Opinion: The Super League undressed one vital ingredient hidden in plain sight

The Dirty Dozen or the 12 clubs who was breaking away from the Football governing bodies and creating their own league on Sunday the 18th April 2021. Have shown the world their true character and reason for ownership in the sport in the first place. The clubs have been taken over by sports owners, businesses and financial backers who is in for a quick buck. This isn’t owners who cares about football, its traditions or the legacy of these clubs. No, they are a MEAN to an END.

The clubs in question are useful tools for a cash-grab and a huge profit margin in sports where there isn’t to much investments for supporters and consumers world-wide to buy the product. If that is TV-Licensing deals, sponsorships or merchandise sale. It is all ways to sell the products and get the money flowing. Get the business from going from red to black in a heartbeat.

The 12 clubs and additions would have a financial wet-dream and be in a beneficial agreement. Where they would earn big money before even playing and just participating in the Super League. These teams would earn fortunes and they would just change the rules of the game. The pyramid of national leagues or even UEFA club coefficient wouldn’t matter. These twelve teams would get an advantage and be partners in their own system.

They wouldn’t have to care about the rules of FIFA, neither the tournaments of UEFA or the national association. The teams would be separate from the national leagues and cups. The 12 in question would live on their own island and on their own terms. Not playing in solidarity with others than themselves and gaining the perks of that.

That is why the Super League was so baffling. Yes, the UEFA and FIFA isn’t perfect. They are corrupt and have well known cronyism. The UEFA governing body is a greedy machine and the same is FIFA. So, the 12 clubs are just a mirror of their efforts, but in their own way. The 12 teams have been living in this greed and been building its prestige within these systems. That’s why breaking away would be a betrayal of the system they have grown big in.

Neither of the parties I have mentioned has clean hands. In the end its the supporters and fans who pays the price. The clubs are only being wealthy and rich, because of fans and supporters are willing to spend their dimes on them. They are buying tickets, subscription to Pay-Per-View and other things in connection with them. Not like the clubs can live or work without fans. They are the one reason for their existence in the first place.

The Super League was built on a shaky ground and would be a damned from the start. There would be so many left behind and leagues shattered because of the betrayal of these 12 teams. The owners of the teams might seek to find a way out. As their wet-dreams went south. The fans and the football bodies didn’t accept this. However, the teams still needs a reminder and they we’re close to making it happen. They had finalized the deal and went out with sort of collective statements. They we’re proud founding clubs of the Super League. These teams needs to be reminded and get a punishment. The Football Associations and others needs to react swiftly. It cannot just be water under the Stamford Bridge. It got to be something, drop of points and transfer embargoes. They need to feel.

The 12 teams are maybe not able to configure the league. As teams are ditching out the deals tonight. Sports directors and CEOs are resigning. We are seeing rumours of trading teams or trying to sell. All of that because they couldn’t bath in glory and swim in coins like Scrooge McDuck. However, the clubs was willing and was close to ditch everyone else. That got to have consequences. This cannot just conspire to happen over night, release it out of the bag and scare whole of Football Europe without any sanctions or punitive actions. The clubs who was willing to betray their national leagues and associations needs to be addressed. These has to be answered and they have to wonder why they wanted to leave the fold for their own game.

The owners underestimated the values, the reach and the general support for Football in Europe. These owners aren’t close in the alleys and streets around the stadiums on the day-to-day basis. They are only looking over the stock portfolio and the bottom-line on their investment. If it is yielding good money and great returns. Now, they are seeing the heart of the matter and possible the outreach of clubs. They didn’t just buy a Football Club, but also a local stakeholder and a part of a community. That cannot just be traded or sold as a loaf of bread. No, it got to be respected and honour the commitment of the fans it has.

The Dirty Dozens owners forgot this part. They forgot why they exist. Now, these clubs better face consequences and answer for the Super League. The resignations and possible sales of clubs isn’t saving it. That is just damage control after a failed enterprise. They we’re supposed to get a quick fix of money and run their own game. Now, they have lost without even playing a game. The PR is ghastly and the reputations is in tatters. The trust in the owners and the boards is at a all time low. These folks are willing to trade it all for a JP Morgan security of steady cash-flow.

The Super League shows how the Americans lives in their own world of Money-Ball. Where clubs are vehicle for printing money and securing favourable deals in Entertainment/Sports. That is all it is to them. They don’t value traditions, competitions or the rules of the game. No, it is money and that is what it all boils down too. They don’t care about Bushby, Shankly or Shearer. No, they only care about Pound Fucking Sterling and Euros. Peace.

Opinion: Supporters have to learn from AFC Wimbledon [Super League, don’t join’em, but beat’em]

I always remember back to Wimbledon and their rough playing style (the Crazy Gang). Wimbledon as a team was filled with sometimes misfits and out of character players. However, they did entertain and showed courage on the pitch. That is why the Wimbledon team was respected and deserved credit for what it did.

However, at some point the team fell apart. It also got relegated and got new owners. That really relocated the team and its facilities. This cause furore and fury among the loyal supporters. Wimbledon deserved much better. The owners went ahead and relocated it. Nevertheless, the supporters started from scratch and built up a new team.

MK Dons – The Owners Club:

MK Dons, formed in 2004 from the ashes of Wimbledon FC, began playing their football at the National Hockey Stadium under the guidance of Stuart Murdoch, but poor results would lead to his dismissal in November of the same year and the appointment of Danny Wilson in his place. The experienced Wilson was in charge during the Dons’ most turbulent spell as a Club, escaping relegation from League One on the final day of the season thanks to Gareth Edds’ 84th minute winner against Tranmere Rovers.” (MK Dons – History).

AFC Wimbledon – The Supporter Club:

It was preserving that glorious past that drove followers of the club to start again in the summer of 2002 after a specially appointed three-man FA commission shocked football fans everywhere by allowing the old Wimbledon FC to relocate to a Buckinghamshire new town. Determined not to let a proud 104-year history die, Dons supporters organised themselves and within just six weeks AFC Wimbledon – a club the commission had declared would be “not in the wider interests of football” – was born” (AFC Wimbledon – About Us).

This here is a cautionary tale, as well as one that has to inspire, as AFC Wimbledon is the game ahead and what the supporters needs to do. Yes, the owners can have the stadiums, the licenced names and jerseys. They can have the logos and even the grounds where the proud history of the clubs was made. However, the owners doesn’t own the supporters or the fans. They are the reason why the clubs are profitable and big business. These are the ones spending and making football viable as an investment.

Therefore, now that the Super League becomes a thing. The fans of the Big Six in the United Kingdom better learn from AFC Wimbledon. If they want to take care of the rich history and what matters. They better start their own clubs and forget the old ones. They are like the MK Dons. The clubs of the owners like Glazers, Levy and Henry. These people are in it for business and profits. Those fellows isn’t in it for the love of the game, but to earn quick bucks. That is why they are invested and interested in a Super League where they control and secure the bag.

That is why the supporters, fans and everyone who loves the sport. Have to start a fresh. They got to do like the Wimbledon fans had too. They had to stand strong and united, be courageous and not take the bollocks from the owners. They have to start new clubs in their stead. The supporter unions and organizations have to organize together in a manner where the they all can participate and create new clubs. Clubs which will represent the supporters and be “theirs”. Not be money-making machines for rich investors or hedge-funds.

Supporters have to stay grounded and think for the long run. Because this Super League is only envisioned as a cash-grab for a selected group of owners who has no care in the world in the spirit or the ideals of the competitions. They want a huge profit quickly and earn fortunes on the hard work and dedications of supporters for decades before they arrived to the clubs. These individuals want to take the heritage and the history of these clubs to get a few more shillings. That is what they do and leave behind a lot of national leagues, cups and European competitions without their presence. All been done for a creation of a money-ball situation. That’s it. The rich historic clubs traded on the alter of crony capitalism. That is tragic and therefore, the supporters have to challenge this. Just like the great supporters of Wimbledon who lost their home, their club, but they started their own with AFC Wimbledon, because the owners traded it away with the MK Dons.

Now, the big clubs are trading away their histories and their collective place for a shot at this Super League. In their stead the supporters have to create new teams in Milan, London, Manchester and elsewhere. To show the owners that they got nothing without the supporters and in the end… the souring profits will stop when they don’t have the ratings, the licences, the merchandise and gift selling. They only have empty stadiums and TV-deals, which the supports might boycott. That will be the tragic end. That is if the supporters are willing to risk their clubs, which have already been traded and taken for granted by a few greedy owners. Peace.

Opinion: The “Owners” League

The establishment of the European Super League (ESL) is practically the “Owners” League. This is made by and made for the owners of these clubs. The owners of these Football Clubs see the profit and possible incentives to control the licensing and merchandise directly. Not being part of the European Football bodies or governing associations. This is taking direct control of their investments and finding ways of getting a possible cash-cow.

The Super League is the European answer to the American Money-Ball. Where they have “World Series”, NBA and all the other leagues where Franchises and Owners of Teams are automatically part of the leagues. These are not made by national associations and by league structures that makes it possible for the underdog to get to the top. Because, the leagues are pre-fixed and has the Major League Teams already secured play.

The same will be with the Super League. Where the Founding Teams and such will have a favourable spot. These clubs will be there and never get relegated. These clubs with their massive wealth will sign of their own rules and together not care about for instance the “Financial Fair Play” or other measures to make the game more interesting.

With this sort of game-play and league. There will not be possible to see Burnley or Sheffield United beat Manchester United or Tottenham. No, they will not be able to participate or even try to play other second tier teams in the other leagues. They are practically shut out of the competition and the league is a narrow joint venture between the capital strong clubs of Europe.

The ESL is just made for the owners and not for the supporters. This is not intended on making it better for fans or making the sport more competitive. There is already Champions League and Euro League under the UEFA umbrella. Where the European Club Association has a say and is a vital member of. Therefore, ESL is playing around this and trying to be challenger to this.

What the ESL is losing out of is the direct competitions and the growth of the national leagues itself. If La Liga, Premier League or Serie A wasn’t competitive and interesting the supporters would ditch that too. However, the race for the titles and the race for the European titles as well have fuelled the interests for years. The ESL wants to cash out of that without putting the work down.

These clubs wouldn’t be interesting or as big as they are, if they didn’t participate or being part of the bigger picture. So, if they go along with this one and plays this one out. They are outplaying themselves too. You cannot grow naturally on your own. The competition will be pointless and mediocre with time. Especially, if the fans ditches things or boycotts it. As they feel betrayed by the owners and the financial backers of this. The owners wants quick money and control. They don’t want to be playing to rules of the game or the governing bodies of it. No, they want to the dough and wants to eat quickly.

That is what happens when you mix a lot of rich billionaires, oligarchs and hedge-fund investors taking control of Football Clubs. These are only calculating profits and possible returns. They are all in for their ends and doesn’t care about the love of the sport. These has invested to get money and earn money on buying the clubs. That is why they are doubling down on it and preparing for the ESL.

The ESL is the “Owners” League. It isn’t made for the supporters, but as a incentive to make it more profitable and cash-in money quickly. However, that can also only happen if the supporters actually follows and does participate in this. Nevertheless, supporters and fans are already outraged.

We know that will matter, but they are not taking that in. As the money is to big to care about few screaming out and being mad. They need to see the bottom-line and if the money goes from red to black. When they do that… then they are earning money and they don’t care what the older fans cared about. Peace.

Opinion: The European Super League [it’s all about the money(!)] and forgetting the fans

It is now officially that there been made a deal or an agreement to form an European Super League. This has been made with the American Bank JP Morgan and other owners of European Clubs. This being the owners of the 15 big Football Clubs.

The clubs who is involved is Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Athletico Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus. These together will form the core of the league. That is 12 clubs with additional 6 teams to become 18 teams league.

This is a formation made with the financial backers and owners of the clubs. These are oligarchs and wealthy hedge-fund owners who is trying to make their own cash cow, which they control and not involving either UEFA or FIFA. These clubs will run the tournament and be the chiefs in their own house. These is all founded by the financial backers and the ones owning the clubs. It is their own drive to make a more profitable enterprise.

The Super League at this point is slated to start in the 2023-24 season. This means the club will be preparing for the shift and the machinery behind the launch of the League until then. The managers and the clubs will be making preparations for it. While they might focus less on the National Leagues or the European Cups (Euro League and Champions League). They maybe not even care about the FIFA Club World Cup. Therefore, this is creating their whole own additional thing without considering the implications of the current tournaments the clubs already participate and is members off.

The modern day football have been driven by money. The salaries and the revenue have reached epic sums. The clubs, the merchandise and licensing is profitable enterprise for the European elites. The clubs has fans worldwide and the stars has posters everywhere. That is why these clubs who signs up to this Super League could profit and make vast fortunes to cover the eventual debt or prices of operation. However, they are also not respecting the football’s governing bodies or the traditional tournaments, which have made the sport and the clubs big in the first place.

This clubs didn’t grow on a island. They grew as a part of a football body and part of the evolution of football. These clubs have been part of the changes with UEFA and their National Leagues. If they feel to big for these bodies now. Then they are disrespecting the national associations and their roles in supporting their growth. The clubs are grand and great, because the Football Associations and supporters made them huge.

If they would pick the Super League and do this deal. Take the bait and the funds. They would have fight for relevancy and be a secondary league or tournament to the ones already existing. These are sort of making their “upper echelon” Champions League and formalizing it. The elite making their own league and ignoring the other champions of Europe. They are not caring for the second tier from the other states who also can get their cut and sometime meet the giants at their field. That is the beauty of this game.

Now this will block the greatness of the possibility of seeing the Messi’s and Ronaldo’s against the national heroes of Eastern Europe or Central Europe who could only dream about challenging such big stars on the pitch. They are now relegated by default and by the cynic approach of outside owners who see the money, but not the heart of the game.

If I we’re a Liverpool support. I would turn to Everton. Similar with the other clubs. If they decide to do this. Yes, UEFA and the National Association have to take their turns. They got to show force and enforce strict rules. So, that the ones that betrays the leagues get punished. However, this only proves what the American Money-Ball people thinks. They can juice up the clubs and make them invisible to the rest. Instead of investing and securing a better football product for all supporters.

This is corporate greed, which has grown strong into the Football Community. This is the market driven and profit thinking. Instead of loving the game. This is the owners taking it all in their hands, using their leverage and trying to forge their own rules. Instead of using all governing bodies of Football. Yes, FIFA and UNICEF have become cash-cows and big business too. Still, they are capable of exporting and making the sport more interesting for the supporter. Yes, they have made greedy agreements and shady transactions, which the manner they have traded the World Cup on the International Stage.

However, the National Leagues and European Cups have been successful and grown massive interests. That’s because of the competitive nature and international interests on these competitions. This is why the world is following Champions League, Euro League and the other National Leagues like Premier League, Serie A, La Liga and others. Which has all created interests and fans all across the globe.

If the big-teams ditches this and creates their own by corporate interests, instead of their fans. They are losing their key ingredient to why they became big-clubs in the first place. If the fans and supporters ditches the Super League and forget these clubs. Then they are losers and have huge bills to pay for empty stadiums. It maybe not happening at first. However, when they are not participating in ordinary leagues or competitions. What will drive them to make them better or challenge for titles? When they are in their secluded little league… of giants… who just plays along themselves.

That will end hurt themselves. It might work for a few seasons if the backers are lucky, but the prospects and the greatness will fade. As these will not have growth potential or glory in their respective fields anymore. They will be lonely in their own tournament and maybe not allowed to return to respective leagues and such.

In previous times, when clubs have demoted or breached rules. They have lost points, been relegated and even pre-fixed to struggle in the up-coming season. If these clubs abandon their respective leagues and wants to return “home”. Then the associations should use measures to stifle and make them pay for their disloyalty. Also, in a way where the club pay a hefty price and also on the pitch. Since the owners didn’t value the additional support or the traditional leagues.

The Super League is the Money-Ball experiment in Europe. American investors and corporations thinking they can juice up a cash-cow and call it a day. Where they can use strong brands and huge platforms to make a “World Series” and hope for a “Super Bowl”. While forgetting about the UEFA cups and the importance of national leagues. This is why this is a destructive move and as a supporter of football. A tragic move. A move made only for the pockets and not for the heart of the game. Peace.

Opinion: If Guardiola is a tactical mastermind, he should manage with 3 substitutes!

pep-guardiola-manchester-city-press-conference_3739994

Now that the Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola is having his first real test as a professional manager, he wants to revamp the system. So that it can with ease fit his protocol and tactical, mastermind of tactics are struggling with “only” having 3 substitutes in the Premier League. Since he doesn’t have Arjen Robben or Lionel Messi; he has Sergio Agüero and Kevin De Bruyne. Seems, like they are not up-to his level or his standard of football, he is not winning with ease as Guardiola did in Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

With History in Mind:

“On 21 August 1965 Charlton’s Keith Peacock ensured his place in football history by coming on as substitute for injured goalkeeper Mike Rose at Bolton. The Football League had decided to allow substitutes from the start of the 1965-66 season, although only to replace an injured player. There had been many calls for such a change over the previous decade and the issue achieved prominence after a series of FA Cup finals had seen teams depleted by injury, often with decisive influence on the result” (Bateman, 2016).

What Guardiola was saying:

“’It’s not just English football, it’s all around the world. We’re going to kill the players,’ Guardiola said” (…) “‘For that reason we have to have huge squads, more money for the clubs to spend. Just three substitutions right now… why can’t you make four, five or six? ‘That [would] mean all the players are involved more than they were before. The coaches can use different tactics, where you can change four or five players’. ‘It’s [then] a more open game, not always the same. Less injuries. Everything would be better. I think UEFA and FIFA have another opinion about that.’” (Gaughan, 2016).

So to be able to change a forward, midfield and defence isn’t enough as he has loaned away Joe Hart to Torino, not thought much of many of the other former big-players under Roberto Manchini, Guardiola are now wanting to revolutionize the Substitutions system in the Premier League. This is the same kind of whining we heard similar fashion when Jose Mourinho started his first period in Chelsea. That there we’re to many matches in the Christmas and around New Years, as the Premier League and cup matches happens nearly every 3 day with no Christmas break as in other European leagues.

So now Guardiola, the tactical genius, the mastermind of football cannot manage to change 3 out 11 players on the pitch, as he cannot see this fitting the time schedule with Champions League and other cups. That sounds weak, as Alex Ferguson managed well for a decade with that in Manchester United. He has not been proclaimed the FOOTBALL mastermind and the one who could make water into wine.

The new-wine is to be able to substitute half of the team as the strength of modern players are lacking, the ease of heavy training make them more fragile as their salaries has surged and the level of tattoo’s are more common than on seamen back-in-the-day. That Guardiola has to and wants to change half his team says more about his lacking consideration and wish to have bigger squads. Because if they can substitute 6 players, the bench shouldn’t be 7 players with 6 players eligible to play on the field and one keeper! Than the number of substitutes should be 12 players and 11 eligible players to play on the field. That means that the squad of a team would be 23 players not the 18 players that it’s now. That together with the maximum squads registered into UEFA Champions League and Football Association (FA) for Premier League. Something that will make the richest and powerful teams grab more of the talent and more of skilled players without needing farmer-clubs to keep the level of world-class professional players elsewhere.

Guardiola just want it easy and make the changes as he sees certain players without form or without character on the field playing Burnley instead of intelligence of how to use those three to change the game. This isn’t what I expected of Guardiola, I thought he would cope with the Premier League and not bitches like this. The Arrogance of wanting to revamp an old system because he has a hard time isn’t wisdom. It’s the easy fix out. Just like I felt with Mourinho when he was nagging on the amounts of matches in the Christmas and New Year’s period!

Man-up Guardiola! You who are supposed to be a mastermind, a tactician use the system and hit it hard. You have a club with fortunes to spend; you got workmates from Barcelona to help you out in the corners of Football Academy and the scouting after talent on the continent. You Guardiola have a grand opportunity to prove your skills.

I feel the same way to ranting Mourinho who said this in 2013:

“We go into the Christmas period and the accumulation of matches is so high, we don’t do it as a normal thing, we do it as a special group with a special mentality, enjoying the situation, forgetting we don’t have a Christmas break like the Spanish, Italian and German players. We don’t have that” (…) “But we have the pleasure of playing a period that’s only for the braves. I like that very, very much.” (…) “”I enjoyed it when I was in England before and I missed it when I was in Spain and Italy. Now I’m back I want to enjoy it, I want the players to enjoy it, and we need a special mentality to cope with that situation” (…) “Nine matches and one of them is the match against Steaua. That’s our motivation for tomorrow, to try to kill the situation in the group phase and give us a little bit of space in December; instead of having nine real, competitive matches, we only have eight” (HGH Magic – ‘Mourinho: Christmas fixtures only for the braves!’ (26.11.2013) link: http://www.chelsea.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=538783#ixzz4SZILKQJi).

It’s time for Pep to cope with the Premier League, to play with the cards that are dealt and the cards on the table. He cannot think that his stature and his former accolades will give him way to fix the FA. Pep is not the first or last former successful manager trying himself in the Premier League. There aren’t many leagues with more substitutes over 3 + one extra if the goalkeeper is injured in the overtime. This is something that Pep should be able to fix it!

PEP, time to man-up eats the pupping-pop and figure out possible ways of using the players, the club and the league. Not complaining and wanting a revolution because you cannot handle the pressure. Time to think through your skill-set, talk with your fellow compatriots and club apparatus in Manchester City; they should help you and give you advice so you can manage 3 substitutes as it has been for decades. Peace.

Reference:

Bateman, Jason – ‘Fifty years of substitutions in football: from necessary novelties to tactical tools’ (18.09.2016) link: https://www.theguardian.com/football/when-saturday-comes-blog/2015/sep/18/fifty-years-substitutions-football-sport

Gaughan, Jack – ‘Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola urges football authorities to allow managers to use more than three subs’ (10.11.2016) Link:: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4018792/Manchester-City-boss-Pep-Guardiola-urges-football-authorities-allow-managers-use-three-subs.html#ixzz4SZ8BtdBN

City Mayor Peter Soulsby on Sky Sports News (Youtube-Clip)

“City Mayor Peter Soulsby appeared live on Sky Sports News from the King Richard III Visitor Centre on 6th April. He was speaking to reporter Rob Dorsett about Leicester City’s fairytale season and the connection with the reinterment of King Richard III” (Leicester City Council, 2016).

Premier League 2015/2016 – My thoughts after ten rounds

PL 2015-16

There is now a new campaign and new matches. New stars and new clubs and promoted teams adding spice to the Premiership. The Premier League has now had ten rounds of the 38 rounds. It is an indication though still early, I will say that it shows how this might unfold. Though at a certain level shows how this campaign might be. There will be changes on the table and far from sure that those under the relegation mark. Three teams will go down to Championship. Who that might be is hard to see now, especially with how it has unfolded in recent seasons. Who wins the title isn’t easy choice either? Manchester clubs are on the top four together with West Ham. Tottenham and Crystal Palace, off the top three either Manchester club for the moment, though the strongest team right now is Manchester City.

Bournemouth is having its first ever season in the Premiership. It’s a small club with the smallest stadium in the league. But the stagnation of tactics is straining the team together with the collective damage of injuries in the team. Eddie Howe is a young and modern manager. What he already has done with club is amazing.

Watford is also a promoted team, but not new to the league, they have been here before. But the expensive and buying 13 players from coming up from the Championship has acutally worked together with getting a tactical manager in Quique Sanchez Flores. Igahlo and Deeney have showed the quality and that they are fit for the league!

Norwich went straight back after their last turn down into Championship. They have mostly the same team that went down in the last go-around. Alex Neil the Scot has done well in the club, though the recent results is frightening and looking as bad as under the last months under Chris Hughton.

Now I will take the clubs that is actually under the line at this time!

Aston Villa, one of the royalties that has been in a down-falling-spiral since the last two years of Paul Lambert’s tenure. The freshness Tim Sherwood brought saved the club for the third season in a row. Now they gone with only one victory all season, but before starting the season they lost Benteke, Delph and Weimann. Buying young talent, but not finish products. Then after 10 rounds firing Tim Sherwood! There is surely not being built squads anymore in the club, but quick fixing to save the place in the league! Will they make it this year? They might, but want be easy!

Newcastle has a new manager that has turned down the club three times, twice as Derby manager before fired there. Steve McClaren has surely a big boat to turn. Newcastle hasn’t been sparking in a long time. This is for the first season in a while there been bought players with great potential from the low-countries. One victory and 19th Place and losing in the tenth match to Sunderland. Is surely not looking like an easy way out for the Tyne-side team!

The 18th place team is Sunderland yet another team that has struggled in recent campaigns. They fire a manager in the beginning of the season, then saving the place, then running it into the ground in the second campaign of his reign! Paulo Di Canio, Gus Poyet and Dick Advocaat had all the same faith, though Advocaat resigned; it ended before Christmas in second campaign like with the two former managers. Sunderland needs a boast and gotten Sam Allardyce who has history of securing teams and playing safe. Yet another experienced manager, but the team lacks continuity and defensive structure that can builds into using the striking force of Defoe. Time will tell if they will save themselves yet another time.

The Surprise of the season and the giant fall of the league is CHELSEA. Losing five times already and the CHELSEA team need something new. Jose Mourinho has been on a strike and been more paranoid then certain dictators are against everybody else then himself. First the doctor Eva Carneiro was banished. Everybody has target Diego Costa! Every referee has been against CHELSEA!  Like this quotes after losing on Ethiad Stadium to Manchester City:

“A Ramires goal incorrectly ruled out for offside with Man City a goal ahead changed the complexion of this early-season Premier League fixture” (…)”We dominated after the interval and after Ramires’s goal was disallowed, Hazard drew a fine stop from Joe Hart. Two late City goals, from Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho, added some gloss to a final scoreline which did not accurately reflect the bigger picture.” (…)”The Chelsea pressure was mounting and the royal-blue momentum nearly paid off with 20 minutes to go. Hazard lead a rapid break and picked out Diego Costa approaching the left-hand side of the box. He carried the ball, cut inside before squaring for last year’s Player of the Year. Hazard dropped a shoulder and fired for goal, but met his match in Hart” (Chelsea, 2015).

I saw that match; the whole report was like hogwash from certain dictatorships and not a proper match-report. Then the last match kind of confirmed the troubles inside the club. With the cards which has unfolded this season with weak defense of Matic, Ivanovic and Terry. Hazard has been a shadow and only Willian has delivered in the midfield. Falaco came in as a third option, but is still not striking and Loic Remy doesn’t get the time to hit and Costa is just making a lot of fuzz, but not really hitting the goals in the box. Chelsea has issues with Jose Mourinho and his strives to be what he is – a winner and now constantly losing. And his last reaction to losing at a better playing West Ham. Has proven that the Drama of CHELSEA is far from over this campaign!

Stoke has been magnificent under Mark Hughes though this campaign haven’t been either fish or bird. They have not delivered back to back victories yet. They got Shaqiri to the team as they got Bojan last go around. They play more technical and less of Pulis 1-0 counter-strike football. But the results this campaign hasn’t been anything to talk about.

Swansea is in the middle of the league. Third campaign with Gary Monk! The team has evolved and gotten a new favorite in the team. He is Andrew Ayew they got as a bosman player before the campaign, he and Gomis has hit it off. They beat Manchester United in the third match in a row! If they play like that they can still end up over 10th position! Swansea is steady building and proving that yet another campaign.

Everton with Roberto Martinez had a weak campaign after striving in his first as Everton manager. This season is supposed to pick it up. Still the matches I have seen, it’s too unstable. At this stage the defense that was the strong point of David Moyes is totally gone. The team is filled with young talent, but Gareth Barry is showing that he is starting to be to slow and makes more cards, then doing well. Joss Stones and Ross Barkley has skills and proves viability and not forget Lukaku is a force in him. Coleman and Naismith deserve more credit. Leighton Baines is the hero of the team, though too much injured for the moment. The team can be magical and play fantastic, but it’s not consistent which this club deserves!

West Bromwich has Tony Pulis. That means the dream result is 1-0 or 2-1. They won over Aston Villa and Rondon is scoring. Where did Saido Berahino go? Not Tottenham, but he is around in Birmingham right? Wonder when the fans of West Bromwich are going to be bored with the destructive defensive counterstriking teams of Pulis?

Liverpool has been strictly average after using a fortune in the summer and giving Brendan Rodgers another chance to succeed. FSG the owner’s lost their patience the result and getting a draw with Everton before a week of internationals. The players that the Transfer Committee got and structures of the club has given Rodgers a hard time with losing the best players two campaigns in a row. FSG has later gotten Jurgen Klopp as the savior of the club. Benteke, Clyne, Firmino and Origi haven’t done magic either this campaign. Sturridge has been injured. Coutinho and Allen hasn’t been stabile so it’s not all Rodgers, though he was a working scapegoat and now we can see if the German can get this Merseyside club firing!

Southampton is still up high even after losing Schneiderlin who was important in the last seasons also my favorite player in the team last year Clyne. Ronald Koeman is in the second campaign. With the losing of essential players they still have the capacity to get new ones to fills the slot, also show the quality of Fonte, Mane and Pelle one of them will surely be bought by Liverpool if they follow the procedure of their summer shoppings.. Southampton is still over mid-table and stay there. It wants be a team in one of the Champions League spots, but surely be close to get into the Euro League this year as well! If the 10 first matches is telling the truth of the quality of the team.

Crystal Palace first starting campaign with Alan Pardew he was a shadow of himself in the end of his tenure in Newcastle. He got back into the collaboration as a manager with Cabaye. Bolasie, Puncheon, Sako, Zaha, Chamakh, Jedinak, Wickham, Souare, Campell, Mutch, McArthur, Ledley and Bamford! Is all the mid-fielder and attackers that the EAGLES have this campaign and their attacking forces are amazing. Bolasie is truly a player I would have on any of my dream team! Hopefully Crystal Place will continue to play as amazing as they have done!

Tottenham has actually kept their manager Pochettino and Denis Levy must surely be drinking since he usually fires managers quickly. They have Adebayor, but only official striker is Harry Kane and he has scored in the last of the tenth match in this campaign. Eriksen has been not so visible this campaign. Lamela and Dele Ali can bring fire to the mid-field. Still feels the team is to unstable and still young. And wonder how long Levy can see the team as Euro-League team and with the team they have for now, they don’t have the last spark to get into the Champions League. Harry Redknapp will be somewhere smiling at the movement since he was fired…

Another Surprise then CHELSEA and their fall is the team of Leicester City. Pearson was fired in the summer and Tinkerman was hired. Claudio Ranieri. Who has on his CV the ability to lose as Greece manager to Faroe Islands that must be a special for any modern manager? But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a good coach and manager. He has had the ability to continue the striving team of Pearson and the striker Vardy is the top scorer for the moment with 10 in 10! Mahrez also has been sparkling together with Vardy. Leicester continues to be a shiny light in the Premiership!

Manchester United has not under Van Gaal been playing wonderful attacking football. They have used a tiny fortune on players. Angel Di Maria is still gone even if he was record buying. Is Luke Shaw still there? Martial has been great gamble and maybe saved a lot of points. De Gea staying has been a great thing for the club and a loss for Real Madrid. Because with Romero you could see he was weaker. Still not feeling that the club has an edge in the game or should I say trying to prove a stable attacking or defensive play. Wonder when they find their way and will be the Champions League team who wins more with a force, not “rare luck”.

Slaven Billic has taken over for Sam Allerdyce in West Ham before the start of the campaign. West Ham expects attacking fun play and Allerdyce isn’t that type, though Allerdyce is not like Pulis, still more stable defense play! Billic has proven to be fresh air and giving the players free speed. Kouyate, Obiang, Lanzini, Payet, Sakho, Moses, Valencia and Zarate is proving that this team can play wonderful football. Payet and Kouyate can play around with great defenses. West Ham has already won over Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal this campaign. They are in the top four and if they stay here it will be a giant surprise and guilt trip for many of the smaller clubs compared to the usual suspects. If they survive the hard December program will tell!

Arsene Wenger and Arsenal can be often in a great state and play Playstation football. They have been amazing and been played with more caution, even gotten a stable goalkeeper in Peter Cech. That even Mourinho wouldn’t want to sell before the campaign. The weakness is still in the defense, though Monreal, Bellerin and Coquelin has grown in their defensive rolls. I have faith that Arsenal can be a title chaser until the end, but hope that it doesn’t fall apart as it has done around Christmas and then picking up just in time to reach Champions League spot. Arsenal has a magnificent mid-field with Ozil, Sanchez, Ramsey. Carzola, Flamini, Wilshere, Rosicky and Arteta! So they should have enough good choices in the mid-field, at strikers it’s usually either Giroud or Walcott, and the Costa Rican Campell. Arsenal can bring it in, just not lose it.

Manchester City is leading the league for the moment after having a draw with their arch rival United in the last league match. The team has played well with the new mid-fielders like De Bruyne, Sterling and Delph. Delph has though not been pivotal at all, Sterling and De Bruyne has giving the team pace. Together with Silva and Navas has giving the edge to strikers of Bony and Aguero. It seems like a good thing by the club to keep Pellegini as the manager. Keeping the staff and adding to already solid team with Kompany, Zabaleta and Yaya Toure. City has enough if they are all firing to become the title winners this campaign. Though the stability and winning over “lesser-teams” away like losing to Stoke is not good enough if they want to achieve the title again, depending on how they keep it steady, if they are steady even without Aguero who might be the best striker in the league, then they have the ability to win it!

Well, what will really happen? Will Pardew get Crystal Palace into the top six this year? Will Mark Hughes get his mid-field firing? Swansea will continue to thriving as last season? Slaven Billic will he manage to keep West Ham winning over the Christmas season, because Allerdyce did not manage that! Allerdyce will he be able like his predecessors to save Sunderland yet another campaign? Has Steve McClaren the quality of the team and the mentality to save Newcastle? Aston Villa has been falling of grace long before Tim Sherwood entering the club; will the new man of the club have the capacity to save it?

Will Watford, Bournemouth and Norwich keep it up, even if Norwich is starting to look like they did in the last season in the Premier League when they had 7-8 matches without victories, remember last time they  they went down? What will happen to Southampton, mid table or actually able to crack into Europe again?

Has Klopp the aura to get the Liverpool club back into Europe or will that be a longer run? Will Pochettino get fired for not getting the club high enough this campaign? How long can Mourinho keep his calm and how long will Abramovich tolerate the negative campaign and results before firing him for the second time?

I could go and on. But there been an interesting start of the season and hope it will continue. The best of luck and hope you also will enjoy the Premier League as much as I do. Peace.

Reference:

Chelsea FC – ‘Match report: Manchester City 3 Chelsea 0’ (16.08.2015) link: http://www.chelseafc.com/news/latest-news/2015/08/match-report–manchester-city-v-chelsea-.html

 

Leadership and Premier League: The examples of Sunderland and Liverpool

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Leaders, managers or coaches deals with issues every day and follows the goals of the clubs that employ them. The different structures depend on the owners and how they perceive the handling of the club. Structures are either set for more power for the owner or more of a coach that has little authority in a club. That goes from Transfers Committee that together with owner picks their targets and aims to build the clubs. Secondly you have the managers who decide the targets on his own.

There is also the difference that shows how much the actual manager will do. Not only picking the tactics and fresh players on match day. They have issues with the contracts and the basic running and progression of the club in general. Because the Manager has a genuine role as the person who is known figure for the club as a president is the leader of a country. Though the powers have a reach for a Manager, but has more pivotal role in a club then a coach or trainer. Like Carver was in Newcastle in the end of the season last year he had less of a reach, then say Mourinho in Chelsea who has put his stamp on the team. I know Carver was a temporary fix before hiring the new manager who has gotten certain freedoms though for many it doesn’t look like it has done the trick for the Northern Club.

I will not talk about Newcastle today, though their spirals of negatives are running high. It’s been like that ever since they sold Cabaye to PSG. The owner Ashley hasn’t run the club well for other things then earning money for the coffers of him the owner and not building a powerful squad. Therefore they are in the role of Aston Villa and are yet another year of fighting relegation and will be amazing if they ever in this campaign get-a-back-to-back VICTORY! We all know that. But I will talk about the club who has showed loosen and digging deeper and deeper on the bottom of the Premier League, that is Sunderland and the ‘Stadium of Lights’.

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Sunderland and the sad tale of Dick Advocaat:

Yesterday the experienced and well-founded manager Dick Advocaat resigned his position in Sunderland after short stint at the club, like so many other of his peers. He was the third savoir in three seasons for the club. First it was Paolo Di Canio who took over and was sacked in second campaign. Then came Gus Poyet in and did an amazing save of the club with big scalps, before continuing another campaign which all the power and flow of the team was in shambles and then they hired Dick Advocaat. Advocaat saved them by a thread last campaign and took on another campaign with promise of getting fresh players to strengthen the squad, because it was needed. There been over time picked cheap options and certain quick fixes instead of building a strong team at ‘Stadium of Lights’.

Ellis Short the owner can defend himself with saying that he hasn’t earned a penny from the club because of the wage paradigm that is in the club. The way the big signing this season was in some way Borini who was one of the first players brought into Liverpool by Brendan Rogders and never fitted the bill. Had one good campaign in Sunderland even if has a loose shot and misses on golden opportunities often. Kaboul went from Tottenham who was to unstable in the defense for them and the same with Coates also from Liverpool. Because the older Brown and O’Shea has not the standard and speed for the league anymore, even if they back in the day was futures under Ferguson in Manchester United. They have gotten this season on loan the striker Lens who showed a magnificent goal that made 2-0 and got Advocaat in tears of joy. This shows for me maybe the best moment of the 8th Round for the simple reason to show how great of a heart as a leader Advocaat has!

Even if Sunderland has Lens, Defoe the misfiring Borini and Fletcher can’t cut it in the long-run. The management from Short and transfers prove that there hasn’t been getting the quality and fitting players to a certain style of play. It has been more patching up and quick-fixes the same as leadership. Under Di Canio the club signed 14 players before he got sacked. Under Poyet he got certain players that had been under his leadership as Buckley and others, but did the significant signing in Jermaine Defoe. Even this stars return from Toronto didn’t spark his team and save his position. Therefore Advocaat had to save them as he did. The signings and ways of progression after Poyet and Di Canio haven’t led to anywhere good. Recent matches has been looking as sad at it has done. The loyalty and continuity doesn’t exist right now. Only thing that is static in the teams play is Lee Cattermole who gets a card both now and then.

The resigning proves the dire situation in the club of Sunderland. And the manager that comes to Sunderland will be in rat-hole even if it’s a club with massive potential. It has 40-50.000 on the stadium on match day. Have high potential pay and possibility to pay for players wages to reach for bigger players. But the leadership and the structure is insufficient. The reigns of such amount of managers at the same time as quick decline after grace periods tells of systematic decline in the team-building and also in man-management. The strength that has been defense has lost it. Because it’s been a while since the attack and mid-field has been exciting, even when Jack Colback was running like crazy for the team, and Rodwell haven’t taken over his presence in the squad. That is very visible!

The way that the managers has gone in and out: First saviors and then sacked in the start or into the next campaign. It doesn’t give the club any stability and quality. The club starts to lack vision and tactical plan to prove what they want. That is also visible in the squad that is fragmented by the buys of different managers who went on the faith of the former ones and their plans. Together with the direct patch-ups and quick-fixes that has become the norm. The manager that comes in has a mountain to climb and has to rebuild the trust with the fans that cover the ‘Stadium of Lights’. Not only with steady results, but get the players to play with their hearts out of their Jersey. Give their blood and sweet and tears into any match. As a neutral it’s been a sad sight to see the steady decline and weakness of Sunderland. Do they want to play in the Championship or still be a proud club in the North who has a place in the Premier League? There is time that Ellis Short tries to build continuity on the leadership side of the club and the strategy they have. Not quick fixes in the end that will hurt the club and the players who try to follow every new idea the new manager has. Something that will be hard to implement and make sufficient to sustain a honorable place in the league.

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Brendan Rodgers slowly falling apart at Merseyside:

Now let me go on another manager who didn’t resign, but got sacked. I have mentioned him in a by-the-way earlier today. Brendan Rodgers the man who has made himself a giant name over the past years. A prospect for managerial roles and future trophy hunter; Brendan Rodgers made a name by getting Swansea up from Championship and then playing high intensity football while delivering results there. From there without any big caps or trophies got hired after FSG sacked club-legend Kenny Daglish.

He started and has been in the way of looking after Character and progress in his teams. For those who has followed him. It’s been his mantra. Looking for the characters and building up players from prospects to finish products or stars to be specific. During the spell of Rodgers they has sold and lost their biggest stars like Gerrard, Sterling and Suarez. The last one to go now is Sturridge and then you would soon see flies come from the pockets.

There was the year that Rodgers leading them to the second position in the league. The campaign that always will be remembered because of the dynamic play and fascinating attacking played of the trio of Sturridge, Sterling and Suarez. They were magnificent even if they got dozen goals the other way as well. Some of us even called it Playstation football by the way it going back and forth with the intensity and flair. Something that Rodgers always wished to see in his players to have a certain quality, character and flair. If you find a after-match interview under the Rodgers in Liverpool where he isn’t using those words and describing the match outcome usually boils down to that.

Brendan Rodgers has now had three campaigns. First was what people call mediocre, but showed some progress. Second season was a magnificent run and was close. Because of that he couldn’t continue to build. Fenway Sports Group (FSG) let the gold go away after that and the trades done after weren’t of the same quality. When the spiral went lower and lowers, so low that after the third campaign in charge on Merseyside, FSG changed leadership and under-coaches under Rodgers! That was in general to disfranchise his power at the club. Brendan Rodgers must have felt that already before his fourth campaign for the club. With departing his own coaches and being alone from the original crew that he with from Swansea.

FSG has also put into the system a Transfer Committee so the Manager is not sole-responsible for the trades done by the club. Even though the manager will be responsible for the results delivered by the squad all season. Even with a seat on the committee he has still not the powers that the ones who can pick and choose over set budget. There will always be a Sports Director or Owner who might shut down wishes for certain players, and even likes of Roman Abramovich who just wanted Shevchenko and then Chelsea bought him, even when they didn’t even need his services.

FSG has then in recent choices partly crossed the powers of Rodgers with the Transfer Committee and also with clipping out his colleagues and his team apart hiring new coaches under him. So then still giving him the “second” chance of success with the club by buying Benteke, Ings, Milner and so on during the summer.

Rodgers wasn’t taken early out of his job and had time to do what he needed. But after the first taste the FSG choices made his tenure worse by the minute. The selling of the starts and losing of pivotal players also hurt him. The choices of buying certain kind of players like Aspas and Balotelli didn’t help his impression, though he wanted to prove that he could turn any player into stars again or bring it out of them.

So after the “second” chance after the success would be hard. Sterling left for Manchester City. The former Southampton players should kick off this season in Liverpool. They are Clyne, Lovren and Lallana. But none of them has played as they did in Southampton. Emre Can hasn’t been up to speed. Courthino has been a spark, but alone in it. Firmino who was bought this summer has talent and skills, but hasn’t bloomed yet. Henderson has taken over for Gerrard, but hasn’t had the same flair or capacity. Ibe has showed progress, but is not a finished “product” yet. What happen to Kolo Toure? What happen to the presence of Skrtel in the defense? Even if he is local boy who deserves credit for catching up with quality of the league, why haven’t we seen Joe Flanagan this campaign?

With all of that and others we can see that there are many issues with the Liverpool squad and the reactions to the team. The progress stopped and the shopping of additions this summer didn’t change the results or drive for the team. Rodgers are right! There need rebuilding in Liverpool. With or without him, and certainly with the decision of sacking him it’s with somebody else.

And for me personally the man, who comes in Liverpool, will have a hard task. The locals and fans expect the team to be a top four team and be in the Champions League (CL). Even though it’s been while since last time the club was there. You have to go back to 2008/09 campaign. So that was a three year hiatus between being a part of the European Competition. The Euro League is the sad stepchild that is a misfit for most teams if they’re not Sevilla or Napoli. Tottenham has struggled with juggling Euro League matches and Premier League in the weekends. The same has been seen by Liverpool. And I am sure whichever team who comes from Premier League to the Euro League will struggle as it seems in league.

The leadership that FSG has proven with Brendan Rodgers isn’t a strong token and longevity in the club. It’s easy to give a new long-time contract after some piece of success. That they did because they wanted to show faith. Just like Newcastle did with Alan Pardew back in the day.  Carver was put into temp when Pardew went to Crystal Palace. The same even Aston Villa did with Paul Lambert after back-to-back victories in start of last campaign. That led to hiring of Tim Sherwood to save the club in the Premier League. That is different from the leadership that puts trust into their managers like Bournemouth with Eddie Howe, Burnley with Sean Dyche, and Hull City with Steve Bruce and so on. There are leaderships that prove loyalty and longevity can bring certainty to teams and squads. Not that all leaders should stay for-ever that is not my point.

My point with Todays topic is clear: the way Sunderland and Liverpool has dealt with the managers has not been well. It has been charades and weak. Liverpool done short-cuts and sold their giants; While expecting dead-wood to turn gold before starting to dig after it, and the cost of it all gets the head of Rodgers instead of those who has done their homework. Suarez, Sterling and Gerrard don’t pop-up like Daisies. It is strange seeing that FSG had the same faith that Lallana and Milner be the same as Suarez and Sterling. And also changing the backroom staff and giving strong signals that it wasn’t that well with Rodgers leadership.

We can all understand Advocaat’s situation in Sunderland. He must have been torn especially seeing the trials of doom returning and not much joy insight. Also with the issues of how weak the strategy of the club has been its easy to see why he decided now to leave. The next man will be in tussle like all three former managers we’re with men coming in that was there in stints for others or because the club needed a fix. Not for a strategic long plan and vision of one leader and his tactical ways. So that the next man has to use what is there and prove his capabilities in the club. Sunderland and Liverpool got massive work in front of them. Sunderland got to fight for their place in the league and build stability in the leadership structure. Not only patch it up and quick fixes. Get a man to actually build a team and also build something with the fans that keeps the club alive. Liverpool has a squad and a backroom staff, that has been built by Rodgers who is now gone. The talent and faith in these players will be left to the next manager. Even the transfer committee has decided on certain players, it’s been three season with Rodgers and that leaves certainly some of his vision and characters there. And the staff that FSG has now put in place, since Rodgers lost his team before this campaign. Peace.

Proven that loyalty is dying in modern football – the example of Fabian Delph

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Its silly season just some weeks before the Premier League starts up again. All the teams try to add on with players to sustain their place or get into a better position than last year. Teams that have gotten from the Championship for example Watford have used a tiny fortune on new players. Another team that are trying to be champion is Manchester United who has bought half of central Europe players and part of the Mediterranean countries big players to get into the league of Chelsea and Arsenal again. But this story is about neither. This story will be about loyalty.

Aston Villa is the old aristocrat in the Premier League. The Birmingham club is a royalty in some ways. Not that it’s Reading who has the nickname. But still the history of the club and range of level it has given the league it deserves credit. Times are changing big money has arrived and been here awhile. So that English players are getting rare in the British league of Premier League. Whatever Greg Dyke or Richard Scudamore is saying is because the FA getting loads of money with the TV deals. That is giving the clubs more money but isn’t helping the movement of players that really representing their clubs in the long run. You can’t buy loyalty. Especially when you can go from being a kid in the sticks and in a few years’ time to having a £30k a week and if you switch to the big ones you can get £100k a week.

This story is not about Raheem Sterling. He went as a kid from QPR and built a reputation in Liverpool. Wanted to win things and went to for the highest price ever for a British player £44m to Manchester City. This story that I am telling and describing is about Fabian Delph. Fabian Delph was first as a youth in Bradford City and Leeds. Later he was on a pro contract for Leeds for three years from 2006 – 2009. Delph was in 2009 Young Player of the Year. He went for about £8m to Aston Villa.

So now that we’re in 2015. There is more money in the League. We have title chasers who needs English players in the team line-up. This team is the same as the one who got Sterling. A team that has lost most of their English players in recent years the only player who has stayed through the years in the central team is goalie Joe Hart. Micah Richards went for free from Manchester City to Aston Villa. James Milner who the current manager Pellegrini and former manager Manchini who liked his services still him left on Bosman to Liverpool. They sold Boyata to Celtic as well before this season. The savior was the loan in from New York new club and former Chelsea player Frank Lampard. But now he really went over to the club. So in this sense the whole world has known about that the rich club Manchester City and it’s struggle to keep and getting good British players.

It’s in this context that Fabian Delph comes in. He was the captain in a team that barley saved them last year in the Premier League. Before Tim Sherwood came in there been two and a half years of Paul Lamberts reign. Three years of barley making it and having 2 months without goals last season before Tim Sherwood got hired as manager for the club. Also that the glamour of O’Neill era is totally gone and the owner tried to sell the club for ages. Therefore the budgets and standard of the squad has gone down. There haven’t been much invested in new players for a long time.

So this year’s silly season has been important for Aston Villa. Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph have been rumored away to Liverpool and Manchester City. They are the stars on the team together with Agbonlahor and Vlaar. Even been talk about Vlaar leaving the club.

Seven days ago Fabian Delph said that he would be loyal to the club. As he was proud of being captain of the team at that time the club they starting working on a new contract offer to Fabian Delph so that he would be appreciated at that level. They wanted upgrade the old contract of £30k a week to £80k a week. So that he would stay and feel rightfully earning in the league he has been playing in since 2009.

A Short Timeline: 

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On the 11th July 2015 he promised loyalty to Aston Villa after months of rumors and also closely going to medical in Manchester. This was after he was taken off the official internet page of the club and also in the ads for the new shirt. 

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Then later this week on the 16th July he switched his mind and went on with the deal to Manchester City. Had a medical and is rumored to sign a £100k a week for the Manchester club. Also he is part of filling up the quota of British players in the club. Leaving behind Aston Villa where he was captain.

So now two days after leaving for the second time the Birmingham club in the same summer. We can see why many fans are displeased with Fabian Delph. For a few days ago he promised himself again to Aston Villa. He signed a new contract for the club already in January. He has been a player who captured interest of big clubs for a while. In his contract he had a buy-out clause that Manchester City £8m. This was been met easily and is a cheap transfer for a British player for the club. When the prices of this players are souring look at Luke Shaw, Raheem Sterling and so on.

Therefore with this surprise move that he initially went from Aston Villa to Manchester City is a downer. It kills me a bit by bit because as a football fan we wish to have positive players who have loyalty to their clubs. It’s harder and harder to get by the day. I am not a Liverpool fan, still I wish there was more players like Stephen Gerrard. Fewer players are staying most of the careers in one team instead they are changing for a fortune anywhere else. In the same team its one player that is a standout I have already mention him as a star on the team: Gabriel Agbonlahor is loyal team player with quality. He is one of the few pivotal players you have in the Premier League. And he is a humble and a good guy.

So it’s sadden that the youth talent that came from 2009 came from Leeds went from Aston Villa on 16.07.2015 to Manchester City. So the speeches and quotes of loyalty in the start of the week was utter rubbish. City and Citizens should be happy for this coup. Delph is an amazing player. Always enjoyed watching him playing for Villa so it’s sad to see him leaving a team where he has a major impact and just be pawn on the chess set on the tactical field in Manchester. Like Bony was a phenomenon in Swansea after coming from Twente as a magnificent goal-scorer. He was a machine and a wonder to watch in Swansea. After my reckoning he scored two goals and two whole matches and 8 times substitute for the team.

If Delph will get the same treatment is not something I can proclaim. But that he want has as much impact as in Villa is a simple truth. Because Manchester City have more midfielders and players of quality then Villa, which we all know and also Delph already should know. So that he has changed from being a man and player speaking about loyalty. That loyalty only lasted less than a week. When he again went to City and got the new high paying contract.

I respect even more players like Stephen Gerrard and Agbonlahor, when I see how the summer sales are going. I am sad also by the way Iker Casillas went from Real Madrid to Porto. After winning everything worth having in the club he had been in all career. Stephen Gerrard had the same and even if he left for Los Angeles Galaxy with respect. Casillas went with sadness and not as hero. The same was with Xavi recently from Barcelona to the Middle East somewhere. So seeing players like this staying loyal and only leaving at the last straw of their career. That is because they want to be the main player in a club. And with their legacy they deserve something else then playing second fiddle. Though I hope they will come back to the club as representative and being part of backroom staff in the years to come. I don’t believe that will happen to Iker Casillias.

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Delph has to stay somewhere and being loyal to it to get remember there. He has already made a mark in the jersey of Aston Villa. If he had stayed he could be respect and an honorable player in this times when fees and salaries are increasing to fairytale level. Therefore Agbonlahor could be an example for Delph. It’s understandable that certain players using clubs like Aston Villa as a stepping stone to a bigger club. Even if the club it’s like a royalty in the league. Still hasn’t had a top position since Martin O’Neill. Therefore players like Delph could have been a foundation for a bigger team and building a stabile club that could be far away from the three year relegation battle. Tim Sherwood can bring a lot of passion into a team. Still he needs quality and players that are loyal to his vision and club. As every club need. Delph in time he would be seen as a cornerstone in the midfield of the club and remembered as a loyal club player. A player who was there for the team while it was struggling for three seasons to battle relegation and trying to establish itself as a secure club in the league. Instead he went for the quick money in Manchester City. In a club that has won the league twice in last 4 years. They have gotten all the money of the world. But is the epitome of what is wrong in modern football. Though I am not a great fan of Manchester United, I still wish City to win over them, just because of the arrogance of the red devils. Still, the money of City doesn’t by the heritage and history as Villa has. That Delph could continue to be a part of. Especially since he spoke of loyalty recently, then switched and went anyway. Raheem Sterling did everything in his way to get out of Anfield and Liverpool. Delph was different and was silent as silly season went on. The rumors we’re steady. We all knew that City needed British players in this transfer window. They got two now and has Joe Hart. So they got quality homegrown players now.

Nevertheless Fabian Delph has proven that money is more important than leaving a legacy. As so many other players of his time as written before I wish there was more players like Stephen Gerrard and Gabriel Agbonlahor. They are heroes in my football heart even if I am not a supporter of their teams. Because these players are humble and hardworking staying to strive for their teams over time, on the other hand are Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph.

A week went by and the truth came to surface what was important for Fabian Delph. So let’s see how his impact will be in the new squad and I hope that Villa get a new replacement that will stay and build on the new vision that Tim Sherwood has. And yes, I can’t wait for a new season and campaign of 2015/2016 in the Premier League. Rest of silly will be interesting, but I hope that no player plays it out as Delph did. The way he promised loyalty and then in like a windfall going back to Manchester City for a new medical. He has surely signed a new contract and gotten the number and new shirt for his new team. As he left Birmingham and went for the money, if I can advise him on one thing not that I believe he will read a single word I wrote. Fabian Delph shouldn’t speak again about loyalty and love for a club before you actually prove it in action. Peace.

Samtiden/Morgenbladet – Skrivekonkurransen “Tegn i Tiden” og dette var mitt bidrag: “Hva er Samtiden?”.

Samtiden

Kjære skribent i “Tegn i Tiden”,

Nå har juryen landet på vinnerbidragene i konkurransen “Tegn i tiden”. Til sammen var det over 250 deltagere, og denne gledelig store pågangen gjør det ikke mulig for oss å svare alle personlig. Juryen har derfor laget tre kategorier med svar. Kategoriene gjelder 1) tekstene som trykkes, 2) tekster som kom til finalerunden og 3) tekster som i denne runden ikke ble vurdert som aktuelle.

Din tekst kom i kategori 2, og får juryens kommentar:

Juryen har bitt seg merke i din tekst og mener den har store kvaliteter. Den passerte ikke nåløyet for å komme på trykk (kun 14 tekster trykkes), men teksten kom til de siste finalerundene, fordi en eller flere av jurymedlemmene hadde satt en stemme på den. 

Takk for bidraget og vennlig hilsen juryen ved

Anna B. Jensen, Kari Spjeldnæs, Gunnar C. Aakvaag, Lena Lindgren og Marit K. Slotnæs.

Her er min tekst som jeg sendte inn: 

Hva er samtiden?

Hva er egentlig samtiden? Er den Ariana Grande? Er den Kim Kardashians utringende kjole på forsiden av VG? Er den en twitter beskjed fra Kofi Annan eller Facebook status oppdatering fra Fru Hansen i naboblokka?

Samtiden er kompleks fordi menneske er komplekse. Vi har ti fingre og ti tær. Vi spiser, vi driter og vi velger inni mellom dårlige ledere. Tiden vi lever i er en populistisk og tabloid virkelighet. Hvor virkligheten skal skje like kjapt som Nespresso maskinen, altså et tastetrykk fra du trykker til du får en vaniljesmakende cappuccino. Ting skal ikke ta tid. Fordi vi har egentlig ikke tid. Vi har ikke tid til våre egne barn – så vi sender dem alle i hop til barnehagen. Som vi nesten ikke har tid til å levere de i. Vi skal jo både trene, sende bilder av maten vi eter på facebook, gå på lange turer i fjellet, lese siste boken av Jo Nesbø på hytta og selvfølgelig selfie av SK2014.

Samtiden er demokrati eller kanskje en ny forståelse av demokrati rundt omkring i verden. Det er ikke lenger sett som at valg enten er rigget og opprettholder regimet, men reelle folkebevegelser svakt sammenbundte de enn er. Så støtter de tanken om et seriøst folkestyre – ikke lenger bare ett skinn-demokrati med en «big man» som er en regent og befolkningen som forfølges enten av trusler om politi på døren. Dette er med tanke på hva som skjedd i Tunisia, Egypt og konflikten i Syria. Selv om man har fortsatt standhaftige ledere i Zimbabwe, Demokratiske Republikken Kongo, Uganda, Ekvatorial-Guinea, Marokko, Algerie og Nord Korea som holder folk under kontroll og ikke har reelle demokratiske forhold. Så har vi bare et diktatur i Europa igjen for øyeblikket i Hviterussland. Selv om Putin holder Russland strengt bevoktet. Ungarn er det er usikkerhet rundt neste valg. Så har det forsatt slik at i denne samtiden har også gryvende konflikt i Ukraina som involverer Putins Russland, interne konflikter i Irak og Afganistan. Å slag i jevne mellomrom i Mogadishu i Somalia som har foregått siden fallet til Said Barre. Der African Unions tropper AMISOM har styrker og andre distrikter er tatt av nabolandet Kenya. Men i samtiden er ikke dette et stort diskusjonstema, unntatt hvis Somaliske pirater kidnapper sjøfolk fra en britisk seilbåt.

Samtiden er økologi, fair-trade og etiske tanker rundt hverdagen. Corporate Social Responsibility. Samtiden er Svane-merket. Velge for å vise vår personlighet. Hvis vi er skikkelig omtenksomme kjøper vi «geiter» eller «skolesekk til Dikembe i Zambia» fra Strømmestiftelsen eller Kirkens Nødhjelp i julegave til Onkel Fredrik. Samtiden er miljøvennlighet. Teslaer som kjører oftere ned Pilestredet enn Ferrarier. Nissan Leaf på ladestasjon ved McDonalds før ferja fra Sandvikvåg i Fitjar. Så miljøvennlige skal vi være at søppelet må minst være sortert i 3 bokser, pluss du må gå halv mil for å kvitte deg med vinflasker og hermetikkbokser. Den er så miljøvennlig at Fitjar og deler av Lista ser ut Søndre-Velje ikke fordi det har emigrert en haug dansker dit, men fordi det har kommet en drøss med nye vindmøller.

Samtiden er at enten så skal Ølet enten være en enkel pils på boks eller så skal være så avansert laget på det minst mulige mikrobryggeri som er gjemt i huttiheiti mellom Skråningen og Vika, der hvor det er flere sauer enn folk. Der ligger Mixy Mikrobryggeri og de lager både Weissbier og IPA med spesial humle fra Belgia. Kos å ha på hytta på Hvaler i båten og til steika etter jobb en torsdags-ettermiddag og husk å ta bilde av det. Da kan du legge det ut på Facebook! Samtiden er også økt forbruk av Vin. Vin er folkelig. Så folkelig at det kan ikke være en troverdig avis om den ikke har anmelding av de nyeste vinene som eksisterer på polet. Samtidig er det fortsatt forbudt å ha reklame for alkoholdige varer. Samtiden er som sagt kompleks.

Samtiden er streaming. Enten om det musikk der du lager lister på Spotify eller Wimp. Det er liten gjeng sære mennesker som forsatt kjøper Cder på Platekompaniet. Samtiden går «Back to the Future», enten kjøper du den spesielle platen som LP eller så laster du den ned på Itunes. Med introduksjonen av Smart telefonen. Fancy mobilen. Ipod døderen. Så går folk mindre rundt med to elektroniske dingser untatt de som trenger både Smart telefonen og nettbrettet på bussen. Samtiden er musikk høyt i ørepropper og hodetelefon i regnbuens farger gjerne som får bankkontoen til Dr.Dre eller 50 Cent høygravid. Dette er deres gullunge. Tilbake til Platekompaniet selger mest filmer og spill. Streaming av filmer og serier tar også over. Netflix. HBO Go. ViaPlay. TV2 Sumo. Filmer ellers selges i to format eller leies digitalt. Når var det sist du gikk på Mix og leiet en blockbuster? Nesten samtidig du kjøpte Mariah Carey kassett til jul til dama, sant? Alle de Amerikanske superheltene har sine egne filmer etter Disney kjøpte Marvel. Ikke nok at alle venter på at Sony skal ødelegge enda en helt fra deres univers i DC Comics, det pleier å skje med jevne mellomrom.

Samtiden er politisk korrekthet. Så politisk korrekt at hvis noen skriver sin personlige politiske mening så er de enten en catfish, Nigeriansk prins som lover deg en gave av sin formue om du sender 100 dollar via Western Union eller så er man rasist. Politisk korrekthet handler om hvordan man argumentere og hva som er fokusert i argumentene. Det er «jeg» eller «samfunnskostnader». Vi er enten ett tenkende individ som har retten til ting i samfunnet eller så er vi en samfunnskostnad som samfunnet må slippe. Vi har gått fra et samfunn som er stolt av å ha røkere til å gjemme den tobakken i kassen. Fordi å se sigarettpakker er  både skadelig og kan påvirke deg til å plukke en ti pakkning Lucky Strike.

Samtiden er helsefokusert. Så helsefokusert at favorittbrusen er Pepsi Max. Sukkerfri. All brus skal hvis noen får sin våte drøm bruke Stevia enn sukker, selv om vi enda ikke vet alle effektene ved dette. Samtiden er så helsefokusert at det er like mange treningsstudioer som det er blomsterbutikker i mange nabolag, av å til flere. Det er så mange at flere kjeder slår seg sammen. Samtiden er så helsefokusert at vi har fått folk oppmerksomhet rundt palmeolje, sukkerinnhold og fett. Så vi tror at de samme produktene er bedre for oss om de har rapsolje, smaks-forsterker, søtningsmiddler og kanskje mer karbohydrater. Sunn miks? Samtiden er så helsefokusert at alle som selger klær eller går på den røde løperen er enten en mannelig six-pack eller kvinnene er tynne med store rumper, pupper, botox, fete lepper og mest mulig hud. Hennes & Mauritz reklamer på veggen ser ut som sommeren er her hele året. Etter på byttes plakaten til tilbud på Stratos. Samtiden er helsebevisst. At Melk er dyrere en Cola. Vi tror vi helsebevisste fordi nøkkelhull på Grandiosa, Fjordland og visse pastaer. Venter på flere nøkkelhullet merker på Maarud chips, Vørterøl og Freia sjokolade. Fordi samtiden er så helsebevisste.

Samtiden er selvsentrert. Det skal være en perfekt fasade. På facebook, hagen, bilen, familiebilder, ferier og huset. Alt skal være for oss. Ikke for andre for oss. Hvis vi gjør det for andre er fordi vi gjør det egentlig for oss. For å bygge videre på vår egen identitet. Image. Bilder blir tatt for snapper på Snap chat og blir vekke før de blir husket. Eller så ligger det på Instagram for å flest mulig til å like de. Du er på twitter for å si din korte mening for å vise hva du selv tenker og gjerne legge denne som status på Facebook samtidig. Samtiden er selvsentrert. Sånn at vi har blogger for å vise oss selv fram eller bli et produkt for kommersielle aktører å sikre hits på sidene, enn å skrive for å forandre. Samtiden er så selvsentrert at vi kan ikke plukke opp pærer i butikken som ikke ser korrekte ut. Samtiden er Tinder, en liten app som viser en aktuell person – enten så sveiver du over å sier at du liker eller går andre veien å ikke-liker. Å noen personer lurer hvorfor gentleman og manerer er vekke. Når man ikke har skrytebilde eller perfekt SK2014. Så er det vanskelig å bli trukket ut i 10 sekunds sjansespillet på Tinder. Det er lengesiden man lånte vekk jakken til en kvinne som frøys på vei hjem fra byen på trikken.

Samtiden er så hurtig og skiftende. Den skifter og bøyer seg så kjapt. Innen null tid så er mobilen tom for batteri. Samtiden er vikariater. Det vil si at det mer vanlig å komme inn som ansatt via vikariat i enten det private eller i de statelige institusjoner. Samtiden er effektiviseringer og sammenslåinger. Høyres og FRPs drømmer om at Levanger kommune skal dobbles i størrelse for kanskje en gang i framtiden slås i sammen med Frosta, Leksvik, Indreøy, Verdal, Steinkjer og Verran. Om det i realiteten blir billig som partiene ønsker, er vel mer en drøm, og forteller litt om den komplekse samtiden.

Samtiden er å velge og ha valg. Ikke man tenker over det, men man tar valg hele tiden. Man hører ikke på en radio kanal. Du kan velge mellom 20 forskjellige. Den ene spiller techno, andre gammal rock og den tredje har radioresepsjonen. TV kanaler er det nok av. Vi kan egentlig alltid se på tv. Fordi om vi vil og har kjøpt tilgang kan vi streame kanalene på enten på tven, ipaden eller mobilen. Du kan se Al-Jazeera, Discorvery Channel og Animal Channel, eller NRK og TV2. Handler bare om penger og anledning. Så man snakker om ikke om at alle ser det samme lenger. Selv om noen aviser tror at alle ser på Breaking Bad og Games Of Thrones. Det stemmer, mange ser på disse, akkurat som mange så på The Wire. Samtiden ser på varierte program etter som smak og image. Noe som gjør at vi kan diskutere med venner om hva vi kaller for guilty-pleasure. For noen er dette Two and Half Men, andre er dette Two Broke Girls. Samtiden er å velge. Tidligere hadde man ikke dette. Man måtte enten følge programmet, ha samme boksen med tilgang. Du kunne ikke se Champions League i opptak på hytta. Den gikk klokken 2000 på TV3 og du måtte høre på kommentarene til Jan Åge Fjørtoft om hvordan Ballack er den beste tyske spissen noen sinne.

Samtiden er forsatt frykten for det ukjente. Frykten for å bli kjent med naboen eller snakke med fremmende på bussen, toget eller t-banen. Samtiden er frykten for Ebola, Aids eller Seksuelt Overførbart Infeksjoner(SOI), ikke at det er noe nytt. Samtiden er at legene ikke skal ha samvittighet i navnet for likestilling. De skal bare lyde jentene som skal ha sex uforsiktig og deretter ha abort. Samtiden er likestilling på et nivå som gjør mannen til liten. Så liten at jenter får fordeler av å gå inn på mannsdominerte områder, men om man gjør det omvendte så blir man møtt med enorm stigma. Derfor døde det ganske fort hend når det var diskusjon om det var korrekt med lengre permisjon for menn. Eller om menn kunne ha førsteretten på barn etter skilsmisse. Dette er ikke tema i samtiden.

Samtiden er kompleks. Så kompleks at denne teksten gir bare et grunnlag for hva som spesielt i den tiden vi er en del av. Om man sitter og browser på smart-telefonen enn å bruke tid på lese den skikkelig. Eller leser nøye igjennom denne i fredags eller helge-avis. Det er tydelig om du tenker over eller bare se over og tenker. Ja, denne karen kan ha forstått noe, eller ikke har forstått noen ting. Om Malala har gjort nok for Fredsprisen, om Obama hadde gjort nok og om EU hadde rett til sin, er spørsmål mange av oss i samtiden vil stille spørsmål til. Får vi svaret det tviler jeg på. Bare at Jagland kan komme i avisene med et lurt smil og ikke snakke om bygge det norske hus. Samtiden er kompleks. Så komplisert at det er mer elektronikk i bilen enn i smart-telefonen. Dermed kan veldig få mekke på sin nye Golf. Den må betale en ekstra formue på verkstedet med en gang en bolt inni motoren blir løs. Samtiden er kompleks. Ingenting av det jeg har skrevet til deg her bli sett på som fakta. Siden det er slik jeg ser virkeligheten. Du vil ikke se virkeligheten likt som meg. Fordi slik jeg ser den som kompleks kan du sitte på andre siden med en skjerm og se den som en lettfattelig virkelighet. Hvor kravene virker enklere. Der du legger ut bildene ved middagsbordet og vinen å smiler med venner. Mens jeg grubler over hvorfor du gjør det.

Samtiden er tiden vi lever i. Den er slik den er fordi vi har gjort den slik eller fordi andre har gjort det mulig for å bli slik. Så om du ikke tid til å levere ungen i barnehagen før jobben er fordi du laget en ny liste i Spotify til bilen. Ikke fordi Spotify sa at du måtte lage en liste for å spille i bilen. Samtiden er tiden vi lever. Fordi vi født inn til å være en del av denne tiden og oppleve den som den er. Uansett om vi ønsker det eller ikke. Så må vi bare leve i den og bruke de egenskapene tiden vår har og være tilstede og være til glede for de menneskene som vi deler denne tiden med. Peace.