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Monday, July 11, 2011

Malaga's Shopping Spree

I would argue that people are attracted to success. Whether this is a physical attraction or an admiration, for an individual, or an organization. If you are new to the game of soccer, and lets say you are looking to support a club. Naturally you will be drawn to where the game is played at the highest level, for it gets the most attention, and therefore it will be easier to follow it. If you grow up in Hull, you are most likely going to support Hull City, that's your hometown team, you most likely have an allegiance to that team, but for someone from America wants to support a team from Europe, with no ties to any team, they will go for the club that is best value for their time. For example If you where to wander into the game just this last year I would almost with 100% assurity say you would become a Barcelona supporter….Why? Because of the fore-mentioned reasons. They won the Champions League, won there domestic league, and has some of the best footballers in the world playing for them, most who play for the Spanish National Team, who are the reigning World Champions. You may call it hopping on the old band-wagon, but this is what people do. The best working example of  this would be Manchester City. Ever since their sugar-daddy oil sheik started pumping (pun intended) money into the squad they have been able to fund ridiculous transfer fees and wage bills, attracting top talent from around the world. After a few building years they seem to have somewhat of a cohesive unit that last season started to show what they are capable of. Next season they will be sure-fire contenders for the title. With all this excitement going on up at Eastlands, new soccer fans with no ties to Manchester are slapping down the cash to get those baby blue Silva kits, so they can parade around the pub and claim they liked City, before they where good. That is Band- wagoning. For the loyal City supporters…all I can say is, Lucky Sons of Bitches.

A similar situation is happening at Spanish club Malaga, recently bought by Qatari investor Abdullah ben Nasser Al Thani. The Andalucia  club that finished 11th last year has been busy this summer in signing experience and talent, signing  Ruud van Nistelrooy on a free transfer. A player high in miles but who score 95 goals in 150 appearances at Manchester United. Ruud will be joined at Malaga by his once international colleague and Hamburg teammate, Joris Mathijsen. Malaga have also signed Jaoquin from Valencia, an intelligent winger, who I always thought was overlooked in terms of the Spanish National team. Martin Demichelis, will join the side from Bayern Munich  as will Lyon defender Jeremy Toulalan. Out of Malagas new signings the grey haired defender (age 27) is the best pick-up, he's a level headed, intelligent tidy player, who can marshall a midfield or hold down a back-line. Left back Nacho Monreal signed for the club at a fee of 6 million, as did Roma's Julio Baptista for €2 million, after falling down the pecking order at his last club. If you are new to the game and looking to support a team in Spain besides Barca or Real, Malaga would be a good option. It may take a few years for the squad to settle, but hold firm until Robinho shows up at the club, at which point you drop them like a bag of stones, for dark times surly lie ahead.

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