there’s just too much going on in the world of football for me to even keep up lately, which is just a part of the reason why i started up the twitter account (don’t forget to follow me @wrongsideofpond!). world qualifiers have dominated the headlines the last week or so, but the league’s are picking back up again and the winter transfer window is just around the corner already. so, in turn, the rumor mills are beginning to pump out the stories left and right. and like that, it’s time for another round up!
fergie’s doting on crock defour – thesun.co.uk
it’s no secret that many admiring eyes have been cast upon standard liege’s belgian international steven defour, and man utd gaffer ferguson is no different. and with united under intense scrutiny for their recent transfer practices (obertan, berbatov, etc.), sir alex has had to come up with some unique ways to “convince” his targets to come to manchester. defour was recently set back by a broken foot, which may or may not hurt his chances of earning a january transfer. sir alex was kind enough to send the guy a get well note, even though he’s not even on his team and has never been. reportedly, fergie even said:
I’m going to follow your progress closely and I will remain in contact with your club to have news of your recovery.
if that’s not tapping up, i don’t know what is. the next person who tells me they don’t tap players up will be getting a swift punch to their mouth.
avram grant considered MLS move with red bulls – soccernet.com
despite the fact that former chelsea manager recently joined struggling portsmouth to help stave off relegation, it seems the islraeli almost came to america to help save MLS’s biggest mess of a franchise. red bull new york is near to completing one of the worst seasons in MLS history, despite playing in one of the league’s biggest markets and having one of the best players in juan pablo angel. it seems that grant was in advanced negotiations with red bull and would have taken charge at the start of next season. landing an actual big name coach would have been an incredible coup for not just the club, but also MLS as a whole. in my humble opinion, bringing in big name, quality coaches is just as–if not more–important to improving the league than bringing in big name designated players. so close on this one, and yet red bull strike out yet again. bummer.
england keeper david james highlights paper plane danger fear to unsuspecting world – telegraph.co.uk
we have tons of problems in the world of soccer: growing disparity between big and small clubs, rampant racism, diving/simulation, illegal transfer activities, crowd violence, and on and on and on. but you know what david james is worried about? paper airplanes. yes, flying pieces of folded paper scare the portsmouth keeper more than everything else. granted, in england’s shock defeat to ukraine a few weeks ago there were paper planes thrown in his general direction, and he worried that one could have hit him square in the eye and blinded him. and i get his concern there, seeing as how seeing is so important and all. but seriously david, there are bigger things to worry about than freaking paper planes.
call me motherwell football club – bbc.com
it’s not unusual for just about anyone these days to name their child something completely asinine. a few years back, i recall hearing about a couple in england naming their kid “fifa,” which up until now i thought was the most ridiculous soccer-based name ever. well, that’s all been trumped. although this time it’s not a crazy parent naming their helpless child something ridiculous. no, no. this time it’s a crazy fan changing his name to the name of his favorite football club. the former frazier boyle, a 20 year old from north lanarkshire, has changed his name to “mr. motherwell football club.” even more awkward than introducing himself as motherwell, or mr. football club? he’s the only one in his family that supports the club.
the atlantic league, including the old firm, is back on the agenda – telegraph.co.uk
i’m not going to lie. prior to reading this article, i had never heard of the proposed “atlantic league.” if you haven’t either, i wouldn’t be surprised. in a nutshell, the atlantic league would be a new league comprised of the top clubs from some of the smaller leagues in europe that would attempt to help the clubs compete with the more competitive larger leagues that dominate europe. some of the proposed teams are the old firm clubs from scotland (rangers and celtic), the larger clubs in portugal (porto, sporting and benfica), the more famous dutch clubs (ajax, psv eindhoven and feyenoord) as well as top clubs from denmark, sweeden and belgium. it’s not surpising the old firm clubs are interested, as they’ve been trying to ditch the SPL for years for more lucrative league play. but what’s more interesting is that apparently the SPL isn’t opposed, as i feel like that would be the death of any future tv deals for that league. i’m actually fascinated by this entire idea. how will they handle their proposed relegation system back to the national leagues? how do they pick who get’s to come in initially? how successful would the league actually be? it will be interesting to see how uefa handle this entire situation.