EPL

Tottenham re-sign Vorm as cover for injured Lloris

By Sports Desk October 14, 2019

Tottenham have re-signed free agent goalkeeper Michel Vorm on a short-term deal to provide cover for injured skipper Hugo Lloris.

The 35-year-old had been without a club since being released by Tottenham when his contract expired at the end of last season.

However, with Lloris out for the rest of 2019 with an elbow injury sustained in the 3-0 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on October 5, the Premier League side have moved to bring in Vorm until the end of the season.

Ex-Netherlands international Vorm, who made 47 appearances in all competitions for Tottenham during his previous five-season spell in north London, has again been assigned squad number 13.

He will likely act as back-up to Paulo Gazzaniga when Mauricio Pochettino's side return to action with a home match against Watford next Saturday.

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  • Opinion: Like Mongrels growling over Liver - Players' Association advice unconscionable Opinion: Like Mongrels growling over Liver - Players' Association advice unconscionable

    The 20 clubs in the English Premier League, EPL are together losing about US$31 million each weekend that action in the globe’s most-watched sporting competition is suspended. That figure covers matchday related income alone. Television rights account for the bulk of EPL teams’ earnings and collectively, the suspension in play, induced by COVID 19,  is causing the teams to lose an estimated US$920 million. That’s a revenue bleed that no financial analyst would have ever seen in their career, let alone having a strategy to staunch.

    Every player in the first team squad of an EPL team is a millionaire. Every. Single. One. There are 512 players listed in the first team squads of all 20 EPL sides, an average of about 26 players for each club.

    Manchester City’s 24-man first-team squad is paid an average basic wage of US$8.73 million each, the highest average in the league. Manchester United, which has the highest overall wage bill at US$396 million, pays its 27 first teamers an average of US$7.66 million each. At the bottom of the payscale is Sheffield United, which pays each of its 22 first teamers a basic average salary of US$910,000, while just above them is Norwich City, which pays its 27 first teamers a basic average wage of US$1.2 million each.

    But enough of those big numbers for the moment. The point being made is that EPL players are among the best-remunerated individuals in the global workforce, regardless of industry. The basic wages paid to them comfortably eclipses the wage-plus-bonus-plus-benefits package taken home by some well-paid professionals in other fields. That is why so many people are disappointed at the refusal by EPL players, through their union, the Professional Footballers Association, PFA, to take a pay cut and allow their clubs to breathe in this moment.

    Indeed 92% of participants in a recent YouGov survey believe EPL players should take a pay cut in this difficult time, with another 67% saying the players should surrender at least half of their salaries. 

    People are not stupid. They know greed when they see it. And already, many on that red hot spit known as social media are roasting players for putting greed above benevolence, compassion and basic humanity.

    They ask, how can these players continue demanding their hefty paycheques when many people who work in the unglamorous roles in professional football face the stark reality of being laid off by their struggling employers?

    Indeed, the man leading the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), Gordon Taylor has given life to the term irony by his staunch defence of the players’ rights to not have a dollar docked from their salaries. Taylor himself is a man who lives high on the hog. Afterall he can afford to.

    In 2017, the now 75-year-old was paid a salary of US$2.7 million. No wonder that in this situation he guards his players’ interests like a mongrel, growling as he protects a piece of liver from a pesky fowl in his master’s yard. 

    As Premier League officials meet with club executives and the PFA to reach a common position on wages, the Tottenham Hotspur chairman, Daniel Levy has made a clever move in what appears to be a chess match with his own players.

    Levy announced that 550 non-playing staff had agreed to a 20% cut in their wages. He says the move allows the club to keep them all in employment during this period. Levy is among the 550. This move is no doubt intended to guilt trip Jose Mourinho and the 25 members of his first-team squad to do what the cleaning lady, kit man, groundsman, tea lady, club steward and janitor at Spurs have all done.

    Levy never does anything without calculating the ramifications down to the last decimal point.

    In announcing the pay cut, he exhorted players to do their bit to protect jobs. In other words, if Spurs’ players refuse to give up some of their wages, then the tears of any janitor, cleaner or groundsman who gets sent home for good in this period, will be on the players’ expensively clothed shoulders.

    Haters need no invitation to criticise footballers for what they earn and how they live. But this situation is different.

    Habitual haters apart, well-thinking folks are also disgusted that almost a month after COVID 19 was declared a pandemic by the WHO, the richest among us are having to be cajoled into giving up some of their earnings to allow businesses to establish a form of balance in this period of disequilibrium.

    Per capita, the EPL is the richest sporting competition in the world by revenue. So why are its millionaires having to be begged to give up only a little to stabilize the business of the same employers who facilitate their massive earnings? If a janitor can give up 20% in pay, why can’t a man, who’s earning up to 200 times more per month, not do the same? This is unconscionable.

    Selah.

  • Klopp made never-say-die attitude part of Liverpool's identity - Henderson Klopp made never-say-die attitude part of Liverpool's identity - Henderson

    Jurgen Klopp has made never giving up part of Liverpool's identity, according to captain Jordan Henderson.

    Liverpool were on course to cruise to a first league title in 30 years this season, but the coronavirus pandemic has thrown the campaign into flux.

    The Reds hold a 25-point advantage over defending Premier League champions Manchester City and Henderson considers their ability to battle until the end key to their stunning haul of 82 points from 29 games.

    England international Henderson believes the improved resilience is down to a long-term mentality shift Klopp began attempting to implement after taking over in 2015.

    "That sort of mentality and that resilience within us, especially this season, has been massive in terms of the games we've won," Henderson said on Sky Sports News. "I feel as though that's something the manager really started to instil in the squad when he first came.

    "When he first came, I can remember him talking about never ever stopping and finishing or changing your mentality within a game.

    "You always finish, you always keep going no matter what happens within a game, no matter what score it is, right until the very end, because you never know what can happen in football and you need to keep the same mentality and keep going right until the end. I can always remember that right from the very beginning."

    Henderson highlighted a 4-3 second-leg victory over Borussia Dortmund at Anfield in the 2015-16 Europa League quarter-finals, in which Liverpool came back from 3-1 down, as an example of that attitude.

    He continued: "If I look back through the time he's been here and you look at games like Dortmund in the Europa League, coming back like we did in that game, And little games in the Premier League people might not really pick up on, but when you go back I think it has been a progression over a few years and not just one season.

    "I think this season has been massive in terms of the consistency of it, but I really feel as though that was a work in progress and it's now part of our identity really, that no matter what happens within the game we never stop and we never change the mentality until the game's finished."

  • Coronavirus: De Bruyne recommends voided season amid injury fears Coronavirus: De Bruyne recommends voided season amid injury fears

    Kevin De Bruyne believes Premier League teams would be hit by an instant injury crisis if the 2019-20 campaign is swiftly resumed and feels cancelling the season might be a better option.

    Football in England is suspended until April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the Football Association committed to extending the season indefinitely beyond its normal cut-off point of June 1.

    De Bruyne has been in sparkling form for Pep Guardiola's men this term, racking up eight goals and 16 assists in the Premier League before inspiring a 2-1 first-leg win for City in their now on-hold Champions League last-16 tie against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

    And yet, the Belgium midfielder would accept those impressive returns being torn from the record books due to bigger picture concerns.

    "I have no idea when we will be playing again. We haven't played for six weeks," De Bruyne, who missed City's last two games before the shutdown due to a shoulder injury sustained during the EFL Cup final win over Aston Villa, told HLN,

    "Normally you'd need a preparation of three to four weeks. If we restart immediately then everybody will be injured after a few games.

    "I know that there's lots of money involved. But I think that waiting so long to make a decision can cause issues next season.

    "There won’t be a long summer break and you can just postpone everything.

    "I would feel sad if the season is stopped after such a good year, but if it avoids issues for next season, it must be done."

    City were due to host Liverpool this weekend, with Jurgen Klopp's side on the cusp of taking the Premier League title out of the possession of Guardiola's team. They boast a 25-point lead after 29 matches, with City having played a game less.

    De Bruyne's impressive returns this season come after an injury-plagued 2018-19 where, having returned to action after helping Belgium to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, he suffered two separate instances lateral knee ligament damage.

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