Monday Bullets: Summer Heating Up

Some real good stuff out this morning…so I thought we’d follow-up:

Barca bound...

• Mesut Ozil goes to Barca for $12M-$15M.

With Barca out of the running for Cesc Fabregas and Mikel Arteta re-upping for five more with Everton over the weekend, Barca reach out and snatch Werder Breman starlet Mesut Ozil from a handful (apparently) of Premiership suitors.

An excellent move by Barca and good value.

For Ozil, I’m not so sure. And here’s my thinking on it. Yes, I know Ozil gets to learn from the best. But with Ozil you get the feeling that he’s such a dynamic player with such a high ceiling that he needs to develop his game more through expression, not mimicking Iniesta (closest comparison on Barca) or Messi.

He will ultimately do just fine in Catalan country, but I would have liked to see Ozil go someplace where we could have been a little more of “the man.”

Oh, and I commented on Twitter that this surely reigns in the Landon Donovan market. If reports are true that the range for the Ozil purchase was $12-$15M (and remember, to Barca salary is not an option so that transfer price was likely the upper range of offers for Ozil), then you’re looking at a 21-year-old who is “somewhat” similar to Donovan.

Would you rather purchase into a 21-year-old with 10 years more service or a slightly surer thing with maybe 5 premium years left?

Will Benny leave Denmark for the SPL...or rather the Land of Fisticuffs and Handbags?

• Glasgow, it’s kind of like Boston…but (c)older.

First there was Fulhamerica, then briefly United States of Everton, meanwhile Aston Villa has three Statesmen in its employ and an owner from Yankeeland.

Will SPL club Rangers become the next “America East” club?

A report from overseas suggests that Ibrox man Ally McCoist has made the trip to the Meadowlands for tomorrow evening’s Brazil affair to take in the likes of Benny Feilhaber and Alejandro Bedoya.

Interesting, probably untrue, but interesting…that’s my only commentary. I don’t see Feilhaber’s game as a match for the SPL, and while the Bedoya option seems more compelling, his brother is just finishing up a trial at his club Orebro.

Benny, as we wrote yesterday, is on the move with his agent Lyle Yorks confirming that something is about to go down. Yorks on the situation:

“There are some options for Benny, and there are things running around on a sale by him. But unfortunately I cannot say more about it.”

• A little perturbed at the budgie are we…

Martin O’Neill walked away from the Aston Villa job today, presumably over Villa’s lack of forecasted spending in the transfer market.

As TSG asked on Twitter: what’s the over/under on Bob Bradley-to-Aston Villa rumors to start with Lerner as the top dog and Freidel, Guzan, and Lichaj?

Answer: It’s already started.

23 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by FulhamPete on 2010/08/09 at 10:07 AM

    Re: Sweats to Villa:

    At this late date, it’s almost a no-brainer, isn’t it? I can’t think of a better option for AVFC. Who else out there is a better choice?


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/08/09 at 11:52 AM

      I still don’t have a favorite EPL team…I was shifting towards Bolton because of you-know-who but this might be the game breaker


  2. Posted by kaya on 2010/08/09 at 10:13 AM

    This year’s transfer market seems a lot more muted than last year’s. I wonder if Ronaldo could’ve fetched 80 million quid this year, with the contract situation being equal. It really only seems as though the downturn has really sunk in with the teams’ budgets this year.
    I’ve read some of the Swiss Ramble posts thanks to TSG, and the author introduced me to a lot of the balance sheet details of sports finance of which I was unaware. Any good blogs/articles about how economic cycles are mirrored in the industry?


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/08/09 at 11:36 AM

      It would be interesting to see how that GBP80M payment was structured and accounted for. Also interesting would be to know how Man. United’s debt affected this transaction, compared to Arsenal’s healthy financial footing and telling Barca to piss off (for now) regarding Fabregas (I know we are talking about two very different numbers).

      There needs to be a global, or at least continental consistency of accounting standards in football, and I personally, am in favour of the financial fairplay that Platini has been talking about for a few years. Just don’t call me a socialist!


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/08/09 at 11:44 AM

        Probably a good idea for a column here George.

        I would suggest that there needs to better league review of the financial health of teams and their owners.

        I actually have no problem with Manchester City’s spending from a competitive/footballing standpoint. If it gets out of hand it will only force and issue that already exists in terms of the diaspora of spending capabilities of teams at each league’s level.

        To me, it’s up the owners of the team if they want to lose money to increase their competitiveness.

        What I do have an issue with is the situation at Pompey–where the league did not properly review the ownership credentials of more than one owner last year and left Portsmouth in lame duck status.

        Now their team has to watch as they tumble at least one league (and possibly two) to get out from under their financial woes.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/08/09 at 11:58 AM

          When I talk about financial regulation, it’s more to do with debt as a ratio (to turnover)rather than an absolute figure. And this is why I was talking about the accounting practices across the continent.

          I don’t really care about City’s spending either. It’s just the other “big” club’s fans that bleat about it. They just don’t like that there is a new kid in the playground with more pocket money.

          The EPL had a warning with Leeds United and Southampton but chose to ignore it, as look what has happened to those clubs… And remember, it wasn’t that long ago that Leeds were in the SF of the CL – Risdale gambled on “CL income receivable” and then never qualified for the following season’s CL, and then had a fire sale (asset stripped)… they had some very good players too, and many were sold below market price to get the money in quickly.


          • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/08/09 at 12:00 PM

            Spot on with Leeds – I was going to mention them. It’s certainly worth TSG discussing/doing a piece on their plight.


        • Posted by John on 2010/08/09 at 12:14 PM

          Worth noting as well that when we talk about finances it behooves us to look at the 450 million pounds + of debt incurred by Hicks and Gillett at Liverpool. 1 million on interest every 9 days.

          Considering that we have spent only about 16.6 million pounds per year since the takeover.


          Somehow spent 55.8 million pounds on a stadium blueprint for a stadium that doesn’t exist.


  3. Posted by s44 on 2010/08/09 at 11:12 AM

    The Telegraph gives Bob 16-1 odds.


  4. Posted by Ryan R. on 2010/08/09 at 11:53 AM

    An absolute steal by Barca. Even in a summer of depressed transfer values, I’m shocked that Bremen couldn’t get more for Ozil. I’m still upset Spurs didn’t make a bid and look to put him, Modric and Lennon across in a 4-2-3-1, as Harry has said he’d like to switch to. That would be absolutely deadly and a better use of money than these wayward attempts for Ashlet Young and others.

    BTW, does anyone watch enough Ligue 1 to have a report on Loic Remy? I saw him twice and he seemed like a bright player, but two viewings is not enough to really have a grasp of a player.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/08/09 at 12:38 PM

      He was in his last year of his contract, and I believe as of 1st January (6 months prior to the expiration date), he was free to sign a pre-contract agreement with an overseas club. It is shocking to me that Werder Bremen did not extend the contract of a national team starter playing for an elite country. Now they were in the precarious position of potentially losing him for nothing. Recession or not, that was bad contractual management.

      As for Spurs, I think Bale is a top left-sided offensive player. I can see him being Gigg’s long term successor at United. Just wish he was English too…


      • Posted by Ryan R. on 2010/08/09 at 4:42 PM

        He was in the last year of his contract so that devalues his transfer price some, but he’s still a steal. The competition for him should have pushed his price higher than it ended up at. He’s going for 12-15 mil, but if I’m any team with the necessary transfer budget, I’d top that bid in a heartbeat. Bremen’s handling of the contract was horrible though, as you mentioned.

        Harry has said multiple times that he sees Bale as a left back, not in the midfield. Personally, I think he’s better in the midfield, but if he’s going to play in the back, they are short a midfielder if they are to play a 4-5-1. Kranjcar can play there, but then Spurs are left with little on the bench at midfield. Unless he finds a player to sign, and there’s talk of him overpaying (IMO) for Ashley Young, he’s either going to have to put Bale in the midfield or go back to a 4-4-2.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/08/10 at 5:51 AM

          Ryan, I agree 100% that in today’s inflated transfer market, that is probably good value – I say probably because I have to confess that prior to the WC, I only saw Ozil play a handful of times, so I am basing my opinion on a few games and one competition.

          I guess the lure of playing for Barcelona is too great. I am sure other teams have the budget but the player has a choice of where he wants to go to. If he keeps on turning the prospective clubs down and runs down his contract then we’re back to square one with Werder Bremen risking losing him for now’t!

          Thanks for that – I was unaware that Harry had gone on the record and said that. It would be a shame, as the guy is so direct, and it’s a pleasure to watch him.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/08/10 at 9:17 AM

          And I have just seen the suggested transfer value – you were talking USD where I thought it was GBP, which makes what you’re saying even more true. Apologies Sir.


    • Posted by dth on 2010/08/09 at 1:02 PM

      I wonder if the Ozil acquisition will eventually lead to letting Fabregas be next summer. I really hope so. I don’t want another summer of “HLEB SAYS FABREGAS SHOULD COME” or “IBRAHIMOVIC THINKS CESC’S HOME IS BARCA” headlines.


  5. Posted by s44 on 2010/08/09 at 6:25 PM

    I agree that Ozil has more long-term value than Donovan because of his age, but I have to say:

    If Barca bought Donovan for that price, they’d probably make at least that much in shirt sales.


  6. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/08/09 at 9:53 PM

    Orange wedges anyone?


  7. Lead story on Sky Sports News: Bradley favorite for Aston Villa job.


  8. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/08/10 at 1:05 AM



  9. Personally I don’t think Villa would be a good place to get your feet wet right now. Villa’s ownership group has pretty much forced O’Neil to walk away due to lack of transfer funds being available when Milner is sold for 28 million. With Young reportedly on the way out as well, who is going to play in the midfield for Villa this upcoming season; me, you, anyone with a pulse?

    Nothing against Bob, but I don’t even think an experienced European manager could make this season a remote success.


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