It’s often a question that football fans can never really answer, but why do certain players seem quite happy to sit on the bench? More often than not players are always wanting to play, so transfers to clubs where the opportunities are limited always confuses the fans. For example, one particular player is currently trying his very best to escape from Stoke City for no obvious reason.
Asmir Begovic, the Bosnian international goalkeeper, has begun a war of words with the chairman and his manager at Stoke City. Seemingly the whole reason for this is that he wishes to join Chelsea as a reserve goalkeeper for the foreseeable future. Stoke City feel that Begovic has been tapped up but for the second time 8 months, he’s involved in a transfer merry go round as deadline day comes around.
In January, Begovic had agreed to join Tottenham as a double deal that saw Younes Kaboul also arrive at White Hart Lane. Spurs, convinced that the deal was done, actually paid £1 million to Portsmouth as part payment of Begovic’s transfer fee. Yet the goalkeeper decided that despite agreeing a 4 year contract, he didn’t want to go there and joined Stoke City instead. This odd situation left Portsmouth, desperate for funds, actually owing Spurs money for a player who never joined them.
Begovic cited “sporting reasons” for his decision to move to the Potteries and up until last week, everything seemed fine. Then on Tuesday, Begovic apparently told manager Tony Pulis he wasn’t prepared to play against Shrewsbury in the League Cup. Pulis then indicated to the press that he had effectively gone on strike and refused to play. Begovic responded to this by describing Pulis’ comments as an “absolutely disgraceful accusation”
To be fair, Begovic is not the first player to allegedly refuse to play in a match, but it is a very strange situation for a club to find themselves in. At Stoke City, Tony Pulis is clearly a man in charge of his own destiny. James Beattie found that out when Pulis questioned his commitement and workrate last season. Beattie disagreed with that and made it clear to the manager. We also had the infamous did they/didn’t they come to blows in December last season at the Emirates.
Suffice to say James Beattie is now at Glasgow Rangers and Tony Pulis is still the manager of Stoke City. Pulis does not suffer fools at his football clubs and never has done. The club are adamant that they will not sell Begovic against there wishes, but no-one wants unhappy players at a club. What does surprise me is that Begovic is so keen to join Chelsea, with Petr Cech and Ross Turnbull cemented as the first teams goalkeepers. Would he really dispel either of those two from the match day squad?
With the new Premiership squad list rules coming in as of Wednesday morning, all Premiership clubs have to have a squad of 25 players registered. Clearly, Begovic wants to be registered as a Chelsea player by the time the transfer window shuts at 6pm UK time on August 31st but Stoke City are refusing to be bullied in to selling him. Asmir Begovic, with his latest outpouring is now desperately trying to engineer a transfer as quickly as possible.
The question is, just how much are Chelsea willing to pay for a player who seems so unsure of his own mind,as this gem proves from last year. He’d refusedturned down an invitation to play for Bosnia, his birth place and stated his wish to continue playing for the Canadian national side in June 2009. “I’ve played for Canada for a long time. There’s no decision, I don’t want to switch” Two months later he accepted an invitation to turn his back on Canada and play international football for Bosnia.He is now a full Bosnian international.Good luck with him Chelsea.
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