Germany Through, France Too Plus Transfer Funding Explained


The World Cup continued unabated yesterday with Germany and Algeria providing the drama after France’s routine – and dull – win over Nigeria. Mesut Özil’s goal in the 120th minute was, it seemed, the icing on the cake but it turned out to be the cue for an Algerian fight back; one goal and a presentable opportunity in what remained of the match scant reward for their endeavours. Overall, the Germans were the better side but in the footballing equivalent of Rocky, they were time and again rocked on their heels by the spirited African attack. Somewhere the Algerians have been called “plucky” by a journalist or headline writer; you know they have, you just know it.

Özil is being criticised in some quarters for an indifferent display, the Evening Standard declaring that he had not shaken off his “Arsenal form” as if it the term was some sort of insult. He was certainly profligate, passes askew but in general, his performance was in keeping with that of his teammates. Unable to lift them, he sank to their levels which was roughly where Thomas Müller’s knees were. Germany could – should – have won more comfortably but were picked off by the Algerians on more than one occasion, grateful to the alertness of Manuel Neuer in sweeping up behind the defence. Per Mertesacker, aching for a killer bassline, was tetchy with the media which suggests that bravado was not the sole preserve of Uruguayan footballers,

“What do you want from me? Do you think that this is a circus band? We fought to the end.

The main thing is we won and we’re in the final eight and that’s what counts. It doesn’t matter at all to me how we won.”

Which is the essence of tournament football. None of the footballing superpowers – if Suarez remained would, I wonder, Uruguay be a supperpower – have been consistently exceptional. Brazil have stuttered under the weight of a nation’s ambitions; Germany, France and Argentina have all flattered but been relatively mundane in one or two matches. To believe that the World Cup will be won by a country that plays dazzling football in all their matches, is at best naïve. The best team in the tournament will dig out the wins, in the way Brazil have or Germany did last night.

France as well. They won the match, it was all that mattered but it was a laboured performance which lacked the zip of their wins in the group stage. Were Nigeria that much better than Switzerland or Ecuador? They were more durable in defence, that’s for certain and the French could easily have been reduced to eight or nine players with Matuidi and Giroud lucky to stay on the pitch. Mind you, given it was a Chelsea player on the receiving end of Olivier’s elbow, are FIFA going to be that worried? Probably; it might well be the end of Giroud’s World Cup campaign. At least – touch wood – he is returning unscathed.

All this against the backdrop of Luis Suarez’s curious apology for biting anything which moved. In a move befitting his sins, Suarez compounded the crime by dropping in a touch of Blatter-speak, referring to the “football family“. The timing of his missive was immediately linked to Barcelona’s interest in acquiring his services. The fee of £80m is bandied around once more, £32m of which will come from Arsenal from the purchase of Alexis Sanchez; I love it when a transfer circle is completed.

Money, I am sure, is at the root of it all but interest from the Catalans is not the only issue to be considered. Suarez’s brand has suffered financially already with Adidas dropping him from an ad campaign whilst one other sponsor, 888poker, has severed their ties with the player according to The Guardian. I have no doubt that the advice to show contrition was based more on compensation than contrition. Whether it is enough to see his ban reduced remains to be seen. FIFA’s four-month total ban from football was decided, I believe, with scope for a successful appeal against the sentence. Reducing that by one month still gives the impression of severity whilst allowing club and country some comfort that they have ‘won’ as well. If nothing else, FIFA are politically savvy.

Arsenal are proving to be quite a key player in this summer’s window. This without even spending a penny. Whilst the purchase of Sanchez funds Suarez’s move to Barcelona, the money spent of Sami Khedira will pay for James “Hamez” Rodriguez to move to Real Madrid. That puts pressure on the Arsenal coffers, a £74m outflow in fees alone according to this morning’s valuations and much more of a setback than the £42m Daily Star hacks want us to believe the club is facing. The club’s bank manager will be a little happier to find that Mathieu Debuchy’s £12m fee is for the most part funded by £11m to be received for Thomas Vermaelen’s services from Manchester United. The £6.5m for Keylor Navas is pocket-money, despite solving Arsenal’s apparent goalkeeping crisis. If we have a crisis in goal, what on earth is happening at right back and centre forward?

Finally, the club has confirmed that the new kit will be unveiled on 10th July. If it hasn’t leaked to the internet before then…

’til Tomorrow.

292 thoughts on “Germany Through, France Too Plus Transfer Funding Explained

  1. Have we ever seen better goalkeeping in the round of 16? Every game at least one keeper plus out if his skin.

  2. Out a pair of glasses on him and Klinsie looks a young AW.

    Origi has done well. Howard even better.

  3. Two Owks, he does. He was injured so only played a half dozen games but has been very impressive. The TFC fans I talked to at the Red Bulls game really like him. Jermain Defoe has scored well and Cesar was good in goal. I think Defoe should have made the England squad.

  4. bleh i cannot believe all the late matches go to extra time. When will we have time to sleep? This is not good for

  5. What a mugging that would have been!!!!

    Canadian Commentators are laughing about how unjust that goal would have been.

  6. I have been pretty shocked by the lack of quality in front of goal in many of these round of 16 games. Belgium deserve to get mugged, hell they are mugs.

  7. @NB

    Maybe, but a lot of world class prices being quoted 🙂

    I just been surprised by the lack of composure for many of these stars in front of goal.

  8. If only USA had a decent attack, they look great at the back but they don’t have enough up front.

    1-0 Belgium.

    It was coming.

    USA can’t keep possession and that’s been their downfall.

  9. Wow, finally! if I am Belgium with the way they are finishing so poorly and Howard bossing the goal, I am desperate not to get to penalties and so relieved to score.

    Lukaku with the strength.

  10. Lukuka is so Fucking strong with very good pace.

    He literally just threw Healer off of him turned ans caused panic. Very good finish by De Bruyne.

  11. Probably wishes he made that change earlier, Wilmots. Now have 27 or more mins to defend this.

    Bradley has been poor,

  12. USA just give the ball away so much, Belgium deserve this because although the USA defence has been wonderful, it wouldn’t have happened if they didn’t give the ball away so much.

  13. And that Jones guy with the dreads, he’s terrible, how has he not been subbed. The guy has given the ball away more times than he’s passed.

  14. I don’t know what has happened to Bradley but he has been really poor all tournament long and if US had any chance of winning they needed Bradley to be Bradley and he hasn’t.

  15. @Moe

    Just think that is the same Jones that played for Schalke that was pretty good against us a couple years back for Schalke.

    The lad was at Schalke for quite a while.

  16. US can get back in this if Belgium just sit back. One good header or scrap in the box will be enough.

  17. Howard save #14! Howard has been absolutely brilliant. People talk about Howard has always been better for club than country, well tonight he was better for country rather than club.

  18. C

    Well something has happened to him, because him and Bradley have cost their team, their ball retention is so so bad.

    It’s like they WANT Belgium to have the ball.

  19. And that’s all she wrote… The USA did well to make the last 16 so no complaints. Learn and move on.

  20. The USA attack let them down, and their ball retention has been suicidal.

    But otherwise good effort.

  21. The lesson is learn to control and dribble and pass the ball before you try to play soccer. Technique is more important than winning as a young player–develop your skills rather than your ability to huff and puff around the pitch.

  22. But that Origi kid looks useful, Arsene’s kinda transfer isn’t he?…………

    And a shout out to Yedlin, been great to watch, he’s a good player.

  23. Question: would anybody take Lukuka for 30M?

    Great goal by Greene and you see why Bayern covet him so much.

  24. Question: would anybody take Lukuka for 30M?

    Great goal by Greene and you see why Bayern covet him so much.

  25. Green with a class finish but Courtois should have done better. Green plays in the Bayern reserves and that shows.

  26. US showing customary heart. Courtois needs to wake up. He’s been able to sleep the whole game.

  27. Belgian players look absolutely gassed. I want Belgian to win but the US ate capturing me as an American.

    Dempsey should have buried that.
    Belgian defense looking really shaky.

  28. C

    He’s very dangerous when he dawdles on the ball in his own half. Looks like giving it away every time.

  29. Another match, another underdog battling their heart out and at the end, class is permanent and showed at the end of the day.

  30. Score is flattering, but US spirit made it an interesting game for the last 10 minutes. This was a battering far worse than Germany- Algeria for example.

  31. Good round of 16 matches to entertain. But for Holland CR, the big match ups make the quarters exciting.

  32. Costa Rica and to a lesser extent Colombia carry the banners of the underdogs into the quarters.

  33. For me football is not just about talent, the desire and workrate of the USA is on par with the talent displayed.

    If you don’t have the talent then make up for it in effort.

  34. Very impressive World Cup for the Americans. The game is progressing in the US and the University athletic system is and will be an excellent feeder system for pro ball.

  35. I think FIFA has arranged these quarters to teach casual supporters not to give up on 0-0 or 1-0 games before the end! These are instructional tools!

  36. Of course Moe. That is what is laudable about the US. But I don’t agree with Two Owls that the US performances show great progression in their game. US has always been strong in spirit and effort.

    Kinsman has brought in players reared and educated in European football as youth who have a US parent. Jones, Green and so on. The only technically strong player on the US team who was formed principally in the US is Dempsey.

  37. Disappointing to lose and disappointing to be outplayed do badly. I have always we thought we over rate technical skill and ball possession but we clearly need a huge upgrade in both. Credit for the hard work and almost holding out. Hopefully we can keep our energy and spirit and stamina and address our inability to keep the ball by 2018.

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