Footballrumours’s Blog

Worst Kept Rumour
February 11, 2011, 9:12 am
Filed under: Barclays Premiership | Tags: , , ,

Well it’s not a rumour or even a secret as apparently the decision about who will take over the 2010 Olympic stadium  has already been leaked and Spurs are the big losers. West Ham United are set to come out of this messy bidding cycle as the victors, primarily because they decided to stick with one of the key criteria, namely keeping the athletics track around the pitch.

Quite why Spurs, with all their cash and, I have to say arrogance, decided they could play above the rules is surprising really. Who in their right mind would opt to go with a proposal from a football club who think they have the right to determine the fate of British Athletics for the next 50 years?

No, if the rumour is true and West Ham do earn the right to take over the Olympic stadium and build a new Upton Park (of course it may not be called that) then many football fans will be happy and so will many athletics fans. The only ones with sore heads will the Spurs board who will now have to cook up plan C. Back to the drawing board boys!


How long will Capello stay?
July 2, 2010, 3:52 pm
Filed under: England, FIFA World Cup | Tags: , , , , , ,

The big talking point in UK football over the past few days, well at least since England were convincingly defeated by Germany in the World Cup, has been the future fate of Fabio Capello, the England manager. Would he remain manager of the national side, would he resign himself or would he be forced out, either by the fans or the FA themselves?

Capello is obviously a very capable man, his past record of achievements is fairly strong evidence of that, but with the England team playing so badly in their four games during the World Cup, his position has obviously been called into question and rumours of an impending resignation by the Italian were rife.

Rightly or wrongly Capello may regard himself as blameless for the team’s performances. The pre-tournament qualifying games and even the friendlies in the weeks before all boded well, but suddenly, once the pressure was on in the games that mattered, the team’s confidence started to disappear.

Capello himself is a very proud man and with all his years of experience, vast wealth and current age (he’s 64 now), I wouldn’t expect that he would want to walk away from the England job and start looking for something new. It’s a very well paid position, not that he needs the money, but to resign would be a costly exercise for him we suspect, so he was always going to say that he wanted to stay unless he was pushed out (when significant compensation would be likely to be paid).

We all expected to have to wait a week or two before the FA came up with a comment about the manager’s position, presumably giving them time to work out whether they could afford to pay him off, but already today the FA have given Fabio their backing.

There are two years until the next European Championships, so they are probably considering Fabio’s role in the qualifying games and reflecting on how well he managed England’s World Cup qualifying games. A repeat of that would be perfect so why get rid of him now? Assuming England successfully qualify for Euro2012, then memories of the World Cup situation will have faded slightly and Capello’s job would be fairly secure again until his contract needs renewal in 2012.

Quite why the FA agreed a new contract with Capello just before the 2010 World Cup and not afterwards is put down to rumours of him possibly being tempted back to his home country to take up the Inter Milan managership which was eventually taken by Jose Mourinho on 3rd June; Capello signed his new deal with the FA on the 1st or 2nd of June. Whether one event influenced the other may never be known, but the possibility of Capello returning to his homeland to manage Inter Milan in the twilight of his career remains.

Capello has already managed several of the top teams in Europe with two spells at AC Milan, two at Real Madrid, and periods managing Roma and Juventus. He has been in top flite football management since 1991, almost twenty years, and with a personal fortune estimated to be in excess of £30 million and a private art collection worth £17million, Capello’s years at the top of the game must be numbered. Surely he wants to retire and enjoy his wealth soon?

2010 Season Hotting Up
March 1, 2010, 1:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Hello, we’re back and with perfect timing to pick up on all the rumours circulating around the Premiership and FA Cup competitions. The FIFA World Cup is also a bright star on the horizon which will no doubt feed our rumour-mill throughout the summer, but there’s plenty to keep us busy before we turn our thoughts to South Africa.

Our posts last year on Tevez turned out to be true and the Argentinian star left Old Trafford and has spent the 2010 season causing pain all over the league, not least at Manchester United, which he seems to be relishing. We wonder why?!

Ferguson himself seems to be finding it harder and harder to keep his cool and like more and more Premiership managers seems to be taking the bait when it comes to responding to journalists and broadcasters giving them the spotlight to air their opinions. Wenger is another who is quick to critique. In fact Martin O’Neil is slowly emerging as an example of contained competence, even though his side were on the receiving end of yet more refereeing incompetence at the weekend.
Rooney continues to impress though and if his own maturity keeps pace with his obviously improving skill, then we could be in for some exciting World Cup moments later in the year.

Michael Owen has been given a new lease of life by Man Utd and Ferguson has been sticking to his guns by playing Owen as regularly as his fitness allows, but, with the league looking ever closer at the top, Sir Alex may be forced to put emotion and national loyalties to one side and make more use of Rooney than Capello would like.

It certainly looks like a three horse race at the top now and Chelsea’s domestic worries are not going to do them any favours, with Terry and now Ashley Cole both receiving massive media attention for matters other than football and that can’t bode well for Ancelotti’s boys. That all seemed to come home to roost last weekend as they entertained Man City at home in one of the crunch games of the season. It was Chelsea’s first home defeat of the season and even though Lampard’s goal gave them an early lead, they seemed on the back foot all through the second half and never looked like even securing a draw.
With Cech’s replacement Hilario looking very unsteady in goal, that could well be the undoing of the Stamford Bridge side unless Ancelotti can act quickly. Something to think about there.

The FA Cup resumes next weekend and Fulham, Aston Villa and Tottenham will be hopeful that a demoralised and under-pressure Chelsea will be easier to beat. Chelsea have to get past Stoke City first, who could well provide an upset that will ease the path of the other contenders to Wembley.

Manchester United Play Out Tevez Deal in the Press
May 14, 2009, 4:22 pm
Filed under: Barclays Premiership | Tags: , , , ,

Sir Alex Ferguson has taken to using the media more frequently these days. Despite his reluctance to appear in front of the cameras to discuss his team’s performance following a game, he seems more than happy to lay out his opinions of the opposition before a game and now to play out the Tevez negotiations, presumably to get a better deal for his club.

It does seem odd that Tevez’s agent is saying one thing while Ferguson is claiming the opposite. surely they are talking to each other directly and not just through the media channels? As the stories from each side seem to contradict one another then someone is lying or at least bending the truth somewhere. You have to analyse exactly what is being quoted to understand what may be happening.

Kia Joorabchian, the advisor ( not exactly the agent) for Tevez is saying that Manchester United have not yet offered Tevez a contract that is encouraging him to stay. Last week Tevez said he hadn’t been made an offer of a contract but Ferguson says that Joorabchian has met with the Club’s Chief Executive and an offer has been made.

Well, try making sense of that if you can. Perhaps they have backed Tevez into a corner by delaying the offer so long that he may be forced into accepting soemthing he is not entirely happy with; hence the claim that the club have not made an offer to try and persuade him to stay.

Apparently Tevez is disappointed and thinks he will not be playing at the club after the summer, but after his crucial goal yesterday that help take Manchester United to within one point of the Premiership title, things may become a little clearer in the days to come.

Whatever the outcome it appears that Ferguson is seeing the advantage of playing the media game at any opportunity. With the Champions League final looming, he may want to have the whole affair settled by then so he has all his options available on the big day.

Mindgames Backfire on Ferguson
April 20, 2009, 3:05 pm
Filed under: FA Cup | Tags: , , , , ,

Alec Ferguson was left enraged again yesterday after his team were defeated on penalties by Everton in the FA Cup semi-final. The Manchester United manager has a long running history of troubles with referees with the Football Association repeatedly pursuing the manager about is conduct with regard to refereeing decisions against his team. Ferguson has also been in the press recently criticising Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez for an alleged disparaging taunt during a recent match when Liverpool defeated Blackburn Rovers easily. Ferguson seems quite happy to put up his deputies for post-match TV interviews but decides to appear in person when the agenda suits him.

Of course Ferguson is himself no stranger to using press interviews to play mind games with future opponents. Recently we noted his part in a run-in with Harry Redknapp prior to an earlier FA Cup game against Spurs when Redknapp was suggesting who he might put up to play against Ferguson’s team given his injury worries and poor league position. In the end Spurs lost the game and Manchester United went on to the semi-final stage while Spurs have gone on to recover their Premier League position and are even chasing a European competition place for next season. meanwhile Liverpool and Manchester United are almost locked to gether at the top of the league with six and seven games remaining respectively.

Prior to the semi-final Everton’s manager David Moyes made a comment about the match referee Mike Riley being a united fan. In the past Riley has been accused of making decisions biased towards United. Perhaps he should never have been selected to referee the game but he was and found himself in the hot seat when United had a strong claim for a penalty. When the penalty was not awarded Ferguson could be seen jumping around in rage on the side of the pitch and after the game accused the referee of being fearful of awarding it given the pre-match accusations. Had Moyes planted that seed in the ref’s mind?

Benitez has been known to heap praise on Chelsea in the past, saying he thinks it’s a fantastic club and he likes their style, so we may be set for some further rallies between the two managers in the run up to the FA Cup final in May.

Oh and Ferguson was also moaning about the state of the pitch at Wembley this weekend. I think that sums up his state of mind at the moment.

Champions League Headed by English Teams not Players

You may be forgiven for thinking that English football is going through a boom period with teams like Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal all featuring in the Quarter Finals of the UEFA competition. But look over those rose-tented spectacles and you will see a group of top English teams almost bereft of English players. Of course there are a few English players in those squads and some very good ones in fact. BUt look beyond players like Ferdinand, Terry, Lampard, Rooney, Gerrard and Carrick and the remainder is a who’s who of foreign talent.

Fabio Capello has just announced his squad for the forthcoming friendly game against Slovakia and the 2010 World Cup Qualifier against Ukraine and of the 24 players only 8 come from those top 4 teams. Manchester United are the exception, providing four players, but teams like West Ham, Everton and Portsmouth all provide as many or more players to the squad than Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. In fact there are no players in the Enland squad from Liverpool, the top team in the English league of the moment.

Football Funding under Spotlight
February 19, 2009, 1:25 pm
Filed under: Barclays Premiership, European Football, FA Cup | Tags: , ,

The recent revelations about cricket’s involvement with questionable sources of sponsorship and funding should serve as a warning to football’s governing bodies.  It is obvious that they should be extremely diligent in ensuring similar situations do not develop in their sport.

Of course the financial aspects of top level football are well documented and the levels of money involved are very high, even in comparison to cricket, but how much scrutiny are football’s backers placed under when they enter the sport? Many of the UK’s top clubs are now fully or part owned by foreign investors and with such high finance, the need for high levels of examination and regulation become par for the course. But have the UK’s footballing bodies stepped up their game to match the stakes?

I’m expecting to see a whole round of press announcements from football’s official bodies, informing the community at large that the sport is totally under control from a financial standpoint. Given the amount of pressure Giles Clarke, the current chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, is facing, I would expect the equivalent heads of UK’s football to be immediately checking their own vulnerability should a similar situation emerge in footballing circles.