Sportingo.com’s Mark Apostolou provides daily coverage of the Premier League’s hot gossip.Â
Things are going from good to great at the Emirates as Arsenal have been named as the world’s second richest club – behind only Real Madrid (Daily Mail).
Arsenal’s total turnover of all the business the club generates, has risen to around Â£180m, about Â£22m behind Real Madrid, while Manchester United’s turnover stands at Â£167m. That is an increase of almost 50 per cent in just one season; such has been the obvious effect of moving to the larger expanses of the Emirates.
Simple mathematics this one. You take a team from a 38,000 capacity stadium, move them into a state-of-the-art footballing palace, you fill it every week, you have a manager who buys cheap and sells big and builds young talent for peanuts and, hey presto, you have a football team that is making money like, er, the Royal mint!
Manager Martin Jol is getting tough on Jermain Defoe and has told the contract-stalling forward he will be left to rot in the reserves if he doesn’t sign a new Tottenham contract (The Sun). There are two sides to this story.On the one hand you have a striker desperate for a guaranteed run of first team football so as to keep a place in the national side ahead of Euro 2008, and on the other you have a manager who does not want to see one of his players leave on a â€˜Solâ€™ come the end of his contract, and Jol is also keen to keep each part of his international class striking quartet.
Something has to give on this one, but which way will it go? What do Spurs fans think? I am of the opinion that in the long run it will be hard for Martin to keep all of his forwards happy. I know there are many fronts to compete on, especially with the UEFA Cup games coming thick and fast. However, it’s starting places in the Premier League that strikers all want and Jol simply cannot keep them all happy.
Rafa Benitez has similar problems with Peter Crouch at Liverpool. In the long run it may be better for Spurs to offload Jermain now and cash in while they can. However Defoe will not want to leave for a club smaller in size and potential than Tottenham and therefore he’ll have to wait for a big side to come in and give him the first team football he wants and deserves.
Talking of Crouchy, the giant striker has been assured he has a future at Liverpool, despite finding himself a regular fixture on the subs bench (Various), but it’s unclear who exactly has made these assurances. Let’s see what happens in the coming months. By January Liverpool fans will be clearer as to whether their number 15 shirt will need to be stretched for next season.
West Ham, in a rich vein of form at present, are on the way up and just how far up they can hope for is something that boss Alan Curbishley has been pondering since their 3-0 win over Middlesbrough. Curbs said: “Before the game I was thinking that if we win, it becomes a good start, and if we lose, we’re in the bottom five or six. All I’ve said since we’ve been back is that I want a solid season. In the last four seasons West Ham have lost a play-off final, won a play-off final, lost an FA Cup final and won a relegation battle.So I said to Eggert in the summer that we want a nice, solid season, and he said ‘Yeah, Europe!’ But we want to put some foundations in to start building the club.”
Wise words indeed from the former Charlton boss. Given the highs and lows that Hammers fans have experienced in recent years a season of consolidation will go down just fine and will ease the high blood pressure of the East London faithful. Mind you, if the Hammers continue to pick up impressive wins then donâ€™t be surprised if they look hopefully towards a UEFA Cup spot as requested by their Icelandic owners.
Andriy Shevchenko’s days at Chelsea could be numbered after he failed to impress boss Jose Mourinho in the 0-0 draw against Blackburn (The Sun). His days seemed to be numbered after he flopped so badly last season. How many days does the former world Player of the Year need?