How would Rangers and Celtic fair in the EPL?

One of the longest standing debates in the Scottish Football world, mainly when jibing with those south of the border, is just how well would Rangers and Celtic do in the English Premier League? We may never know if serious consideration has ever been made to bring the Glasgow giants down into the worlds richest league, but that has never stopped fans passionately debating the outcome should such an event happen.

To get straight to the point, looking at the players currently in the squads, both teams would find it very hard to compete. There is not a single player in either squad who has the pedigree, proven or otherwise, to enter a starting XI in one of the Premier Leagues top 8 teams. For a lot of the last 15-20 years both clubs have relied on Premiership, and even Championship cast offs and we have seen time and time again, players who could not make an impact in the Premier League go on to be huge stars in the SPFL. Strikers who can’t score in the Premier League in England, hit double figures north of the border.

Fans will point to the Champions League successes of Celtic to highlight how these clubs can compete….but these are more one off cup ties. Big occasions. Just because Sutton United beat Coventry in the FA cup doesn’t mean they are worthy of the top division. The same logic applies to the Scottish clubs.

Looking at the wider picture presents a different approach? I don’t think any football fan would honestly believe that the Glasgow giants could come down and be contenders from the off jokaroom. Indeed, as suggested above, a real struggle may be to even stay in the league but should they manage that feat, the future could hold a lot more! The clubs have a solid fan base, commercial possibilities will grow in England as will the TV money. Already able to splash cash at some level, the injection of cash from the Premier League and the attraction of playing for an established club in a vibrant city could lead them to attracting, and being able to pay for, Europe’s top talents rather than the current Premier League cast offs.

But then would it be fair to enter into the top league? Should they not, like every other team wishing for the Premier League have to strive through lower divisions. Would they struggle in the championship? Would they want to progress through 2-3 leagues to get to the summit? The question is likely to remain open for a long time to come as the chances of Rangers and Celtic ever lining up in regular fixtures at Anfield, Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge appear slim.

Should they not, like every other team wishing for the Premier League have to strive through lower divisions. Would they struggle in the championship? Would they want to progress through 2-3 leagues to get to the summit? The question is likely to remain open for a long time to come as the chances of Rangers and Celtic ever lining up in regular fixtures at Anfield, Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge appear slim.

So in all, only the most devoted and rose-tinted-glasses wearing fan would suggest Rangers and Celtic would head into the Premier League contend for the title from the off and start to be serial contenders. But with time to build, spend and develop….who knows what could happen! I am sure it is something every football fan would enjoy seeing!

Greatest Left Wingers of All Time

Demanding pace, power, crossing ability and knowing how to find the net when needed, the left wing position in the game has always been a key one. Having been graced by some of the finest players of all time, here we look at the Top 5 left wingers in the history of football.

John Barnes

Often overlooked on a national stage, let alone a world one, John Barnes was simply one of the most devastatingly skillfull wingers ever to grace to game. Barnes could make beating a man look easy and although he was quick, it was his skill and tactical brain that allowed him to beat men rather than his pace. Who will ever forget when, in the Maracana, John Barnes danced past the entire Brazilian team to score perhaps the finest goal in football history!

That was typical of Barnes who throughout his career entertained crowds at Liverpool where he made his name. A vital cog in the successful side of the era, Barnes had a crossing ability that allowed the likes of Ian Rush and later Robbie Fowler to score with ease. Unpredictable, skilful and with an engine that lasts the full game, Barnes truly deserves his place amongst the best ever to run down the left wing.

Francisco Gento

Somehow, Gento has become something of the forgotten man of the famous attacking line of Puskas and Di Stefano. In fact during this period Gento captained the Real Madrid side containing some of the true greats of the game as not only was he a pacey, skillfull and brave winger but he was also an effective leader and true stallion of the game, although he enjoyed newzealand online casino. Tough tackling, hard to beat and with the trickery to beat the world’s best defenders, Gento’s team mates knew that with the ball at his feet something productive would emerge.

His list of trophies is simply astounding. 12 titles in Spain and record 6 European cups are just the tip of the iceberg for a man who played over 500 times for Madrid and spent 18 years with the club. Although in his 43 caps for Spain his success was never replicated, the simple fact of the matter is that Gento is one of the finest players of all time and especially on of the finest left wingers in the history of football.

Roberto Rivelino

No list of attacking flair is complete with the inclusion of a Brazilian or two. When you look through the great teams of the Brazilian past there are several players who graced the left wing position that excite and bring back fond memories, but for pure skill, excitement and match winning quality, Roberto Rivelino stands above all else. Although many will remember him for his famous moustache, his skills in certain areas were unrivalled. Some still to this day hail Rivelino has the greatest free kick taker of all time and watching complications of his free kicks, it is hard to argue.

But where Rivelino also shone was his passing range. Rarely did a pass go astray and rarely was a pass wasted. From devastating crossed to goal scoring through balls all the way through to cross field passes, Rivelino was efficient with his feet. He was also not afraid to take on an opponent and his skills with the ball at his feet made him hard to tackle. Flexible and Athletic is an understatement.

Rivelino, in terms of the tool set for a left winger, had it all!

Ryan Giggs

Throughout his career fans of the great Manchester United Team of the 1990s and early 2000s chanted from the terraces “Ryan Giggs Ryan Giggs running down the wing”….because for almost 20 years that is what they saw him doing week in week out. Giggs was a model professional and a mainstay in United throughout the reign of Alex Ferguson. He had it all. Naturally left footed he could deliver a devastating cross. Need someone to belt in a 30 yard free kick? Giggs was your man.

In terms of the Premier League, never has a player shone when beating opponents as Giggs did. Who can ever forget that night at Villa Park when, in the dying moments, he dribbled past the unbeatable Arsenal team to score one of the most memorable goals in football history. This was Giggs at his best but throughout his entire career he scored, crossed and lead United to success. Without Giggs United would have been missing a key component of their successful team and indeed the fact that he remains one of the most decorated and successful footballers in the game is testament to his central role in the great Manchester United teams under Ferguson.

Try our Ryan Giggs Quiz here

Pavel Nedved

During much of his career, many football fans considered Nedved the finest player in the world and it was difficult tom argue otherwise. Nedved turned the left wing position in every team he played in, into the heart beat of the team. Darting runs, the odd casinoclic blackjack en ligne , goals for everywhere and defenders beaten at ease were just some of the traits that typified Nedveds approach to play. With a brain for tactics and an ability to read the game successfully, Nedved was the kind of player opponents hated to come up against as they were often left humiliated and scratching their heads.

He was a firm part of the “golden generation” of the Czech Republic reaching the final at Euro 96 and emerging onto the world scene as a formidable force. Nedved was the heartbeat of the team and went onto to lead the team to several more tournament finals and impressive displays. In 2003 he won the Ballon d’Or capping off a wonderful few years in which Nedved proved himself as one of the best players to have ever graced the football field.

Have Real Madrid Ran out of Money?

The Galacticos.

The Kings.

Europe’s Big Spenders.

Whatever nickname has been applied to Real Madrid in previous decades has been based on the very simple and true fact that they have, regardless of their league position or Champions League success, been able to attract and afford the best players in the world. Every time a player started to breakthrough in another league, or made a name for themselves at an international tournament, word would start to link them to Real Madrid. The money seemed to be endless, the possibilities seemed to be unlimited. But as we end 2020, we have to approach a very serious question….Have Real Madrid ran out of money? Are the big, free spending Galacticos unable to shell out the money needed to keep them in the elite?

Even at the height of their success earlier this decade, there were rumours circulating that huge debts were being hidden or that they were playing US online casinos for real money. The press latched on and rumours swirled but the money kept being spent. The euros kept being spent and the trophies kept coming. Figures of  541 million euros of debt were quoted as way back as 2013.

Not only have player expenses risen, but an aging stadium has required multi million round renovations. Massive compensation paid to a revolving door of managers and an income hit by Covid-19 is all creating something of a perfect storm of financial woe.

When Real Madrid sold Hakimi to Inter Milan Zinedine Zidane openly said there were financial considerations involved in the sale. When would you ever have heard such a quip from a Real Madrid manager in previous decades? The answer is never….

The way Real Madrid is operated, some would argue, by having no set owner, means they have nothing to fall back on when financial situations emerge. In many ways Real Madrid operate in the way that many feel “should” happen in football, but when competing on domestic and European fronts against clubs with Billionaire owners, life cane be hard on the financial front like ace pokies online. Running this system has meant a loss for many years, and the glitz and glamour can only go some way to hiding the bank balance slipping more and more into the red!

Back to the Stadium development. We are talking over 500 million Euros and many fans are asking for what? For a club piled in debt, saddling more for a redevelopment that is not adding a single extra seat and adding a hotel and retail plaza that a) doesn’t appear in demand and b) seems ill fitting in the uncertain word of Covid.

And if you are a Real Madrid fan, even if the debt isn’t bad enough, I suggest you don’t look at the figures of interest that are due to be paid. You may shed a tear. Without changes to Spanish football law, and without the injection of large amounts of Cash, anyone with a sensible head can see that Real Madrid cannot continue at the current rate, cuts will have to be made and the only short term solution is on the playing front. Getting rid of players, easing recruitment and not paying crazy wages is not in the tradition of Real Madrd but it may well soon have to be! But the money in football has slipped due to Covid….the future in all fronts remains unknown. Real Madrid are heading for disaster and there seems to be no way out.