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Musings from the garden

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A gentle breeze, blue skies, and the sun shining. The summer has hit Norway’s west-cost, and it there to be enjoyed.

Girls in skirts, lovely pints during hot summer evenings, reading in the garden while having a huge cup of tea. Life couldn’t be more lovely. I’m enjoying the evening sun from my garden as I’m typing this. And the Pinot Gris I’m drinking is excellent. A tad too acidic maybe, but still excellent(wine ponce-dom soon to come).

However, there is this tiny voice at the back of my head:

Something could have happened, something will eventually happen, you know how fast lived football is these days…

Sometimes I manage to block it out, go back to my book, or a lovely girl passing by takes my mind of things.

Eventually though, this voice gets the better of me, and since the internet and all those lovely papers reporting on transfers, and transfer rumors are now available on my smart phone I’ll give in.

Kitchen sink drama
Given the content that is published on the football pages throughout the summer, one has to say that it all seems like a strange kitchen sink drama. A version of “Coronation Street” for balding, aging fat men. And me.

Player A has left club C and plays for X next season, and C’s deal with F has fallen through, because of club Y giving F a better offer at the last minute. The only thing missing is actors from South-England imitating a Yorkshire accent.

Lars Aabjerg Pedersen of Pondering Calcio wrote this excellent piece regarding the media frenzy during the summer. If you follow those guidelines you will 1. remain sane, and 2. you are more likely to see through the fog of all those transfer rumors.

I will add a couple of Bundesliga specific rules to that list, and hopefully you’ll be good to go.

1. The two leading(most read) German football sites are Kicker and Bild these days. Their reporting on transfer rumors is often based on their own sources. Both of them appear to have excellent sources when it comes to the dealings of the giants of German football. Bild is most of the time spot on about what will happen at Bayern Munich. Kicker do often quote reliable sources in their stories. If the story you are reading meets those criteria, there might be something to it.

However, many stories Bild and Kicker publish throughout the summer aren’t their own stories! Watch out for the sources these papers quote. If Bild or Kicker are quoting other local papers from around Germany you have to ask yourself:

Is the paper Bild/Kicker is/are quoting usually a reliable source? Do they have the access that could give them the opportunity to report accurately about the dealings of the club they are covering?

If the answer is “yes” there might be some truth to the story. However, if the local paper that is quoted gets a lot of things wrong, don’t get too excited about what you are reading. Case in point: Last night a small local paper from the Hannover area wrote that Christian Pander had signed for 96, and some bigger German papers jumped on that story. Turned out Pander didn’t sign, at least according to himself.

2. If a Bundesliga transfer rumor is first reported outside of Germany there is most likely nothing to it.

Case in point: News of the World reported that Nasri would sign for Bayern, because Ribbery was about to leave Bayern Munich. Another one from this week: Italian media outlets reported that Bastian Schweinsteiger was on his way to AC Milan.

If a rumor involving such an enormous transfer were to be true, it would first or simultaneously appear in a German publication. Remember: Bild, Kicker and local publications are always monitoring the situation around those players, and they wouldn’t miss such a move! This sort of thing is their bread and butter.

3. If a player is linked to Bayern Munich, and the player himself confirms that he wants to play for them, he’ll usually end up in Bavaria. Don’t take sporting directors saying “we’ll never sell that player to Bayern” at face value. They are trying to negotiate a better deal for their club. Case in point: Manuel Neuer and his transfer to Bayern Munich.

Feel free to leave a comment below.

Take a look at Pondering Calcio, and follow Lars on Twitter as well. You won’t be disappointed, I promise! 

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About Niklas

Niklas Wildhagen has been following the Bundesliga for over 20 years and he is the editor in chief of the Bundesliga fanatic.

7 responses »

  1. Nice musing, Niklas. I enjoyed your take on which sources tend to be more accurate than others concerning the crazy season of transfers and transfer rumors.

    Stick to your reading, though, and quit watching those lovely ladies…you may end up getting married !!!

    Reply
  2. Why didn’t you just tell the readers to listen to me?

    Just kidding of course, a good, informative (and not too long) piece that helps the non-German BL fans. I guess the next step would be to create a list of credible sources for each club.

    By the way, this link is very helpful if you’re ever dealing with a rumor from Britain (and chances are that you will quite often) and wonder how credible the source is: http://www.footballtransferleague.co.uk/newspaper_statistics.aspx

    Reply
    • Listening to you is another option of course, but not everybody is on Twitter…

      I agree, the next step would be to create a list of the most reliable sources, which needs some dedication… I’ll see if I can get around to it in the near future!

      The link is great, thanks for sharing it.

      Reply
  3. I had to read through this several times after hearing yesterday’s news about Chelsea’s bid for Luka Modric. My stomach has stopped churning now enough for me to remember my earlier position on the transfer season–don’t care until something’s official. As for Bild and Bundesliga transfers, I ignore most of them like that same boy who keeps crying “Wolf!” in my neighborhood..

    Reply
  4. I loved it, great article. Keep them coming!

    Reply

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