Random Thoughts - Six Weekend Musings of a Football Fan

Football can be a complicated thing. In the space of a few days your whole world can turn upside down. Last year when Wayne Rooney refused to sign a new contract for his club, it felt like a dagger in my back and the back of every United fan. Now of course, he is king again, kind of. More recently, in the last few weeks, I've went from loving Owen Hargreaves, to pitying him, to laughing at him, to being really confused and now a real dislike is growing as he becomes another bitter blue. So every weekend a thousand different opinions shoot through my mind. Here are just 6 of them, agree or disagree at your pleasure!

 

Robin Van Persie joins Club 100

 

Last week, I discussed Arsene Wenger's inability to spot defensive talent, now I hear that he may have had first dibs on Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, only for Fergie to steal them from under his nose. But the real Arsenal news of the weekend is not about defense (for once!). Against Bolton, RVP hit his 99th and 100th goals for the club, time for celebration, but alas in typical Arsenal style its been followed up with the news that RVP has refused to sign a new contract for the Gunners with his current deal running out in 2013.

 

Van Persie sporting the dreadlocks that made him famous.

 

With the departures of Fabregas and Nasri, RVP has become captain, and one of the few real quality players left in the team. With Wilshere out injured (and overrated), Van Persie is the one attacking threat Arsenal can rely on when he does play. He's had injury problems, but he is a lethal striker and to be honest, at the moment he's all Arsenal have got. If they lose him they take one more step down the ladder and while its very easy to fall down the ladder, its a hell of a lot harder to climb back up. Just ask Liverpool.

 

Newcastle - Mike Ashley, football genius?

 

It's only six games in, there's plenty of time to get relegated again, but whisper it quietly, Newcastle are doing quite well... Still unbeaten, the Premiership's Premier Comedy Club (TM) are defying all predictions and not being a complete joke, for once. Last Christmas (well - last day of January), Newcastle pulled off a Christmas Miracle (Day before February Miracle) and got 35 million for a player who had scored 14 Premier League goals. That money was to be re-invested promised Ashley, everyone knowing it would never be seen again. Then in the summer, Kevin Nolan was shipped off to the Championship and Joey Barton was released on a free transfer. It actually seemed like Ashley was doing his absolute best to sink his own club. Even more of a signal of such, they signed Gabby Obertan!

 

On the left: 35 Million Pounds

 

Yet the new signings seem inspired. Cabaye looks a cracking player, Demba Ba has outscored Carroll 10 to 3 since January, Obertan has looked half decent and Davide Santon is an unbelievable coup for the Geordies. Add in the return of Hatem  Ben Arfa and there is no denying, Newcastle are a better team this season than last, all with a positive net spend. Maybe that Mike Ashley chap isn't so bad? The jury is still out but Newcastle fans have a right to be excited no matter how many times that has been their downfall before.

 

Peter Ridsdale - The Real Rogue Trader

 

Just over a week ago, Kweku Adoboli was arrested for losing over $2 billion. Working as an investor at UBS, Kweku made some bad decisions and now they're all pretty much f***ed and he's going to jail. So how long can we stand back and allow Peter Ridsdale to be free, when even the corrupt financial sector is starting to get a grip. Here is a man who bet the farm on Champions League football when he was at Leeds. Did he win? Well a few years later Leeds where bankrupt and slipping further and further into the abyss of the English Football League. When he resigned Leeds were £103 million pounds in debt. His career highlights also include almost bankrupting Barnsley, bring Cardiff to the brink of extinction and advising Plymouth Argyle on how best to destroy their club. The man is a disgrace to football and whatever club he next attaches himself to might as well just wind themselves up immediately and save themselves the hassle.

 

Luiz Suarez - Resident Hothead

 

No player should ever be happy to be subbed. For the money they get and the length of their careers its great to see a player want to spend every possible minute on the pitch. But at the end of the day its the Manager's decision. He picks the team, he's the king. So when a player acts like Suarez did when he was subbed off at the weekend, storming off, kicking water bottles and throwing a strop, it undermines his boss. It raises questions and it takes away from what's happening on the pitch. When I thought of Liverpool's weekend, the first thing I remembered was Suarez, not the three points Liverpool earned. It's a real worry when Craig Bellamy isn't the most hotheaded player at your club!

 

Suarez isn't afraid to sink his teeth into a new challenge.

 

Suarez has been a revelation at Liverpool. In a time where transfer fees are inflating ever higher, he looks like a genuinely great bit of business. But while his temper may be what spurs him on the pitch, he needs to be controlled. He's filled with anger and its caused him problems in the past. Control it and you have one of the top 5 players in the Premiership, allow it to fester and you have a destructive influence waiting to tear a dressing room apart. Kenny Dalglish has some work to do.

 

Dimitar Berbatov and the Self Fulfilling Prophecy

 

I've always supported Berbatov at United. There have been many haters but I've long argued in support of the Bulgarian. However in the last six months things have gone from bad to worse. Omitted from the bench for the Champions League final, it seemed obvious Berbatov was out the door. Had PSG made a respectable bid I think he would have been gone. As this season starts, Berbatov, our top scorer last season, is fourth on the list of strikers. Rooney, Welbeck and Chicharito are ahead of him and that can do nothing but hurt a proud man. Michael Owen seems to be on a similar level, and Macheda and Diouf will want to be pushing forward. What I saw against Stoke was a man frustrated. Throwing his arms up in the air, we gave him none of the ball, but at the same time he didn't demand it. His United career is limping to a close and he has to take it by the scruff of the neck or else he risks becoming what all his haters have said he was from the start. They've been wrong till now. He has to ensure they stay that way.

 

Put a lightning bolt scar on his forehead and the heading makes sense!

 

Its all in the follow up...

 

Upon reading the news this morning that Manchester City were going to lay a commemorative wreath for the Munich Air Disaster, I'll admit at first I was dismissive. A token gesture, meaning little to nothing. However on further thought, I do hope this can be a step forward, not just for the Manchester clubs but all football fans. Last week, Man United played Leeds United and the match was overshadowed by disgraceful actions by BOTH sets of fans. The Manchester fans brought a sickening banner and sang about Istanbul, the Leeds fans replied with Munich chants. Then during the week, I see a video of a four year old singing who is that lying on the runway and it sickens me. City are taking a step forward, but it all becomes nothing if when they are next at Old Trafford or the Etihad Stadium their fans tell us that Carlos Tevez hates Munichs. Both teams suffered tragedies that day, with United's most well known, City also lost former player Frank Swift. Liverpool and Leeds have seen their own fans die in football related violence. And many other clubs can relate. And yet every week we still hear vile chants from all sides. Its time to stop. And hopefully this gesture by City will not be dismissed as I initially did, but understood and used to rid football of these incidents.

 

If you agree or disagree with any of the points, comment away, I'm grateful for all feedback!

Also did readers like the seperate points or is it something you deem passable, not to repeat in the future? Let me know!

 

And also follow me on twitter!

 

http://twitter.com/#!/David_TPL

Views: 352

Tags: Arsenal, Ashley, Berbatov, City, Liverpool, Mike, Newcastle, Persie, Ridsdale, Suarez., More…United, Van

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Comment by Tom O'Dowd on September 27, 2011 at 11:28

I like the format man, something like a good week bad week styled blog. Could vary it and do it every now and then, two weeks or month. I enjoy it though instaed of one long piece about 1 incident, you covered 6 in short snaps.

To be fair to RVP, and I'm one for loyalty, I dont blame him for holding off, but it could have been handled better to be fair.

Mike Ashley, the jury's still out reall. The man could turn around in January, sack Pardew, and sell half the team for a new house, he's that unpredictable.

Peter Ridsdale is a disgrace and should be in jail, no question.

Berbatov will be gone soon for the simple fact that Manchester United's style of play has changed this year, more pressure and tempo, and this is the complete opposite of the way he plays. Hopefully he'll be remembered for his great goals and skill that got us number 19 last year, but I cannot see him having a future at Manchester United.

The Suarez point is interesting, some people call it idiocy and stupidity, I call it passion to play and I love it. Sometimes it's hard to control yourself and even harder for the manager (Cantona/Rooney in the same category).

The CITEH, point is my favourite piece. Too long have I heard these sick chants coming from certain fans, especially Liverpool ones, laughing at people who died in Munich. This is not what football is about, football rivalry should stay on the pitch and nowhere else. If I were to start chanting 'Hillsborough Basterds!' at every Liverpool supporter and make up chants about them how would they feel? Do the families of the boys in the Munich disaster differ to the ones in Hillsborough? It needs to stop. I've never been so ashamed of my own team as to when I saw that banner in Elland Road. Football's a game, let's keep it that way.

Comment by Annie Eaves on September 27, 2011 at 10:01

If I had to put odds on him being at Arsenal next season then I'd say 50/50 right now and 70/30 (in favour of him going) if Arsenal fail to qualify for the CL.

 

Comment by Giggsy's Right Peg on September 27, 2011 at 9:45
On the van persie contract, while yes it isnt technically a problem yet, its the same kind of scenario we saw with nasri, where all of a sudden if the player decides he wants to leave the club either have to sell him on the cheap, or lose him for free soon after, and puts the player in a very powerful position, especially one as vital to the club as van persie is to arsenal. Of course nasri was not exactly "cheap", but had any team other than city bought him i dont think he would have gone for more than 10-15 million. The real problem, as already stated is that, if wenger does not want to be held to ransom by van persie (if indeed that is what van persie wants to do) then there is a very real chance of arsenal losing yet another key player to not be replaced by an adequate replacement in the short term.
Comment by Annie Eaves on September 27, 2011 at 9:32

Van Persie is 28, a 4, or even 5, year deal would take him almost to retirement - especially given his injury struggles. Even if he's only seeking 140k (I reckon it's probably more) then that's £7.3m a year or about £30m over 4 years.  There'd be no re-sale value and Arsenal don't like giving big contracts beyond the age of 30.

 

They'll struggle with this.

 

Added to that Van Persie at his age may not fancy being part of another rebuilding project. A move is not that unlikely.

Comment by David O'Loughlin on September 27, 2011 at 9:21

It's just more awful news for Arsenal. RVP doesn't need to play the contract game in public, Arsenal need him more than he needs them. And considering how stubborn Arsene is, if RVP asks for wages too high, would anyone be surprised if he told him where to go and replaced him with some young unproven new guy? Its not the end of the world yet, but when a time when Arsenal fans should be praising RVP its just become another question mark about where their team is going.

 

As for Suarez, this isn't the first time he's stormed off this season, he's definitely got a temper. If Kenny can make sure he channels it through his football then he'll be some player.

Comment by Annie Eaves on September 26, 2011 at 20:18
I think RVP is playing the contract game. Basically he is needed by Arsenal and knows this, he'll want a bumper contract. I do think there is a little fire behind this smoke.
Comment by Im_Partial on September 26, 2011 at 18:42

On RVP .... does he really need to sign right now? If the deal runs out in 2013 then it can be sorted out next summer, or he can tell them he wants out (dependent on how they do this year I guess). For me this is a non-story (in the media, not your blog post) and is just an attempt to add yet more paint to the picture of Arsenal as a club in crisis.

 

As for Suarez....kicking a bottle is chidish, but it's not a hanging offence. He posted an apology after the match anyway. He's a hot-head, and still quite young, no doubt he'll continue to channel that agression into his play and there will be no fighting and no biting whilst he's with us. I'm sure Dalglish has it covered.

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