Thursday, January 27, 2022

Exciting week comes to an end as we get back to the football!

What a week this has been! There can have been few more incident packed periods in the history of English football. So much to talk about and nobody has so much as kicked a ball!

The arrival of Abu Dhabi United at Manchester City, Robinho surprising the world by turning down Chelsea and going to City, Berbatov finally going to Manchester United, Alan Curbishley resigning from West Ham and now, eventually, Kevin Keegan parting company with Newcastle.

It is difficult to know where to start. I suppose the thing that is likely to have the biggest effect on the game is the takeover at Manchester City.

It is almost impossible to imagine the wealth of these people. It is believed that they are twenty times (yes, twenty times!!) more wealthy than Roman Abramovich. They are believed to have a fortune amounting to around five hundred billion pounds. To try to put that into perspective, that means they could buy around thirty players for the amount that they paid for Robinho and still have four hundred and ninety nine billion pounds left to spend! It is simply mind boggling.

Whilst Manchester City fans will be excited, I would imagine that they will join the rest of the football world in being concerned that there is now a club who can buy any player in world and offer him twice as much in salary than any other club could. I still can’t see how this will be good for the game in any way.

Robinho made the move to the City of Manchester stadium and it will be great to watch him plying his trade in the Premier League. However, for a player who has said that they want to be regarded as special and that they want to be the best player in the world, it seems strange that he should sign for a side who are not playing in the Champions League. Money talks and players listen, like any other human beings would do. That doesn’t make them bad people, it just means that fans know that they are only at their club for the money.

Dimitar Berbatov finally made the move to Old Trafford despite the last minute intervention of Manchester City. The whole saga was slightly surreal with stories of Berbatov undertaking a medical at Manchester United before Tottenham had even given them permission to talk to him. Tottenham had agreed a fee with Manchester City but Berbatov was determined to go to United.

This will be a good move for all concerned. United have shown that they are in desperate need of a striker and they don’t come much better than the Bulgarian. He is at the club he has been determined to play for and now has the chance to show just how good he is.

Alan Curbishley walked away from West Ham despite being a lifelong fan of the club. It must have been a very hard decision for him although some fans had turned against him and he found that players were being sold behind his back. He had little choice.

The club have denied much of what he has said but his position as manager was becoming untenable and he had to leave. It is such a shame after West Ham have won two of their three games and made a decent start to the season.

There is no doubt that the events at Newcastle since Mike Ashley took over would make a pretty interesting film script. We will probably never know exactly what has gone on behind the scenes at St James’ Park because the versions given by Ashley, Wise and Keegan will almost certainly differ hugely.

The appointment of Dennis Wise was a very strange one and the purpose has become no clearer over the last few weeks and months. Keegan, as we know, has had a habit of walking out on jobs when the going got tough, but I don’t think he would ever have walked out on the club and the fans he loves unless his position was made totally impossible.

Ashley made himself look silly by drinking a pint of lager in one on the terraces last week and then saying he thought it was non-alcoholic. He may have made himself look even sillier by not sorting out the mess he has created and supporting Keegan in the way he needed and wanted. If I could give Ashley any advice it would be to suggest to him that he gives the terraces a miss for a little while!

So there we have it. A week full of incident, talking points and controversy. A week that could have a momentous effect on the whole future of the game.

Right, now it’s time for some football. What have we got this weekend? Andorra against England. Oh well, I suppose the excitement had to stop at some point.


Graham Fisher



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