Clubland Revisited

Clubs? Oh, you mean those weekly sorts of things that players play for during the gap between World Cups? Yeah, I remember them now.

With the media circus now (quite rightly) lavishing the World Cup with attention, NBOP has decided to take a look at some of the key issues affecting club Football right now. Well three to be specific: the adventures of Crystal Palace, Rafa the gaffer’s European get-away and West Ham making a canny signing.

So, first, the trials and tribulations of Palace, the club that refused to die. NBOP does not pretend to have a good knowledge of what has gone on at this club but it seems to me that, if anything, the events down in London have proved that however, financially, ruined a club appears to be a well supported team will never go out of business. Over the past few years we have seen clubs teetering over the edge, Portsmouth have provided the immediate example of that but it is worth noticing that no “big” club has actually fallen into the deep pit of no return. The situation at Portsmouth has become ridiculous, highlighted when the guardian published detailed accounts of Portsmouth’s debts, showing unfettered amounts of money being owed here, there and everywhere. They even owed meagre amounts to a local amateur club and Pukka Pies! With Palace now having reached a deal with the consortium deemed their saviours they have finally escaped the threat of liquidation. Anyone for a pie?

Rafa, Rafa, Rafa. Sacked by the scousers whilst on holiday. He must be bemoaning his grand misfortune, exiled from the lustrous haven of Liverpool and forced to endure the rest of his days in the squalid surroundings of Milan! How will he cope? My guess is he will drown his despairing sorrows with Italy’s finest ham ‘n’ pineapple and a cool glass of vino tinto, wondering if Lucio and Diego Milito can really be that much better than Sotiris Kyrgiakos and David N’Gog. My condolences go out to the lonely traveller. Could Rafa be on the threshold of taking the mantle from current cash-cow Sven-Goran Erikkson?

Finally we end with a trip down to Upton Park where German international midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger will now be labouring under the beady eyes of those two delightful owners. Hitzlsperger is a fine player, being a winner of the German Bundesliga with Stuttgart as well as being well-travelled with spells at fellow claret and blue wearers Aston Villa and ,the romans, Lazio. I always thought Hitzlsperger would go on to play for one of Europe’s elite when he left a promising spell at Villa but his career has stalled over the past few years and, after being released by Lazio, has decided to return to England. The man nicknamed “the hammer” should be at home playing for the hammers but with these owners in tow one has to wonder whether the signing of Hitzlsperger is just a gimmick to get the fans going. I hope not.

p.s why player’s names getting so hard to spell?

Twitterers add NotBadOnPaper for a perennial source of nonsense.

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