!!
Gaurav, MUFC (Pew pew pew)
Anything can happen, anything always happens…
United finished 6th last season, largely due to a managerial change midway through the season and a crash and burn towards the end of the season. For most of the season, we were not good. However, Mr Nick P, despite two extremely contrasting halves of Ole’s reign so far, he still managed to take us from 11 points behind 4th toalmost challenging for a spot. This was with a disjointed and uninspired team. You could argue that the early good form was just a result of the toxicity present in Mourinho being ripped away from a directionless squad, and it might have been, but is it really that ridiculous to think that the team that finished 5 points behind the Champions League finalists might finish fourth?
Firstly, the transfer market is still open, and while we have been fairly slow, there will surely be more additions.
Secondly, if City signed the absolutely excellent Wan-Bissaka this transfer window, people wouldn’t be questioning the fee at all. In fact, they might even be praising Pep. Ole identified a weakness in Ashley “couldn’t cross in a game of tic tac toe” Young and he bought one of the best fullbacks in the league to replace him. But, because it’s the shithole that is United that bought him, he is described as an uncapped right back with one full season in the Premier League, which is true, but why are we ignoring the goddamn excellent season he had? It was quite frankly, brilliant. He’s also extremely young, but not Young. So we win.
Pogba will probably leave and so will Lukaku. We will replace them, whether we do it properly remains to be seen, but what if we do? What if United start the season with a decent squad, a manager determined to prove himself, and an actual game plan when we play football? Are we still going to be surpassed by Leicester?
I’m not saying we are going to finish fourth, we might finish 8th, but the whole “haha man united suck how are they gonna play the feet ball when leicester and everton are good now” is just lazy. Our club is sort of in shambles yes, but we haven’t even had a pre-season game yet and we’re being ruled out? No, no, no, my friend, that is not how football works. Anything can happen, anything always happens. I will admit that United have looked lost since Ferguson left, but we haven’t slipped so far away that challenging for fourth is a pipe dream. We are, once again, starting fresh. How that will go, I do not know, but neither do you.
Plus we’re gonna sign Messi.
Gaaavie, Bottom Rock, Kaapstad
Enjoyed Mike’s email about ‘Disapp’Disappointing XIs’ …thought I’d share my own from a United fan’s perspective (could probably just list off our last 11 signings…)
GK: Has to Barthez. World cup winner, was meant to be Schmeichel’s successor. Turns out he didn’t really seem to know what he was at between the sticks.
RB: Rafael. Not that I thought he was a bad player…just that he never reached his potential. I’d have him back in a heartbeat.
CB: Phil Jones. Looked an immense young signing at the time…turned out to be made of paper mache.
CB: Eric Bailly. Great first season, only to turn into Djimi Traore over the past year.
LB: Gabriel Heinze. Looked great in his first season, then injuries (and talk of a move to Liverpool) were the end of that promise.
CM: Paul Pogba. Stop making me get excited at the prospect of you being a really good player, then going missing for 3 or 4 weeks at a time, you big baby. Get rid.
CM: Juan Sebastian Veron. An absolute Rolls Royce of a player in Serie A, he couldn’t get near the ball in the premier league. Devastated!
CM: Fred. That was a lot if money, lad. Time’s running out…Get your shit together.
FW: Angel Di Maria. Awesome for 3-4 games, then went to shite. Poor lad.
FW: Memphis Depay. It’s gonna hurt watching him turn out to be an absolute star…too much, too young. Wasn’t ready.
FW: Nani. Yeah, I know he won a bunch of trophies, and had one outstanding season. Just…promised so much more.
Honourable mention: Anderson. Just seemed to love calories more than his football career. Dammit.
Browner – MUFC
Mike LFC London’s email about disappointments eleven and the inclusion of Jari Litmanen got me thinking of players who came to the UK as great players but never showed their true self. A kind of “We did not see the real player list”. I am not including players who had potential such as Robinno. This list has players who came already established as great players. Here goes
1. Andriv Shevchenko. Amazing striker for AC Milan but a shadow at Chelsea
2. Jari Litmanen. Great at Ajax but injuries stopped us seeing his true self at Liverpool
3. Juan Sabastien Veron. We did not see how great this guy was when he came to Man United. Pace of PL was too much.
4. George Weah. A shadow of the Milan player when he came to Chelsea. He was getting on in age though
5. Samuel Eto. See Weah above
6. Fernando Morientes. A total flop at Liverpool
7. Julio Baptista. Great at Seville. Unrecognisable at Arsenal. Wenger pursued him for a long time before he came to Arsenal but must have been shocked when he saw him in training and in matches.
8. Laurent Blanc. Again he was old when he came to United and we never saw what a great defender he was
9. Fabien Barthez. A calamity at United but a World cup winner never the less
10. Winston Bogarde. Maybe not as great as others on this list but he was great at Ajax and Barcelona. A total disaster at Chelsea.
Looking at this list it’s amazing how most of the players are from Chelsea, Liverpool or United. I guess they were the only ones who could afford or attract such calibre players.
Michael O, Chingford
Mike, LFC, London put together a great list (missing CB notwithstanding), but I feel he’s been a bit harsh with some of the players mentioned:
– There is no way Djibril Cisse belongs in a Disappointments XI. The photo accompanying this morning’s mailbox should be enough, as was his red wedding suit. But moreover, he scored a goal in a cup final Liverpool won, and scored one of the penalties in the Istanbul shootout. Surely Balotelli, Benteke or Aspas deserve this CF spot instead.
– Ryan Babel had his moments too, and was part of a team that finished a close second in the league. If I’m not mistaken, Milan Jovanovic was also a left winger. I could be mistaken, because he rarely did anything. When he joined he apparently said “Its hard for me to tell the fans what I can bring to the team”. He wasn’t wrong. (Other option: Joe Cole).
– Glen Johnson had his limitations, and was part of the club at various low points, but again, he was part of a team that finished a close second in the league. Harder to think of a suitable alternative to propose though. I’d put forward Philip Degen, based on the fact we were constantly waiting for him to return from injury. He was equally disappointing on and off the pitch.
As for the missing CB, its harsh but I would nominate Sotiris Kyrgiakos. Not because he was particularly terrible, but because he wasn’t meant to be relied on as often as he was, and was called on due to Agger injuries. Much like Rickie Lambert for Daniel Sturridge.
Degen Coates Kyrgiakos Moreno
Litmanen Aquilani Cole
Keane Morientes Balotelli
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland (PS: I think Samwise is kind of cheating when he suggests going to Stamford Bridge via Paddington using the Heathrow Express. At that price you might as well suggest itineraries including helicopters.)
I just wanted to try my hand at a disappointing XI that Mike, LFC had asked for.
It’s actually harder than it sounds. I’ve really cheated and simply gone for 3 midfielders and 3 attacking players in my 433:
GK Fabian Barthez – not long after helping France win A World Cup and Euro Championship, I saw Barthez as the ideal replacement for Schmeichel. How wrong I was, as, despite a handful of good performances and some good saves, he turned out to be a nutcase but not in a good way.
RB Darmian – Touted as one of Italy’s best defenders, he had had a decent World Cup the year before joining and showed early promise at United. This quickly faded and he’s now become comparable to Rojo at the club which is not saying a lot.
CB Philip Jones – Fergie thought he’d be the greatest ever United player for jasus sake. I die a little inside every time I see his name on a team sheet.
CB Marcos Rojo – He had just played in a World Cup Final and was named in the Castrol Index (beats me) Top 11 of the tournament. What a feckin disaster he’s been.
LB Luke Shaw – This was probably the trickiest pick as we’ve been relatively lucky with LBs down the years. Shaw gets in purely because I thought he’d be awesome and, through a combination of injuries and personal issues, has not set the world alight. I still have hope for him to come good 4 years later so who knows.
MF Veron – God, what an unfortunate pairing United and Veron were. He had been unreal in Italy but never hit the heights in England. His highlight reel for United is something else though.
MF Di Maria – A player I’d wanted at United since I first saw him play in Portugal. Again, just wrong timing I feel. Plus, he didn’t actually want to be at United so that didn’t help.
MF Anderson – He won the Golden Boy award in 2008, just prior to joining United. He was a top talent and one of Fergie’s big mistakes was signing him as a wide attacker and deploying him as a, what?, box to box midfielder? I never really knew.
FW Falcao – A dream signing when he joined. He had arguably been the best striker in Europe for a number of years and although he was coming to the end of his career I still thought he’d shine for us. Such a shame.
FW Alexis Sanchez – Loved him ever since he was in Italy and was incredibly jealous when Arsenal signed him. What a sh*tshow this has been. Possibly, all things considered, United’s worst ever signing.
FW Louis Saha – While he wasn’t bad for United, injuries meant that he didn’t touch his potential as one of the best strikers in Europe. On his day though, he was unstoppable. Another massive shame.
Cheers, Dave (I could have just named any current starting 11) Dublin
Go on then I’ll have a bash at the disappointments XI (this will actually be XI). Man Utd fan.
GK. Barthez – Tricky one as most of the goalkeeping flops were expected flops and the ones expected to be great turned out great. Then in the middle we have the fun Fabian. Fantastic in his first season, awful in his second and then average in his third. All in all he did alright but I was expecting greatness.
RB. Darmian – Didn’t have massively high hopes but still felt he was a decent player that would do a quietly good job. Instead did a glaringly bad one.
CB. Jones – When the great Fergie tells you he will be one of the club’s greatest ever players you bloody well get excited. Yeah cheers Fergie you old prankster you.
CB. Rojo – Coming on the back of a good World Cup he was likened to Heinze. That’s exciting! Turns out he’s nothing like him.
LB. Buttner – Really nobody else here I could have picked. I thought about Shaw but I wasn’t excited about him anyway but I did think Buttner might be one of those quiet signings that turn out immense. I got the first bit right.
RM. Poborsky – That hair, that skill, that chip, that player! He was coming to United! Joy! Started by scoring a great goal against Leeds, totally lost form, cut his hair like Roger Daltrey’s and then buggered off. It was a bizarre time.
CM. Veron – The obvious one. We had signed a global superstar. At the time he was up there with Zidane and Davids as one of the world’s best midfielders. Won player of the month for September, we had signed a God! Simply thinking back now but what the hell actually happened? Why did he go so crap?
CM. Schweinsteiger – I knew he wouldn’t be what he was. I knew his fitness would be an issue but I did think he would bring leadership and stability to the midfield. I should have listened to Tim Sutton.
LM. Blomqvist – The obvious one here would seem Di Maria, however his United career panned out exactly as I expected it to. I said to a friend who was delighted with the signing that he would have a handful of games where a looks like a genius but most of the time he’ll be totally underwhelming. I called that spot on! With Blomqvist I actually think he was really good in the Treble season. When we signed him I was really pleased we had a great support act for Giggs. The reason it was disappointing is because he got injured that summer and never played for us again.
CF. Falcao – I was so damn excited about Falcao! I absolutely loved the guy and really felt his style of player was perfectly suited to England. What gets forgotten is he actually started well. His first 2 starts brought 2 assists and good performances and his 3rd a goal. He then went on international duty, got injured and never got back at all. So disappointing.
CF. Rossi – Seems a bit of a strange one but at the time I knew someone on the inside at United* and before they signed Rossi he told me they were interested in this young Italian kid that he had been watching and he told me to mark his words that this kid is already better than Rooney. So when we signed him obviously I was really excited. The annoying thing is I still feel if he had more of a chance he could have been a great, he did have so much natural talent. Oh well, at least he did well with Status Quo.
*It was Harold Wood, the guy who told Fergie about Giggs. I didn’t even know this until after around a year of knowing him!
I dropped an AWOL XI yesterday and when I see a fellow Mike suggest another XI but this time of disappointments, I cannot resist.
GK: Ross Turnbull – Difficult one choosing a keeper as we have done pretty well in this position, but Ross was signed as a backup that could challenge Petr Cech, didn’t happy, but he did win a Champions League medal.
LB: Asier Del Horno – What a name, a reasonable debut season until he clashed with Lionel Messi, got sent off, his form dropped considerably and then replaced by Ashley Cole, wasn’t all bad I suppose.
CB: Slobodan Rajkovic – Who? you may ask, well Rajkovic was a highly sort after talent at the time, but struggles over a work permit meant he never played for us apart from in a pre-season game, multiple loans later he was sold to Hamburg.
CB: Andreas Christensen – Okay this is a little controversial and he could still have an incredible Chelsea career, but so far since his return from those incredible loan spells at Monchengladbach he has not lived up to the player he was in Germany.
RB: Wallace – Signed from Fluminense, was rated highly in Brazil, struggled with obtaining a work permit, went out on loan a fair bit, then released.
LM: Ricardo Quaresma – Signed on loan from Inter, was seen as the ultimate “YouTube” player, has had a decent career since with Besiktas and Portugal, but the few months he spent at Chelsea were forgettable.
CM: Marko Marin – The German Messi, he was not.
CM: Scott Parker – Signed as the highly talented English midfielder from Charlton, but was rarely played and when he did was out of position, had success at Fulham, West Ham etc which was nice to see.
RM: Shaun Wright-Phillips – One signing that excited me, an incredible player at Man City before they were rich, knee injuries hurt his form, scored a few spectacular goals but nothing close to what was expected from him and was sold back to City not long after.
FWD: Andriy Shevchenko – The player Roman wanted for years he finally got, but sadly just as he was hitting 30, he tried so hard but it never worked out, has since been a politician and now manager of the Ukraine National Team.
FWD: Alvaro Morata – Record signing at the time, after a summer of Morata or Lukaku we got Morata, he started well but seemed to be offside more times than he had shots on target, form dropped, attitude got worse and has since been sold to Atletico for a fee that pretty much means we got our money back, incredible.
Mikey, CFC (Fernando Torres will never be a disappointment to me due to THE moment at the Camp Nou)
Well, as a Gooner, this is easy!
GK: David Ospina – looked so good before he joined, one of the best at the 2014 WC. Just left 5 years on for absolutely zero profit.
RB: Oleg Luznhy. Anybody who remembers him, will need no explanation. On paper, a good signing to help us with all our eastern Europe problems in the CL, and in the end… ugh.
CB: Igors Stepanovs. He gets enough criticism, but I found the prospect of signing a Latvian international exciting and exotic (I was young) and enjoyed playing as them on Pro Evo at the time, anyone remember Marians Pahars?
CB: Nelson Vivas. Yes, the Internazionale stalwart had a spell at Arsenal earlier in his career. That’s why I picked him, less because he didnt live up to what I expected (I dont remember him signing) but because he was so bloody good in Italy. Being kept out of the team by Adams, Bould and Keown cannot have helped, but not getting game time ahead of Matt Upson?
CB: William bloody Gallas. Great footballer, horrific attitude, took Bergkamp’s retired shirt number, cost us a shot at at least one title all by himself. Worst captain Arsenal have ever had, probably.
LB: Mikael Silvestre. Enough said.
CM: Julio Baptista. Not that he played CM for us, but it was a position he allegedly played. So bad that when he didn’t play Liverpool he may as well not have turned up.
CM: Dennis Suarez. Our worst signing of the PL era? Even Kim Kallstrom made an actual impact, and he had a broken back.
RW: Andrei Arshavin. The original latter-day Ozil. I really hope Ozil doesnt end his spell with us as timidly and pathetically. No, apathetically.
CF: Francis Jeffers. Poor guy. I just don’t know how things could have gone differently – but Wenger seemingly felt under pressure to buy more English players, and we ended up with this when the likes of Kevin Phillips and James Beattie existed.
LW: Davor Suker. Can he play as a winger? Who cares, he will just disappoint anyway. On paper, phenomenal singing. On grass, nobody has failed to live up to their billing more.
Honorable mentions: Tavlaridis, Djourou (a world beater for 6 months, awful the rest), Squillaci, Boa Morte, Lassana Diarra, Nasri (should have been the New Pires), Gervinho, Reyes (should never have left), Hleb, Denilson, oh god, there are so many…
Rick, NI Gooner
A disappointment XI……
GK – Barthez – unorthodox, eccentric , word cup winner, maverick, a cat between the posts. Finally the Schmiechel replacement we had waited so long for. Turns out he was a bit crazy………
RB – Matteo Darmian – the new Gary Neville, our Azpilicueta, a Mr. Reliable, if you will. No more Valencia at right back. Progress, finally……. Instead he had 5 good games before turning into a quivering wreck of a player, shunted all over the park to fill the gaps. Somehow still with the club.
CB – Laurent Blanc – right player, wrong time. Not only signed maybe 5 or 6 years too late, but also signed to replace the mighty Jaap Stam. Not even close.
CB – Eric Bailly – £30m, young, fast, strong, maverick, not called Chris Smalling or Phil Jones. In times of defensive vulnerability he was meant to come and save us, alas, it’s not to be so far….
LB – Alex Buutner – signed as competition for Evra, a debut goal against Wigan (I think), after that a complete nothing player. Positionally poor, demonstrated very little skill on the ball.
Midfield – Anderson – dreadlocked Brazilian prodigy. Better than Wayne Rooney, we were told. A new Ronaldinho, even. A £20m fee. Looked sharp and made many positive contributions to a historical season. Surely the midfield successor to Paul Scholes, perhaps. Went on holiday, came back looking like a Klump. After that he was always injured and perennially over weight. Somehow lasted 8 years at the club. A career that fizzled out almost as disappointingly as it had burst into life.
Midfield – Juan Veron – The big one. My Saturday and Sunday mornings were spent watching Football Italia in awe of some of the worlds best players. Vieri, Batistuta, Ronaldo, Del Piero, Rui Costa and Zidane, and in amongst all of these and many more stood one Juan Sebastien Veron. A £30m fee was agreed and we had signed one of the greatest players on the planet, a true world class midfield dynamo from one of Europes elite (at the time). The rest, as they say, is history.
Midfield – Memphis Depay – Dutch wing wizard, set piece specialist, the new Ronaldo, maverick. He even had a tattoo that said “dream chaser” A big fee paid, coming in with his new equally maverick national team manager, Memphis was the start of a new dawn. He even looked great in his opening games.
Midfield – Angel Di Maria – Champions League winner (final man of the match, no less) at the peak of his career, club record transfer fee. Started well, got his house burgled, crumbled thereafter. Mentally checked out long before he’d packed his bags for Paris.
Forward – Falcao – El Tigre, a dashingly handsome chap with a phenomenal goal scoring record. Looked unplayable on his day, had everything a forward could need in their locker. Huffed and puffed, and generally looked a shadow of the player who had scored for fun for Porto and Atletico Madrid, before a debilitating injury. Now, thankfully, looking something like the player he was. Just a shame he was so terribly poor at United (and Chelsea).
Forward – Wilfred Zaha – Ferguson’s parting gift. A young pacey, physically imposing forward with the skills to light up Old Trafford. £15m spent to bring United into a new era. Allegedly slept with David Moyes daughter (an allegation since rebuked), but never found the playing time to make a mark. Sold at a £10m loss without ever coming close to being a success. Now being touted at £100m+. amn you, David Moyes. Damn you and your conservative ways……
Harry The Manc
Further to Mike LFC, London’s mail this morning, here is my Palace disappointments XI. Had to opt for an obscure 3-3-4:
GK: Steeve Mandanda – For all the Steeeeeeeeeeve chants and social media content, it turned there were more E’s in the hashtag than appearances next to his name. We couldn’t play out from the back and he couldn’t kick. Spent the whole season sulking and collecting a big wage before sodding off back to Marseille.
RB: Jack Hunt – Slightly harsh as he broke his ankle as soon as he arrived but to sign one of the best right backs in the Championship for several million and him to never play a game during three years is pretty bad.
CB: Jaroslav Jach – Signed in January 2018 as a potential bargain and future Poland international, struggled to break in to the U23s and is now on loan to a team in Moldova. Nuff’ said.
LB: Florien Marange – Signed by Holloway after promotion, didn’t even make the 25 man squad and made one appearance against Bristol City in the League Cup. Complete waste of wages.
CM: Jordan Mutch – Palace fans will all tell you the man has robbed a living off the back of scoring against non-league south-west based teams in pre-season. Recently released by a Korean team which tells you all you need to know about his career trajectory.
CM: Erdal Rakip – Another January 2018 wonderbuy. Came from Benifica on loan with a £10m option to buy. No appearances in the following 6mnths and another who struggled to handle u23 football.
CM: Edgar Davids – Was so passed it when he came to Palace. Certainly not worthy of a FIFA 2003 cover!
RW: Tom Ince – In 2014 Tom Ince was supposedly as good as Zaha and one of the hottest properties in the Championship. His short lived loan in 2013/2014 yielded one goal and no sign he was worthy to lace Wilf’s boots. Shame.
LW: Loic Remy – Highly rated, good record, the possible answer to the missing striker question that has dogged us since promotion in 2013. Instead someone who was perma-injured and unable to impress against League One Bolton in the FA Cup.
CF: Ivan Kaviedes – In 2004 he was our record signing. Didn’t settle and left before Christmas the same year. Cheers, Ivan.
CF: Emanul Adebayor – Clearly could not be arsed. Another failed attempt to solve the striker problem.
Notable shouts also go to Alexander Sorloth (Jan 18 shit buy), Lucas Perri (Jan 19 wonderloan), Alex McCarthy (another attempt to replace Hennessey that failed), Patrick Bamford (entitled and stroppy), Yaya Sanogo (Wenger has a good eye for potential, eh?), Jose Campana (Holloway signing who couldn’t do Pulis-ball), Sandor Torghelle (fined for diving) and Nicola Ventola (broke his leg in first game)
Worth noting that a lot of these signing either clearly didn’t fit the style of the club when signed, or, did not suit the system of a manager who was installed shortly after they signed. Many fans are still asking what exactly Dougie Freedman has been doing these last two years.
Here is my list of Disappointing XI for Arsenal. I did take into consideration how much we paid for these players as well. A truly horrifying list of players.
GK – Richard Wright – A case could be made for Cech, but he was clearly past his prime and was generally steady. Wright was a quality young keeper and many hoped he would be able to take the mantle once Seaman did, but never truly impressed.
RB – Debuchy – Replacing Sagna with him seemed like a masterstroke in 2014, but a massive injury early in his arsenal career meant we never got to see the truly dependable Debuchy that Lille, Newcastle and Saint –Etienne have seen.
CB – Squillaci – It’s hard to believe, but at one point the former Monaco, Lyon and Sevilla player was highly-regarded. Seemed like such a smart transfer again when we got him. The man who would finally sort out our defense. How wrong was that assessment?
CB – Mustafi – I really wanted to put Gallas here since he was massively responsible for our 2008 title collapse. But Mustafi cost £35m, and makes Senderos look like Campbell. Please someone take him off our hands.
LB – Santos – Part of the 427 signing Arsenal did on deadline day 2011, we expected more than what we got. A complete defensive liability, his only worthwhile moment was his goal against Chelsea in that 5-3 win at the bridge.
LW – Podolski – Seems harsh but when we buy a German international with over 130 caps you expect more than 2 mediocre seasons. Always seemed more comfortable being the big fish in a small pond.
CM – Xhaka – May seem harsh, but we spent a lot of money on him, and the return has not been great. Often caught sleeping during counter attacks, it is hard to see Arsenal compete with him at the heart of our midfield.
CM – Van Bronckhorst – Was bought in to replace Manu Petit for £8M. All he did of note was get injured for half a season and get himself sent-off against Liverpool. He was a big gamble that never paid off and later sold at a massive loss to Barcelona.
RW – Gervinho – He was such a force to be reckoned with in France with Lille. His contribution of 15 goals and 9 assists led Lille to an unlikely title with Hazard. Fast and tricky, he seemed like the exact type of signing we needed to counter the often predictable passing possession game we played up front. The jump from Ligue 1 to Premier League seemed to high for him and he never got going.
Striker – Chamakh – Like Gervinho, he was the robin to Gourcuff’s Batman during Bordeaux 2009 title. Had a solid 2010 season where Bordeaux topped a CL group comprising of Juventus and Bayern Munich. A free signing with a lot of experience, he started the season so well while Van Persie was injured. So much so that many, including F365 considered him one of the signings of the season. But Van Persie came back, Chamakh felt ‘burnt out’ and never did anything of note for the next 3 years, bar his involvement in that 7-5 win against Reading.
Striker – Suker – The man with the golden boot just a year prior. One of the greatest strikers of the 90’s who was here to replace Anelka and Wright. It seemed like he arrived a little late in his career and was rather useless. 11 goals in all competitions was not the return we were expecting. Also missed his penalty shoot-out in the Uefa cup final.
I have an Arsenal Disappointments XI for Mike, LFC, London.
I thought it would be really easy as Arsenal actually used to sign players and spend money in the olden days, but I soon realised how the negativity and pessimism of the later Wenger years meant I rarely got excited by new players. Anyway, enjoy:
Richard Wright (GK) Signed to replace Seaman. England’s next great keeper from a time when England actually produced good keepers. Was rubbish.
Oleg Luzhny (RB) The Horse. Great nickname and part of the great late 90s Dinamo Kiev team. Should’ve been put down.
Andre Santos (LB) Couldn’t really think of a left back I was excited about signing so this is a bit of a cheat. One of the worst players I have seen. Seemed to have no idea how to defend entirely.
Philippe Senderos (CB) Signed when seemingly every young player Wenger bought turned to gold, I had very high hopes. Then the run to the Champions League final without conceding a goal in the knockouts. He was destined for greatness. The rapid decline was a real shame.
Theo Walcott (RW) Picked for a World Cup before he had even played for us. How can you not be excited? I remember his first game and thinking he could be the new Michael Owen. He was. The Man Utd/Stoke era Owen unfortunately.
John Jensen (MF) That goal in the Euro 92 final. That goal against QPR (I was there). Sadly everything inbetween was bad. Sat behind him in one of the last games at Highbury. Incredibly lovely guy.
Abou Diaby (MF) I know he had the injuries but he was never going to be the new Vieira. Can only really remember one or two good performances despite the injuries. Shame.
Thomas Rosicky (LW) Injuries again, sadly. Always did well when he played but didn’t play enough.
Mesut F***ing Ozil (AM) Never have I been so excited in my life about a transfer. A player I had watched and admired at Madrid and was my absolute dream signing. Amazing to think I’d be begging someone to get him off the books six years later.
Francis Jeffers (ST) The Fox in the Box. The nickname seemed to weigh too heavy.
Danny Welbeck (ST) I loved Dat Guy even as a Man United player. So badly wanted it to work for him but the injuries were too much in the end.
John (now I feel depressed) Porter
The most ‘local’ team for overseas supporters
As a Southampton fan living in Switzerland, I’m going to suggest Oliver gives the Saints some serious consideration.
In the winter there are direct flights between Geneva and Southampton airport.
Firstly, the airport is very small, so getting through it is much, much quicker than somewhere like Heathrow, which has already saved you some time, and then the bus stops right outside the terminal, and on Saturdays leave every 10 minutes.
Bus into town is about 25 minutes, and from there it is 15 minute walk to the ground.
If you only take hand luggage, I reckon it would be perfectly possible to go from disembarking the plane to sitting in your seat in an hour. Combined with the short flight time (the south coast is closer to Europe!), I reckon that makes Southampton one of the most ‘local’ teams for overseas supporters!
Winty’s position seems illogical
Your wonderful editor (not sucking up just to get included, I promise) is of the opinion that Liverpool choosing not to sign anyone this summer represents a “the only thing worse than making poor signings”.
She goes on to state her opinion that “announcing absolutely nothing could be the bravest act of any Premier League club this summer.”
Now, I will accept, making no signings in a season is a brave move; but it’s hardly like there isn’t an incredibly recent example of a team taking this approach and having a good season!!!
I accept Liverpool’s objectives are higher than those of Spurs; but they are equally starting from a much higher base!! For sure it’s a gamble, but I don’t think it’s as risky or outlandish as Sarah does…
Paul (Spurs) T.Wells
Atletico V Griezmann
Good little article by Dan Bridges. However, he is missing one minor point in his statement about there being only 2 ways to move forward. After the line “Alternatively, Barça backtrack and try to pull out of the deal, and Griezmann faces an awkward reintegration into the Atleti squad“ he should have added “…and Atletico face into a E126m-sized abyss after the arrival of Felix”.
The chance of Griezmann staying will prove a very serious financial burden for them, so maybe Barça are banking on that to try to get the price reduced further…
Future finals venues
After the furore over the Chels/Arse final last year and the hoovering up of the Scouse/Spuds tickets by the corporates, I would have thought that one of the bods at UEFA would have wised up to the idea of playing all European finals in the same venue. A venue built and owned by UEFA on the outskirts of Geneva or Basle. With all the funds they have, they could build a 120,000 all seater and charge whatever per ticket, knowing that actual fans would pay. The corporate shites could be accommodated with their usual 20,000, leaving 100,000 for the real fans. Being such a money grabbing opportunity, I am amazed that they haven’t already got the plans in place. They could expand to a Wembley fan milking job by staging semi’s and the final at the venue. They could add hotel complexes for extra cream and the jam on top could be they insist on European Championship and Nations Cup finals being held there. Jackpot!
If they ever look up from thinking of more elaborate ways to trouser the money of proper fans, they could make an even bigger fortune. I think fans would probably welcome the mugging as at least they would have a chance of getting to the game plus it’s slap bang in the middle of Europe – not some backhanding hideaway on the Chinese border.
It’s the future – I’m telling yer…..
Ambitious Mick (BTW I live 2 miles from, and support, my nearest local team. Up the Blades)