The Crazy Spending Of The January Transfer Window

13 10 2011

The transfer window is a period the tabloids love with their continuous volumes of rumours to fuel the avid fan with belief his team is going to invest heavily in a top class forward, finally. The window at the turn of the year is traditionally one which sees low costs moves, usually mid-table clubs investing heavily to help avoid the drop. But this January saw an anomaly in England; big signings. Fernando Torres (£50m), Andy Carroll (£32m), Luis Suarez (£22m), David Luiz (£25m), Darren Bent (24m) and Edin Dzeko (£27m) all moved for prices above £20m, in deals you would generally expect to see in the summer. But what was the general trend across Europe?

The difference between the other European nations was drastic. With UEFA implementing new financial regulations next season in which clubs cannot spend more than their annual turnover, it seems the powerhouses of England – riddled with debt – wanted to make one last splurge. Overall in January a reported £225m was spent in the Premier League, a record amount which even surpasses the previous milestone of £175m which was set back in 2008, mainly due to Manchester City’s spending. The Citizens would be part of proceedings once more, but the big spenders were Chelsea. Russian oligarch Roman Abramovic has been reluctant in the past few seasons to invest, hoping the influx of youth signings under Frank Arnesen would be promoted and provide an ending to the Jose Mourinho years of economically draining investments.

Over in Spain money was spent, but not in large quantities. Barcelona’s sole purchase was young Dutchman Ibrahim Affelay from PSV Eindhoven who cost roughly €2m, while Real Madrid’s recruitment was the flimsy loan signing of Emanuel Adebayor from Manchester City. Malaga, under the ownership of a Qatari millionaire, helped spice up the transfer window signing six new players, the most costly being former Arsenal forward Julio Baptista who returned to Spain from Italy for  €3m.

Giampaolo Pazzini Celebrates After Scoring A Goal For His New Club

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The Underrated Academy Of Real Madrid

14 04 2011

At the end of the January transfer window, out of the 20 teams in the Primera Division, only four –  Real Sociedad, Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona and Zaragoza – did not contain one player in their squad who had graduated from Real Madrid’s cantera. It’s quite an astonishing accomplishment to see 16 teams containing at least one player instilled with Los Blancos philosophy, and apart from Zaragoza, the other three have known beliefs of developing their own talent. Yet talk across Europe the talk is that Barcelona’s La Masia is the greatest academy, but with these numbers of players in Spain alone, can Real have an argument that there’s is just as good?

Real Madrid have a history of great players from Ferenc Puskas to Hugo Sanchez, yet some of the most important have been graduates from their academy such as the famous La Quinta del Buitre, translated as “The Vultures Squad”, who were five homegrown players that were key to Madrid’s dominance in the 1980’s; which won five La Liga’s, two UEFA Cup’s and a Copa Del Rey in that decade.

Butragueno Is One Of The Greatest To Emerge From The Academy

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How Will Real Madrid Function Without Higuain?

15 01 2011

Since taking over at the Santiago Bernabeu, despite a monumental slip-up against Barcelona, everything has been going rosy for Jose Mourinho. He has implemented a 4-2-3-1 system which the team have adapted to with ease. As the season has progressed, so have Real, who are playing some of the best football in the league; an added bonus for president Florentino Perez, who after sacking Manuel Pellegrini, accepted that winning is the most important policy. The Portuguese coach however has not been one for rotation, and after finding a first X1 he can trust, has been reluctant to alter the first team players. However a back injury to the ever reliable Gonzalo Higuain has left Mourinho in a dilemma. How will he replace the Argentine?

For the past three seasons Higuain has cemented the poacher spot in the team, and a return of 63 goals in his last 101 games had made it difficult for Karim Benzema to displace him. Higuain has mastered how to play the role. He has the ability to hold the ball up to bring others into play, he drifts out to the wings to create space for Cristiano Ronaldo to drive through the centre and also has the persistence of playing on the shoulder of the last man, which helps to stretch the oppositions defence, freeing space for Madrid to squeeze forward.

Benzema and Kaka have a Real Madrid lifeline.

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Forget Özil And Di Maria, Canales Could Be The Best Buy

15 09 2010

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez had a bright idea when he was elected in 2000. He could build the best squad in the world if they followed some simple procedures. In principal the theory sounded perfect. You would spend enormous sums of money on the best footballers such as Ronaldo (€39 million), Zinedine Zidane (€75 million), David Beckham (€35 million) or Luis Figo (€45 million).

The big names would equal revenue, so television deals and merchandise would enhance because these household names would be attractive, especially in the untapped markets of American and Asia, and eventually that large transfer fee would be recouped. Finally players from the Castilla would be promoted, such as Alvaro Mejia and Francisco Pavon, meaning the beliefs of Real Madrid are installed into the team, they would not cause problems if they were not playing consistently and they would not be heavy contributors to the wage bill.

Canales Is Whetting Madrids Appetite

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My Favourite Player – David Beckham

10 09 2010

It’s easy to look beyond David Beckham as a footballer and associate him solely with glamour, advertising or just being a pretty face. There’s a reason that Beckham was – and perhaps still is – the most recognisable footballer in the world; his ability with a football.

Playground rules dictate that kids pretend to be a footballer when participating in a kick-around and Beckham was always the player I imitated. Not because of his diverse hairstyles or the elaborate tattoos, merely the fact he is a fantastic player.

Beckham During His Loan Spell In Milan

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