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The Death of the Englishman!

Luke Shaw - 30m! Adam Lallana 25m! It seems pretty obvious that aside from the elite, buying the better English players is out of the question.

We have always known that buying English players came at a premium. The acceptance that they knew the language, wouldn`t (in theory) get home-sick and as a result, would be an instant fit into game pace and physicality, the dressing room and clubs culture. Lets ignore the fact that English players seem to lack the technical ability and intelligence of many foreign players, it is all a balancing act of playing safe in how you spend your money.

Problem is that would you spend 50-100% more for English than you would for a talented and established foreign import? In using Shaw and Lallana, I am accepting that they are both excellent players, but are they worth a combined 60m? Shaw could of course play 500+ games for United, get 100+ caps and prove to be a footballing legend, but is paying that much for an 18 year old simply too high?

Cristian Eriksen for 12m or Adam Lallana for 25m? I will let you decide. Probably a close call in terms of ability, but Eriksen is a few years younger, cost half the price and almost certainly earns less a week. if we are looking at new signings, what about Lallana or 15m Bayern Munich player Xherdan Shaqiri? He has already proved he can play in a foreign country and has Champions league and international experience that so far, Lallana can only dream about. Also, what are the odds that he can also speak passable English?

History is littered with over-priced players, but are we more than ever, in an age, where clubs are simply unable or unwilling to buy English players due to their cost and as a result we find ourselves with more Foreign players and more closed doors for home-grown players to develop? We can look at clubs being able to buy emerging young talent, but with the pressure to progress or at least retain your footballing level, will clubs continue to buy for today, as opposed to developing young English players?

All credit to Southampton for playing these young English talent, but they remain very much in the minority, but as long as there is such a price premium for English players, do they have a choice of about five English clubs once they leave their developing one, simply because the rest are priced out of the market? This also begs the question, as to where the game is developing. Is is a sad inevitability that clubs will remain 70% foreign and the home-grown places will be taken by make-weights? In foreign players, is it still only ever going to be a small minority that truly have an affinity to the club and fans and does this actually take the fans even further away from the club they so loyally support regardless?..




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The journalist

Writer: OxfordSpur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday June 28 2014

Time: 12:08PM

Your Comments

The English are getting much better technically the youngsters will come through in the meantime, how much did Southampton pay for these English players? Seems to me there is a premium for 'homegrown' as there a stipulation about how many a team must have. That to me makes Lukaku a very good option for us...
shedboy2
Or should we take a punt on Connor Wickham...?
shedboy2
It's a highly inflated premium for English players and completely ridiculous. Both guys, even with their age differences have only had a couple of good PL seasons. That kind of money should be paying for much more experienced and established players. PL, English or otherwise.
MAN ON!
Bale was considered expensive at the time we bought him, even though he was highly rated but, was only how much? 5-8m?
MAN ON!
Lets look at what kind of players the achieving clubs are buying. as in title winners, cup winners etc. we can't afford the wages fair enough, but most are foreign. tend to be better quality and cheaper. there is a better chance of finding talent abroad, and from our academy, if coached in line with first team style, than from paying double or triple the price for english players from lower leagues, or from teams lower in our league!
Dublin Hotspur
Imagine how much United would have had to pay if Shaw had played for England and had a very successful World Cup run.
MAN ON!
The price for Shaw is ludicuriosly extortionate - manure bought him to appease their fans anxiety as no Europe ... 120m now spent... Shaw left for the greed ... many have trodden down that road AND fallen... I do fear Shaw but I suppose the money will look after him... I totally agree with Man On! it's two very dubious pieces of business there. Soton laughing to the bank!
Highgatespur
seriously, those prices for english players are just daft. and it will cause an awful rift in the league if it isn't fixed, or the homegrown rule changed. Only the big clubs (us included here I think) will be able to afford the better english players. the lower teams will either have to develop their own, ultimately to sell (Like S'Ton) or fall away completely with muck from league one! 30m for an 18 year old prospect?? Madness!!!
Dublin Hotspur
Surely we could now put up a sneaky 5m bid in for Suarez but, throw in some free top of the range dental treatment. Or perhaps we could feed him a regular diet of meaty ex-Gooners to keep him happy.
MAN ON!
erickson or lallana?thats a good one
tarkan mardinCOYS
In my opinion , transfer prices in general has spiraled out of control. All these vast sums of money, whether from TV, oligarchs etc has not made the game proportionally better . Don't know where it will all end - mega stadia with only the rich able to afford it.
Durbanspur
Durbanspur. Sadly, we're not far off from that scenario.
MAN ON!
i can just about understand lallana but shaw?
tarkan mardinCOYS
Durbanspur - I fear scenes like in the French league; empty stadiums and all experts from on line communities !!
Highgatespur
durbanspur-so true sadly
tarkan mardinCOYS
the richest league in the world...that's why the homegrown in that league are the most expensive, it's a double edged sword...it's also why the academies are stuffed with foreign kids, people trying to create their own homegrown out of the best 16/17 yr olds they can find...
shedboy2
I also share the concern of empty Stadiums...our new one in particular! The underlying demographics of the average attendee are scary...
shedboy2
If Shaw or Lallana help Man Utd and Liverpool achieve a top four finish and win the Premier League they will have will have been good value. More ludicrous sums have been paid by Chelsea and Man. City for foreign players. (Torres for example)
camper
Because buying foreign players with no experience of English football was so successful for us last year wasn't it ?
jod
I remember my very first game at WHL vs Sheffield United in '92 - colld, wet midweek game - sat next to a proud dad with his six year old son listening to him telling his boy about dad's memories and tales of his youth and thinking how fortunate I was to experience that! Like you guys said, sadly, days of yore!
Durbanspur
camper, are you sure ? Before his transfer, Torres was an established Champions league player, an international, one of the top scorers in one of the top leagues in Europe and so on and now compare that with Shaw's and Lalana's !!!
Highgatespur
Durbanspur, that still happens;
Highgatespur
only English player worth anything substantial right now in my eyes is Barkley. he would be worth a punt at 25m-30m but with these recent sales i imagine everton would turn down anything under 50m
spurs-stelios
jod, changing managers and selling our best player might have something to do with it - or is that part of your selective memory syndrome ?
Highgatespur
Just as in cricket, where England became a Mecca for foreign players in the 70's thru the mid 90's, and totally became devoid of top English talent. The same will happen to Football. England will become unable to field a competitive football team. This will eventually lead to more realistic quotas on foreign players but even then it will take 10 years to regain competitiveness in international football. Sad but history once again is set to repeat itself.
jvd
Levy and Lewis initially paid 'just 40m' to buy out the majority of shares in THFC that they didn't own and, in turn, delist the club. I think that puts it in to perspective just how ridiculous the cost of buying a half decent player has now become.
MAN ON!
spurs-stelios - why would you value Barkley highly ? Really hasn't done much to justify that - not even a full season of playing... different expectations when transferred for a huge sum...
Highgatespur
And on the opposite side of the equation we see how the change in cricket has affected West Indian talent who now have little opportunity outside of home tournaments to improve their talent and thus the quality of their players has fallen tremendously. The same will happen in football but to a lesser extent.
jvd
Highgatespur-- you are right on the history and reputation of Torres, But is it not probable that Shaw and Lallana will prove better buys than Torres was for Chelsea.
camper
so would you take Barkley at 40m-50m or Memphis Depay for 20m EUROS. Also factor in that the EURO to GBP exchange rate is the best it has been in for the UK for about 5 years 80.1p GBP to 1EURO 20M EURO = 16M Then why wouldnt you buy abroad this summer
spurs-stelios
... Mind you, I'd bite the Hand of God off to get Bale in for a good 60m...
MAN ON!
camper that is not you said / suggested ... Torres fee was determined by what he achieved BEFORE his transfer whereas what has either Shaw and Lallana achieved so far... for all we know it could go like Torres and remember Lallana is 4 years younger than Torres - similar age to Torres when transferred to Chelsea. As for Shaw - what indications are there that he will be able withstand the pressure awaiting him ? Nothing is probable in football, as I am sure you know...
Highgatespur
Pay for the Southampton coaches who are producing these players and know how to pick them young then we can stay a step ahead. With the new training ground and setup if spurs cant get a player getting into the first team every year the staff are not doing there job to well get rid of them and get the best as it will be money well spent. We now have the man at the helm to start a new era,so hope this is the start of dan finally getting it right ? He as tried often enough but never succeeded.hope this is the start with poch to making this great club for us fans great for the world. To see. Coys.
bazdog
Shaw have not seen much of and what i have seen i wonder what the fuss is about. Lallana could of got him when linked about 5 years ago for 2-3 m and he is still only worth that.to slow and well over rated.
bazdog
OFF TOPIC

This is quite funny on Defoe
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2112755-jermain-defoe-embarrassed-after-free-kick-row-when-gilberto-scores-wonder-goal
Highgatespur
bazdog makes a good point..we should be targeting the best coaches...imo that is what holds the English back...we have shhhhhh....ocking coaches and managers (and grass roots organisation) who are regularly turning a good raw product into dross...it is changing but slowly...we have Roy in charge of the national team who is approaching tournament football with a national side as though he were running a club side -with that level of buffoonery the national side stands little chance...
shedboy2
shedboy2, cider and I were having the same conversation around Arch time - when we did think it was the coaches that needed transformational change at the our club... By the ed of he Uruguayan game Yoy was looking like a rabbit caught in headlights ...
Highgatespur
at least with lallana he was the saints best player,shaw wasnt even in the top 5 best players
tarkan mardinCOYS
Thinking about it, if we believe our defence was bad last season, then the Saints were not that much better with only 5 less goals conceded. They, just like Spurs, started the season well defensively but, it didn't last.
MAN ON!
Man On! from what you're saying, does that mean Rose can be sold for 25-30m ?
Highgatespur
Man on-i remember when people were referring to the best defence in europe with around 10 games gone.were they found out in the end?this is what concerns me. what comes with open attractive play is defensive frailties.hope im proved wrong
tarkan mardinCOYS
25-30m?. We could do a straight swap for Davies and maybe thrown in Soldado just to keep it fair...
MAN ON!
tarkan mardinCOYS. Hopefully Poch and our defenders have learnt a few lessons and can put it right. Liverpool only conceded 1 less than Spurs but scored almost twice as many. We need putting right all over the park.
MAN ON!
IMO, Lallana is terribly over-rated
Shannon
lallana is a brilliant player and will fit in with the bindippers style seamlessly
tarkan mardinCOYS
Ghulam must well pleased as well !
Highgatespur
Highgatespur - You bring in a player from a foreign league sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it takes a season to adjust. Trying to make excuses for players who don't deliver is a recipe for failure, I've seen too much of that at Spurs. Of course a safer option is buy foreign players who have already shown they can play in the premier league, but surprise, surprise, the price generally goes up. Why you imagine selling Bale means other players under perform I don't get. The kind of player you want if you are to create a winning team would look on it as an opportunity to become the star. But I guess mental toughness and hunger are not traits we look for in players.
jod
Well TBH honest Shaw is worth 30M if he fulfills his potential. He can be their 1st choice LB for 15 years
Humza_96
paulinho dropped
tarkan mardinCOYS
Shaw for 30m or Davies for 8m? Is shaw four times better than Davies? Not in a million years. It isn't about all British players being overpriced it's about the British players that the media get behind being overpriced. The trick is to pick the quality British players the media miss or ignore. The media want looks, stories or hobby horses they can sell stories on. They're the ones whose numbers escalate ridiculously. Ignore them and find the 'proper' British players who will do the job we need of them on the pitch. Aside from that I'm taking my nephew and youngest daughter on a stadium tour on Monday in the vain hope it will be the last time we do a tour before the new stadium build starts. It's the hope that kills you!
SpuriousLife
Here's what is happening in my opinion. You get a squad allocation of 25 players with 8 of them having to be homegrown. Therefore we've ended up with all of our best 1st team except a couple being foreign and most of the bench also being foreign. The homegrown simply make up the numbers 20 to 25 in the squad and we end up giving guys like Obika new contracts. The reason is that we won't pay 20-30m for a homegrown player like Shaw or Lallana.

When we look to improve the team we find positions like centre half and left back that are constrained to buying homegrown so it's not surprising that we're after Ben Davies. If there wasn't a homegrown rule, then we may not even consider Davies and guys like Naughton would be long gone and we may have never bought Siggy who qualifies. I fully support where UEFA are going with homegrown but at the moment it's tough for Spurs. We will probably have to accept for a while longer that their could be a squad imbalance unless guys like Pritchard or Archer can compete at that level eventually. Does make you wonder why Caulker isn't still a lily-white though.
muttley
Enjoy SpuriousLife ....
Highgatespur
Come on Brazil!!!
Highgatespur
A good article, but for balance you could quote Ozils price tag v Eriksen and even bloody Paulinhos. We also paid more for Lamela than the price on Lallana, so balance needed and a core of home grown players is important IMO. e missed that core last season and had a lack of premier league experience and winning mentality. That is why I would buy Ashley cole - that and the fact we need a left back.
Windlespur
Alot of money for Shaw, but have seen him a few times this season and he is very talented and could be a top player for the next ten years or more.
Windlespur
Good goal 1-0
Highgatespur
Cile 1-1 bad goal to give !!
Highgatespur
Hulk!!! Bad decision
Highgatespur
"Hulk muscled out of it" - great commentary !!!
muttley
Come on Brazil....
Highgatespur
Indeed - come on Brazil !!!
muttley
WOW - that was close - well played Chile!!!
Highgatespur
looks like defoe is as selfish as ever, check this out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9K6Q2_aIT4
123spurs
123 - that was posted earlier on...
Highgatespur
Paulinho had his best game of the tournament tonight. After his team talk before extra time I wanted Brazil to win and it seemed to work on Hulk too. Uruguay are a One man team!
Slurms McKenzie
cheers for that.
123spurs
Let me know when to stop laughing Slurms... so droll....
Highgatespur
Sorry highgate, but at least he showed some passion! Pity we didn't see someof that last season. The game did show that like Spurs last season there is big problems in midfield as none of the replacements did any better either!
Slurms McKenzie
Slurms sorry I didn't express myself too well .... meant to mean he was never given that chance last year - I reckon his confidence was torn to shreds and he wasn't able to contribute to the team at any significant level - hopefully he'll see more of him ned year with more urgency /nrg!!! Apologies again
Highgatespur
I suppose its a positive for Pochettino that so many of the players are starting this season with a very low expectation level. Egos must have taken some hammering as well so it maybe easy to get the squad on board with his philosophy and any improvement in performances will win over the fans. I am concerned that we have appointed another coach / manager that has to win over the fans though.
Slurms McKenzie
We just need to make sure that Paulinho cares as much for Spurs as he clearly does for Braizil. Even sitting on the bench and playing no part in the game itself he was still the biggest motivator for his team-mates when it came to penalties. That shows the character of the guy.

My guess is that Pochettino is hugely excited about having someone with the talent and personality of Paulinho in his ranks. He's already observed how Paulino dealt publicly with Sherwood last season when he wanted to use him as a scapegoat. His public statements were professional and informed as opposed to the shooting from the hip we saw from our so called manager.

Forget his Annus Horribillus, no doubt in my mind we have a huge talent in Paulinho for next season.
muttley
slurms if the players start with low expectations....they'll achieve them!...having a new guy should give them a lift, keep the better players and inject a couple of quality additions they'll try and compete...lose the best and add a few journeymen or 'ones for the future' and mid table here we come....
shedboy2
how long is that poll going to stay up for? when MoPo was appointed less than half wanted him...good to see he's garnering support when there isn't a choice but it'll never get up to 100%...;)
shedboy2
stats, stats and more stats.......and while 'almost the same' seems good.....the difference between success and failure at the highest level is fractions..of a second, a width of a post etc...re: the price that varies on age, current contract and who else wants to buy etc etc...
shedboy2
Is "being English" the only home country that counts in FIFA rules? What about Welsh, Scottish or Irish players? I do know about the "bringing foreign players over young" to bypass the regulation but does that include our GB friends?
longtimespur
longtime...A home-grown player is defined as one who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Football Association of Wales for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the Season during which he turns 21)...so the Scots and Irish are just as foreign as a Brazilian in the EPL...
shedboy2
shedboy - hence why Siggy is one of our homegrown.
muttley
Cheers shedboy. That's answered that, I didn't know if GB inhabitants counted as home grown without the 3 years Anyway Scotland may soon be a completely foreign country if Salmon has his way.
longtimespur
So can somebody explain why "English" players can cost 10-15 mill more than their worth? It doesn't seem to affect other "home grown" players to such an extent.
longtimespur
yep, Muttley and why Lukaku qualifies as will Bentaleb should he stay in am FA team...Longtime- yep boarder controls on hadrian's wall!..;)
shedboy2
onemoreseason - disagree about Paulinho. He needed a manager that understood foreign players. Sherwood was useless with our foreign contingent and he created a 2-tier system. Guys like Chiriches, Capoue, Sandro, Paulinho, Soldado etc got slated by Sherwood through the media yet the weak links like Rose, Lennon and Dawson were never even mentioned. He was showing huge unconscious and conscious bias towards them. For Paulinho it is all about encouragement and allowing him to keep face. That's not untypical for a Brazilian culture. Tim had no clue about that and just stuck a knife in his back and then wondered why he lost his form. Under Pochettino it will be totally different and our foreign players will once again feel loved.

As for Ben Davies, I agree. I think we might have to pay nearer 15m for him. That is unless he's almost out of contract.
muttley
his contract runs till 2017....imo he's a 10m player....they also want Gylfi who was good for them and his stats were pretty good....does that make gylfi a 15m player?....not for me...near as damn it a straight swap...
shedboy2
Longtime - it's just supply and demand. There are 20 teams and they all need 8 homegrowns so that means 160 players. There is a very small pool of talent for those 160 slots. For the 340 players you need for the main part of the squad there is a worldwide pool of talent to choose from. Hence the price difference. That's my theory anyway.
muttley
Do I detect another attempt ?
Highgatespur
Media hype most likely longtime!
Dublin Hotspur
HGS .. another new name maybe it's a new poster or do you think attempts are being retried? Time will tell. lol
longtimespur
I know its ridiculous Dublin ... but I don't understand why especially the English players. They (3 year rule) all fill the necessity of home grown just more s added to English. Wonder why there aren't that many of them that stand out playing wise.
longtimespur
just to add to muttely's correct analysis...the EPl is the richest league in the world so on average you would expect those in that market to be more expensive...and what makes the EPL the richest league?...a large part is the domestic audience (we love footy look at the championship viewing figs) so if you can market a player to that audience they'll be worth more...if you can ramp it up internationally the sky's the limit...or as Dublin put's it...media hype...;)
shedboy2
LTS, noticed the attempt on the previous thread .... definitely.
Highgatespur
longtime- to give you an analogy a bin man in Monaco would earn a lot more than a bin man in Eritrea!...
shedboy2
Shedboy ... I was a bin man in my younger days. Deards on the North Circular before moving to Hemel. Where I went on the council's bin man team. Had one manager when I started and 5 when I left 8 years later. Says it all to me.
longtimespur
lts- lost me there....but you must have been a pain in the arse to need 5 managers !...;)
shedboy2
perhaps I should have said postman....or footballer..;)
shedboy2
Shedboy ... not me personally lol. Reason, my thoughts on, why council rates and taxes are forever spiralling upwards. Too many chiefs and not enough injuns. Same with NHS. More management staff than actual hands-on frontline workforce. Not been a postie but an amatuer footballer, yes! Hence my knowledgeable views on here LOL
longtimespur
Off to walk my dog whilst it's not raining.
longtimespur
The 2 main reasons is your transferring a player from one EPL club to another,strengthening your rivals will always cost more.
Also if you buy a player in England from England for 30 million,that`s equal to 100 million in some other countries due to the strength of the pound.
Give a Romanian club 8 million for their best player (example) & to them they have struck it rich,but to EPL clubs 8 million is almost nothing in todays game.
The cost of raising & training young English talent from an early age costs more so they want more compensation.

Robert Lewandowski was never going to go to Bayern Munich for anything less than top dollar.Rival to a rival will cost you more.

Spurs would probably prefer Lloris going to PSG for 20 million instead of Arsenal for 30 million,because to weaken yourself to make your rivals stronger will in the end cost you more.
RVP is a perfect example of this,so was Adebayor,Ashley Cole,Torres etc it`s not just an English thing because most transfers from one EPL to another are overpriced.Robbie keane was Irish & there was no way he was going to Liverpool on the cheap,why we bought him back i`ll never know.

EPL proven,strength of the pound,rival strengthening,home grown rule, & many are common factors.
Fanny adams
LTS, told you .....
Highgatespur
Muttley sums the home grown rule up well for me, as does FA with his comments about the currency + trading between rivals. There is also the factor that somebody mentioned above about the media "championing"certain players above others. I think the point has been missed though about the homegrown rule is that it is supposed to be about encouraging teams to develop their own young talent, preferably English or British, but with the rules the way they are, foreign nationalities are included. It's not supposed to be about player trading. If clubs can't or won't develop their own, then they will pay a premium, supply and demand, and that's all there is to it really. That's OK, if you are an elite club, or funded by a "sugar daddy", but for the rest of the league, it's prohibitive. Clubs that are willing to develop talent are rewarded either by getting players who can help build their club over a number of seasons without paying a fee or high wages for them, or by getting a premium fee paid for those players when they leave for another club. That's the way it should be.
Cleveland ARTSPURS
Just as an aside. Man U paying 27M for Shaw is fairly silly really. Why can't a club of their size and stature develop their own left back? They have first dibs on all the world's talent, having to buy a 18 year old at 27M smells of desperation. The cracks are beginning to show at United, they've lost some great talent such as Pogba, replaced talent with players like Jones, Smalling Buttner, let their defence age, and didn't address their CM issues for too many seasons. Last year was the year that the chickens came home to roost for them, and now they have to spend their way back. Why shouldn't clubs like Southampton take advantage of their poor ownership?
Cleveland ARTSPURS
Cleveland, all true it is being said that it was 30m+!!!!
Highgatespur
Giiiioooooo!!!!!
Highgatespur
GIOVANNI DOS SANTOS
tarkan mardinCOYS
Don't mention GDS!
MAN ON!
holland have been pants
tarkan mardinCOYS
Cleveland - I also think that the homegrown rule is in preparation for England trying to increase their pool of players. If we can get these talented kids into our shores before they commit to their countries we can do what happens in rugby and cricket and claim them as ours by giving them citizenship after 5 years. That would mean we might see English players who don't have a parent or grandparent that is English. Interesting times.
muttley
bye bye Robin
Highgatespur
mutely this home grown rule isn't restricted to Engand - or is it ? Well they did sort of try it with Januzaj and Nabil as the press would have you believe ...
Highgatespur
* Sorry muttley spell checker again...
Highgatespur
Sbnieder - good goal - anyone fancy another 1/2 hour ?
Highgatespur
Cr+p
Highgatespur
No HGS fortunately Robbin is the best flopper in the game!
Slurms McKenzie
Handy run now for Greece, brush Costa Rica aside and then a poor Holland stands between us and the semi final!
Slurms McKenzie
Why was Robbin still on the pitch when he should have been booked four times for diving. Has anyone been booked for stimulation at this world cup?
Slurms McKenzie
That's a good point Slurms !!!
Highgatespur
Well done Holland.
My 2 fave countries in the competition are Germany & Holland so want both to go far.

I respect Germany the most & IMO the best footballing nation to ever play the game,Brazil second,Italy 3rd.
IMO Lothar mathaus is the best player of all time,IMO well underrated he was sheer class & had it all(IMO)
Fanny adams
cleveland- manu don't have dibs on anyone...they had the french Pogba but couldn't hold him...in order to have the best you have to spot and and train them or buy them...they couldn't hold on to the Dutch Buttner either...the point of homegrown is to develop your own but NOT British. Irish and Scots are as foreign as anyone else!
shedboy2
not couldn't but didn't hold on to buttner...with Pogba they just couldn't give him the game time...the elite clubs can not have all of the best talent...that where we have to be smart....a good bid 18 mths ago and Alexis Sanchez could heave been taking stick for not having PL experience...;)
shedboy2
By the same logic Suarez should be praised for not biting more players even though he had the chances to!
Slurms McKenzie
Brilliant thinking Slurms - he ought to have been booked for all those dives beforehand.... well played GDS though ...
Highgatespur
Come on Costa Rica!!!
Highgatespur
After watching the Columbia v Holland game, I really hope we don't sign that Indi fellow. He'll be booked regularly in the PL if that's his usual way of playing. Like Robben he was lucky not to have been booked in today's game. Also has anybody else noticed the BOOTS that South American teams seem to be wearing. Must give their ankles a little bit more protection than usual football shoes worn in European leagues.
longtimespur
See the greek #3 has those boots on too.
longtimespur
sorry #20 not #3
longtimespur
TBH, after the group stages I expected the quality to rise a notch or two. But seems there 's general apprehension all round. Any body's cup so far! C'mon Costa Rica!
Critical_Spur
Talking about overpaying for English talent, didn't ManU over pay big time for Jones a couple of years ago. I don't think he's been worth what their paid for him.
jvd
jvd, everyone seems to be have forgotten about their signing of Zaha as well...
Highgatespur
Good joke on NewsNow! An article on Brad Friedel talking about how to save penalties!! Has he ever saved one?
jvd
jvd, and whatever happened to the Zaha kid that they also paid silly money for?....wonder if some teams buys simply to keep the competition at bay.
Critical_Spur
Highgate, you beat me to it!
Critical_Spur
critical ... how many players have Chelski got out on loan. Just proving your point about buying to stop others.
longtimespur
Critical - I feel that media's favourite teams buys are always looked at favourably to up their favourites...
Highgatespur
LTS, critical I reckon that FIFA UEFA need to stop that strategy asap before the game starts its long road to death...
Highgatespur
HGS ... too true. but you are talking about FIFA and UEFA.
longtimespur
Costaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..........Ricaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.......
Critical_Spur
COSTA RICA GOOOOOOAAAALLLLLLL.
longtimespur
ruiz the Fulham reject 1-0; Greece to win 2-1?
Highgatespur
A tap in from 18 yards!
Critical_Spur
shocking peno decision robben the cheat
123spurs
Highgate, The problem I see with the English youth in the PL is that the kids are mis-guided by their agents, are totally taken-in by the money and 'big-club' attraction. A 'make or break' too early in their career, IMO. Coming from Clubs like Palace and Southampton and heading for the theatre of shattered dream or to the oligarch's Chelski, for only to be loaned out helps neither the player nor the country. The success rate in such scenario is very low. I thought Tom Ince was the new kid in town.....now seems no one's falling over each other for him!
Critical_Spur
Critical - I think it's all to easy to blame agents I put the blame on the parents.... even the ex pros like Ince falls for the extra dosh... the clubs that sign kids from abroad and loaning them out is another bug bear of mine; it seems that everyone is after another Messi like story... Costa Rica a man sent off - why not in the earlier game ?!
Highgatespur
Game on now, ten man Costya Rica are going home, after thirty minutes of extra time torture. Come the greeks 15 minutes to stardom!
Slurms McKenzie
Nothing like the Costa Rica of the group stages....I guess same goes for all the other teams....except Brasil, who have been poo throughout!
Critical_Spur
Not true, Critical, Greece were this awesome in the groups stages too.
Slurms McKenzie
These Greeks are real cool customers stringing out the tension to the very last minute, I suppose a late equaliser will really knock the stuffing out of Costa Rica. Smart!
Slurms McKenzie
Agh, Far Post!!!
Slurms McKenzie
I suppose, like us and GDS, fulham fans must be wondering who this Bryan Ruis is!!
Slurms McKenzie
Last five minutes coming up ....
Highgatespur
Knew it .... they'll win it...
Highgatespur
YYYYEEAAAAAHHHHHHHHH,!,,!!! GOAL! By someone with surname like a countdown conundrum!
Slurms McKenzie
Never worried, this was always the plan! Got to love the ambition and confidence shown by the greeks in their national coach his contract is up tomorrow and he is committed to leaving. BRILLIANT!
Slurms McKenzie
Thirty more minutes of this enthralling clash!
Slurms McKenzie
Slurms, no more than what Greek deserve. After going down to 10 men, Costa have been playing like the 31st ranked team in the world!.... back to reality!. Still, the fat lady ain't sung yet!
Critical_Spur
Critical she must be gargling with greek yogurt though just to lubricate the pipes before her big finish!
Slurms McKenzie
It looks like lennon is playing on the wing for Greece, beats four players down the right then crosses to the first Costa Rican defender!
Slurms McKenzie
How have we not this game put to bed, some last ditch and desperate defending keeping hope alive for the Costa Rica
Slurms McKenzie
Cider's draw has introduced me to the "joys" of greek football. Thank you Cider, another 120 minutes of my life I would be getting back! Still with the second half of extra time about to start I confident of a Quater final berth for the greeks.
Slurms McKenzie
Slurms you have a high opinion of Azza... he'd go by four men cross fired and gain zero ground and then pass back... Come on Costa Rica!!!
Highgatespur
Still clinging on to a hope for the killer punch from Costa.... You realise Slurms if Costa get knocked out, I'd be blaming England jinxing the WHOLE of their group being sent home!
Critical_Spur
C'mon you lillywhites!
Critical_Spur
And the Greeks got Soldado playing for them!
Critical_Spur
What a save - some fight from Costa Rica!!!
Highgatespur
Slurms, shall we toss a coin?!
Critical_Spur
Critical - if Costa Rica go home it'd mean that England were in the weakest group !!! COYCRs!!!!
Highgatespur
Typical Greece probably about to be robbed.
Slurms McKenzie
0-0 after 10 each ?!!!
Highgatespur
Costa Rica keeper has been brilliant must be due a poor patch!
Slurms McKenzie
The cruellest way to decide a football match, unless Greece win!
Slurms McKenzie
Okay 1-1
Slurms McKenzie
Phew the Costa Ricans like to put their penalties near the crossbar!
Slurms McKenzie
Good lessons in how to take penalties tonight after yestetdays shambles
Slurms McKenzie
Gooner gonna miss?
Slurms McKenzie
Nope crap
Slurms McKenzie
Both are better than Brazil at the kicks Come on Costa Rica!!!
Highgatespur
Ah CRAP! Great save credit to him
Slurms McKenzie
Well done Costa Rica!!!!
Highgatespur
And the whites go marching on!
Critical_Spur
Can't argue with 5 out of 5, thankfully greece are going home God they were awful to watch! Had the greek strikers been able to strike then they'd be through
Slurms McKenzie
Commiserations Slurms.
Critical_Spur
Thats it Greece and Slurms are out, don't know if I'll even watch anymore of it now that my adopted team are going home!
Slurms McKenzie
Thanks Critical, gracious in victory, a rare gift, I know I'd be smug as fork if Greece had gotten through!
Slurms McKenzie
Greece couldn't score when 5v2 chance at the end ... well done Critical and Costa Rica!!!
Highgatespur
A counrty with population of Ireland beat a team with the bank balance of Ireland. Well done Costa Rica, a very hard fought victory, best of luck in the next round.
Slurms McKenzie
What a World Cup it's turning out to be!!! Come on Costa Rica v Holland!!!
Highgatespur
Slurms, The only time I am smug is when Spurs win! After last season, hopefully I will remember how to be smug playing under Pochettino. COYS!
Critical_Spur
Critical our smugness reserves runneth over! Hopefully we can spread it around liberally next season!
Slurms McKenzie
Stupid comment from Robben, apologises for diving in first half, why the hell would he even mention it? The penalty was a penalty
Slurms McKenzie
A cheat is a cheat - try icing down the title now Robben !! What a diver!!! It wasn't a penalty... anyway should have been booked
Highgatespur
An excellent read.....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28059445
Critical_Spur
thanks for the link - yup great read! Reckon it won't be long until they start dominating ... perhaps the 2022 one!! That winning habit goes a long way...COYMS!!!
Highgatespur
Holland finished Mexico they look like they could keep going further.
Uskok
Justice was done... Costa Rica should have had a penalty for Greek defender handball... a penalty all the way... Well taken shoot out after 120 mins. playing.
Block D Spurs
Some bizarre links all round, according to the media

http://www1.skysports.com/football/transfer-paper-talk
Critical_Spur
So Ben Davies could be heading our way. Brilliant purchase if we can get him. COYS!
a.k.a.james1spurs
Ben Davies' wikipedia page already has his current club as Tottenham. A bit quick off the mark.
Kong
Lol Kong just a tad mate. If it's true Jan will be a happy man. COYS!
a.k.a.james1spurs
Agree onemoreseason. Pocho seems to understand the importance of bringing in young, quality players with PL experience, which is key. I'm quite excited about the new season. Let's hope we can keep the key spine and work around that. COYS!
a.k.a.james1spurs
Unlucky Slurms. Glad you enjoyed your Greek Summer. ;-)
Cider spurs
Cider my expectations were more than exceeded by my lucky dip team, but some truely awful football was witness by us dedicated followers of Greece!
Slurms McKenzie
well done to the greeks, they can teach walkerverts on how to defend an tackle.
123spurs
 

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