Clubs might complain, but Player Power will stay until they make a standBy: Rob | August 27th, 2010
So the big two news stories of the day are that Javier Mascherano has managed to wrangle his move to Barcelona after a protracted period of complaining, and Emmanuel Adebayour has told Manchester City he’ll be off if he isn’t given some first team football. Player power, then is back on the agenda.
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has hit out at the fact that he has been coerced into selling Mascherano, due to a combination of heel-dragging and the club not really having enough money.
The simple truth is this though, until clubs start taking a hard line on players, players are going to have all the power. Take a look at the way Arsenal are holding all the cards in the Cesc Fabregas saga. Cesc would clearly like to go, Barca would clearly like him, but Arsenal have signed him to a big contract, and don’t need the money enough to need to sell him. Fabregas knows if kicked and screamed, Wenger could just not sell him anyway, and then not even pick him in the first team to show him what’s what.
Players know that clubs would be unhappy at having a player on their kind of wages, unhappy and benched (see also William Gallas supposed threats to Chelsea to “play badly” if they didn’t sell him to Arsenal), but if clubs want the power back, they should take a harder line.
Manchester City, naturally have a pretty lax attitude to all this. When Shaun Wright-Phillips demanded more money, they gave it to him. What they should have said was “we’re already paying you way beyond your ability, try finding that wage packet anywhere else”, and he would have course have had to back down.
In the case of Mascherano, Liverpool have called him Selfish, but a) why are they surprised, and b) can you really blame him for wanting to play for the most impressive side of the last few years?
In the case of Adebayour, he just wants to be out on the pitch, although he must have known signing for Man City he was hardly guaranteed a starting place forever. City should stand up and sell him, but of course they won’t.
Its time clubs started standing up for themselves. They created this monster, by chucking untold sums of players in the desperate pursuit of success. They could kill the monster, by just selling off players, or benching them for awhile until they lost the sulks. They’d feel better afterwards, I’m sure.