Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Well yesterday it became official. Carlos Tevez has crossed the city divide to join Manchester City in a five year deal, said to be worth around £25.5 million to his advisors.

There's been so much already written about Tevez and the fact that his advisors own his "economic rights" that there's not too much more to say.

This bizarre set up has meant a string of loan deals in the past and all the wranglings and controversy that has went with him just kept reminding me of Jon Stark.

Who the hell is Jon Stark I hear you say! Well those of a certain age and of a UK persuasion will know the names of Jon Stark and Cosmo Kent.

Stark and Kent appeared in a comic strip in Scoop Magazine in the late 70's and early 80's. They were soccer mercenaries. Matchwinners for hire on a game by game by game basis. An original no win, no fee pairing.

It was the kind of thing you loved reading about as a kid, but something like that could never happen. Could it?

Well not on a game by game basis due to the rules of the number of Clubs you can play for in a season, but with players like Tevez and Nicolas Anelka you're not far off it.

Hawking their wares to the highest bidders on what often seems like a season to season basis, these players, with more clubs than Tiger Woods, aren't much better than the likes of Stark and Kent, except they pick up their pay cheque win, lose or draw.

Is football better for having these kind of players in the game? Is it hell. It's great if they're with your Club and helping you win trophies in the short term or avoiding relegation in West Ham's case, but after that you feel used and dirty. I know, I'm a Hammers fan.

Michael Owen could possibly manage being a game to game hitman mind you. The number of games he manages to play in a season would allow him to be in the seasonal Club limits.

When you read these comic strips as a kid you think it's all fantasy but maybe there will be more reality imitating art.

Edgar Davids and his glaucoma induced goggles are akin to Jimmy "Cannonball" Weston, Baypool Rovers ace striker who has a rare eye disease that makes him go blind when his excitement reaches a certain peak! Well ok, maybe just not quite like that!!

John Fashanu grew up in a children's home and made good as a pro footballer, just like the orphan "The Cox Kid". In the strip "This Goalie's Got Guts" goalkeeper Ben Lieper had to juggle being a doctor and being a pro footballer, much like King Kenny Deuchar in his time at East Fife and "Mighty Mouse" from Roy of the Rovers comic.

Then there was the legendary "Billy's Boots" in Scorcher telling the story of Billy Dane who played in an ancient and haunted pair of football boots of an old player. Maybe that's the reason behind Vincente Arze's yellow boots with the Whitecaps.

To this day though I'm still waiting for a real life Hot Shot Hamish to set the heather alight in the Scottish national team. Might be the only way we qualify for the World Cup again!

Fact imitating fiction. Football's certainly starting to look that way.


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