What’s the big story today?
Amazingly for the English press, it’s a Welsh winger making his debut for a Spanish club. Of course the money involved for Bale’s transfer and the perceived rivalry between Ronaldo and Bale is the driving force, particularly as it appears Ronaldo appeared to scythe Bale in a training session. Now, normally this would be the type of story I would moan about, taking such a small incident and extrapolating it to mean something else. But then I saw the video:
And…I have to say it kind of makes Ronaldo look like kind of a jerk…but, you know, this sort of thing happens all the time.
What else should I be aware of?
Yesterday I linked to a story in which Shinji Kagawa appeared to question Manchester United’s decision not to start him, but it appears today that the quotes were ‘mistranslated’ (a lot of type of thing going around). Ben Mabley offers a much more nuanced interpretation of Kagawa’s words, and, well, he sounds like a pretty hardworking man.
New Chelsea signing Samuel Eto’o said he once vowed never to play under Jose Mourinho again after a difficult period at Inter Milan, but that’s all water under the bridge now, obviously. “I even said one time that I’d never play for a club where Jose was coach. But God knows best. He wanted to show me that I was wrong and today Jose is a friend. Now he’s my coach again.” God and a generous contract for an aging striker. As for Mourinho, he shrugged at a recent presser, “You have to know the football world is very small!” Indeed.
And the Premier League has agreed to work with FA chairman Greg Dyke on a commission into improving talent development in English football:
Despite antagonism between the FA and the Premier League since the division’s inception in 1992, all 20 club chairmen and the league’s board agreed to work with the FA to “contribute their expertise, knowledge and understanding of the issues and challenges in regard to producing England-qualified talent”.
A statement read: “The Premier League clubs today met and affirmed their commitment to engaging in a collaborative and co-operative manner with the debate and process outlined by the FA chairman in his recent speech. The structure of this engagement will be defined between the Premier League and the FA as more detail about the process envisaged by the FA chairman is established.”
They could do worse than heed Everton manager Roberto Martinez’s advice on the subject, too.
Other bits: Liverpool win the double…as Sturridge gets Premier League player of the month, and Brendan Rodgers picks up manager of the month. Three goals, three clean sheets, a 100% record.
Adebayor is having a tough time of it following the death of his brother in Togo, and Spurs have asked him to train with the reserves. Meanwhile Harry Redknapp is interested in the player for QPR.
Paul Pogba lives in the land of Couldhavebeen.
And which club offers the cheapest season tickets in the Premier League? You guessed it! Manchester City. No, you didn’t guess it, did you?
Any interesting reads?
The Harvard Business Review with the “Ferguson Formula,” how to build the most successful club in English football history. Easy! Involves setting high standards, starting with the club foundations, and never ever ceding control. Right. So, do that, Paul Lambert.
Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler explains he made mistakes as a young man, but it had to do with the fame and attention. I still don’t get the whole line sniffing thing…I thought it was quite creative.
Daniel Geey wonders if, in a post Financial Fair Play Europe, whether clubs really need state aid anymore in the form of tax relief, lower rents and other economic incentives.
Michael Cox explains Mesut Ozil’s major talent:
A friend of mine — a statistics-obsessive who fancies himself as football’s answer to Billy Beane — is convinced that football’s widely available stats, based around contributions in possession, offer only a small insight into the quality of attacking play. He remains convinced that the game-changing metric will be about space and movement, a measure that continually tracks the distance between an attacker and his nearest opponent, then produces an average figure assessing how much space he enjoys when his side are in possession.
If and when such a statistic becomes available, you can be assured Mesut Ozil will come out looking rather good.
I don’t know who this friend is, but he’s onto something…
Steinberg’s 10 things to look forward to this weekend is always a good guide on what to care about as a Premier League neutral.
Alex Netherton…I hope he wrote this headline.
This is incredible…why every single Premier League manager will be fired eventually. Here’s Paul Lambert:
Despite managing a real football club, Paul Lambert has been signing made up footballers, or at best ‘re-gens’ from his Football Manager game (anyone who claims to have heard of any of Villa’s new players is a liar). Eventually he’ll be found out and dismissed.
I’m tired of reading. Any pretty things for me to look at?
Really? Okay. Well, here’s a London tube map in which the lines represent London clubs and the stations are players on said clubs. If that kind of thing floats your boat.
People are kind of being jackasses to Marouane Fellaini on Instagram:
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) September 13, 2013
And because Kagawa’s in the news, you might enjoy this:
Andrea PIRLO – Reggina 1999-2000 pic.twitter.com/Dmt5HACP4n
— Old School Panini (@OldSchoolPanini) September 13, 2013