mardi 31 janvier 2012

Movers and Sheikhers

It's deadline day for transfers on both sides of the Channel. At PSG, Quatari billions are singeing the immaculately tailored pockets of Carlo Ancelotti and Sporting Director, Leonardo. A commitment to signing football's most celebrated mercenaries - beginning with Beckham and Tévez - has been thwarted. Who knew it would be so difficult to dispose of all that cash?

For inspiration, the Ligue 1 leaders could turn to Kenny Dalglish. Twelve months ago, Dalglish ruthlessly maximized the fee Liverpool paid Newcastle for Andy Carroll, thus trumpetting Liverpool's return to the highest echelon of European clubs. As news broke of Carroll's £35 million price-tag, pundits everywhere exclaimed in disbelief, 'Christ! Imagine what they'd fork out for a striker who actually scores goals.'

PSG are desperate to make a similar impact and Newcastle may be set to profit again. Ancelotti and Leonardo need to spend the kind of sum that makes headlines; they need to identify a player who plainly doesn't justify that sum; they need to make the offer to a money-mad owner who will immediately accept.

You read it here first: Shola Ameobi to PSG for €50 million.

vendredi 6 janvier 2012

Football in France is... Better!

Like Thierry Henry - wheezing, limping, in need of a shave - Football in France is Rubbish is back.

Last summer I left France and abandoned my interest in French football. Sod's law dictated that the 2011-2012 Championnat would be the most exciting since Chris Waddle's bleached blond mullet illuminated stadia in the early nineties.

I've tried to ignore Ligue 1. That was fairly straightforward before the British press took notice of PSG's billions, before Joe Cole moved to Lille on loan, before Beckham was linked with LVMH - sorry, I mean PSG.

So now football in France is better - better players, more drama - and I'm going to start writing about it again. Fickle? This is football, the simplest game on earth; requiring nothing more than a ball, jumpers for goalposts and fickle fans.