Sunday, July 12, 2020
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As my friend and I settled into the corner of the pub with our pints (well he had a bottle of Bud actually, there's no accounting for taste) I was asked to predict the score for the upcoming England game. People normally guess that we will win by a hatfull, but I'm done with optimism as concerns the national team so erred on the side of caution and went for 2-0. Why is it that I get into a debate about Robbie Keane and make a bet with my aforementioned friend, a Liverpool fan, for a fiver that he'll score 20 or more goals in all competitions, yet I don't go down the bookies and cash in on predictable forecasts like an inevitable England let down ? At least Capello looked suitably infuriated on the touch line, but he's really got his work cut out for him if we're to get any joy from the crunch fixture in Zagreb this wednesday. He's not the only one thats infuriated though, if I had a pound for every correct prediction that I haven't put a wager on....well, I'd be a successfull gambler I guess.

One story from transfer deadline day that seems to have got lost in the shuffle is the incredibly blatant breaking of the law by Man Utd as pertains to their conduct of the Berbatov transfer. In the days leading up to September 1st, a typically arrogant Ferguson was telling all and sundry how he expected to get Berbatov and not have to pay over the odds for him. When it came to the big day itself, Spurs were still refusing to blink, insisting that Man Utd stump up the requisite fee should they want to secure their man. Suddenly, the Arab invasion ousts the Thai forces at Eastlands, and a huge attempt to gazump their cross city rivals is under way, with a a Man City bid made and accepted for the sulking Bulgarian. This bid was accepted by Tottenham. However, Berbatov flew up to Manchester, was picked up by old whisky nose personally, taken to Old Trafford, given a medical and presented with a contract despite the fact that at this point, Spurs had not accepted an offer from Man Utd and had not given them permission to speak to the player. This is highly illegal and despite the fact that Man Utd came up with a sufficient bid in the end and have effectively bought Tottenham off so that they won't pursue their initial complaint, I hope the Premier League investigates and punishes Man Utd for their blatant disregarding of the rules. I bet if they deducted 10 points from them they'd think twice before trampling over the law in their pursuit of getting what they want.

Don't think I have any sympathy for Spurs though, all the big clubs have double standards it seems. Spurs moaned about the Berbatov & Keane scenario's, yet they illegally approached Juande Ramos without the consent of Sevilla. Man Utd bullishly steamroll Tottenham to aquire cheerful Dimitar, yet endlessly bleated the entire summer that Real Madrid were tapping up Cristiano Ronaldo, who in turn cavetched and carped on about Chelsea's efforts to entice Robinho to London etc etc etc. In the last few days, all sorts of story's are coming out that Man City may spend up to a billion pounds on players and that they have a list of targets including Cristiano Ronaldo, Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Cesc Fabregas, Lionel Messi and Kaka (I guess that Richard Dunne's position is safe then). Now, if Man City have publisised their prospective targets, then they have broken the rules like all the others and I don't condone it.....and whilst I'm not happy that City look set to win every trophy under the sun, I can't help but smile at the prospect that come January, the likes of the domestic "Big 4" and Real Madrid will get a taste of their own medicine as the new bully in town reigns down transfer bids like fists, unsettles their star players and royally pisses them all off. The title of the accompanying picture is "Money Rules Man" ; well, more than ever, money certainly rules football.

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