Manchester City v Spurs: Does It Matter?

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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9 Responses

  1. Claus says:

    Not sure what I gained from reading that, but really well written nonetheless.

  2. Jason says:

    I think you’re missing a couple of things, in relation to Spurs.

    A few seasons ago Spurs finished 5th, then the following season finished 5th (missing out on 4th on the last day of the season ~ lasagnegate), after a long period of finishing pretty much tenth, progress was being made. Two “transitional” seasons with the managers going through the revolving door, combined with some terrible transfer outgoings: the loss of Carrick was a massive blow); & Berbatov heading out the door on the last day, without decent cover coming in, gave the infamous 2pts from 8 games that Redknapp was justified in reciting.

    Now, Spurs have bolstered the squad, created competition for place, ensured there has been decent cover for injuries (Woodgate would have almost certainly been first choice), settled the keeper and started to challenge the “old” “big four”.

    So 4th would be an improvement, a step closer to challenging for the title, the closest they’ve been to the top in a very long time (since 88?). Granted Champions League football would be a step up from Europa league: tougher competition, more funds, access to better players, even more TV exposure (although SPurs probably get more than most of the also-rans), but it’s the progess that’s key.

    Tonight’s game will leave Spurs with a shot at 3rd and guaranteed 4th, a chance to seal 4th on Sunday against Burnley, or at worst a chance that that could pip Manchester City for 4th, if West Ham don’t roll over aka Lazio.

  3. fwis says:

    The ‘race for fourth’… haha, what a joke. Bill Shankly and Brian Clough must be turning in their graves.

    From a quick straw poll in my office (and its eclectic mix of 11 footie fans), finishing fourth only matters to City or Spurs fans (3). If the European football authorities think it is good for the sport to grossly over-reward clubs for finishing fourth, and for the media to go into meltdown about qualification (for the right to qualify) to the Champions League, that’s no fault of the clubs or its supporters.

    For the others (8 fans), with absolutely no vested interest, they couldn’t be less engaged by it. And it matters little if we eventually end up with a ‘Large 5′ or a ‘Huge 6′ instead of a ‘Big 4’?

    For the fans embroiled at the heart of it, make hay and all that. And, you never know, your club may accumulate enough money / credibility to finish… er… fourth again next season. ;)

  4. Shannon says:

    Oh, I get it. Neither club should be going for Champions League football because it really isn’t worth it and they might be knocked out in the qualifying round. If that is not your point, what is?

  5. Jason says:

    I don’t think claus’ comment has enlightened me, however, it appears to be grammatically corect.

  6. Gavin says:

    Fair points, Jason.

    Shannon – as I said in the article I’m not saying it’ll be a bad thing or not worth bothering with, I just don’t see it making the degree of difference to the future prospects of either side that the ‘papers keep telling me it will.

    In response to a comment off-site, I’d also like to note it’s a myth that Spurs already spend as much as some of the sides above them. They may have paid out a few bob in transfer fees (and recouped a fair bit), but wages is the thing. Here’s 2007/08’s figures for example, showing their turnover and wage bill to be only just over half that of Arsenal’s: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/table/2009/jun/03/premier-league-turnover-wages-debt

  7. Matt says:

    This is a bit joyless. Teams and their fans want be in the top competitions. This game is going to go a long way to deciding which team gets a crack at that. That’s why it matters. The financial implications, or what players it could bring in, or whether a team might then push on or whatever are sideshows.

    I don’t support either of the teams involved but i’ll be taking an interest, for the same reasons that I paid attention to Sheffield Wednesday v Crystal Palace at the weekend – it’s a big game that promises a bit of excitement.

  8. Rob says:

    @Matt – ask Portsmouth, Crystal Palace, Hull, Chester, Notts County fans if the financial implications are merely sideshows.

    @Gavin – To update your figures, both Arsenal and Spurs have published their accounts for last season. Arsenal’s wage bill, only went up by £2.6m last season, and their turnover rocketed to £313.3m last season. now that did include £88m worth of sales from the Highbury Square apartments. Take that £88m out, and their wages to turnover only creeps up to 46%, healthy both in a general sense, and compared to the previous season (which was 45%).

    Spurs, on the other hand (in the first year with Harry given hold of the purse strings) saw their wage bill go up by 14% to just over £60m, but their turnover went down, by £1.8m to £113m. Which means that their wages to turnover went up to 53%. Still healthy, but an increase of 7% in a season isn’t something you want to repeat too often.

  9. Bobbles says:

    Congratulations Spuds. Not a fan of either, but I listened to it on 5 live. With all else pretty much resolved, it was a point of interest. The Champions League is football’s big show. A first appearance for Spurs or City is interesting, no matter who had won. As someone who is not a fan of foreign billionaires buying into English clubs to leverage debt and make profit, I wanted Spurs to win. (I’m sure someone will tell me Spurs have similar shareholders, but if they do, it’s not in the same league).

    And to be fair, Spurs play a lot of English players, have an English manager, and have a long tradition of good football (not that the current team is excessively free-flowing in style).

    Good for them. Hope they get further than Everton did. Will help them hold onto Palacios, Bale and Defoe maybe.

    Btw, Crouch & Rooney as England’s front two at the WC, please.

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