Thursday, May 29, 2008

Alonso to Juventus?

Daily mirror reports,Liverpool midfielder is on the verge of joining Serie A side Juventus for a price tag of £16million.
Is it a good deal for the Old Lady to go ahead with and the scousers to let go of a player of Alonso's caliber?
Liverpool have been very active in the transfer market with manager Rafa Benitez to strengthen his squad for next season as his main target is Premiership title now.
Also,is Alonso worth £16million??I certainly don't think so.If Alonso does exit Anfield,will it be good for Liverpool as he has played many games for Liverpool and his been instrumental in helping out the forever doggy backline of Liverpool?

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Capello cuts squad short for T&T

England coach Fabio Capello has named his squad for the trip to Trinidad & Tobago,last friendly of the season.The exclusions are all part of the Manchester United - Chelsea game which contested the Champions League in Moscow.
England had won their friendly last night 2-0 (read here) against USA at Wembley.

The excluded players include John Terry,who had started the proceedings against USA with a magnificent header is joined by Wayne Rooney,Owen Hargreaves,Ashely Cole,Wes Brown,Frank Lampard and Joe Cole.All have been given an early break with England not part of the Euro 2008 is Austria-Switzerland.
Rio Ferdinand has been named for the squad as he has links with the Caribbean and Wayne Bridge,Chelsea full back who didn't play in the final have been included in the 20man squad.

The final squad for the friendly on 1st June is:
David James (Portsmouth),
Joe Hart (Manchester City),
Joe Lewis Peterborough),
Wayne Bridge (Chelsea),
Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United),
Phil Jagielka (Everton),
Glen Johnson (Portsmouth),
Stephen Warnock(Blackburn),
David Wheater (Middlesbrough),
Jonathan Woodgate(Tottenham),
Gareth Barry (Aston Villa),
David Beckham (LA Galaxy),
David Bentley (Blackburn),
Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough),
Steven Gerrard(Liverpool),
Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham),
Theo Walcott (Arsenal),
Ashley Young (Aston Villa),
Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa),
Dean Ashton (West Ham),
Peter Crouch (Liverpool),
Jermain Defoe (Portsmouth).


England vs USA,Review

England win the friendly 2-0 against USA with goals from John Terry and Steven Gerrard.

John terry,captain of the day, who had missed the penalty which could have won his club Chelsea the title had been reeling under the effects of it for the past week and it was clearly visible when he headed in from a typical England play with David Beckham taking charge of the dead ball situations.John Terry, who could barely hide his emotions ran toward Beckham and hugged the usual England captain.England were up 1-0 after 38mins.

The second goal came in the second half,when Gareth Barry who had come on for not more than 2minutes made a fantastic pass for Steven Gerrard who easily tucked it in the left bottom corner from his right foot.

Other parts of the game were dominated with substitutions with manager,Fabio Capello having a look at almost the entire squad.

USA had chances few and far between.They had an attacking spell on the start of the second half with Johnson who came very close to squaring the game from 10yards out as David James was completely beaten.

England had a great game with many chances being created and in my view Jermaine Defoe was top notch.He hit the target on so many occasions and should have made the scoreline much more promising.Another positive out of the game would be a clean sheet for England.England players who on the close of season didn't look to be exhausted and tired for this friendly.
Overall,England get 8.5/10 stars but it remains to be seen how they perform with a stronger opposition with USA not proving to be a match for England's dominance in the midfield.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

England vs USA(live updates)

How about a shift from club football to International football?Especially to set the mood going for Euro 2008(bookmark this blog to get further Euro 2008 information).
England play USA at the Wembley.
The team looks like this for the Three Lions:

David James,
Wes Brown,
Rio Ferdinand,
John Terry,
Ashley Cole,
David Beckham,
Owen Hargreaves,
Frank Lampard,
Steven Gerrard,
Jermaine Defoe,
Wayne Rooney

Tim Howard,

Further updates as and when something big happens.Keep refreshing :)

34mins : Gerrard crosses from the left and Defoe dives in and misses the target.That could have been 1-0 to England.

38mins: Beckham takes a free kick,JT SCORES!!An emotional Terry hugs Beckham.


40mins : Hargreaves takes a shot from far.Ball goes over.

41mins : Defoe controls a long ball perfectly,shoots it from far and ball goes into the second tier.

43mins : Defoe has been a pain all evening for USA defence.CCherundolo is yellow carded.
Beckham takes a free kick and is blocked by the wall.

England 1(Terry38') - 0 USA

2nd half starts

Substitution : Hedjuk and Guzan replace Cherundolo and Howard for USA
Bentley replaces Beckham

46mins : Johnson takes a shot from 10 yards and James was nowhere close.USA should have squared this game.

51mins : Defoe beats the offside trap and takes a shot from outside the box.Easy for keeper to collect.

52 mins : Defoe again hits the target with a close check by USA defender.Penalty?No not really!


58 mins :GOAL : Barry passes into open space for Gerrard and he sinks it in with the right foot.GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!! England 2 - 0 USA



70mins : Yellow card for Pearce

75mins : Rooney gets yellow carded for a late challenge from behind.


80mins : Cross from the right,James is alive and fingertips save pushes it away.James avoids a scare.



England win 2-0.Good Performance.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Schuster wants Hleb

As reported earlier(read here) Alexander Hleb looks set to follow Flamini out of Arsenal and the Premiership with Real Madrid manager Bernd Schuster happily surprised to find him leaving and has a place for him in his squad.
Inter Milan earlier looked to be spearheading the chase for the Belarusian's signature but it looks certain that Hleb would opt for the 31-time La Liga champions.
Schuster goes on to say,
"There are a couple of positions that we can improve and that needs to be strengthened to have the necessary balance," Schuster told AS.

"Over the past two months we have had a plan and we know what we want, but now Hleb has been added.

"We did not know he could leave Arsenal but in recent days it has been more positive. We were surprised that he might leave there."

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Arsenal not to become another Chelsea

Arsenal director Danny Fiszman insists that the London side will continue to be guided by prudent fiscal management, and thus will not seek to emulate Chelsea's 'benefactor model', i.e. they will not go looking for a 'sugar daddy'.

Arsenal are again going the road they have been driving up and down for the past few seasons.Arsenal director Danny Fiszman and Arsene Wenger both have come out and shattered the dreams and hopes of Gunner fans of seeing a high profile signing for the next season and possibly raising chances of a trophy.Although we all have seen how Arsene Wenger can turn a youngster into a prodigy or an exciting prospect nonetheless.Only problem I see with signing youngsters after another youngster is that they loose their cool in the crunch moments, which is visible from the fact that Arsenal had a disgraceful season in respect of discipline.The average age of arsenal squad could not be more than 22,am sure of this fact.
Isn't it high time Arsene Wenger get some experience,skill,class and temperament to the Emirates?



The Daily Mirror reports that Sir Alex Ferguson has notified the Manchester United board over his summer targets. He intends to conclude his summer transfer spending of £50million within the next 2 weeks. His targets being Daniel Alves, Luis Fabiano and Micah Richards.

Manchester United had been linked to Manchester City defender Micah Richards for quite some time and with uncertainty surrounding the managerial position at City of Manchester the deal is likely to go through considering City owner, Thaksin Shinawatra promising the fans a huge kitty for big summer spending.

As for the other two targets, I personally think they would not be able to fit in with the classy and elegant play of Manchester United.What do the fans think,remains to be seen.


Bentley a target for top clubs

Blackburn Rovers’ classy midfielder, David Bentley is on the brink of a move from EWood Park and top clubs like Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea are looking to sign the Englishman who is currently on international duty with friendlies against USA and Trinidad and Tobago. The quoted price being in the range of £15million
Asked if he had agreed a new deal with Blackburn, Bentley said: "No I haven't signed it but we're not talking about that now.
"I watched the Champions League final and of course that's the sort of match I want to play in. Every player when they start their career wants to reach the top of their game, and I haven't done that yet.
"I wouldn't say I'm impatient - but I'm hungry for success.
"I don't look at myself as a full international. I haven't played in a big tournament, haven't played in the Champions League, so I've still got it all to do at the moment.
"That's what I'm trying to do. I've still got to work hard, get better as a player and hopefully one day I'll be in the big games."
It would be interesting to see where he finally lands up in and frankly speaking the player deserves more than what he’s currently achieving(read NOTHING!). Although the quoted price may be too much for a player who has not been much of an influence in UEFA Cup and in the international scene but he would certainly prove to be a great asset for any club that acquires him.


Monday, May 26, 2008


Reports originating from Spain courtesy the sports daily,Marca,which is considered to be Real Madrid's source of comments and of generating transfer rumours.
This story comes from an outspoken presenter on COPE Radio and hasn't seemed to shock the newspaper.Robinho,Ramos and Diarra are collectively thought to be around €90million and another €50 million could get Ronaldo to the Bernabeu.
Marca seems to have taken this task of not letting things to rest between Los Merengues and Portuguese winger.Last week Sir Alex had expressed his displeasure at Real Madrid's underhanded tactics and the player himself not making any comments to stop these reports.
Robinho on the other hand says he has not heard of such things and does not want to hear any prospects of moving away from Madrid and has vowed he plans to retire as a Madrid player.He goes on to say that Real Madrid would not be able to get Cristiano Ronaldo,not at least this year.
Rumours go on to say that Ramon Calderon might meet the Glazer's directly to lure them about the profit's on the sale which would certainly not go down well with Sir Alex.

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Chelsea eye Kaka(Again)!

Even as Chelsea are manager-less and speculations of Frank Rjikaard and Gus Hiddink taking over the reins from Avram Gran't shocking but expected exit,there could be huge changes in the squad that met Manchester United in Moscow last week.
Not for the first time,Chelsea are linked to Kaka with a difference this time around.The mail,reports Chelsea have offered Didier Drogba,Ricardo Carvalho plus cash for the services of Brazilian attacking midfielder.Chelsea were earlier linked to Lionel Messi with an audacious bid of 80million pounds.
This comes after Abramovich succeeding in getting Schevchenko to London without the consent of the then manager,Jose Mourinho for 30million pounds.
Kaka on the other hand signed a contract extension with Rossoneri in February and is currently recuperating after a knee surgery.

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Cologne eye Gudjohnsen

Newly promoted Cologne to the top flight of German Football have identified their big target in the form of Icelandic,Eidur Gudjohnsen.

“We need one or two new signings that will really improve our squad” trainer Christoph Daum told ‘Express’. “We are looking at players that you are usually used to seeing in the Champions League” he added.

Gudjohnsen had little role to play in Barcelona's season with only a few substitute appearances in a trophy-less season which saw the exit of Frank Rjikard.
Its a good thing for the Icelandic striker who deserves first team action and would most certainly be ousted with new manager Pep Guardiola making changes to the squad.

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Torres on Chelsea radar!

Newspapers in England report that Liverpool striker Fernando Torres is on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's radar for a whooping 50million pounds.If Chelsea do manage to achieve this,which does seem unlikely considering it was Torres' first season at Anfield,then they would have to pump out a lot of money for this purchase.Also,with Rafa Benitez in a drastic squad culling mood to generate cash for revitalizing his squad which will be tired after Euro 2008 as they have many players who will be playing for their countries throughout June and then have Champions League qualification to take care of thereafter.
I think this deal would never go through,just like how Chelsea had been after Steven Gerrard and now after their star striker even as Rafa Benitez looks for another forward of the class of Torres.
Are Chelsea expecting too much?

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Calderon surprised by Sir Alex

Real Madrid supremo Ramon Calderon is "really surprised" with Manchester United manager,Sir Alex Ferguson.
Feguson had earlier blasted Real Madrid for using underhanded tactics and lacking morals in their approach towards their star midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, Real president Calderon has responded to Ferguson's comments and insists the club have conducted themselves 'exquisitely' in their pursuit of Ronaldo.

I am really surprised to hear what he said about us," Calderon told Marca. "I don't understand Ferguson.

"Real Madrid have conducted themselves exquisitely in this whole affair with Cristiano Ronaldo.

"We have always said that he is a player who has a contract and that Manchester United is not a selling club. That's everything."

Reports in the spanish papers also suggest that Real Madrid are going to use the proceedings from Robinho's sale to Chelsea who are on the lookout for the fancy Brazilians signature.

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Mourinho speaks out

Jose Mourinho, former Chelsea manager has lashed out at ousted manager Avram Grant's claims of a "Good season" by calling it a VERY BAD SEASON and can be a good season for a person with loser philosophy.
Mourinho was speaking before the actual sacking of the Israeli.

Mourinho, when asked if the season had been a good one as depicted by Grant, told The Observer: "That depends on your philosophy of leadership.

"In my philosophy it was a very bad one because in football 'almost' means defeat and Chelsea almost won the Carling Cup, almost won the Champions League and almost won the Premier League. Almost is nothing.

"After two titles per season for the last three years there were zero titles this season, which in my philosophy means a really bad season. Maybe in the philosophy of a loser this was a great season, which I respect."

Its interesting this comes from a manager who wasn't able to steer Chelsea to the Champions league final and agreed he was able to win titles for Chelsea but you cannot ignore the fact that Avram Grant had the task of rebuilding the team and that too after the season had started.
Sour Grapes anyone?


Sir Alex to leave within 3years

Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United since 1986 has revealed his intention to leave Old Trafford within 3 years.He had a memorably season by winning the premiership and then edging Chelsea on penalties in the Champions League.
The Scot had previously announced plans to retire at the end of the 2001/02 season; however he made a dramatic U-turn in February 2002, agreeing to stay on at the club.
He now has said that he wants to retire before he turns 70(he's 66 right now).

"There is a time when you have to think about time for yourself. You know, my wife is getting older and I have to think about that.

"I think she deserves a bit of my time. The older you get, the more guilty you feel about it. What I would like to do in life is travel to places I have never been to. "

"There is no chance of me ever being sacked. I think it will be my decision and (chief executive)David Gill is happy with that."

Sir Alex has already hinted of his successor in the form of Carlos Queiroz who is currently the assistant manager.
Will United be the same ever again after his departure?


Benfica appoint former valencia man

Benfica have appointed former Valencia boss Quique Sanchez Flores as their new coach.This follows after the speculation of Carlos Queiroz(read here) taking over at Benefica amidst Sir Alex Ferguson's hints of his successor at Old Trafford and Manchester City manager,Sven Goran Eriksson moving from the Eastlands to the Estádio da Luz/Stadium of Light.
He replaces fellow Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho who stepped down in March.Flores was dismissed from the Mestalla last October and has signed a 2year deal.Its also worth mentioning that Benfica haven't qualified for this years champions league.
Will he be a hit after his dismal show at Valencia this past season?


Bye Bye Grant

Chelsea have confirmed that they have terminated the contract of the Israeli manager.

A statement on the club's official website read: "Chelsea football club can confirm that Avram Grant has had his contract terminated today (Saturday 24th May). This follows meetings over the last two days.

"Everybody at Chelsea FC would like to thank Avram for his contribution since taking over as manager last September.

"We will now be concentrating all our efforts on identifying a new manager for Chelsea and there will be no further comment until that appointment is made."

This comes a week after Chelsea's loss to Manchester United in the champions league courtesy the cruelest form of decision making,Penalties.There had been constant pressure on the manager after Jose Mourinho's exit in September.Grant although did surpass the "special one" with the runners up medal in the champions league.Also coming close to winning the Premiership but ending up as runners up.
Frank Rijkaard and Roberto Mancini are front runners to take the manager post at Stamford Bridge.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Spurs to bid for Anelka and SWP

Many papers in England report Tottenham Hotspurs boss Juande Ramos has bid for Nicolas Anelka and Shaun Wright Philips worth £15million and £10 million respectively.
Spurs have already lost Jermaine Defoe in the January transfer window and there have been constant speculation of Spurs losing Berbatov to many big clubs all over Europe.
Anelka had moved from Reebok to Stamford Bridge only this year and SWP had failed to be part of Avram Grant's plans this season and had not been much of a feature last season with Jose Mourinho.
It will be interesting to see what Chelsea's reaction and comments would be on this considering there are also reports of Schevchenko returning to Italy.And Drogba had fuelled speculation earlier when he wanted a change from Chelsea after Mourinho's shock exit.
Should Chelsea buy a forward in the transfer window?The question is,WHO will fit in?!

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Hleb set to leave the gunners?

The Sun reports that Alexander Hleb would leave Arsenal.
Hleb’s agent Niki Spilevski said: “I can officially confirm that a short time ago Alexander decided that he will leave Arsenal and join another club.
The reason being touted for his departure is more off the pitch than on the pitch considering Hleb had been part of Arsene Wenger's team for the whole season,he hates life in London.
The exit is not certain if the club does manage to convince him to stay.Arsenal have already suffered a jolt with Flamini leaving the Emirates for AC Milan.Hleb has played a decent role this season with many clinical passes even though he was not allowed to play the last two games of the season due to disciplinary problems.Arsenal although have been linked to two young French players to replace the gap created by the exit of Flamini.
Reports earlier in the season claimed that Barcelona are interested in the services of Hleb,it would be interesting to see if Arsene Wenger does manage to keep him or sees another young player leave.


Sir Alex Ferguson drops the biggest hint

Alex Ferguson has dropped the clearest hint yet that he views assistant Carlos Queiroz as his long-term replacement at Manchester United.
Post the UEFA champions league triumph over chelsea in a pulsating moscow night and the hoola hoop being wee bit overshadowed over Ronaldo offers from The Bernabeu which could range to the biggest deal EVER(aren't Real Madrid good at it anyway!)
Continuing with the topic and Sir Alex has always been quiet about his successor at Old Trafford until TODAY.
He had this to say:
"Carlos is well respected,"

"His preparation for the game on Wednesday, from all aspects, was fantastic.

"There has been a lot of talk about him recently and I am sure the Portugal job would be a big attraction for him.

"But I feel he is at his club here.

"What happens after I go is not my domain.

"But there is no doubt I think Carlos will be here for a long time. As long as me anyway."

Its to be noticed here that Carlos Quieroz had a stint with Real Madrid and has an influence on Cristiano Ronaldo,after the debacle at World cup between Ronaldo and Rooney.It would be interesting if after this we see another man in charge of the Red Devils when the season starts.