July 2 — two games, two winsBy Alberta Gooner | June 27th, 2011 | Category: Daily Links, English Premier League, Featured Posts, Lead Article, Rumors, Soccer | 82 comments
Very successful tournament thus far with two wins from two games and both games saw us come back from a goal down. It’s very gratifying to see that progress. You can prepare players’ bodies but you never really know how they will respond to adversity until you see them face adversity.
Just one link today from blog favourite Ben Lyttleton, who looks at Samir Nasri’s future.
Heading down to the GMA for St. Albert’s Canada Day tournament and the forecast is for clear, sunny skies. The tournament itself should be reasonably stiff competition as we’re going to be playing some midtable clubs from the Edmonton city-wide league. Which is just a note to let you know that the long weekend starts early for me. Hope Canadians enjoy their Friday off and our American friends have a great time and good weather for Independence Day.
To the links, where the ever-excellent Swiss Ramble eyes up Palermo’s books and concludes that the sometimes insane public statements issued by Maurizio Zamparini actually mask a shrewd operation. Unfortunately, their business model probably means they’ll eventually lose Javier Pastore and Edison Cavani.
Matthew Stanger provides a list of 10 players to watch at the Copa America while Jonathan Wilson previews a tournament that will occupy a lot of my hours during summer evenings. It will be interesting to see whether Uruguay repeat their success at South Africa. Something tells me we’ll see a Cinderella emerge and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Ecuador and Columbia show very well.
Disenchanted Spurs supporter Dave Roberts sees David Bentley’s career fizzle at White Hart Lane.
Paul Tomkins provides a riposte to Martin Samuel’s criticism of Damien Comolli.
Manchester City are closing in on the £20m signing of Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri. (Sky Sports) Manchester City are keeping an eye on Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri and are prepared to spend £20m on the Frenchman.
Full story: talkSPORT With Barcelona closing in on Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas, midfielder Samir Nasri and defender Gael Clichy could be heading out of the Emirates to Manchester United and Manchester City respectively.
Full story: Daily Telegraph
Clichy is hardly a surprise — Arsenal have been shopping him around Europe since last summer. Neither is Fabregas although Catalan Aesthes FC’s ability to finance his sale and bring in Alexis Sanchez is a little surprising. Nasri’s stance does, though, come out of left field. Given how his anonymity in the title run-in, though, perhaps it’s time to cash in.
However, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is hoping the signing of Lille striker Gervinho – with a £12m deal close to completion – will keep Nasri in London.
Full story: Daily Mirror
Gervinho is a very good player but I don’t think his signing will make a difference in the Nasri negotiations.
Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani has confirmed he will return to Liverpool this summer following a season-long loan at Juventus.
Full story: Sky Italia
Given AA’s form with the Old Lady, Liverpool supporters should welcome this news. Although why in God’s name they’d want to proceed with buying Charlie Adam now is particularly mystifying.
Chelsea have had a £4m bid for 19-year-old goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois rejected by Belgian champions Genk.
Full story: Inside Futbol
Rent Boys FC see him as the long-term successor to Petr Cech
Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur have joined Arsenal in the race for Valencia winger Juan Mata. (the Times)
Where Holloway Road Properties will show them a clean pair of heels. Again. If Wenger wants Mata, we’ll beat Spurs to his signature. We can pay more and offer Champions League football.
Blackburn are set to beat Sunderland to the £6.5m signing of Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha. Rovers boss Steve Kean wants him to replace Phil Jones, who has joined Manchester United.
Full story: Daily Mail
Onuoha is a quality defender and I’m a little surprised Abu Dhabi FC don’t want to keep him. Kolo Toure has regressed and Joleon Lescott has never convinced as Vincent Kompany’s partner. But it’s not like it would be the first dumbassed decision sanctioned by Garry Cook, is it?
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas wants Benfica wing-back Fabio Coentrao as his first signing for the Blues but faces competition from Real Madrid.
Full story: Daily Telegraph
Chelsea have really struggled when it comes to buying right backs from Portugal. Jose Bosingwa and Paulo Ferreira represent about 30m pounds worth of failure on their right flank. If this is serious, it suggests they plan on pushing Branislav Ivanovic inside, a move that carries its own ramifications.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon is hoping to tempt Manchester City striker Craig Bellamy back to Glasgow but faces competition from Blackburn.
Full story: the Sun
Bellamy seems to have taken a holiday from his prattish ways while on loan at Cardiff. If he can remain on the straight and narrow, he’d be an excellent signing.
Newcastle target Romaric looks set to leave Sevilla after it was revealed that the midfielder will be left out of the Spanish club’s pre-season tour of Costa Rica.
Full story: talkSport
The Ivorian has looked like a quality attacking player since his days at Le Mans. Dodgy haircut but very decent skills. It continues to look like the Geordies are casting their nets in Continental waters seeking the next Chiek Tiote.
Tottenham are set to make Mexican striker Antonio Pedroza Whitham their first signing of the summer transfer window, with the 20-year-old set to cost under £1m as his contract at the Mexican club had expired.
Full story: Daily Mirror
No idea about the player. Perhap he was recommended to the wheeler dealer by the *cough” right *cough” agent.
The White Hart Lane club have also joined Manchester City in the chase for highly rated 16-year-old Caen striker M’Baye Niang.
Full story: Daily Mail
Along with Romelu Lukaku, Niang is seen as the next potential Drogba.
Chelsea have made a huge undisclosed bid for Palermo’s attacking midfielder Javier Pastore, which seems to signal the end of their quest for Tottenham’s Luka Modric. Full story: footybunker.com
Pastore feels like a very pricey fallback in case they cannot secure the Spurs’ playmaker.
Big-spending Paris St Germain are ready to make a bid for Lille’s Belgian star Eden Hazard, who is wanted by Arsenal and Tottenham.
Full story: talkSport
Apparently the next Messi prefers the squalour of Paris to the charms of north London. Quelle surprise! If Stockport Massive lures Nasri north, it wouldn’t surprise me if Wenger opened up the wallet and blew the dust off the Queen’s eyes in order to secure the Belgian.
Stoke City have had a £3m bid rejected by West Ham for striker Carlton Cole. Full story: the Sun
Air Marshall Pulis will have to pay a little more for another target for his brand of hoofball.
OK, I’ll admit my past as journalist sometimes influences how I feel about people. And Andre Villas-Boas has done more than any single manager in recent memory with a memorable answer to why top clubs don’t employ English managers.
“Maybe they don’t export that well. But I’m sure Allardyce would do well abroad”
He followed that up by hiring blog favourite Roberto di Matteo as his number two and expounded on his group-think philosophy with an utterly memorable quote that carves the obsession with pundits to compare him to the omelet maker:
“”Maybe I should be called ‘The Group One.”
That’s says so much on so many levels, both about his research and wit. Well done, sir. The only thing that could possibly top that is helping Didier Drogba and JT locate their missing sense of shame. Nick Miller follows up with a laundry list for AVB to succeed.
In actual news, a couple of reported Liverpool targets wound up with other clubs as O’Sunderland signed Connor Wickham AKA the new Shearer while Dmitri Payet opted for Lille, where he’ll presumably replace either Gervinho (whose apparently off to Holloway Road) or Eden Hazard, who is reportedly agitating for a move to Paris after the Quatar FC made a 31m euro bid for the Beligan wunderkid. Which is a cue for Fleet Street’s heftiest pundit, both in gross tonnage and salary (a reported 400k annual) Martin Samuel to criticize the Little Britian approach of Liverpool’s mooted transfer targets. Perhaps the appeal of Charlie Adam escapes him. It certainly does me, especially if you are planning to sell Raul Meireles.
Salford LBO continued their novel policy of actually signing players by announcing David De Gea will spend the next five years venting his spleen at Jonny Evans. So the defending champions have spent 50m on three players, two of them teenagers, while Arsene Wenger faffs about looking for value in the market. Fergie wants to make one more signing and has eyed up Samir Nasri but Mark Ogden suggests the empurpled one should make a play for HRP’s disenchanted Catalan.
If Sir did have the cheek to make an actual offer, the odds of Wenger’s head exploding are probably right around even money.
Revisiting an earlier theme touched upon by this humble blog, Sarah Winterburn sees positive signs in Newcastle United’s summer dealings.
Before the links depart for the Continent, we cannot let the news that England now sit fourth in the world by the FIFA rankings, ahead of Brazil and Argentina without comment. As Rob Bagchi states, this says a lot more about the rankings than the performance of England. Obviously both are rubbish, something that would be apparent to anybody who has watched the Three Lions. The rankings shouldn’t matter but they do determine seeding in the World Cup, which is why this is another area screaming out for reform in FIFA.
Rather than dwell on incompetence, let’s instead move to Russia, where Jonathan Wilson salutes CSKA Moscow, the probable Russian champions and favourite team of Fox Soccer’s Derek Taylor.
To Italy, where Roberto Gotta looks at Inter Milan’s new gaffer Gian Piero Gasperini.
In Netherlands, Mohamed Moallim see FC Twente turn to Co Adriaanse, a successful coach with occasional anger management issues.
Finally, we skip across the Atlantic to MLS, where Ian Plenderleith sees Charlie Davies erode a lot of good will built from his comeback with a disgraceful dive.
As we’ve had a plethora of links to look at, there’s no rumours today. Maybe tomorrow.
What an exciting day for Holloway Road Properties PLC. First, Nina Bracewell-Smith, through the medium of Twitter, demands the board be sacked. Next, Arsene Wenger decides to send a written response to a frustrated supporter that features a cutting and pasting of several “key messages” of patience, prudence and parismony. Whoops, how did that last one slip in there?
Anyway, Gary Cahill (17m) gets added to the short list of defenders being sought by Wenger that now includes Phil Jagielka (rated at 20m by the optimistic David Moyes) and Christopher Samba (rated at 12m by Factory Farm FC, although that could get lowered if he ups his agitation to threatening grievious bodily harm to force through his transfer). Hell, Wenger may have to sell both Fabregas and Nasri just to swing buying one of them and delivering an appropriate ROI for Mr. Kroenke.
Still, it could be worse and River Plate provides a cautionary tale for anybody in football who thinks their club is too big to go down. Let’s start strong with Sam Kelly’s outsanding Hasta El Gol Siempre blog. Quality stuff.
Daniel Schweimler looks at the implications of River’s relegation on and off the pitch.
Ed Malyon talks about the role of ultras and former players in River’s downfall.
By contrast to the fallen giants in Buenos Aires, today’s links provide examples of small clubs who climb to the top thanks to shrewd management and (pay attention Randy Lerner!) and concrete business plan. David Cartlidge chronicles the rise of Granada in Spain thanks to an interesting link with Udinese. Jonathan Bradley looks at Malaga, who’ve gone the Stockport Massive route by overpaying for footballers thanks to being bought by oil-rich sugardaddies.
Matt Slater reviews the match fixing scandal that has consumed Greek football at a time when the country didn’t need the distraction.
To the pitch, where blog favourite Michael Cox picks his European XI of the season with a complete set of substitutes.
As that’s plenty to chew on for today, let’s save rumours for tomorrow.
Developments of the summer’s most tedious transfer saga have posed a problem to my working theory that Catalan Aesthes FC wouldn’t have the funds to buy Cesc after “winning” the battle for Alexis Sanchez. In that they suggest it is completely and utterly off the mark.
Indeed, it appears that the good directors at Holloway Road Properties are going to do what their club does best these days — concede defeat and make one hell of a lot of money doing so. Snorting in derision at the initial 27m pound bid, which slots Fabregas roughly halfway between Jordan Henderson and Andy Carroll in terms of valuation, the BBC’s Dan Roan reports they’ve invited another pitch that’s somewhat closer to their 50m euro price for their club captain. Having watched the same dumbasses hand over a good deal more money PLUS Samuel Eto’o to Inter Milan for a whingy striker who puckers in Europe, one wonders why Ivan Gazidis hasn’t demanded Gerard Pique as a makeweight to get the deal done.
lol — I jest, of course, as the HRP only want hard cash. To be fair, they are now being linked with Juan Mata, Phil Jagielka and Ricky Alvarez so it appears they will be reinvesting some of the Cesc loot into more than extending Samir Nasri’s contract and buying Gervinho, whom, if Ben Lyttleton is to be believed, will be very successful in the Premier League.
Speaking of Mr. Lyttleton, he also interviews a French scout who assesses reported Liverpool target Nolan Roux.
Staying in France, PSG is making a big impression these days and it has nothing to do with violence at the Parc du Princes or supporters making threats against the first team squad. Tom Williams chronicles the rewards of selling out to oil-rich sheiks from Quatar.
Moving to the more glamourous surroundings of England’s exotic midlands, Nick Miller argues selling Stewart Downing sends a terrible message for supporters of Aston Villa FC. Unless, of course, they reinvest that money in bringing back James Milner to the club from Stockport Massive for 14m and buy Charles N’Zogbia to replace Ashley Young. Then, they’d still be well up in terms of transfer profit, which could be used to replace Brad Friedel with a keeper that’s a good deal more competent than Ben Foster.