Posts tagged ‘Manchester United’
Alistair Edwards has just made the boldest move in his A League coaching career, by signing his twenty-one year old son Cameron. It is a bold move because unfortunately it will see him accused of favouring his family, and will also see Cameron come under closer scrutiny than many of the other members of the Glory squad. Cameron is going to have to prove to many doubters that he is there on merit, and not just because his dad is the coach.
The last Glory coach to sign his son was Steve McMahon, who swore blindly that his son was good enough to play in the Hyundai A-League. Many begged to differ. He came to Perth from Blackpool, where again he signed for his father, and was voted by Tangerines fans as the worst Blackpool player in FourFourTwo magazine. Tough criticism to have to take.
Other players to have played for their father when he was coach are notably Darren Ferguson who played 27 times for father Alex at Manchester United, and Nigel Clough who played 403 times for father Brian at Nottingham Forest. His father always referring to him as ‘the Number 9′ to the press and never by his name. Kenny Dalglish had his son on the books of Liverpool when he was the Manager but never gave him a game. He did however sign him for Newcastle when he took over as Manager there and Paul made 14 appearances.
It is a tough gig playing for your father. If you struggle with form the accusations of nepotism soon surface. It can also make it awkward in the team dressing room, where the coach is not always popular. Other players loathe to speak up when the coach departs for fear of the son telling his father what was said. Having your son in your team and in your squad, puts him under a different kind of pressure, some cope some don’t.
Cameron Edwards has talent of that there can be no doubt. Technically he is very good on the ball, has great vision and a cultured left foot. He is able to pass with both feet and frequently makes himself available for the ball. There are two areas that he will need to improve on to establish himself in the A-League, and hopefully playing for his father he will be able to find these attributes. The first is physicality, Cameron is not a player who appears to enjoy a physical tussle and if an opponent closes down his space and dominates him physically he has been known to lose the individual battle. The other area is influencing the game when his team needs inspiration. He has the talent to turn a game with one pass, to carve an opening out of nothing, but several times when playing for the Glory Youth, when the team needed that moment of brilliance that he had the skills to deliver, it didn’t happen. Playing for his father he may be more confident to back himself and his ability, and we may yet see him influence the outcome of games by using that superb passing skill and vision.
Alistair and Cameron will both cop stick of that there can be no doubt, but hopefully both have the strength of character to pull through it. Hopefully both have discussed this issue before the contract was signed. Cameron has the tools to be a good player, he would not have been signed by Reading, or Melbourne Heart if he didn’t. Let us hope the fans give him the chance to express that talent, and justify his father’s faith before anyone makes any judgement on the two linking up.
in September 1993 Manchester may well have lost out on its bid to host the Olympic Games when Juan Samaranch announced Sydney the winer to host the 2000 games, but they are about to have their own piece of Olympic History, albeit temporarily.
Manchester United’s football museum will play host to the largest exhibition of Olympic Games modern and Ancient history from July. The exhibition comes from Qatar who are desperate to host the Olympic Games after it has hosted football’s world cup in 2022. The exhibition belongs to the Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum put together by German Archaeologist Dr Christian Wacker.
This is promoted as being one of the most comprehensive exhibitions on the Olympics, and includes the history of the games, doping, murder and explains the various Boycotts of the Games. There is a torch from every modern Olympic games, as well as a mini stadium where visitors can track around a track.
With the proposed Olympic museum in London’s Olympic Park being shelved this may be the closest britons get to a comprehensive Olympic history.
By all accounts this is another reason to visit the field of dreams, as Manchester United’s ground is known, and sports fans can enjoy two unique exhibitions.
The last few days have seen a change in fortunes for several top named footballers in England.
First of all there was the news that Michael “I won’t drop down the divisions” Owen is to be released by Stoke City. The former Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle, and Manchester United striker has scored only one goal this season and has failed to start a Premier League game since signing a one-year pay-as-you-play deal.
Owen, who burst on the scene as a teenage at the 1998 World Cup has repeatedly said he will not drop down to the lower divisions in English football, so many believe the curtain has come down on his career, unless he can secure a deal in the Middle East or America. Even then it would be a risk to the club signing him as in 2010 he pulled up with a hamstring injury after scoring for Manchester United against Aston Villa in the League Cup and then was out for the rest of the season In truth he has never been the same player since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament at the 2006 World Cup.
Another England player who looks set to face a sever blow to his income is Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. Word out of the UK is that Rooney currently earning an unbelievable GBP230,000 a week, will be asked to take a pay cut as he is not going to be an automatic choice in Manchester United’s big games. Rooney has slipped down teh pecking order with the emergence of Robin van Persie, Japanese player Shinji Kagawa – who became the first player to net a hat-trick in the Premier League – and Danny Welbeck.
This could well be another shrewd stance by Ferguson, who may believe Rooney’s best years are behind him. Faced with a drop in salary Rooney may well seek a transfer prior to his contract expiring in 2015, which would mean Manchester United could demand a substantial price for the still lively 27 year old. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. If Rooney is as dedicated to the United cause as he professes, he may take the cut on the chin. If he wants regular first team football or a similar salary he may well move on.
However one player who looks set to benefit from consistently performing well is Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez. He has just been granted a pay rise that sees his salary go past GBP120,000 per week. Suarez signed new terms with Liverpool last Summer after rejecting moves to Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, that saw his salary more than double to GBP80,000 per week. His new contract like most players at Liverpool was incentive based, and his 28 goals in all competitions this season has seen him trigger a pay rise. Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports wanted a bonus oriented pay structure on all new contracts following the large sums paid out for under-performing players in the past. The pay rises kick in as soon as a target is reached. So love him or hate him Suarez has delivered on the park and has been rewarded for his efforts.
However, seriously is any sportsman really worth that sort of money per week?
The purchase of Robin van Persie by Manchester United has really proved a shrewd move by Sir Alex Ferguson. Not only has the Dutch striker blossomed on the pitch with his 19 Premier League goals helping the Reds sit top of the league but of the pitch it has also paid huge dividends.
It has just been announced that based on shirt sales van Persie is the most popular player in the English Premier League. He has taken top spot from United team mate Wayne Rooney. The former Arsenal player dominates the market with sales of shirts with his name and number making up a massive 25.4 per cent of all personalised kit sold.
Whether that helps Manchester United recoup the GBP24million they paid to secure his services, only the clubs accountants will know.
One thing it does prove is sometimes nice guys do finish first!
For many years the only reason that people knew where Cape Verde was located was purely because it was the only place in Africa that would allow South African Airways to refuel during the Apartheid era, and helped the airline and the country maintain links with Europe.
Now the tiny country made up of ten islands in the Atlantic ocean off the West coast of Africa with a population of just over half a million is on everyone’s lips for a very different reason, for in its very first African Cup of Nations Cup finals it has made it through the group stage and into the quarter finals. A truly remarkable achievement that no doubt has many other African nations green with envy.
It is hard to put this achievement into context, except by comparing it to the rise of Hoffenheim in German football and Wimbledon in English football, both clubs who rose from the minor leagues in their respective countries to compete in the top divisions in a very short space of time.
Cape Verde is the country with the smallest population taking part at the African Cup of Nations and a similar achievement would be that of Trinidad and Tobago or Costa Rica making the World Cup finals.
Cape Verde joined FIFA in 1986, and just a few years ago was ranked 182nd in the world. They have now climbed to a position just outside the top fifty. A rapid rise and a truly amazing one.
Their fans were kept on a knife edge during their game against Angola as whether they progressed to the quarter finals was largely dependent on the other game being played simultaneously, South Africa versus Morocco. For ninety minutes the rode the wave of emotions as one minute they were through before suddenly they were not; that roller-coaster ride that makes being a fan so special and memorable when the final whistle sounds.
Despite many being surprised their achievement should not come as that great a shock when one looks at the genetic stock of Cape Verdeans. A study taken in the last ten years revealed that their ancestry is 15.9% African and 84.1% European in the male line and more than 10% West African in the female line. With Portugal being the former colonial master they come from good footballing stock.
In fact Cape Verde has produced or had links to some very good players over the years, former Swedish player Henrik Larssen’s father is Cape Verdean, Patrick Vieira’s mother is Cape Verdeanas is Patrice Evra’s, both of these players playing for France. The Netherlands’ Luc Castaignos mother comes from Cape Verde.
While the following players who have or do play in the Portuguese national team are all Cape Verdeans such as Nani (Manchester United), Jorge Andrade (Porto, Juventus) Rolando (Porto) and Nélson Marcos (Benfica, Real Betis, Osasuna). Imagine how good they would be if they had managed to hang onto some of these players.
There is no doubt they have charmed Africa and the football world in general in this tournament and many will be watching their games with far greater interest in the future. Surely they couldn’t go on to become the first African nation to win the World Cup? is that too much to dream?
“I don’t want to go to Chelsea” was a song from the eighties by Elvis Costello, but it may soon be an anthem for professional footballers, as despite the money they may receive it is club where players appear to sink to a standard of behaviour that means they will be remembered more for their actions, than their football. Spoilt little boys are nearly always judged by their actions.
Chelsea’s charge sheet in recent years does not make good reading. In February 2011 Ashley Cole shoots and wounds a student on work experience at Chelsea’s training ground while he was “larking about” with an air rifle. In September 2012 John Terry is banned for four matches by the FA and fined £220,000 after he was found guilty of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. An incident for which Terry was cleared at Westminster magistrates court. In October 2012 Chelsea players accuse referee Mark Clattenburg of using “inappropriate language” towards John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata. Later Chelsea are forced to admit “regret” at their handling of the case when the referee is cleared. InDecember 2012 the FA ban Mikel for three games and fine him £60,000 after he admits using threatening words in the referee’s room after the game with Manchester United.
Now in January 2013 we have Eden Hazard kicking a ball boy, for which he received quite rightly a red card. It matters not as many apologists for Hazard state, that the ball boy Charlie Morgan is the son of Swansea City director Martin Morgan himself worth GBP42million and may have been blatantly guilty of gamesmanship in holding onto the ball, and possibly milking the extent of his pain. The clear and unarguable fact is a professional footballer should not be kicking a ball boy!
Hazard will be fined, but what damage will that do to his life and how much will it hurt him personally? Any fine should be given to a young team for their development and maybe Hazard should be forced to be a ball boy for their games, to learn some humility.
There can be no possible excuse for his actions, and it is time that footballers learned their place in society. Yes they are human beings, yes they may lose their tempers, they may get provoked, but the reason they earn as much as they do is not just because they are talented entertainers, it is because whether they like it or not, they are heroes to many, and with that heroic status comes a responsibility. A responsibility to behave off the pitch and often on it as well, in a way that is inspiring to many young children. Whether you like it or not, whether you are comfortable with it or not, when you signed up to be a professional footballer or play any sport professionally, you are in a privileged position, being to be paid to do a job that is the envy of many, a job which sees you feted and adored, you also signed up to be a role model with a responsibility to behave in a sensible and mature way.
Ball boys have been a part of many sports for more years than most of us can remember, and many end up fulfilling their dream and one day running out onto the pitch or the court, emulating those heroes that they once served. Former World number one tennis player Ivan Lendl, now coach of Andy Murray was himself once a ball boy at a national tennis tournament in Ostrava in 1969. In the same year Kenny Stroud was a ball boy at the League Cup Final when Swindon Town defeated Arsenal 3-1, two years later he was signed by Swindon and in 1977 was a finalist in the Goal of the season in England.
Often ball boys – who rarely receive any financial reward for their time – are the players of the future, and if the players of today fail to respect their contribution then the sport is heading down a vary dark path.
Eden Hazard should be severely punished for his actions. Ball boys, like referees should never be subjected to such aggressive behaviour and any player who carries out such an act, irrespective of their status and salary, should be severely censored and punished.
At the same time Chelsea Football Club needs to have a long hard look at itself and the behaviour of players honoured to wear their club shirt. This is a club with a proud history, and despite the success the club has had, most true fans and former players will not want to see the club tarnished by such actions. Just as a team is only as good as its last game, so too is a club’s reputation. It is time for Chelsea to clean up its act, and they can start by giving Hazard the severest of punishments. Set the tone now for the future, and let us see if the Manager really is the gaffer!
No, Sir Alex Ferguson is not showing Wayne Rooney the door from Old Trafford.
Instead and autographed and laquer-sealed number 10 shirt belonging to the Manchester United striker is to be mounted on the petrol tank of a very special motorbike that will be going under the hammer next month.
On the rear mud flap will be artwork depicting Rooney’s goal of the season in 2011 against Manchester City that helped United win the Premier League title; this was his perfectly executed overhead kick.
The motorbike which is being promoted as having been designed by Rooney is expected to sell for between GBP40,000 – 60,000 according to Auctioneers Bonhams, with all proceeds going to the charity, Kidsaid. The 2012 Lauge Jensen diamond encrusted custom-made cruiser will go under the hammer at a sports memorabilia auction in Chester on February 20th.
No doubt it will be snapped up by some Manchester United fan somewhere in the world, although a great many fans could think of nothing worse than looking at such shirt on the petrol tank between your legs every time you went out for a ride.
If reports are true Michael Owen was asking for $40,000 a game to come and play in the Hyundai A League. The only good news is that no one was prepared to pay that for a player who has started 4 games in the past year.
Owen, 33 was one of the most successful strikers in British football, having scored 158 goals in 297 outings for his hometown club, Liverpool. In 2001 when Liverpool won the UEFA Cup, the FA Cup and the English League cup he won the Ballon d’or as the best player in Europe. A move to Real Madrid saw him maintain his good form as he scored 13 goals in 36 games. His record for England is also impressive having scored 40 times in 89 appearances.
Yet everything has to be put into perspective. Owen has been a shadow of the young player who stunned the world at the World Cup in France in 1998 scoring a memorable goal against Argentina. Just as it was playing for the national team that made people sit up and take notice, it was playing for England that slowed his career down. At the 2006 World Cup in England’s third game against Sweden he crumpled in a heap after 51 seconds and his anterior cruciate ligament had torn.
There is no doubt that this injury curtailed what promised to be a glittering career, and why at the age of only 33 clubs would not be prepared to consider a player with such a fantastic record and pay what he is asking.
In 2009 Manchester United took a punt on his reputation signing him as a free transfer from Newcastle United. He managed just 6 league starts and 19 in all competitions. In all he made 52 appearances including those as a substitute in all competition in three years scoring 17 goals. Another free transfer saw him move to Stoke City where he has made just five appearances and four of those as a substitute.
Yes, he was a superstar, yes his name means a lot to football fans, but not nearly as much as it used to. What is so incredibly sad is that he would have made a great deal of money from the game, so why would you try and squeeze so much out of a League that is just finding its feet. Sure his image has a financial value and many Liverpool and England fans would want to meet him and possibly see him play, but if that is the case reduce the wages and ask for a slice of the merchandising profit.
Some players want to keep playing because they love the game, and that is why they drop down the leagues and keep playing and helping the next generation. Owen, clearly does not love the game that much. One cannot blame Owen or his management for trying to squeeze whatever they can out of a new club, but when you have made as much money as he has and are well past your prime it is important to look at the damage such requests do to the value of your image! Keep on with such unrealistic demands and soon your image too will be worth considerably less.
With the rain falling persistently over the weekend it was a chance to take in more sport than normal via the television, and sitting there trying to avoid the betting updates plastered over the screen one thing became abundantly clear, how little insight the vast majority of ‘expert commentators’ actually give.
It is as if they have become homogenised cliched side kicks who will only offer platitudes and praise, when honesty and insight are whats wanted by the viewer.
Some, the good ones, explain why a team is on the back foot and what the manager/coach needs to change to alter the game, but sadly many ex players simply do not have that vision. Trust me, having worked with one former international athlete, this is a fact. The athlete in question asked me to explain who was the better team in the first half and why, just prior to a live cross, only to regurgitate my thoughts.
What is frustrating is the unwillingness to criticise or highlight glaring flaws in a player or a team’s performance. It appears sometimes as if the ‘expert’ has been briefed to only say positive things about everything, which is ludicrous. If a game is poor the viewer can see it, so don’t try and make it out as anything else. If a young player makes a howler of a mistake, talk about it. If a star player is under performing say so. You do not have to assassinate the young boy or girl, but you cannot ignore the truth that the viewers at home can see for themselves.
The question has to be asked are these people loathe to criticise because they fear for their jobs? If so that too is a sad state of affairs.
In the sport of football one of the reason’s ex Socceroo and Manchester United and Aston Villa goalkeeper Mark Bosnich is so popular is that 99% of the time he says it as it is. His slamming of Sydney FC’s performance after their 7-2 defeat against the Central Coast Mariners was warranted. They were appalling and they did capitulate, – without taking anything away from the Mariners,- and it was good to hear Bosnich be frank and honest.
The average sports fan these days is far better informed than he was twenty years ago, you cannot pull the wool over their eyes, as they sit in the comfort of their home watching. Time for some more honesty, if the ‘expert ‘ is not happy to criticise his former team mates, or young players move them on and find someone who is and who knows their stuff. When you do, watch the viewing figures climb.
The English Premier League is believed to be looking at introducing its own financial fair play rules, as concerns grow over UEFA’s intent to crackdown on clubs who fail to adhere to the European governing bodies new regulations.
The issue was apparently raised at the Premier League annual meeting in June where the new rules were scrutinised. The EPL already has some checks and balances in place, such as its members having to produce three-monthly tax bills for the Revenue and Customs office as well as providing proof that they can manage future budgets.
It is however, as mentioned previously, the spiralling fees being paid to player agents and the escalating wages of the players themselves that has prompted a working party to look at whether England needs its own Financial Fair play rules. To change the constitution of the Premier League to adopt such a move, which has been endorsed by Manchester United and Liverpool would only take 14 of the clubs as all that is required is a two-thirds majority.
John W Henry told Liverpool fans via the club’s website “The mandate of financial fair play in Europe is for clubs to live within their means, recently I was told that half of the clubs in the top divisions are losing money and 20 per cent are in straits of varying degrees.” Common-sense will no doubt prevail and this will in time be implemented.
Mr Henry’s comments could easily have been made about the A league clubs, as well as most of the State League clubs, especially those in Western Australia, so maybe similar financial fair play rules need to be adopted here rather than trying to enforce a salary cap that is easily bypassed. However the hardest thing will be to get everyone, or at least the required number of clubs to agree. Not The Footy Show believes that the A league clubs had recently reached an agreement in relation to splashing out exorbitant sums on Marque players, only to see Sydney FC go out and do exactly that on Italian star Alessandro del Piero. Actions often speak louder than words and one wonders whether such a key change to ensure the future of clubs and the game, would ever manage to be approved in this part of the world.