Why did Oleh Blokhin & Igor Belanov win the Balon D’or?

When you look through a list of Balon d’Or winners you see a who’s who of the biggest names in football history. From Stanley Matthews to Cristiano Ronaldo; every winner of the Balon d’Or has gone down in footballing history as an icon of the game. Every winner except for two. Oleh Blokhin and Igor Belanov. Two Balon d’Or winners from Dinamo Kyiv in 1975 and 1986.

So why did they win the most prestigious individual award in football in these years? In both years Kyiv won the Cup Winners Cup with Belanov leading the scoring charts in the competition in 1986. But surely that isn’t enough to warrant being called the best European player for that year.

Beginning with the 1975 winner Oleh Blokhin. A Ukranian striker who had a fantastic goalscoring record in the then Soviet League. scoring a career league total of 225 goals in 495 games. A great return for any striker but in a league of that quality should he have been a Balon d’Or winner?

In 1975 he scored 23 in 36 appearances in all competitions including five goals in eight appearances in the cup winners cup. Although it is a good return it is nowhere near good enough to be the called the best player in Europe. To score 18 in a poor league in the Soviet Union and 5 in Europes B list competition albeit in a winning effort. He wasn’t scoring at an unbelievable rate especially when you compare it to Jupp Heynckes who places 7th in that years Balon d’Or vote who scored 42 in 43 in the 74-75 season and won the UEFA Cup with Borussia Monchengladbach. Or Gerd Muller who scored 30 in 43 in that season as well as being the joint top scorer in the European Cup with 5 goals as Bayern Munich went on to win it. Muller only got 4 points in the Balon D’or voting whereas Blokhin got almost 3 times as many votes as second place Franz Beckenbauer who captained Bayern to the second of three consecutive European Cup wins.

Fast Forward 11 years and another Dinamo Kyiv player was picking up the award. Igor Belanov. A similar story to Blokhin in that Kyiv won the Cup Winners Cup and Belanov topped the scoring charts joint on 5 goals with no other than Oleh Blokhin himself. So why did Belanov win the Balon D’or in 1986? Upon further inspection, Belanovs top goalscorer award is not the amazing feat of goalscoring that it seemed. three of his goals were against minnows Universitatea Craiova as well as a brace against another small side in Rapid Wien. His other two goals were penalties.

There was an obvious winner that year in Diego Maradona but in those years the award was only open to European players. Even still there were two much more obvious choices than Belanov with Gary Lineker and Helmuth Duckadam. Scoring 38 in 52 for Everton in the 85-86 season, going to the World Cup in Mexico scoring 6 goals and winning the golden boot in the process. Then getting a move to Barcelona and continuing to score at a fantastic rate. Of course, there is much more to football than goals and stats but When Lineker was scoring at that rate as well as winning the golden boot in the biggest football competition in the world you have to question why Belanov won that year.

Helmuth Duckadam was a part of the historic Steaua Bucharest European Cup winning team. He pretty much lead the team to the trophy in one of the biggest upsets in European cup history. In the final Duckadam saved 4 penalties in a row in the Penalty shootout pretty much winning the cup for Bucharest single-handedly. In the league Duckadam was also a standout performer, conceding only 25 goals in 34 games and leading into the 86-87 season where he only conceded 17 in 34. An amazing goalkeeping record that deserved recognition like a Balon D’or win.

I can’t find any reason for Blokhin and Belanov to have won these two awards these years. Potentially European nations appeasing the Soviet Union by voting their players as Balon D’or winners as a political move perhaps a bit of corruption in the voting system. One thing is for certain though these two players were not the two best players in Europe in these years and these awards went to the wrong players in these years.

Top 3 Fulham vs QPR Games from the past decade.

The Championships best derby is back tonight with Fulham making the trip to Loftus Road tonight in a game that should be closely contested. Fulham come off the back of a 3-1 away win at the City Ground against Nottingham Forest whereas QPR could only manage a draw against Barnsley in their last outing

Continue reading “Top 3 Fulham vs QPR Games from the past decade.”

Fulham set to sign Jordan Graham on short term loan as Lucas Piazon replacement

Jordan Graham is having a medical at Motspur Park ahead of a loan move to Fulham on deadline day. The Wolves winger will join the whites until January as a replacement for the injured Lucas Piazon; who broke his leg in a game against Leeds earlier in August.

It isn’t thought that Graham would be a starter at Fulham as he will find himself behind the likes of; Sheyi Ojo, Floyd Ayite, and Neeskens Kebano in the pecking order for wingers. Jordan Graham found himself missing the majority of last season due to a knee injury, but may flourish with a loan move to Fulham, as he could feel he has something to prove for when he returns to Wolves in January.

Jordan Graham would be Fulham’s 6th loan signing of the window. But as he is a replacement for Piazon whilst he is injured there is no worry of Fulham breaking the rule of only having 5 loanees in a matchday squad.

What do you make of the potential arrival of Jordan Graham? Discuss here or tweet me @charliejones141 or discuss at http://www.friendsoffulham.com/forum/index.php?topic=55219.0

 

 

Fulham make record breaking £15 million bid for Dwight Gayle

Fulham last night made another huge move in the transfer market, bidding £15 million for Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle. In what seems to be a late flurry of activity. Fulham also completed the signing of Jota last night. 
Gayle would be the 3rd striker signed by Fulham in this window, after the arrivals of Rui Fonte and Aboubakar Kamara. However both Fonte and Kamara can be deployed on the wing, Rui Fonte can also operate as a shadow striker.
Dwight Gayle had an amazing goal scoring rate in the Championship last season, with 23 goals in 32 games. He would definitely be worth the £15m fee if he could replicate that form at Craven Cottage.
A £15 million fee would be the highest Fulham have ever spent, breaking the record previously set by Kostas Mitroglou. If the deal does go through every Fulham fan will be hoping Gayle turns out differently to Mitroglou. 
Breaking your transfer record this late in the window is a huge statement of intent from both the owners, and the manager. They seem determined to get the club back to the Premier League and will spend whatever it takes to make that happen. 
Lots of people are asking. ” How are Fulham are able to spend big late in the window?” The Khans seem to be making the most of the last of the parachute payments. Alongside the sale of Sone Aluko and recieving a fee from Man City for Patrick Roberts going out on loan again. 
What do you make of this late spending from Fulham? Will Dwight Gayle be worth it? Discuss here or at http://www.friendsoffulham.com/forum/index.php?board=1.0

 

Fulham looking to sign Brentford talisman Jota after Sone Aluko departs in a £7.5 million deal

Fulham are set to make their biggest move in the transfer window so far, in signing Brentford midfielder Jota. Fulham are currently in discussions with Brentford over the transfer, but a fee is yet to be agreed. Although it is thought that Sone Aluko’s move to Reading will act as a catalyst and push this move through before the deadline.
Brentford’s star man can be utilised in both a number 10 and a right wing role. Adding cover for Fulham captain Tom Cairney and acting as a replacement for the departing Sone Aluko. 
Aluko is set for a Reading medical today after a deal worth £7.5 million was accepted for his services today. Aluko signed for Fulham just last summer on a free transfer. 
Jota was considered by many last season to be the championships best midfielder alongside Tom Cairney. Scoring 12 and assisting 5 in just 21 appearances for The Bees. Outscoring the departing Sone Aluko who scored just 8 in 47 appearances including the playoffs. 
Jota would suit Fulham’s style to a tee, as his passing and dribbling skills are amongst the best in this league. Jota has already assisted 3 goals for Brentford this campaign whereas Aluko hasn’t contributed to any goals so far this season. 
What do you make of the departure of Sone Aluko and the potential signing of Jota? Discuss here. Tweet me @charliejones141 or discuss at 

http://www.friendsoffulham.com/forum/index.php?board=1.0

Michael Madl placed on the transfer list by Fulham

Austrian defender Michael Madl has been placed on the transfer list this week by Fulham. It is looking likely that he will depart Craven Cottage before the end of the window. 
This follows the departure of Icelandic centre back Ragnar Sigurdsson on loan to Rubin Kazan. Madl leaving would leave Fulham quite bare bones at centre back, with the only centre backs in the squad signed permanently being; Tim Ream and Marcelo Djalo. Tomas Kalas is also signed but only on a loan deal, so Fulham fans may expect defensive reinforcements arriving in the next couple of weeks. 
Dennis Odoi has been playing as a makeshift centre back this season. The Belgian has impressed against both Reading and Leeds playing in his new role, so Fulham may not need to sign a replacement for Madl. 
Madl has been linked to a move to Legia Warsaw so a move to Poland may be on the cards for him. Madl joined Fulham on loan in January 2016 and impressed during that spell enough to get a permanent move in the summer. However he has now lost his place in the starting 11 and is deemed surplus to requirements. 
What do you make of Michael Madl leaving Fulham? Who would you like to see as his replacement? Discuss here or at http://www.friendsoffulham.com/forum/index.php?board=1.0

Fulham end pursuit of Joe Bennett and switch attention to two other targets after refusing to pay his wage demands

Fulham have turned their backs on a deal to sign Cardiff left back Joe Bennett, after he has demanded a weekly wage in excess of £30,000. Fulham are now set to turn their attention back to a previous target in Maxime Poundje, and young Porto left-back Rafa Soares.

The Joe Bennett deal looked all but done earlier in the week, as Fulham had activated his release clause and begun talks about a contract, at which point the deal hit a problem. Joe Bennett was asking for a wage in excess of £30,000 a week which is double what he is earning at Cardiff, and with Fulham being sensible spenders, they showed Bennett the door.

The Cardiff left back would have been a replacement for Scott Malone. After Malone’s departure, Ryan Sessegnon has been the first choice left back, but every Fulham fan can see that the young prospect is destined to go the route of Gareth Bale, and end up playing on the wing one day. Any fan can see that his attacking prowess is too great to be wasted at left back.

Rafa Soares may join Fulham on loan amidst interest from the whites. He is not currently Porto’s first choice in that position, as Miguel Layun and Alex Telles are both above him in the pecking order. The 22-year-old left back impressed while on loan with Rio Ave in Portugal last season. This signing would come after the arrival of fellow countryman Rui Fonte, and this move would help both players settle in.

The Maxime Poundje situation has also changed since this news. Similarly to his team mate Diego Rolan he remains hard to convince to join a Championship club as he feels it isn’t the best move for his career. This could still all change as he has been frozen out of the Bordeaux squad and as the window winds down he could be scrambling for a club, as could Rolan.

Should we have paid Bennetts wage demands? Should we still go after Poundje if he isn’t sure about joining? Discuss here or at http://www.friendsoffulham.com/forum/index.php