Kop-pow,bubbles bursting,and The Silly Season
The worst thing about nearing the end of the season isn’t the impending close season-nae fitba,goalposts removed on the playing fields and public parks!-it’s the approach of The Silly Season. The one where the only sport in town is kite-flying.
But first to other topics.
Our beloved leader seems to have been kicking every ball the other night as his English team,Liverpool,created history with one of the greatest comebacks of all time.
Even I wouldn’t have thrown away a fiver on 4-0 but I bet the bookies on Merseyside are skint this morning!
Barcelona,IMO,are paying the penalty for poor succession planning along with an aging squad. Yes,on their day-a week ago,for example-they can be devastating,and exhilarating to watch. And some of the players who have departed since their über-quality days were always going to be impossible to replace.
On their day,those replacements can be fine,more than adequate. But their midfield can be dreadful. Vidal,€20m for a 31yo on the wane? Rakitic and Coutinho seem unable to fit together despite their obvious quality.
And their defence is worse! If Lenglet is what €35m gets you,no wonder PL is keeping the lid on the biscuit tin. Pique is past his best,great servant though he has been.
Up front,Messi and Suarez are two superb goal scorers. But at 32yo,you have to wonder how long they have. Certainly their ability to dig their team out of a hole is already on the wane. Dembele at €140m scores roughly every third game and will have to seriously improve.
I think this Barcelona team still has some great days in them,but their best days are behind them. But that’s not to take anything away from a tremendous result for Liverpool.
And just when you think lightning can’t strike twice,I was listening to Ajax v Spurs last night as I was driving down to Southampton. Spurs also found themselves 3-0 down on aggregate,but away from home and with only 45 minutes of the tie left. They fought back though and mugged them in added time-added added time in fact as the Ajax keeper was penalised for timewasting. Poetic justice and a fairytale ending but how Ajax must have wished that their young tyros had shown a wee bit more nous. Or had even watched Spurs do the same to Man City in the last round…
The TV money which has poured into sports,and football in particular,over the last 20-25 years has largely passed Scotland by. As the product has become more expensive for broadcasters,so too has it for consumers. The broadcasters have had to think evermore imaginatively of how to market the product to evermore reluctant consumers,and eventually a critical point will be reached where consumers decide that the product is simply not worth the expense.
In the UK,it was Rupert Murdoch and Sky who started the revolution. Murdoch was seriously concerned that Sky,which had never made a profit in its five years,was going to fail. He bid just over £300m for the rights to the new English Premier League,and never looked back.
So when he bought Fox,it was an obvious route for him to do the same in the US. His Fox Sports bought rights to most sports in the US,and their position at the top of the pile was assured. Disney bought Fox in a deal finalised in March for $71bn,but were told by regulators that they had to offload the sports content.
Not a problem. Disney already owns ESPN,and Wall St analysts advised the company that Fox Sports would be worth $22bn on its own.
It sold the other day for $10bn. And that was after being put out to auction,so literally the best price they could get!
The only reason for that can be that consumers ain’t paying,and that means that broadcasters won’t be either. Have we already passed peak TV money? Could be trouble ahead!
Oh aye. The Silly Season. I nearly forgot. I thought I’d seen it all when Jose Mourinho was linked with Celtic-indeed,that we had made him an offer. But that was before I read the interview where Souness is advising Gerrard to get his players sorted and cut out the indiscipline! I honestly don’t know where to start with that,but I’ll go with Souness signing Roberts and Hurlock.
Mahe covered The Guard of Honour yesterday so the only thing I’ll add to it is that the huns regard honour in much the same way as they do dignity .
I then saw a few snippets about potential new signings and contract extensions. Now,I love Izzy. If I’m honest,he was a breath of fresh air in a position which had never been adequately filled since the days of Big Tam. But I think he knows himself that he isn’t up to the rigours of the SPL.
Having said that,if BR had played him against the huns at Ibrox,we wouldn’t have had a midfield without Callum! For that reason alone,he may be worth the extension-but I hope he gets the offer he is looking for from the US.
Plus,I can’t wait to tweet Trump about another Honduran coming to his country!!!
It got worse though. Gary Hooper is a free agent,and those two words alone make him an attractive option for PL. He’s still a fairly young player at 31 with surprisingly little mileage on the clock. And he did score a phenomenal 82 in 130 for us.
But ATHINGOFBEAUTY will back me up when I say that I forecast how Hooper’s career would go after he left us for the heady heights of Norwich.
He’d barely score in the EPL,Norwich would go down. Even if he scored enough to get them promoted again,clubs would think-he can only do it in the lower leagues. If he can’t get them promoted,Norwich won’t renew his hugely expensive contract and he’ll be lucky if he gets £10k a week from the likes of Birmingham.
He has scored 50 goals in six seasons. He’s a free agent for a reason. If PL thinks that the support will hail a homecoming hero,he had better look out those banners that used to cover the upper tiers.
Celtic fans are faithful through and through but we only put up with getting the pish ripped out of us for so long.
Above article by BMCUWP. I left so much out anaw! Anyway,have a rant and send it to us for publication at