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Who am I?

Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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* I am/was international captain of my country

* Within the past year I have left my previous club, where I generated alot of money in replica shirt sales.

* I am sponsered by one of the worlds biggest sportswear manufacturers.

* My previous club were also sponsered by the same company, or should I say 'they' were the offical shirt suppliers.

* The same sportswear manufacturer is also the kit supplier at my new club.

* I have kept the same shirt number in my new club as I did with my previous club, this may have something to do with the sportswear manufacturers, but I'm not sure

* I have recently played in a competition where all the shirts were made by that same sportswear manufacturer.

Who am I? who is my sponser? Do you think the sponser was connected in my transfer in anyway?

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Well done everyone, I didn't think of Henry and the Nike connection, but you could shoehorn him onto the list.

This brings me nicely onto who is actually behind the transfers of players at the pinnacle of the football pyramid. The days of players moving for the climate, the culture or family happiness are long gone now there are millions spread on the negotiating table. I honestly believe (no. I know) that Addidas had a big part to play in the Ballack transfer and maybe a smaller part in the Shevchenko deal (as they have been in orchestrating Beckhams deal). Last season was our first in an Addidas strip, coincidently 2 players, both captains of their own countries and strangely enough both sponsored by Addidas arrived at the club. Coincidence I hear you add, but if I then tell you that they signed for a manager who had won the league for 5 years running in 2 different countries who had to change his winning formation to accommodate these two new acquisitions, would you still see a coincidence? I found it rather odd to be honest. This is also a manager who is on record of saying that he doesn't chase big-name players or galactico's and has a pedigree of getting the best out of 'non' household names. Essien and Drogba were hardly 'famous' outside of footballing circles prior to signing for Chelsea, although they were both for big transfer fee's they were not in the galactico bracket you would associate with Sheva and Ballack, they also have youth on their side.

Why would a manager who has won the league for 5 years change a winning formation to accommodate 2 players or galactico's?

Did we really need another midfielder when we signed Ballack?

If we'd have won the league last season, and played fluent football or even a system suited to both the new players I may have said this was a master stoke by Jose. We didn't win the league, played little fluent football and Ballack and Sheva both looked out of their depth for most of the season. I hope they come good but I started to think halfway though last season that they were not purchased for football reasons, I'm still of that persuasion. Jose laughing a Sheva from the dug-out last season has done little to persuade me otherwise and the behind the scene arguements played out in the tabloids go further to support the fact that Jose had players imposed upon him. We may actually get something out of Ballack in the long-run due to his age, but unfortunately I think Sheva's best days are behind him. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, well you can't teach a man over 30 how to get his pace back!

(can we make BJD's Ballck shirt pic a bit smaller?)

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Is this another conspiracy theory in the making? icon_lol.gif Well, football is about opinions and you?re certainly entitled to yours; but I think this cynical view about who really controls transfers is a little too much. Adidas and Nike are two of the biggest sportswear manufacturers in the world and one can only expect that they would be signing up and collaborating with big players and big clubs to sustain their market dominance. They certainly cannot have a say on who a club should sign or who a manager should play. Reading through your post, I don?t think you?ve said anything or showed any proof that this is not the case. In spite of countless investigations within football in different countries, so far, none of these sportswear giants have been caught with their hands in the jar of transfer monies. As a club, we have a right to change our strip, depending on what we consider to be the pros and cons of the choices available. And there is nothing strange about two captains of their national teams sponsored by Adidas coming to the Bridge at the same time. Ballack made his choice from amongst a list that included teams not sponsored by Adidas. Chelsea competed with these others for his signature, not only because he is a great footballer that would improve any top team, but also because he was coming on a free. Some people even believe he chose Chelsea because we gave him the best salary and personal terms. But whatever his reasons, there?s nothing to indicate his hands were forced. As for Sheva, whatever anyone says of him and why he chose Chelsea, no one can deny that he?s a great player and friends with Roman. One poor season at Chelsea does not make him a poor footballer brought only to satisfy Adidas.

Personally, I was indifferent to Ballack, but preferred Ruud van Nistelrooy to Sheva at the time. My preference for Ruud wasn?t because I felt he was better than Sheva; but as I said at the time, I just thought he was a safer risk than Sheva since he?d proved himself in the Premiership and, because of the circumstances of his imminent exit from Man U at the time, I thought he would have relished the opportunity to join a rival club like Chelsea and put one over Sir Alex. Of course, all that would have depended on whether Man U would have wanted to sell to their main rivals in the same league. But after the club acquired Sheva, I was equally hopeful. I knew he wouldn?t have a problem with the weather being from Ukraine, and I thought he had the pedigree and hunger to succeed in the Premiership. Again, since the report was that his family was now keen to settle in an English cultural environment and with his wife insisting on this, I thought he?d be fine. Though I had a little doubt about his physical condition, that was only because he was then nursing an injury, which I thought was made worse by the World Cup, in a situation where he had to carry his country?s fortunes almost single-handedly in the field of play. On that basis, I didn?t think he was going to hit it off immediately; but I knew he was a good acquisition that would need more time to get going. That?s why I believe that this season is the right time to judge him. After all, even a fully fit and younger striker like Drogba needed a season to adjust; Essien also needed a season to adjust, so I see no reason not to give Sheva and Ballack that opportunity as well before passing judgment.

To accuse Mourinho of changing formation to accommodate the designs of Adidas is to accuse him of conspiring with them to lose the title. Now, that is very difficult to defend. Mourinho did not adopt a single formation last season or the seasons before. He?s always experimented and he was forced to do more of this when injury decimated our squad, especially last season. Players? availability or lack of it always determined what Mourinho did. And, frankly, Mourinho didn?t accommodate both Ballack and Sheva at all cost. Several times he benched them (especially Sheva) when they were fit, because he felt they were not offering what he wanted or what was required against the opposition. Mourinho has always been known as a manager who dishes out tough love to his players, no matter their status and no matter their sponsors. He?s quick to antagonize players that are not performing as a way to push them to perform. He?s done it with Joe Cole, Crespo, Duff, Carvalho, Eidur, Robben and Sheva. And he?s indicated early that he?s about to do same to Ballack now. The fact that he said he doesn?t chase big names does not mean that if big names that can improve the team are available he wouldn?t go for them. The point he was making was that he?s no respecter of names and he would not build a team made up mainly of such big names ? once you come into his team, you?ll be treated the same as everybody and would be required to pull your weight. All Mourinho is about is that you perform!


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Kenn's back..............welcome.

To accuse Mourinho of changing formation to accommodate the designs of Adidas is to accuse him of conspiring with them to lose the title

I'm not accusing him to 'accommodate the designs of Addidas'. I'm saying he was handed 2 players he wasn't necessarily chasing or initially in the market for. At the end of the previous season Jose flew to South America with Steve Clarke and watched Tevez play. He knew we needed a decent striker and for whatever reasons we didn't go with this player, with hindsight prevailing this was probably a valid choice after recent events have unfolded. Instead, we went with a player who is, as you say 'friends with the chairman' although how friendly they really are is another matter.

I can understand Sheva being purchased as a token signing for the chairman, buying his country's skipper, although this doesn't necessarily mean the manager wanted him!! Now I don't condone that approach at all, but it does happen at clubs on the continent, just look at the director of Real Madrid chasing Robben for a prime example! Now I'm not saying Addidas forced players on us, far from it, but it would make perfect sense that they'd want to see 2 of their biggest named players sign for a club who have just agreed to play in Addidas. (ala Beckham)

Let's just say for a momant Jose didn't go after and sign these players, who would/could be responsilbe?

Well there is someone who said that Chelsea would be run as a business and would turn over a profit within 5 years. He was at the start of his 3rd years last season and is starting his 4th this year. He had just signed a mega deal with new shirt manufacturers, and as seen elsewhere, shirt sales in Asia and America open up an entirely different market and generate vast amount of revenue. We're trying to tap into these markets, and what better way than to have two players responsible for massive shirt sales on your books. Beckham has reportedly already been responsible for the sale of over 250k shirts at his new club who also coincidently or not, are sponser by Addidas. Real Mardid actually made a huge profit on the Beckham transfer, mainly generated in shirts sales alone, who's to say we aren't doing the same?

In my opinion they were not signing's made by Jose Mourhino, the best manager in the world, they go against everything he said he was looking for when signing a player! After seeing them with a season under their belt, they've done nothing to change my mind.

With reference to Beckham, will Real Madrid and LA Galaxy be the only 2 clubs to sign a world famous footballer for shirt revenue? Did the manager want this player and the shirt sales were a bonus or were they signed for marketing reasons by someone else within the club? Will we see this happening more in the future?

It was clear to see Jose wasn't happy with things at the club last season, these 'things' never came to light, but my suspicions are that he wasn't entirely happy with decisions being made on his behalf.

(can we make this thread the normal size and readable please)

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This post is back to normal size - I had to delete the Ballack picture BJD as it was stretching the screen too much. If I had been at hime I would have just resized it but I am at work and the firewall rules here are pretty strict (although strangely the CSR has slipped right through their net)

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