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The Grass Isn’t Always Greener
Footytubeblog (Blog) 5 years ago
There is something about a transfer window that brings out the worst in everybody. Fleet Street fills their column inches with some of the most outlandish rumours you ever see; you have supposed ITK’s (in the know) spurting out stuff they have heard through the grapevine, while the Sky Sports reporters add their own pointless insight into potential transfers. It is a total and utter circus and one that seemingly continues to spiral out of control.

What never ceases to amaze me is the amount of supporters who buy into it. I have read on message boards some Spurs fans discussing where Kaka would fit into their system; Liverpool fans getting excited about David Villa’s apparent arrival, while Arsenal fans champion a move for Gotze and Hazard. Fantasy appears to take over from reality in some supporter’s minds and unfortunately in some cases it can become damaging to the very fabric of their football clubs.

The need for change in football has become something of an endemic within the game, with managers and players just a few poor performances away from getting their abilities questioned. Supporters now lack patience and rather than weather the relevant storm, would sooner see the club despatch of them and someone new brought in, believing that is the answer to the club’s prayers. It is like football fans have become a petulant child and only happy when a new toy comes their way. This lack of patience is extremely damaging to the game and one of the underlying factors as to why so many football clubs operate in the red, as chairman get bought in.

It is an attitude that needs to be reined in because there will come a point when clubs cannot afford to keep refreshing their squads. Supporters need to understand that there is a lot to be said for showing patience with players, with Gareth Bale proving the perfect example. Here was a player unloved at Tottenham, with Redknapp prepared to sell him to Nottingham Forest for £5m, until an injury to Assou-Ekotto meant that Bale was thrust into the first team. The rest is history as they say, but a lesson to be learned that it does pay not to be hasty in writing players off. They say there are no guarantees in football but I put my house on the fact that Spurs fans wouldn’t swap Bale for the likes of Bridge and Taiwo who supporters, at the time, were urging the club to sign at the time.

So why are supporters so obsessed with change? I was talking to an Arsenal fan who suggested that the fact he pays nearly £1,600 for a season ticket meant that supporters have a right to want an instant return for their investment. Whether that is the explanation for the majority I’m not so sure, but it begs the question as to why fans believe that bringing in new players is always the answer to your respective club’s current woes. Doesn’t it pay to trust your manager and your current playing staff to turn things around in the long run? Or is having patience, like most things in football, becoming a thing of the past?

Blog by Steve Jeffrey

This blog does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of footytube or its partners.
MemoNick (Olympique Lyon) 5 years ago
Briand is also a good example. This season, he has already scored and give as much assists as he gave last year - and on the contrary of what happened last year, this year he regularly plays well even when the team doesn't. He has a new fighting spirit which was seen in the OL 2-0 ASSE victory and has changed into a fan favorite in three months
Kon91 (Arsenal) 5 years ago
The perfect example is Robin van Persie. This exact time last year there was a handful of Arsenal bloggers actually suggested that due to his perpetual injury situation that the dutchman ought to be sold. Since then he has scored, what, 40 or so goals in as many appearances? Football fans truly are fickle!
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
This is a problem Chelsea have faced for quite a while now. Roman Abramovich's lack of patience towards managers has not been a secret in the past. However the true test of his patience (and the fans) when it comes to players will be how much more time Fernando Torres will be given to improve his performances.... Torres has been under-performing ever since he joined and if it wasn't for Abramovich's desire to get something in return from his 50m investment then maybe Torres would have already started packing his bags
Davian (Arsenal) 5 years ago
Torres has been under performing b4 he got to chesea.... Ever since his major injury he has not been the same.... Sad really, I hate to see players get injured and when they return they are never the same again, rosicky comes to mind...
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
Hargreaves reminds me of a player who's had the past few years of his footballing career ruined by injuries. It's sad to think that 3-4 years ago he was such quality player
Jeroen (Barcelona) 5 years ago
Although I always am excited when one of the clubs I support (Barça, Brugge, Borussia Dortmund) buys a new player I rate highly, I really do agree with the blog here. I'm happy to be no fan of an English team, because the 'virus' you described is clearly most prominent in the rich English clubs. It drives me mad to see how some fans seem to think all players that don't play in England's best competition are all eagerly waiting to be bought by some EPL club. Some players are already playing for big clubs and have a sense of loyalty - a thing that has become rare in football. And when English fans (the lesser intelligent ones anyway) think a player of last year's winner of the Bundesliga or of last year's winner of the Ligue 1 wants nothing more than to go to their fading club, it just makes me chuckle. This arrogance is slowly going to fade away as other clubs from lesser leagues start to do better in Europe and are able to keep their stars.

The truth nowadays is, that the biggest incentive for a promising player to move to England, is money, not prestige or competitiveness. The only team that's been consistently great, is Manchester United, and even they are no longer in the Champions League. I'm quite sure so many English teams aren't doing well in Europe largely due to underestimating the opponents. For their own sake, they'd do well to notice football's changing, and many leagues now have quality teams. The Champions League now has teams in the knock-out phase from more different leagues than ever.

So, briefly, my point is that football is, like everything, prone to globalisation. When fans think their team is capable of buying stars from around the world, they're wrong
Reds89 (Manchester United) 5 years ago
You give out about English fans, yet Barca fans are just as bad in my opinion. Yes they are the best team in the world at the moment. But they and alot of your fans seem to think you have a divine right to get whoever you want. Ala Fabregas. He might have been a barca player when he was younger but as soon as he wore an Arsenal shirt he was theirs. Yet Barca basically harassed Arsenal into selling. Not things I like to see in Football
ManUK (Manchester United) 5 years ago
Competitiveness? Look at your own league, exactly how many teams are even remotely close to competing for the title. You put mid table spanish teams in the premier league right now, and they're almost certainly going to be relegated (with the exception of Athletico madrid maybe).

Your right that some fans are just unreasonable. Thinking that any decent player from Borussia Dortmund will want to leave for their club in England is ridiculous. Although I'm sure some of them would want to, especially if you where Man Utd or Chelsea. We all know money plays a big role, but some of the more respectable players may want to go to a club for opportunities, a chance at more success, or a number other things.

As far English teams underestimating the Europa League quality, I'm not sure it's so much that as it is that they just don't care. These teams priorities are on the Premier League, and having the europa league on a thursday is not a good thing for them. So it ends up being mostly a subs and reserves night.

I agree with your main point, but any halfway large club is going to have fans who are unrealistic.

FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
It may be true that some fans of English clubs expect unrealistic dream teams but name me one team without it's own small percentage of trolls and band-wagoners etc. And what about in the La liga where Barca and Madrid have spent millions and millions to sign top class talents from around the world. You said that some fans think that most stars abroad are waiting to be signed to the premier league but most of those people also believe everything they read in the media and the media usually suggests that players such as Neymar and Hazard are just waiting to be signed by either Real or Barca.

Don't take this as an attack on Spanish football or anything like that my point is that the expectations for change and for major signings exist just as much within rich La liga clubs like Real and Barca as they do with rich English clubs
Jeroen (Barcelona) 5 years ago
@Reds: But Cesc is the perfect example of a transfer of a world class player that happened for the right reasons! He wanted to go back to Barcelona badly, Barcelona wanted him to be their player again badly, and he IS from Barcelona! If Arsenal were harassed, it's because Fàbregas hinting he wanted to leave wasn't enough for Arsenal.

I'm not saying the circumstances were ideal, because you're right that they weren't. But to say that we stole him is ludicrous. He wanted to go back, Arsenal finally respected his plea and sold him.

But I actually am talking about youngsters that don't know what they want, don't know what is best for them and are lured by nothing but money and fake promises. There are hundreds of youngsters throughout the years that have made the mistake of going to some big club for the wrong reasons and ultimately not developing their talent. And I'm not saying that English clubs are the only ones doing that, but they are by far doing it the most.

@ManUK: I never said La Liga was better in competitiveness. I know that only two clubs compete for the spoils of war right now. It used to be different in a not-so-remote era though. I do think you are completely wrong about mid-table teams in Spain. Every year, the teams in Spain prove they're actually very good, and I think the opposite would be true. If a team like Everton (English sub-top) would be playing in Spain, I think they'd be at the bottom by the end of the season. But, of course, that's just the opinion of a fan of Spanish football, just as yours is that of a fan of English football.

About my quote that English teams, players and managers underestimate foreign opposition: isn't it clear enough by the way your best teams have failed to win against Russian, Austrian, Portuguese and French teams in recent years? Those aren't the biggest leagues, but they're becoming better and better, and it is that fact that I think isn't really getting through to the Fergusons and Mancinis of the EPL. Maybe I'm wrong and it's just them playing mind games, but I distinctly remember SAF angrily leaving a press conference when he was asked why United was struggling in Europe this season. The question was asked a week before they faced Basel and were kicked out of the champions league. He waved it away as rubbish, as if United was perfectly on track to do well in the champions league.

Anyway, I also agree with you on the part that any club that's been successful in the past will have unreasonable fans who really don't understand what's going on in football. The same happens with Barcelona right now. Some fans and especially the media think it's all going downhill when we lose one game, or when Messi fails to score for two games.

@FootyRulz: I agree that Real Madrid is no better than any team in the world by buying all of their stars, but you can't say that about Barcelona. We usually spend about 40m a year on one major signing, and that's it. There isn't a team in the world, competing on a European level anyway, that has as many home-grown players as Barcelona. No team even comes close.

But my point here was that many clubs sign players without actually needing them, so they rot away on the bench or in the B-team. There isn't a single player that Barcelona paid a significant amount of money for that they didn't immediately put into their starting 11. The only major signings they did in recent years were Yaya Touré, Eric Abidal, Thierry Henry, Daniel Alves, Gerard Piqué, Seydou Keita, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Villa, Javier Mascherano and Ibrahim Afellay. All of them immediately were introduced in the first team and played most games.

To end with a bright note though: although Chelsea is a team that has bought a ton of talent that never really developed there, I'm happy to see they now realize their best youngsters need time in a good team to develop further. By loaning out their players, they're becoming better and better. Courtois is the best example of that, because he's really evolving with leaps at Atlético. United's Welbeck and Cleverley are also good examples.


I didn't mean to offend people in my original post, but I was simply trying to get my point across. Which is: top clubs are no longer as prestigious as they once were, and other competitions are becoming stronger and stronger. Therefore, it's only logical that promising youngsters no longer are as easily tempted by big clubs. I also hate the waterfall-effect going on in football. A small-town club has a promising kid, but they can never hold on to him because soon enough, a bigger-town club will poach him. Shortly after that, an even bigger club will come and get him. This goes on and on, and keeps the big clubs big, and the small clubs small. Of course those are the simple laws of a free market, and it's not just happening in football. Plus, there isn't really a solution for this. If clubs are required to have their share of home-grown youngsters, they'll simply attract even younger kids early on, to fulfil that requirement. And what about clubs that aren't in densely populated areas? They won't have a big pool of talent to look in.

Anyway, I could go on and on, but I'll leave it at this
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
I was trying to say that some Barca fans will probably expect as much change and as many marquee signings as Chelsea, United or any other club. Sorry if you mistook that for some sort of Anti-Barca post
Davian (Arsenal) 5 years ago
@jeroen so your saying xavi didn't harass arsenal, plzzzzzzzz...
Messsssssssssi (Barcelona) 5 years ago
At the end of the day, it was cesc's decision to leave. Pep opened the door for him by telling him he wanted him on his team but no one dragged him out of london. You can complain all you want about what xavi, puyol or pique said to the media but none of them forced him to come to barca. He wanted to return to the team he grew up playing for
Davian (Arsenal) 5 years ago
@messssssssi I'm not talking about if cesc wanting to leave, we were talking about harassment by clubs. Barca harassed arsenal for cesc and stop tryng to justify a wrong. I don't believe barca is a wicked club but what they did(especially xavi) wasnt right
Kon91 (Arsenal) 5 years ago
@Jeroen, the problem is that during the summer Arsenal were prepared to sell Fabregas for a FAIR price. Fabregas was worth at least 45-50mil euro's, but Barca twisted Arsenal's arm until they let him go for 30.... If Barcelona had offered a transfer fee that equated to Fabregas' quality as a played as well as his worth to Arsenal, there would never have been a saga
Borg (Manchester United) 5 years ago
Jeroen, no one can take away the fact that Barça in the past few years have one of the greatest club football teams ever. But, I think it is unfair to say that what happened with Cesc was a clean transaction, it wasn't. The argument that since a player is from somewhere it justifies him transferring there under the circumstances for that club is very weak, especially after all the supposed love he had for Arsenal and Wenger and his importance to them. You said it yourself that football is prone to globalization, well it's already happened. Cesc went to Barça because he wanted to win something. He got a taste of it in the WC and EURO's so he wanted more at the club level. He was perfectly happy at Arsenal until the time came where he had a chance to join the best team in the world.
Also, explain to me how there is no competitiveness in England when clubs from the EPL have consistently gone deep in the knock-out rounds the past 10 years and have held the highest uefa league coefficient value for the past decade as well? Unless a player is going to Barça or Real there is no incentive for La Liga
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
If the biggest incentive for a player to move to "big" club is money then I'm certain Real or Barca are capable of paying wages just as high as Chelsea or City. In the EPL I don't think there has ever been a season in recent years as competitive as this. I don't think anyone 5 years ago would have predicted the Premier league table to look something like it does right now. Ok so I'm starting to drift away from my point which is that for many players it is actually the competitiveness of playing in one of the world's best leagues that attracts them and while money does play a big part it's not usually the only reason.

Of course there some of those players that are in it for the cash and they end up joining other rich clubs like Anzhi or PSG
Borg (Manchester United) 5 years ago
I challenge any footytube member to argue that the Premier League is NOT the best league in Europe. I am eager to hear all arguments and hear your honest opinion
BruceCampbell (Liverpool) 5 years ago
^^^^ I'll say, the EPL isn't so top heavy in competition. There isn't a game you can just, let your guard down
7anzalla (Barcelona) 5 years ago
@Borg - Clearly he wasnt "perfectly happy at Arsenal. " 8 years at a club with no trophy to show for takes its toll on a player, specially one from the highest calibre. Arsenal's series of misfortunate events last season showed that Arsenal had to go through a transition phase. This, coupled with an increase in competition and rise of top class EPL teams such as City, Hotspurs and a transformed Liverpool, meant that chances of bagging in a trophy next season was even a more daunting task. Yes player should strive to for high competitiveness, but if your considered a top-class player and don't have any trophies to show for then it probably is the right time to move on.

Although I do agree Barca did somewhat aggressively pursue Fabregas, calling it harassment is blowing it out of proportions. Your forgetting that his transfer saga has lasted over 5 years. And Fabregas always said that the only other club he would move to is Barcelona. So when a Club hears that a top player only has their sights on them, not to mention a player raised and embedded with the club's philosophy, then no doubt they would want to pursue him. And actually I give props Barca for pressuring Arsenal to sell him at least $10 million cheaper than he's worth. That's good business from Barca.
Fabregas moved for glory and success, the most noble reasons to transfer. Money clearly had nothing to do with it as Fabregas offered $5 million from his own money to join Barca
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
Cesc was always going to join Barca eventually at some point during his career and I'm surprised Arsenal managed to hold onto him for 2 more seasons that I thought they would be able to. He's a great example of a player whose incentive to move on to a bigger club was success rather than money. Sort of like Henry who moved from Arsenal to Barca to win titles
7anzalla (Barcelona) 5 years ago
Also @ Borg - In terms of what is the best league, that's a very subjective opinion that's is judged based on who you support and what league you follow.
You judge a league based on the quality of its teams and degree of competitiveness between them.

Now lets get the big elephant out of the room - Out of the 4 top leagues (English, Spanish, German and Italian) La Liga as a league, in my opinion is s**t. Yes, I do believe they have the best 2 teams in the world, and I do believe they have other teams that can compete well in other leagues (Valencia, Atletico, Bilbao....), but in terms of competition, it is a two horse race, and that gap is getting bigger. Before Valencia used to always be a thorn for Barca and Real to worry about, but even they couldn't keep up the pace.

Now that's out they way, I think you, as well as most EPL fans, really undermine and underestimate Italian and German leagues. Right now, their league table is more competitive, with less points separating the top 10 teams (Italy and Germany have 14 and 16 points respectively, while England has 22)
And in terms of quality, I don't know if you can argue this season that England boasts the best squad considering that 2 of their top teams were disqualified from Champions league by German and Italian opposition, amongst others. I mean Napoli being in the mid-top of their league managed to beat the top English club says something about the quality of other leagues.

Now in terms of revenues, coverage and viewers, EPL beats all the other leagues. This can be attributed to good marketing and the global outreach that the top english clubs invested in. Now don't get me wrong I love EPL with all my heart, this is why I can't support one club, I ove the league as a whole, same goes for Italian league.

And Borg, I find the way you phrased your question shows this snobbish attitude I find alot of EPL fans exhibit
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
So how would you judge which league is best?
7anzalla (Barcelona) 5 years ago
Like I said that is a subjective opinion. And it depends, 'best' in terms of what? You have to define on what bases you are evaluating the league. That is why they don't have an official board that ranks what league is 'best'. Instead, they release annual reports that show revenues and viewer numbers of that league.

So in terms of the football, the best league is left for each viewer to decide and debate till they turn blue.
In terms of popularity, it definitely goes to EPL as they boast the highest league revenues, always have packed stadiums, have the largest number of followers and viewers, have the highest number fo clubs with a global imprint.

But hey at the end of the day, what matters to me is the beautiful game and in that sense, EPL is not always the triumphant and doesn't always win by a landslide as people would like to believe. So I if have to give you an answer, this season I would put Italian and English as the best leagues to watch.
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
I define 'best' as which league you would want to watch the most (for the football not because your favorite team plays in it). I watch the Italian, German, Spanish and English league and I can honestly say that the Italian and German leagues are not as far behind as they used to be but the EPL is still number one for me
Davian (Arsenal) 5 years ago
I define best as;the head to head records of the teams in the champions league over a five year period. Yes I completely disregarded the Europa league but the best reside in the champions league, and by teams I mean not just how 1 team performs but all of them on a whole.
I think jeroen is the reason for this long thread cause instead of talking about the top leagues in europe he/she kept talking about the EPL and seemingly implied that players only joined EPL for money and not prestige nor competitiveness. And seems to throw a jab our way cause 2 of the top EPL teams fell out.
@7anzalla barca acted as though cesc is their property, there is no problem with declaring your interested in him but the words said especially from the barca players werent warranted. Barca get away with alot, xavi made statement after statement insulting arsenal and uefa didn't crack down on him, it was arsene who had to make a report. Even in the match against arsenal at camp nou, look at how pique grabbed VP in his neck and the ref didn't even give him a card, but easily sent off VP for 'time wasting". Barca like madrid act as though players belong to them.
Look at hleb a couple of years ago, he said he went to barca because they were paying him more.
Barca fans stop justifying your acts and behaving like saints when the truth barca is just a devious and greedy like all other big clubs...
Lmcclelland (Arsenal) 5 years ago
Funny how you criticize the EPL for its excessive transfers when Barcelona and Real Madrid are a combined $1 billion in debt
Ladino (Juventus) 5 years ago
Jeroen is right, on all points!
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
Before this turns into an Epl vs La liga debate I'd like to point out that he never criticized the EPL for spending too much money on players. He was just using it as an example of how money can be often used to lure talented players away from small clubs to bigger clubs and how nowadays fans from those bigger clubs are expecting more and more transfer activity from the clubs each year
TheBarcaShow (Footytube Staff) 5 years ago
The smart people all agreed with Jeroen on his points. No need to read the 40 other points ^^
Hill (Arsenal) 5 years ago
Really, TheBarcaShow? Lol. I think that in itself is an interesting statement
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
"But my point here was that many clubs sign players without actually needing them, so they rot away on the bench or in the B-team". I agree with that part but I don't agree that mainly English clubs are the ones doing this
SuperSpurs (Tottenham Hotspur) 5 years ago
TheBarcaShow, you are the most idiotic poster I have seen on this site. Please, everyone ignore this guy. I really hope that he is just perpetually drunk; the alternative would mean that someone this stupid actually exists...
ManUK (Manchester United) 5 years ago
@TheBarcaShow, Your right only unintelligent people can have a different opinion than you
Churro36 (Manchester United) 5 years ago
Wait Villa at Liverpool?
Honestabe (Liverpool) 5 years ago
Lol photoshop actually had you fooled?
Honestabe (Liverpool) 5 years ago
*double post
Fxate (Manchester United) 5 years ago
I think it is hilarious how badly photoshopped the Villa image is
BigShel (Philadelphia Union) 5 years ago
Ha Ha it looks like the photo shopped in Carroll's hair
DrPhilosophy (Bayern München) 5 years ago
Does anyone know how to post articles on footytube? Please HELP!
Borg (Manchester United) 5 years ago
Hey, you can just paste the link into your posting box and press "reply"
Borg (Manchester United) 5 years ago
Chelsea is a good example of this. The average time at the club for their last 5 managers is 8 months. It's very ridiculous. The spending has been brought on by the money coming in from tv rights and also from overly rich tycoons who have no real emotional connection to the clubs they own
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
Yeah I wrote earlier about Abramovich's lack of patience when it comes to managers I guess it's because he was so used to getting instant results from his investments like he did when Mourinho took charge
Borg (Manchester United) 5 years ago
One thing about Chelsea I have noticed in the past 5 years is they have ALL the tools to challenge for the titile, literally all the talent necessary. But, when managers come in and out so frequently the players have no base for their tactical and emotional necessities. If Guus Hindink had stayed I think things would be much different for Chelsea FC. I hope AVB gets a fair chance. He is entirely competent and deserves it
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
With the way things are going I would not expect AVB to last a season without silverware. If Abramovich really wants titles he's going to need to give his managers more control and power especially in the transfer market. Maybe then we wouldn't have seen millions and millions wasted on buying ready-made stars and try to grow our own players.

Of course I would be a hypocrite in saying that clubs should be more patient when it comes to changes in the first team squad considering that in one season I went from a huge fan of malouda to a frustrated fan who wanted him and other members of the squad replaced by newer and better players.

However since AVB took charge I've been more patient with him and I really hope he gets at least one more season if we don't win anything this year
LumpOfCelery (Chelsea) 5 years ago
"If Guus Hindink had stayed I think things would be much different for Chelsea FC. " You must realise this was not our fault he left
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
I think he was saying if Hiddink decided to stay, things would have been different
Borg (Manchester United) 5 years ago
Yes Ayyam, it was not Chelsea's fault. I just felt Chelsea played so well under Hidink it was a shame he had to leave
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
His successor Ancelotti is another example of Abramovich's impatience when it comes to managers especially considering he had won us the double in his first season at the club only to be sacked one season later when things didn't go his way
Bren82 (Liverpool) 5 years ago
Ancelotti deserved better treatment.... Chelsea should have given him a period of time to imprint his style on the club and leave a legacy.... Instead they look to buy instant success.... When will abramovich learn he is not dealing in the oil industry and a manager needs to develop a football team.... Chelsea is a rotten club.... John terry walks around like a king and each manager gets shafted!
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
I hope Roman has finally learned from his mistakes by bringing in AVB to rebuild our squad
[account-removed] 5 years ago
Good article
Gtbanana (Arsenal) 5 years ago
Grass is green
SuperSpurs (Tottenham Hotspur) 5 years ago
Sky is blue. Hooray! We are not colour blind!
Northstream (Tottenham Hotspur) 5 years ago
I guess Torres and Carroll are excellent examples that the grass isn't always greener.  Did you hear that, Modric!
ManUK (Manchester United) 5 years ago
Your right, it's only greener in Old Trafford

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