Man United break another record… their squad is worth 100% more than Liverpool’s

CIES Football Observatory revealing that they have the most valuable squad of players in world football.

cies-football-squads

As their research into Europe’s top five leagues shows, Man United’s first-team squad cost €718m (£628m) to assemble, putting them ahead of Real Madrid and Manchester City.

Interestingly, Liverpool’s €356m (£311m) is less than half of Man United’s outlay, while title-winning Leicester have a squad worth just 18% of the Manchester rivals’ ranks.

Vardy breaks Van Nistelrooy’s record against Manchester United

Jamie Vardy

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has broken Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of scoring in consecutive Premier League games, with his strike against Manchester United making it goals in 11 games in a row for the sprightly forward.

The England international has been a revelation this season and leads the top flight goal chart with 14 strikes to date.

It has been quite the journey to the game’s summit for Vardy, who is a former non-league player that has worked hard to improve and now is an international star.

The gifted attacker struck in the first half at the King Power Stadium to give the hosts the lead yesterday, before Bastian Schweinsteiger’s equaliser resulted in the spoils being shared in a 1-1 draw.

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri maintained that his side’s aim remains to stay safe in the top flight and revealed his happiness that Vardy has broken Van Nistelrooy’s record, he told The Guardian:

“I told the players to win and try and help Jamie break the record,”

“I am really pleased he has done, we can all be very proud about it and I hope he carries on, but the real target this season is 40 points and now we have 11 to go. That is our project, and we are getting there.”

Europe’s most expensive football squads revealed

A new study has revealed the most expensive squads across Europe’s top five leagues and one of the eye-catching statistics is the fact Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool squad cost more than German champions and European titans Bayern Munich, according to the Football Observatory. 

The Reds splashed out a hefty amount of money this summer with eight players coming to Anfield in the form of Christian Benteke, Joe Gomez, Nathaniel Clyne and Roberto Firmino.

Meanwhile, Bayern were also busy with Douglas Costa and Arturo Vidal amongst those to come in, but it seems as though the Bavarian giants could do with giving Rodgers some advice on how to conduct shrewd transfer business.

The aforementioned study reveals that Liverpool’s squad costs €344 million – the fourth most expensive in the Premier League – whilst Bayern’s is €337 million – the most in Germany, but seven million less than the Reds.

Football Squads

Meanwhile, the study also confirms – not much of a surprise – that Manchester City have assembled the most expensive squad in England, after bringing in the likes of Raheem Sterling, Nicolas Otamendi and Kevin De Bruyne this summer.

Rafa Benitez will have to cope with severe pressure this season after it was also revealed his squad is nearly €200 million more than rivals Barcelona, whilst the gulf in class is evident in Ligue 1 – Paris Saint-Germain’s closest rivals Monaco have a squad which is nearly €400 million cheaper.

Top 20 most expensive squads in Europe:

1. Real Madrid (€587m)
2. Manchester City (€560m)
3. Manchester United (€533m)
4. Paris Saint-Germain (€525m)
5. Chelsea (€407m)
6. Barcelona (€396m)
7. Liverpool (€344m)
8. Bayern Munich (€337m)
9. Arsenal (€305m)
10. Juventus (€301m)
11. Tottenham Hotspur (€231m)
12. Valencia (€226m)
13. Inter Milan (€212m)
14. Napoli (€185m)
15. Southampton (€182m)
16. Atlético Madrid (€180m)
17. Wolfsburg (€163m)
18. AS Roma (€160m
19. Newcastle United (€157m)
20. AS Monaco (€152m)

Funny stories from around the world

Some more funny and random headlines from around the world:

Pep Guardiola to join Man City

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola seems to be closer to a decision as he expressed a strong interest coaching in the Premiership after his New York sabbatical is over. He is London attending the FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations.  Having done a little bit of reading around it seems most likely that Guardiola will land at Man City for several reasons.

  • Aitor ‘Txiki’ Begiristain is Man City’s recently hired Director of Football was responsible in 2008 for promoting the then unknown Guardiola, the coach of their B team, as Frank Rijkaard’s successor.
  • Man City’s CEO, Ferran Soriano, was Barca’s CFO during Guardiola’s tenure.
  • Mancini has struggled with success in Europe despite spending millions and I can’t see City’s owners continuing with him beyond this season bar a miracle taking place.
  • Man City also have one of the best youth academies in the country, having produced more professionals than any other Premiership side including a number of internationals.  Guardiola is obvious very passionate about youth development having handed Sergio Busquets, Pedro, Jeffren, and Thiago Alcantara their Barcelona debuts after nurturing their careers in the B side.

Chelsea don’t have the reputation for Guardiola – they don’t focus on nurturing and looking after players – instead they are clearly run by the whims of Abramovich as owner, just look at the purchases of Andrey Shevchenko and Fernando Torres, the loss of Didier Drogba, the likely loss of Frank Lampard, and the revolving door that the coaching staff seem to go around.  I see it much more likely that Jose Mourinho and Abramovich repair their relationship and he makes a return to the EPL.

Sir Alex Ferguson is the problem for Guardiola to take on the role at Man Utd.  He isn’t looking like leaving soon unless he has a sudden change of heart or he decides his health is more important which from all his statements seems highly unlikely – and given his high level of success the Glaziers are unlikely to dispatch of Ferguson.

Given Guardiola has a clear preference for the English Premier League I believe that PSG and Bayern Munich are out of the running, which only leaves the dark horse of Arsenal.  He could be brilliant for the club, but I’m not sure the club’s board have got the imagination to walk away from Arsene Wenger and to engage with another brilliant tactician – although this season’s results so far could move this up their agenda.

Liverpool slip to Old Trafford defeat

Daniel Sturridge scores for Liverpool against Manchester United

Liverpool lost 2-1 against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday after Robin van Persie gave United a first-half lead and then doubling their advantage shortly after the break Vidic deflected a Evra header home.

Substitute Sturridge made an immediate impact as he fired home after David De Gea had spilled a Steven Gerrard drive. However Reds couldn’t find the equalizer and United were able to hold out for the win.

Rodgers said:

“I was very proud of the team. I thought that the first half we were a wee bit tentative at times in our passing and we actually presented them with opportunities in the game.  But in the second half – you could have easily at 2-0 given up the fight – the fightback was brilliant by the players and I thought second half we maybe deserved something from the game.

We are disappointed to lose but take heart from the fact we kept going and Daniel Sturridge coming on and getting another goal was terrific. The second-half performance was much better.  It’s never easy when you have got young players that are making their debuts at Old Trafford and when you look at Manchester United’s experience in their team – they have been there and been around a lot of them.

For us it was just about reinforcing a couple of details that we needed to be better at. We are disappointed with the free-kick because we never defended that well enough. But after that the reaction was terrific.  We will take great hope from the second-half performance. We know the improvements we need to make if we are going to sustain a challenge at the top of the table.

There was 21 points difference before this game but it wasn’t 21 points in terms of quality, it was 21 points in terms of the depth of the squad. So if we are going to be able to compete we need depth in our club that is going to enable us to compete on a consistent basis.”

Suarez and Sturridge both showed good signs of an early partnership forming as both players seemed to be on the same wavelength. Lets hope we can bounce back next week with a good win over Norwich.

Gerrard Vows to Return to His Best

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Skipper Steven Gerrard says he is getting back to his best after describing his form over the first half of the season as “mixed”.

The 32 year old has played every minute of Liverpool’s 21 Premier League games so far this season and scored four goals, three of those coming in the last five league appearances a sign that means Gerrard’s peak performance level is about to return.

Gerrard told Liverpool FC magazine:

“I’ve had mixed experiences this season. I’ve passed some unbelievable landmarks for club and country, getting to the 600 games mark and winning my 100th cap for England.  But with the slow start we made and being where we have in the league it’s been a bit mixed for me.

There’s my form as well. I’ve played well in some games but I’ve been disappointed with myself in others and I’m not happy with my goal tally at the moment.  I think my performances are getting closer to where I want them to be so if I can add goals to those performances then maybe people will start saying the old Steven Gerrard is back.

I don’t think the manager’s asked me to do anything different in terms of the way he wants to me to perform but because of certain injuries, situations that have happened to the team and formations that we’ve played, I’ve naturally played a little bit deeper.

I’ve maybe gone into protection mode rather than playing the old Steven Gerrard way with the shackles off and going for the jugular.  When you’re one of the experienced players in the team, the team’s more important than yourself and maybe I’ve sacrificed myself in certain games and tried to protect by playing deeper and be a controller with Joe [Allen] but now that Lucas is back, he gives me the licence to get forward a lot more so hopefully I can add some goals to my performances.

But I’ve got the buzz that the team’s improving and it’s going to get better. I’m confident that come the end of the season I will be satisfied with myself and the team because I do believe we can finish the season really strong.”

Steven Gerrard is top of the Premier League’s assist chart, with 8 assists and has scored 4 goals for Liverpool this season. Let’s hope our Captain fantastic continues his form against Manchester United this weekend.