From both sides of the equation, Ole Gunnar Solksjær’s hire at Cardiff City looks like a curious one. While the media caricature of Vincent Tan makes clear the obstacles facing the Bluebirds’ manager-to-be, there are also reasons to think the 40-year-old may not be the right man for Cardiff.
At least, that’s the case NBC Analyst Robbie Earle highlights when asked about the hire, above. As Earle notes, a man with more Premier League experience might stand a better chance at reversing the club’s current trend, one that has last season’s second division champions careening toward relegation. Given the unique challenges Tan’s sure to pose, perhaps a person who has navigated these waters before would be best for the job?
As Kyle Martino notes, Solskjær hasn’t put himself in a good position either, going against some of his famous former boss’s advise. Choose stability when picking a job, Alex Ferguson’s said to have told Solksjær. Go for the owner, not the club.
If the common conception of Tan is true, Solskjær has gone against that advice. Then again, the common competition of the Glazer family claims they’re terrible owners, yet Ferguson enjoyed some of his most dominant years under their employ. It’s almost as if, from this side of the equation, we only see a very limited view of what these owners are all about, views a couple select factors (Malkay Mackay’s media savvy, the English media’s coverage of United’s debt) can skew.
Like the Glazers, perhaps there’s something about Tan we don’t know. For now, though, the Match of the Day panel is taking a wait-and-see approach to Solskjær’s appointment.
Reports out of Turkey say Newcastle United have finally struck the transfer market for a new No. 10.
[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]
Aksam reports that Rafa Benitez got the Magpies hierarchy to activate a near $12 million release clause for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.
The 25-year-old was part of Arsenal’s youth set-up until 2012, making two League Cup appearances in 2011-12 before moving to Besiktas.
Dutch-born Ozyakup is 35-times capped with a goal for Turkey, twice captaining the Crescent-Stars.
Ozyakup lost playing time to Talisca this season, and registered just four assists in 24 appearances. In 219 appearances for Besiktas, he’s posted 27 goals with 50 assists.
Like the move for Newcastle?
Manchester United and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has an inspiring and emotional post in The Players’ Tribune which tugs at the heart strings and explains his competitive fire.
[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]
Lukaku talks about how his family’s poverty caused him to become a fierce competitor in the hopes of meeting his dreams head-on and providing for his family.
The Belgian, 25, scored twice in his side’s 3-0 World Cup-opening win over Panama earlier this week, and is now far removed from his youth, but he tells his story as if it lives fresh in his mind.
From The Players’ Tribune:
There were even times when my mum had to “borrow” bread from the bakery down the street. The bakers knew me and my little brother, so they’d let her take a loaf of bread on Monday and pay them back on Friday.
Lukaku also talks about racism in football, his debut for Anderlecht, and that aforementioned competitive drive. It’s 100 percent worth the read.
West Ham has reportedly set a club record with its latest signing under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.
Issa Diop is the player, the 21-year-old Toulouse captain and center back costing the Irons around $29 million.
[ MORE: Arsenal signs Leno ]
Diop scored three goals with an assist and eight yellow cards in 31 Ligue 1 matches this season, giving the young defender 95 apps, six goals, three assists, and 23 yellows since debuting with the senior team at 18.
Capped by France at every level below the senior team, Diop’s 2.2 interceptions per game ranked sixth in Ligue 1.
Toulose finished 18th in Ligue 1, but won its promotion/relegation playoff to stay in the French top flight.
“I am very happy to sign for such a historic, English club, and I hope to show my best here. I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”
In the third episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England pulls out a massive win while VAR finds its way into the World Cup spotlight.
[ LIVE: World Cup scores ]
There will be plenty more to come over the next few weeks, with the show coming via the Men In Blazers.
Click play on the video above to watch the first episode in full.