I never completed this game as a child and he just did it in 5 minutes, mind blown.
Here I go again, another football post. My last one got me thinking about things. I want to ask a question to people. Should we regulate football clubs and what they spend?
1. Wages – It has been revealed today that Wayne Rooney has signed a new deal at Manchester United, earning himself £300,000 a week, or £1.2M a month. I mean really? I understand world class players deserve to be paid a good wage because football careers are short and all that but still is he really worth that much? He’s not even world class anymore, in my opinion he never was. He was just England’s best striker, but in case you hadn’t noticed England aren’t amazing at international level. I think personally if you set a rate for wages, you’d get more quality footballers out there and bring the game alive again. Instead nowadays you just get athletes who can kick a ball and who are just after money and don’t care about the game. If you capped salaries, only people that were passionate about playing football as a career would play and you’d get real passion back on the pitch. There should be a wage structure in place for the big clubs much like in other companies and organisations. Everyone starts at the same wage, but you get bonuses for goals scored, clean sheets, wins & cups and like in a some jobs you get a raise every year of service for your club, encouraging players to stay at one club rather than going all over the place. Look at people like Steven Gerrard, Tony Adams, etc… one club men, something you don’t get anymore because people are lured away by big salaries. I don’t like that football as a game is run like a business now and it’s ALL about money.
2. Transfers – Transfer valuations are ridiculous. How do you value a player? I think they should reset valuations and the best players in the world should be valued at around £25 million. No player is worth more than that to a club. I mean I remember back when I was young, there was a player called Christian Vieri and he was sold for £28 million at the time and I literally couldn’t fathom the amount of money that is, but now that’s not really considered very much money, but just think about that number for a second. £28 million, in fact think of the number £1 million. A million pounds is a lot of money to normal people and after all football is ‘the working man’s game’. I just think that the big clubs ruin it for everyone treating it as a money game, yes Arsenal are included this also, I will happily put my hand up and admit that about my own club, but we aren’t that bad in comparison to some others. I will use the Gareth Bale sale as an example as well of course, do you really think that he is worth £86 million, that’s about the equivalent of 3 Juan Mata’s right? Is he three times the player of Mata, no. It could do with a serious overhaul.
3. Contracts – Contracts mean nothing anymore, they should just do away with a “4 year contract” and do a yearly contract with every player so there’s no confusion. What’s the point in having a contract when nowadays most players are bought before it even ends, there’s no loyalty anymore between players and clubs. You should trust the player and that he wants to stay at the club, so when it comes around to the end of the contract, he can decide to stay and sign an extension of a year again or he can move onto another club for a fee.
4. Nationality – I know they’ve tried to clamp down on it but it’s not an English game like it once was, I don’t know what percentage of the team has to be English but I don’t think it’s enough. Yes yet again I know Arsenal are bad for this and I know it makes the Premier League one of the best in the world for it’s diversity, but the reason we aren’t great on an international level might have something to do with the big clubs not having enough room for English talent. I’ll use Arsenal as an example as I know the team well, of the starting 11 how many are English (or potential starting 11)? Gibbs, Wilshere, Oxlade- Chamberlain and Walcott. So that’s 4 of 11. That’s not even half, this is where we are going wrong, if all the teams were made to have more English players at their clubs it would be so good for young English talent.
5. Tackling – I know this is off topic but I need to put it out there as this is a football post, but I miss a good strong tackle nowadays. If it’s one thing that needs to change about the current game is what is deemed as a good challenge. I’ll use that Wes Brown challenge on Charlie Adam a couple months back as a PERFECT example. Wes Brown committed to a strong sliding challenge and won the ball, which when I was growing up you were taught to do, as long as you got the ball it didn’t really matter too much about connecting with the other player, it’s a physical sport at the end of the day. However, he slightly clipped Charlie Adam in doing so, who didn’t even go to ground I might add, and Wes was sent off for the intent of the challenge, the intent of winning the ball?! It’s just too crazy all these rules that the FA come up with and it’s spoiling the game that I know and love, red cards should be left to an accumulation of yellow cards, violent conduct and straight red offenses like tackling from behind.
6. Diving – This needs to be stamped out in every sense. To start they need to change the term from “winning a free kick/penalty” to “being awarded a free kick/penalty” after all it is down to the referee to decide not the players to go out looking for them. If you are fouled whilst trying to play the ball then a foul is awarded, it’s shameful players look for any contact and go down just to get a free kick or penalty. We should be encouraging them to stay on their feet and carry on, then bring the play back and penalise the offender, for my example I shall use an Arsenal vs Liverpool game from my childhood, where Robbie Fowler was through on goal, tried to round David Seaman, Seaman tried to pull out of the way and Fowler lost his footing as he was clipped, instead of making a big deal of it, Fowler went to the referee and said it wasn’t a foul and play was resumed. You wouldn’t even dream of seeing that today, now they are told to win the penalty and go down if caught at all. I think it’s ridiculous.
Sorry for going so off topic on the last two but i’m passionate about football as a game and hate what has become of this amazing sport these days.
After a long break from blogging i’ve decided to pick up the baton and carry on as it were. After much deliberation as to what I should start on, I thought i’d take a leaf out of my own book and start the way I did before and talk about Arsenal.
Despite what you’ve heard from the media, things within Arsenal couldn’t be much better right now. ‘How?’ I hear you say coming off the back of a 2-0 defeat to Bayern Munich? Well for a start there are more positives than negatives to be drawn from the game. For a start, I believe if Szczesny wasn’t sent off the whole complexion of the game would of been different, considering our defensive record at home is impeccable, it would of freed up time and space for our offensive players to get to work like they did in the first 15 minutes. Let’s say for example that we went on to win that game 2-0, keeping a clean sheet and scoring a couple of chances, people would be writing Bayern Munich off. Considering what happened last year when we famously went to the Allianz Arena and won 2-0, albeit getting knocked out on aggregate, it was a statement of intent being the first English team to do so. So I wouldn’t be so quick to write off our chances this year, with Fabianski taking Szczesny’s place, who incidentally is going through an amazing patch right now (watch the Arsenal v Liverpool FA Cup match), arguably the best defensive partnership in the Premier League Mertesacker & Koscielny, the anchors of midfield Flamini & Arteta, a plethora of attacking talent to choose from in midfield and a promising young talent in Sanogo. If we get off to the same start we did the other night in Munich then expect a very hard fought and surprising result.
Yes, admittedly we lost 2-0 and it will be hard to come back from that, especially if Bayern score first in the second leg. However, I still think that the defeat will kick the team up the arse and evoke a strong response from them. If Oxlade-Chamberlain starts expect him to be a key player in the match. I also expect Podolski to have a good game if he’s involved. But most of all, in the last game I was impressed with Sanogo. I will stand by Wenger’s decision to not buy a striker in the transfer window if Sanogo develops properly and is nourished by Wenger, much like another young Frenchman that came to the club! Also it’s worth remembering that Henry himself didn’t score for 8 games when he first started at Arsenal. Now I shouldn’t compare the two I know, but I just want people to get perspective in regards to the situation and not write the young man off too early. If it’s one thing Wenger knows about it’s teaching and guiding young players, all you need to do is look at Aaron Ramsey, someone who even myself over the years have bad mouthed. He’s easily one of the best midfielders in the league and he’s done that by proving all the haters wrong, Wilshere, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott and Szczesny all joined at young ages, a couple through the academy others joining from other clubs at around 16/17/18/19, now look at them!
If you look back over our baron trophyless seasons you begin to understand why we haven’t won things and understand what’s going on in the background. I knew nothing at the time only being a young teenager and not looking into how the club was run, me being 23 now and paying attention to most things behind the scenes. The best place to start would be the Champions League Final 2006, not the FA Cup in 2005 as most people say was the start of our ‘downwards spiral’. People forget that the season after our last cup we won, we reached the Champions League Final beating Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in the process (another first for an English team I believe). Yet again in circumstances that remind me of the other night, Jens Lehmann became the first goalkeeper to be sent off in a Final, and we chased a Barcelona team for the rest of the game, had that red card never been issued I believe we’d of outplayed and beaten Barcelona, much like Bayern Munich the other night, but we didn’t and that was the fateful night that started the ‘disbelief’ of Arsenal fans and pundits alike. Bearing in mind though we still went and scored from that glorious Sol Campbell header, if we could score one against Barcelona with 10 men, imagine what we could do with 11. The following season we saw an exodus of core parts of our squad, they were part of the invincibles, the likes of Henry, Cole, Campbell & Lauren. This triggered a knock on effect and we lost our top players each season from then on as we didn’t have a player of Henry’s calibre to bring in big signings.
Yet, this was a mastermind move from Wenger and the board of directors as the fees we received from all of these transfers were paying off the stadium we’d just moved into and creating more revenue, which in doing so freed up funds which are currently available this season. I never understood this obviously as I wasn’t paying attention, and now feel harsh of my criticisms of Wenger when I was a teen. Although I can resolutely say I have NEVER jumped on the ‘Wenger out’ wagon, he makes the club what it is and were he to go then expect to see what is currently happening at Manchester Untied or maybe even worse, considering it’s publicly known that several players have come out and said that if Wenger left they wouldn’t know if they’d stay, causing yet more unstability within the team and any new manager would have an impossible job. Apart from of course, the return of Thierry Henry who recently omitted his desire to return to Arsenal as a manager one day, which would be the only suitable candidate in my eyes. Although, Thierry needs to go and get some management experience under his belt first, but the raw talent and understanding of the game he possesses and his understanding of the club and how it works and our style of play would mean he would slip right in. I only write this as I can tell like many others that Wenger will leave the club in the next 3/4 years. Anyway back to the point, now we have the funds available, we are suddenly a big choice for big names, we proved this with the signing of Ozil. Think about it, we have an amazing squad available, players other players want to play alongside, we play Champions League football EVERY season, we are title contenders, we have a healthy history and a genius manager. One thing I will say, this summer watch for another German to come in, whether it be Draxler, Khedira, Emre Can or Bittencourt, it’s a pattern i’ve picked up on like the flood of french players that came in from the late 90’s/early 00’s who all wanted to play with Vieira, like Petit, Henry, Pires, Wiltord, Cygan, Clichy & Flamini. We already have Mertesacker, Ozil & Podolski, with the emergence of Gnabry, Eisfield & Zelalem from the youth set up. I think it would be fair to say we can expect one or two more German’s to join this year.
So to conclude, the reason I think we could go on and win the league if not any other competition is because we have rebuilt our core and with the funds available are on the verge of adding some real world class players to our already extensive squad, whilst still keeping a good balance! Also Ramsey is yet to come back from injury and could be the deciding factor in the latter stages of the season, only time will tell. Thanks for reading!