Friday, August 04, 2006

Total Football post

Ok, I got a bone to pick...

As I have read the football news everyday for the past 3 years, I pick up on information. Like for instance, I knew Franck Ribery (my hero) signed a new 3 year deal with Marseille MONTHS BEFORE the World Cup, which would mean he was not going anywhere regardless of the fact he had an outstanding cup. As well, he barely made the squad, the French press demanded it and if not for a small injury to Florent Malouda at the beginning of the tournament he would not have seen a minute, but so it goes.

And because I read the news I have noticed error in reporting transfers, and it is pissing me off...

"...joined (new club name) from (old club name) in June 2006 following an impressive World Cup campaign in Germany."

Ok, calling Bullshit on this one!

Tomas Rosicky (Transfer from Borussia Dortmund to Arsenal) and Oguchi Onyewu (from Standard Leige to Middlesborough *now botched) have both been mentioned in this respect.

Well, June 9th was the first day of Germany 2006 and the final day being July 9th. In between those periods, there were absolutely no talks between players and Football Clubs. Every player was focused on one thing, their country and winning the cup. If they were not, they would have been killed by their countrymen.

Firstly, it would be impossible to sign in June 2006 "after an impressive World Cup," it ended in July!

But most importantly you need to understand a few things about Football clubs, they have scouts everywhere and are a lot smarter than you think. Arsenal signed Tomas Rosicky on May 23rd, 2006 (article) before the World Cup knowing that he was an amazing player and if they didn't sign him before hand well tons of clubs would want him and the price would go up. I think most Americans remember that screaming shot he put in for the Czechs second goal that was the beginning of the end for Team USA in Germany.

With Oguchi Onyewu, everybody knew that Middlesborough was all about him before the World Cup, the dumb American announcers (minus hooligan Shep Messing) all spoke of it as a done deal. Well the problem was contract negotiations and that kept him in Belgium, nothing to do with his mediocre performance at the World Cup. The dude is just huge and he fouls like he plays for the Italian side.

Other situations similar are Didier Zokora who was transfered from St Etienne to Tottenham Hotspurs, although his pen hit paper at the beginning of July, although it was a done deal end of May. As well in Germany Lukas Podolski the young striker (an winnder of World Cup Best Young Player award) joined Bayern Munich from FC Koln before the cup.

Sure the World Cup is a place to shine, look at 2002 for instance, El-Hadji Diouf from Senegal got a nice Liverpool contract after a great performance but failed to keep his attitude in check and is now barely holding a substitute role at Bolton. Liverpool aslo picked up Salif Diao (also fron Senegal) after World Cup 2002.

More recenlty and true to the quote above are players like Pascal Zuberbeuhler of Switzerland who had an amazing tournament and went from FC Basel to West Bromwich Albion. Shaka Hislop, the solid keeper from Trinidad & Tobago from West Ham to FC Dallas. Pablo Aimar left Valencia for Real Zaragoza and his price went up after Argentina's strong performance.

With a season of Club Football ahead of us, and the the transfer window close looming, expect a few more rattles from some big clubs. My hopes are that Man City does something, Shaun Wright-Phillips goes out on Loan, Portsmouth finally sign one of their rumored targets, and Newcastle add a striker so Ameobi isn't their "go to guy" while Owen is broken.