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All Smoke, Little Fire on the Transfer Front

The cynical among us have come to accept this. The optimistic claim this is a smokescreen.

Either which way you look at it, at the moment there is no transfer activity to report. There’s little one can update the blog with, other than “Nothing new to report on the transfer front.”

Of course, if one considers the non-football aspect of the club, then there’s plenty to talk about.

Today, Panorama will air (on BBC for UK viewers) a documentary on the Glazer family, their ownership, the financial situation at the club. Some feelers are already all over the media with BBC prominently giving us bullet points on what to expect today. The Guardian, led by David Conn, also has a couple of lead stories on the amount of debt the Glazer family have saddled themselves with — not just the club, but also their own family in their other business ventures in America; most notably, their failing strip mall business.

From one depressing thought back to another, albeit far less, depressing thought: our transfer business this season has included Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling, but it’s debatable what role they will play this season.

Of immediate concern is the midfield which badly needs work. We have been linked with Joe Cole, Rafael van der Vaart, and today, with Lassanna Diarra. I would rule Joe Cole out simply because I doubt we’d ever pay £120,000/week for an injury-afflicted 28-year old. While he would just be an excellent addition to the starting XI, the wages just don’t justify the signing, given our current financial situation (and despite this being a free transfer).

Rafael van der Vaart, on the other hand, is a player I like. Career blighted by injuries, he could be a quality addition to our midfield, and given a longer run than afforded at Real Madrid he would be a wonderful signing.

Lassanna Diarra is also a much better defensive midfielder than what we have at the moment; assuming Hargreaves’ continues to have a stop-start season. His attitude problems have dogged him in the past. The rumours doing the rounds involves his past clashes with Mourinho and lack of playing time that saw him transferred out of Chelsea.

This would appear cliched to say that we must wait and watch, but really we can’t do much. My suggestion: watch the World Cup, enjoy it to the fullest, and treat any positive activity on the club’s transfer front a bonus. It’s a good thing the World Cup is around to take our mind off all things Manchester United. In the coming days, I’ll probably share a few links to sites you must follow during the World Cup.

551 Comments

551 Comments

  1. Owen

    June 15, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    @CraigMc: Vidic is not happy here,wants to go and has only 2 years of contract left.If we will get any thing near 30 million,then we should be happy.

  2. Grognard

    June 15, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    @Traverse: Not bad for a complete dreamer mate. Of course the money for this comes from that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that falls towards the Stretford End of OT correct? πŸ˜€

  3. Owen

    June 15, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Manchester United winger Zoran Tosic has officially joined Russian side CSKA Moscow on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

    Fee seems to be 8 million.

  4. gator

    June 15, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    @Traverse: carrick and hargo? lol maybe you meant to put Fletcher carrick/hargo or a hybrid of the two we can cut carricks knees out and implant them in Hargo and well be set. :mrgreen:

  5. Traverse

    June 15, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Yeah sorry, I meant to put Fletcher in for Hargreaves. Wishful thinking on my part I think!

  6. Traverse

    June 15, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    @CraigMc: To be honest, I’d prefer the Carrick of 2006/07 2007/08 or 2008/09 alongside the Hargreaves of England’s World Cup 2006 campaign. Now that would have been a Central Midfield.

  7. CraigMc

    June 15, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    @gator: πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† – Gator really?

  8. Grognard

    June 15, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    @CraigMc: I sincerely tried to mend fences with you mate. I realize that I am not your cup of tea and that’s fine, I can respect that even if I don’t like it but still, I tried to make peace in a sincere and honest way. But it’s clear you have no interest in that. I wasn’t looking to become your best buddy and to be your closest confidant but I did expect or should I say I honestly hoped you would man up and show some class and at least send me a reply. The fact you continue to just ignore my last post to you just tells me there is no chance of us ever getting past this. I should have realized this back in April when you were the one regular on this blog to not even send me condolences when my mother passed away. Trust me, if the shoe was on the other foot and the circumstances similar, I would never have allowed my bitterness and spite to make an error in judgment like that. Bottom line is you didn’t care and you never had the courage to get beyond your own anger and ego to show some compassion or some class, simply because your deep rooted hatred towards me made you not give a damn about my pain or loss, despite the fact we had conversed for years on this blog and that before May, we seemed to get along despite our differences. I let it slide then because I knew you were mad but yesterday I honestly tried to put those hurt feelings of mine away and I extended my hand to you in an attempt to bury the past and for us to go forward knowing better what makes us tick and what is off limits. But it is clear you have no intentions of being mature or cordial in this so I say that’s fine, I’ll move on.

    But let the personal backhanded sniping in my direction end now. And I mean NOW. Even today you couldn’t resist writing your little insult that everyone knows was directed at me when you wrote, “I don’t apologise for not wanting to write long rambling prose in every post”. Not a terrible dig by no means but a dig at my writing style which you have no patience for due to issues which I won’t discuss here for fear of humiliating you.

    I don’t need you to comment in negative ways by replying to others about those teams or players I like or dislike or anything about my views in general. And as for your great sense of humour, well mate pat yourself on the back all you want but let others be the judge of that. You may think of yourself as funny and bringing something radically great and humorous to the blog, but I personally don’t think you are that funny at all. That probably is just a cultural thing and I could be just too old and not Salford bred to get it. I’m sure many on here find you very funny indeed. And I for one have always thought you brought a light side to things on this blog but don’t begrudge someone like me who comes on here not to waste time with silly banter but to talk serious football. I think there is room for both styles on here, whether you care for my contributions or not.

    So even though you want nothing to do with me, I am not going away unless the day comes when RR says I have to go. Until then you will just have to tolerate my presence on this blog and you can do that by just completely ignoring my posts altogether. The reason I ask you to do this is to stop with the childish sniping to others over some of my comments. Stop carrying such a grudge and grow up. If you have an issue with one of my comments be man enough to confront me and then be man enough to handle my reply instead of sniping at me from the grassy knoll like a real snake in a grass. I don’t like it and above all, I don’t appreciate it. You and I don’t have to agree and don’t have to like the same things but we need to be more respectful of each other, especially if we are not talking to each other. I cannot count how many times you write about players and things that I don’t like or agree with but I say nothing out of respect. I especially dislike your bias and dislike for all of us who are not Slaford born and bred and who are foreigners on this blog. You have always referred to us with second hand status and consider yourself higher and mightier than us when it comes to Manchester United. I cannot tell you how many times i have bit my tongue and avoided a major confrontation over that kind of stuff. Fact is you are no better than any of us mate. Register that.

    So congrats on you vow of silence and your lack of forgiveness and courage. Well done, you showed us all a lot. You taught everyone on here how to hold a grudge, be petty and basically not give a damn about anything or anybody unless it suits you. I for one am sick and tired of your I don’t give a damn if you like it or not attitude and i for one can handle your dislike for me but am appalled at the disrespect you show Red Ranter considering how close he has come on numerous occasions of banning your ass because of your Nani tirades and abuse of of others. I can disagree with him too but I have always liked him and above all respected and appreciated him due to his incredible fairness and ability to be thick skinned over the abuse he gets. You are an enigma mate. One day you lump him in with me and tell the world that you don’t like him and the next day you tell him how you appreciate how hard it is for him to manage this blog.

    Your final act of defiance towards RR is to basically stick a gun at heads everybody else on this blog by basically daring them to say one negative thing about you. Well they won’t mate because many on here like you and that’s cool. But many on here just tolerate you like many just tolerate me. So quit raising yourself above everyone and playing the dare card like a bully. It sounds like a gang member who is trying to see how many of the gang are for him or against him. Some tactic. Pretty childish really. All you need to say is that you bring something to the blog that is needed and that’s a light hearted side. I wouldn’t have a problem with that. But with you it’s always about drawing that white line in the sand and seeing who goes over to your side and what is left on the other side where I reside.

    That’s it, I have said my peace and made my case after having realized that there is no mending broken bridges with you. I finally responded due to your backhanded snipes but in reality, I was willing to take half the blame for our past flair ups and I extended my hand in apologetic friendship. And you never even had the courage or the class to respond in kind, or in your usual abusive manner. Yes we are different in personality and very incendiary but I would have respected the peace with you provided you had done the same with me. We could have communicated and talked about many things without having to get mean and personal. Well you made your bed mate, and so have I.

  9. CraigMc

    June 15, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    @Owen: I agree Owen, but I was a bit shocked at the 50 million – it seems to me to be someone DREAMIN mate πŸ˜† .

  10. CraigMc

    June 15, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    @Grognard: See I can always rely on you to talk shit – so you never disappoint! As for everyone being afraid to say if they have problems with me, well what makes you think that when so many on this board have not been afraid to give you a right bolloxing when you have tried to do them over. Anyway make sure you keep you word and stop responding eh – but I know you can’t do that because you have NEVER and I mean NEVER let anyone have the last word – you just can’t lwet things rest. As for my comments and posts to RR, he is man enough to answer for himself, and will no doubt do so. So keep your word, which you failed to do already from your last post when you said you didn’t intend to trouble me again – yeah right. I never met anyone so not able to let things die a death!

  11. Grognard

    June 15, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    @Owen: What really bothers me is that a team at some point has to confront a player and basically tell him you have two years left on your contract and we will not consider letting you go until at least one more year when we still feel we can get something for you in return. Letting players just get their way when they have 3 or 4 years left on their contracts makes a team look weak willed. Let the player sulk and show tantrums. He’ll get over it if he wants to play the game and still make himself marketable down the line. Don’t you think that is the best way to deal with Vidic right now?

  12. Grognard

    June 15, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    @Owen: Forgive me if I am wrong but wasn’t Tosic still our property and only on loan to Cologne? So are you saying that United sold him to the Russians or did he just go out and do this on his own? I’m confused by this.

  13. CraigMc

    June 15, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    @Grognard: See I can always rely on you to talk shit – so you never disappoint! As for everyone being afraid to say if they have problems with me, well what makes you think that when so many on this board have not been afraid to give you a right bolloxing when you have tried to do them over, that they would be afraid to deal with me in the same way if they had problems. Thing is what you can’t stand Grog is they don’t have problems and everyone seems to know it except you. Anyway make sure you keep you word and stop responding eh – but I know you can’t do that because you have NEVER and I mean NEVER let anyone have the last word – you just can’t lwet things rest. As for my comments and posts to RR, he is man enough to answer for himself, and will no doubt do so. So keep your word, which you failed to do already from your last post when you said you didn’t intend to trouble me again – yeah right. I never met anyone so not able to let things die a death!

  14. Traverse

    June 15, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    @Grognard: If you’d had read it, Real are reported to be offering Benzema and Β£25mil for Vidic.

    That same Β£25mil is what we are reportedly offering for Chiellini. That sounds exactly like the sort of deal we’d do right now, one that involves spending no actual money.

    And there have been a whole bunch of reports of us going after Neuer. We’ve already bought in Β£8mil from CSKA for Tosic. So Neuer would only be around a Β£10million outlay on top of the Β£8mil we’ve bought in for Tosic. That too sounds like the exact sort of thing we’d do.

  15. CraigMc

    June 15, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    @Traverse: Yeah but could you still leave Fletch out Trav???

  16. Traverse

    June 15, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    @Owen: I think that means Vidic is about Β£45mil. Benzema has always been worth about Β£25mil, but Real overpaid, then he had a rubbish season, so Β£20mil for him seems fair.

  17. Owen

    June 15, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    @CraigMc: You will be surprised to know that we have made 1 million dollar profit on Tosic without giving him a single start at our club.
    I am really amazed how players are valued now.Barca wants to buy Fab for 29 million but to get 35 million for Yaya.Buffon has price of 30 million where as Neuer is available for 12 million.Gourcuff,at 22, is available for 2o million but Gerrard,at 30,will take 40 million from your bank.Even Milner has higher market value than Fabregas.

  18. Grognard

    June 15, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    @Traverse: I’d do that deal in a second. Get a quality albeit moody striker and then use the 25 mil for a quality defender. But would the glazer’s keep the money grubbing paws off that 25 million? And I do believe we can find a better and cheaper solution to Chiellini. I am not a fan of Italian footballers as many on this blog know but I also have not noticed too many of them leave Italy and find great success either in England or Spain. Cannavaro was horrible in Madrid. The game in Italy is slower and so I think it hides some of their defenders flaws.

    I’d take that 25 million, by a defender that can play for 10 to 12 million and then put the rest of the money together with a package of Anderson or even Berbatov and go out and get that world class midfielder Fergie continues to ignore the need for. As for Neuer, I will be truly surprised not only if we get him, but that Schalke would take anything less than 15 million for him, especially after this World Cup where I believe his value will skyrocket.

  19. Owen

    June 15, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    @Grognard: United sold ,Grog.

  20. CraigMc

    June 15, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    @Owen: πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† Mate what kind of fucked up mentality is that – aaaargh the financial shenanigans of football – fucking mental eh Owen.

  21. CraigMc

    June 15, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    To all bloggers on here, I will just come on and talk to you all when said parties are sleeping at the other side of the Atlantic. In that way you won’t have to be bothered with shit storms back and forth across the atlantic, but as last night we can concentrate on enjoying the craic. See you later guys, when the other side of the world sleeps! By the way stay out of this shit all of you, in order to keep your sanity πŸ˜†

  22. Grognard

    June 15, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    @Owen: It’s all pretty ridiculous isn’t it? Seriously, I think teams and agents of players are totally losing perspective and ruining the game with their double standards and outrageous and inconsistent demands. I’d have less problem with a team just saying out loud that such and such a player is not for sale at any price rather than insult the market by evaluating a player at a higher price than they are willing to pay for a far superior player. The Fabregas, Toure scenario is a good example of this. Toure isn’t worth a third the price of Fab but Barcelona doesn’t seem to think so because they are hoping fools like Man City will pay the price anyway.

    This all reminds me of the housing market here in Vancouver when the major exodus of Hong Kong rich came to town just before China was to take over Hong Kong. Houses that would have gone for 150,000 dollars were all of a sudden going for half a million or more not because they found oil on the property but because the real estate market found dupes in those Chinese who had millions of dollars to blow and were naive and willing to pay the asking price even if it was intentionally increased for no other reason than to gouge them. Teams like Man City and before them Chelsea, are examples of such teams that will pay top dollar for a player that isn’t worth it. Madrid are also notorious as they will pay almost anything to get their man. It’s all ridiculous when you think of it.

  23. Grognard

    June 15, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    @Owen: I got you, thanks.

  24. Traverse

    June 15, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    @Grognard: I’ve budgeted Neuer there for Β£18mil, which is probably about right. Net spend Β£10mil. Vidic, Tosic out for Neuer, Chiellini & Benzema in is absolutely smart dealing, and plausible.

    @CraigMc: Fletcher last season still isn’t as good as Hargreaves at his best. I know that it’s highly unlikely he’ll find that form again, but if he did, I’d play him over Fletch in a heartbeat. Carrick at his best (everything before last season) had the passing and the vision, and the combo of the two of them would be great, if implausible. πŸ˜‰

  25. Owen

    June 15, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    @Grognard: Now there is no respect for contracts,Grog.Wages and Wife matters most for the players.Shitty are ready to pay 250,000 dollars weekly to Vidic.Why will he not go then knowing that only 5 years are left for him to play at highest level.The loyality and respect for the club are things of Past.In next 1 month,Gerrard will be the prime example of this.
    So it is better for the club to get maximum service from a player for 3 years at maximum and then sell him to recover some price and get some decent replacement.I am happy with this policy unless the money goes to Glazers account.

  26. Grognard

    June 15, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    It’s official, without a shadow of doubt this is now going down as perhaps the worst World Cup of all time even though we haven’t finished the first week of games. It’s not just the lack of goals but the lack of quality play and the lack of scoring chances. Christ Germany alone had more scoring chances than all the other teams combined so far. It’s awful to watch and today’s Portugal vs Ivory Coast game was just torturous to watch. And all FIFA can do is tell all of us who have to endure this shit that we will also have to endure the noise of the vuvuzela for the entire tournament too. Has anyone seen more boring and cowardly football? All teams other than Germany are showing no imagination, no courage and no talent in their attacking game. It’s all defend and settle for a point. It’s like the group stage of the Champions League where the worst football happens and where draws are tolerated and even encouraged. I am grateful my team is the Germans as they will at least try to score and they play with ambition. With them it’s all about winning. I’m sure Spain and Brazil will play like that too but as for the rest, well they are all chicken shits. The rules have to change. They must get rid of draws and add points for every goals scored. Other wise we will have to get used to 0-0 and 1-1 for the entire first round. πŸ™„

  27. Owen

    June 15, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    @Traverse: Getting Benzema means we will have to get rid of any one of Berba/Owen?

  28. CraigMc

    June 15, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    @Traverse: I see where your coming from Trav, I love Hargo too, but I think Fletch edges it for me over Carrick! Anyway I gotta go Trav, its my mates birthday and the guys are all going out to Paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaty! πŸ˜€ . See you later then!

  29. CraigMc

    June 15, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    By the way Trav – you ever tried partying with Geordie fans – they are fucking fruit cakes mate, totally nuts. So bring it on eh?

  30. Grognard

    June 15, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    @Traverse: I’d welcome it for sure but I still think the number one need for this team right now mate is a midfielder or two. I became even more certain of that after watching how Germany’s midfield handled a team that was parking the bus on them. Both Khedira and especially Schweinsteiger played the deep role to perfection while Ozil was a master in running into space and probing the defence with the kind of passing and vision we have not been witnesses to at OT for a long time.

    The strength behind my argument is that Germany started two forwards the other day who between them scored a total of only five goals in the Bundesliga. Yet they both scored in the game and had many chances because of the control and vision of the German midfield and Ozil in particular. And even though Argentina didn’t look to bad, they were lacking that midfield play that would have created more scoring chances for players other than just Messi who seems to be able to create chances by himself. No Riquelme or Cambiasso, and the midfield of Argentina seemed invisible. I just wished Fergie would get it.

  31. Grognard

    June 15, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    @Owen: I actually believe that now that Rafa is gone, Gerrard will be pressured to stay at Liverpool because of his home town status and tenure. I could be wrong but I just feel the main reason Rafa was sacked was to ensure Gerrard staying. Greed is definitely a factor but I honestly do not believe that wives make that much a difference. Most of them know what they are getting into when they marry an athlete or a soldier. They just have to accept it and frankly put, with the kind of money they are making in sports these days, they can learn to live with the problems and adjust. I personally would be shocked if Vidic wanted to go to Shitty. It’s not about money for him. I think he was happy and contented being with United but the lack of summer signings and the insecurity created by the Glazer’s have probably made him realize that this club will be in decline and that he does not want to be part of a sinking ship. And as we all know what the Glazer’s are about and what Fergie is about these days, can any of us really blame him for wanting to bolt?

  32. tonymontanna4united

    June 15, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    @Traverse: Mate its a good idea, the figures work out and in an ideal world i would go along with that and do the deal. However we have to consider what part the glazers would play in that deal.
    My guess is if vidic goes (which i think looks likely) it will be a straight up cash deal. No player swaps, straight up Β£30m in hard cash like the ronaldo deal.
    As i say though in an ideal world your plan would be perfect and we would be greatly improved.
    Benzema is a bit of a conundrum but under the right direction he could become a top player. Chiellini is someone im not a fan of tbh. Everytime ive seen him and hes played at CB hes looked dodgy, i always say him as more of a LB anyway, certainly in the past for juve ive seen him there on numerous occassions.
    Neuer, well i think this lad will be class. Obviously groggie is the german expert, and admittedly im only basing this on ab out 6/7 games on ESPN, but with some players you can just tell straight away they are class, and neuer is one of them.
    So would neuer, DF, and benzema in improve us? Yes greatly. I still think its obvious we need a creative mdifelder but we could do without for a season if benzema lightened the load from rooney.
    But i think were living in cloud cuckoo land if we think the glazers are going to back us like that in the transfer market. Allowing us to spend the Β£25m plus the Β£20m we spent on smalling and hernandez is just unrealistic.
    I think we will be looking more along the lines of burdisso on a free to replace vidic. Amos to step up from the reserves and become the next peter schmeichel. Gibson will step up and become our new star. Do me a favour.
    At the end of the day it all comes down to the glazers, and our spending days are over. Still though mate in a normal world your plan would be great and also very realistic. In a normal world eh, in a normal world we would not be stuck with the glazers, the bastads.

  33. Owen

    June 15, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Its OFFICIAL : Brazil can not win the WC 2010.

    The team who main attacker remains Maicon will struggle.
    And yes,Kaka sucks.Worst player on the Pitch and Pitch contains Korean players also.

  34. colver

    June 15, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    You guys are all dreaming! We will get Β£30 million maximum for Vidic and half of that is going straight to the Glazers. So at most we have Β£20-25 million to play with, which gives Fergie a straight choice between a defender, a midfielder or Benzema, and knowing the boss he will go for Benzema.

    Everyone can see we need a quality central midfielder. But in Fergie’s mind Scholes and Giggs will last forever and Hargreaves will make a miraculous return and it is only when they retire and he is stuck playing Gibson and Anderson in the middle that he will wake up and buy a central midfielder.

  35. Grognard

    June 15, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    @Owen: North Korea is really putting the boots to them when it comes to team defending. Kaka is and always will be the most overrated sluggish and useless git to ever play the game. I will never understand why he is so highly rated? But the Brzilian team in general is playing in slow motion lacking great movement off the ball and any vision or ideas on how to crack the North Korean code. The only way to be a team that is defensively as organized as this is to really up the pace and create much more dynamic movement off the ball. give and go’s in neutral areas mean nothing and unless some of the stars actually try to beat a defender one on one and create some space and width, Brazil will continue to be frustrated. Christ this World Cup is just for the birds. It’s horrible and I think it will start to really slip in the tv ratings in some places like North America where it stands to jeopardize future plans to show this tournament in upcoming years. Nobody other than Italians can sit back and say they enjoy watching this. All we are seeing is tired armies coming up against walled fortresses and nothing comes of it. BORING BORING BORING.

  36. Owen

    June 15, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    @colver: 95 Million is still in the bank for Fergie.Add 40 millions in that which we will get from the sales of Tosic and Vida.Total 135 million.Chiellini,Neuer,Benzema,Silva… πŸ™„

  37. Grognard

    June 15, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    No I didn’t write this but the guy does sound an awful lot like me. Suffice it to say, I agree with him 110%.

    http://thegamesgonecrazy.blogspot.com/2010/06/boring-boring-world-cup.html?

  38. tonymontanna4united

    June 15, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    @colver: Mate i would be surprised if we received a penny of the vidic money. Make no mistake the buys last summer and the smalling and hernandez buys have not touched the ronaldo money.
    The money used to buy owen, obertan, valencia and diouf last summer came from the annual Β£25m we were promised each season. Probably about all the glazers can give us these days.
    Likewise the smalling and hernandez deals have come from our annual trasnfer allowance for this summer. Now under usual circumstances that would be ok, because we could use the Β£80m from ronaldos sale, and the probable Β£30m from vidic and also any money from tosic and foster.
    Usually that would be enough for a whole new team, however i think everything we now make from sales goes straight to the glazers.
    So all we are allowed to spend each season is the Β£25m yearly allowance. We have spent that so anything we make from vidic will go to the glazers.
    Expect to see no vidic replacement unless we can find a freebie (think burdisso is and he was linked with us today).
    That or the usual drivel from fergie “the team is good enough to cope with the loss of vidic. I have high hopes for smalling”.
    Yeah whatever fergie πŸ™„

  39. tonymontanna4united

    June 15, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    @Owen: πŸ™‚ Trust me mate, the number of fans out there who still believe the money is there is just laughable. They really believe we have Β£90m+ just sitting there in a bank gathering dust.
    Man some people just believe whatever they are told, typical sheeple.

  40. Traverse

    June 15, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    @Owen: Not really. Here’s our list of our first team strikers since, well, I can remember.

    98/99 – Yorke/Cole/Solskjaer/Sheringham
    01/02 – Rudd/Cole/Yorke/Solskjaer
    02/03 – Rudd/Forlan/Solskjaer/Giggs
    03/04 – Rudd/Saha/Forlan/Solskjaer
    04/05 – Rooney/Rudd/Smith/Saha/Bellion
    05/06 – Rooney/Rudd/Saha/Ronaldo/Rossi
    06/07 – Rooney/Ronaldo/Saha/Solskjaer/Larsson/Smith/Rossi
    07/08 – Rooney/Ronaldo/Tevez/Saha and err… Dong
    08/09 – Rooney/Ronaldo/Tevez/Berbatov
    09/10 – Rooney/Berbatov/Owen

    A massive drop in top line striking talent. Welbeck & Diouf are off on loan next season, and I’d imagine Macheda too.

    10/11 – Rooney/Benzema/Berbatov/Hernandez/Owen looks much more like it.

  41. EduardoDaVinci4

    June 15, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    I aint got time for this shit…

  42. Grognard

    June 15, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    @Traverse: If we were to get Benzema I am pretty sure that is when Fergie would finally pull the plug on Berbatov and sell him. He doesn’t sell him now because he doesn’t have an adequate enough alternative.

  43. Grognard

    June 15, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    North Korea showed me something today. Brazil showed me nothing today. Had it not been by a lucky bit of genius from Maicon, today may have been won of the greatest upsets in football history. Now lets watch Spain tomorrow to see if there is any team that can match the Germans for style class and intensity. I think Spain should deliver the goods.

  44. Don

    June 16, 2010 at 3:18 am

    @CraigMc:

    Sure…I do not have a short memory..in fact i will go out on a limb and say Germany won’t get past the 1/4s,,,teams that typically start hot never seem to win the tournamnet..the reality chekc is in the second round….i think Germany will make it to the quarters and that’s it..but they will be contending for the next 2 workd cups with that talent…can’t wait till their next game..looking forward to Spain…

  45. Redrich

    June 16, 2010 at 3:42 am

    @Don: With the top seeded teams, it’s so difficult to gauge their potential from their first showing. It’s really just the WC tyro’s that offer definitive opinion from watching a team play once.
    The reality of this competition evolves gradually – momentum of form and injuries will determine the favorite over 4-5 games, not just the opening salvo.

    “Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” – JFK.

  46. Grognard

    June 16, 2010 at 4:25 am

    @Redrich: Agreed. The World Cup has been won more often by teams who have gotten off to a slow start or who have finished second in their group. I’ll never forget how totally useless Italy looked in their first three games in 1982 having drawn all three and scored a total of two goals. Then they beat Argentina, pulled off a massive upset on a great Brazil team and then defeated Poland in the semi before scoring three against Germany in the final. They just got better after every game they played after the first group stage (back then there were two group stages).

    In 1986 Germany got to the final with a terrible team that sucked in the group stage and then just seemed to gel in the knockout rounds. They didn’t win pretty but they got the job done and totally shut down what was considered the best team of that time, France 2-0 in the semis before losing an epic final 3-2 to Argentina. How about Argentina in 1990. Absolute trash all through the tournament but somehow the eaked out results and made it to the final where they parked the bus and lost to Germany. 2002 Germany again got the final with what is probably the weakest team they ever sent to a World Cup but they got there anyway. You just never know and the opening games mean very little unless of course you lose them. In 1990 Germany won the World Cup but they almost shot their load in the opening group stage by scoring 10 goals in their first two games and then only scoring 6 the rest of the way but still winning the Cup due to their defence.

    I’m not so concerned about teams getting out of the gate fast as i am the low calibre of entertainment the fans around the world are receiving. Players look tired and the tactics are just too cautious and boring. That concerns me more than worrying about England, Brazil and other team’s slow start.

  47. Redrich

    June 16, 2010 at 5:07 am

    Yeah, but your closing paragraph just about sums up the opening round of most WC’s.
    The teams are getting used to playing competitive games with one another, the nervous tension from their nation’s expectations are being played out, and to be honest, our belief that this is the creme’d la creme of Football, makes for a hard reality.

    The players, teams and the audience need to adjust. It’s gonna be a great competition, mate – you’ve got my word on it. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  48. Redrich

    June 16, 2010 at 5:13 am

    @Redrich: This was actually meant for @Grognard: ,mate.

  49. Grognard

    June 16, 2010 at 6:40 am

    @Redrich: Sorry mate but I have my doubts. The WC just sucks when it comes to entertainment value. With all the politics and fear that weighs down these teams, the tournament just needs to be revised. The group phase needs to be scrapped as it does nothing but cause teams to be too cautious and casual in their approach. Their is no urgency and no adventure or desire to try to go out and win a match. It’s all about not losing a match. Footy is the only sport I know of that thinks this way. Every other sport from, North American football, hockey, basketball, baseball have the mentality of outscoring their opponent to win a game. Sure defence is important but offence is the determining factor.

    Footy needs to understand that the needs of the teams and nations are secondary to the needs and desires of the game and it’s millions if not billions of fans. In north America many refer to soccer as a peasants game because it requires no thinking and because one goal feels like a feast to those who are experiencing poverty. That’s cynical but I see their point. You live in North America and you know that the American audience gets bored very easily. They want sports that are exciting with plenty of points being put up on the board. Soccer just isn’t going to deliver that but when the teams go all out to be overly cautious bordering on cowardice, well that’s just a turnoff.

    I love this game mate but I have to admit that I do not like it when it’s being played like this. Like anyone, I like goals and I like creativity. I can enjoy a 1-0 game if I see both clubs making a concerted effort to score. I expect this tournament to heat up when we get into the knockout rounds because that format will force teams to forge forward. But by the time we get to that 48 games will have gone down in flames with perhaps only a handful of them being worth the price of admission. From a fan and business perspective I just do not see how the group stage offers any suspense or entertainment value. I hope you are right mate and that it does get better because right now, it is barely beating sunburn or food poisoning for entertainment value. πŸ™‚

  50. Owen

    June 16, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Manchested United is the best Team in the World.
    Manchested United playing against Hull gives more pleasure than watching Brazil playing Korea.

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