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

Transfer Deadline Day: Life Imitates Football Manager

As the transfer window to end all transfer windows enters its final hours, David Wild looks at some of the recent splurges inspired by Football Manager…

Oscar Wilde once said that “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life”. While he probably wasn’t directly aware of Football Manager at the time he said this, his phrase is just as poignant today when applied to the realms of the Summer transfer window and the popular management simulation game.

Only last week I set up a group LAN Football Manager game in which a friend of mine immediately set about slicing up his Man United squad in order to purchase Bale and Neymar. In many games you can happily snap up four or five of the best young up and coming players of the future, or the big stars of the here and now in one window and watch the resulting team steamroller all before it in the fashion of a rampaging George Elekobi.

But are such crusades, hell bent towards the mass accumulation of talent, bound solely to the realm of Football Manager? More and more we are seeing the real transfer window imitate our own visionary virtual planning; teams snapping up high quality in high quantity.

We can relate to the excitement of such a squad building exercise as it calls out to the Football Manager fetishist within us. We’ve known about these players and their potential for years in advance. Some of them were just 16 year old wonderkids playing in the Finnish leagues when our scouting network picked them up. 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

5 Reasons Why ‘Holistic’ Managers are the new Star Signings

manuel pellegrini

It’s no longer enough to be a great trainer, tactician or transfer dealer. Clubs are seeking more from their managers than ever and the modern game demands polymaths who can do it all. Greg Johnson looks at how managers have risen to the top of the wish list…

Football’s answer to the “artisan” bread loaf has arrived: the “holistic approach” football manager. Once regarded as mere assistants and chaperones to the playing staff, to be undermined and ignored as required, the football manager has risen to become the game’s most iconic figure.

When speaking of Real Madrid’s early successes, their managers are treated almost as an irrelevance, and it took pioneers such as Herbert Chapman and Helenio Herrera to upgrade the status of the profession, leading to managers becoming protagonists in their own right on the sidelines. It would be unthinkable for a team to win major honours today without their coach being recognised as the key driving force, yet while the likes of George Best and Matt Busby enjoy a sort of parity in the annals of the football canon, the balance has recently shifted towards the boss.

In an age where tactical theories are spoken of as game-changers, and the individual is subjugated into the collective, the architects behind these systems have become the stars. The growing distance between fans and players has also helped to shift their focus towards the dugout in search for a more stable, appropriate figurehead for their cause. Continue reading