Thursday, 10 May 2007

Questions Questions

Howdy folks,
JJ here,

With this season nearly out of the way, there are some questions that need to be posed in regards to next year. Who knows what will change over the summer but there are a few things that stand out at the moment. Off the top of my head I can think of…

Will the greatness of football on YouTube and Daily Motion be denied to the masses?
Well, if certain judgements go against them, we may indeed be denied the pleasure of such excellent blogs as The Premier League are suing sites that put footage of games out online without permission and while it’s a huge legal wrangle that we won’t attempt to fully understand, those in power in the Premiership and Sky should realise there is a huge market for this. They should at least offer similar services on their outdated sites. Hopefully the legal case will go on for a few years to give us breathing space and more free goals.

Can Scholes and Giggs pull off one more great season?
Scholes’ comeback from last year’s problems with his sight has been amazing. Although, he did look dead on his feet whenever Gattuso marked him against Milan and that could be a warning for next year. Giggs will most likely do well, but then again not many fans have been singing his praises in the three years previous to this season. It will be intriguing to watch. Was this year one last push or is there something more left in the tank?

Will the £40 million TV money for each club leave some of them drunk with power?
Well the last time there was so much money flying around, Ipswich bought Finidi George, Everton got Daniel Amokachi and John Hartson went to Wimbledon for £7.5 million. Hopefully clubs have learned from these mistakes, but most likely not. Managers who have never had money before can easily get lured into buying a ‘big’ name only for them to fall flat on their face. Benito Carbone anyone? I give you good price!!!

What will be the latest ‘threat to football as we know it’?
Last year it was the Tevez and Mascherano transfers that would ‘usher in a new era of similar deals’, as we were told by some very highly paid columnists. These deals would see players have all the power and shady businessmen control clubs from afar… okay so maybe both of those statements are true already. But, the over-reaction to the dodgy Argentinean deals shows that football writers should stick to writing on the game, not on legal matters and finance.

Will Alex come to play for Chelsea?
The Mourinho v Arnesen battle has been brewing for some time and this Brazilian’s contract is up in the air. The PSV man says he’s owned by Chelsea; the men at Chelsea say it’s “complicated”; while Arnesen says nothing. Mourinho can reflect on the last central defender Arnesen insisted on buying – the horrendously limited Boulharouz. The manager can assert his power by stopping Alex in his tracks and getting his own man, no matter how poor he is at signing players at times.

What excuse can under-performing stars have next season?
No major summer competitions and a good long break for everyone. Performers with huge reputations like Rooney, Gerrard, Henry, Fat Frank, Lil Mickey Owen and Fabregas will have to be on top of their game from the kick off in August.

And finally, the obvious one…. Can anyone new challenge for a top four finish? Hmmm…well in short:

Newcastle? A possibility with four or five new signings and Fat Sam’s ugly if generally successful style of play.

Bolton? No chance, could be a rocky time ahead.

Villa? They need to challenge so that the owner is happy and O’Neill keeps his job. Fifth a must.

Sunderland? Despite having never seen the current squad against a Premiership side, all the signs are that the top eight is manageable, especially considering the flab that lies around the mid-table in the Premiership. Not top four though.

Everton? Even with this year’s relative success, they’ve not enough cash to compete. A small club as a wise man once said.

Spurs? Now or never for Martin Jol… I’ll go out on a limb and say that if Berbatov stays and they actually, at last, fill the problems on the left hand side they might finish in the top four. That’s depending of course on Arsenal and Liverpool having similar seasons to this one… but that’s a question for a longer article on another day.

West Ham? Anton Ferdinand is leaving and Tevez might stay. It could just work…


Mark said...

yes, i am living in fear that internet goals will disappear. love always finds a way though (was that Jurassic Park or March of the Penguins?)

slightly jumping the gun here but
anyway, in short -
1 giggs and scholes won't be as good next season
2 yes, i think we will see various stars at smaller teams, bring it on
3 next threat to football - the next tv deal won't be as big
4 alex - the new boulharouz, one goal vs the arse doesn't automatically make him a good player. lets see
5 excuses - concentrating on getting england to euros/disappointed england didn't get to euros
6 - a lot depends on who these teams sign. right now, i'd look for teams with good managers - moyes and hughes are the men to do it, if anyone can. one for before the season starts though. villa won't be fifth, mark my words...

at a guess - jol sacked, newcastle - too many players needed, bolton - either regress or stay the same, prob the former

Mr C said...

Sadly the end does look near for Scholes and Giggs as they both have a style of playing that suggests they cant simply loiter around the six yard box until they turn forty a la teddy sherringham.
I think next season will be their last if not the penultimate one, as lingering on to win a trophy isn't a scenario they have to face and as age creeps in, the fear of this being made obvious by younger legs and spells on the bench might concern them. When they do retire, it will be a massive loss to the Premiership in terms of household names only comparable to Shearer maybe. Invariably, they'll be calls to bring in big name signings to replace them but SAF would do well to look further down the table for bargains. Bouataza (spelling?) at Watford would be a tidy buy on the left or Pedersen from Blackburn. Scholes is slightly more tricky to think of anyone who could come in a even try to fill the gap. Perhaps play Rooney in that position and see if he adapts, who knows.

Take your pick for silly money deals from; Eto'o, Bent, Berbatov, Craig Gordon, Michael Owen, Daniel Alves, David Villa, Tevez and bench banished Riquelme at Villareal. Some fool will also buy Heskey as it appears written into the FA rules that some underachieving side with grand delusions will piss away £5+ for the rich man's adi abinbiyi.

The top four will stay the same if only through fiscal strength but expect to see places 5-10 to be quite feisty. I can see Villa doing well with MO'N + big transfer kitty. Likewise Spurs, Everton and Blackburn will do well if only through being run by competent managers and having good teams to build on during the transfer window. A lot depends on how ell they keep their big names, particularly Berbatov, Arteta and McCarthy respectively. Bolton may well suffer for a season adjusting to playing something other then dirty football. West Ham’s position depends on whether they keep hold of Tevez and lose the players that forced the last manager out.

Mark said...

god teh guardian youtube blog is great today - check out that violence!:

JJ said...

Ah Teddy Sheringham, if only we could all last like him we'd be dating blonde 18 year olds when we're forty.

Like your excuses Mark, I think the Euro 2008 one might be rolled out alright. McClaren's chats with Sven down at the dole office will see them blame Terry Venables and Michael Owen's gammy legs respectively. Because, of course, they're both tip top managers worthy of millions each year.

On the top four, the main problem is that I can't see Liverpool and Arsenal having as bad a year next season. I don't see either winning the league with their current squads but it'll mean that one side will most likely have to add 15-20 points to this year's total to break in. A tall order.

JJ said...

Quality stuff mark, great hit worthy of Michael Ball! Speaking of balls....

Mark said...

I see the arse and pool having the same seasons again...unless the summer purchases are really good, which I don't think they will be. 3rd or 4th is there for spurs and everton...

Mal said...

Sky reporting Liverpool have agreed a deal for Lucas from Gremio. Very highly rated player from what I've heard about him from Tim Vickery. Does this mean that one of the other midfielders are on the way out? Momo perhaps?

JJ said...

Momo may well be heading for Barcelona - so the rumours go anyway. He's no first touch so I wouldn't be too downhearted on that score. Then again, Xabi hasn't signed a new deal yet.