It did not take long for Jose Mourinho to make his first signing after returning to Chelsea, following news that Bayer Leverkusen winger Andre Schurrle would be joining the Europa League champions for a fee of around £19m. The 22-year old adds yet more attacking firepower to a team that is already blessed with brilliant forward players such as Eden Hazard and the sumptuous Juan Mata. But just what exactly will he offer the team and his new manager? In short, a lot.
June 18, 2013 in Transfers
Yeah, it’s a Football Manager article. I love Football Manager. I won’t bore you with my stats, but safe to say, I’m pretty much the greatest manager that has ever lived. One thing that I love about Football Manager is when you start seeing a player play in real life and you either sit there telling your friends that “I discovered him as a 16 year old playing in Estonia”, or you say “Why the hell hasn’t he scored 20 goals from corners before Christmas?” Either way, it’s fun. Once I even drunkenly tried to add a lower league Polish player who starred for me in FM 2010 on Facebook only for them to message me saying “Do I know you?” Sorry about that, Maciej Rogalski.
June 18, 2013 in Features
I love football. I really love it, in fact, I am obsessed with it – but right now, I’m pretty glad there isn’t much of it knocking about. We have the Confederations Cup, which is nice to dip into, and the under-21 European Championships which I have enjoyed following – but it’s not real football. I’m not spending the days and weeks before the matches thinking them through, pondering on what line-up and tactics should be employed, planning my days around the football, nervously shuffling about before kick-off, desperately looking for a stream, moving to the front of my seat when the action gets underway, screaming/cursing with elation/frustration and then engaging in circular debates post-game…and everything else that comes with a game of football. For example, when Spain played Uruguay yesterday, I missed the first 10 minutes. In the remaining 35 minutes of the half, I went to the kitchen twice, bathroom once and to the train station to pick up my dad. It was such a laissez-faire approach to watching football, a steady heart-beat, and time for my belly, bowel and blood.
Don’t get me wrong. I am excited for the new season to begin but for now, I’m not gagging for it. Read the rest of this entry →
There’s a distinct feeling amongst the Ballsy Banter writers that Arsenal’s pledge to spend big cash before the start of the season (£70m if the rumours are correct) is starting to attract flies, and that Arsenal fans have once again fallen foul of the vow to flash the cash. As if promises of the last few years weren’t enough to put doubt in our minds, Arsenal Chairman Ivan Gazidis issued this statement last week:
“You’re asking me to guarantee that money will all be spent. But it also depends on what talent is available. If we only find one player that we like, we won’t spend twice as much on him just so we can say we spent all of the money. That doesn’t make any sense to me. The key will be to buy the players Arsene Wenger believes in.”
Premier League managers are resigning/retiring/being sacked at such a rate these days that we’ll be practically looking at a brand new slate of fall guys in the dug out come the 2013/14 season. With potentially five out of the top six clubs beginning the next season with a new guy in charge (the AVB to PSG rumors are growing stronger), the Premier League looks like it could be in for a reshuffling of the deck in more ways than one next season. So in the summer months, I’ll preview some of the new managerial appointments and look at their prospects for the coming season. First up, the glorious return to the Premier League of the mighty Sparky.