Tuesday, December 22, 2015

"Managerial Genius"

Today I almost feel spoilt for choice over what to blog about. There’s Blatter and Platini getting 8 year bans each (not long enough if you ask me), there’s Arsenal becoming favourites to win the league, there’s Chelsea dominating Sunderland immediately after Jose gets the sack and there’s even rumours of The Owls signing current jobseeker Emmanuel Adebayor…

And even with those stories I’m gonna talk about the current state of Manchester United and why I think Van Gaal is a dreadful manager. I’m sure many of you will be sick to the back teeth of hearing about his boring football and his backward philosophy but I’m here to say that it's much worse than that...truly this man is an arse.

I remember when he first joined Man united; he was going to bring back the good old days of Sir Alex Ferguson, would revolutionise the team, bringing in only the finest footballers the world had to offer and reap tyranny that would keep The Red Devils at the top of English football for generations to come…turned out nicely did that.

For me this belief of LVG being a tactical genius started in the World Cup when he replaced Ajax goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen with The Magpies keeper Tim Krul moments before a penalty shootout. They won the shootout and he was crowned a genius by the press, the pundits and football fans world wide.
~ I remember at the time I didn’t agree with this decision to sub off the keeper but I couldn’t argue with the results, Tim Krul won that shootout ~

This then led him to making more genius decisions such as playing Ashley Young at right back, playing kids instead of playing seasoned professionals who have Premier League winners medals and the ultimate mark of a genius...having Phil Jones take corners.
~ Admittedly Young does look quite good at right back but let's be honest he’s an even better winger on his day ~

These are the kind of decisions that people will question and criticize but if it comes off, make you look like you have a keener eye than most when it comes to football management. When they don’t work on the other hand people continue to criticize and raise eyebrows about your knowledge when all you had to do was be normal.

Van Gaal to me is now trying to correct his previous stupid decisions by making more and more, praying they come good. He signed Angel Di Maria, a player who was new to the league and pinned his hopes on him to create chances. When he didn’t come good he sold him and signed Memphis Depay, a player who was new to the league and pinned his hopes on him to create chances. See that pattern?

He sold Robin Van Persie and Javier Hernandez, two players who can score goals in this league, thinking Rooney will bag the goals they need. When Rooney wasn’t banging in goals he signed Anthony Martial, a player who was new to the league and pinned his hopes on him to score goals. Although I like Martial, LVG shouldn’t be expecting him to be the main man for goals, not when he’s only 20. Man Utd have always relied on experienced strikers to get them goals, as well as a strong defense.
He seems hell bent on a complete overhaul of Manchester United. Out of the entire squad there is a hand full of first team players left who played under Fergie and the majority of the ones gone have been sold during Van Gaal’s tenure not Moyesy’s. That title winning side has been almost demolished within two and a half years.

Vidic and Evra left after Van Gaal was given the job. Not much he could’ve done about them as they were halfway out the door before the Dutchman even got there. For me his prerogative would have been to keep Rio Ferdinand. Yes he was aging but to try and completely reinvent a top four challenging defense in a few months is a big ask for even the best managers, at least keeping Rio would’ve been a starting point.

Louis Van Gaal has managed to build a squad that has no idea what it is like to be Manchester United, to be able to play poorly and still come away with a 3-0 victory. At least if he kept lads like Ferdinand, Fletcher, Nani, Hernandez they could spur the new players on because they know quitting isn’t an option! Not at Manchester United!

Now though a bad performance, whether it is against top of the league or bottom of the league, spells defeat for The Red Devils and sadly with the style of play they’ve got it seems every performance is a bad one. That only spells one thing...a new boss.

And who will that be to take up the most prized managerial seat in English football? Mourinho? Guardiola? both for me are terrible options due to the fact in three years Manchester United will be back to square one.
~ Personally feel that Pep wouldn’t do much for United anyway. Look at the clubs/players he’s managed...he’s not known a squad as poor as this ~

In the footballing world now a manager’s job comes into question after only five bad results so I’d have to say MUFC need a manager who will be given time by both the board and the fans. Giggs could be the man but is he ready? Only time will tell on that one…

~ Anyone who enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThePenaltyKing1 ~

Cheers for reading.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

José Mourinho - The Sacked One

Earlier today it was announced that Chelsea have sacked their manager José Mourinho. José Mourinho? More like Losé Mourinho! Am I right *laughs uncontrollably* *sides split*. With the club currently sitting 16th just a single point away from the relegation zone some may say is it too little too late? Other managers and pundits in football (Wenger, Pat Nevin, etc) seem to think Chelsea have too much quality to go down but both of these men were also certain that “The Chosen One” wouldn’t get the sack.

For me this news is just music to my ears. This arrogant bastard has finally run out of lives and has been given the boot after picking up just 15 points from 16 games. Relegation form if ever I’ve seen it and for me there is only one person to blame! You can argue that players haven’t been performing for their boss but he’s the man that picks the team and chooses to pick overpaid, work-shy shit over some young lad who would run his socks off just for a 5 minute substitute appearance for The Blues.

When Mourinho put Diego Costa on the bench against Tottenham he was applauded, showing that he wasn’t afraid to put his big names on the bench if they were underperforming...yet in the same game played Fabregas and Ivanovic two players who have been weak links in every game they’ve played this season…

Now you stick weak links in your side and it causes questions among the players around them. John Terry was called into question earlier this year after being sent off while he attempted to cover Ivanovic who had been caught well out of position. And Matic for me has looked shocking compared to last season but that’s due to him having to do his own job as well as Fabregas’. Since the Cesc’s move in 2014 I don’t think I’ve seen the Spaniard follow one runner and for me there is no excuse for that.
~ One of my favourite sayings in football is you can forgive a player for having a lack of skill and a high workrate. But a skilled player who doesn’t want to work, you can’t forgive that ~

One thing that has been getting on my nerves is people saying “Chelsea aren’t in a relegation battle.” One look at the league tells you otherwise. 16th, 1 point off the relegation places spells relegation battle to me. “Chelsea have the quality to get out of that situation”...so do Swansea, So do Newcastle, so do Bournemouth, on their day even Sunderland have the quality to get out of it. But if you look at the table right at this very second you have to say that all of those clubs are in a relegation battle.

I for one didn’t think they had the quality to get out of this relegation battle. Yeah yeah the players they have are incredibly skilled but when you’re in that situation you need all 11 men to dig deep and battle in every game. You need to outrun and out strength your opponents when you’re down there and frankly Chelsea have the type of players who do better when confidence is high and they don’t have to worry about something as miniscule as tracking a man.

Due to the fact that Mourinho kept playing down the fact that Chelsea were in a relegation battle he refused to change. He tried to keep them playing with that confidence and belief that they could leave runners and they didn’t have to pressurise their opponent constantly, while all the other teams in the league started to believe that they could go to Chelsea and come away with 3 points.

Some games last season Chelsea had won the game before a ball was even kicked due to opposing teams believing Chelsea were too good. Whereas this season they seem to have lost games before a ball was kicked due to them believing they were still the best team in England.

But one thing that many people will be asking is what’s different this season compared to their Premier League winning side of last season? Again for me it’s another Mourinho fuck up. In three years at Chelsea he’s managed to make a side so one dimensional that teams are exploiting their glaring weaknesses week in week out.

With no one brought in other than Pedro in the summer Mourinho shows that he had complete confidence in the side he’d built. Was he right to do this? No, a manager should always be looking to improve his squad! I mean it can’t be a shock his squad needed improving. In all honesty I think his squad would have perfect if he didn’t get rid of the young talent he had a few years ago.

Since Mourinho has come back he’s sold David Luiz who is now one of the best centre backs in Europe, Mohamed Salah and Andre Schurrle who are both flying high in their respective leagues, Kevin De Bruyne who looks a world class signing for Man City and finally Romelu Lukaku who looked (even at 21) to be a like-for-like copy of Didier Drogba.

Now if injuries were to have gone against José what would he do if, for example, Hazard got injured? Or Matic? Or Costa? You want someone who’s just as good to come in, not someone who’ll fill the spot until your main mans fit again, not when you’re meant to be challenging for the title. You need a quality squad to truly dominate a league not just a good eleven.

After this whole fiasco there is one thing I’m hoping comes from it and that is Roman Abramovich actually realising a real reason to sack a manager. Just cause you’re third in the premier league doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world! He should’ve give lads like Ancelotti a chance, instead of sacking him at the first sign of danger...

But anyway I’ve ranted enough on this topic and in the process I’ve probably missed Chelsea appointing Guus Hiddink or Ray Wilkins as the new boss. Best of luck to anyone who gets the job whether it be on caretaker terms or on a full contract basis. Anyone who has enjoyed this please feel free to follow me on Twitter where I tweet more of my posts on a daily basis.

One more thing I want to say before I finish is well done to the Chelsea fans who have stuck by Mourinho right up until the end, nice to see some kind of commitment to a manager from a club’s fans for once. Even though I hate the prat you’ve done yourselves proud there. If Manchester United had the same heart as your lads they’d still have a managerial masterclass of Moysey at the helm of their club.

~ Anyone who enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThePenaltyKing1 ~

Cheers for reading.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Name v Form

With the groups for the UEFA Euro 2016 announced Roy Hodgson can begin to get an idea of what he will do to combat against the teams in our group. The Three Lions have been drawn against Russia, Slovakia and our high rising neighbours Wales. Some fans are already labelling this an ‘easy’ group, others stating it will be a real test for us. To me it seems it could go either way.

After winning all of our qualifying matches, being only the fifth team to do so in the Euros, England look more than ready for Roy Hodgson’s third tournament as manager. If any of the big national sides such as Germany or Spain had done this then it would be labelled as a statement of intent and they will be sure to dominate. So why isn’t it happening to England? Why is there less pressure in this tournament than any we’ve been in over the last 40 years?

I can’t help but think it’s because we have no saviour. That one world class player who you think will drag us through games by the scruff of our neck, player’s like Bobby Charlton, Beckham and Gazza who have the quality to take on the world’s best and win nine times out of ten. In recent years we’ve relied on Wayne Rooney who never really showed his class in the big stages for England, scoring his first goal in an international tournament last year in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

So who can we rely on? For me this is an ideal opportunity to give in form players a chance over the so called “top four teams” players. When players like Phil Jones are getting in the England squad over lads like Scott Dann and Ryan Shawcross it makes you wondering what I need to do to get an England call up. Shawcross has kept five clean sheets in six Premier League matches since his return and Scott Dann has been a wall at the back and has contributed to Palace currently being in 6th place.

Then of course there’s lads like Danny Drinkwater and Marc Albrighton who have both been contributing to Leicester meteoric rise to the top of the Premier League. Have they not done as well as Raheem Sterling who is struggling to find consistency since his £49mil move in the Summer.

On that topic it baffles me that players move to ‘larger’ clubs and seem to earn less club appearances but gain more international appearances e.g. Adam Lallana, Danny Ings, Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, Scott Parker, etc. Surely playing first team football is what’s required for England players and not whether they have a nice spot on Man City’s bench?

I’m glad to see a few Spurs players who are in form getting call ups who are against the norm such as Eric Dier, Ryan Mason and the future prospect of Dele Alli. As well as Harry Kane, who surely will be leading the line for many years for England. I actually criticized Tottenham the other day for being “too foreign” before realising what I’d said and then hanging my head in shame…
~ There’s also Danny Rose, Kyle Walker and Andros Townsend that I’d left out. The beer was flowing, that’s my excuse ~

The main battle of Name v Form is Vardy and Kane up front or sacrifice one of them for Rooney? Clearly England’s captain has been in dreadful form compared to the other two so what does Hodgson do in this situation? Now I’m one of those people that says form over name and I’m also one of the people that say if you’re not going to play a lad in his favoured position then don’t play him. So if I was England boss Wazza would have to make do on the bench...but I’m not England boss...and probably wouldn’t be for long making controversial decisions like that.

You’d think it be common sense that someone in form now would be playing more than someone who used to play well last year or five years ago but sadly the examples I’ve provided above prove that's not the case. Hopefully it changes in the future but if history is anything to go off it doesn’t look likely.

Anyone who agrees that England should be made up of our on form players then Tweet me @ThePenaltyKing1 with #NAMEvFORM and say what big name player you’d replace for an in form player like the examples I’ve given above. Also if anyone thinks I’ve missed a player or thinks their team have a lad who’s good enough for England then feel free to comment below.

~ Anyone who enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThePenaltyKing1 ~

Cheers for reading.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The English Premier League: Most Overrated in the World

Good evening all. I hope everyone reading this is just sitting down after a hard day’s work, ready for all the football that’s gonna take place this weekend. One game in particular I want you all to keep an eye out for is newly promoted Bournemouth against a Manchester United who are struggling to find form but are still sitting 4th in the table.

Four or five years ago this game would’ve been a banker on your accumulator. Now though with Manchester United having more dips than a ride at Alton Towers (but with a lot less entertainment) this is anyone’s to call. With The Cherries beating Chelsea last week and Manchester United getting knocked out of the Champions League, confidence could play a big part in this game.

Quick question though; is it just me who has this worrying, “oh for fuck sake”, feeling that Manchester united are going to win the league this year? Not through their own brilliance of course, but from teams like Man City and Arsenal dropping points against teams you’d seriously expect them to beat. While they’re dropping a few points here and there, Manchester United will continue to pick up draws and cheeky wins to send them above their title challenging rivals.

Now obviously Leicester have to be taken as serious contenders (as much as everyone at the club likes to deny it) but still I’ve got this feeling they’ll slip up and get pipped to the post by The Red Devils. Now I’m positive every man and his dog would rather Leicester win the league over Man Utd but this feeling I have...it makes me think that Man Utd could actually win the title whilst playing some of the worst football the Premier League has ever seen.

Now I’m personally not too bothered who wins the league this season (I’m a Sheff Wednesday fan, we’re winning the Prem next year when we come up anyway...a man can dream.) What I am bothered about though is the state of English football and how potentially the best English team got knocked out of the Champions League group stage.
~ All this hypothetical if MUFC win the Premiership whilst playing the type of football they have this season ~

It shows to me a decline of the quality that the Barclays Premier League has to offer. The reason people said this was the best league in the world was because we had between 4-6 teams all challenging for the title every season but to me it didn’t make us great, it just meant all our teams are just as shit as each other.

In Spain you look at the big hitters; Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. These three are normally a large number of points ahead of the teams in 4th or 5th and this is simply because there is a real gulf in class between them. In The EPL there seems to be normally maybe 5 or 6 points separating the teams finishing 4th and 5th. La Liga on the other hand have had gaps ranging from 10 to 30 points between their title challengers and the rest of the league!
~ Look it up. In 2011/12 the gap between Barcelona (2nd) and Valencia (3rd) was 30 points ~

In the Bundesliga Bayern Munich have finished 10 or more points clear at the top of the table for the past three seasons. The runners up Wolfsburg finished 10 points below the The Bavarians and are also the team who knocked The Red Devils out of the Champions League. Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League 3-2 by a team who are 10 points below Bayern Munich...what I’m trying to say is Munich would rip “Louis Van Gaals Army” a new arsehole.
~ ...Which I’m assuming we all knew anyway ~

It's even proven with the world class players we produce leaving when a truly top team comes in. Ronaldo was world class and went to La Liga with the rest of the world class players. Gareth Bale was world class and went to La Liga with the rest of the world class players. Luis Suarez was world class and went to La Liga with the rest of the world class players. There’s a pattern emerging here. Alexis Sanchez couldn’t get on Barcelona’s bench, now he’s one of the best strikers in England currently…
~ Not saying Sanchez isn’t a good player, it just seems a little strange that he wasn’t featuring in La Liga but he’s world class in EPL ~

There was a time when England dominated Europe and could attract any player. I read that from 1977-1986 an English team was in the final 8 out of the 9 years. In these years the tournament was won by an English team 7 times (Liverpool: 77, 78, 81, 84 | Nottingham Forest: 79, 80 | Aston Villa: 82.) Back in a time when you were excited by your side signing an unknown Scottish wonderkid from Hartlepool. Nowadays people get excited because their team have signed a Brazilian...just because he’s from Brazil doesn’t mean he’s any good.

One thing I would like to point out was that these teams did have top quality players but they also had world class managers leading them. Managers like Bob Paisley, Tony Barton and my favourite manager Brian Clough. Some of the greatest managers England has seen and in my opinion no current manager in the Premier League has a scratch on any of these people.
~ While I’m on the subject of Clough I’d recommend reading The Damned United. Really funny book, with some stories that show Clough’s quirky yet brilliant managerial reign ~

Now if I’m honest I  don’t think any EPL team has got it in them to truly outplay world class opposition like those teams through the 70’s and 80’s. Like I was saying at the beginning of this post if Manchester United were considered the best team in England then it would be an embarrassment to the Premier League and English football.

The last English team to win the Champions League was Chelsea and I think even their fans would admit Munich had by far the bulk of attacking play. The last time England properly dominated European football was when Manchester United beat Chelsea in the Champions League final in 2008; two English teams battling it out playing impressive football, either team would’ve deserved it that year.

What happened to that Chelsea? What happened to that Man Utd? They could challenge any team. Nowadays Man United would be lucky to get 4th in the Bundesliga and maybe 5th or 6th in La Liga. Chelsea, with how they’ve stated, would more than likely be in a relegation place. Admittedly once form picks up as it surely must for Chelsea this season I’d expect them to finish one place above Man United.

Manchester City are, for me, the best team in England currently with a good combination of youth and experience that can  hopefully prove me wrong and win the Champions League but it doesn’t look likely as without their spine of Kompany, Toure, Silva and Aguero they look as weak as Man Utd and Chelsea.

Fingers crossed it’ll change for The Barclays Premier League but it seems to me that it’ll take years to get out of this rut of losing our league's most prized assets to the bigger leagues. But anyways thats all I have to say on the subject.

~ Anyone who enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThePenaltyKing1 ~

Cheers for reading.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sacking a Manager

Earlier today it was confirmed that Swansea City and Garry Monk are parting ways after a run of poor form which sees the Welsh side drop to 15th place and a single point away from the drop zone. After weeks of speculation they finally put the former Swans captain out of his misery and sacked him and are now ‘reluctantly’ searching for a new boss.

There seems to be a slight disturbance with many Swansea fans admitting it wasn’t a surprise but not agreeing with the decision. This is a results driven game so even if a manager’s team is putting in good performances but losing games he could shortly find himself in the dole queue.

Then again a manager could find his team at one of its highest points and still be given the boot. A notable example of this would be Nigel Adkins being sacked by Southampton when his team looked more than comfortable in the English top flight. Obviously that example did turn out for the better as the Saints are now a force to be reckoned with under Ronald Koeman. So the questions I want to ask are when's the best time to sack your manager? And how do you know it's the right decision?

Now personally I don’t think sacking Monk was the right thing to do for Swansea at this point in time. Frankly, the fact their chairman says he is now looking for a new manager either makes him a fool or a liar. You don’t make a decision like that without having another man waiting in the wings...unless he already had someone lined up and didn’t want it to look like he was forcing Monk out…? I’m probably looking too much into that statement.

Anyway back to what I was saying I think the former Swans boss had a tough run of fixtures which would have come to an end after the Manchester City game this weekend. The Jacks’ next 3 home games (West Ham, West Brom and Sunderland) are the biggest of their season and to sack your manager just before them spells bad news for the team that had their highest Premier League finish last season.

I would have given Monk until the West Brom game personally. if he lost to West Ham and West Brom then there is time to bring in a new manager and let him loose in the January transfer window. But like many others I believed Monk could turn it around and would have picked up full points from both those games and come away with all 3 from Sunderland too.

My other question was how do you know it's the right decision to sack your manager? In some cases you do, I remember a few years ago Sheffield Wednesday sacked Alan Irvine as manager a manager. This was a guy who couldn’t beat a 9 man relegation battling Yeovil side and settled for a 2-2 draw. When your manager is tactically inept and even Piers Morgan could do better, sacking the gaffer is the right idea.
~ I think it was the season after that as well Gary Megson was sacked by The Owls after beating Sheff United 1-0 at home and was replaced by Dave Jones. We went unbeaten for the rest of the season and this was considered the key reason behind it (as well as Ched Evans going down.) Inspired decision by Milan Mandaric ~

Sunderland seem to make a habit of making inspired managerial changes. A friend of mine pointed out that for four years on the spin Sunderland have brought in a new manager right the Tyne-Wear derby and have come out victorious and gone on to avoid relegation (Di Canio, Poyet, Advocaat, Allardyce.) I’m sure most Sunderland fans would want progression and to see their side win more but it’s a difficult road that Sunderland can’t seem to stick to.

Then again sacking your manager doesn’t always mean success. You look at Fulham and Cardiff as an example; Felix Magath and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer both brought in when the sides were struggling and finished 19th and 20th respectively. So in answer to my question, you don’t know if it’s the right thing sacking your manager. It’s your judgement call and you have to take full responsibility if it goes tits up.

Now one thing that a few Swansea fans were saying got me pondering another question. Why is it only managers that get the sack and not players? A manager could have a run of five poor games and get the sack whereas there are players who were shit for years and still found themselves in football (yes I’m talking about you Xisco! You were at Newcastle for 5 years! 9 appearances! You could’ve been kidnapped and no one would’ve known.)

I understand their payouts would be astronomical but surely you can offer written and verbal warnings and then sack them due to an unwillingness to work, possibly bypassing those fees. If I came into my job and wasn’t performing well enough (if I was just sat there writing my blog all day…) then I’d get the sack. Why can’t footballers be the same? Clubs are now big business and in every business there are decisions like this that have to be made.
~ Just saying I don’t have a law degree or anything so there probably is some reason behind it such as a union or a loophole-less contract that stops this... ~

But anyway I’ve bored myself talking about this. I would like to say though, good luck to Garry Monk on his next journey in football and it’s been a pleasure watching you. If you liked this then please do me a favour and comment your favourite manager in the comment section below. you can talk about why you love him or you can just leave his name.

~ Anyone who enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThePenaltyKing1 ~

Cheers for reading.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Lukaku: The Next Drogba?

The other day Alan Pardew said that Romelu Lukaku had the ability to emulate Didier Drogba. This is a statement I’ve been saying since he was on loan at West Brom back in 2012-2013 when he scored 17 goals in 35 games at the age of 19/20.

Now even though I’ve agreed with this statement for around about 3 years I’m actually going to disagree with Pardew on this and state that Lukaku will far exceed Drogba career-wise, goal scoring-wise and on an international level.

I’ll start with The Belgian's international record. He’s 22 and has had 42 caps so far (according to Wikipedia.) He had his first cap in 2010, 5 years ago. Now let’s assume he’ll last until he’s around 35, if he continues to have this amount of international appearances until that age he should be able to finish his career with around 109 caps as a minimum.
~ Didier Drogba is 37 and just shy of that mark with 104 caps for the Ivory Coast ~

Now when you look at the squad that Belgium have you may see it as a new version of the golden generation that England had. a load of young, top quality players, playing at some of the finest clubs in Europe. You’d have to assume that at some point within the next 4-8 years, these lads are going to seriously challenge at an international tournament and I can see Lukaku being their leading man along with the likes of Hazard, De Bruyne, Mirallas, etc.
Belgium are currently the number 1 team in the world and will probably stay there for a long while if these lads fill their potential.

Now Lukaku is currently at Everton, a team who in recent weeks have been opening teams up at will. I actually thought Everton would be up there at around 7th/6th. Sadly though due to defensive frailties the Toffee’s find themselves in 11th place, 8 points off a Champions League place. Is it too late to right off Everton as Champions League contenders?

In my opinion...no it's not too late. This season the league is so open that it wouldn’t surprise anyone if one or two teams such as Tottenham, West Ham, Crystal Palace or even Stoke were in Europe in some way next season. It’s only December and Everton have got a good side.

Now if Everton don’t get a European place this season there would be talk of Romelu going to a big European team. We all know what the press are like, speculation would be rife about the Belgian moving for Champions League experience and what not but what I want to know is what price would be acceptable for such talent?

He’s bagged 13 goals in all competitions this season and looks set to beat his previous seasonal best of 17 in the Premier League. Now given the fact that he could score well over 20 goals this season and the fact that he is not even in his prime yet you’d have to argue that this lad is worth no less than £40million.
~ I’m sure some people will say he’s not worth that much but I’m also sure others will say he’s worth so much more than that. All about opinion is this game ~

He signed for The Toffees for £28mil (a pretty hefty fee if I'm honest) and for me they could potentially get double that back for their number 10. With this potential price tag it begs the question...what was Mourinho thinking letting this kid go? He was a perfect replacement for Didier Drogba but wasn't given the chance at Chelsea.

To me though that's typical of Mourinho. He let go of Lukaku and De Bruyne, two players with great talent and are only going to get better. He doesn't look to the future and that's why teams seem to slip during or after his third season in charge of them e.g. Porto having a shocker after his departure, lost the league 3 weeks before the end of the season after defeat to Arsenal, do I really need to mention Inter Milan?
~ Chelsea fans will deny this of course but you can't argue with facts ~

For me it's just another reason I want Everton to get a Champions League spot. So come May Lukaku can turn round to Mourinho, arms out Wolf Of Wall Street style, as if to say “you could've had this but instead you went for...Fernando Torres...and Demba Ba…”

Only time will tell for this lad and I for one am extremely excited to see him develop along with Ross Barkley who for me is going to be my generation's Gazza (as a footballer not in regards to the lifestyle.) If you enjoyed reading please share it and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 where I post all my blog updates regularly.

~ Anyone who enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThePenaltyKing1 ~

Cheers for reading.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Newcastle's Transfer Policy

Today I’m going to be talking about Newcastle United...now what can I say about Newcastle that hasn’t already been said? Their manager is useless, their first team isn’t good enough for the English top flight, the club is being run by people who are utterly clueless…
I don’t think there’s much I can add. So that more or less wraps it up for today’s post, be sure to follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 and I’ll speak to you all next time…

Oh you’re still reading? Still wanting to know my opinion on the situation? You all probably don’t care about my opinion but why else would you be reading my blog? Anyway here’s what I think of the current predicament that has befallen The Magpies.

First of all I want to say that this clearly hasn’t been a one season thing. This has been a continuous demolition job that’s been going on since around 2007/2008 which just by coincidence was when Mike Ashley took over as over of the Tynsiders (it’s funny how that came about isn’t it.)

From a small amount of research I managed to find out that in the 07/08 season Newcastle signed Jose Enrique and Joey Barton and sold Scotty Parker and Kieron Dyer. The fees paid for Barton and Enrique were quite high but if they are part of a team that wins you a trophy then money isn’t an issue right? Wrong.

With the small amount of research I mentioned earlier I began to notice a pattern where young players with bags of potential would be brought in and then be sold when in their prime or in good form for no more than a fat payout.

The first example I’m going to give is the one stated above. Barton (aged 25) and Enrique (21) were brought in for millions. Everyone at the time knew if you could control Barton he’d have been a force to be reckoned with and that Jose Enrique had the potential to be a world class player with his blistering speed and attacking, as well as defensive, qualities.

In the same season they sold Kieron Dyer (29) for £6mil and Scott Parker (27) for £7mil. These two were at their peaks physically and would have been able to give valuable knowledge to younger lads. But the pounds signs were in Ashley’s eyes and he sold the England Internationals to West Ham.
~ Imagine that partnership of Parker and Barton in midfield. 50/50 whether it’d have been a red card for one of them or a broken leg for one of their opponents ~

Ok, ok, some people might think that example is flawed, people will say Barton was shit, so was Dyer, Parker had his best years after Newcastle, etc. But hear me out, below are all the examples I have found I am hoping will make you agree with me.

Newcastle United’s 2008/2009 transfers that back up my theory.
Jonas Gutierrez, 25, £2mil
Emre, 28, £3.8mil
Danny Guthrie, 21, £2.5mil
James Milner, 22, £12mil
Fabricio Coloccini, 26, £10mil
Shay Given, 33, £5.9mil
(The legend) Xisco, 22, £5.7mil

Now the big name is Milner there, could’ve been Newcastle’s captain for the next 10 years but Ashley would rather have £12mil in his back pocket. Out of all the players brought in have any of them repaid their fee?

The 09/10 season I’m gonna skip because it was a perfect season for Newcastle in the Championship, gaining a resounding promotion first time of asking.

Newcastle United’s 2010/2011 transfers that back up my theory.
Cheik Tiote, 25, £3.5mil
Andy Carroll, 22, £35mil
Hatem Ben Arfa, 21, £2mil loan + £5mil

James Perch, 25, £1.5mil

When you keep in mind that I’m listing risks brought in and quality let go this is another prime example. £35 million for Carroll would’ve been hard to turn down but for the form he was in and the fact he was only 22 said he was the next big thing which is exactly what Newcastle should be trying to keep hold of.

Newcastle United’s 2011/2012 transfers that back up my theory.
Demba Ba, 26, Free
Jose Enrique, 25. £6mil
Yohan Cabaye, 25, £4.3mil

Papiss Cisse, 27, £9mil

Gabriel Obertan, 22, £3.25mil

Davide Santon, 20, £5mil

I have to be fair, the people in charge of transfers at Newcastle played a blinder this season and it shows why they finished 5th this season. Gambling on Ba, Cabaye and Cisse was a masterstroke and helped Pardew to a Europa League place.

Newcastle United’s 2012/2013 transfers that back up my theory.
Vurnon Anita, 23, £6.7mil
*Places head in hands*

Got to be one up there with Xisco as one of the biggest failures for me. How this lad still gets in The Magpies first team is beyond me and any manager would deserve the sack just for signing him. With no real quality added combined with the strain of the Europa League saw Newcastle slump to a 16th place finish. At least they kept hold of their good players this season...

Newcastle United’s 2013/2014 transfers that back up my theory.
Yohan Cabaye, 28, Undisclosed fee

Newcastle, now no longer in the Europa League, managed to finish 10th place after a season which saw them start brightly before burning out in January shortly after losing Yohan Cabaye. Rule 101 for transfers: if you lose your best player be sure to have a similar if not better replacement ready to come in.

Newcastle United’s transfers last season that back up my theory.
Ayoze Perez, 21, £1.6mil
Mathieu Debuchy, 29, £12mil
Jack Colback, 25, free

Siem De Jong, 25, £6mil

Remy Cabella, 24, £8mil

Emmanuel Riviere, 24, £6.3mil

Daryl Janmaat, 25, £5mil

Karl Darlow, 24, £3mil

Jamaal Lascelles, 21, £4mil

I’m gonna stick my neck out and say that every signing made by Newcastle last season was a gamble. Out of 8 signings only one of them has had any Premier League experience and he was free...some of these lads might pay off (Janmaat, possibly Perez) but the rest just don’t look up for a Premier League fight.
~ Saying that I think Lascelles would be an inspiration if brought into the starting eleven. He’s better than Coloccini ~

After this brief history of Newcastle’s recent transfers can you honestly tell me that they haven’t signed players on a gamble and watched them burn out/turn into world beaters and sold them for millions. One thing Mike Ashley needs to understand is that money doesn’t automatically mean you’re a good team, you need to spend it on proper quality, experienced players.

Plus it’s got to be a club’s main priority to keep hold of their best players. Imagine what kind of a side Newcastle would be if they kept hold of Milner, Carroll, Cabaye, Enrique, Debuchy. Admittedly some offers you can’t refuse but to see it happening more or less every year at Newcastle it’s getting beyond a joke. And the blame seems to be shared with the managers.

Now I’m not saying Pardew was the best manager but to keep the squads he had in respectable positions every year even though his best players were leaving every season makes him a great manager in my book. I think blame has to go solely down to Mike Ashley and the transfer policy he has in place.

After all this I do hope Newcastle can turn this season around, their fans have always had all the traits, ironically, their players don’t seem to have (character, passion, a footballing brain, etc). Sadly with this new batch of gambles that has been brought in it doesn’t look like the Geordies will be staying up this season...good luck for the rest of it lads.

~ Anyone who enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThePenaltyKing1 ~

Cheers for reading.