SportsNet - April 2013
As is always the case after winning the title, attention now turns to the transfer market, especially as it has been widely leaked that Manchester United will be making some major changes to their squad for next season. Sir Alex has always maintained that you cannot stand still in football; if you lose the title, you need to buy in the next transfer window, if you win the title; you need to buy in the next transfer window.
There have been a number of rumours knocking about in the last few weeks, but now we know that Manchester United will be making a net spend of around £50m. Of course, that will entail some players leaving as well, so that figure is a net spend. The obvious candidates to leave are Nani and Anderson. Nani should be worth around the £15-20m mark depending upon who comes in for him and Anderson will be lucky to manage £10m. Even so, that will free up another £30m or so for the coffers. With Paul Scholes definitely retiring this time around, that will also free up a midfield spot and the wages he was earning.
It’s an unfortunate rarity that two of the best sides in the world get to compete directly against each other, as Bayern Munich and Barcelona did in the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night, it is also a rarity that when those clashes do occur they are as one sided as this Champions League semi-final was.
Bayern have succeeded in doing what has been threatened for some time now; that is to destroy the myth surrounding Barcelona and their Tic-a-tac football. Two goals from Muller, one from Robben and one from Gomez looks certain to have ended Barcelona`s Champions League hopes.
As usual Barcelona had all the decisions go their way, with a blatant handball in the first half that was seen by everybody except the fussy Hungarian official, which should have been a penalty. Any mere touch against a Barcelona player resulted in a foul against the Bayern players, but they soldiered on and won a great victory.
Late in the second half, Jordi Alba should have been sent off for throwing the ball into the face of Robben, but yet again, the Barcelona player was let off.
Messi was non-existent and it shows that he can be marked out of games by a decent defender. It is all very well knocking over third rate teams in La Liga, but when they met a decent German side that were not going to be intimidated, they crumbled and showed all the old Latin football attributes of diving and trying the get Bayern players booked, by feigning injuries and diving.
Manchester United Wins Their 20th English League Title: Are They The Best Team Of The English Premier League Era Or Simply The Most Consistent?
Manchester United defeated Aston Villa 3-0 Monday night to secure their record 20th English Football title, and 13th title in the English Premier League era. Since the Premier League's inception in 1993 just five teams have ever won the title, and other then United, no team has ever won it more then three times. This year they not only won it with four games to spare, but they also have a chance to break Chelsea’s record for most points in a single season. What make their success all the more astonishing, is that Sir Alex Ferguson has rebuilt his United side several times over their run of 13 league titles, with his current side winning their fifth title in the past seven years. With the great success that this current side is having, it is time to ask if this current Manchester United team is the best team ever in the Premier League era, or is it simply the most consistent.
One of the “must see” sports every time the summer Olympics rolls around is women’s gymnastics. From Mary Lou Retton and Keri Strug to Gabrielle Douglas and Dominique Dawes, every four years produces a new darling of American sports marketing. However once the limelight fades and winter comes, many of those who compete in gymnastics go back to their training, or move on to coaching without a sustainable or viable opportunity to reach their fans and increase their professional value consistently. There are national and international championships, and for the best of the best, there is usually a tour, but for the most part, unlike sports like beach volleyball and even figure skating, gymnasts leave the sports scene until the Olympic rings come calling again.