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The July Crazies

You may remember back in January I wrote an article regarding the air of downright lunacy that had become apparent in the January transfer window. Well, after a very slow start to the summer bazaar, it seems the heat is getting to the heads of one or two. Kevin Keegan is still at Newcastle and Lassana Diarra has not demanded a transfer, which I think you will agree is pretty strange indeed. But now the silence has broken and the verbal diarrhoea is beginning to flow. Of course Sepp Blatter felt dutibound to get the ball rolling some three weeks ago with his "slavery" remarks. Others have been a little cumbersome in following his lead, but little by little the shite is trickling down the drain. Late last week we were treated to Real Madrid president Roman Calderon`s erstwhile assertion that, "We cannot talk about footballers who aren`t ours." This extraordinary claim does not really require deconstruction, but with the laziest of glances, one can dig out the following from Real defender Pepe,

'It's normal he wants to come. If he comes to Madrid he'll be welcomed by everyone. The directors, players and fans welcome you here - Cristiano won't have a problem. He has said many times that he likes Madrid. He knows the great history of Madrid and the club that it is.'

Not enough? Well, how about this from vice captain Guti? "Real Madrid needs good players and Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player you can bring in right now. We would be delighted to have him. He wouldn't upset the good atmosphere, and anyway people tell me he's a great person and a good team player. Everyone works to earn as much as they can get and if he's one of the best players in the world he should earn more.'

Jesus. Next it`ll be the club captain coming out and….what`s that you say? Raul said what? "Any club would like to have Ronaldo. He's one of the best, one of the most tricky players in the world of football. I think the good atmosphere would continue regardless of who comes in or what they earn. That unity can't be broken." Way for Madrid to demonstrate their class and keep their counsel Mr. Calderon.

Of course, when one is discussing abject stupidity in transfer dealings, how could you leave out the club who willfully paid £16.5m for Darren Bent? Daniel Levy has expressed his outrage at the sale of Robbie Keane to Liverpool, guilting the shame faced Scousers into a donation to charity. Now I know giving Tottenham £20m is a generous gesture indeed, but to openly refer to them as a charity is a bit below the belt is it not? Of course the donation appears to have let the ever industrious Football Association off the hook as the Spuds have dropped their pants and accepted the bribe. Phew, the oafs at Soho Square nearly had some work to do. Incidentally, I wonder if Liverpool`s donation matched the £300,000 fine issued to Chelsea for tapping up Ashley Cole? Hmmmm. Perhaps Mr. Levy had an attack of conscience when he remembered just how it was he acquired the services of Juande Ramos? Or perhaps he chanced to recall the occasion that Martin Jol was the last person in the country to learn of his sacking? Or perhaps an eagle eyed press officer furnished him with the following quote from Damien Commoli following Ramos` appointment, 'Results matter and how you get results matters. One of the reasons Juande is here is because he gets results with style. That's how you get respect. I don't agree about [the board's] bad behaviour and a lack of respect [for the Sevilla board].' Oh.

Martin O`Neill has also spent much of the summer on his soapbox, vehemently decrying Liverpool`s gall in going to the press to conduct their pursuit of Gareth Barry. We know this because he`s been to the press to complain about it 538 times. Transfer negotiations should be kept between involved clubs he`s told assembled hacks more times than Jodie Marsh has slipped a nip. A shame Mr. O`Neill wasn`t so taciturn with transfer negotiations when he revealed that Pat Rice had been in touch to monitor the Barry situation. Oh dear. When talking of talking of downright stupidity in the arena of football, it is difficult to omit the odious Peter Kenyon. He of "Chelsea will break even by 2010" fame articulated the following wisdom,

'Other teams in England should be knocking on our door; teams like Tottenham, Newcastle, Villa, Everton. It's more about them getting their houses in order rather than us coming down to their level.'

Interesting stuff there. Chelsea are of course the absolute epitome of sound running of a football club, as revealed by the following facts. Chelsea currently owe £736,000,000 to creditors. £578,000,000 of which is owed to Roman Abramovich. Chelsea`s losses were around £75,800,000 last year, based on a turnover of £190.5m. So according to current accounts, if Abramovich were to ever demand his investment back, which he is perfectly entitled to do, they would have eighteen months to pay the sum lest they go under. Yes Peter, I am sure the chasing pack will be only too pleased to operate under that sapient business model, I am sure they are grateful for your sage advice. It seems the current heat wave has gotten to the heads of some. But there again, looking at the starring cast of this article, with the exception of O`Neill, most just seem to be right on form.LD.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday July 29 2008

Time: 2:14PM

Your Comments

Some people involved in football - notably those you name - would make those in 'professions' like used car sales, estate agency and tabloid journalism cringe in embarrassment. The stench of hypocrisy is overwhelming. So much for Levy's principles - we now know they can be bought - not that there was ever much doubt about it.
Great article. The whole thing is such a farce. I do want to say something in praise of Robbie Keane, however. Yes, that's from a gooner. Unlike greedy cretins like Cronaldo, Ade, Lampard and maybe Barry (he at least gave 10 years to his club), Keane actually went thru the formal procedure of requesting a transfer, foregoing his loyalty bonus. By contrast, think of the kind of money Cronaldo lives on, listen to him talk about his "dream" to move to a glamorous big club like Real Madrid--and yet he is so greedy that he can't bear to forego his bonus--so he refuses to formally request a transfer. He prefers to put his club and MU fans thru a long summer of drawn-out speculation rather than take official action and tell his club up front that he wants to leave.
Arsenal preaching on the virtues of honesty in football... I've seen it all now!
North Upper
Arsenal preaching on the virtues of honesty in football? I'm afraid you're mistaken, that was Tim Stillman preaching on the virtues of honesty in football. But I'm sure Arsenal will be happy to accept a birbe, sorry, donation, by way of apology North Upper.
Little Dutch
Will the spuddies and the soap dodgers that follow them ever learn? I fear not. i think that £20 million will go on Bentley, but they will have to sell Berbatv to recoup the £100 million they have spent in the last 2 seasons without CL football. Another sound financial plan in place I'm sure!
Add to that Man Utd's near billion £ debt, Liverpool's inability to get the stadium started and it really does look like Arsenal are the crisis club, no money, no players no ....ahwell we may aswell go home now as Spurts are clearly going to grab that 4th spot ...........pah!
Wow Chelsea paid 5m + Gallas + this 300k for Cashley. Can anyone fine Inter and Barca over Hleb then?
Lou the Gunneress
Please for the love of god, don't use that picture to head up your articles again LD... it's the first image that appears on logging in to VA, and I can barely look at that loathsome, nauseating, cack-handed, self-congratulating moron.
Not sure who's more nauseating, Levy or Kenyon.
Levy, pure fact that he is a cock and a spud!
I'm sure Abramovich is sitting on his chair , laughing megamoniacally " I have just discovered the most creative way to lose millions, first I invest alot of money in a club, then charge the money back, knowing the club can't pay it back! Mwuhawuhawuha.Next, I'll buy Mcdonald's and make it a vegetarian restaurant! It's a trillion ruble ideia!"
Bet he's cracking up about buying Veron and Crespo as footballers and turning them into sightseers! Its a £35 million pound idea!
hey get ur facts right b4 blabing out rubbish, WE DID NOT PAY 16 MIL FOR BENT IT WAS 10-12 UP FRONT AN REST ON APPEARENCES AN BONUSESS ETC, id be moe worried about cesc slowly soundin outhe swants to leave hes doing it cleverly sayin he love to move to spain one say when ye win **** again this seasin 365 days left for him.
Oh shut up you thick spud. Read this......
time will tell
"get your facts right before blabing out rubbish" back to you
Lou the Gunneress
ha ha my blabbin is true like i saidd onyl a matter of time, also id love to see how ye do with out him for a few games casue hes the one tha make sye tick, pressure on next season to win a trophy.......what id really love if ye only one the cc next season love to see yer reaction cause when we won it it was mickey mouse.....interesting thought
Could you please type in English???
if you do it win it, it will be revers team win the cup an first team trohpless............pmsl
Trophless??? Hmm!!!!!
trophyless.......u no no silverware shud be used to it by now
Yeah Cesc is an integral part of the team, everthing revolving around him. But in case you didn't notice, we as a team managed to replaced (although not like for like) Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Marc Overmars, Lauren and a certain Cashley. The only people we'd say we've found it hard to replace are Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg with their goals from midfield. Now with Nasri, Theo and Vela all able to understudy Rosicky (or even steal his place) - to use your expressions - "time will tell". In fact our team is blessed with playmakers, although "only" Denilson, Ramsey and Merida are kind of "like" Cesc in terms of style. So I personally wouldn't "worry about" losing anyone, even Cesc. Why don't you worry about your real losses instead.
Lou the Gunneress
Lou i wouldn't bother, our friend 123spud can't read words that are longer than three letters!!!!!
He's still sad the Pikey Keano finally got evicted from the marshlands of the lane.
true point lou but i agree ye have players that can fill in, also about us we wud not sell unless we have another replacement an 20 mil for keane is great business cause he would not fit into our new system.
Hehe MrA cos I'm optimistic about the team and I feel like talking about the good players. ;) Nasri to make his debut tomorrow!!!
Lou the Gunneress
tbh im 50/50 on this one. if he wants to leave then let him go same with any of yer players, like he is replacable
See, 123spurs is capable of one readable, decent post with no silly abuse. Well done. I also think Spurs got good money for Robbie Keane, but Torres-Keane is making Liverpool fans very optimistic right now. But for you guys, to let go of 3 first-team strikers (Defoe, Keane and presumably Berbatov) within like half a year is risky. Not to forget that you guys have wholesale changes in midfield and at the back since Ramos joined too. It'll take some time for them to get the understandings going.
Lou the Gunneress
bently might come back to haunt you mr arse or in fact bite u in the arse, we have no shortage of money.....riches club outside to spend on players, something wenger might think about if he wants to win somehhing
Yeah really looking forward to seeing Nasri. Just think if he sets up a goal and maybe scores one, the he's already surpassed Hleb!!! ;-o. Yes 123spud 20m is good money for Keane, but if you want to break into the top 4, then don't sell your best players to the teams that are already in there!!!! Plus you will blow most of that money on Bentley. And you would rather have Keane, right!!!
Hey MrA, I also had the impression that Ramsey and Wilshere gave more assists/game than Hleb, who's of course superior in terms of dribbling, ball control and experience. I feel that with pacy and technical midfielders who can play out wide, we'll get more end product, i.e. balls in box, crosses, passes, etc. So much pace too, imagine Nasri and Theo flying down both wings! :>
Lou the Gunneress
he prob has ye had a lack of goals from midfield, like i said im 50.50 we wont be playin 442. keane is good was god for us of course, but we will buy another striker to suit the new way ramos wants to play, adey stepped into henry shoes an done well, if keane wanted to play for a club like that (boyhood etc) get as much money as we can for him, also in last 10 games he was takin off. so it could work in our favour, who knows,
Of course those were pre-season and reserve games and lower-league games in the case of Ramsey, that I watched. But you can tell they're much more direct than Hleb. They + Cesc + Theo + Nasri + some experience in Rosicky for Arsene to rotate would be brilliant.
Lou the Gunneress
Theo and Nasri!! Not forgetting super Tom Rosicknote (when fit). Thought Wilshere looked really classy from the highlights. Can he really be only 16?!?! Theo will deliver this season, if he can pinch that right wing berth from Eboue ;-P. Just need a bit more experience in there what with Gilberto etc leaving. Some of the younger players really need to go up a level this season and i don't see why they can't.
ya alot of changes at mo, but ramos wants the players he wants an that final, keane was a shock, now 25 + for sulky berba an wait n see......have ye any more signing in pipline at the back wud be my worry again for ye
Haha yeah MrA, I just notice I entirely forgot about Eboue in my list of midfielders above :P And I have to add Denilson (who I rate) and Diaby. Even Traore I thought looked pretty good in that LM spot - his assist for the 1st goal in Austria was Clichy-esque. I really really hope Arsene fills the big hole in the middle with a class DM, then we're set.
Lou the Gunneress
with 7 subs it will help a lot with younger an fringe players
We only need one or two more signings as i feel our squad has loads of talent.
i say same about our team lol ....funny that
Ha ha Lou, how could you forget Eboue!!!!! I would love to sign Yaya but i really don't think it will happen :-( Theres no question these 'kids' are growing in confidence but as you say, we need that DM, and at the moment it seems only Arsene knows who it will be. But hey, Arsene Knows!! Looking forward to Sunday too!!!
MrA you know if we look at these guys as the first-choice XI next season: Almunia; Sagna, Gallas, Kolo, Clichy; Nasri, Cesc, new DM, Rosicky (Theo); Ade and RvP. The amazing thing's that only 2 players will be new! Basically Hleb and Flam we're replacing with new blood. I like the idea that we can keep some sort of continuity despite the departures. And the early signs shown by Ramsey, Vela, Wilshere and Traore tell us that they play the same way as our first-teamers and don't need much adaptation of style, but the pace and demands of the EPL. I know I'm a bit ahead of myself hehe, but these are reasons to be optimistic.
Lou the Gunneress
Feels a bit weird to see Jens in his new brown shirt and I miss him already.. The travelling Gooners will give him a good reception tomorrow I think.
Lou the Gunneress
what a guy he is .....he so funny i rem him an keane with corners an jens an drogba..........jens is laugh to be honest what a character u no jens def german
Agree with you 100% Lou!!! We do have some awesome talent going forward and barring injuries will cause some serious havoc. Our fullbacks are just awesome too.Pretty soon most of the young players from last year will no longer be the young players, if you get my drift ;-) We have a new bunch coming through. Lets be honest i don't think Hleb will be that great a loss. Nice touches and stuff but thats not enough. Cue Samir Nasri!!!. Will be a good test against Madrid!
Sorry Rocky and LD, we got carried away. But you can only say so much about "the July crazies" and we've had enough of madness this summer you know. And MrA and I are the kind who constantly jump up and down with our red-tinted views about the kids so there you go.
Lou the Gunneress
And why not i say!!! ;-)
to cocky alot of the players ye mention coming through have litle exp, can ye take the risk
They have plenty of experience. Most have played in a cup final, and most, unlike your players, have played in the Champions League!!!
hmm ok so why u call them reserve players when they played us in cc an so called second string
Er because they are our squad players!
MrA was referring to the young players in our first team - most have played in cup finals and all have CL games under their belts. Most of the "second-string" played in domestic cup games and got some league appearances, e.g. Bendtner, Denilson, Diaby, Traore. Only Ramsey, Vela and Wilshere are new to the top-flight but they're really special youngsters. Nasri has played in the French top-flight for like 3-4 years now, he's an established first-teamer and got into the France squad. I think our squad is just 1-2 experienced signings away from having a good exp/youth mix and being all set to go.
Lou the Gunneress
The words dead horse and flogging spring to mind!!!!
ye ssquad players not revers players.....we have hem to u no.......daws tanio boetang defoe.........they all played in cc
haha like i said time will least we lifted something
Yeah your 2nd trophy in 17yrs. Your nothing if not prolific!
Where's Defoe now? lol Ahem, I try to get back on topic - Gilberto's quotes here are 100% spot on about this madness:
Lou the Gunneress
Yes and Defoe like Sol had to leave in order to lift the FA cup!
an flamini an help left to win silverware, who's next
How very true. I wonder if Ade will play tonight, and what sort of reception he will get from the travelling Gooners???
Don't think we've ever had a player called Help. Isn't that what Robbie Keane said to Liverpool???
boo him
Hehehe we all know Flam left to make money, not win silverware. He's sunk to the UEFA Cup now. If you met Milan somewhere, watch out for him, he's a terribly annoying workaholic for opponents! ;)
Lou the Gunneress
u take spelling so serious we might meet ye in cl.......oh what a thought for ye, dont be so cocky it will come back to haunt ye
as much as i take you
Huh? We've been talking about this coming season right? Do they promote UEFA Cup teams to the CL now? I've only heard the other way around - CL teams go to UEFA Cup if they get knocked out in the early stages. Wake up! (Or good night, actually.)
Lou the Gunneress
Helb???? How can we meet in the CL dear old spuddie, you just can't get there!
Or is that yet another way of saying you'll definitely gatecrash top 4 next season? Yawn, I'm indeed sleepy now.
Lou the Gunneress
i ment if ye fin 3rd in group........also strangers things have happened spurs top 4 u can never tell
Ha ha of course they are saying they will break the top 4, it's always next year or the year after or the year........ zzzzzzzzzzz
thought u were allready asleep lou, jus like wenger said we can stil lwin the league last funny as that eh
123 are ye from the 15th century? Its just the way ye keep spelling thing just makes me think ye are me old wench!
How, what 3rd in group, what group? I still don't get it, how do UEFA Cup teams get into the CL in the same season?
Lou the Gunneress
ok ill make it simple....... fin 3rd in group of cl......goes in to eufa
We haven't done that for 8/9 yrs so whats ye point???
might happin u never no football is a funny old game
Oh, us you mean. You're right, I've never thought of that possibility because we've gone out of the group to the knock-out stage since they changed to this CL format. Cocky or not, we'll see. But we're seeded so hopefully not all of the 3 opponents will be tough in the group.
Lou the Gunneress
You guys have bigger chances of meeting Pompey and Everton and Flam's Milan, worry about those, not us.
Lou the Gunneress
Ye see 123spud if ye are going to come on here at least make sure ye have a valid argument or ye make ye self look stoopid!!
ok will do
You said "meet you in CL" when you're thinking about a possibility of "UEFA Cup", geez! Confused the hell out of me. You people really can't piece a sentence together. You did sound - to use the adjective that's fast becoming a cliche on these sites - DELUDED. Anyway, good luck against Milan, Ajax (black horses I think), etc etc. Keep gatecrashing, keep talking. Good night.
Lou the Gunneress
I can't believe we took this up to 80+ posts arguing with a spud!!
Off ye go to bed 123spud ye paper round starts in 4 hours ye will be late!
lol always take the bait.........keep dreamin guys it jus may come true hard feelings honestly
It already has 123......1971/2004!!! Night night!
is it true that we're due a hefty sum of money if Bentley continues his ambition for Champions League football if he signs from the Levy Export Import Co.?
Real Madrid and Calderon continue to "not talk about a player that isn't ours.",17033,8652_3886029,00.html Also found some interesting quotes from Robbie Keane from May 2005, when he said he grew up supporting Celtic!
Little Dutch
And G4L, yes it's true, the Spuds never tire of humiliation. After squandering all that wonga on another DB last summer, they are going to do it again with the over rated gob*****e Bentley, and we will receive a nice portion of the fee. Do they ever tire of it?
Little Dutch
Tim, the criticism of Darren Bent is unfair. He played very well for Charlton leading the line as a lone striker and as a 4-2-3-1 is a formation that Spurs seem to be assembling a squad to play, I am sure Darren Bent will justify his fee in a formation which plays to his strengths. Berbatov is a distraction but we have a fantastic player called Tomas Pekhart coming through. He may only be 18, but he has been a star at every age level and will turn some heads when gets to debut in the Premiership this year. In today's inflationary market it was not so extreme especially when players bought for less disrupt team harmony by demanding massive salary increases or the chance to move to a 'big club' after a single season. As 123Spurs mentioned, the final fee will be £16.5m if a number of conditions are met. For a 28 year old, £19m for Keane plus a possible £1.3m extra is good business. Bentley I am sure will fit well into the formation that Ramos wants to deploy. As for the signing of Ramos, whilst the way Jol was dismissed was distasteful, under Spanish Law, Juande Ramos in his final year was entitled to negotiate with any club without Sevilla's consent. It was probably morally wrong but actually not illegal.

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