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Archive for the ‘Transfer Talk’ Category

Beckham to LA Galaxy

Posted by Sports Snob on January 13, 2007

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Well, it had to happen. Beckham had to leave Real Madrid and to no one’s surprise, he chose a move across the Atlantic to sunny Los Angeles where he would take his freekicks against teams such as Washington Wizards and Dallas Cowboys . Nobody really expected to move from Madrid to Portsmouth (although the prospect of him moving to Liverpool seemed interesting). What has surprised everybody has been the cash involved and the duration of the the deal.

The deal:

From the Wall Street Journal:


Mr. Beckham’s five-year pact includes an annual salary approaching $10 million a year, 40% to 50% of team-jersey sales and a share of club ticket revenue. His endorsements are expected to bring in $20 million to $25 million a year. Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the operating rights to the Galaxy and two other MLS teams, said it estimates that, including endorsements, Mr. Beckham could could earn in excess of $250 million over the five years — a deal the company called “the biggest in sporting history.”

Thats an obscene amount of money for any sportsman, let alone a player who is now past his prime, is entering a country where the sport has little mass support (come on even George Best and Pele did try!), is not part of his national football team and at age 31 is now watching his limited football skills go on the decline. Beckham will also be selling global brands such as Adidas, Pepsi and Gillette to Americans.

Miserable days in Spain

After a very successful career at Manchester United where Beckham won trophies every year, he moved to Real Madrid following a spectacular fallout with Fergusson. United had agreed a deal to sell Beckham to Barcelona (albeit a Barcelona that were struggling and had not won a trophy in ages) and the deal appeared to be going through until Beckham hijacked it by signing a contract with Real Madrid. Beckham was a perfect fit for the galactico policy of Real, he was a global superstar, and he would bring millions to Madrid through jersey sales and image rights.

Since then, Barcelona, inspired by Ronaldinho (ironically a Madrid reject) and driven by manager Frank Rijkaard have gone on to win 2 league titles and were crowned European Champions in May. Madrid on the other hand have gone to the gutters as a result of poor management and terrible transfer policies. Last heard, emergency talks were being held at the Bernabeu to understand why the club was under achieving.

To be fair to Beckham, he tried and tried hard. I cant understand how people like Guti and Raul continue to be in the Madrid first XI ahead of Beckham. And, being pushed to the centre of midfield by a series of managers didn’t help his cause either. Worse, he had lost pace. He is no Zidane but he is no Pennant either. You put him on the right side of midfield and Beckham will deliver perfect crosses to your strikers all day long.

What does this mean for the MLS?

Short term interest is no doubt going to shoot up, when every national newspaper and television channel covers the story, you know it’s something big. There will be a definite spike in attendances wherever the Galaxy play atleast over the coming season. But can somebody explain to me how in four years time, a 36 year old David Beckham is going to continue to draw the crowds for much longer?!

Worse, the chances of the Yanks taking to the sport in a big way are about as remote as India qualifying for the 2014 football World cup. Football (or should I say soccer) is perceived to be a sport to be played by young kids, where every kid however poor gets to kick the ball. And there is way too much competition for the MLS from the other big leagues. On the other hand, the young kids (and there are eight million between the ages of 8 and 16 who are playing the sport) might just be the perfect target for the MLS bosses and Beckham’s football academy.

It is also going to be interesting to see if this transfer results in other football superstars like Figo, Ronaldo hopping across the atlantic. Who knows? maybe Shevchenko will move there too. There is already talk of Edgar Davids joining the Dallas Cowboys.

Will Beckham be the messiah who will take Football to the final frontier? Will a very average and ageing 36 year old David Beckham be able to sell cars and razor blades? Will this website survive to discuss that in 4 years time? Only time will tell.

– Z

Posted in English Football, Football, Transfer Talk | 6 Comments »

Transfer Talk

Posted by Sports Snob on January 6, 2007

No, this is not an article about Harry Redknapp and his South coast shenanigans, so keep reading (or stop reading, if that suits your fancy). The January transfer window is open, and many clubs are scrambling to sign players whom they think they might at need at some point of time during the rest of the season. We’ll take requests in a bit, but for now let’s have a look at the ‘Big Four’ plus Manchester City.

Chelsea:

The club is looking pretty shaky at the back without Terry. Jose needs to shore up the defense in case of another injury. Boulahrouz does not make sense as a player, let alone an emergency centre half/full back (Face it, he’s only ever gonna be used in an emergency anyway). Tal Ben Haim has been mentioned as a potential target, but Bolton have tripled his wages and extended his contract, so it’s unlikely he’ll be moving any time soon. Micah Richards is another possibility – young, built like an ox, pace to burn, and what appears to be a very good footballing brain – but he’ll cost Chelsea at least 20 million pounds, which, while they can afford, may not be an amount they’re willing to shell out. I’d buy Matt Upson if I were him, to be honest with you – a solid defender with a fairly good track record. Or Anton Ferdinand. For a laugh. They’ll probably win the league anyway. Funny, with all the money they have spent and they have hidden in Roman’s couch- they are still short of players.

Man United:

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Fergie’s hunt for a defensive midfielder appears to be drawing to a close, with Bayern Munich announcing that they will consider bids for Canadian-Englishman Owen Hargreaves. But Munich want 20 million for it. Does Fergusson have so much cash? What about the money for the striker in the summer?

While United appear to be strong on both wings – indeed, with the form Cristiano Ronaldo has been in, they could ask him to play both wings simultaneously – they need a little more quality up front. Rooney, for all his talent, has performed sporadically at best for United. Solskjaer doesn’t have the same pace, even if he is an impact substitute of some pedigree. Saha has been in fine fettle, but is prone to injury, and SAF has done a wise thing by bringing Larsson to the club. Wonder, when the boy wonder Rooney is going to start scoring the goals.

Liverpool:

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Rafa Benitez has been fairly shrewd with his transfers so far, and it appears that the signings of Bellamy and Pennant are finally beginning to pay off. Liverpool have signed Javi Mascherano from West Ham on loan for the rest of the season, although it baffles me to think of what Benitez will do with 4 top class central midfielders. There is strength in depth for every position except the right hand side. I’m hoping a cheeky bid for Dani Alves from Sevilla will get that sorted, though. Finnan is incredibly consistent, but is also the only quality player in his position, and would relish some competition. Lucas Neill has been mentioned a few times, but Benitez should realistically be looking at some younger targets. Some would argue that Liverpool still need to buy a striker, but I reckon Dirk Kuyt has shut everyone up for now, with some outstanding displays. I wouldn’t say no to David Villa though, and I suspect Rafa might break the bank to get him. But not now.
 

Arsenal:

Arsene Wenger’s young team have been bullied a little bit this season. Their (now insignificant) victory at Old Trafford apart, the Gunners have looked shaky all season long. Beating Liverpool 3-0 at home and losing 1-0 at Sheffield United is pretty much indicative of their inconsistency. Now, I’ll be frank here – I cannot stand Arsenal. For all their talent (Fabregas, Van Persie, Henry), they are incredibly arrogant and self-obsessed (sounds a bit like me, this lot). With youngsters all over the pitch, and the old heads of Henry and Gilberto, Arsene must be thinking “Well, these guys look pretty good right now, we’ll worry about next year when we come to it”. I don’t expect them to buy anyone. They already have? Sue me.

And I did mention Man City (I love this club, by the way), but I think they need to be bought before they do any serious buying.

Oasisboy

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Posted in Football, Transfer Talk | 4 Comments »