2008/09 Soccer Thread in Shock £50m Chelsea Switch! (And Other Ludicrousness)

jowner, you watching this? It took United two minutes and thirty six seconds to score
EDIT: It gets even better, Van Der Sar decided to put the ball into his own net. But hey, that means that Liverpool still haven;t scored against ManU in last three years or so.

Yea I got up and went to the pub as the Arsenal game was on right after and both were on Setanta so my options were crappy internet feeds or dragging myself to the pub ;D.

Its a great day whenever Arsenal win and even better when Man U lose!

I was on a date so I missed Arsenal game. Damn you, real life!
EDIT: I watched replays. Blackburn were a bit unlucky not to score, but with other Arsenal chances it might be a fair scoreline. I like what I saw: not only they looked confident, but finally they haven't tried to walk the ball into net, but played through balls instead.
btw: It seems that dropping Friedel and picking Sagna, Clichy and Defoe [two goals] was right decision for my Fantasy team

Good start for Robinho, but City isn't Chelsea quite yet.

Prederick wrote:
Good start for Robinho, but City isn't Chelsea quite yet.

Quite right - I was at the game, excellent atmosphere and quite well played, but Chelsea were excellent and City are very much a work-in-progress. Both Robinho and Zabaleta had only 1 training session with the team after their return from S America, and Jo and Kompany are still new to the team as well. Midfield needs stiffening against a team as mobile as Chelsea, but even at present City are well set up to beat the lower teams in the Prem, which they struggled with last year.

On yesterday's performance, Chelsea are at least 10 points ahead of MU, who were awful in the second half.

davet010 wrote:
Midfield needs stiffening against a team as mobile as Chelsea, but even at present City are well set up to beat the lower teams in the Prem, which they struggled with last year.

I'm still not sold on Top-4 ambition, but City should be legitimately angry if they're not in a UEFA Cup place at the end of the year. Although i'm not sold on the "Football Manager" style of building a team (i've seen something similar here stateside, Isiah Thomas tried to build the Knicks like a game of NBA Live he'd played).

Fulham won (yay!) and Reading lost (GOD DAMMIT). In the case of the latter, the bounce back up is going to be much, much harder than anticipated.

...And Rory Delap 'scored' another two today.

Arsenal are filthy rich! no imposing owners or unstructured debt hovering overhead like a guillotine either.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/article4748552.ece

Arsenal’s annual results, to be released on September 26, will show that turnover from the whole business has rocketed to about £225m. Club sources say the figures for the year ending May 31, 2008, will also reveal record pretax profits of nearly £40m, while the group’s operating profit is expected to comfortably exceed £50m.

Although Arsenal’s turnover figure includes nonrecurring property income, the club is expected to report more than £200m from its “core football activities”. The figures are “before player trading and depreciation” and do not take into account this summer’s transfer dealings. Players’ wages will not be revealed in the report, but it is understood that the wages-to-turnover ratio has fallen below 50%, the lowest in the league.

Really a make or break year for Wengers footballing philosophy. I think he can afford to win nothing again but win nothing while struggling in the league to come 4th and bowing out of tournaments early will really put a strain on him to start spending some of the $$$ or in this case £££!

edit: Oh yea Newcastle is for sale if you got some cash lying around!

"If I can't sell the club to someone who will give the fans what they want, then I shall continue to ensure that Newcastle is run on a business and football model that is sustainable.

"I care too much about the club merely to abandon it.

"I have the interests of Newcastle United at heart. I have listened to you. You want me out.

"That is what I am now trying to do, but it won't happen overnight and it may not happen at all if a buyer does not come in.

"You don't need to demonstrate against me again because I have got the message.

Feel sorry for the guy really as he seemed genuine about what he wanted to do with the club but shot himself in the foot (or face) when he brought back Keegan for a marriage that was doomed from the start and the fans were always going to side with Keegan. What a debacle!

jowner wrote:
Feel sorry for the guy really as he seemed genuine about what he wanted to do with the club but shot himself in the foot (or face) when he brought back Keegan for a marriage that was doomed from the start and the fans were always going to side with Keegan. What a debacle!

I don't. He hired Dennis Wise, which was dumb move number 1, 2, 3, 4, and 12.

Hiring a Director of Football wasn't necessarily a dumb move, but a) doing it after appointing the manager and b) hiring Dennis Wise were dumb moves.

The problems for Ashley also stem from his ridiculous chummy 'man of the plebs' stance - though standing up with a black and white shirt over your fat gut is a Geordie staple, trying to do it to win approval is a two edged sword. Wearing one with 'King Kev' on the back then getting rid of him was also not exactly diplomatic either.

"Boycoutt".

Jongleurs FC indeed.

Nice to see summer's highest spenders (yes Spurs, it is you) giving everyone else in the Premiership a head start - jolly sporting of them, I say.

In that case one must wonder where will Man City find themselves after next transfer window ;]

and this is why we play the games!

Werder 0-0 Anorthosis

Roma 1 - 2 CFR

The team from Cyprus... YES CYPRUS! gets a draw away and the Romanian team goes to Rome and beats Roma!!!! its f*cking bananas!!! Hopefully no upsets in Kiev tomorrow

Was watching the Roma-Cluj game on TV, they were good value for the win, and could have had a couple more as Roma looked clueless. Their defence in particular looked ponderous. The Stadio Olympico didn't exactly look like it was bursting at the seams either, though it would have to have emptied out even more to match Juventus's legendary 1,100 attendance at one of their CL games at the Delle Alpi, tho to be fair they had already qualified for the next round.

I had a suspicion about Cluj cause I wasn't completely clueless of who they are: in FM I've been scouting Romanian clubs for few months now They seem to have some really talented midfielders.
I think that one of Polish strikers is a big star in Famagusta (that club from Cyprus), it's nice to see them putting some effort.

I've watched Marseille - Liverpool yesterday and it was pretty entertaining. OM really looked confident and if it wasn't for lack of composure (or maybe luck) Liverpool would be trailing two or three goals after twenty minutes. But hey, Gerrard is god, find replay of his first goal if you hadn't seen it yet. Nice style of play from Olympique, they'd played a lot of through balls and used smart wingers (bought Ben Arfa this summer) but to no result since their strikers were too weak physically and pretty ineffectual too.

davet010 wrote:
Juventus's legendary 1,100 attendance at one of their CL games at the Delle Alpi

"Hey, let's buy huge multi-million stadium just few miles from city!"

Gerrard goal: http://pl.youtube.com/watch?v=mRqz0n...

Watched ManU-Villareal today. Reminded me of two things, that Park Ji-Sung is my personal terrace favorite (name three players not named Dirk Kuyt with as much energy) and that god, do 0-0 draws suck. Not all the time, but usually, yes. I literally feel asleep.

I don't think Arsenal will be too sad about their result, but certainly were hoping they'd come back from the Ukraine with more than a point. Still, they'll almost certainly win at home.

Meanwhile, the financial crisis is having some interesting effects on the Prem and other leagues around the world.

Prederick wrote:
I don't think Arsenal will be too sad about their result, but certainly were hoping they'd come back from the Ukraine with more than a point. Still, they'll almost certainly win at home.

Ishmael Bangoura is a dumbf*ck. If it wasn't for him Kiev would go 2-0 couple of minutes before final whistle. But instead of passing the ball to his teammate who was making a run WHILE THEY'RE ON 2-ON-1 COUNTER, he just left it to defender (literally). It was completely ridiculous and led to nice Arsenal build-up which ended with Gallas goal.

UC - as far as I know, stadia in Italy tend to be owned by the municipality, who then take a significant cut of the income generated. The clubs have often complained that they are therefore at a disadvantage compared to their neighbours in other European countries, who take all of the income. This may also be why there is more groundsharing (AC/Inter, Lazio/Roma, Juve/Torino) than elsewhere, as it is obviously to the benefit of the local council if the stadium they build is used every week as opposed to every fortnight.

On the other hand, it means that they don't have to get involved with financing them - something which the current economic climate may put the stoppers on for a number of clubs in the Premiership.

Juventus are rather an exception, as their geographic support tends to be much more widespread than even the other big clubs in Italy. I seem to recall that one season they played their 'home' CL group ties at stadia all over Italy, getting full houses almost all the time. That isn't the case with the widely hated Delle Alpi, which is an awful concrete monstrosity. Juve would rather be somewhere else, and Torino would rather be back at a rebuilt Filadelfia than sharing with their detested neighbours....the latter, alas, seems never likely to come to pass.

Tottenham have beaten Wisła 2-1, but I guess we'll be pretty happy with bagging one very nice goal and coming home with such result. Wisła looked really tight in defence and didn't really gave Spurs chance to spread their wings, something you'd expect from a team that doesn't have any big names but works well as a unit. After winning 1-0 with Barca in Krakow last month I think we could hope for similar result, but with likes of Bentley and Lennon on counter attacks it won't be easy to keep clean sheet in that game.
Anyone seen this?

Portsmouth keeper David James was reported last week to have said that he 'hadn't seen Robinho do much yet'...

Seen enough now, David ?

That was somewhat unexpected.

Also, UC, if you could stop beating me quite so viciously in Fantasy Football, that'd be nice.

Prederick wrote:
Also, UC, if you could stop beating me quite so viciously in Fantasy Football, that'd be nice.

Boy, I had poor week I got 80 points or so, because of Clichy and Deco got injured t his week. At least only Portsmouth player in my XI is Defoe so these six goals weren't huge blow.
(btw: Pred, PES 2009 coming in just few weeks)

Congratulation, Dave, though I have to admit that I could be pretty happy too after Arsenal performance. Walcott is DA BOMB, I've got to admit, but whole team worked pretty well. It's nice to see Adebayor getting better with every game, he really shows some nice tricks and good vision on the pitch, not something you would expect from such athletic player. Is it that Wenger's touch? ;]

That result bodes well for Arsenal - the Reebok has been a bit of a bogey for them in the past, and Bolton didn't waver from their 'long ball into the box' tactic of previous years.

Arsene Wenger is once again whining about money in football from outside investors....wonder who chipped in for the Emirates, or for some of the players they've bought...or how much the Russian chappy on the board brought to the table. I do rate him as a manager, but find some of his pronouncements have the stink of hypocrisy on them...as does his continual failure to instil discipline into his players, as personified by Fabregas' waving of an imaginary card to the ref on Saturday as a response to the challenge on Clichy.

Maybe he ought to be looking at the manouevrings of the Arsenal board (bringing in Kroenke to try and head off Usmanov) before calling out other people, about whom he doesn't really know anything ?

Not sure where your going with this, the Russian guy on the board? do you mean Usmanov? He hasn't put a penny into the club. Buying up shares of a club doesn't mean he has actually invested anything into the operations.

Emirates as the sponsor? smart piece of business to trade the advertising rights to a very secure sponsor (see AIG, Xoom, West Ham wearing their numbers on their chests and WBA with a blank chest).

Kroenke only owns shares also and has put 0 into the club otherwise. Smart move by the club to align themselves with the potential American owner who looks much closer Lerner then the Glazers/Hick/Gillette version of American ownership then the fat Man U supporting Uzbekistan oligarch with a shady past.

I think Wengers point is spending while in debt and chasing sugar daddy owners is a very short run business model. All this while Newcastle is supposedly being approached by a Nigerian group. I wonder if the Newcastle mailing list then gets a email from a certain Nigerian prince.

jowner wrote:
Not sure where your going with this, the Russian guy on the board? do you mean Usmanov? He hasn't put a penny into the club. Buying up shares of a club doesn't mean he has actually invested anything into the operations.

Emirates as the sponsor? smart piece of business to trade the advertising rights to a very secure sponsor (see AIG, Xoom, West Ham wearing their numbers on their chests and WBA with a blank chest).

Kroenke only owns shares also and has put 0 into the club otherwise. Smart move by the club to align themselves with the potential American owner who looks much closer Lerner then the Glazers/Hick/Gillette version of American ownership then the fat Man U supporting Uzbekistan oligarch with a shady past.

I think Wengers point is spending while in debt and chasing sugar daddy owners is a very short run business model. All this while Newcastle is supposedly being approached by a Nigerian group. I wonder if the Newcastle mailing list then gets a email from a certain Nigerian prince.

By inference, buying up shares means that he has indirectly put money into the club. If he hasn't done that, and isn't going to, then what is he doing on the board at all ?

And I'm not sure that the American model of ownership has done a great deal either....Hicks and Gillette have made a pig's ear of financing Liverpool and their new stadium looks no closer than it did three years ago, and the Glazers have saddled MU with a huge debt.

My contention is that Wenger's constant pronouncements money just have the slight tang of sour grapes about them...and don't tell me that he's concerned about the soul of British soccer...there was one side in the Premiership this weekend that had 7 home-grown British or Irish full/u-21 internationals in the squad, and it sure as hell wasn't Arsenal.

Wenger's basic contention is this....the 'Big 4' deserve to be a self-perpetuating upper class, while the middle and lower orders should know their place. Somewhat arrogant, non ?

I'm not sure I want to retort because a) we're talking about assumptions here (mostly), b) we're football fans so objectivity just performed seppuku,
What I believe is that Arsenal actually has money (if they had not, they would not be acting like they are, with Board of Directors killing any possibility of takeover till 2012). I assume Wenger believes in his method, and damn, I'm pretty proud of way he performs his 'little experiment', as he likes to call it. I don't know whether he actually believes in that or he's just sour cause he didn't spend mega-millions, and lack of transfers is by no means any justification for poor results (if they come), but I just admire his policy and way he builds that team.

(I don't know what your point about "soul of British soccer" means, though. Like you'd said: 'whines about money', so that doesn't have anything to do with way teams build their squads. Also, I heard him making statements like this not only about British football but more generally about how whole business work in whole Europe [though it's pretty sure that he aims his finger at Chelski and other big players].)

As for who is on the board and if they deserve to be I'm fairly sure Usmanov is not on the board and if he is its only a forced condition of how many shares he owns (around 25%).

Its all very old news as it happened last year but I think the way it went was he collected a certain % then bought out Deins % to get to 25% and appointed Dein as his representative on the board. The rest of the owners entered into a no sale clause.

Pretty sure the history went that Dein tried to bring in Kronke first who the British owners balked at then he one upped himself and got a richer even less likable (pretty sure the only quality the board at first didn't like about Kronke was being American) candidate in Usmanov.

Neither new shareholder has put a cent in the clubs pocket, only into the pockets of the people they bought out. Which includes Dein who sold his share at a very nice price. Its really no different then the Liverpool or Man U situation but instead of selling out the current board instead said no we don't trust you and we are profitable with our new stadium as is so F'off. I'm pretty sure the Glazers have put 0 into Man U and whatever Hicks and Gillette may have put in for last years transfers were borrowed for. Really don't think its that ridiculous for Wenger or the board to look at the debt laden buyout structures and come to the conclusion its flawed.

As for the Sugar Daddy model it is not as flawed as the new owners inject money into the club with no strings attached but it still begs the question as easy as the money comes in it can leave with the owners getting bored and moving on to another toy.

As for English players every manager shops where his better scouts tell him to. Wenger in France, Ferguson in Portugal from his former assistant and Benitez in Spain. Mourinho brought in players from Porto when he landed at Chelsea and Scolari from the Portugal NT.

Maybe if Arsenal was a mid level club the squad would be all English but sadly they would then a mid level club. If you want to be a top 4 club you need top 4 talent and sadly thats not English which can be seen by their international record. Anyways who needs 10 brits in the squad when you can just have the best future one in Walcott?

jowner wrote:

As for the Sugar Daddy model it is not as flawed as the new owners inject money into the club with no strings attached but it still begs the question as easy as the money comes in it can leave with the owners getting bored and moving on to another toy.

As for English players every manager shops where his better scouts tell him to. Wenger in France, Ferguson in Portugal from his former assistant and Benitez in Spain. Mourinho brought in players from Porto when he landed at Chelsea and Scolari from the Portugal NT.

Maybe if Arsenal was a mid level club the squad would be all English but sadly they would then a mid level club. If you want to be a top 4 club you need top 4 talent and sadly thats not English which can be seen by their international record. Anyways who needs 10 brits in the squad when you can just have the best future one in Walcott? :P

Just to nitpick a bit

- Middle Eastern owners, including some of the consortium involved with City, have been involved long term with UK sport, primarily horse racing. They've already stated that they ain't in it for personal prestige or short term profits, so I'm not worried about that.

- Wenger may have done well in France, but his best buys were Fabregas (illegally tapped up in Spain as he was on a junior contract, I believe) and Henry (a reclamation project from Juventus).. Likewise, Fergie had to wait 2 years for the Show Pony to do anything, and Nani and Anderson aren't setting the world on fire. Mourinho bought a load of players from Porto - most of them weren't good enough for the Premiership and quickly got shipped out, Carvalho excepted.

As for Walcott - flash in the pan. He was awful against Andorra, and as a right winger, isn't fit to lace Shaun Wright-Philips's boots. Still, nice to see an English player in there, as Wenger's record of English buys is fairly poor...he all but ruined Richard Wright's career, and Jeffers fared little better.

Having said that, all of this boils down to money. The 'Big 4' are desperate to stay there because failure to qualify for the CL will blow a £25m hole in their budgets for the next year...which Chelsea can afford, but that would all but wipe out the transfer budgets of the other 3. Hence the bleating now, both from Wenger and Benitez...they are bricking it in case someone else, be it City or Villa, kicks down the door of their cozy cartel. Liverpool probably have the most to fear...a 0-0 draw at home to Stoke isn't ideal, and Rafa's summer purchases were laughable...Keane is more like £10m worth than £20m and seems to be out of position, and Albert Riera was turned down by City when offered for £3m after a loan spell, let alone £8.5m.

Still, it's all a marathon rather than a sprint, and as a City fan I am thoroughly expecting a shock loss away to Brighton tomorrow, or a drubbing at Wigan. That's just 'Typical City'