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SHARES
7 January 2009
Town fan Nick Judd on the new County Ground guv'nor...
SHARES
7 January 2009
Help, we’re in the midst of an all-out transfer frenzy. With two England internationals already on the move and things bound to get busier, this looks like being a credit crunch (and common sense)-defying window packed with big-money moves and muchos, muchos speculation.Fortunately our sister site FootballTalentspotter.com is on hand to give you the skinny on all the players linked with your club – be they lower-league journeymen being brought in on the cheap or multi-million foreign types your manager is pinning your club’s hopes and financial well being on.Here as a taster are a few unknowns who could be on Match of the Day before the month’s out (find more in Talentspotter's Ones To Watch section):St Etienne’s Blaise Matuidi is the man Portsmouth are said to be looking to bring in to replace Bernabau-bound Lassana Diarra, and that looks a pretty good shout given that, like his compatriot, Matuidi is an industrious and fearless little chap who’d run his jaffers off and allow Richard Hughes the time and space to work his magic...or maybe not.The sticking point for Pompey is, unsurprisingly, the dollar. St Etienne won’t be letting Matuidi go on the cheap (Director of Football Damien Comolli is insistent he won’t be sold at all – but we know he’s all chat) and a price tag of upwards of £10 million is likely to mean Pompey will need to set their sights a little lower.Perhaps, then, they should make a move for Ghana midfielder Stephen Appiah, who is a free agent having negotiated the termination of his contract with former club Fenerbahce in the summer. They’ll need to steal a march on former boss Harry Redknapp, however, as Appiah is this week training with Spurs and could be set to help bring a bit more balance to Arry’s squad.Speaking of Tottenham, having already paid way over the odds for Darren Bent and David Bentley in the last 18 months, Daniel Levy is looking to make it a hat-trick of terrible deals for young(ish) English players, with up to £14.5 million on the table for Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing. The pursuit of Downing is a flashback to the Martin Jol era – during Juande Ramos’s tenure, Sevillaw’s Diego Capel was the man linked with the left-wing vacancy.That ship has most likely sailed now, not least because Ramos, Capel’s old boss at Sevilla has bitten the bullet at Levy Towers, but also because Spurs are now pony, and Barca and Real Madrid (yes, Senor Ramos again) are said to be sniffing around the flaxen-haired flyer.One possible alternative for Redknapp could be Celtic’s Aiden McGeady, who is said to be unsettled at Parkhead having been fined and suspended by the club for ‘breaching club discipline’ last month.BLOGS: Ibrox hero Johnston hopes McGeady stays at Celtic
SHARES
7 January 2009
Opposition fans offering a standing ovation to honour the brilliance of visiting players is unusual in football, but not unheard of. Ronaldo at Old Trafford, Ronaldinho in the Bernabeu, Pablo Couñago against Bury St Edmonds are just a few examples.But a situation when the home support sings the name of the praiseworthy player is a completely different kettle of cookies. However, that’s a memorable moment that La Liga Loca witnessed at the Vicente Calderón on Tuesday night in the Copa del Rey clash between Atlético Madrid and Barcelona. As Leo Messi popped in his final goal of a historic hat-trick, some sections of the home crowd sang ‘Atleti!’ in a doomed attempt to lift the spirits of their trembling team. Others countered the chant with ‘Messi!’
SHARES
6 January 2009
Football finance expert Professor Tom Cannon gives FourFourTwo the lowdown on what to expect over the next 12 months…
SHARES
6 January 2009
“Trillion dollar man” screamed the headlines as Abu Dhabi moneybags Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan took control of Manchester City, blasting the Blues' bank balance into the stratosphere, and the fans moods even higher.
SHARES
6 January 2009
No turnstiles, no tickets, no huge wage demands. Late 19th-century football was a serene place… until money came along and turned it into the monster we love and loathe today.
SHARES
6 January 2009
Minted and bored? Don’t despair, you can always buy your own football club/playboy’s plaything. But before you hand over that suitcase of cash, consult takeover whiz Keith Harris.
SHARES
6 January 2009
Just when you thought you could get through January without hearing about finances, out comes FourFourTwo’s Football Rich List.The vagaries of economics have become a necessarily popular conversational subject, but the list has become an annual talking point since its debut in December 2003. It all seems so long ago.In some ways, things haven’t changed much: David Beckham was the richest player, the economy was attempting to recover from a burst bubble and a strange foreigner was underwriting a famous but underachieving club.
SHARES
6 January 2009
There is something worth pointing out with the credit crunch kicking in as the January sales get into full swing.With the euro now almost on parity with the pound, Italians have been flooding the streets of London in search of a bargain. This time last year they could hardly afford the flight over.Maybe now the same won’t be said of young Italian footballing talent as the lure of the pound sign diminishes, and  - just as importantly - Serie A will become the must play-in destination for the wandering modern-day footballer.Well, we can all dream I suppose.
SHARES
6 January 2009
If the clowns running the show at Real Madrid were going to make a complete and utter balls-up described by a finger-wagging AS as ‘unforgivable’ and Johan Cruyff as ‘an enormous mistake’ then their timing could not have been any better. Although the anger and ire from furious fans is still bubbling away over the club’s apparent ignorance over the UEFA ruling that only one of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Lassana Diarra can play in the Champions League, it could have been a ton of pancakes worse had the scandal broken before the country’s fortnight of fiestas. In fact, the festivities are still continuing with Tuesday being a public holiday in Spain - a chance for Pedja Mijatovic to look for those two-for-one hair gel offers and Sergio Ramos to scrape the make-up off his face. The Madrid full-back attended a Three Kings festival on Monday dressed as Baltasar but instead resembled a drag artist that had been dumped in an oil slick.

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