Recently I was reading an article in lifehacker.com, “Top 10 Ways Your Brain Is Sabotaging You (and How to Beat It)” — you know, a little light reading before bed and all that — when I was struck by the similarities between the 10 ways and the way that managers handle their transfer dealings.
There weren’t many surprises during this week’s internationals, as most teams are just kicking off their preparations for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa later this year. But we’ve managed to learn a few things that we should keep an eye on.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Barcelona won everything this year. Six titles in 2009 mean that the Catalonian club have completed a historic sweep of trophies that may not be rivalled until, well, 2010, by Barcelona.
OK, let’s for a second skip past Argentina’s miraculous rescue from the list that follows. A quick look at who’s been eliminated so far offers few surprises, but the lists of potential eliminations includes a more than a few surprising names.
Hidden amongst the reasons of Ronaldo’s move from Manchester United to Real Madrid is an important element which should have a significant impact on transfers to the Premier League, namely the UK’s coming 50% tax rate on earners of more than £150,000. That, combined with a weaker pound, is making destinations such as Spain more attractive to top footballers looking for a big payday.
Now that the unthinkable (but extremely predictable) transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid ise set to go through at the end of June, much is being made of Manchester United’s losses. With Carlos Tévez set to leave as well, it seems United will be lacking two of their major attacking players next season. That, coupled with the Champions League final loss to Barcelona, appears to herald an era of decline for possibly the world’s biggest club. But it may not be true.
Roberto Martinez is set to be confirmed as the new manager of Wigan Athletic. The appointment is a very sensible one, as Martinez guided Swansea from League One mediocrity to the cusp of the Championship playoff with essentially the same squad — a key skill heading into a club managing to survive in the Premier League despite limited means. The appointment is also a just reward for one of the young up-and-coming managers making their way in the lower divisions in England, but it does highlight a curious trend: the disappearance of the English football manager.