Now it has emerged the delay could be for up to a year, while there is even more worrying suggestions that the Dubai investors who want to buy the club may be losing interest in the whole saga. If the player is happy it is easy for the club to hold on to him. Andriy Shevchenko was also a huge disappointment, £30m wasted on Roman Abramovich’s favourite player who was over the hill. The keyboard player went on to direct one of the greatest westerns of this century, Slow West. A captain’s performance, if ever there was one. You’ve put me under pressure there. But you’ve seen through it, haven’t you Dave? “I think about the international breaks when he’d get off the plane at 7am on a Friday after a 15-hour flight and come straight to training. Yet I still think Tottenham’s loss is greatest, because they would have been a Champions League club a decade ago, and regularly since, had they kept their best players. However, years of speculation that Usmanov exerts major influence over majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri played a part in MPs demanding tough club action after the EU Council’s sanction. Clive Efford MP, a member of the cross-party Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, also told Telegraph Sport that “Everton should be taking action now and not waiting to be forced”.
“It was crazy. All the players and the staff and their families were queuing from Rafa’s office, down the stairs and into reception to have their photo taken with Diego,” says one staff member. The rebuild job at Barcelona isn’t just one that needs to happen on the pitch, it is having to happen behind the scenes and it is something that doesn’t have a quick fix. United could probably get three of Vardy, Mahrez, N’Golo Kante and Dmitri Payet for less than the amount of one of their many unsuccessful bids for unavailable superstars. He’s got to be on the shortlist but top of the pile has to be the guy whose team is currently leading Serie A, who has won three consecutive Italian league titles, the Premier League and FA Cup and who loves living in Manchester. Liverpool had the most clean sheets in the league and had two of the three joint-top scorers in the league, in Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. Mounting fury over plans by football’s ‘Big Six’ to create a new European Super League grew even further last night, with Prince William warning the proposals could ‘damage the game we love’ and Boris Johnson vowing to show them ‘the straight red card’.
And, for a time, that was certainly the case – they won the FA Cup in 2008 and finished eighth in the league. The Egypt team said it hopes Salah has only sprained shoulder ligaments, and could still play at the World Cup next month in Russia. Aubameyang played a significant role in leading Arsenal to a 14th FA Cup in the summer of 2020, scoring the two goals in the semi-final to knock out holders Manchester City before another brace helped them come from behind to beat Chelsea in the final. Certainly, it is going to be a long road back for Liverpool without Suarez and now Sterling; while I wrote at the time that no English team with Ronaldo in it would ever lose a title on goal difference, as Manchester United did to Manchester City. The only chance that Manchester United have got of signing Kane is to appoint Pochettino as manager in the summer. If Barcelona want to spend then they have to save elsewhere, and for a club that doesn’t even know what its salary cap will be for 2022/23 yet, something that will be determined by La Liga, then that is no easy task.
An evocative short film celebrating Standard Chartered Bank’s decade-long sponsorship of the Liverpool Football Club will have you seeing red. Well, that’s the final Debate of 2015. This column will return on January 14, so have a happy New Year and press play if you want to welcome in 2016 with a song of fitting optimism from the greatest lo-fi, hip hop, folk musicians ever to come out of St Andrews in Scotland. Matt’s comment is making me look forward to The Debate come Thursday. Construction was scheduled to start this spring on the Glorypark project adjacent to the Texas Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, and close to the Dallas Cowboys new 1.1 billion dollar stadium. He also turned Rangers into a European force again. He might have a bit of a penchant for giving us his right profile, chin jutting nobly, against a blazing sunset, but he knows the stories that bring Europe’s ancient civilisations to life. As every Tottenham fan knows they will do any childish thing to be top dogs in north London.