Modern football. It's not that great. Discuss.

It's all very cheery this. An email conversation between myself and a Manchester United fan. Make sure there are no razor blades in reaching distance. Bitterness, it consumes as all. Damn you green-eyed monster, stop feasting on my rotting flesh!


Utd fan: thanks to your boys for doing the usual put up a fight until we score then roll over routine that you’ve near perfected at OT!!

You NEED a striker!

spooky: Limp performance wasn't it. Adebayor to be announced soon.

Utd fan: Happy with Adebayor? He represents pretty much everything I hate about football, well, he did when he went to City. Guess he realises it’s not just about money, it’s actually good to play once in a while!

spooky: Will do as a loan deal, imo. He'll want to impress to bag yet another move next season. So it might benefit us - because we simply have to finish top 4 (well, that would be the clubs ambition in terms of keeping players etc).

City repulse me.

Utd fan: Indeed. I know that squad depth is important these days but the situation at City realistically is that the English players, that once showed so much promise, are going to disappear. Johnson (both of them, though the other is farmed out on load now at least), Barry, Milner, SWP. They will be the ones to fall down the pecking order, obviously not the new signings. Not that I actually rate any of them, except maybe A Johnson, but these are all players who have worn the England shirt and probably won’t wear it for that much longer.

They will win this year, or next at the latest and then what? Buy more players? At least Abramovich saw some sense and realised that spunking money isn’t actually that fun, especially when your team still can’t win the CL and play boring unattractive possession football. Worrying thing is that City’s Sheiks are way way way more rich then Abramovich and only the Financial Fair Play rules can slow them down (note, not stop them!).

I’m expecting a City dominated league for the next few years to be honest, maybe even a decade of dominance. I’m somewhat apathetic to the whole situation though. I should be fearing it, but it’s the way football is going. Rich owners have bought Malaga and PSG this year too. More will follow next year and even more the year after. Players will get even less loyal, TV deals will get even more lucrative so that players wages can keep going up despite the Financial Fair Play rules – which are too little too late in my opinion. At the same time we have a crooked, corrupt, clueless, out of touch maniac at the head of football who is obviously against technology in football as he can probably only just manage a text message on his mobile phone!

I’ve said for a while that football is heading in to a black hole, bursting at the seams and will implode soon. I just hope the splatters of real football left are enough to regain something meaningful!

spooky: Regarding what you cited about English/British players - completely agree, they will be marginalised and they will equally cost a bomb to sign. I personally don't get how City fans can (with a straight face) be proud of any progress or achievements.

Players are signing for them for the money and because of the quality of players being signed, the advantage is - they will win silverware. It's win win for them. Take the money away and there is no 'project'. There's no genuine build up to success.

Look at Utd as the perfect example of how it should work.

Chelsea were just as bad. They had build up, mind. They were progressing, but to make that final step they bought in Jose and spent untold millions.

Utd fan: I’ve said it before that you’re one of only a few people I can have a ‘real’ discussion about football with. My United mates are too biased and too success driven to see the bigger picture and my City mates, well, they are mostly exactly as you say, not at all shamed by the way in which they are going to end up winning – beat United at all costs seems to be their only mantra. I do understand to it to a degree, but that empty, slightly hollow feeling that they’ll have when they see <insert captain> lift the Prem trophy can never be filled be their ruthless approach to winning at any cost.

The Ageuro signing almost went by unnoticed – can you imagine that being the case 3, even 2 years ago? We’ve already come to expect it as normal, which is almost as scary as them winning the title!

We are a good example but I’m not going to deny that we had a helping hand (float on the stock exchange, aggressive business marketing thus sucking the soul out of the club, and we were one of the forerunners of corporate hospitality – all things I despise about football). Though whilst we did break a few transfer records along the way (something my City fans love to point out) we maintained a rigid wage structure with a sensible ceiling. This actually prevented us from signing lots of players through the years (if rumours are to be believed anyway, it’s the reason why Kluivert and Batistuta didn’t sign). City don’t have that in place. Their wage bill is bigger then most smaller countries GDP I reckon!

It’s only 2 games old (1 in your case) and already I am starting to feel sorry for Arsenal (urgh!!) and have handed City the title in my head (double urgh!).

If you can keep Modric and sort his head out and get in Adebayor and Diarra (obvious a replacement for the disappointing Palacios) I reckon you can easily squeeze Arsenal out of that 4th spot and you might be able to challenge Chelsea. I saw enough in your performance at OT to warrant that. You played some lovely pass and move football and found lots of space (though our defence is probably the youngest you’ll ever face!) but just lacked that cutting edge. Think RvdV needs a certain type of player to play off. Not sure that player is necessarily Adebayor, but he is certainly better then Crouch or Defoe, and Pavlyuchenko is way too inconsistent.

Your defence looked unbeatable for the most part at OT, some great interceptions/interventions particularly in the first half! On a side note, are Fulham now your second team?

spooky: I'm actually doing my best to detach myself from the entire mess and just fall back in love, without complications, with football at its purest level. Just supporting Spurs, loving the shirt, loving the players that want to pull on the shirt. Singing, getting drunk and applauding and joyfully celebrating moments of vibrant brilliance. And any success that is attached to that, I obviously welcome as another slice of history to be placed proudly in amongst our rich tapestry of tradition.

The reality is, I still find myself thinking that Top 4 is essential because otherwise we might find ourselves stuck in this perpetual game of catch-up, selling players who want to move to CL teams, buying new ones, then going through the same thing again. We spent so long dreaming of competition for top four and the CL that now we've achieved it, going a step back would be gut wrenching. Such is the way modern football works, CL is has devalued cup wins. Even though, if we are all brutally honest, winning a trophy (domestically) in terms of a cup might not be the same as it was in the 80s and before but it still retains a certain undeniable quality. You can't ever take a way a Wembley win. Its there, black and white, in history and its silverware. Even if its not respected as it once was. Finishing 4th is hardly what dreams are made of.

But finishing 4th consistently is the only way to ever become equipped for a title push.

Wish things were far more simple. Don't think football will implode either. Not yet. Only way is for the likes of Spurs and even Arsenal to push out the likes of City and Chelsea.

Its a little like asking Norman Wisdom to inform Godzilla he can't be knocking down any buildings.

Utd fan: I promised myself I would do that last season but the babies really put a stop to it but I’m going to try again this season I reckon.

You are right, there is still much to enjoy, much to love about football and this implosion won’t happen for a while (too many people making too much money at the moment). I intend to get to more pubs to watch matches this season and the occasional outing to OT when the chance arises!

spooky: Onwards.