Date: 9th February 2011 at 12:52pm
Written by:

….did you engage your brain?

Afternoon all. It’s an international lull, where most of the time I have to write things about what may happen, who may play, who may not play. And then I will follow it up with something quirky, like mentioning Fat Mike or something about rabbits.

Not today. Johan Elmander, our current reserve right winger, has told the press this morning:

‘I don’t feel any obligation towards Bolton. They have had the chance to do something about a new deal. We’ve had dialogue but not right now.’

Now, there are some who will jump up and down and say, good, get rid and, like Riga Mustapha, leave the key at the door. But I’m going to break down the statement.

‘I don’t feel any obligation towards Bolton.’

Mrs X and I have had long discussions regarding the transfer of Torres to Chelsea. My feeling is that, in this day and age, there is no loyalty in football, all footballers are, to an extent, mercenary. Even players local to the team, like Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher for Liverpool, have a price. Just look at the way that Gerrard’s head was almost turned by Chelsea a few years ago. So, we shouldn’t be too shocked when a player that has spent an average of two years at the clubs he has played for, says he has no obligation towards us, as he has shown no obligation towards anyone.

For the great part of two and a half seasons, Johan Elmander has been a grave disappointment. Bought for more than Nicolas Anelka cost, he has scored less goals in nearly three years than Anelka did in eighteen months. On the few occassions that I visited T’Reebok when living in London, the sharp intake of breath when he got the ball was usually followed by the tirade of colloquial language when he lost it.

Now, it is true that he caught some form in the early part of the season, but those times are now regarded as a sepia toned good time. When the going got tough, Johan went missing. And so it came to pass that, when a loan striker was brought in, he quickly took Elmander’s place and now has two goals in two games. Elmander’s place on the right can be seen one of two ways. As a place to put a player who, unarguably, runs around a lot. Or a stop gap until Lee gains some form of full fitness.

When his name was mentioned during the final day of the transfer window as a replacement for Andy Carroll at Newcastle, the majority were in favour of biting Newcastle’s hand off. So, going hand in hand with him having no obligation to us, we have shown that we have no obligation to him.

‘They have had the chance to do something about a new deal. We’ve had dialogue but not right now.’

I was under the impression that he said, earlier in the season, that he would make a decision about his future come the end of the season. So I don’t quite understand why he is now clamouring for a new contract. A sharp loss of form, maybe?

In December, he said:

‘I will give myself fully to Bolton while I am here and when my contract runs out in the summer, we`ll see what happens’

I said at the time that this may have been a come and get me to clubs for the transfer window, and it can be little coincidence that, now the window has shut without any suitors, he has started bleating about a new contract. It looks very much that he fears for his place in the starting line up and, with the rumours that the club are looking to extend Sturridge’s contract into next season, for any place at all, except on the bench.

When a player starts making the club look like the bad guy, unless they are Wayne Rooney or Carlos Tevez, it can only go one way.

Can someone buy him an A-Z and point him in the direction of Newcastle?

International games tonight and Lee Chung-Yong has flown to Turkey for a friendly, in what is probably the least welcome friendly since the Germans and Soviets held hands across Poland. Whilst South Korea are playing an ‘experimental’ team, there are still other players in that team who are in the same position that we are. It brings the question, why have a friendly at all, seeing as Korea onluy finished their Asian Cup games five minutes ago.

Paradoxically, Gary Cahill will probably cut his right hand off to get five minutes for England. Strange things, international games.

Until tomorrow, let’s hope all our players come back in one piece.

 

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