Eddie's Football Blog

A bizarre look at the world of football, since 2008

Posts Tagged ‘transfer rumours’

Aston Villa publically submit transfer request on behalf of Emile Heskey

Posted by eddiev18 on July 22, 2011

Heskey: Yeah, he's still playing Premier League football...

Aston Villa today publicly submitted a transfer request on behalf of Emile Heskey, claiming that their ambition exceeds the talent at the disposal of the former England striker.

In an interview with Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti the midlands club are reported to have said: “Frankly we feel disappointed that Emile hasn’t buggered off yet.

“Last summer we made a gentleman’s agreement that if a club matching his natural talent came in for him, then he wouldn’t stop us from trying to get him off our books. Naturally we are therefore extremely disappointed to hear that he has chosen to reject today’s offer from Rochdale.”

Villa fan John Yeates is a bit pissed off about it all: “In “In dendrological terms, Emile Heskey is an old Oak – large and looming, a wooden presence that apparently takes a fucking age to move when you’ve had enough of it.

“Analogies aside though, a football club really cannot win these days. If a Premier League player manages to take a break from shagging Page 3 birds long enough to actually play an acceptable few games of football, all the club seems to get in return is a few grumblings from the player about ambition, and a public flirtation with the first Russian bloke to throw him an extra wheelbarrow of gold.

“On the flip side, if the player turns to shit and becomes the bench warming equivalent of Bill Cosby’s zombie, the fucker still hangs around collecting his wages like some sort of expensive eggy fart. You have to question where that supposed ambition went to, don’t you?”

Heskey defended his stance on Twitter: “Look, as I have said many times in the past, I am trying to build for the future and staying on a wage that in no way matches my footballing ability is essential to that.

“I will not be sold this summer.”


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Sky Sports News: Look, it’s a saga because we tell you it is, ok?

Posted by eddiev18 on July 19, 2011

The Grant Nostril Saga: Will he or won't he?

Sky Sports News today announced that the word ‘saga’ means whatever the hell they want it to mean, and if football fans didn’t like it they could simply switch to another channel.

The 24-hour sports channel – once described as ‘like having the Sun shouted at you by two robots dressed as bankers’ – was responding to criticism that their continued exaggeration of mundane sports stories via the irresponsible mis-use of supporting vocabulary,  has been ruining the lives of stupid people who now think that absolutely everything is an outrageously exciting ‘saga’.

Proving the point, George Franks – who has been watching Sky Sports News avidly since the season ended on the 22nd May – was asked what had actually happened in the 58 days he has spent glued to his sofa.

“Oh, it’s all been kicking off hasn’t it?! There was the time that a man with moustache spent a day outside White Hart Lane to catch a glimpse of Luka Modric walking through a door. What a moment in the saga that was, eh?!

“What else? Oh yeah, there was the time that the bloke with the big chin brought up a picture of Wesley Sneijder on his flashy touch screen and revealed that the saga involving him joining United could be nearing a conclusion. Sky sources revealed.

“It turns out they made the whole thing up, but it kept me up all night eating Pop-Tarts waiting for the ‘Breaking News’ that was always promised every half hour after the ad breaks.

“It’s true though, I do find it hard not to turn everything into a saga these days. I can’t make breakfast without an internal commentary breaking the news that my slice of Warburton’s Seeded Batch ‘has made a dramatic move to join Toast FC on a short term contract’.

“My girlfirend has left me of course. In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have broken the news on Twitter that ‘the blowjob deal had finally been agreed’.”

A Sky spokesman was unashamed of the channel’s tactics: “Sky Sports News is one of our flagship stations, and it is absolutely ghastly isn’t it?

“However, it’s a fantastic money spinner. We have learnt that if you persistently drip-feed thick people with “BREAKING NEWS” exclusives every 15 minutes, then they will happily accept spending 90% of their time watching goals from League Two and boring press conferences with Rotherham’s new assistant manager.

“They will certainly not change the channel, and frankly we don’t really care if the Oxford English Dictionary doesn’t deem Cesc Fabregas buying a pint of milk as ‘another chapter in the ongoing saga’.  We say it is, so it is. That’s the end of it.

“Although being a saga it obviously isn’t…”

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Rumourville – Don’t Believe The Hype

Posted by eddiev18 on January 17, 2009

‘City Could Be Ready To Swoop For Ronaldo’ (Summer transfer window headline)

Ronaldo To City? No Chance.

Ronaldo To City? No Chance.

Oh really?! Could they? Well, I could be preparing a swoop for Angelina Jolie, couldn’t I?! The difference is that if I told my mates that I was eyeing a date with Little Miss Pouty Lips, they would laugh their heads off, and not take me seriously in the slightest. Why therefore, is a story about the best player in the world – who has just won the Premier League and Champions League with City’s deadliest rivals – taken seriously by so many people?

Putting to one side the money that City now have, United would never let Ronaldo go there, and yet there were a fair few people who believed it was going to happen. My question is this, how do we as fans, in the absence of any concrete evidence, become so convinced that certain deals are so nailed-on?

Well, to start with, there are a lot of idiots out there. However, I don’t want to do football supporters such great disservice, because the real reason we believe such rumours is obvious. The truth is that fans care so much about their clubs, have such faith in them, and such hope for the future that, when a positive or exciting rumour surfaces about their team, they are halfway to believing it already. No matter how unrealistic or how little evidence the story has to support it, fans only need it reinforced a few times to get them believing it. This makes us sitting ducks for the media, and they absolutely milk it.

The newspapers can be categorised pretty easily. Firstly, you have the ‘Shit Spouting Red-Tops’ (as I like to call them) – aka The Sun, The Mirror, The Star etc. – which, on a daily basis, serve up a bunch of sensationalist, speculative nonsense, designed solely to make conversations ‘down the pub’ sound more enlightened (at the same time as slowly killing your brain).

Then you have the Daily Mail, which is for fascist tossers – people who are so afraid of the ‘state of our country’ that they refuse to step outside, in the fear that the air might give them cancer, or cellulite, or bring back Princess Diana as an immigrant. God I hate the Daily Mail.

The Sun. Kills. Brains. Fact.

The Sun. Kills. Brains. Fact.

Then you have actual newspapers, where actual journalists take time and effort to write a well thought out article, offering a considered opinion on a subject of interest. This makes for something far more thought provoking than a story as inconclusive, and lacking in any supporting evidence, as the article which would have followed the headline at the top of this page (which presumably was written by a team of monkeys, simply throwing their own shit at a piece of paper).

Anyway, with the rise of the internet, and the subsequent increase in people discarding their newspapers to get their daily fill of news online, there is no longer a small monopoly of titles producing the stories for the masses. Now, alongside the newspapers, you have hundreds of other websites available at the click of a mouse, all putting out the same stuff.

The trouble is that most of them are even worse than the ‘Shit Spouting Red Tops’. They quite literally just make stuff up to get people to their website, even if they have absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support their stories. Even worse, they all appear to just copy each other’s bullshit, in some sort of ham-fisted attempt to make it all look credible (the logic assumedly being that if more than one website is running with it, then surely there must be some truth in it).

Anyway, the lack of a loyal readership (due to the shockingly poor quality of their content) and the reliance that these sites have on ‘page impressions’ for ‘ad revenue’ (blah, blah, drone), means that they have to use a gimmick to draw people back into their sites (one that the newspapers have been using effectively for years) – the ‘attention-grabbing headline’.

Here’s an example of this (which I just made up):

Headline – ‘Samba Star On Brink Of Spurs Move’

Rumours suggest that Milan forward, and Brazilian superstar, Ronaldinho could be on the brink of a move to Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, for a fee believed to be in the region of £15 million.

Sources close to the Catalan club didn’t tell us anything. Well, why the fuck would they, we’re Fans FC – we’ve only gone and ripped this off another shitty website, who got their story off a cabbie who picked up former Milan player Luther Blisset from the airport the other day. Why do you care though? Ronaldinho’s off to Spurs! Go on, go dance in the street you gullible pillock.

Something like that. We’ve all seen it countless times; you just have to go to your club’s page on NewsNow on any day of either transfer window. It’s a veritable goldmine of garbage.

Anyway, despite my protestations to the contrary, I don’t think that the likes of Fans FC and The Sun are the worst offenders, when it comes to getting people to believe the bullshit. They are merely the initiators, they rarely force the issue and anyway, most people are able to read between the lines, and smell the horse-shit from a mile away! No, for me, the ones most to blame are the people who take the rumour, and attempt to cement it in other people’s minds as fact, by masquerading as some sort of transfer guru, or ‘man in the know’.

I don’t know why, but every office, pub, and internet forum seems to have one of these guys, whose mundane existence appears to inspire him to behave in this way. Constantly regurgitating transfer rumours (which he’s probably read that morning in the Daily Star, whilst tossing himself off in a public toilet) as fact, he delivers them with an air of mystery, which intends to give off the impression that the club chairman has just called him to announce the deal, days before notifying the press. We’ve all encountered someone who does this regularly. 99.9% of the time though, the truth is that they know fuck all.

Lee Dixon. Please Fuck Off.

Lee Dixon. Please Fuck Off.

The same goes for the worst offenders of all – football pundits. I fucking hate football pundits. They reckon that, just because they’ve played in the Premier League before, we all want to hear what their tiny little brains have to say about the game. Well, we don’t, so fuck off you shiny suited, matching shirt and tied, wanker.

Like the office transfer guru, you often hear someone like Lee Dixon taking a rumour and, due to his inability to think of anything intelligent to say in his tiny 30 second slot, he decides to say something like ‘Of course we all know that Tottenham are very interested in Ronaldinho… watch this space’.

Outrageous. They say it as if they’ve just got off the phone to his bloody agent, and what makes them worse than the office punk is that they have an audience of millions, yet they can’t stop themselves. As a result, thousands of people suddenly become converted to something that was, merely hours ago, just a rumour. Well, why would Lee Dixon make something up live on TV, in front of millions of people, I hear you say? Why? Because he’s a self righteous twat, who loves the sound of his voice so much, he became a fucking football pundit.

So, this January, or any transfer window for that matter, my advice to you is to enjoy it, but don’t get suckered in by rumourville. Consider that Man City were linked to 40-odd players before the window even opened! If you take it too seriously it can consume you (evidence of this is a Tottenham forum with close to 300 pages of posts on the rumour that Andrei Arshavin may still be coming to Spurs – Guys, just go outside and talk to a woman or something. Please. For the sake of humanity!).

Oh, and one final piece of advice – if you see a football pundit about to open his mouth on TV, just change the channel. Or throw something at his face. Just don’t listen to the shiny suited toss-pot.

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Calm Down, It’s Only Speculation… Or Is It?!?

Posted by eddiev18 on June 14, 2008

Going or not going? That is the question.

Putting aside the British weather, people getting excited about Tim Henman, and putting ice in cider just because some company has told them they should, for me, one of the most amusing things about the summer is the transfer window and all that it brings.

Back in 2002, the big cheeses from FIFA decided to change the rules, allowing clubs to buy and sell players solely in two designated ‘windows’ (1-31st January, and from the end of season until 31st August). This meant that the normally busy summer suddenly became the most important time of the year for clubs looking to improve.

In England, both chairmen and managers alike keep their cards extremely close to their chests, not wishing to alert rival clubs to the players that they have been scouting, in a bid to swoop in there first and get a better deal.

However, this all results in the British tabloid journalists, working with little to no information at all, going into overdrive. Striving to fill column inches, they link every player to every club in need of a player. This sometimes verges on the ridiculous (Samuel Etoo and Ronaldinho to Spurs, are mere drops in the ocean of rubbish that has already been put together this summer).

In Spain and Italy it is completely different. Over there what you tend to see is a club’s president creating the speculation himself, by outlining the (usually five or six) players he wants to sign. The club then uses the papers almost as a medium to unsettle their targets.

Extraordinary tactics yes, but also clever, as it taps into something that has been very clear in modern football over the last 10 years… the players now have the power, not the clubs. If a player wants to leave, it is virtually impossible to stop him.

A classic example of this is the Cristiano Ronaldo situation. ‘The Hairdryer’, aka Manchester Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson, has blasted Real Madrid wind-up merchant, and club president, Ramon Calderon for using sports daily ‘Marca’ to unsettle Ronaldo.

Whilst swapping being barked at by an angry red nosed Scot, for lounging in the sunshine, and a house with his beautiful Spanish girlfriend, must have something to do with Ronaldo’s recent revelation that he wants to go to Real, Calderon’s use of the media has certainly helped Madrid’s cause.

Whether the speculation has just been thought up by a journalist, or is the dream of a club president, it can’t be denied that people will start to believe it is going to happen if they keep hearing it. I find it hilarious how the chairman and managers, the very people who pride themselves on keeping their cards close to their chests when it comes to transfers, react to speculation and start to soil themselves in the fear of losing their best player.

The Ronaldo situation seems to have increased the sensitivity of the top clubs to speculation, and in the last week alone we have seen both Milan and Liverpool issuing ‘hands off’ warnings to any clubs interested in Torres and Kaka.

From the first speculation appearing in a newspaper, to the player finally signing on the dotted line at midnight on the 31st August, there really is nothing more amusing than two top clubs publically wrestling over the transfer of a player. It’s a superb distraction from the season, and Ronaldo will surely not be the last one this summer.

My advice is to sit back and enjoy!

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