Thursday, 31 January 2013

2013 January Transfer round-up: Conversation Style

I made a similar version of it 2 years ago. I had fun writing it last time, I just wanted to do it again. I didnt do one last year because there weren't many transfers going on last January.

I'm not really good at intros, but here is a round up of the biggest transfers this January in a conversation style.

Demba Ba (from Newcastle) £7M to Chelsea

Newcastle fan: "How could you?? I mean, how could Newcastle let their star striker go... AGAIN?"
Chelsea fan: "Finally!! A striker that can actually score goals..."
Neutral: "Aren't you forgetting Sturridge is pretty decent?"
Chelsea fan: "If he passed the ball more often now and again, then yeah. But I'd rather see him leave."

Daniel Sturridge (from Chelsea) £13.5M to Liverpool

Chelsea fan: "HAH. A young English player signs for Liverpool with an overpriced fee. How new."
Neutral: "I actually think he might be one of the few ones in the last few years that may succeed at Anfield."
Liverpool fan: "Of course he will! With Suarez, Sturridge, and Borini up front, and Sterling being more experienced... Next year will definitely be ours!"
Neutral: "Here we go again..."

Bebe (from Manchester United) loan to Rio Ave

United fan: "Wait... he still plays for us?"
Neutral: " Well not anymore... he just scored on his debut for Rio Ave. Ain't that something you don't see everyday?"
United fan: "Hey, flop or not, at least he has more Premier League medals than Gerrard does lol."

Maroune Chamakh (from Arsenal) loan to West Ham

West Ham fan: "Oh God, why us?? We have Carroll and Chamakh in the same team. Can't get any worse than that..."
Neutral: "Oh you just wait and see who's coming in now."

Joe Cole (from Liverpool) free to West Ham

West Ham fan: "Really? He surely has already past his best. What is Big Sam doing?"
Neutral: "Cheer up, lad. I actually think him coming back to Hammers could spark better form. At least you didn't get Downing."
West Ham fan: "Let's hope so. He's better than Downing I guess."

Ezekiel Fryers (from Standard Liege) £6M to Spurs

United fan: "Wait, I thought he moved there last summer?"
Spurs fan: "No he didn't he moved to Liege instead. He's homesick now so we offered him a trip back. Besides, we're lacking at left-back anyways."

Lewis Holtby (from Schalke) free to Spurs. Set to join in July.

Neutral: "I certainly did not see this one coming. Getting someone like him on a free?? His name had Everton or Arsenal written all over him. What a bargain."
Spurs fan: "I can't believe it myself. But aren't we crowded in midfield now anyway?"
Neutral: "I'm sure he's better than Livermore, Parker, Huddlestone, Sandro anyway. If you got him like immediately, St. Totteringhams Day won't happen this year."
Spurs fan: "Haha, I do hope it won't happen this year. We are doing great, but i reckon Holtby would definitely improve this squad. Can't wait to July."

Giuseppe Rossi (from Villarreal) €10M to Fiorentina

Neutral: "Isn't he still injured?"
Fiorentina fan: "Yeah, he is. A big gamble for someone who hasn't played any football for over a year."
Neutral: "When was his last game?"
Fiorentina fan: "More than a year I suppose? Italy could really used his help in the last Euros you know. I'm not sure he'll be as good as before his injury woes. But here's me crossing my fingers for good luck."

Alexandre Pato (from AC Milan) €15M to Corinthians

Milan fan: "It was probably best for everyone. Hate to see a great talent go to waste because of injuries galore. And when he was fit, he always look like a shadow of his past self."
Neutral: "I know, but aren't they going to find a new striker to replace him?"
Milan fan: "I'm not sure, we'll see at the end of the transfer window."

Mathieu Debuchy (from Lille), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (from Montpellier), Yoann Gouffran (from Bordeaux), Massadio Haidara (from Nancy), and Moussa Sissoko (from Toulouse) combined fee of £18M to Newcastle.

Neutral: "Holy shhht those are a lot of players from France. Has Alan Pardew taken advice from Arsene Wenger or some sort?"
Newcastle fan: "They are actually good players. Debuchy played for France in the Euros, Yanga-Mbiwa won Ligue 1 last year, and Gouffran & Sissoko are monsters on FM so I'm quite familiar. Not really sure of Haidara though, never seen him play."
Neutral: "Yeah but why French players??"
Newcastle fan: "Because we can? We still got some of that Carroll money. And buy the way, turns out selling Carroll was the best thing Mike Ashley has done financially. I've eaten my words from 2 years back."
Neutral: "But aren't you disappointed you didn't sign Loic Remy?"

Loic Remy (from Marseille) £8M to QPR

Newcastle fan: "Yeah, I'm generally let down by it. But Gouffran isn't that bad either. Jonas & Ben Arfa coming back in, Sissoko, Cabaye and Tiote in the middle... I just hope our fortunes become better."

Yann M'Vila (from Rennes) £9.6M to Rubin Kazan

Neutral: "Just 6 months ago, he was chased by Arsenal and Spurs to name a few. Now he left Rennes as an outcast for his behavior outside the club."
Arsenal fan: "Yeah, turns out he isn't much of a professional and actually I'm glad he didn't sign for us last summer. Monsieur Arsene certainly knows best."

Nuri Sahin (from Real Madrid) back from Liverpool, loan to Dortmund

Liverpool fan: "Thank God he's out. Barely even looked like any of the hype around him 2 years ago."
Madrid fan: "I know, how could a player like him be behind a team with Shelvey and Henderson is beyond me."
Neutral: "Well at least now Dortmund has their star player back for free after selling for a ton load of money. That's business right there."

Wesley Sneijder (from Inter) €7.5M to Galatarasay

Liverpool fan: "Really?? Rather than playing in the BPL, he picks Turkey over us? Must be the money."
Neutral: "Why are you so delusional? Gala is still in the Champions League, top of the Turkish league, and if you're talking about fans of the club, they have a better local fanbase than they have at Anfield. It's not always about the money."
United fan: "Really? Tell him that 2 years ago..."

Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba (both Shanghai Shenhua) loan to Juventus and free to Galatasary, respectively

Chelsea fan: "What? They got bored in China?"
Neutral: "I guess. Despite having Drogba and Anelka up front, they only managed a mid-table finish in an obscure Chinese League."
Chelsea fan: "Really? I can see why they left now."
Juventus fan: "Besides, we at least have a better striker up front now."
Neutral: "Thats what you said last time with Bendtner... and Matri... and Amauri."
Juventus fan: "You'll see! We're going to win it again!"

Lewis Holtby (from Schalke) £1.5M to Spurs, immediate permanent.

Neutral: "Getting for free for next season is already amazing... but getting him now? With 5% of what Andy Carroll cost is amazing business!"
Spurs fan: "Well, we had to do it with Sandro out for the season. But I can't stress out how important for Spurs to get a striker now than another midfielder. We're more packed than the Gooners in midfield..."
Neutral: "Don't worry. You'll secure 4th place now this time above Arsenal lol."

Emmanuel Frimpong (from Arsenal) loan to Fulham

Neutral: "I seriously have no opinion on this loan deal. So let's LEAVE IT YEAAAAH."
Arsenal fan: "Dude, that was not Dench at all..."
Neutral: "... I'll get my coat. Where's the cab?"

Diego Lopez (from Sevilla) €3.5M to Real Madrid

Madrid fan: "Phew... so relieved at least when Casillas is injured, we have someone more than capable to step in his gloves."
Neutral: "Agreed. And Lopez being a Castilla trainee and Casillas' understudy for years puts a little more incentive to it, don't you think?"
Madrid fan: "Of course it does. It's a shame Adan won't get a look in to the team anymore with this signing."

Cristian Zaccardo (from Parma) and Djamel Mesbah (from AC Milan) swap deal

Milan fan: "Zaccardo being a World Cup winner and all is pretty good. But we need a striker for Christ sake."

Mario Balotelli (from Man City) €20M to AC Milan

Milan fan: "Much better. Now we have someone to play El Shaarawy with, we will be back in the top 3 in no time."
Neutral: "Aren't you even a little bit worried with Balotelli's attitude though? He does have quite a reputation."
City fan: "Yeah, even I'm happy he's gone. Only 1 goal this season for a player who shone at the Euro's is really disappointing."
Milan fan: "#YOLO"

Vegard Forren (from Molde) £4M to Southampton

Liverpool fan: "What? he was having a trial at Liverpool! And he left us just like that?"
United fan: "Hah! You know he was advised to move to Southampton rather than Liverpool by his manager back at Molde?"
Neutral: "Oh yeah? Whose the manager?"
United fan: "Just the one and only Ole Gunnar Solksjaer! Forren made the wise choice hahaha"
Liverpool fan: "I hate him so much right now..."

Federico Macheda (from Manchester United) loan to Stuttgart

Neutral: "Gosh, what happened to him?"
United fan: "He went on loan to a few clubs but they always sacked their manager afterwards and he was always out of favor with his newer managers. When he came back to United, he always managed to put in a great pre-season but with an attack line-up United has, it's impossible to get a look in."
Neutral: "Well, are you happy with this loan deal?"
United fan: "I'm not sure. I mean it's good he has a better chance of first team football, but it's sad to see another talent wasted."

Phillipe Coutinho (from Inter) £8M to Liverpool

Liverpool fan: "See! With Gerrard, Suarez, Sterling, Sturridge, and now him... I know it's too late for a push this year, but next year will definitely be our year!!"
Neutral: "Enough! We know he's good. But the thing here is that they sold 2 of their most creative players this window and in no sign of replacing them. And didn't Stramaccioni he wanted to focus on youngsters?"
Inter fan: "He did. And Coutinho is like the one of our best young players. I think it's not a good move from Inter's POV. But yeah, he didn't get enough game time, so I can see why he left."

Yun Suk-Young (from Chunma Dragons) undisclosed fee to QPR

Neutral: "... I'm sorry, who?"

Chris Samba (from Anzhi) £12.5M to QPR

Neutral: "Well I know him! With Ryan Nelsen leaving to coach in the MLS, having a way better defender is definitely going to help Harry's side. He is definitely what Harry would say, 'a top, top, t'riffic player' in Samba."

Jack Butland (from Birmingham) £3.75M to Stoke, loaned back until the end of the season.

Neutral: "Did you know that Birmingham's goalkeeping coach said he was the best goalkeeper he has ever worked with?"
Chelsea fan: "What does that imply?"
Neutral: "He has worked with Joe Hart AND Ben Foster in the past. And by saying Butland's better than both of them is quite a compliment. He will challenge Joe Hart for the England spot for years to come."
Chelsea fan: "He could've moved to us when he had the chance. We offered him earlier!"
Neutral: "Dude, you got Cech. You also got that Belgian kid on loan at Atletico. Butland is smarter than that..."

Heurelho Gomes (from Spurs) loan to Hoffenheim

Neutral: "Wait... he's still with Spurs?"
Spurs fan: "Well now he isn't."
Neutral: "What was he like... fourth choice in goal all season? That's just sad for him. He isn't THAT bad..."
Spurs fan: "He isn't! He's just unlucky. But we won't miss him THAT much."

Ezequiel Schelotto (from Atalanta) €3M to Inter

Inter fan: "Well, not someone you would expect to replace Sneijder and Coutinho though. I mean he did last year, but not so good this season."
Neutral: "At least you got him on the cheap, yes?"
Inter fan: "I guess. We're only 6 points off of Juve, I just hope this Schelotto dude to be a bargain. and help us catch them."

Nacho Monreal (from Malaga) £9M to Arsenal

Neutral: "Why do I have a sudden craving of Doritos?"
Arsenal fan: "I'm happy at least Wenger DIPPED in the transfer window."
Neutral: "That is horrible. At least you couldve made a Nacho Libre reference instead?"
Arsenal fan: "Sorry... just stoked that we don't need to see Andre Santos at left back again!"
Neutral: "I forgot to ask you, what actually IS Andre Santos' best position?"
Arsenal fan: "He is best LBH?"
Neutral: "LBH?"
Arsenal fan: "Yep. Left-Back-Home"
Neutral: "That's a better joke lol"

David Beckham (from Los Angeles Galaxy) free to PSG
(saved the biggest transfer for the last :D)

United fan: "Man, we wanted him to go back to England. And it didn't have to be Manchester United though."
Neutral: "Tbf, he was more interested in the city he'll be moving to. He's lived in Madrid, LA, Milan, and trained every winter in London. Of course Paris was going to be his new club."
United fan: "Yeah, I just hope he kicks Barton's ass back in France and all the money he gets will be worth it."
Neutral: "But all of his wages are going to charity. Did you not know that?"
United fan: "Really? What a gentleman. Rarely we see these days a good looking man with a good heart as well."

End. Finally, those were the transfers that mattered to me the most. Imagine what would happen if Odemwingie and Diame actually moved. Which of these conversations were the most interesting?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Why are people complaining 2012's FIFPro XI?

I could make it easy for everyone and say that this year's FIFPro XI is more of a La Liga XI. But can anyone agree that this line-up is really hard to beat? Besides, every player in the world voted for their best XI of the year. The best players that lived up in 2012. The players themselves voted for it. Not people who call themselves "pundits" or "experts".

Top Row: Ronaldo, Marcelo, Ramos, Pique, Alves, Casillas.
Bottom Row: Falcao, Messi, Iniesta, Xavi, Alonso.

At a glance, sure its a combination of Barcelona and Real Madrid with Falcao heading their team. Take another quick glance again, and you realize that most of the players on the list are their because of Spain's EURO 2012 triumph. I mean why else would 4 Barcelona players be on there when all they won last season was a Copa del Rey trophy? Apart from Lionel Messi being the best in the world (and winning a record 4th Ballon d'Or), the other 3 Catalan-based players were there on merit.

Again, "Why are all the players from one league? Don't they look at the other leagues?" These questions were the most frequently questions asked in Social Media outlets. However there is a debate on a couple of positions in that XI, especially Pique's, Marcelo's, Alonso's, and Falcao's cridentials.

Serie-A experts calling out for Juventus duo Andrea Pirlo and Giorgio Chiellini who both were at the center of Juventus' triumph where they went unbeaten, and Italy's run into the final of EURO2012. Bundesliga experts were shocked no Dortmund players, including Mats Hummels, was nowhere near the FIFPro XI, while Premier League enthusiasts insisted either Vincent Kompany or Robin Van Persie was fitted in the Dream Team. Not even a single Chelsea player - even for their surprising Champions League win - were there as well.
Zlatan: "Even I deserve a place in that line-up!"

Let me here say this - there are millions of athletes in the world at the moment. There are only 11 places available. 1 Goalkeeper, 4 Defenders, 3 Midfielders, and 1/3 Strikers (Face it, the other 2 places were always going to be filled by Ronaldo and Messi). You can argue all day long about who performed the best in 2012, but it's just an award of personal acknowledgement. All the players mentioned above were definitely debatable, but you can't argue much with this years' FIFPro XI. Why the players in that team are only from La Liga? Because the best players in the world ARE in La Liga. Even if that isn't true, we all now FIFA and Blatter is corrupt. We now he's secretly blowing Sandro Rossell and Michel Platini weekly.

Why don't we just acknowledge the beautiful game and get on with life? I know I'll do that.