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Some Manuel Neuer talk + Refs’ union continue to whine

The international break means there will be little club news to report. But it seems some sort of groundwork is already being set in motion, with the transfer window a month and a half away.

Here’s Schalke defender Marcelo Bordon, in an interview to German newspaper, Bild on goal keeper, Manuel Neuer:

“I know it would be terrible for the supporters of the club, but you have to keep the situation of the club in mind. Maybe therefore it would be better to let Manu leave, just because you would receive a whole lot of money for such a transfer.”

Now, I wonder why the defender of a club is any person of authority to talk about finances, and chances of a teammate leaving — but it could, at the least, point to a feeling of inevitability of this move. The question is when (considering it’s world cup year), and — more importantly — where?

Three ‘keepers — Neuer, Adler and Akinfeev — continue to be linked to us, and this soap opera, while in its infancy, is bound to gather steam as the window reopens. So watch this space…


Following an unprecedented touchline ban by the FA on a manager (for comments made to the media) the referees’ union are apparently not satisfied, and they reckon Fergie was let off softly. Suggestions of possibly suing Ferguson have come up. Here’s Alan Leighton, national secretary for referees’ union:

“We need to take a few steps back and see what has happened here and I would like to see more about the judgement. We never wanted to get lawyers involved in but if referees don’t feel they are being protected by the regulatory bodies and someone says something defamatory sooner or later someone is going to take action over it.”

So there you have it. There’s mountain out of a perceived molehill. And then there are lawyers who’ll make this sound even more ridiculous. Just as Ferguson criticised Wiley to divert attention from the poor performance of his own players, so are the refs’ union trying their best to deflect the focus from a series of appalling refereeing performances.

Managers deflecting attention from poor performances will help or hurt his team, based on the personnel and his reputation. Deflecting attention from the refereeing incompetence, on the other hand, hurts the entire league.

I’m quite sure which one worries me more.

Further reading: Henry Winter asks for some perspective.



  1. Red Ranter

    16 November 2009 at 08:33

    @Grognard: That’s true. It has lost its allure to me a long time ago. I get excited for the Euros and the World Cups, but not as much as I used to. Arsene Wenger and Mourinho have, in the past said that the real football is played in the club level. The only allure the international game holds is that money is not the primary motivation for the players and it is a sense of national pride in major tournaments. I think if there’s any thread the international game can hold onto, that’s the only thing I can really think of.

    It’s sad, but that’s how it’s turned out.

  2. Red Ranter

    16 November 2009 at 08:34

    New post up.

  3. Grognard

    16 November 2009 at 19:47

    @Red Ranter: It really comes down to the lack of goals being scored in these international tournaments. Every four years the total gets lower and lower. Teams defend more for their survival and are more concerned with not losing than they are with winning. For me the glory days of the tournament were in the 70’s when you had plenty of goals but also some fine defense. Brazil showing their class in 1970 and both offensive juggernauts West Germany and Holland making the final in 1974. The best way I can describe how bad it has gotten is that in 1970 Gerd Muller scored 10 goals in 6 games that he played. Today the winning team or a most of the teams that even make it to the final four struggle to score ten goals as a team in 6 games. Caution is the name of the game and it has shown in many finals. 1990, 1994 were disgraceful finals at a time when the game had a chance to really sell itself. In fact, the only real good final since 1974 in my opinion was 1986. All the others pale in comparison and are usually not only anticlimactic, but an accurate end product to the whole tournament in general.

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