Monday, 29 October 2012

Technology in football - “Football has become too large and important to accept constant, incorrect decisions.”

Modern technology; what a wonderful progression it has been to all of us, countless advances that have improved our everyday life. It even has ventured into sport, cricket, tennis and rugby just to name a few, improving the quality of decisions made to ensure a more even playing field for all involved.  Rugby, tennis and cricket fans love the fact that they can 99% of the time be sure that the correct decision has been made in their sport; of course if the correct decision wasn't made that would be unjust, unfair and unwarranted, wouldn't it? Sports fans should just expect that the game is officiated to a correct standard, is that too much to ask? Surely we should just assume that much? Clearly not. Football has been plagued over recent years by poor, inadequate refereeing decisions that have changed the course of a vast number of matches. In an age where an iPhone can tell you whether or not you should take an umbrella out with you and a train network in China can work just through magnetic forces there’s no wonder footballs fans’ eyebrows have been raised so frequently over comparatively simple technology that is already being used to great effect in many top sports worldwide.
                How much longer do we as football fans have to wait for technology to be implemented into the game? There are countless examples that merely with technology the correct decision would have been made and the correct team would have won. Too many times referees and their assistants have made huge errors costing teams vital results. You don’t have to look further than Chelsea against Manchester United last weekend; the game was anything but boring. 5 goals, 2 red cards, a host of poor refereeing decisions and a racism accusation on the games’ referee highlighted football’s increasingly poor reputation. Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez scored the winning goal from what looked like, in real-time, an onside position. Replays have since proven that Hernandez scored the winning goal from a run that started in an offside position. Had technology been in place the goal correctly wouldn't have stood, instead Manchester United claimed all 3 points somewhat unfairly. Not only was the final goal controversial but also Fernando Torres’ sending off, the referee gave Torres a second yellow for simulation but replays have shown that Jonny Evans tackled had indeed made contact with Fernando Torres.  Evans admitted contact but claimed that Torres could have stayed up and carried on. This is one of the main issues with technology, how far do you go with it? Do you implement it into every single corner and angle of the pitch or do you leave it at just off-sides and goal-lines. Another issue is that the definition of diving is somewhat loose. Is diving going down without receiving any touch or is diving also making the most out of little contact. I think that diving is purely going down without feeling a touch as that is blatantly cheating, when there is contact I feel that players should carry on but due to the increasing number of players that do go down too easily it is no longer advantageous for players to be honest. It’s a sad time for the game but it’s become all too common, a small touch may not be enough for a grown man to go down but it may well be enough for them to win a penalty and potentially win the game. That’s the reality of the situation. Torres did get a fair amount of contact and at the speed he was running I don’t think it was unreasonable for him to go down. At first sight I thought Evans could have been walking off rather than Torres. Don’t get me wrong, I do not like diving one bit but I think that now we have to accept that some contact is enough contact for a foul to be given.
                I also don’t blame referees for this huge controversy. I think their job is becoming increasingly difficult with the sheer number of controversial incidents that they have to officiate. After all they are only humans, they can’t see through players in the way and they can’t review the decision from 5, 6 or even 7 different angles. They have to judge the issue on their first sight, their first instinct which can often be wrong. I admit, I thought Hernandez looked onside; it was only after the second replay that I was proven wrong. The blame, in my opinion, shouldn't be placed on officials; the blame entirely rests with footballs governing body – FIFA. They have the power to bring in technology that would help referees with their impossible task, the power to stop wrong decisions and to keep football as fair as possible. So much rests on modern football that one decision can stop a club making Champions League football or staying in the Premier League, which can have huge consequences for the clubs’ finances. Football has become too large and important to accept constant, incorrect decisions.
                Some say that football’s flow and natural appeal would be ruined if technology were to come into play. Technology would take just a couple of minutes a game and considering the amount of fouls, injuries and time-wasting it would have little to no affect on the current flow of the game. Think how many times teams waste countless seconds when they are winning at every opportunity, think how many times players waste minutes and minutes rolling around faking an injury, then think how long it would take for a referee to refer to an official review board to make the correct decision. In context, the small stoppage is, for me, definitely a worthwhile stoppage. Part of me understands why football fans wouldn't want technology, some of the appeal of football is debates but surely you’d rather be debating tactics or the performances of teams rather than how they were unfairly cheated out of a win or a draw. Being on the end of a wrong decision is hard to take, especially when you've put in a 90 minute shift worthy of winning the game, why would football fans want to talk about a wrong decision, like I said I’d rather debate performances and potential than inaccurate decisions.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Fickle Fans - Wouldn’t football be better without them?

After all, they are the one’s who moan and groan the minute things go wrong and the one’s who think their club is the best in the world when results are going well.

Pressure on the managers’ and teams are at an all-time high with instant on-field success vital. I can’t stress the word instant enough. 3 games into a season and already teams are being booed off for poor performances. 3 games! All football fans know that teams go through patches of form, whether it is good or bad. It happens; that’s football. Any team can perform poorly in three consecutive games; Barcelona, Arsenal and Chelsea have all done it. It’s the ability to go through equally as good patches and consistency that determines the quality of a side. Consistency is such a key word; often teams who do have consistency, both on the field and off the field, are more successful in the long-term. You only have to look at David Moyes and Alex Ferguson as prime examples. In the time Alex Ferguson has managed Manchester United for 1000 games, Bristol Rovers have had 20 managers. New jerk reactions get you nowhere in the long-term. So why, after just three games of football, are some fans moronically booing players off the pitch.

Andre Villas Boas’ Spurs side was one of them. Granted they’ve started poorly, but they’ve only been beaten by a strong Newcastle side. They are still adapting to a new manager, a new style of play and multiple comings and goings. Spurs management and players know they have to improve but with the quality they have, it’s only a matter of time. I think Spurs need to forget his time at Chelsea because it didn’t go well there. But he is young and learning from his mistakes, he knows it can’t end like it did at Chelsea or his managerial career in England is all but over. I remember a certain Mr Ferguson was very nearly sacked but Manchester United held faith with him and the rest, as they say, is history.

                                Under Pressure just three games into his three year contract

                Another example is much closer to my heart; Bristol Rovers. Those who read my posts and tweets regularly will know this. But like Spurs, after just 3 games we were booed off after, I must say, a poor performance against Morecambe with just one point from nine so far. The reaction of ‘so called’ fans was a disgrace to the club. As I said previously, anyone can play poorly for three games. We were poor in the second half against Morecambe but we were very unlucky not to get the 3 points at Wycombe for obvious reasons and by all accounts we should have beaten Barnet. However, regardless of this, fans are supposed to ‘support’ the club and stick with them through the tough times; I wouldn’t even describe these as tough times. That’s how fickle some of the Rovers’ supporters have been. Just one week ago the Rovers’ fans were saying that we needed to use the Wycombe injustice to boost our season and that they’d never seen a Rovers’ fan base so united. One loss later and the mood amongst fans couldn’t be more different. There is a split in the supporters’ mentality; there are the fans that moan as soon as things go ever so slightly wrong, then you have the more tolerant fans that are willing, as they should be, to give McGhee much more time. Mangers can go from being a messiah to brainless in just three games.  A quote from one Rovers forum I read last night sums up my point, ‘We have a defence that cannot a defend ,A midfield that cannot create chances and A strikeforce that cannot score goals’. We named an unchanged lineup from the Wycombe game in which some fans branded us as brilliant and that we tore through Wycombe, yet one game later supposedly the players are all useless.

            I will also never understand why fans would boo after three matches. I just can’t see the reasoning behind it. I know that everyone’s entitled to their opinion but when we all support the club and therefore want the best for our team surely they know it doesn’t benefit the side. So why don’t they keep it to themselves? The argument that fans just want to let the players know that they aren’t happy is also ludicrous; the players aren’t disillusioned. Irrelevant of what club you are, the players are never going to be happy with a 3-0 loss. They know they’ve performed poorly just as much as we do. When fans go onto forum and post derogative statements, stating how we can win ‘for sure’ and ‘why doesn’t the manager do this’, it’s almost as if they’ve suddenly become mini-Mourinho’s. Do this, do that, that’s how we win. When in reality, they have as much clue about tactics as Ian Dowie’s little toe. The fact that fans chanted ‘'you don't know what you're doing' to Mark McGhee, a man who was managed over 600 games, tells you all you need to know.

            When fans start abusing players I despair. What makes you feel the need to verbally abuse one of your own players? They are trying their best to get the maximum results for your club, sometimes it isn’t possible. You wouldn’t want someone coming into your work swearing and shouting at you when you know full well that you’ve done all that you can and fallen short. Players are humans, like us, they want to succeed; they have feelings and they can hear the foul language aimed at them. How does that help boost the players’ performance? It only pushes their confidence lower and lower making good performances all the more unlikely. It’s just a way of some small minded thuggish supporters releasing their frustration onto players rather than dealing with it themselves in a professional manner.

I hope this may change any readers’, who have ever booed without reason, view on booing. I will leave you with one final quote from a respected Rovers fan which sums up some of the more tolerant section of the fans ‘Some Rovers fans really are poisonous, impatient, nit-picking morons. I used to be proud of our supporters, can't say I am anymore.’

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Bristol Rovers 0-3 Morecambe - A Game of two halves

                Bristol Rovers were heavily beaten 3-0 by Morecambe adding to their disappointing start to the League campaign. A period of just 10 minutes saw Rovers concede 3 goals, and with it, the 3 points on offer.

As they say ‘it’s a game of two halves’. Today’s game was one of those. During my pre-match meal the message from Ian Holtby was that Rovers would ‘start like lightening’. Had Holtby toned down his statement and said it after 15 minutes he would have been correct. Morecambe started the brighter of the two sides, keeping possession well without troubling the Rovers backline too much. That was until the 15th minute when Morecambe’s Wright wriggled past two Rovers players before smacking the post, leaving Sam Walker well beaten. That was the wake-up call that Bristol Rovers so desperately needed, instantly shocking the home team into life. Rovers asserted large amounts of pressure with Morecambe struggling to fully clear their lines. The home side had numerous attempts blocked during a 25 minute passage of play where Morecambe looked much the weaker side. Just before half time Rovers’ Eliot Richards attempted a life foot drive after cutting in from the right but the strike lacked enough power and placement to beat the keeper. Bristol Rovers were by far the stronger side but lacked the tempo and creativity to penetrate a stubborn Morecambe defence, who were constantly looking to knick a goal on the break.

                The second half was a complete reversal from the first. Morecambe came out much the stronger side retaining possession well and causing the Rovers defence much more trouble than they did in the first half. It took just 7 minutes into the second half for Morecambe to break down Rovers, a well weighted knock down found McDonald who calmly slotted his shot past an outstretched Sam Walker. Morecambe’s goal allowed them to stamp their authority on the game with Rovers struggling to keep hold of the ball; repeatedly losing. Morecambe had another chance to double their lead when Eliot Richards was out-muscled forcing a great save from Rovers’ goalkeeper Walker. 5 minutes later Morecambe did in fact double their lead when Rovers’ Lee Brown missed his attempted clearance gifting Fenton Morecambe’s second goal of the afternoon. Kevin Ellison rounded up a horrific 10 minutes for the Pirates when Wayne Brown lost possession sloppily in the middle of the pitch allowing Ellison to run at the defence and capitalise on Rovers’ second mistake in just 5 minutes. The final 30 minutes completely fizzled out with the Rovers side looking shock of all confidence and fight allowing Morecambe to gain all 3 points with ease.  You know it’s been a bad game when the highlight was when Adam Virgo tripped over Alessandra sparking calls from the Blackthorn end calling for the sending off of our own player.

A very poor second half showing overshadowed a decent first half performance from Rovers; during a nightmare second half ten minutes in which three goals were conceded.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Belgium desperately need their players to adapt to International football.

It’s that time of the year again; the summer transfer window. When players are rumoured to be signing for 4 different clubs at the same time. Every year there’s one club that’ll overspend, or find the next big thing. However it’s very rare to see such a drastic move of one nationality of players within one transfer window. A total of 5 Belgian players have either transferred to/or within the Premiership this window, joining 9 other Belgian players already playing their trade in the top English league. So why is there such demand for Belgian players at the moment? It’s not hard to see why when classy players such as Hazard, Mirallas and Vertonghen were playing very well in seemingly ‘weaker’ leagues, they grabbed the attention of larger clubs and since have moved on. There is no doubt the Premiership will be a much tougher test for these new Belgian players but there is no question in my mind that they will be a success not only in the long term but also the short term.

So why is Belgium ranked just 53rd in the world? This current Belgian team have real quality throughout the pitch; it’s a mystery as to why they aren’t performing well internationally. They haven’t qualified for the past five major tournaments, most recently Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. Belgium have a very strong defence including Vermaelen, Kompany and Vertonghen, three of the best defenders in not just the Premier League but world football. In central midfield they have Witsel, Defour, Fellaini and Dembele who all like to be on the ball and are very talented passers. Fellaini and Witsel prefer to hold in midfield intercepting opposition attacks whilst Dembele likes to play a more advanced role in behind the strikers, Dembele was a real creative force for Fulham last year and earned himself a 15million pound move to Tottenham. Despite Dembele being an attacking central midfielder last season of all the players- in every position, not just central midfield, only Yohan Cabaye (116 tackles) attempted more tackles than Dembele (113 tackles). Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that Dembele, with 86 successful tackles, won more tackles than any other player in the Premier League last season. As you can see, these four midfielders complement each other very well and are a well-balanced quartet.
                     Kompany - One of the best players in the Premiership last season

Belgium have some incredible attacking widemen such as Hazard, Mertens and Mirallas. All three are brilliant dribblers of the ball and are dangerous players. Hazard has started impeccably for Chelsea, making 6 assists and scoring once in his first three games for Chelsea. One highlight of Hazard’s play is his agility; he can turn with the flick of a switch causing real problems for defenders, who more often than not are much slower than Hazard. Last year for Lille Hazard scored 20 goals in 38 games and assisted 15 times. A record 90% of out and out strikers would envy. Mirallas and Mertens also possess similar qualities, pace and trickery being main features in both of their games.

Belgium have Lukaku to turn on in the striker position. Lukaku is strong, fast and great in the air; he is a handful for any defender purely because of his immense strength. The only question mark over Lukaku is his pedigree and experience, especially when Belgium don’t have a wealth of forwards to fall back upon.
Not only is Belgium’s first eleven strong but they also have strength in depth, with De Bruyne, Mertens, and Courtois gaining an avergage of just 5.6 caps each.

                Is the future bright for Belgium? One would assume so. The majority of Belgium’s players are young, or coming into the peak of their careers. The average age of their last squad was just 24.58 years old which is a good mix of experience and youth. Their key players are even younger than the average age with Mirallas (24) Fellaini (24) Lukaku (19) Hazard (21) Witsel (23) and Mignolet (24). All six players still are a long way from being the finished article with lots of room for growth, which must excite Belgian fans massively. Belgium also have Vermaelen (26) and Kompany (26) coming into the prime years of their career where they'll be performing at their best. You have to say in 3 or 4 years time Belgium should really be inside the top 25 teams in the world when they have such quality players to call upon.

A potential Belgium line-up. Surely better than 53rdin the world?

Sunday, 26 August 2012

The game isn't played on paper

Owners should stick to buying oil rather than corrupting our heritage-filled football clubs

Sheikh Mansour. A man worth around £17billion. The name may not be familiar to many, but very familiar to all Manchester City fans, having provided around £300million for club transfers in the period 2008-2012, with the record signing standing at £47million. However Bristol Rovers’ record transfer fee paid in their 129 history is just £375,000 and transfer totals in the period 2008-2012 equating to just £250,000. Bristol Rovers are lingering in basement of league football whilst Manchester City is top of the premier league.  

The difference between these two sides? Money… Money creates an uneven playing field in football that wasn’t there just 20 years ago.

How can lower league teams compete with top clubs? Especially when top-flight clubs have 100x the spending power. Quite simply – they can’t. With money you can attract the world’s best players and pay top wages. Obviously money can’t guarantee success instantly… but over time it does. Before the huge investment Manchester City hadn’t won a trophy since 1976 but now have recently won the FA Cup and are currently challenging for the premier league title.

Before 2005 Chelsea had just one trophy since the 1970’s but since the takeover of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich they have won 10 trophies in the last decade. Money is now fuelling the success of these modern clubs. What’s happened to the days when almost anyone could win a league each season? Are these examples enough to show you how money has ruined the game?

Why do we accept some foreign money-loaded oil tycoon taking charge of our beloved football clubs? Most owners don’t even care about the club, many won’t even attend games and I’m sure if you asked 80% of foreign owners they wouldn’t be able to tell you their past few results. Owners buy our clubs just as money ventures, to waste of bit of their mind-blowing levels of riches on, take up an afternoon one day a week, running it as a business or an investment rather than a football club. These owners are stripping the club’s heart out and charging fans extortionate prices. To avid supporters our clubs are engraved in our blood, we live day in day out just for the weekend to see the players run out on a Saturday afternoon. For money-eyed owners it’s become a gamble with their cash, to see how much they can make and I for one have had enough of them toying with our football club’s heritage and future.    

Fulham’s season tickets rose a massive 32.98% in comparison to last season, they haven’t been promoted and they haven’t won any trophies. Why should loyal fans accept such a drastic rise in prices? How can the club justify the rise? Devoted supporters are being ripped off out of their hard earned cash just so that the club can drain more riches for their ‘more money than sense’ owners.

Since 1985, average top division wages have risen from £25,000 to £1,100,000, a growth of 440%; with players potentially earning as much as £200,000 a week. This wage is by no means equal to the level of work that they do. Footballers may run out in front of 40,000 fans every week and are often very talented at what they do but when you compare footballer’s earnings to firemen, you can see how absurd their salary is. Footballers don’t deserve their earnings. Footballers are grown men and all they do is kick an air-filled ball around a grass field. How do they deserve double the yearly earnings of a fireman in a week? Top-flight footballers don’t put their body on the lines, they aren’t risking their life, they aren’t even providing a vital service. I know for a fact that everyone footballer couldn’t come off the pitch saying they’d given it their all in every game that they’ve played, that’s if they even make it onto the pitch. Carlos Tevez rejected the chance to play for Manchester City in the champions league; instead he sat on the bench claiming he wasn’t in the right frame of mind. Right frame of mind? Unbelievable! Tevez is playing on the world stage, getting paid mind-blowing amounts of money and he doesn’t think he can kick the ball around for 40minutes. I certainly know I could. Imagine if a fireman walked up to a blazing house and decided that he couldn’t be bothered to put the fire out. Footballers should see what soldiers and emergency services are put through to earn a fraction of what their wages. Then footballers would know what earning money really means.

Cheating, deception and diving. Three words not always associated with football but words that are now on the tip of many fans mouths after watching games. With the influx of foreign players in the last decade, the game has changed forever; mainly for the worse. With the introduction of new players, they brought with them some extremely irritating habits which undoubtedly have ruined our beautiful game: diving and simulation. Why are players attempting to con the referee in order to gain an advantage? They throw their bodies onto the floor in a theatrical manner. It seems as if modern footballers have lost their pride; shouting and throwing their arms into the air in pain, who could blame them? After all they had just been brushed on the shoulder.

Nowadays players fall down when they get touched; some of them should swap sports and do it off a springboard. It’s embarrassing to watch. Viewers could be forgiven for believing that a player had just been shot by a sniper, high in the stands. Footballers need a reality check. As honest players watch others dive and gain an advantage, trustworthy players are left wondering why they wouldn’t do similar things. And many have started too, more and more players have resorted to falling over to try and cheat their way to victory.

Foreign players have massively reduced the growth of young English talent. Instead of a young local footballer getting his first start, the English youth been left waiting and waiting as clubs have bought more experienced players, thus pushing local footballers further and further down the leagues. In the premier league 64% of all players are foreign, in contrast to the English League Two where just 23.5% of players are foreign, showing how drastic the effect of foreigners has been on stunting English football players’ ability growth. Our nation’s youths have been forced further down the leagues to get match experience in lower leagues rather than making the breakthrough in top divisions.

Arsenal symbolise the mass arrival of foreign players. In the 1989-90 seasons Arsenal had just two players born abroad, whereas in 2009-10 season they had 23 born abroad. We should be aiding our nation’s young English talent, not leaving them to ‘rot’ on the bench, especially as the players taking their places can barely speak even the basics of our language. There is enough talent in our own country if top-flight managers would just open their eyes, wake-up and give youths a chance. Why should our nation allow foreign players the potential to improve over our own? The basics have to change or England will be left behind in the international game.

Money has the crippled the game. It has turned it from an honest leisure activity to high stakes, high earning prima donna’s conning the referee into making bad decisions.

Clubs should be restored to their former glory days when 80% of a team line-up would be home-grown, a day when clubs made their success – not bought it. The days when players would be tackled 4 or 5 times in a row yet still carry on defiantly and when money wasn’t the motivation for players but instead the love of the game.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

The RVP Situation

I have many viewpoints on the situation regarding RVP.

Robin Van Persie managed to score 30 league goals for Arsenal last season and won Player of the season.  At the age of 29 Van Persie has just one year on his contract, and a situation which is becoming increasingly common nowadays has once again occurred where the club has to decide whether to cash in on the player or hold onto him and run his contract down.

Many people have criticised RVP but if you take into account the fact that Arsenal haven’t won a trophy for over 7 years now and the pedigree of Van Persie it’s easy to see why he’d want to leave. Any human would get fed up with having to ‘carry’ the team; and when others don’t perform you have to start questioning the direction of the club. And this is exactly what Van Persie has done.

If Van Persie truly wants to go and his play-acting isn’t to get a new contract then I firmly agree with his decision to not sign a new contract. At the age of 29, having won no trophies with Arsenal, and therefore having very few trophies in his locker room he doesn’t have long left to start getting winners medals. It’s one thing for a player who is a middle of the road type of build, RVP however is not. RVP is a genuine world class player who deserves world class service and worldwide winners medals. It would be wrong of him to not attempt to move to a club who could well win something in the near future. I don’t think Arsenal fit into this category. They have too many ‘middle of the road’ players and not enough class amongst their ranks. If RVP stays at Arsenal he would basically be saying that he lacks ambition and drive, which is not the characteristics that allowed him to rise to stardom. Staying at Arsenal would more than likely lead to champions league qualification at best. I cant see how in the next 2/3 Arsenal are going to win trophies, especially when teams such as Man City, United and Chelsea are all buying quality signings to boost their squads.

If and probably when RVP leaves few could blame him for his decision.

Now theres a flipside to the situation; if RVP is claiming he isn’t signing a new contract purely to get a pay rise then I cannot defend him. If this is the case then he should be ashamed of himself, footballers these days think they are bigger than the club. One good season in 7 and he’s effectively holding the club at ransom. To come out and completely lie in order to get more money is absolutely disgusting. Players forget when they sign their contracts that the club is entitled to keep them to the end of it, often if this happens the player ‘sulks’ like a 12 year old girl.

However, I don’t think this will be the case and I firmly believe Robin will get his move. Few can complain about the move if his intentions are right and he moves to a club where he can win trophies. He is clearly a classy player when fit and deserves to be part of a trophy winning side.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Mustapha-stay or go?

I genuinely feel let down by Muzzy in the way he has dealt with the transfer rumours. When a player such as Muzzy comes along that gets you off your seat, shouting and cheering with excitement he is often a fan’s favourite, and this was the case had it not been for a small sulky tweet that made Rovers fans think twice as to whether Carayol really is a classy players, both on and off the pitch. It’s the attitude of such players, maybe even the general modern player that really irritates me. When Muzzy tweeted ‘Being held against your will is probably the worst thing in the world especially when promises are broken!!..well I guess u live n u learn!!’ I don’t think many people would argue the tweet wasn’t football orientated, and it’s this small 8 worded tweet that may have permanently changed Rovers’ views on him, especially if Carayol has played his final minutes for the gas. It’s the pure lack of loyalty that modern footballers show to their employees that disgusts me. Just little more than 12 months ago Muzzy was staring into Non-League oblivion when his Lincoln side got relegated to the conference, Rovers opted to give him his chance, is he repaying us? Not one bit. It’s not even like Muzzy has proved himself to be a consistently quality player at this level. Sure he tore apart poor Accrington and Burton sides in the closing stages of the season but just how good were they? At the end of the day, both sides had nothing to play for. Before January and Buckle’s dismissal Carayol was more inconsistent than David James’ haircut, he just couldn’t repeat rare high performances. Maybe that’s a sign of the type of player Muzzy is; good when times are going well but non-existent during the tough times when the true personality of a player comes through, is that really the sort of footballer we want wearing the blue and white quarters?

I also question how Muzzy can claim he is so called ‘being held against his will’ when we all know that he will get his move no matter how much the club wants to keep him, once a player decides they want to leave there is very little you can do to stop them moving on. We’ve seen it before with Kuffour and many others at various levels of the game. After all, Muzzy WAS the one who signed a 2 year contract with the club from a non-league side, he put pen to paper; not us. Now just one year into his contract he decides he wants to leave. Players have way too much power, and the famous cliché ‘no player is bigger than the club’ is oh so applicable here. If and more likely when Carayol moves on I’m sure the vast majority of Rovers fans will be disappointed but as we have done before, the club will move on. The sight of Carayol’s unhappy face sat on a championship side bench may well be a sweet taste in the mouth of us Rovers’ fans come the end of next season when hopefully we will be celebrating promotion!