Tag Archives: tottenham hotspur

Should Man United go for Gareth Bale this summer?

Nearly twelve months ago Gareth Bale, scored a Champions League Final goal that will go down in history as one of the best ever in European football.

With Real Madrid’s game against Liverpool hanging on a knife-edge at 1-1, up stepped the Welshmen with an overhead kick that turned the tie so far in the favour of ‘Los Blancos’, they never looked back as they strolled magnificently towards a 3-1 victory over Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Yet despite almost single handily winning Real their 13th European Title, Bale has been frozen out dramatically in the Spanish capital this season. Zinedine Zidane left last summer, only too come back again after his two successors flopped as badly as Bale’s Madrid career has done.

ZiZou has told the former Tottenham star his time at the Bernabeu is over, and will play little game time under him as Real recover from a season which by their standards, has been a shocker.

Here in Britain, we feel Gareth Bale has lacked every sense of compassion needed to excel in a white shirt, despite scoring over 100 goals in six seasons. With his own career at a cross-road, it’s now time for the Welsh wizard to come back to where to all started.

Not at Southampton though, where the winger began his career now over a decade ago. Only a return to Spurs under Mauricio Pochettino, or up north to Old Trafford under Solskjaer will be where Bale can reignite his career.

Under Ed Woodward, United have gone for the Harlem Globetrotters route in order to win their 21st league title. Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba have all been recruited to get themselves back to former glory. Sadly for Woodward, three previous managers and millions of worldwide fans, nothing seems to have worked.

Following this type of model may mean Bale is simply the wrong route to go down. At 30, United may only see him at peak level for two maybe three seasons at a push, but the Red Devils need to find success on the pitch quickly, therefore, they may have no choice but to make their move.

On an 18 million euros salary a year, the question could be who can afford him. According to the Guardian, Bale isn’t up for moving anyway unless he sees a team he finds just right.

Yet, he will know perfectly well how the land lies with regards to his future under Zidane. If going off past history under Daniel Levy, Tottenham would probably be unable to afford his high salary and manager Pochettino has left the door wide open regarding his own future.

United know who will be their manager come August and Bale himself knows that Thursday night football awaits him in the Europa League, should he swap white for red. On the other hand, a player of his statue is far to good to sit on the bench at Getafe FC away on a Sunday night.

The Premier League will welcome the talented forward back home with open arms. With Eden Hazard set to leave Chelsea, English football needs a star-studded replacement. It’s time United took the plunge.

THE LOWDOWN: Who Is Supposed Man Utd Target Elif Emas

The rumour mill will continue to throw names out across the crazy season AKA the summer transfer window. One name that has cropped up recently is Fenerbahce’s 19-year-old midfielder Elif Elmas.

Having been linked with Man City and Tottenham also, it seems on the surface that the Macedonian international is somewhat of a hot property in the Super Lig. However, despite having played 10 times for his country already at his tender age, and featuring 16 times in the starting line up for Fenerbahce – Emas is not a name that will get the Manchester United fans licking their lips.

With no real stand out strengths in his game as of yet, the midfielder can play in a number of positions in and around the midfield. His main position seems to be defensive midfield, however, he has been played in a more forward role and out on the left-hand side.

Elmas found the net three times last campaign but, is by no means a Frank Lampard type of player. Elmas like to play short passes as he looks to link defence to attack, in spite of this, this part of his game needs improving alongside his tackling ability. Especially if he is to carve out a career on the defensive midfield role.

Currently valued at 6.75m, it speaks volumes for his projected talent. In all honesty, United would do well to avoid the Macedonian youngster going off the above, and search elsewhere across Europe. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems hell-bent on bringing young talent to Old Trafford, nevertheless, they need to be the right one and be able to shine under the Red Devils spotlights.

Man Utd fans, who do you think the Red Devils should go for?

How Good is Bolton’s Luca Connell Future, With Tottenham & Co Sniffing Around

It’s a really sad state of affairs at Bolton Wanderers this season, the club have been relegated back to League One and the ownership of the club still looms like a dark cloud over the University of Bolton Stadium.

To pour more misery on the Bolton fans, it seems one of their young starlets is grabbing the attention of many a Premier League suitor. Youngster Luca Connell is an Irish midfielder, who is out of contract come to the end of the season and, can leave for nothing more than training fees.

He’s made quite the impression in his 10 outings in the Championship this season for the Trotters. Playing in a defensive role in the midfield is his favoured position, however, he can be moved about a little to left-back or left-wing showing a good deal of versatility.

Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich City, Everton and Wolves have all got Connell firmly in their radars and with good reason too.

The 18-year-old is an up and coming star. He may not be the key signing the fans want for the likes of Spurs, who haven’t signed anyone in the past two transfer windows, but in what will be a very competitive market this window. Investing in the future may not seem the silliest of ideas for Pochettino.

He can certainly flourish at a club like Spurs who do give youth a chance, although a high possibility would be that he is sent back out on loan for a season in the Championship to gain some more game time experience.

Whatever his destination is, Luca Connell is a name that all Bolton fans will be keeping an eye on over the course of the next few seasons. Let’s hope that Bolton’s future can do a 360 and be as bright a future as the Irishman.

Is it Time to Bid Farewell to the Premier League’s Top Six?

As the Premier League season draws to a close, the inevitability of who the top six clubs will be is once again plain to see.

In the entire history of the Premier League, only Blackburn in 1994/95 and Leicester City in 2015/16 managed to buck the trend and top the table. For the other 25 seasons, it has been one of the two Manchester clubs, Chelsea or Arsenal.

This demonstrates the gulf that exists between the six richest clubs in the country and everyone else. There hasn’t been a single season in which at least two of the current top six, haven’t finished in the Champions League or Europa League places.

Currently, Wolves sit 11 points adrift in 7th place and although this is a very credible performance by the West Midlands club, it does show that all the rest of the Premier League is doing is making up the numbers.

It’s a similar situation in Europe with PSG in France 16 points clear, Juventus 18 points above Napoli in Italy. Ajax and PSV 18 points ahead in Holland and Barcelona nearly 30 points ahead of fifth-placed Sevilla in Spain, and Germany dominated by Bayern where 10 points separate 3rd and 4th places.

There have been rumours of interest by European clubs in a breakaway League, which some would say already exists in the UK. Not so long ago, German publication Der Spiegel ran a story about talks between Europe’s top clubs on the possibility of a breakaway league.

Many of the clubs allegedly involved were quick to distance themselves from the story, but given that most of the big clubs have the interests of their shareholders in mind rather than that of their supporters, the idea will not be seen as one which should be discounted.

The original idea that the vast amounts of money that have come into the game would trickle down to the lower leagues has proved to be just a pipe dream. As in real life, the poor have got poorer and, the rich have got very richer indeed.

With what seems like a weekly occurrence, clubs with solid support and a rich footballing history are finding themselves facing ruin as a result of massive debt. Much of this can be attributed to the fact, that clubs have found themselves needing to pay extortionate wages in order to attract players to reach the promised land of the Premier League.

Before the TV money came along, it was the people who came through the turnstiles who dictated the success of a club, now their contribution is looked at as little more than small change. The Far East market is an almost bottomless pit of merchandise sales to people who will never set foot in Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge, yet whose money is funding the chasm, which grows wider every season between the haves and have nots.

There is a growing crisis which needs to be addressed in British football, and if it means losing the countries top clubs and returning to the state that existed before Sky arrived then it is a price the sport may have to pay.

Man United Ending Up In Sixth Would Not Be a Bad Thing

Much as been made over the need for Champions League football at Old Trafford next season.

Granted last time the Red Devils qualified for the Europa League, they went big in the transfer market and massively overspent on players to lure them to Manchester, eventually winning the competition.

However, this time around is a completely different feel to back then. Solskjaer needs to rebuild a squad that has lacked any sort of consistency over the years, there’s deadwood in there that should have gone a long time ago and a need to bring in players to suit the style and history of Old Trafford.

Being in the Europa League may not be what the financial people want at the club. However, what United must learn from the last time they were in this position is not splash the cash to hunt for instant success. United now need to rebuild over two, three transfer windows, time has to be given and recruitment needs to be on point.

United are competing in the market with Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs and going toe-to-toe in a bidding war is not what the board want to get involved in.

Looking outside the box, using their vast scouting network and most of all being shrewd. Man United is still a big attraction for the majority of players around the world, and throwing cash at players shouldn’t have to be the answer. The Norwegian needs to convince players to be apart of the rebuild – one that could see some further bad times for the United faithful.

However, if they now and understand that the club is restructuring from top to bottom, they’ll be a little more forgiving: as long as they don’t go into mid-table mediocrity of course.

United could attract the type of player that is up for the battle over the salary, players with prospect. So maybe, just maybe finishing in the Europa League spots could be a blessing and drive United into going a different direction. They can’t afford to throw more money at flops and underperforming players anymore.

This is a crucial time in United’s recent history, and one they can’t afford to get wrong.

Solskjaer Reportedly Looking To Eriksen, But What About Two Goalscoring Alternatives

Transfer rumours will be rife in the coming months, as speculation mounts over the incomings and outgoings at Old Trafford.

This week alone we’ve seen rumours of Real Madrid feeling confident of securing Paul Pogba, and Solskjaer wanting Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen to build his new team around.

The latter would be a great signing for the Red Devils, however dealing with Daniel Levy is never an easy task. If Solskjaer is wanting to bring in a creative midfielder like Eriksen, the easier option maybe to look for alternatives.

The Danish international has been a pivotal figure at Spurs for a number of seasons now, and this year he seems to have stepped his game up immensely. Not only playing a key part in key passes and assists, but wading in with a few goals himself.

Unlike Pogba, Eriksen has been consistent, and Pochettino can rely on the midfield to produce nine out of ten weeks. With United youth and pace in Martial, Lingard and Rashford, United’s man in charge needs an experienced head to pop off the key passes needed to tie it all together.

Here’s two alternatives to Eriksen, United should cast their eye over this summer…

Nabil Fekir

The Lyon midfielder brought much attention last season after a fantastic season in Ligue 1. So far this year he has started 27 times for Lyon, scoring 12 and assisting 9, albeit not has impressive as last season but still an important figure in the team.

With reported interested from Juventus, the 70m rated star may be a little out of the price range of the Red Devils. However, he could come cheaper then the 85m Eriksen and the added bonus of not dealing with Levy.

Marco Reus

Marco Reus has had a great season so far this year with Borussia Dortmund. He’s been used in a wide variety of positions across the midfield, but when used in his natural attacking midfield role, in which he’s featured 24 times this campaign – Reus has scored 16 goals and assisted nine for his team, who currently sit second in the Bundesliga, one point behind leaders Bayern.

At 29-year-old, the 50m rated star may seem too old, in footballing terms anyway, to invest in. Especially if Solskjaer is looking to rebuild the team. However, a wise, experienced head would be a great asset to have when surrounded by the youth United have in the side.

VAR In Review: Three Dreaded Words Man City Fans Don’t Want To See Again

For many years football has asked for technology. UEFA decided to bring VAR into the Champions League in January in order to sort out ‘clear and obvious decisions’.

‘Can somebody please tell me what clear and obvious is?’ said BT Sport Host Gary Lineker to ex ref turned pundit Peter Walton, as TV discussed Danny Rose’s handball from a Raheem Sterling shot in The Champions League first leg quarter final between Tottenham and Manchester City last week.

Lineker’s view echoes what many football fans think. As delirium turned to heartbreak at the Etihad Stadium last night, Man City fans probably wanted the use of VAR to be shelved right back in the wardrobe and never be brought out again. Twelve months ago though, when Guardiola’s side played Liverpool when VAR was inactive, City fans sung loudly from the rooftops for UEFA to be included in European games.

Technology in football is a rather funny thing. If it works in your favour you become a fan, if works against your team fans seem to want nothing to do with the system.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has always had is reservations where VAR is concerned, on Wednesday night he may just have found a new ally. On the other side of the touchline, Pep Guardiola, leading advocate for video assistance in football, his reaction as referee Cuneyt Cakir disallowed Sterling’s near but not so near winner was one of heartbreak.

Whatever the answer, VAR’s way of clearing up problems is throwing up more heartbreak than anyone may have thought. On another note, the time taken for the whole thing to work needs much looking at in the close season.

The atmosphere inside the Etihad become a church graveyard. All starting when the stadium announcer calls ‘VAR in review’. Then there is silence, pure silence. 54,000 fans cramped in one building and you can hear a pin drop.

Anticipation or dread may well be the answer. But staring at an empty blue screen stating, ‘Goal in review’ can only kill an atmosphere. Twice in one half is quite simply no good for fans, especially when they have no clue what the match day official is being told  or why he has his hand to an earpiece.

This happened when PSG played United last month. Before Marcus Rashford tucked away an injury time penalty winner, The crowd inside Le Parc des Princes found no words to describe their emotions as somehow a trio of pitch side officials plus a man by a computer could send the French Champions out of Europe.

Again at Tottenham’s new ground last week in the run-up to Aguero’s penalty miss,  VAR made thousands of excited home fans go silent. Did the eventual decision clear up or answer the question of whether a penalty should or should not have been given. Not really.

Slowing the action down does not mean a decision is correctly awarded. Handball shouts and appeals like Danny Rose, VAR’s use is welcomed, all be it with a pince of salt and a cheesy smile.