Supporters and player agents occupy different worlds

OP
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epsilon

First Team
Chelsea won the Champions League in 2012. Hardly performing below capacity.....
I have a longer answer but in short, this win was when Chelsea FC was halfway to solving its problem. In the season following the performances dipped again and the manager was sacked before Christmas. If the club hadn't won the Champions League in 2012 it would not have qualified to play in the competition in 2012-13. It's final Premier League place was too low.

This is about players picking and choosing when to play.
 
OP
E

epsilon

First Team
This mini-article may make no difference in the short term other than offer an alternative explanation to fans about what's happening. Again. The solution is in the hands of the club and. I argue that it is a medium term plan to solve the problem. Longer term, football authorities may decide that it is high time that agents were regulated ... with the worst offenders removed from the game. I certainly have one in mind - someone who's been caught offending in the past. Unprofessional players in this 'stable' is also not a new concept.

And that raises a point - who is paying the players ? Well. it's the fans and the club - players don't belong to an agency as employees !

For me the result of the next game may tell us nothing about the Club or any non-playing staff. It won't make me happy even if we win because the problem is deeper. It will take time.

OK. The Cardiff game at home was a mess.

If fans, including season ticket holders choose not to go to games, based on performances that are bordering on inexplicable for their incompetence, then that really is a FAIR response.

Here's a comment that I noticed in the press :
"... there were basics which weren't done by the players in the second half."

It's not hard to accept that assessment, is it ?

If fans do stay away, the club will cope with that short term, and that is exactly what it should expect to happen.

There's a bigger issue to deal with here - some players are on strike - their service is withheld. That's simply not professional.


Fans can certainly blame the players for withholding service and, if they prefer, fans can point to agents who clearly have the ear of the players. That said, in terms of the solution, I don't think it matters an iota whether the blame is provably passed further down the line to agents.

What the club must do (and I believe it has indicated this will happen) is to win this battle of wills. That's the only way to get back to the situation were fans are seeing professional football, where 3 points are not tossed away casually. What's happening on the pitch is almost child-like behaviour.

There is one agent that I would love to see expelled from North End for life. He's active in the club through his clients. I've grown sick of seeing one particular player 'take his dog for a walk' at Deepdale at 3pm.

This conduct can also affect other players - there have been bad apples in the past.

It may be time for a Westext-like decision to be made on this player. He won't be missed.


Most of all : the club should not follow the Chelsea example and keep sacking the manager.

To be fair to the club, I believe it has already showed that it sees the problem. It acted to bring a lot of new blood to the club in both of the last two transfer windows. It's been a bit unlucky with some of the injuries that followed (though not all).

As for agents, it appears to be high time for some effective regulation - at the moment the tail is wagging the dog. In my view, some people are simply not suitable for working in the football industry. Kick them out.

Given this covert, yet brazen attack on the club, an attack that must be defeated, the fans must let the club deal with this matter decisively. Short term pain is likely. Personally I do not see that as automatically meaning a relegation scenario.

I also note: neither the club or media can discuss this issue openly.

The club's actions, and certain statements, do indicate that it has resolve. It is certainly needed.
 

California_PNE

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Genuinely, it's like reading Walter Mitty.
There's either some words missing from your post or you've commitmed the conversation in your head to post on here, it doesn't make any sense and wtf does it have to do with agents?

Close the thread mods!
 

Thracia

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TL;DR: there's some unnamed agent the OP doesn't like, but despite the huge wall of text, it's all hushy-hushy, can't tell you anything. [taps side of nose]
 

NG White

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I'm not absolutely sure what the OP is getting at to be honest, though I appreciate the effort made to get the point across.

In regards to the clubs attitude towards the manager, recruitment and strategy in general. This IS our problem and I'm pleased to see its becoming a common thought among the fanbase.

It isn't just Ridsdale in particular really, its the general direction in which the club is being steered. Granted most of it is Ridsdale, but the owners also have allowed it to get to this point. I certainly don't want new owners, I just want someone new running the club day to day with fresh ideas.

Its blatant to me that Alex Neil was taken for granted by those within the club. It was, in my opinion, assumed that this talented young manager would be able to take us to a stable mid table finish even if he did lose a few top players. The issue they had was Alex Neil, like the fans, had ambitions way beyond that & when he realised he'd not be given the opportunity to achieve this he gave up. I don't blame him.

I do agree with the OP that just sacking managers every 7-8 months isn't a good plan. There isn't much point getting a good manager to come here unless the entire philosophy of how we're run changes.
 

HunterLionheart

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If a player isn't performing, for form or more nefarious reasons, they can and should be dropped. Easy.

In this world where the analytics are a guideline on a player's ability in terms of potentially lucrative transfers, it makes little to no sense for a player, on behalf of an agent or otherwise to intentionally underperform, thus bombing their own stats and potential future earnings.
 

pne_monster

Advisor to the Owner
If a player isn't performing, for form or more nefarious reasons, they can and should be dropped. Easy.

In this world where the analytics are a guideline on a player's ability in terms of potentially lucrative transfers, it makes little to no sense for a player, on behalf of an agent or otherwise to intentionally underperform, thus bombing their own stats and potential future earnings.
It does all sound a bit Machiavellian doesn't it? Poor performance will have a multitude of antecedents. To lay all the blame solely at the door of agents is a bit of a leap in my opinion.
 

noelpne

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Even under very capable managers players in a team underperform...why? you originally ask.
Agents get percentages. Most of the contracts the top Prem players get negotiated, rely on fixed sums of money, not on performance.
(If it was on performance, the 'Marks out of ten' would have to be awarded by a Completely Independent Body, like e.g. a Football League Panel, and totally incorruptible).
So unless they are going for The Silverware -
Why try that hard ?
 
OP
E

epsilon

First Team
Even under very capable managers players in a team underperform...why? you originally ask.
Agents get percentages. Most of the contracts the top Prem players get negotiated, rely on fixed sums of money, not on performance.
(If it was on performance, the 'Marks out of ten' would have to be awarded by a Completely Independent Body, like e.g. a Football League Panel, and totally incorruptible).
So unless they are going for The Silverware -
Why try that hard ?

It's a fair comment on human nature.
What happened at Chelsea is real.

Last season at NE we had unbelievable variation in performance ... up to the point when the manager was sacked.

Frankie had a honeymoon period and the team did well. And then he started experiencing something similar to Neil.

That quote by Sedds (above) is telling. I infer that he means it cannot be attributed to training. I don't expect him to confirm that though - this is a difficult topic.
 
OP
E

epsilon

First Team
If a player isn't performing, for form or more nefarious reasons, they can and should be dropped. Easy.

In this world where the analytics are a guideline on a player's ability in terms of potentially lucrative transfers, it makes little to no sense for a player, on behalf of an agent or otherwise to intentionally underperform, thus bombing their own stats and potential future earnings.

Agree with the first line. It's unfortunate for the fans that Frankie's options were badly impacted by injury. At one point nearly all of the new blood in the team was unavailable to him.

Evans, in particular, has been badly missed. Have NE had many bad games when he played ? You know he'll grit his teeth and get stuck in, game after game.

And he gets paid game after game.

I guess that underline the point.

Regarding the second point, I see what you're saying. My question would be: given the evidence on show, with player ratings and also the more detailed analytical stats, why is this phenomenon occurring ?

Possibly ... the player doesn't think anyone will notice. Over to others to comment.
 
OP
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epsilon

First Team
https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/59406087

The article above describes the recommendations of a fan-led review of professional football. It is reported that 47 recommendations have been made. Has anyone seen that full list ? That might be interesting.

From the article: one key recommendation is that an independent regulator be set up to help govern football. There are multiple examples of why that is needed, some of which are very recent : super league, clubs folding, premier league to EFL 'gap'.

I'm mentioning this issue here because an independent regulator could, at some point, look into the currently unregulated activities that are carried out by agents. It might, for example, seek to define what is considered professional conduct.

What's your view ?

Can agents be regulated in practice ?


This is an interesting quote :

"Speaking to BBC sports editor Dan Roan, Crouch added that the recommendations were to remove "vested interests" from football to ensure it can "become sustainable for the long-term future".
"

The term "vested interests" could cover a broad set of entities.
 

Libertine

Advisor to the Owner
1) Almost every North End manager has had to work against a backdrop of his best players being sold, Alex Neil was no different.
2) Alex Neil's football was dull and uninspiring to watch long before Covid and I suggest he had already lost a section of the fanbase before lockdown 1.
3) His better players may have been replaced by worse players, but if that is the case how do we explain those odd/rare outstanding performances by these players. Does this not point to the ability being there and it being up to the manager to coach it out of them consistently?
4) Agents are parasites.
5) If agents talk to each other about players behind the scenes, surely club owners are talking behind the scenes about the agents and could double down and rid the game of the worst offenders.

6) And here's my main point I thought all the way through your post. The only way that you can stamp this out is by having a strong dressing room. I've said it elsewhere that we created a lot of problems for ourselves off the pitch by releasing Tom Clarke. We currently seem to be doing the same with Huntington. Think back to Man united, you read so many times how Roy Keane and certain members of the class of '92 and others (Schmeichel) bossed that dressing room and made sure that new players joining the squad knew the standards that were expected of them. That baton seems to have at some point been dropped and now look at the state of them. There is not a chance in the world that Pogba would be allowed to mince around the pitch if Roy Keane was in that dressing room.

I'd suggest that the club need to immediately u-turn on their behaviour towards Hunts. We have Gally in position who can impose standards. John Welsh has been brought back in and this is what we need. Preston North End needs to have an identity. I'd suggest that Alan Browne, who's been with us for 7 years now, should be appreciated more. Take his wages out of the equation, as they will just be his market value. In the current squad him and DJ are the stalwarts, so they really need to be the ones to get a grip of the dressing room. Are they strong enough characters, I don't know. But I believe that that's what's needed.
 

Thracia

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https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/59406087

The article above describes the recommendations of a fan-led review of professional football. It is reported that 47 recommendations have been made. Has anyone seen that full list ? That might be interesting.

From the article: one key recommendation is that an independent regulator be set up to help govern football. There are multiple examples of why that is needed, some of which are very recent : super league, clubs folding, premier league to EFL 'gap'.

I'm mentioning this issue here because an independent regulator could, at some point, look into the currently unregulated activities that are carried out by agents. It might, for example, seek to define what is considered professional conduct.

What's your view ?

Can agents be regulated in practice ?


This is an interesting quote :

"Speaking to BBC sports editor Dan Roan, Crouch added that the recommendations were to remove "vested interests" from football to ensure it can "become sustainable for the long-term future".
"

The term "vested interests" could cover a broad set of entities.
There's a thread about the fan-led review with a link to the full report here.

Recommendation #9 is regulation of agents.
 

Final Stand

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1) Almost every North End manager has had to work against a backdrop of his best players being sold, Alex Neil was no different.
2) Alex Neil's football was dull and uninspiring to watch long before Covid and I suggest he had already lost a section of the fanbase before lockdown 1.
3) His better players may have been replaced by worse players, but if that is the case how do we explain those odd/rare outstanding performances by these players. Does this not point to the ability being there and it being up to the manager to coach it out of them consistently?
4) Agents are parasites.
5) If agents talk to each other about players behind the scenes, surely club owners are talking behind the scenes about the agents and could double down and rid the game of the worst offenders.

6) And here's my main point I thought all the way through your post. The only way that you can stamp this out is by having a strong dressing room. I've said it elsewhere that we created a lot of problems for ourselves off the pitch by releasing Tom Clarke. We currently seem to be doing the same with Huntington. Think back to Man united, you read so many times how Roy Keane and certain members of the class of '92 and others (Schmeichel) bossed that dressing room and made sure that new players joining the squad knew the standards that were expected of them. That baton seems to have at some point been dropped and now look at the state of them. There is not a chance in the world that Pogba would be allowed to mince around the pitch if Roy Keane was in that dressing room.

I'd suggest that the club need to immediately u-turn on their behaviour towards Hunts. We have Gally in position who can impose standards. John Welsh has been brought back in and this is what we need. Preston North End needs to have an identity. I'd suggest that Alan Browne, who's been with us for 7 years now, should be appreciated more. Take his wages out of the equation, as they will just be his market value. In the current squad him and DJ are the stalwarts, so they really need to be the ones to get a grip of the dressing room. Are they strong enough characters, I don't know. But I believe that that's what's needed.

Ben Whiteman is a former captain with some presence as a leader, which may have ruffled some feathers in the PNE changing room?
 

Libertine

Advisor to the Owner
Ben Whiteman is a former captain with some presence as a leader, which may have ruffled some feathers in the PNE changing room?
Obviously I don't know the hierarchy of the dressing room, but if there is a strong dressing room, one player wouldn't be able to come in and unsettle them. Well you'd think not. When Ben signed, even Gally was still in there on the playing squad.
 

noelpne

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A Sean Greegan type would be worth his weight in gold.
I hope that in the meantime that the Scouts keep looking for a similar type, in the meantime it's certainly food for thought to - not just retain Hunts, but give him the armband in a flat-back four along with the BFG and the pairing of 2 other solid backs. When one of those two are out, give the armband to t'other player.
 
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