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Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

To buy, or not to buy, a Premier League title

In Soccerball on July 30, 2009 at 15:20

Manchester City just can’t stop. They’re addicted. I can’t blame them…i used to be the same on a Saturday morning when i got my £1.50 pocket money. I’d leggit down the shop and buy Shoot! or Match!, a couple of Dan Bars and as many Jaw Berries as my little hands could hold. Mark Hughes must be feeling that burning sensation in his pocket too.

I saw a programme on TV3 recently about addictions to hoarding. Some bloke, who was obviously nuts, could not stop himself collecting bicycles. He had about 5,000 bikes all around his house, garden and shed. In fact, his hoarding got so bad that he couldn’t open his front door so he spent six years sleeping on his porch on a mingy sofa. Needless to say, the authorities got involved and slapped a barring order on him collecting any more than 15 bikes at a time. He obeyed the order, for about a month. He got wrist-slapped again when he was found with thousands of bikes and the ban was more strictly imposed. He now only has a few hundred bikes. Phew, he’s got that addiciton under control, thank God. Most people have a canary if they have more than two or three bikes obstructing their freedom in the garage.

I think Mark Hughes has a similar problem. Not with collecting bikes, but as Manchester City manager, he’s addicted to buying players. Not just any players, mind, but strikers and forwards. He has more attackers on his books than Liverpool have full-backs. Adebayor, Cruz, Tevez, Bellamy, Robinho, are all the supposedly top quality forwards on the payroll, though City have recently shipped out Elano and Bojinov to relieve competition slightly.

The gas thing about all of Manchester City’s purchases are that none are really gonna make  a title-tilting impression. Adebayor, Toure, Barry, Santa Cruz and Tevez are all decent players, but I simply do not think they will improve the mediocre City squad enough to lift the Premier League title come May.

If they had landed John Terry, and he was joined by Joleon Lescott (City seem determined to sign the Everton defender), and if they had signed a world-class striker instead of a gaggle of moderate ones, then they may have a squeak of finishing in the top three or four.

With players of the calibre of Micah Richards (who is recovering from swine flu), Stephen Ireland, Shaun Wright-Philips, Petrov, Robinho, Shay Given and Richard Dunne, the nucleus of a good squad is present. However, those who believe a Premier League title can be bought — beware. Real Madrid are attempting to buy La Liga, and they are going about it properly. They’re buying the world’s top players and paying top dollar for them. Manchester City are scrounging the left overs of those who believe they are good enough to play for Real Madrid, but who actually aren’t and still want to earn grotesque wages.

Look what happened Chelsea — they bought a rake of players for loadsa cash and they …. well, they won the Premier League twice. Maybe it can be done, time will tell. But I can predict one thing — Mark Hughes will not be in charge at Manchester City this time next year unless they win the Premier League, or at least finish second and win a cup.

Eto’o to Inter…WTF?

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2009 at 11:44

In fact, that WTF is not really aimed at Eto’o’s want to leave Barca to go and play in a league that used to be called the best in the world but in fact was as slow as a boat and just paid the biggest wages, but it’s the fact that Barcelona want to sign the footballer formerly known as Zlatan Ibrahimovic as part of an elaborate swap deal that could see Alexsander Hleb go on loan to Inter too.

Show us yer teeth

Show us yer teeth

However, I’ve watched football a few times, seen a few games, even attended a few games in my lifetime, but i have rarely seen a more over-rated forward as Ibrahimovic. Perhaps Luis Garcia. Anyway…

Despite scoring this goal :

which was scored against a viciously poor defense (have they never seen a dummy before?), Ibrahimovic has done nothing else, except accept ridiculously large wage packets the likes of anyone reading this will never experience.

So why would Barcelona want to sign this flash in the pan?

Ibrahimovic’s stats read brilliantly. In a career that has seen him play for Ajax, Juventus and Internazionale, the Swede has scored 131 times in 272 league games. That’s an average of 0.48 per game. That’s pretty good by anyone’s standards. The only drawback is, like lots of players with good records, he rarely hits the headlines in the big “must win at all costs” games. Ibrahimovic is a scaredy cat, shirking at the first signs of the big alley cats jumping on dumpsters, hiding away from vicious tom cats, afraid to pop his head out and only surfaces when it’s daylight and all the big rats have already been eaten. He then preys on little mice. Ibrahamovic is best when the going is easy and the opposition is rubbish.

Now, let’s have a quick look at where he’s going to: Barcelona, in the real best league in the world. Barcelona will finish either first or second in La Liga this season, with or without Ibrahimovic. Eto’o was a proven goalscorer in Spain whom i’m sure will score hatfuls wherever he plays. He will slot into Italian soccer like a tomato into Mama Ragu’s spaghetti bolognase.

Ibrahamovic’s career will continue to blossom in Spain, meaning he will score against pitiful opposition, but will struggle to cope with meaner, tougher defences. This is the main reason why Ibrahamovic will never suceed in the Premier League. The defenders are too tough. Though Ibrahamovic is no shrimp — he’s around the 6′ 3” mark. Though look at Didier Drogba — biggest brick shithouse of a striker in the world yet he falls over as easy as Old Man Winters after a bottle of Famous Grouse.

I digress.

Real Madrid’s spending this summer looks to have sealed La Liga. They will be a force to be reckoned with this season, providing they avoid imploding. Eto’o, who has been unhappy at Barcelona for some time now, must be pleased to be skipping the country for Inter Milan where they will again be thereabouts for another Serie A title.

Back Real Madrid to win La Liga and Samuel Eto’o to be Serie A’s top goalscorer. I cant find any prices yet but when i find some, I will post back here. If there’s a lay Ibrahamovic market on Betfair to be top goalscorer in Spain, then lay him for all you can afford.