A look at the football news headlines today:
Inter Milan want to swap Adriano for Chelsea’s Ballack
The Italian press reports that Inter Milan are pushing for a loan swap deal with Chelsea for Adriano and Ballack. The move makes sense (hah!) in one sense because Chelsea will lose Drogba and Kalou to the African Nations Cup but on the other hand Chelsea will also lose Essien and Obi Mikel at that time and Ballack would be very much needed (I don’t think Mourinho is foolhardy enough to go with Sidwell and Lampard for January and February) at Chelsea.
Also, if Real Madrid’s interest is true, why would Ballack go to Italy when he can get a move to Real Madrid, the capital of all that is glam? Nothing personal, of course.
Best bet – Adriano will be pimped to someone else and Ballack will stay at Chelsea. Chelsea have categorically said that Ballack is at Chelsea till at least next summer, so let’s go with that, shall we?
Dani Alves deal with Chelsea was sealed
Dani Alves’ agent points the finger of blame at the Sevilla president by claiming that a deal between Chelsea and Sevilla was agreed before Real Madrid came in and Del Nido raised the price hoping to make more money, something that drove both Chelsea and Real Madrid away.
If this is true, then Del Nido is an ass and Real Madrid are the devil – by enticing Sevilla and getting them to push Chelsea away, they’ve effectively ensured that come next summer Chelsea won’t be after Dani Alves because they won’t willing to pay whatever Sevilla asks. Real Madrid, on the other hand, would pay Sevilla’s asking price which is quite likely to have dropped by 5 to 10 mil.
In terms of business, this is evil genius.
Wigan’s Heskey thinks England spot is his
Emile Heskey thinks that his two performances for England (where did little else but attract defenders like a magnet) mean that he deserves to start for England in October. It’s good to see Heskey have that sort of confidence, and surely him and Owen have a good partnership.
However, there are two players clearly better for that role, and two more players who should be getting a chance ahead of Heskey. Peter Crouch has a better goalscoring record and if nothing else he deserves a full game (although if Owen clicks better with Heskey then what can you do?) and Wayne Rooney, for what it’s worth, should be in the England starting XI at any cost (based on his performances for Manchester United last season, if nothing else).
And then there’s Dean Ashton and Darren Bent – two talented young English strikers who could play the target man role for England better than Heskey can.
McClaren has plenty of options to choose from – Heskey is perhaps in the frame, but definitely not in the top 4 candidates to partner Owen.
Eriksson digs Dunne
Manchester City boss Sven Goran Eriksson singled out his captain and star defender Richard Dunne for praise, saying that he has matured immeasurably in the last 4-5 years and has become an excellent well-rounded defender. Having seen Dunne play a couple of times for Manchester City (namely against Manchester United and Arsenal), I couldn’t agree more with Sven.
It’s to Manchester City’s credit that they’ve kept a quality defender like Dunne at the club for all this time, and with a new manager and a revamped squad, perhaps Dunne can lead Manchester City forward this season instead of struggling to save the season as in the years gone by.
McCarthy thinks Blackburn aren’t bullies
Blackburn’s Brian McCarthy is mad at people labeling Blackburn as a group of bullies and hatchet-men:
“We are footballers, not bullies. Football is a passing game which involves a lot of skill, technique and quality and we don’t try to spoil it.
We are an aggressive side and you build your body to make yourself stronger to overpower your opposition-It is a contact sport and you have to be strong. You can’t just cry, cry, cry. We are aggressive but we don’t bully teams or kick people.
We have got a winning spirit and give everything to win games but we don’t go out to break people’s legs or injure people.”
This would have made more sense had he said this before the Arsenal game, but against Chelsea? A team that specialises in overpowering their opposition (in a footballing sense)?
There are two ways any club can get the bully tag – one, if they’re actually bullies and two, if they’re an up and coming club that’s playing hard on and off the pitch. Acceptance can be a bitch, and when you ‘upset’ better teams you’re bound to be called on it. Blackburn and Bolton before them have done little wrong, and talking about it in the press will do Blackburn little good. They’re better off beating Chelsea at football – although that’s one game they’ll need all their “bullying” – sorry, aggressive instincts.
Newcastle United happy that big four missed Owen
It’s a question that I’ve asked a few times here at Soccerlens as well – how the hell did any of the big four ignore Michael Owen when looking for a new striker? Big Sam has the same question, and I think I can answer his question:
AC Milan after Bolton’s Anelka?
Well, someone has to eventually come for Anelka, don’t they? Somehow when Anelka says that he’s committed to staying at Bolton, you want to believe him but the cynic in you decides against it. However, since the top 4 don’t want him, that leaves Spain or Italy. I doubt he’ll go to Spain unless Valencia / Sevilla pick him up, although he could go to Juve or Milan next summer.
That’s it for today’s football news update. Make sure to check out the Premiership weekend preview and if you’re signed up for Soccerlens fantasy football, our SquadGod update.
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