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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for and and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


Why Manchester United and Real Madrid Look Set to Do Some Transfer Business In The Next Week

Written by on August 26, 2013 | 15 Comments »
Posted in Manchester United, Real Madrid

A couple of weeks ago Manchester United manager David Moyes was venting that a computer software program had assigned his new club “the hardest start for 20 years.”

First up was a tricky trip to Swansea that turned out to be not nearly as problematic in reality as it was on paper. A 4-1 win for United made sure that the label of “crisis-club” remained firmly attached to Arsenalrather than the Premier League Champions – for the first week of the season anyway.

But although the trip to Wales was successful Manchester United still has…….to read more please click the link.

15 responses to “Why Manchester United and Real Madrid Look Set to Do Some Transfer Business In The Next Week”

  1. Ed Gomes says:

    Bobby, I would expect Real to move Di Maria, especially if the Bale deal is true, Coentrao and Ozil or Modric. All have been transfer fodder, but Real would do well to move the high wages. Keep in mind that the players mentioned, excluding Modric, have been linked to heavy partying and training issues.
    I also feel that Benzema has really failed to impress, but they don’t have any other strikers. Will Real make a run at Suarez, if they move said players? I think Liverpool would be stupid to not get a nice sum for Suarez from a club outside the BPL. Yes it would hurt their changes domestically, but they could hold on until January’s inflated prices.

    Man United would do well to dump Nani and Anderson’s salaries, even if they don’t get asking price. Lets face it, neither will feature and sulk. Then again, you get the feeling both might be fine collecting a check.
    I understand and support the Baines link , I’m not so keen on the Fellani one.

    A lot of talk of Arsenal nabbing Di Maria and Benzema, but will they pay those wages?

    For all the talk of City getting their business done early, where’s the needed Center Back? I may have fond memories of Garcia at Benfica, but he’s no CB. He’s also been exposed to being too slow to cope with the speed around him. At Benfica he was the enforcer that got protected defensively by the players around him.
    I just hope that Benfica hangs onto Matic one more campaign. He’s a wonderful player, which will enrich our coffers.

  2. I am hearing from a friend with solid Merseyside connections at both clubs that Baines has no interest in joining Moyes at Old Trafford.

  3. Ed Gomes says:

    Bobby, would you consider Arsenals Group F, as this CL campaigns “Group of Death”.

    Grupo F
    Arsenal (ING)
    Marselha (FRA)
    Dortmund (ALE)
    Nápoles (ITA)

    I might differ from that with;

    Grupo H
    Barcelona (ESP)
    Milan (ITA)
    Ajax (HOL)
    Celtic (ESC)

    Barca has a new manager and important player to integrate. Even if they run away with it, the battle for 2nd should be good.

    Speaking of Barca, Bobby, did you hear about the article that condemns Messi for his treatment of teammates?
    It said that he basically told Sanchez that he couldn’t believe how much he cost the club. That he was horrible and should just pass the ball.
    Apparently Tello has actually left training in tears, due to the berating.
    Messi has told the younger and new teammates that they were nobody and were there for him.
    It ended with the statement that nobody has come forward, due to fear of repercussion from the club.

    True or not, people would be naive to think that Messi didn’t have an ego. All great players do. I always found it strange/funny that Messi hasn’t been able to yet master a good relationship with any of the strikers/forwards that have been brought in. E’too, Ibra, Villa have come and gone quickly.

  4. Astronomer says:

    Ed Gomes,
    Messi has become “Mr. Teflon” — like Teflon, nothing (especially things that are negative) sticks to him.

    In addition to what you mentioned above, there have been at least two reports of Messi having used racial slurs against black players. Messi denied them and the press and the public believed him and gave him the benefit of the doubt.

    The reason is simple: Messi’s public persona is that of a shy, soft-spoken, polite gentleman.

    And we human beings tend to have positive views of such individuals — we basically think that they are nice guys and they can do no wrong. That’s basic human nature.

    SIDENOTE:: A few days ago, on the Predictions thread, I made a similar point about why Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez are liked by and given the benefit of the doubt by so many people — both of them also come across as polite gentlemen.

    Anyway, going back to Messi, I will say this: both Messi and Ronaldo are great players — yet, you will find that Ronaldo takes a lot of flak all the time from soccer fans (for both footballing and non-footballing reasons) and the primary reason is that he comes across in public as an arrogant and contemptuous individual.

    Messi, on the other hand, is praised all the time (and these occasional negative allegations overlooked) because of the “nice guy” persona that he has cultivated in public.

    In other words, people believe that Messi is a guy “who can do no wrong.”


  5. Smiley says:

    Sorry, but I’m not buying your bread. Every rich professional soccer player has an ego (even the likes of a Nicky Butt or Ray Parlour).

    I am sure Messi has had spats with teammates and coaches. However, during intense competition a player’s true nature comes out on the pitch and unlike an Ibra or Cronaldo, Messi has never whined, berated his teammates or sulked during a match.Therefore, I highly doubt he would be this monster behind the scenes or have the intelligence or guile to pull of two totally different personas.

  6. Ed Gomes says:

    Smiley, you must not watch La Liga at all. Messi has demonstrated enough on the field. He has looked plenty sideways at Villa and Sanchez. For that matter, other scores.
    I’m a huge fan of Messi’s and admire the talent. The guy is an incredible footballer, and maybe the best ever.
    But he does get a pass, when he’s faltered. His offseason tour was a disaster, to the point of embarassement. In one match, not enough scheduled “stars” showed up so a college team played. At the same match, Messi left at halftime. No mention of fans getting shafted for full price. You can blame the organizers, but it was his foundation/organization that put the your together. You would have thought he would have played the whole match to appease the fans.

    Cristiano gets a ton flak, and you can say deservingly so. But he’s shrugged it off. Let me add that he hasn’t had any former teammates complain about him, they actually praise him. When he signed with Real, Kaka came out and said that he shocked that Cristiano ask him to stay after training so they could learn each others nuances. First to training and last to leave.
    He may be a cocky and not care what people think, but the guy works.

    Again, not saying Messi doesn’t. I actually feel that he does.

  7. Ed Gomes says:

    Sorry for grammar. Fat fingers on iPhone

  8. Smiley says:

    ED – I am aware of the “Messi Summer Tour Disaster” but if you are saying that he shows as much mean spirit on the pitch as Cronaldo or Ibra then your “fat fingers” must also get in the way of the TV screen. Not to mention he averages more assists than either Ibra or Cronaldo (who lets not forget stood apart from the team sulking after missing a PK which Benzema scored off the rebound a few seasons ago).

  9. Django says:

    Modric has been nothing but brilliant in 2013. As time passed on, he was beginning to earn more trust from Mourinho which was indicated by the amount starts since Februrary.
    Ancelotti clearly favors him in the playmaker role and Modric has proven that he deserves the start. He was absolutely brilliant against Bilbao today. It’s not likely that he will go now that Ancelotti has faith in him. It’s more likely that Ozil and Di Maria will go.

  10. Astronomer says:

    I still think letting Mesut Ozil go is a tad bit premature, given that his best years are (probably) still to come. If I had to choose between him and Di Maria, I would rather that the latter goes.

    But even a club as financially endowed (or as well government-funded !) as Real Madrid are feeling the strain of this monster transfer fee and they have to sell good players to find some sizable amount of spare change to make the transfer go through.


  11. Ed Gomes says:

    Smiley, Cristiano’s actions on the field are a joke. He is conceded, and cares about himself most of the time. No argument there.
    That has nothing to do and it shouldn’t give Messi a pass.
    By the way all great players have an ego.

    Ozil, Di Maria and Coentrao have had a torrid reputation of being out all night and being late to training. Mourinho was not pleased.
    Di Maria only has a left foot. Send him right and it will be a weak shot and/or pass.
    A lot of mention of Ozil to Arsenal. Depth? I’ve liked Ozil, despite drop off, but wouldn’t a Kehira type make more sense.

    Let me add tha Real just wasted a lot of money on Bale. He’s a wonderful player that could grow to become even better. But if they’re looking for merchandising return, it just isn’t there. It would have been a different story of he was an England Int’l. Just a thought.

  12. Django says:

    It looks like Ozil signed with Arsenal.

    What a lot of people don’t realize and it has been evident this season, is the fact that you cannot play Ozil and Isco at the same time. One had to go and they just purchased Isco for a lot of money. so obviously Ozil had to go. I never saw him as the central midfielder. That role belongs to Modric and whoever else ends up playing next to him more permanently (Illiramendi?).

  13. Smiley says:

    ED – I stated that ALL player’s have an ego but based on the true nature displayed on the pitch by the likes of Ibra, Cronaldo and Messi, the Argentine is a saint. Having said that, I am sure he isn’t perfect and has spats with coaches and managers (as I stated earlier). So based on the behavior displayed on the pitch by arguably the top 3 players in the world, it seems fair and not much of a surprise that the media treat Messi as the golden boy of the world game.

    Django – This week Wenger stated “my strength is not panic buying”, I guess his senility has set in as he conveniently forgets Santos, Gervinho, Flamini, Park Chu Yung and even Ozil who plays the same position as Santi and both stated they don’t like playing on the wings.

    The smarter and necessary buys are Khedira, Higuain and Di Maria and it’s a shame and disgrace that Wenger manages the fourth richest club in the world like an Everton… waiting till 11th hour to pick up other teams’ leftovers (even if it is an Ozil, Ba or 2nd rate Italian GK).

    re: Bale
    If the Welsh wizard comes good, Real will make money hand over fist in shirt sales/marketing all over Britain and other native English speaking countries!

  14. Alberta Gooner says:

    Just composed a little song for my favourite “supporters” to mark winning the NLD and signing the best player of the window.

    He chirps on the Internet all a day long
    Pissin’ and a-whinging’ and a-keening’ his wrongs
    All the gooners in the blogosphere
    Love to hear Chicken Little goin’ spare

    Chicken Little (gripe gripe gripe)
    Chicken Little (gripe gripe gripe)
    Oh Chicken Little well you really gonna moan tonight

    If you don’t like it, you can always learn the words to Blue Moon.


    Ticket confirmed for Arsenal’s Champions League tie with Napoli. Can’t wait.

  15. John Bladen says:


    Agreed. Ozil is a solid addition, but RM did have to move him on in no small part for the reason you mentioned. I’m wondering more than a little whether Arsenal overpaid badly though. Seems like a high price for a guy the selling club really needed to move.

    I wonder if MU’s late dalliance with the idea of bringing him in (which I think could have worked had they done it) drove the price up significantly? Rumour was that Arsenal were negotiating on Benzima earlier… I wonder if they were looking for both initially or???

    Not a good window/deadline day for either MU or Arsenal IMO. That said I think once Fellaini has settled in punters will quickly forget about Moyes having to pay 4-5m more than he should have to get him. He’ll be a great addition to the United midfield.

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