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On Sneijder, Balotelli, Ozil et al…

All of a sudden United have found themselves making—would you believe it—headline news in the transfer market. And what’s more, we have actually put in a bid—reported at around £29m—for Wesley Sneijder.

Inter president, Massimo Moratti, has confirmed this.

Moratti has also moved to say that he intends to keep Sneijder at the club longer, by opening contract talks with the Dutchman.

There are several reasons why I believe this transfer won’t happen. First of all, Sneijder has been key to Inter’s success last season, helping them to a domestic treble. He has been a fabulous bit of business as Inter bought him from Madrid for £12m. Whilst a tidy profit might be tempting, they’d be idiots to sell him after just one season.

Secondly, he’s just having a brilliant world cup. A cliche, and perhaps a little unfair, but with every goal, his value goes up a few notches. He’s in the final now with the Netherlands, and a potential world cup winner. When the likes of Fabregas are valued at £40m, £30m is laughably low for someone of Sneijder’s stature.

Another significant factor is his wages. Currently he’s reported to be earning £3.5m a year after tax. If you factor in taxes (I used a rough estimate based on taxation slabs for Italy) his weekly wages (pre-tax) is approximately 120k. At United, we would have to offer higher wages just to match his current wages—because, remember, in England the taxation rate is higher, at 50%—and we would have to offer him even more than that because Inter are going to try to match that.

So, it’s going to be the coup of Ferguson’s career to pull of a Sneijder deal. Which means, given his rhetoric on “value for money”, we won’t get him.

The other story doing the rounds is of our reported interest in Balotelli, which has also been confirmed by Moratti. Again he maintains he hasn’t received a single bid that’s satisfactory. If reports are to be believed he reckons Balotelli is worth around £30m. [That much money is too much for a world renowned nutcase.] Also: Man City are interested in him, and have put in several ridiculous bids.

So we’ll leave it at that.

There have been stray reports, without much substance of our interest in Ozil. Wonderful player, on evidence of having seen him play in the World Cup. Highly acclaimed by pundits who follow German football, but since I’ve seen him properly only in the World Cup, I won’t have an opinion on him. As for the veracity of this rumour, well, I believe he’s only going to be a back up.

There is also the story that we’re possibly weighing up a bid for Benzema—some reports claiming Berbatov would be off loaded. I’ll believe it when I see it.

782 Comments

782 Comments

  1. gator

    July 17, 2010 at 12:29 am

    obertan is showing signs of badassness and could have had a pen if he was a wanker like robben.

    smalling is looking good so is berba

  2. gator

    July 17, 2010 at 12:46 am

    berba with a silky smooth goal :mrgreen:

  3. Redrich

    July 17, 2010 at 12:55 am

    I have to say that Smalling looks very good. Very composed for a youngster.

  4. Redrich

    July 17, 2010 at 12:59 am

    @gator: Yeah, he took that very well didn’t he?!! 🙂

  5. EduardoDaVinci4

    July 17, 2010 at 1:05 am

    Great goal by Berba, Smalling has impressed me a lot. And lads…

    Fletcher as captain!!! 😯 With Giggs and Edwin on the pitch!!! 😯 😯 Is he our new captain maybe.. 😮 ❓

  6. EduardoDaVinci4

    July 17, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Good game by Obertan as well, he looks really sharp. Hope to see Cleverley in the second half! 😀 He’s my lad.

  7. colver

    July 17, 2010 at 1:46 am

    Eddy Id love to have your faith in Anderson. And I agree with a lot of the points in the article. Anderson has had the shackles on a lot when he is played and also the way we set up makes it difficult for central midfielders to get forward and express themselves.

    But even allowing for that I still see some fairly fatal flaws in his game.

    Firstly he lacks composure and especially in Europe runs around like a headless chicken with his head down.

    Secondly his pass selection is poor and too often he goes for the Hollywood pass instead of the simple pass

    Thirdly I understand he is eager to do well and feels pressure but his shooting is so woeful I can never see him turning into the goalscoring midfielder we need

    Fourthly he has regressed and it is not just about lack of freedom, in general he doesn’t boss midfields the way he did on several occasions in his first season.

  8. gator

    July 17, 2010 at 2:02 am

    berba mom and better than eva

  9. Shyam

    July 17, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Having watched the whole 90 mins of the Celtic game…Here is my view…

    Berbatov was the star of the show…he looked energetic covering almost the same grass as Fletcher did..He was more the midfield creator than the striker today..and he definitely looked like someone worth spending 30 mils…

    Fabio and Rafael was impressive in attack but lack positional sense and heading ability in defense…esp when the opposing strikers target them on the crosses…its a complete mismatch..They did good but needs improvement

    Smalling looks the part to me…a great find…great composure on the ball and great defensive positioning..He is much like Ferdinand..He was at fault for the penalty and looked like taking that to his head but somehow got back to his normal game..

    Evans looked good at defending but we lacked the physicality Vidic brings into the team..

    Diouf played well but would need more time and probably a goal to light up..same as the case for Macheda and Welbeck…Macheda looked more like a goal scoring threat than Welbeck though

    I need to see more of Cleverly to convince myself than he can be a big player at United..

    Central midfield still a worry for us..we were keeping the ball and controlling the game when Scholes was there…but once he left we were loosing ball way too often and could not dictate the game…Gibson need to find the composure and passing range…its tough when you compared against the likes of Scholes…but hey you are at Man United!!..

    Oshea and fletcher putting their usual shift.

    and Van der Sar solid as usual..Enjoyable game as a football fan…But a worrying second half for a United fan…hope the youngsters get better with games under their belt and cant wait to see Chicarito!!

  10. EduardoDaVinci4

    July 17, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Berbatov has been eating a lot of kebab this summer, my God that was amazing by him. Make me eat my words Berba, keep it up! 😀

    And well done Tom, you can’t imagine the way I celebrated when that shot went in. 😛 Lots of nerves there, but can’t exactly be blamed. Very hurried to begin with, looked like he panicked on a few occasions. But settled as the game went on, some good crosses and a fine finish, although it needed a deflection. Keep it up Tom and Dimitar, looking good! :mrgreen:

  11. Grognard

    July 17, 2010 at 6:39 am

    @gator: Oh please mate, the day I believe anything on “Caughtoffside.com” will be the day Fergie spills the beans and tells the truth. Definition? It’s got zero percent validity. I wish.

  12. Grognard

    July 17, 2010 at 6:41 am

    @Red Ranter: It was true back then and even truer now. A hopeless cause but then again, I think United is headed towards a 2012 cataclysm of their own. Where will John Cusack be to save us then? 😀

  13. Grognard

    July 17, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Good to hear Berba had a game. Sorry for being a downer yet again people but this was just a meaningless exhibition games where players were going at each other at half pace and tenacity. Christ the way you guys are talking about it you’d think we just won the FA Cup. 😀 😀

  14. Grognard

    July 17, 2010 at 6:48 am

    RR, it’s definitely time for a new thread don’t you think? Man this is loading slow.

  15. [OPTI]Madschester United

    July 17, 2010 at 7:27 am

    ASIDE: Would love to get Madrid in our ECL group!!!

  16. antsBoy

    July 17, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Hey guys, just got back from the game a few hours ago. It was terrific atmosphere at the ground, lots of banter between both sets of fans throughout the game. 40,000 people for a friendly in Toronto – not bad eh? More proof that there is loads of people here in Canada who are willing to spent hard-earned money to see their team play.

    About the game, like you guys said, Berba was easily Man of the Match. Involved in almost every good thing, should have had another goal if Obertan had not been selfish. Macheda I thought looked very good as well. The sad part is that Scholes is still our best midfielder. His touches and long-range passes were just perfect (not to stir any debate related to a German ex-Chelsea player please). However, we definitely need another attacking midfielder, everybody can see it! Nani was awesome during warm-up and showboated aplenty to keep the fans happy 🙂

  17. antsBoy

    July 17, 2010 at 8:01 am

    By the way, Smalling’s performance wasn’t that pleasing. Maybe he was nervous but he seemed too eager at times to get the ball in the process giving away fouls, and could have given another penalty as well! However, he did show some good touches…we’ll just have to wait and see.

  18. PissedOffRed

    July 17, 2010 at 8:08 am

    @EduardoDaVinci4: Thanks mate! Since there’s no signings to look forward to, shall await these youngsters’debut…

  19. Shyam

    July 17, 2010 at 8:25 am

    @Grognard: I would disagree..It was not a half paced or half committed game…It did look like a pre-season game with some bad touches but the intensity was very much there.

  20. Owen

    July 17, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Man Utd News :

    1.NEMANJA VIDIC wants to quit Manchester United for Real Madrid

    2.Manchester United could make a move for Bruno Alves if Nemanja Vidic should leave Old Trafford

    3.Sunderland have confirmed their interest in bringing Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck

  21. Traverse

    July 17, 2010 at 11:06 am

    @antsBoy: I thought he was pretty good, other than the penalty, which was a little harsh on him.

    Berbato looks like he’s lost some weight. He seemed to be everywhere too. Took his goal well also, and his awareness to set up the goals was quality. Turned on the style with his flicks and tricks too which is always nice to see. Shows a player is confident.

    Obertan’s pace is blistering.

  22. Traverse

    July 17, 2010 at 11:07 am

    @antsBoy: I thought he was pretty good, other than the penalty, which was a little harsh on him.

    Berbato looks like he’s lost some weight. He seemed to be everywhere too. Took his goal well also, and his awareness to set up the goals was quality. Turned on the style with his flicks and tricks too which is always nice to see. Shows a player is confident.

    Obertan’s pace is blistering.

  23. colver

    July 17, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Fergie confirmed Hargreaves knee injury has recurred and there is little point sending him back to specialists. So looks like end of the road for Hargreaves.

    It is good for Berbatov’s confidence if he has a good pre-season even though as Grognard said the matches are pretty meaningless.

    Personally Id like to cash in and sell him to AC Milan or Bayern Munich for £15-£20 million. But unfortunately Fergie is too stubborn to sell and we do not have the money for a replacement.

    So all there is to do is back Berbatov and hope that he realises this is probably his last chance to prove himself and puts in a huge effort.

    If Vidic leaves for Real Madrid we are royally screwed. With Rio’s fitness questionable we will have lost the best centre back pairing in the entire world and will leak goals.

    And yeah it is pretty worrying when our midfield falls apart without Scholes to dictate the tempo and distribute the ball.

    The truth is that the World Cup showed very clearly that an all-British midfield usually fails. Scholes is exceptional in that he is more continental in style. But with Scholes close to retirement we absolutely NEEED a continental playmaker type…..Gourcuff, Ozil, even Diego (who would be pretty cheap)

  24. m34ch

    July 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    @colver:
    Fergie confirmed Hargreaves knee injury has recurred and there is little point keeping him at OT / Carrington, therefore has sent him back to the specialists who have been treating him. Thats how I read it, same outcome though; looks like end of the road for Hargreaves.

  25. Grognard

    July 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    @Owen: Rather than give us headlines, why not offer us the links. I am reading that Madrid wants Vidic but that Viidic’s agent is silent. That doesn’t sound like Vidic saying anything to me. Please offer the link.

    Secondly, I read the other day that Bruno Alves had signed for Zenit St Peterburg. If that isn’t the case I don’t know about it but I am hearing more talk about Chieliini replacing Vidic if he goes. Honestly mate. The rumour mill is for the birds.

    Finally let me be the first to apologize for my mean spirited retaliations to your bating tactics the other day. I didn’t appreciate them and they were wrong on your part but I handled it wrong and became a little too aggressive with you. Sorry about that. In the future though, I’d kindly ask you to not challenge me on my loyalty and allegiance to the club. Just know it’s there even if I upset the status quo and upend the apple cart from time to time. 🙂

  26. Grognard

    July 17, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    @colver: I agree. I saw the game late last night here and I was very impressed with Berba. I think it has finally clicked in his pea sized head that he needs to give much more of himself if he plans to not only start for united but to stick around. I love the guy but I still think he is set in his ways and will eventually revert to the Berba of old. Sell him now and try to find a replacement. I’d love to see a deal with Milan where they get Berba and we get cash and Huntelaar. Let both clubs take a bit of a risk. I still believe in the Hunter and know he can come good for us. As for Balotelli, well, he may have super talent but have we learned nothing from Berba when it comes to buying emotionally weak individuals who are not prepared to change their game and alter the personalities for the club? Still, all these scenarios are intriguing.

    At the end of the day nothing will change. We will still have Berba and some other teams will end up with Hunter and Balotelli as well as all the other players we have been linked to. We are skint and it’s about time the blogs and worldwide internet rumour hounds finally gave up linking half of the world’s football players with United. After a while it just makes them all look stupid and desperate for attention.

  27. Grognard

    July 17, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    @m34ch: This was always going to be a no win situation. Problem is the club and Hargo were stubborn over a condition known to be chronic. Chronic means no cure. It can be controlled with rest and meds but it is not something that would go away and allow him to play. It’s why nobody should have taken a chance on either Michael Owen or Joe Cole. Both have histories of chronic hamstring ailments which never fully heal and are easily triggered. Fernando Torres looks to be following that road with a continuos series of muscle pulls in his legs this past year. Chronic means they reoccur time after time and they also lead to other injuries because players start running funny or walking funny as they favour one injury and this unnatural act causes another part of the body to get conditioned to abuse and so other injuries form. I’ve seen this happen so many times, it’s not even funny. I’ve had it happen to me also. You favour a foot injury and start walking funny and the other leg or foot get aggravated. Poor Hargo. Man could this club ever have used his brilliance. 🙁 🙁

  28. m34ch

    July 17, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    @Grognard:
    Hear you loud and clear mate, it’s just such a shame for the lad, and such a loss to the game, not just United. I still want curly hair like you Owen 🙂

  29. EduardoDaVinci4

    July 17, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    It takes 7 seconds for food to pass from mouth to stomach. A human hair can hold 3kg. The length of the penis is three times the length of the thumb. A womans heart beats faster than a mans. Women blink twice as much as men. We use 300 muscles just to keep our balance. – The woman has read this entire thing . The man is still looking at his thumb. 😉

  30. Grognard

    July 17, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    @EduardoDaVinci4: 😆 😆 😆 😆 You got me there.

  31. EduardoDaVinci4

    July 17, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    @Grognard: best shit I’ve read for a while 😆 😆

  32. Owen

    July 17, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    England manager Fabio Capello believes his failure to convince Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes to come out of international retirement was a massive contributing factor to his side’s dismal World Cup showing this summer

    http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Fabio-Capello-is-convinced-that-Paul-Scholes-would-have-made-the-difference-to-England-s-World-Cup-campaign-article529467.html

  33. Grognard

    July 18, 2010 at 2:25 am

    @Owen: Seriously though, how much of a threat could England have been if it included a 34 year old part time player from Manchester United? Capello is looking pretty desperate for excuses I think.

  34. AndyCR7

    July 18, 2010 at 5:54 am

    @EduardoDaVinci4: hahaha… I posted it on my facebook page…

  35. colver

    July 18, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Capello is PATHETIC full stop. Blaming Scholes for England’s failure is unforgivable. Scholes hasn’t been part of the England team for years. And while Scholes would have done a lot better than Lampard and Barry to win games you need at least half of the team to perform and the only player to emerge from the World Cup with any sort of credit was James Milner.

    Hell even if Messi or Ronaldo was English we still wouldn’t have gotten much further in the World Cup. We were that bad and the tactics were that pathetic.

    I hope Capello flops at the Euros gets sacked and we hire someone who will finally show the exit door to the current “stars” of the England squad and give youth a chance

  36. Stephen

    July 18, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    @colver: Aymen to that.
    Capello can’t even speak English and for £6m a year the least he could do speak the language.

  37. Stephen

    July 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Red Ranter please could we have another thread this one is running slower than even Berba.

  38. Johnsom33

    July 18, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    @Stephen: When are you guys gonna realize the
    problems with England are deeper than the manager? The way you develop youth is all wrong. You guys could hire Jesus christ himself as the new England manager and he wouldn’t be able to win anything with the current England set up. The big problem with England and it’s been said a million times, you guys don’t produce well rounded footballers. When a players comes thru the ranks he is made to be a right winger, a center foward a center back… Etc so it’s hard for the manager to make tactical changes because frankly the current England players can’t play Amy other way than what they are currently playing.

    I believe English players are generally overrated, but the top stars like Rooney, lampard and gerrard are legit world class players. It’s just that aside from Rooney, they are inflexible. Which is why gerrard and lampard can’t play together, but they are both world class players.

    Until you guys change the youth set up in England, you’ll never win anything. English football is in dire need if a makeover, and they need to stop swimming in that giant river called Denial. Once England changes from the top down, they will be a major international force again.

  39. Grognard

    July 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    @Johnsom33: Well put mate. I totally agree on that assessment. England is in the Dark Ages compared tot he the rest of the world when it comes to developing not only players but their own game and tactics. Why? Because the English are stubborn and arrogant and refuse to learn from others. They still cling to that fantasy about them inventing the game and they can’t be seen to lower themselves to the point where they seek help or they look desperate. But desperate is what they are. Hiring Capello was an act of desperation but then again, what else could they do?

    I could go on and on about why English players aren’t as good as European or South American counterparts but that would mean I care. I don’t. I think England is a joke in football. I think their national program needs a complete overhaul. Sack the works and start with brick one. I also think the Premier League needs a complete overhaul. Too many foreigners and too much debt make for a bloated product that is destroying the English game as well as it’s integrity. We can cry about what a joke La Liga is an it is. Problem is they haven’t realized that yet. One day the Spanish League will too suffer the indignities of it’s ridiculous setup and the fact that two teams run rampant over it year after year and then they have the gall to actually call it a league. For me the only true top league in football today is the German League. Highly competitive, every game sold out and every team other than Schalke in the black and not in dead.

    Recently it was rated the most profitable league in the world and produces the best football too as Bundesliga games are always exciting for the most part. This structure and competence has spread itself to the nation program which is now going through a very positive growth period and which promises a great German team for years to come. Why? Because Germans never tolerate stupidity, incompetence and they put their money where their mouths are. Unlike England that has Lord Wankerby, Sir Dick Inyourassborough and Lord Flatshitman running the FA and going one step forward and four steps back. And yet, there will be those who take exception to my comments because of sheer ignorance and nationalistic pride. And that’s the problem in a nutshell really. England’s motto, “Pride, noise and a commitment to excrement.” But then again, my problem is that I am “typically German”. 😆 😆

  40. gator

    July 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    @Grognard: hey grog looks like ole was watching germany closely in the WC. he had the reserves in a 4231 and they won 5-1.LINK

  41. EduardoDaVinci4

    July 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Gonna go to Albania for holidays tomorrow, so you guys probably won’t hear from me in a while. 🙂 Take care lads, cheers.

  42. Grognard

    July 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    @gator: It’s not just Germany mate. All the major countries that are awake are using this formation simply because it works. Why? Because the importance of two holding midfielders has taken over the game and the lack of quality goal scorers means that teams would rather stack the midfield with creative players and wingers because frankly, compared to strikers who are potent, they are a dime a dozen. I think world football is suffering from a prolific striker’s dry period at a time when the old goal poacher type striker like RVN or Huntelaar seem to be a dying breed or out of fashion. This forces teams to look for other means and the 3 attacking midfielders and two holding midfielders seems the way to go. It’s a fad and something else will show up in a year or two and make it yesterday’s news.

  43. colver

    July 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Is anyone else truly revolted by the Barcelona players blatant attempts to get Fabregas to join Barcelona? There should be rules against it. Every day a different Barcelona player is talking about how much Fabregas wants to join Barcelona and now Puyol is saying Arsenal have no class for denying Fabregas his dream.

    And the bids Barcelona are making are pathetic. Fabregas is worth at least £50 million. Arsenal are totally right not to sell unless they get a fair price.

    Barcelona have to be the most annoying club in the world. I cannot wait for Mourinho to sort Real Madrid out and knock Barcelona off their perch. At least Real Madrid aren’t holier than thou.

  44. tonymontanna4united

    July 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    @Grognard: The first thing england need to do is get rid of all these twats in suits who run the FA and replace them with proper football people who know their stuff.
    Then they need to make sure this football centre theyve been going on about for a decade now is opened.
    If you dont know what im going on about here, basically its a footballing centre for excellence which i guess the best kids out there will go to and be trained at. Apparently has cost £100m so far but will provide the best facilities in europe, or so they say. If they could get some former pros doing a bit of training for the kids it could be very beneficial for them.
    Next they need to get rid of this stupid 90 minute rule which i have been going about to death, such a stupid bloody rule which needs scrapping asap.
    Then the main thing, they need dramatic changes from grass root level football upwards.
    Enough of kids playing 11 a side on a full size pitch. Do like what they do in south america, put them 5 a side on a small pitch, with a smaller ball and keep them doing that until they get to a good age. The idea being, playing on a small crowded pitch will develop your passing skills so when it comes to playing 11 a side on a full size pitch, their ball control and passing will be much superior to those who playing on a spacious massive pitch. A simple idea but one i think would work well.
    Next i think we definitely need a foreign player cap of some sort, however this will have to be handled very well and would probably need to be implemented in all countries, otherwise the competition from england in europe would decrease dramatically while everyone else got better.
    At the end of the day these are just ideas and would need to be thought out carefully but as long as it was i think the level of football in this country would improve dramatically which will only benefit united as well.
    All this would take a while to implement, maybe a decade before we saw the full results, but as cantona said this week it cannot go on like this or football in this country will continue to decline until it hits rock bottom.
    Still i expect it all to stay the same, watch the FA come out and say everything is fine and we are favourites for yet again tournament we fail in. Man even though i withdrew my support from the england team it pisses me off how the people in charge in england can be so blind and so bloody stupid.

  45. tonymontanna4united

    July 18, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    @EduardoDaVinci4: Have a good one mate you lucky bugger 😆

  46. tonymontanna4united

    July 18, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    @Grognard: I think if we could add an ozil to this team, the 4-2-3-1 formation would work prefectly for us. Unfortunately fergie is set in his ways and does things old school. Its either 4-4-2 occassionally or his new favourite 4-5-1.
    I have never been a fan of the 4-5-1 however i will admit its worked quite well for us on the whole. Just wish that we could add ozil or sneijder to play behind rooney in a 4-2-3-1 and our team would improve ten fold.
    But hey who needs ozil or sneijder when weve got scholes and gibbo eh fergie 🙄

  47. Johnsom33

    July 18, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    @Grognard: I used to want a good ol fashioned goal poaching striker in the rvn mold, but now I’m not so sure. After reading “inverting the pyramid”(a fantastic read, that I recommend everyone should read if they like history) I want more dynamic players. People like Rooney, tevez, forlan, drogba… Who are strikers but in actuality they can be played every where in attack.

    Our CL winning side was so powerful because teams had to deal with Ronaldo, Rooney and tevez attacking them from all angles. With all of them constantly changing positions it’s a headache for the defense. I think if you were to drop tevez and replace him with RVN the fluidity would grind to a halt.

    The other secret ingredient to that side was Hargreaves. When fit, he like Rooney is one of those irreplaceable footballers. His intelligence and overall pact in the midfield has been grossly underrated. He even made Anderson shine when played together.

    I’m one of the biggest Ronaldo fans around, but what made him so unstoppable, was h being surrounded by quality players. The same applies to messi, he is obviously a fantastic player but he’s not winning wpoty if you remove his Barcelona teammates.

    What pains me is that our CL winning team was possibly 1-2 signings away from being one of the greatest teams of all time. But instead of adding to it, we started chipping away. Ronaldo was too self absorbed and short sighted to see that his ticket to the promised land(being mentioned with pele, maradona, cruyff) was with united. Hargreaves… Well we know what happened to him. Tevez wasn’t retained, so what is left is a shadow of our former side.

    Just thinking of that squad gives me chills.

    Rooney tevez Ronaldo
    giggs scholes Hargreaves
    evra vidic rio brown
    Vds

    now imagine nani on the left instead of giggs. Then instead of wasting money on berbatov, buy a new RB(maicon) and a scholes replacement. For my money, that team would terrorize Europe for years.

  48. Grognard

    July 18, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    @tonymontanna4united: I agree in part with everything you say but there are a few specifics that for me are the real culprits here. The 90 minute rule is a major obstacle that is hindering the development of young players. Had it been around years ago, Beckham, Giggs and other legends would not have been united players. Limiting the individual from living out his dream or maximizing his potential by playing for a top quality organization is just not very democratic, and the rule was brought in to be more democratic. But the problem was they wanted to be fair to all the clubs in all the areas of England. That’s a joke in itself. A great talent should have the right to go and sign for whomever offers him the best chance of making it. We are talking about a player’s future here. I’m even against the draft system used in the US and Canada for their sports as I see it as very socialist in nature. It rewards failure by allowing the worst team to draft the best players first. This only confirms what i have been saying about pro sports for years. That there are too many teams and too many pretenders who do not have the money or fan base to compete with the big clubs

    Your idea about about this FA National Football Centre is a joke waiting to happen. Reminds of the Canadian National Baseball Institute. An existing joke using the same excuse to develop baseball players in Canada.
    It works slightly because it creates teams to play exhibition games vs teams in the US. Something similar in England would be a joke and would stunt the proper development of players who need to be bought up by clubs and developed in a competent club environment with daily competition and upward mobility in achieving goals. It’s just that the big clubs themselves have to do a better job of selecting young players and giving them the chance. United are doing that with Cleverley, Gibson and Welbeck but like you said, the 90 minute or mile rule rule needs to be lifted in order to give them more chance at grabbing the better prospects.

    The FA then has to get serious about making the Prem more competitive by making it smaller. Four fewer teams would be a start. And as I have said before and got plenty of flack for it, get rid of the basement hatch that demotes teams and allows new pretenders to be promoted every year. I am not for relegation and promotion. For me it’s a joke and a farce but it is like that in every league in the world almost. I realize how big the game is in countries like England but that doesn’t give Exeter the right to play Man Utd in the same league. One is a true minnow and the other a football super power. The Premier League should only exist for the top 18 teams in all of England based on finances (money they bring in), stadium size and city size as well as historical considerations. Create a league with no escape hatch and allow teams the privilege of growing in a league as opposed to fighting to survive relegation which does no good but just destroys any chance they have of taking players and being willing to keep the and develop them. Instead they sell as soon as there is a little money thrown their way because they know their time at the top is limited.

    Create an elite league and close it off and watch the quality of the teams and the game increase and become much more competitive. Stop allowing useless minnows to come into the league. Under this system more and more of the country’s best talent will have a chance to grow and develop rather than being tossed around like a ping pong ball.

    Finally, your idea about quotas for foreign players is a must. I love foreign players but not when they completely stunt and destroy the growth of domestic players. Germany brings in foreigners but not at overpriced rates and certainly not at the expense of German talent. Even a big club like Bayern has developed many great young German players both now and in their past. They manage to blend the foreign with the German well and have the strongest and most financially well off league in Europe. I personally like the old days when teams were only allowed to carry 3 foreigners. That will never happen again because of the European Union but still, countries need to fight such legislation for the good of their domestic product. It’s like people fighting for their rights to jobs and not allowing jobs to be taken by cheaper foreign workers or even worse, outsourced. Difficult things to do but FIFA and UEFA as well as each country’s FA need to wake up and smell the coffee.

  49. Grognard

    July 18, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    @tonymontanna4united: The question is not whether we could use Ozil or Schneijder. The answer is of course we could. And Fergie knows this too. He’s not an idiot. He knows this club needs a RB, CB DMF AMF and possibly a striker too. The problem is he also knows we are broke and penniless. So if people still wonder why we don’t go for players, they should wonder no longer. Fergie isn’t stupid, but he sure isn’t honest with us either. A little honesty would go a long way to repairing fractured relations with a good percentage of fans like myself who feel he has gone over to the dark side. Just give us the truth and then tell us why you support the regime in charge and I’ll get off his back for good. But he won’t do that now will he.

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