Giggs discovers fountain of youth
In this early stage of the English Premier League season, experience has played a major role in two contrasting ways. The club at the top of the league is reaping the benefits of it, with
The evergreen Giggs is an EPL legend, with records that are unlikely to be matched for years. Eleven league titles, four FA Cup wins, three League Cups and two Champions League titles make the Welshman the most decorated player in English football history. He's the only player to have scored in every single season since the EPL's inception in 1992, and last season his peers voted him PFA Player of the Season, an accolade he describes as "the big one."
That award was a testament to his transformation from the once lightning-quick winger, famous for his mazy runs, to the central midfield maestro who now relies more on creativity, accuracy and speed of thought to produce the magic his legs once afforded him.
Despite his ever-advancing years Giggs, 36 next month, has continued where he left off last season. His sublime pass put
In Wednesday's Champions League game against Wolfsburg, Giggs scored the equalizer (his 150th goal for the club) that set United on the road to a 2-1 win. His recent form has softened the blow of
Previous Man. United sides also have been influenced and driven on by an elder statesman. At 35,
That older players have much to offer is just one of soccer history's many lessons. Another is that poor off-field management spells disaster for a club's league position. Many clubs have learned this lesson, notably Newcastle United (whose relegation last season had much to do with the ineptitude of owner
Portsmouth currently sits in last place in the EPL, having lost all seven of its games. On Wednesday, the club was forced to announce that, due to a delay in a refinancing deal, the players' pay was delayed. "All the money from all the player transfers and the Sky TV money, all of the [$56 million] from January, has gone straight to the Standard Bank," Portsmouth chief executive
So serious is the situation that London daily
Portsmouth has been imploding steadily since its FA Cup win in '08. Former boss
In May, it was announced that Al-Fahim was buying Portsmouth. Given the dire financial situation at Portsmouth and Gaydamak's corresponding and continuing fire sale of players, a speedy takeover was clearly beneficial. Yet because of Al-Fahim's reluctance to meet debt-payment deadlines, negotiations stumbled, and it wasn't until late August that a deal was signed. By then,
The timing of the deal thus was poor and reeked of insufficient forward planning. Little money was available for new players in those last days of the transfer window -- the likes of
Fears of the self-styled Dr. Sulaiman's capricious behavior weren't allayed when he watched the home defeat to Manchester City in a Portsmouth away shirt. We say "self-styled," as the Ph.D. he claims to have isn't on record at the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington, D.C.
Furthermore, remember Al-Fahim's short-lived role in the Abu Dhabi United Group's takeover of Manchester City? Probably not. But you may recall the loudmouth braggart who, shortly after fronting the deal, announced that City would bid around $200 million for Cristiano Ronaldo and that
Al-Fahim should have learned a lot from the success of the Man. City takeover, yet we suspect the multimillionaire playboy only really took on board the excitement of owning an EPL club.
On Thursday, Man. City striker
In our last column, in addition to analyzing these events ourselves,
On a separate note,
Can Inter win the Champions League? Is it the likeliest club to outdo the English and Spanish giants? Send your thoughts on that and anything EPL-related to