By Sir Hardly Anyone
These are the days when working as a blogger or football journalist start to get a bit tough. News is so thin that most of it has to be made up (which come to think of it is life as normal) and many bloggers and journos are now reduced to plodding through Untold’s list of 128 players said to be heading for Arsenal, and rehashing them as if each is a new deal.
Take for example the heading “Could Arsenal be about to upset fans at Liverpool by pulling off an eleventh hour swoop for Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcântara?” Well maybe Liverpool fans might be a bit upset, but then he’s been on our list of 128 players for a little while, so let’s not be too excited, although All Arsenal Rumours have been rather chatty about the idea of late.
As for “Arsenal’s €30m bid for Gabriel Magalhaes accepted by Lille – report” which comes in Sport Review we have had that for some time too. So in response to “Arsenal are keen on signing Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille, according to reports in France” we can only say, “well, yes, we know.”
The salary cap plan
But it is not all excitement and transfers these days, as the headline “EFL clubs ask Premier League peers for strike support”
This is all to do with the notion of the League clubs imposing a salary cap in order to try and stop more and more clubs just borrowing insane sums in desperate attempts to reach the Premier League – even though the last few seasons have shown that a one-off burst of spending simply isn’t going to cut it.
Meanwhile some Football League clubs – and players – are asking for Premier League players to support them if the plan does go through and some players come out on strike. At the moment we are told that the EFL clubs and PFA trade union have decided to hold talks over the salary cap.
There are some problems however. The most obvious is that secondary action – which means getting people employed elsewhere to strike alongside you – is illegal. So if EFL clubs want the Premier League players to support them by coming out on strike – that would be illegal.
Man C’s big expenditure to get the League Cup
Meanwhile there is a growing sense of entitlement to be noted among the fans of Manchester City. Having seen off the incompetent Uefa who simply couldn’t get their case together in time, it seems that some Manchester C fans are now turning on Guardiola, with tweets like “He can’t even defeat Lyon” trending on Twitter.
There are multiple demands for him to be sacked, and a bit of internal turmoil with arguments about plastic supporters, who they are and what they are.
But the interesting thing is that Mr G has spent quite a bit of money with Manchester City. Players purchased for big sums include, since 2016/17
- Rodri Hernandez (70 million euros)
- Joao Cancelo (65 million euros)
- Riyad Mahrez (67.8 million euros)
- Aymeric Laporte (65 million euros)
- Benjamin Mendy (57.5 million euros)
- Kyle Walker (51 million euros)
- Bernardo Silva (50 million euros)
- Ederson (40 million euros)
- Danilo (30 million euros)
- John Stones (55.6 million euros)
- Leroy Sane (50 million euros)
- Gabriel Jesus (32 million euros)
- Ilkay Gundogan (27 million euros)
The view of many Manchester City supporters who wrote to Untold after the CAS accepted the Manchester City appeal that the case was out of time and therefore could not be upheld, was that their spending had been perfectly reasonable and was vindicated by CAS. I have never been sure that view was right, but it seems to be a belief at Manchester City. If so we can expect them to continue to spend at that level and receive sponsorship as they did before. Which means it will be interesting to see if Uefa have indeed given them a licence to spend in that way, or they will attempt to reign them back in once more.
Meanwhile in other news there is what sounds like a dramatic warning from the Mirror under the headline “Raul Sanllehi’s warning to Arsenal board before ‘walking away’ from club”. He apparently has said that “player recruitment this summer will be greatly hampered by the decision to axe several highly though of members of staff.” We shall see.
The Guardian is doing its usual helpful table of transfers which show for us the players in as
- Pablo Marí, Defender — from Flamengo: £14m
- Cédric Soares, Defender from Southampton: free
- Willian, Winger — from Chelsea: free
So far we have loaned out Dinos Mavropanos to Stuttgart, Zech Medley to Gillingham and Trae Coyle also to Gillingham
But let’s end with some nice news for a change…
Philippe Senderos has been appointed Director of Sporting Operation with Servette FC. They are based in Geneva and play in the Swiss Super League, having fallen to the third tier as recently as 2015/16.
He speaks seven languages (French, German, Italian, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Farsi – an Iranian language), and started his sports management training while still playing.
He will now be responsible for the club’s sporting operations and will oversee, with support from the technical committee, the continued development of the Servette’s strategy.
He came to Arsenal from Servette and played 64 league games for us, before going to Fulham, Valencia, Aston Villa, Grasshoppers, Rangers, Houston Dynamo and finally Chiasso in 2019. He played 57 times for the Swiss national team.
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