Tinder – a surefire solution to the transfer window?

TFN’s Alastair Nasmyth returns with an alternative method for football transfers…

The World Cup is over and the Brazilians are sweeping up the ticker tape (and sweeping away the tiki-taki) whilst trying to overcome one hell of a hangover. After valiantly fighting off her attentions for a year with protests and riots, a few misplaced Caipirinhas and they’ve woken up next to the FIFA fat girl.  Giving in to their better instincts they took the rotund Mrs. Blatter back to their place and just as the passion mounted the mood was killed when it was suggested their German friend got involved. As the haze lifts, one can only imagine what the mixed emotions of self-loathing at their elimination and pride at actually hosting the event will feel like. Continue reading

Understanding Luis Suarez: The Racism Row in Retrospect


David Wild seeks to understand Luis Suarez…

“The case with (Patrice) Evra was all false. I was accused without proof. But that’s in the past. I was sad at that moment, but I’m happy today… All the other things were like a movie that people in England believed in.”Luis Suarez, February 13th 2014.

It’s difficult to escape one’s past. When you consider the shining media spotlight that is focussed on contemporary world football’s glittering stage it can seem completely impossible.

Since the events between Suarez and Evra on October 15th 2011 that saw allegations and admission on Suarez’ part of racial abuse the striker has been tarred with one of society’s most unacceptable monikers. That of the unapologetic racist. Continue reading

Liverpool: Suarez, Reina and the Hypocrisy of Loyalty

Liverpool Echo: "LFC's Pepe Reina tweets removal van picture as he packs up to go to Napoli."

Liverpool Echo: “LFC’s Pepe Reina tweets removal van picture as he packs up to go to Napoli.”

With the usual fire, brimstone and vitriol whirling around Luis Suarez’s future, Jon Wilmore considers whether Liverpool have a leg to stand on after ditching Pepe Reina…

Liverpool are outraged. Their fans are outraged, their manager is outraged, their club mascot, presumably, is outraged. How dare Luis Suarez make clear his intention to play football in another kit. It’s disrespectful, is what it is: disrespectful for a player to ask to leave and classless for another football club, namely Arsenal, to do their best to make that wish come true.

Elsewhere on Merseyside, Jose Manuel Reina is in the process of packing up the last eight years of his life and all his worldly possessions from his Liverpool home. He’s recently informed his wife and newborn child that they’ll be moving to Italy this summer, for how long, well, we don’t really know. In less than 12 months, Daddy might be looking for work somewhere else.

With claims that his abilities had begun to deteriorate over the past two seasons, for some neutral observers it seemed that time could well be called on the once impregnable Spaniard’s reign in goal sooner rather than later. Yet, as Reina and his young family wave goodbye to their adopted city, did Liverpool show – in line with the expectations and feelings of their fans – the class and gratitude to at least bid their loyal servant a fond farewell? No, that’s right. They loaned him out, quietly through the back door, without telling him first. Continue reading

Luis Suarez to Arsenal: where have all the suitors gone?

Luis Suarez

Greg Johnson wonders why Europe’s biggest clubs aren’t in for Suarez who is said to be the Premier League’s best player and desperate to leave Liverpool for Champions League football…

A broken promise and broken hearts – last night Luis Suarez confirmed fans’ worst fears when he broke his silence to make public his desire to leave Liverpool Football Club. Claiming that the club had promised him a sale should they fail to qualify for the Champions League last season, he told Sid Lowe of The Guardian:

“[Liverpool] promised me something a year ago just as I promise that I would stay and try everything possible to get into the Champions League. They gave me their word a year ago and now I want them to honour that. And it is not something with the coach but something that is written in the contract. I’m not going to another club to hurt Liverpool.”

Or should that be, “I’m going to Arsenal” since the North Londoners are currently the only club to have made any official approaches or noises about signing the forward. According to a sizeable portion of Liverpool’s fans and commentators sympathetic to the club, not only is the wrist kissing pariah the greatest footballer currently playing in the Premier League, but one of the top five or ten players in Europe, if not the world. Continue reading

The 23 Transfer Target Strikers to watch this Summer: from Lewandowski to Andy Carroll


With a host of top clubs on high alert for a new frontman to lead the line, David Dodds looks at the 23 strikers making up the most sought-after shopping list in world football this summer…

This summer is going to be fun. After the failure of last year’s transfer window to deliver the gross manifestations of über-affluence we’ve now come to expect, plenty of clubs will be looking to splash out this summer. One thing this window looks likely to be defined by is the lucrative movement of blockbuster strikers to the titans of contemporary football. And, as always, cash-strapped teams will also be on the prowl for a new man up top.

So here’s a look at some of the men whose painfully-protracted transfer sagas are likely to dominate media narratives this summer: players whose exorbitant transfer fees we’ll either be laughing about or lauding this time next year; cheaper options whose progress is worth keeping an eye on; a crop of youngsters so good they’ll leave you questioning how the striker could have ever been declared dead; and just a jolly good chance to acknowledge the entertainment value of speculation. Whether such media pressure lifts them to the status of icons or causes their careers to crash and burn is another story all together. Continue reading

Luis Suarez bit Branislav Ivanovic, and what?


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

The Hypocrisy of the FA Cup


In the aftermath of the Third Round of the FA Cup, James Dutton takes a look at the media coverage which shapes its positioning in the football universe…

The FA Cup has found it difficult to grasp its place in the over-arching landscape of modern football. It sits as a representation of the traditions inherent in English football, a link to the past yet, supposedly, little more.

Continue reading