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Friday, June 05, 2009

Interview of James Ryddel of Manchester United Blog

We regularly try to post interviews of sports bloggers in this blog. Today, we are going to share with you an interview of James Ryddel, one of the writers of Manchester United blog.. which is one of the popular blogs on English club Manchester United. Ryddel is a dedicated fan of United and follows Manchester United as well as other premier league matches regularly. Manchester United blog.. is regularly updated and the blog shares reports and opinion about different issues of the club with its readers. There are four writers in the blog. Recently, we caught up James Ryddel and took an interview concerning different issues of Manchester United. So, let us go through the interview here:

Razib Ahmed: Many people think that Manchester United may not pay £22 millions for their Argentine striker Carlos Tevez who comes on the pitch as a substitute most of the time. Now, what do you think about it? Do you think that Carlos Tevez is worth paying £22 million for?

James Ryddel: Yes, I do think Tevez is worth £22m. Remember whoever United end up buying it will cost them at least £20m, because as we have seen so often where strikers are concerned the Reds always end up paying over the odds. Tevez is worth the money, IMO, he’s been treated unfairly this season and I believe that the reason he’s been on the bench so much is because Fergie is trying to reduce his valuation by marginalizing the player’s worth by leaving him out.

Razib Ahmed: In one of your recent articles, you talked about the retirement of three veterans: Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes. Well, do you think that the year 2009 is the right time for the trio to hang up their boots? If yes, then who do you think are the players likely to succeed the three United greats?

James Ryddel: I believe the end of the current season could be the right time to call it a day for the veteran star trio, but I wouldn’t rule out them playing on for another season - which could coincide with Fergie retiring.

Razib Ahmed: Signing Dimitar Berbatov in Summer was a big money deal (around £30.75 million) for Manchester United. Now, after observing the Bulgarian striker half of the season, how do you evaluate the Summer deal?

James Ryddel: I happen to believe that the arrival of the Bulgarian has somewhat upset the balance of the forward line, because we are missing the industry of Tevez. With that said, Berba has been key in United’s last two league games and without him the Champions would’t have collected the last six points. As for the Berba’s transfer fee, we have to thank Manchester City for their part in ensuring the Reds paid between £5m -£10m over the odds, because without their unwelcome interjection on transfer deadline day United would have paid a lot less and of course we lost Campbell to Spurs for a season into the bargain.

Razib Ahmed: In another article, you said that newly signed Serbian duo Zoran Tosic and Adem Ljajic could well replace Nani and Park Ji Sung in Manchester United squad. What did you see in Tosic and Ljajic that made you think that the Serbian duo might outclass Nani and Park?

James Ryddel: United must continually strive to entertain, because that is what the club has been about since the 1950s. To that end, United should be looking beyond mediocre players like Park and Nani. Both players suffer from the same problem, that is all too often there’s no end product. Ferguson, to his credit, has down the years tried to plan ahead and the arrival of the Serb duo is apart of the manager’s long-term planning. Whether or not they actually go on to become regular first-team players, time will tell, but they’ve been earmarked to fill the wide left berth and right side of midfield slot, where Nani and Park play respectively…

Razib Ahmed: To what extent do you think that global credit crunch has hit English football? What do you think English clubs should do in order to avoid the bad effects of credit crunch?

James Ryddel: Sadly, it hasn’t made that much difference at the top flight clubs yet. When I say sadly, I mean I’d like to see ticket prices being slashed to help cash-strapped fans. However, that scenario would no doubt impact on the said club’s ability to compete in the transfer market - so it’s a difficult choice.

Razib Ahmed: English clubs like West Ham United, Portsmouth are facing financial problem. Chelsea has already decided that they would sell first before buy in January transfer window. Do you think that these are some of the indications of credit crunch hitting English football?

James Ryddel: These problems are indeed related to the credit-crunch and these scenarios have come about partly because the owners of the said clubs, who have bankrolled new signings from personal wealth. In other words, clubs like Chelsea aren’t operating on the same level as many other clubs on the continent. In Germany for example, they have much more stringent regulation where the financial affairs of football clubs are concerned. Perhaps it is time to look further into Platini’s suggestion that clubs need to be seen to operate from self-generated funds, in other words, do not live beyond your means.

Razib Ahmed: Manchester United signed the Serbian duo for £16.3m and manager Sir Alex Ferguson already confirmed there would be no more transfer deal for United this season. Amidst current economic slump, how do you evaluate the signing of two Serbian players?

James Ryddel: I cannot evaluate the new signings at this moment as like many fans, I have only seen a few short video clips, but I consider myself to be an excellent judge and so once I have seen the star duo play a couple of times I will be better able to to give a considered opinion on their chances of success at United.

Razib Ahmed: There was a time when Italian and Spanish clubs were ahead of English clubs in terms of big-money signings. However, it has been a number of years now English clubs like Chelsea (now Manchester City) have been making big-money deals. This has been reflected in their results too as two out of last four Champions League titles went to English clubs and there was at least one English club in the Champions league final for the last four seasons. Now, due to global economic crisis, do you think that the dominance of English clubs in Europe will decrease?

James Ryddel: That is a very interesting question. First off, I don’t think it matters who wins the Champions League, because for me personally, the most important thing as far as the final is concerned is the entertainment value, unless of course United are involved and then the most important thing is actually winning it…. It goes without saying that I love watching United when they are playing well. In truth though, both of our most recent CL final performances haven’t been complete, largely because of the tension of the occasion. However, the Reds were fantastic in the first half of the Moscow final. One of my favorite teams of the last 30 years, was that of Ajax under Louis van Gaal who had all those wonderful young stars like Seedorf and Davids. So what I’m saying is I like to be entertained no matter which club is involved and United are the ONLY English club who have continually striven to play what I call entertaining football for the last 50 years.

I will try to answer your question now… we cannot escape from the fact that the dominance of the English clubs in Europe has come about due to the influx of cash into the Premier League. While the PL model has been held up as a shining light among Europe’s top leagues to follow, that is only half of the story because personal wealth has also been a major factor where investors are concerned. Despite the credit crunch, I do not see things changing that much, not until Platini interjects with his proposals to impose more regulation - which WILL happen if English clubs keep on dominating the Champions League.

Razib Ahmed: One of the finest examples of strong youth policy in the history of English football was set up by Manchester United way back in 1950’s that eventually paid back with dividend as Matt Busby’s Manchester United dominated English football in 60’s and 70’s. Even, Ferguson’s success with Manchester United was also largely contributed by some of his young guns like David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Neville brothers and many others. Comparing to 1950’s and 1990’s youth policy, how do you evaluate Ferguson’s current youth policy at Manchester United?

James Ryddel: United do have a long and glorious tradition where their youth policy is concerned. I hear different opinions on how the club is doing in this area currently. Rivals City appear to be doing a much better job is a commonly held view. United, will hopefully continue to promote from within as it’s the best way forward.

Razib Ahmed: Tell us something about your ‘Manchester United blog’ (http://a-kick-in-the-grass.blogspot.com/). What is your future plan
with your blog

James Ryddel: My blog is a labour of love, I only write it for fun. It gives me a chance to get on my soapbox and get things off my chest. I might well develop if further, but at this moment in time that is not on the agenda.

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