August saw the usual pre-season predictions doing the rounds, with the major discussion in Spain surrounding Barcelona’s transfer spending and Madrid’s chase of Ronaldo and subsequent treatment of Robinho.
Liverpool found it impossible to get funding for Stanley Park, meaning that Liverpool’s new stadium would not get the green light for construction till at least next year, and possibly beyond that as the owners keep looking to loan the money. They did get one thing right though – when faced with a 18m valuation of Gareth Barry, they refused to sanction the deal and Liverpool’s pursuit of Barry fell flat, as did the subsequent move away from Anfield for Alonso.
More fun stories for August:
Blatter’s ridiculous comment on how players were being treated as ‘slaves’ was criticised by almost everyone.
The issue of a single team representing British football at the 2012 Olympics was also discussed, with Scotland and co strictly against the idea of collaborating with the ‘enemy’.
The opening day weekend saw several teams with ‘big’ hopes for this season lose or draw – accompanied by the usual histrionics in the press on how teams had ‘failed to live up to expectations’.
Dimitar Berbatov would turn out to be one of the biggest confirmed transfers of the season, and the chase got ridiculous with Tottenham continuously criticising the player and Manchester United while at the same time denying United the opportunity to speak to the player even though they knew he was gone sooner or later.
Fabio Capello picked John Terry over Rio Ferdinand as England captain – a good choice although public opinion was split in the middle and Rio, after years of being criticised for the missed drug test, was considered as genuine captaincy material.
Manchester City were being linked with players left and right even before the Abu Dhabi United takeover, with an emphasis on ‘box-office’ signings.
La Liga Roundtable – who will win the 08-09 Primera?
Serie A 08-09 – a 6-horse title race
50 guaranteed predictions for the 08-09 season
Predictions for League 1, League 2 and Blue Square Premier
The 08-09 Manager Sack Race
10 Tricks Clubs Use To Keep Players
Back to Soccerlens’ 2008 Review.