Simon Smith looks at West Ham’s move to the Olympic Stadium, and asks whether it will prove a watershed moment in English football…
Everyone seems to have something to say about West Ham’s acquisition of the Olympic Stadium as their ground, and not a lot of it positive. The huge flaws in the plan, ranging from the enormous amount of work needed before the new ground is fit for purpose to the difficulty the club is likely to have in filling the seats, are still not quite daunting enough to have convinced Karen Brady and co that it isn’t a brilliant idea and for that I think West Ham deserve a little credit for their ambition. What’s really interesting about the move is that it bucks the English trend a little for stadia ownership. West Ham own the much loved Boleyn Ground, and here they are moving to a lease bought from the government. Continue reading →
With the European scene reeling from the news that Bayern have secured Dortmund’s hottest property, Greg Johnson looks at past transfers and contract wrangles that have left fans scratching their hands or worse…
The only thing more shocking than the timing and ruthless nature of Bayern Munich’s swoop for Mario Götze was the size of the release fee clause that allowed it.
At £31.5M it’s hardly an insignificant fee, but with the 20-year-old Götze perhaps the most highly rated youngster in European football, it’s an unforgivably low amount considering the price tags attached to the likes of Gareth Bale and paid for in the case of Javier Pastore.
Heartbroken by what feels like a technicality created by oversights and complacency with the paperwork, Dortmund’s Champions League flourish will now be punctured by the impending defection of their best player to their worst, competitive enemy (Schalke not withstanding). Jurgen Klopp isn’t the first coach to suffer the pain of badly written contract clauses and perplexing transfer decisions.
Below are 10 varieties of player moves that came to pass through underhand tactics, poor decision making, disloyalty and sheer stupidity. Continue reading →
With Barcelona listing in open waters after a brutal broadside from Bayern Munich, David Wild declares that the Bavarians themselves will soon be replaced by a true, footballing monster born in the fire of the Potteries…
In the post Champions League battlefield, as the dust comes to rest, we see a world where Tiki Taka is dead. Bayern Munich were an obvious showing of the way that football is moving, with an emphasis away from silly distractions such as 83% possession and 9000 Xavi passes a game. However theirs is but a stepping stone to the next tactical and technical zenith of football. Now that Bayern have vanquished Tiki Taka from the football landscape it is only a matter of time before their own swift passing game is replaced by the next unstoppable force.
Picture a world where the Arabian consortiums had scoured the footballing landscape and plucked from obscurity the humble town of Stoke. It was to be their oasis of the beautiful game. Limitless funds would be made available and the only demand was that the club stay true to Tony Pulis’ tried and tested principles. Imagine, if you will, a world where Stoke City F.C. could buy whoever they wanted but still insisted on playing as if the pitch is made of lava and the ball will melt if left on the ground for longer than 4 passes. Welcome to the Stokelacticos. Continue reading →
It’s the football transfer that has shocked the world. Paddy Spicer Ward laments the departure of Mario Götze to FC Hollywood…
I have become somewhat disillusioned by the world of modern football. I am referring to the announcement that Mario Götze is to leave Borussia Dortmund this summer and join Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich.
The move by Munich to trigger Götze’s minimum fee release clause of €37m will make him the most expensive German footballer ever. I am however really trying to find a logical reason for Götze to want to leave Dortmund, that isn’t motivated my money. I can’t find one, and this has started to trouble me. Continue reading →
Greg Johnson looks at why the furore surrounding Suarez’s latest chomp shows football’s opinionators up to be chumps…
The outrage over Luis Suarez’s latest act of infamy is utterly bemusing. Judging by the reactions of the masses, the act of biting a fellow human adult is a crime of such moral revulsion that it can threaten the very future of football lest its perpetrator is forcibly deported and exiled from these purist shores.
Overnight the facade that once sheltered through past controversies suddenly shattered under the weight of scrutiny from the press and public. No longer a “personality” or pantomime villain, it was as if his true nature had finally been revealed to the world for belated moral evisceration.
While undoubtedly bizarre, such a response seems wholly disproportionate for a bite considering the sort of behavior from Suarez that has previously been accommodated. As yet more top ten lists and features detailing his depravity flood the social media channels, it’s worth questioning where this level of analysis with mitigating apology was following his indictment for racially abusing Patrice Evra? Continue reading →