Wednesday 29 June 2011

Close season so far- my thoughts

I haven't wasted my time in writing on the various pieces of dross that has been peddled in the media in the last few weeks and I don't regret my stance for a minute. The vast majority has been completely made up and has not been worth wasting my pseudo-ink on.

In fact things have been so very slow and tiresome that a lot of people have been getting very excited about a certain jilted ex-board member's comments on Twitter. I wouldn't trust someone who has so many clear conflicts of interest.

One thing that hasn't changed is the fact that Barcelona are a steaming pack of c*nts, like the world being round or gravity tugging one's belly down to the ground, some things will never change.

Sunday 12 June 2011

Transfer rumours: utterly baseless tripe

It's been interesting reading some of the recent transfer stuff in the last few weeks, not because I believe anything I read in some of the so called 'news' papers, but because so much of it has been either completely contradictory or completely made up. One of the worst things about all this guff is that some rather angry fans have been launching into attacking certain Arsenal players for no good reason, just because they have believed the ludicrous spin of a dishonest or inaccurate news story.

For example one paper has been running one story saying that Nasri is going to stay and then another saying that he is demanding 160 grand a week, utterly nonsensical stuff. The Gervinho nonsense has also taken the Michael, one gutter radio source claimed he had signed for Arsenal, then moments later the Lille chairman is quoted as saying that they have had only one bid for the player, which has been quickly rejected.

Some people need to wise up, there are a lot of people out there peddling utter rubbish in order to sell newspapers, generate hits and advertising revenue. It is so transparent and predictable. The rage that has been vented a two players in particular, Nasri and Diaby, has been so very misplaced and misguided. These idiots who shoot off without engaging their brains would do well to realise that this kind of behaviour is completely counterproductive and likely to harm the club that they support.

We have made one signing, Carl Jenkinson, and he looks like a useful addition to the squad, the fact that he is a big Gooner is also a bonus. I have this little suggestion for Arsenal fans, how about we think before we cast judgement, how about we use our brains to separate the invented from the reliable? There is no point getting carried away with the fictional drivel floating around at the moment, let's wait for reliable concrete information before letting loose.

Thursday 9 June 2011

Transfer insanity catalysed by silly UEFA rules

I hate to be depressing at a time when our hopes and dreams should be running wild, at that time of year when expectation can be completely disproportionate to the reality of a situation, when everyone thinks their club is going to be the one next season. Frankly it is better to never expect too much, doing so leaves one invariably disappointed, and this is certainly the case for the majority of us football fans, whatever team one supports, whichever country one hails from, come the end of the season. I can't be arsed with the transfer rumours, it's largely just hot air made up by agents and journalists, I'd prefer to stick to the concrete.

Certainly the early hints of what is happening in the transfer market are concerning. The new UEFA rules that put an increased incentive on having more 'homegrown' players in squads, just to recap a homegrown player is one who has been at a club for at least three years by their 21st birthday/21st birthday season end, irrelevant of nationality. Essentially we have a limit of having 17 non-homegrown over-21 year old players at the club, then we can only have eight more over-21s if they are 'homegrown' to take it up to 25 players, while the under-21s don't count. Certainly the UEFA rules have led to a more ruthless culling of some of our older domestic talent, and this cannot be a bad thing.

The big concern I have over these UEFA rules is that it is threatening to make a bad problem far worse, that problem being the massively over inflated domestic transfer market for young English players. It was bad enough before the rules came in, clubs have long paid over the odds for domestic talent, and this has long favoured the richest clubs who are the only ones able to afford the top young domestic talent. UEFA's rules are making this situation a whole lot worse, young players are now even more disproportionately valuable and consequently the market has been inflated to an even more ridiculous degree.

The end result is a less exciting and a less competitive Premier League. The small and medium sized clubs have less chance of holding on to their best young talent, this week we have seen two young English lads go for massive fees given their lack of experience, Jordan Henderson and Phil Jones, age 20 and 19 respectively, both going for fees of not much short of 20 million pounds. Of note Jones had a serious knee injury last season which may well cause him more trouble in the future, lateral meniscus repairs are often not the end of the story. The best young players are now being snapped up so young, their clubs are getting so little out of them in terms of playing time, it just cannot be good for the game.

Perversely UEFA's rules are having the very opposite effect of what was intended, they were meant to protect young talent, they are doing nothing of the sort, they are resulting in the best young players being accumulated by a smaller number of rich elite clubs at an even younger age, they have also inflated the transfer market yet further. It is also perverse that the actual 'homegrown' talent at clubs like Manchester United is getting even less of a look in than before as multimillion pound teenagers are shipped in from elsewhere. UEFA's homegrown rules have been a step backwards. The problem has been exacerbated in the UK because our domestic rules make it so hard to bring in young players from outside the EU, putting even more of a premium on our own domestic talent.

I sense UEFA's financial rules will not do anything to help increase the competitiveness of leagues either, it is likely the super wealthy clubs with big sugar daddies will find ways around the regulations, the regulations may sound good but are likely to be utterly toothless. The best thing UEFA could do is to do something about the routine dodgy tapping up of players who are under contract and about the dodgy underhand behaviour of various agents who have no eye on the long terms interests of their clients. This would be the best way to help the smaller clubs compete, as things stand those clubs which splash the cash have things even more stacked in their favour, and this cannot be good for the game we love.