This article was taken from our sister-site, Kopblog – the blog’s dollocks.
The football season may be over but the silly season is well and truly in full swing. It’s easy to see why Rafa might be frustrated with the lack of any progress on our new stadium, because if we were to sign half of the players the clowns in the media have us linked with in their many ‘œexclusives’, we will need the extra capacity just to fit them all into the ground!
There is just so much bullshit in and around the game these days that you can believe almost nothing of what you hear and even less of what you read. It infuriates me how often players, managers, chairmen, ruling bodies etc and most particularly the press, insult the intelligence of supporters with half-truths and downright lies. But during the close-season the crap really goes into overdrive.
The press in the UK are total scumbags. Without any actual games to report on, they fill their pages up with total exaggerations and lies. The bigger the lie the better because after a couple of days of cheap ‘œexclusive’ headlines they’ll replace it with another and hope that everyone forgets the last one. This is what I often refer to as buckshot journalism. They fire shots in every direction in the hope they might hit something and on the rare occasions when they do, they proudly proclaim ‘œYou read it here first’, just don’t ask them about the other dozens of ‘œexclusives’ they got completely wrong.
The only paper I have any time for is the Liverpool Echo. Over the years I’ve found that if it’s not in the Echo, then it’s most probably bullshit. I’m just a fan with a laptop and too much time on my hands but in my opinion the vast majority of football journalists are about as useful as a one-armed trapeze artist with an itchy arse! Other than the Echo, I don’t waste my money buying newspapers but I do read a lot of the online stuff and I’ve come to the conclusion that just about all of the football journalists can be split into two categories.
Those who know nothing but try to make it sound as if they know something, and those who may actually know a little something but try to make it sound as if they know everything. The tabloids and the likes of the News of the World etc, are full of football reporters who fit neatly into the first category. These are individuals who try to brand themselves as being in the know when in fact they know about as much about what’s going on as any of the rest of us, in fact in some cases far less. I’ll mention no names but I think we all know who they are.
As for the second category, there are a number of examples but one who has been catching my attention recently is Guillem Balague. Firstly, I should say that I do actually like this guy. I think he’s a good TV pundit who seems to know what he’s talking about, which is a refreshing change from most of the other morons that appear on Sly Sports. On the surface he appears to have a bit more knowledge than your average football journo. And he is also apparently a Liverpool fan and a friend/acquaintance of Rafa Benitez, or so the story goes
My problem with him is that I sometimes read his online stuff and I often come away from it feeling pretty underwhelmed because I’ve never seen anything there that isn’t already common knowledge, or at least common sense. For example, as he is a Spanish journalist I was interested in reading what his take was on the Silva and Alonso situations, hoping he might have a little extra information. And true enough he has written a few articles about each of them recently but as far as I can see they all seem to have been an exercise in stating the bleeding obvious!
In both cases, everything he has written can be basically summed up in a couple of sentences. On Alonso, Real Madrid are interested in him but Rafa doesn’t want to sell. However if Real come up with a shit load of money, Rafa might be tempted. On Silva, Valencia are in financial trouble and need to sell for as much money as they can get, Rafa is interested but may not be able to afford him at their asking price. So if Rafa can come up with enough cash he can buy him but if not he can’t.
That’s about it really, hardly a blinding revelation in either case and nothing there that any of us didn’t already know, which is pretty much my point. As fans we often discuss the pro’s and con’s of potential signings but all we can do is speculate because we aren’t in possession of the facts. For the most part this is exactly what the press do as well but the difference is they try to peddle their speculation as fact and then charge you for the privilege of reading it. So keep your money in your pocket, these guys are full of shite who know little more than the rest of us.
Anyway now that I’ve pissed off the journo’s and all of their bullshit, let’s have a go at the players. Some of these guys really get on my tits. This is obviously the time when a lot of players will be moving on to other clubs and that’s fair enough. But the ones who really annoy me are the ones who are clearly moving on purely for financial reasons, but they still insist on insulting the intelligence of supporters by thinking they’ll be stupid enough to believe that they are actually moving on for some other noble reason that has nothing at all to do with cash. The latest example of this is Gareth Barry.
I thought Barry still had a few seasons left in him at the top level but he decided to move to Middle-Eastlands instead. He was Rafa’s main transfer target last summer but it didn’t work out. I’m not sure if the boss was even still interested in signing him but with one year left on his contract I thought he could have been a very good signing for us in an area that I think we are a little thin on cover. This was based on the assumption that given his contract situation we could have picked him up for about Â£8 million but Man City ended up paying Â£12 million not to mention the Â£5 million a year in wages they are giving him. I think that would have been far too much for us to pay and I’m glad we stayed out of it.
I’m not too bothered about Barry. As far as Liverpool are concerned I regarded him as a nice to have rather than a need to have and if they are paying him 100K a week, good luck to him. But where I do have a problem with him is when he comes out with this crap about his move not being about the money, I mean just who does this clown think he’s kidding with this bullshit?
In his statement he made a reference that seemed to be directed at us when he claimed he wanted to play for a team where he would be assured regular football in his favoured position. Strange that, isn’t this the same guy who claimed last season that it was his dream to be playing for us in the CL? So it seems to me that either this guy has lost the confidence in his ability to gain a place in our team or he’s just a greedy bastard talking crap, in either case he would be no good to us.
But his statement was particularly laughable where it relates to Aston Villa. He claimed that his main concern was ensuring his place in the England team for next year’s World Cup finals and that playing regularly for Man City in his favoured central midfield position would enhance his chances. What a load of bollocks!
Had he stayed at Villa he would have been guaranteed the regular football in that position that he seeks. Also let’s not forget that Villa spent most of last season in the top four and even though they collapsed during the final quarter, they still finished 12 points ahead of City and have European football next season. So if we are to believe that his World Cup place was his primary concern then surely he would have been better staying where he was.
We all know that City have some case to splash about but it remains to be seen how wisely they use it and so far they haven’t pulled up any trees. Despite all of the rubbish spouted by Barry, the only reason he signed for City is that they offered him 100K a week and Villa ‘œonly’ offered him 80K. His one and only motivation was greed and it’s as simple as that. This guy is so two-faced, if he ever goes for a face lift he is going to need two doctors!
I actually don’t have much of a problem with footballers earning as much as they can in their relatively short careers but I just wish they had the decency to at least be honest about it. It’s not that I expect them to come out and admit that they are greedy bastards but if they said they were taking the deal that is the best for them and their families, I think supporters could identify with that and might have a bit more respect for them.
In other matters, while I’ve been writing this blog the news broke about Gillett and Hicks have generated a Â£42 million loss mainly due to the interest repayments on the loans they took out to buy the club. It’s a shame to see this happening at a time when the club has just had its highest ever turnover and actually made a profit of over Â£10 million, but I can’t say it’s much of a surprise.
I’m not a great man for the financial side of things but I do remember plenty of people predicting these kind of disastrous figures at the time when the two stooges took out their refinancing loan. While the figures have just been published the club would have known about them for a long time and I don’t think it really changes anything.
Despite the figures, Rafa still got a new contract as did a lot of the senior players and I don’t think this will affect the amount of money Rafa has to spend, which is unlikely to be a lot anyway. My guess is that he might have enough to make one big splash in the transfer market and the rest will need to be generated through player sales. Thankfully we don’t need a lot, 3 to 4 players might be enough. As ever it’s going to be a balancing act but I trust the gaffer to make the right decisions, even if they may not necessarily be the most popular ones.