Look, I know modern football is all about ‘brands’ and ‘followings’ and all that rubbish – but seriously? DC United want to sign an Instagram influencer for their 2021 season?
As mentioned in yesterday’s ramble, the MLS side want to sign Arsenal’s somewhat redundant creative force, Mesut Ozil – not to improve their actual team, you understand. Oh, no. To increase their ‘brand awareness’. Get in the actual bin.
Clubs need to get out of this line of communication and fast. Buying players to sell more tickets has been around since the game started, I get that – but you don’t lead with that. It’s the pleasant little off-shoot of signing a decent player who might help you win matches. And, in fairness, Ozil in the USA does not guarantee wins – we’ve seen better players than him go there and struggle a little in recent times due to the travel and style of play out there. Meh. Stay at home, Mesut – punish Arsenal further for being idiots.
Arteta would love to see Ozil move on, of course, so he can then kill the confidence of the emerging Emile Smith-Rowe by signing another attacking midfielder – today’s flavour of choice still appears to be Norwich’s Emi Buendia, clearly an upgrade on a certain German international.
French international Kingsley Coman is open to leaving Bayern and heading to the Premier League. Naturally, that means he is linked to Manchester United and Man City are throwing their hat in the ring just because they can.
Here’s an eclectic mix of strikers that David Moyes and West Ham are being linked to just so they don’t have to pick Sebastian Haller every time Antonio is injured: Marko Arnautovic (who isn’t so keen on China after all), Josh King and Graziano Pelle (who you’d be forgiven for thinking had retired at least three seasons ago). Another way that Moyes is exploring not having to pick Haller is by flogging him to Ajax where he will probably become the next Dusan Tadic.
United managed to keep up their consistent form last night, losing yet another semi-final. Man City will play Tottenham in the League Cup Final at Wembley in April (we hope) and Paul Pogba admitted his team ‘have to learn’ – I didn’t catch the end of his statement but I presume he ended with ‘how not to lose every single semi-final we play in’.
Diego Simeone saw his Atletico Madrid side knocked out of the Copa del Rey last night to a 3rd division side and was hardly committing to the club in his post-match presser, despite being in a title-race in La Liga. That will have a few Premier League managers (Frank) looking over their shoulders nervously.