When Chelsea eventually redevelop Stamford Bridge or move to
a new ground, Early Doors expects it to be pretty plush.
After all, yesterday £85m had been spent just to decorate
In the build-up to Liverpool's trip to London, the talk was
of how far Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll had fallen since that extraordinary
day at the end of January when both completed record transfer switches.
Torres, at £50m the most expensive player to be transferred
between two English clubs, has scored three league goals for Chelsea. Carroll,
the costliest British player in history at £35m, has done better than that, at
least. He has four.
In that light, it was no surprise to see neither on the
sidelines for what was a crucial game between two sides who look more like contenders
for Champions League qualification than winning the Premier League title.
But nor was it a reason for supporters to throw their hands
up and echo the dubious sentiment of Richard Keys and shrug, "The
game's gone mad!"
In the Premier League era, we've come to accept that
football is a squad game. Squad rotation ought not mean that clubs turn out two
sides - a league team and a Carling Cup team - it should mean picking the best
11 players to do a job on any given occasion, offer the flexibility to play in
a number of different ways, and make sure that no player is worked into the
Managers are supposed to pick their starting XI on form, not
some awkward combination of reputation and obligation. The fact that both Andre
Villas-Boas and Kenny Dalglish felt they could is a good thing.
Chelsea and Liverpool have splashed plenty of cash in recent times, but
within the financial rules of the game as it stands, they can afford to do so. Neither has stretched beyond their means.
If Torres ends up a flop at Stamford Bridge in the long
term, that's nothing Roman Abramovich can't write off financially. He's already
done precisely that during his tenure (that's Andrei Shevchenko, if you've
repressed the memory of the Ukrainian's Premier League stint deep within your
And as for Carroll, ED will leave that one to Kenny himself
price-tag is only a problem for other people, not for us," Dalglish said at the
"He replaced a £50m striker which means we are £15m up on the
deal - so he's not a bad buy. Besides, we don't look at anyone's price."
suspect Kenny's telling the truth, too, because it doesn't appear that
Liverpool looked at the price of Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing (both
around £20m) either this summer. They were both on the bench yesterday, too,
since you ask.
want to believe that the game's gone mad, there's no shortage of proof to back
astronomical sums of money you want, look at the reported 41.3p a second that Carlos Tevez is earning
while not playing any football.
football losing all sense of perspective you want, then go no further than the
frenzied campaign to have poppies embroidered on the England kits two weeks
ago, that saw politicians, press and the EDL alike hijack a genuinely good and
honourable cause to sell newspapers and advance their own popularity.
players who happen to be expensive being on the bench every once in a while? Not
much more than a chance for fans to bask in a little schadenfreude.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "The
owner didn't pay 15 million euros to get me out of Porto just to pay me another
fortune to get me out." Andre
Villas-Boas makes a sound financial argument for keeping his Chelsea job. But
given Roman Abramovich fired Luiz Felipe Scolari in 2009 with the Blues
arguably in better shape than they are today, the back pages are far from
FOREIGN VIEW: "It's been an amazing five years and this
just topped it off tonight. This was a special year and I'm so happy to have
been a part of this." David Beckham
becomes the first English footballer to win titles in three countries since Trevor Steven after
playing his part in the LA Galaxy's 1-0 MLS Cup final victory over Houston
COMING UP: The Premier
League Monday night match is Tottenham
v Aston Villa at 20:00, but in the meantime there's plenty to fill your
day, including Premier
League video highlights from the nine matches played over the weekend already.
Elsewhere on our pages, we'll be bringing you game-by-game updates from
the ATP World Tour Championships in
London, with Andy Murray v
David Ferrer at 14:00 and Novak
Djokovic v Tomas Berdych at 20:00. Be there, or kindly be square.
Follow Early Doors on Twitter and win a picture of every Premier League trophy Emile Heskey has ever won!