Due to the modern game football teams are turning into businesses. It is an obvious fact but it’s a fact nonetheless and it will continue at the rate of a glacier until the people involved view football like a game of Football Manager. Players will no longer be players but a sheet of paper with statistics on them and when one becomes available to a rival club you may as well buy him to stop him from doing well for your rival team. In the long term it will win you trophies and earn you money but you are halting the career of a human being and stopping the possibility of a lot of goal based mayhem for the people who matter, the fans.
You may be wondering where I am going with this so I’ll get to the point. There are quite a few players that are in need of a club or will end up collecting dust like some prized Pokemon cards from yesteryear. Here are five that I think deserve to move on so that the player, a club and the fans can receive some well earned enjoyment.
- Adam Johnson
When Adam Johnson broke onto the scene his rise was fast. No sooner had he begun knocking them in for City than he began doing the same in an England shirt and people were finally excited about a naturally gifted left footed midfielder. Then Roberto Mancini decided that Johnson needed to be more like James Milner and began using a system that doesn’t use wingers.
Johnson’s form began to fade and his England career has ended up in a call up to the stand by list for the Euro 2012. But all is not lost, at only 25 Johnson still has some of the best years in his career ahead of him. Yes, Mancini may have a point about him lacking discipline but maybe that’s because he’s an out and out winger. Mancini has high standards and he has to if he wants to win the league every year but Adam Johnson could add another dimension to a team like Newcastle or Liverpool and belongs in a first team wearing the number 11 shirt. For this reason he needs to move so that everyone, including possibly England fans, can reap the benefits.
- Dimitar Berbatov
Poor poor Berba. He scored 20 goals the season before last and last year managed to chip in with a few more even though it seemed that the injured Bebe was ahead of him in the pecking order. There are many that regard Berbatov as a failure at United but I think those people are wrong. Yes he cost a lot of money but is that his fault? No, it is the fault of the Manchester United hierarchy who are slowly turning the club into the Glazers personal piggy bank and those United fans should take a harder look at there own club before writing off players for not delivering the earth.
Dimitar Berbatov would be a a great signing for any club in the Premier League. He would be cheap as he has only 12 months left on his contract and has the wonderful ability to score when all hope is lost as well as create and score absolute gems (that goal against Blackburn anyone?).
The bottom line is that if he doesn’t leave United he will rust away like an old Yacht that has been repossessed by the bailiffs. Newcastle would be a fantastic destination for the lanky Bulgarian and I hope that wherever he goes he plays regularly.
- Yossi Benayoun
Many scoffed at West Ham United when they brought in this weedy looking midfielder: “He won’t play well with the physical aspects of the game” was a phrase often associated with the Israeli international. But once he started playing all the idiotic pundits shut up quicker than Neymar goes to ground. Benayoun has a wonderful work rate and a canny ability to arrive in the box just when the ball does.
People often forget how important he was to Liverpool when they came calling for him. During the epic 4-4 draw with Arsenal, Benayoun was the man to score twice for Liverpool to bring them back from the brink of Arshavin’s brilliance and it was Benayoun’s last minute goal away to Fulham in April 2009 that kept the title race going before United inevitably won. Add to this the under rated quality of his performances for Arsenal last season and you have a player that could bring a lot of joy to a club.
Wage demands could be a problem but with experience added to his repertoire of skills, anyone would be silly not to buy him.
- Heurelho Gomes
He was once the toast of White Hart Lane but the Premiership can be a cruel mistress to a keeper that has one or two mistakes. Harry kept the faith but it wasn’t enough, now AVB is in he wants a new keeper and still prefers the 40 year old Brad Freidel to Gomes.
More than other players goalkeepers need to play games as it is so much harder to get them under your belt when you fall out of favour. Getting on the pitch for a nice 20 minute slot is unheard of and injuries to goalkeepers are rarer than a White Lion bar. For that reason Gomes needs to move on. Like many men between the posts he will probably only be remembered for his mistakes but his shot stopping ability is outstanding.
A little level headedness in his game and he could become a solid number 1 keeper in the Premier League.
- Michael Owen