Another bit of good news filtered down to the papers all over town yesterday. Real Madrid, now officially known as UUPOAH (Unhappy United Players’ Old Age Home), have come and done United a big, big favour: they bought Heinze, and, wait for it… for Â£8 million!
Now this, I must say, made me feel pleasantly surprised. Real Madrid have always underpaid for our players. Beckham was a snip at Â£25 million – a sum they were reported to have recovered in three months! Ruud once again was bought for a ridiculously low fee, given his goal return, and the fee paid by Chelsea for Shevchenko.
So, with this bit of business, it’s pleasantly surprising that Madrid paid more than the fee Heinze was touted for and we got a player who was clearly unhappy playing for us, off our backs.
As an aside, Madrid’s purchases, this season, have been interesting, while the amount of money they’ve thrown around has been shocking. The Dutch left-back, Royston Drenthe, was bought, seemingly, to replace the outgoing Roberto Carlos. But the arrival of Heinze would mean Drenthe would be converted to a left-winger. This brings us to another purchase – which is pleasant news if you are a United fan – that of a certain Arjen Robben from Chelsea, who is also a left winger. Oh well, it’s not that I care much on how they intend to make use of their personnel. Capello or Schuster, the White Circus of Madrid shows no signs of letting up.
But from our perspective, Madrid’s buys have taken an unhappy player, who would never be good for team morale, and a scarily creative player, in Robben, away from the Premiership. Robben’s sale to Real means that the Spanish giants have managed to milk the last ounces of creativity from a Chelsea side which now only contains an increasingly injury prone Joe Cole. Although, it would be fair to say they bought an able replacement in Florent Malouda, who has shown, as evidenced by the Rob Styles, that he is just as capable of winning penalties by theatrical dives as his predecessor.
You may have noticed that there is awful little about United in the article so far, and so it will be, I guess. I am reserving a separate post for Gabby. So watch out for that.
Meanwhile, Rafa Benitez has launched a tirade against the Premier League as well as Manchester United. We know the saying that money changes people, or something to that effect. But not in a long time have I seen the transformation so marked in a person than I am seeing right now with Rafa. With the big budget and heightened expectations that accompany such spending, Rafa’s outburst for once made me wonder if it was Mourinho who had suddenly taken over Liverpool. Let’s have a look at some of the claims and you’ll see for yourself what I mean:
Benitez said: “I would like to ask the Premier League a number of questions. How can a player with a signed agreement be treated like this?
I would like to ask Benitez this: how does a piece of signed paper matter if there has been no concrete effort in formally amending the contract between the player and the club? Because last heard, the contract has the ultimate say in matters pertaining to a club’s ownership of a player. Had Â£6.8 million been mutually agreed and written into his contract as a minimum release clause, then the club would have no power to stop the player from moving.
“Then I would like to ask the Premier League why is it that Liverpool always plays the most fixtures away from home in an early kick-off, following an international break?
How about probability, bad luck for an answer? But don’t we hear this always from managers? Why, Benitez’s old foe, Mourinho always comes up with such gems. How we wish we could have managers stop cribbing about fixtures and conspiracy theories. At least let managers come up with more original/creative moans; as one commenter in the MEN suggested Benitez ask this question to the League: why do we play all away games away from home?
“Then I want to ask the Premier League why it was so difficult for Liverpool to sign Javier Mascherano, when we had to wait a long time for the paperwork, but it was so easy for Carlos Tevez to join Manchester United?”
Unbelievable! I wonder if his brain has temporarily been hijacked by those monkeys on typewriters who happened to write a novel that they implanted into his brain, for him to blurt out. Mascherano’s deal was rather painless because till that point, the Premiership hadn’t really got itself into too much of a mess, and they could do almost anything without too much of a scrutiny. Tevez’s deal happened after much controversy, with the mess of an April ruling, where a billion eyes were on the League. Our case got cleared up after quite a bit of time and plenty of pain. And yes, you lot did get him after the transfer window was shut, under ‘special dispensation’. If that wasn’t enough, I wonder what is.
Note that I haven’t even started on the consideration given to the ‘Dippers by the League, to be able to defend their Champions’ League title, when they spectacularly managed to finish fifth, the season before that.
Seriously though, Benitez is trying his best to create some sort of an ‘Us against the World’ situation, which has clearly not worked out well. All he’s ended up doing is sounding like a half-witted twat. At least Mourinho was a smart manipulator of the media and he did win titles. If Rafa intends to be taken seriously he needs to deliver.
Such moans and whines would only see you hit it big on ‘Joke of the Day’ columns. Nothing more really.
(Dear ‘Dipper fans, I’m sure the odd one of your lot pops up and reads this blog. Maintain a level of decency if you intend to comment here. Wind-up merchants would be tolerated, but in a way you will live to regret. Remember, we can moderate your comments, and if you don’t maintain a semblance of civility, I assure you, your comments will be appended with an “I am a Liverpool fan but I Love Man United”)
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