Falcao Is Finished And It’s A Shame


I am going to come right out and say what many fans have been saying for a year now: Falcao is finished. He didn’t even make the bench for last weekend’s 2-0 victory over Aston Villa and there’s talk that he’s not even going to see out the loan deal until the end of the season and will leave in January to anyone that will take him. Jose Mourinho has done nothing to dispel these rumours either.

Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Falcao joined Monaco in 2013, to be a part of the Monaco “project” which was great on paper but then cut to pieces by Financial Fair Play. The goal was to have the world’s best players at Monaco, living the life of luxury while enjoying the freedom of a tax haven, all funded by the billionaire owner.

Monaco is a popular destination for Formula 1 drivers thanks to the tax benefits (or at least it was when there was money in the sport and the grid wasn’t full of “pay” drivers) so the idea to recreate that in football, while ambitious, was not unrealistic.

Then Financial Fair Play came along and because Monaco are a relatively small club with a small stadium and limited commercial options, they were left with no option but to stop the spending and slash the wage bill.

What’s worse for Falcao is that within just a few months of joining, he suffered a serious knee injury and despite his best efforts, he missed the world cup in the summer of 2014 and some people speculate that his rushed rehabilitation is the cause of his decline.

Fast forward to transfer deadline day in September 2014 and Manchester United took a punt on him, paying a £6 million loan fee for one season with the option of making the move permanent for £43 million and they stumped up his wages, a rumoured £265,000 a week.

Monaco wanted to sell him to recoup the £50 million they paid for him and get him off the wage bill but no one was prepared to pay for a player that had not proven he was over the injury. His time in Manchester can only be described as a disaster.

He only scored 4 goals, the last of which came in February and as the season went on, he actually got worse and worse. He just couldn’t seem to stay on his feet, forever slipping and losing balance and it came as no surprise that United did not make the move permanent.

It wasn’t for a lack of trying though, United manager Van Gaal described Falcao as the “ultimate professional” and during his last appearance at Old Trafford, he was given a standing ovation by the fans, even though he had been awful pretty much the entire season. It was obvious that he had given his all but his legs wouldn’t do what his mind was telling them to.

The Move To Chelsea

Following this disastrous time at United, nobody expected Falcao to stay at Monaco as they can no longer pay his wages, so it was expected that he would go to Italy or back to Spain and attepmt to rebuild his reputation. The move to Chelsea in a similar loan deal to the one he had at United came as a shock to everyone, especially considering how poor he had been at United.

At RedCafe.net which is the most popular Manchester United Forum, the majority of posters were confident that Falcao would have a similar impact at Chelsea that he’d had at United and so far that prophecy is coming true. He’s only scored one goal so far and he’s having real trouble getting any meaningful game time and there’s no sign of that changing any time soon.

The title of the thread is “Potential Flop Of The Season” although I don’t think it’s possible for him to be a flop this season because no one is actually expecting anything from him. Last season at United, nobody knew just how badly he had declined and he was certainly in for contention for flop of the season but that award has to go to Mario Balotelli.

During a pre season game at Fiorentina which Chelsea lost 1-0, the Guardian said that Falcao looked like he was dragging a boulder through treacle such was his lack of pace. Things hit a new low for Falcao a few weeks later when he took a terrible free kick against League 1 side Walsall in the Carling Cup.

He slipped at the end of his run up and sarcastic cheers rang throughout the ground. Sky actually published a humiliation page titled “Falcao’s Woeful Free Kick” with a video but they have since removed it. I found this rather odd because while it was indeed a woeful free kick, it was a humiliating video that you would expect to find on the Daily Mail rather than Sky Sports. You can watch it for yourself on YouTube.

Why Did Chelsea Take Him?

There are many conspiracies as to why Chelsea took him on loan after what he did at United, here are my two favourites.

  1. Mourinho and Falcao share the same agent, Jorge Mendes. Some say that Mourinho was simply doing his agent and friend Mendes a favour because no one else was interested.
  2. It was an ego trip by Mourinho. He saw how bad Falcao was at United, so he decided to take him on the off chance that Falcao’s form would return, resulting in praise for his ability to do what Van Gaal failed to do at United.

It would be nothing short of a miracle if Falcao discovered his old touch and he looks finished at the top level of football or even several levels below that. This is a man who was once regarded as one of the top strikers in the world and now at age 29, he is done. While people say his riches, beautiful wife and young family will cheer him up, it must be hard to accept that your career has declined so quickly and you can’t help but have sympathy for the guy who does come across as very pleasant and genuine.

Sick Of The International Break And Sick Of Ray Winston’s Head

Ray Winston Bet365

It’s the international break and despite my best efforts, it’s really hard to care about it. England have already qualified from a poor group (no disrespect intended to the smaller nations of course) and the games are pretty much pointless.

I could sit here and write about a hand bags argument between Memphis Depay and Robin Van Persie, talk about how England will probably lose in the Euros next summer when they come up against a nation with a similar population and football culture just like they did at the World Cup.

But instead, I’m going to write about Ray Winston’s head (above) and how I’m sick of the sight of it. Anyone that watches live games on Sky will have seen Ray’s head at half time, updating us with the latest odds from Bet365.

I don’t know why, but I have an irrational dislike for these adverts and Ray’s floating head with the echoing voice, probably because it’s been forced upon me every game for the past 3 years now.

By the way, I’m not hating on Bet365, just the advert. I have an account with them and I use them for football betting, playing roulette in their casino (learn about this game at Roulette Made Simple) and my other half has her own account with them that she uses for playing bingo (learn about that at Which Bingo).

What I’ve never understood about these adverts is that they’re shown during live football games on Sky television, so Sky are advertising Bet365 on their own broadcast. Nothing would be out of the ordinary here if it wasn’t for the fact that Sky own one of Bet365’s biggest rivals – Sky Bet.

They are in direct competition with one another, so why would Sky advertise a rival even though there’s obviously a lot of money on the table? Why not advertise themselves instead? They have no problem shelling out on advertisements and sponsorships, they even sponsored what’s now known as the Sky Bet Championship. Then again, I’m just a humble working class man, what would I know about these multi million pound deals?

What I do know is that I will be sitting down to watch the football this weekend and Ray’s floating head is just waiting for me at half time. I can’t wait.

Brendan Rodgers Sacked – Funny Reactions

Brendan Rodger Tottenham QuoteThis past weekend, Brendan Rodgers was finally put out of his misery and sacked as Liverpool manager. For a long time now, Brendan has been on the reveicing end of jokes, vines and memes from Internet pranksters so it was no surprise when the Twitter was awash with reactions following the breaking news of his sacking.

On a personal note, I actually feel a bit sorry for Brendan. He seems like a decent bloke and everything has gone wrong for him since the Gerrard slip. He’s the butt of the joke for many fans and will probably continue to be when he gets back into football. At the same time though, there’s rumours of him getting a £6 million settlement package from Liverpool, and I would happily be an Internet joke for that kind of money.

What I thought I would do here is share just a few of the best reactions from around the Internet.

Deluded Brendan has fast become a legendary Twitter account and while its popularity and growth will probably slow down the longer Rodgers is out of football, fans are all over it at the moment for his reaction. The CV is filled with digs at Rodgers such as “Nearly won the Premier League” “spent £300 million” and last but not least “great character” which has become synonymous with Rodgers due to how often he says it in post match interviews and press conferences.

There’s literally too many of these kinds of videos and vines to watch and list them all, but these are two of the best I found. Poor Brendan. It’s not just following his sacking that these videos have been appearing, just check out these two vines from the week before his departure:

People have been making these kinds of jokes about Brendan for a while now and I can’t think of any football manager that’s been on the receiving end of this much “banter”. Here’s one of my favourite videos from over a year ago from impressionist Darren Farley. I’m fully expecting him to make a video about the sacking very soon.

Last but not least, here’s 17 cringe worthy quotes from Brendan which is what made him a favourite of Internet pranksters in the first place. I wish Brendan the best and hope he gets another job in football soon because as I said, he really does seem like a decent bloke. Other people probably don’t want him to be out of the game for too long too although for different reasons entirely.

Charlie Nicholas – Football Expert Or Arsenal Fan?

Charlie Nicholas

For the second time in as many days, I am expressing my displeasure at something I’ve just read on the Sky Sports website. Unlike yesterday’s complaint with the racist comment which you will find here, this complaint is due to the biased nature and complete lack of research that went into it. This isn’t the only article like this, there are loads of them on Sky Sports, especially from the Soccer Saturday “pundits” such as Paul Merson and Phil Thompson who can’t bring themselves to leave their club allegiances and personal bias in the past.

Charlie Nicholas, a former Arsenal player, wrote an article today saying that he believes only one English club out of four will win in the Champions League this week and what a surprise, the team he fancies to win are Arsenal. What’s worse is that at the top of the article, there’s a small picture of him and it says “Charlie Nicholas – Football Expert“. What it should say its “Charlie Nicholas – In House Arsenal Fan” which would be a far more accurate description.

There’s more too, at the top of the article which has a summary written either in third person or by someone else, it says, “Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City to slip up in the Champions League, fears Charlie Nicholas”. What it should say is “Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City to slip up in the Champions League, hopes Charlie Nicholas”.

If you didn’t know any better, hadn’t read much of the Sky Sports website or watched Soccer Saturday where Mr Nicholas is on the panel, you could accuse me of being cynical. However, every single week, he, Paul Merson and Phil Thompson cannot hide their bias for their previous clubs with Merson being a fellow Arsenal fan and Thompson being a scouser through and through.

Each week, you’ve got “Mersons Predictions” which pretty much consists of Merson predicting a win for Arsenal and a draw or defeat for Tottenham and Manchester United. Phil Thompson never has a bad word to say about Liverpool no matter how terrible they’re playing and cannot keep the smile of his face when they’re winning (rare these days) or the frown off when they’re losing. The only one that you get any sense of impartiality from on Soccer Saturday is Mat Le Tissier. I’m not including Jeff Stelling in this because he just sits, presents and asks questions rather than giving opinions.

Here is a vine that sums up Paul Merson’s predictions to Tottenham.

With that out of the way, here’s what I think is wrong with the article from Mr Nicholas. Aside from the obvious which is backing all teams apart from his beloved Arsenal to drop points, he hasn’t highlighted any reason as to why the other English teams should drop points in terms of their opponents and how they pose a threat. There’s no substance to what he’s saying. Here’s what he had to say for each of the games.

Arsenal vs Olympiakos 3-0 win for Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez looks sharp and Theo Walcott’s pace should make it a comfortable evening for Arsenal, according to Nicholas. I would be amazed if Arsenal win this game by 3 goals and I wouldn’t be surprised if they bottle it like they do in Europe every year.

Porto vs Chelsea 1-1

Of his predictions, this is the one I would be most likely to agree with. Chelsea have been poor so far this season and away to Porto is not an easy game. They are top of their league and haven’t lost yet so this will be a tough game for them, fair prediction overall.

Borussia Monchengladbach v Manchester City 1-1

Nicholas predicts a draw but the reasons he gives are that he “has no confidence in this City side” and the Germans will be able to “sit and take what City have got to offer”. That’s as far as his analysis goes for the German team, who currently sit 14th (out of 18) in the German league with just two wins. Does Nicholas even know who Borussia Monchengladbach are?

Manchester United v Wolfsburg 0-0

This is the worst of the lot. He predicts a no score draw because “Manchester United are top of the league but for the life of me I don’t know how” and he thinks United fans will be “bored” during the game. That’s the only analysis he gives. Fantastic job Charlie, thank you for using your football knowledge and years of experience to help a mere fan such as myself make a prediction on this week’s games. You’ve helped a lot of people with this piece. NOT.

I will revisit this later in the week, complete with what the actual results were from these games and we’ll see how Charlie’s insight (or Arsenal bias) served him for these predictions.

Sky Sports Accepting A Racist Comment


I’ve just been reading an article on Sky Sports about the impact Anthony Martial is having at Manchester United and I was disgusted by one of the comments I found which was racist towards two United players, Ashley Young and Anthony Martial.

The first important point to get out of the way is that comments are not automatically posted on the Sky Sports website, they have to be manually approved. Somebody working at Sky had to read this nonsense and approve it before it appeared on the website.

I’m trying to convince myself that the Sky employee was having an off day and didn’t pick up on the fact that Ashley Young and Anthony Martial were described as Maltesers. The person actually left two comments and the racist comment can be found at the bottom of the first one (underlined), here they are.

racist comment on Sky Sports

If you want to see this for yourself, here is the original article at Sky although they may delete it at a later date. They are posing under the name “manure fan” and calls Manchester United “fakechester united” so right off the bat you know that this person is either a child or a grown up with a child’s mentality.

When you actually read the comments, it’s difficult to understand how anyone could have such a mind set. Maybe they’re joking, you really can’t tell. In short, the point they’re trying to make is that the Premier League were embarrassed by how much United spent on purchasing Martial from Monaco so they drew up plans to get the referees on United’s side so that “malteser Young and Martial” can dive and get penalties.

United have had one penalty so far this season and it was nothing to do with either Young or Martial, it was a stone wall penalty for a foul on Ander Herrera vs Liverpool. Sky encourages discussion and they don’t want to be seen as biased so they approve a lot of comments, even if they are nonsense like the one above. The person reviewing it was probably rolling their eyes at how stupid the comment was and missed the sly racist comment that lies within.


EDIT – Less than 24 hours later, they have removed the offensive comment.

Anthony Martial Waste Of Money, Eh Ray?


When Manchester United shelled out an initial fee of £36 million to Monaco for Anthony Martial, eyebrows were certainly raised seen as how he’s the most expensive teenager in world football history.

According to some reports, there are add ons in his contract that could push the eventual fee up to around £60 million with clauses such as scoring a set amount of goals, international appearances for France (who have a fantastic up and coming team) and even winning the Balon D’or. All United fans would agree that if he triggers all the clauses, it will be money well spent.

As is so often the case with these kinds of transfers, the British media were all over it with sensational headlines about “waste of money” and several Sky Sports pundits had their say on the whole thing, with ex Arsenal player Ray Parlour chirping in with this in his “hit and miss” transfer article:


“I look forward to seeing him play but I think it’s going to be a miss, because the money they’ve spent is an unbelievable amount. With the money they’ve put out, I could be totally wrong but I’m going to say miss on that one.”

Ray Parlour, 8th September, 2015


In fairness to Ray, I shall say that we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes with Sky and it is the job of pundits to say “controversial” things unless of course your name is Phil Thompson and you’re the in house Liverpool fan.

Ray could perhaps have been asked to do a piece on transfer hits and misses from the final days of the transfer window, he couldn’t give a hit to everybody and because he knows nothing about Martial, he just looked at the price and went along with the media concensous that he’s an over-priced miss.

Whatever the circumstances, Ray Parlour is now on record as saying Martial is a miss without even seeing him kick a ball, with the exception of when the just turned 19 Martial tormented Arsenal of course last season and knocked them out of the Champions League.

So far, with 4 goals in 4 games, Parlour is looking a little foolish for writing Martial off based off the price and nothing else. Speaking of the price, Parlour says that Martial is a “miss” because of the “unbelievable amount” that was spent on him and £36 million pounds is a massive amount of money for most people. £36 million would change my life and the life of my family for many generations to come.

But for a global organisation such as Manchester United, £36 million is nothing at all. They are by far the richest football club in England and thanks to the incoming TV deal, return of Champions League football and the new Adidas sponsorship that started this season, they will once again have the highest revenue in world football in 12 months time.

This summer, Manchester United wanted a new striker, they were playing silly beggers chasing Neymar and Muller but I don’t think anylne believed that either were actually going to happen. There wasn’t anyone else around that could come in and make a difference, a genuine world class striker, so they had two options.

  1. Sit on their hands and do nothing, see Arsenal.
  2. Buy someone who can become world class in a few years.

United went with option 2 and so far, it is looking like a good decision. However, the best headline I’ve seen is this one

Martial waste of money

I’m not the only one, a lot of United fans are retweeting this image and if Martial continues his form and fulfils his potential, it wouldn’t surprise me if the image above goes down in United folk law, kind of like Alan Hansen with his “can’t win anything with kids” quote 20 years ago.

United host Sunderland tomorrow and if Van Gaal starts Martial or even brings him off the bench, it wouldn’t surprise me if he scores again, making it 5 goals in 5 games and at the same time, becoming the first United player in the Premier League to score in his first 3 games.