Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why English Flops Have Put a Smile on My Face

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why English Flops Have Put a Smile on My Face

Article excerpt

Byline: Barclay's account Patrick Barclay

SO Chelsea get beaten by Shakhtar Donetsk? No problem. What they'll do is buy the Ukrainian club's best player, Willian, either in January or the summer. While they're at it, they might stop off at Atletico Madrid to collect Falcao, who embarrassed them during the Super Cup match. There is no awkward question to which Premier League riches cannot buy an answer.

It's an expensive form of scouting but Roman Abramovich can afford it. So can Sheikh Mansour. Chelsea may have competition from Manchester City, who were humbled by Ajax last night. But, if so-called English football wants these players, the Premier League is almost certainly the stage on which they will be performing.

Even Arsenal could enter the bidding if they wanted to, though creditably the worst excesses of the Loadsamoney mentality seem not to feature in their transfer policy -- much to the regret of some fans who walked out on their own Champions League humiliation by Schalke. …

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