Saturday, February 13, 2016

The English Way: Overpriced, Overpaid and Overrated

After Wednesday’s FA Cup fourth round replay between Peterborough and West Brom I felt compelled to write about Saido Berahino. I just couldn’t believe that a player “worth” £21 million misses a sitter in added time against a League 1 club. A free header at the back post (granted the keeper closed the angle well) you’d expect any striker worth his boots to stick that in the back of the net…

Surely if this kid is worth £21 million I must be worth 2 or 3 million. I was trying to weigh it up; he had one good season last year, scored 14 goals, he’s young...where’s this price tag come from? What separates this kid from the likes of N’Golo Kante who’s had a blinder of a season, is instrumental in Leicester’s Premier League challenge and is only 24? Or Riyad Mahrez who I don’t even need to explain? What about Timmy Cahill, a player who brought more than just goals to Everton for years?
~ Side note: I’m sure you guys can think of better examples than that. I can also guess you know where I’m going with this ~

In my opinion the only thing that raises Berahino’s value from a few million to £21 million is the fact that he is English and frankly overpricing English players has been a theme for years.

If it’s not £35 million for Andy Carroll it's £49 million for Raheem Sterling or its £20 million for Stuart Downing or £16 million for Henderson (the next Steven Gerrard…) or £22 million for Lescott or £18 million for Darren Bent or £15 million for David Bentley or £21 million for Shaun Wright-Phillips or £12 million for Jonjo was at this point I gave up my search due to a mild form of depression.

In some cases I think it’s warranted such as players like Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, etc. The players who have more than paid back the money to the clubs in the form of league success and European cup glory too.
Now I’m sure a lot of people will say “That’s not fair, how could they know that those three would turn out world class and the rest wouldn’t live up to the price tag?”

Well you see that’s the thing, you don’t know. You don’t know if a player is gonna live up to his hype. You don’t know if a player is gonna become a hero or a zero. So why offer £50,000 a week and slap a £30 million price tag on a player who has had one good season?

Personally I feel that in some cases offering silly money to players who’ve essentially done nothing with their careers is a huge problem. As I stated above Berahino was offered £50,000 a week and for what? 14 goals last season? Ighalo has already scored 14 this season and it’s only February...if he keeps scoring come the end of the season what should he be on? £80,000 no no £90,000?!

The thing that really gets me about the wages is that offering a lucrative contract like that makes him think he’s made it as a footballer. For me there is only one time you can make it as a footballer and that is your first day of retirement; you can look back at all your winners medals and think “I’d fucking made it.”

Plenty of young players have thought they’d made it in the Premier League and found themselves at 35 playing for Chelmsford City in the Conference South. Watch one episode of Premiership Years and a load of forgotten, promising players will start coming out the woodwork. Lads like Francis Jeffers, Lee Hendrie and probably the newest recruit Ravel Morrison *facepalms*
~Side note: For anyone who say “Morrison actually plays for Lazio now” well look it up he’s made 3 substitute appearances for them since July last year. Also I’d like to add that he’s been playing for what will be 6 years and has made a mere 70 league appearances in that time for 5 different clubs. Just another flop ~

When Jeffers used to play for Wednesday I used to pray he’d score. Not just because I wanted The Owls to win but because I wanted Jeffers to show people that he was still The Fox in the Box, still that England debut goalscorer, still that top quality striker...but 5 goals in 54 league appearances tells its own story.

From what I could find Jeffers in 2001 was making £30,000 a week. Money for me is a good indication to a player that he is now a big time Charlie. So my question is, should a player be capped until the age of 24?

You’d think that the only motivation a needs at that age is to prove himself but the games changed so much since we had truly committed players. Players who were playing for glory, but only if that glory came with the team they loved. They wouldn’t demand pay rises and hand in transfer requests when they didn’t get their own way. They were professional footballers. But I digress...

If we cap wages until they’re 24 it gives clubs time to evaluate the player; see how consistent he is season on season, whether he is improving year on year and of course the big question, how much he is actually worth? And this question can be determined by either clubs who are selling or clubs who are buying.

Now this could cause complication with clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea who can offer huge contracts to youngsters for when they come of age but I’m sure there’ll be a way stop these clubs from do this. There would probably have to some rule put in place...I don’t know...maybe it’ll work...probably not...I don’t care...

My main concern with this idea would be to stop players from hitting their financial peak whilst they’re young. It can be damaging to players when they have to drop a league but refuse to let go of their previous salary. I can 100% guarantee to Berahino that he would not find a £50,000 a week contract in the Championship.

That miss from Berahino on Wednesday night is the start to a slippery slope that will have Saido aged 30 looking for a £50,000 contract in the championship with only ‘I once scored 14 goals in the 2014/15 Premier League season’ on his CV.

There will be clubs stupid enough to give him a contract...and knowing my luck, it’ll be chuffing Sheffield Wednesday.

Anyway’s if you liked this please feel free to follow me on Twitter and like me on Facebook where I share my blog posts regularly. If you agree with what I said let me know below in the comments and if you disagree tell me why and let me hear your point of view. One of the reason’s I started doing this is because I love hearing different views and opinions and I’d honestly love to yours.

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Cheers for reading.

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