The best things in life are free but don’t forget the six-figure contract or the agent fee. Okay, so Janet and Luther didn’t quite sing it like that but when Monaco is flashing the big bucks along with PSG, Manchester City and Chelsea like spoilt rich kids, it’s left to the rest to strengthen on a budget.
Category Archives: Ligue 1
In a weekend where Hodgson made his England managerial debut with a largely uninspiring 1-0 win against Norway, England’s Group D opponents France continued their own pre-Euro 2012 preparations with an entertaining 3-2 win against Iceland.
While the rest of the British population were tuning into to watch Soccer Aid, Hodgson and his England backroom staff will have no doubt had their eyes on events in Valenciennes. Giving some of his fringe players a chance to impress, Blanc also picked a side that contained players expected to start the Group D opener in Donetsk and there was plenty for Hodgson to think about before that June 11th meeting to ensure England doesn’t suffer defeat like the last time the two met in a European Championships opener. Steven Gerrard back-pass anyone?
I may well be in the minority when it comes to getting excited about a defensive midfielder, and while I would never expect a 30-year old joining a mid-table Premier League side to bump talk of England off the back pages, Fulham fans will surely not be the only ones fascinated by the arrival of Mohamadou Diarra.
“I’ve paid real attention to the history of the club and the great players to have played for it.”
Prior to securing his season-long loan to Newcastle United, Hatem Ben Arfa revealed that he took a good look at the tale of the Toon before deciding to move to the North East.
It’s understandable that the 24-year old, who has yet to find a home for his unquestionable talent and often fiery personality, has given this move some thought. Ben Arfa surely need only look back fifteen years to the summer of 1995 when a long-haired left winger from France arrived on Tyneside where he would swiftly acquire a Geordie God-like status.
Ah the Bosman, that rather major football ruling made back in 1995 that is now the bane of any manager trying to keep hold of their top talent, and for Football Manager/Championship Manager frequenters, a quick-fire way to get more quality into your first team squad if you can afford the wages (Taribo West anyone?).
Much has been made of Alan Pardew’s acquisition of Demba Ba in the summer, currently second in the Premier League goal-scoring charts and seemingly a shrewd bit of free business compared to the excessive fees currently hanging over the heads over strikers who are not really cutting it. Until the Senegalese striker’s rich vein of form leads the Geordies to some form of silverware or European qualification, his value for no money should be put on hold until the end of the season.
Prompted by an empty bank balance leading to a Saturday night in front of the telly, the notion of Player Cam was first introduced amongst my fellow football-loving colleagues.
Whether it was a new signing, or a player putting in a string of good performances gone largely unnoticed by most, Player Cam involved watching Football First and studying an individual performance.
Applying that to the wider realms of European and international football, the first of many Player Cams on Sparky in Rotterdam ’91 begins with a look at a young midfielder seizing his opportunity in an international side supremely low on confidence.