A quick review of the latest news this morning surrounding Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and the rest.
The English FA have upheld the 3-match bans for Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes, putting them out of the Charlton, Watford and Tottenham games. Conspiracy theorists will argue that the Manchester United players were being used to set an example against ‘violent conduct’ in the 2006/2007 season, but even if you try being objective about it the whole thing is stupid.
In the aftermath of this incident, Rooney will be under pressure from all sides to curb his temper. Opposition players will play-act just a bit extra after coming into contact with the balls-stamping Red, and referees will be stricter with him. It’s not an easy situation to deal with for a young striker who already has the hopes of Manchester United riding on his shoulders but at the very least he has Ferguson to guide him through it.
Still no word on the supposed interest in Diarra, while the media continues to link Hargreaves to Manchester United and Senna is still waiting for his ‘dream transfer’ to Manchester United. Any move for Hargreaves will take place tomorrow (as England are playing in a friendly today with Hargreaves being involved) but it looks highly unlikely that Ferguson has that much money to spend (Hargreaves could easily be 10+ mil, considering that he has 4 years left in his contract).
Manchester United are expecting to have all their players (except for Michael Carrick) fit for the clash against Fulham on Sunday. With Rooney and Scholes cleared to play, Sunday will our first look at what Ferguson has planned for Manchester United this season. Carrick’s place in the midfield will most likely be taken by Giggs (although Smith / O’Shea are also possibilities) while Saha will partner Rooney up front.
Guiseppe Rossi has stated his desire to return to Italy at some time in his career and play in the Serie A. As long as you can score 100+ goals for us in the next 5 years and will command a 30 mil transfer fee, we’d be happy to sell you mate. I can’t imagine Manchester United wanting to sell Rossi though as he is part of the ‘future’ that Ferguson is trying to build.
Essien has a broken wrist while Ballack is injured as well, but both are hopeful to return for Chelsea’s first match of the season on Saturday.
John Terry (Chelsea and England captain) is itching to imprint his style on the England lineup. Read about it here.
Jose Mourinho talks about the upcoming season – and some very interesting points come up.
You can read Chelsea’s 2006/2007 season preview.
Also, follow up on the explosive discussion started yesterday by our author Soupdragon2 – 77 replies in a day and the vitriol keeps pouring in.
Norman Hubbard talks about Arsenal’s supposed defensive crisis and comes to the conclusion that Wenger’s transfer policy has meant that Arsenal have the resources to cope with the loss of Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell.
The one thing that may cause Arsenal problems is a lack of numbers, but the money from the Cole and Reyes sales should be enough to allow Wenger to buy a defender and possibly a central midfielder as well.
No moves on the Reyes / Cole front as yet. Reyes is due back in London today (from Spain where he was playing an international friendly) and his move should go through this week. Cole gets out of his England commitments tomorrow, so hopefully his mess shall be concluded soon enough.
Bottom line – there are 15 days left till the end of the transfer period, and if Arsenal (like United) need to buy, they should move now.
Irony of comic proportions. Theo Walcott scores on his debut against Moldova with a 3′ minute goal. The England U-21 side eventually drew 2-2, but Walcott’s goal will give Eriksson-haters even more ammo.
Dean Ashton should learn to keep his mouth shut. After three days of talking to the press about how he was determined to make a permanent place from himself in the England lineup, the West Ham striker has a broken ankle and is out till mid-November. By then, Rooney should be cleared of all bans and the Manchester United striker will be leading the line, leaving the one lone space beside him for players such as Crouch, Owen, Defoe and Bent (not to mention Walcott) to fight for.
Photos from England’s training session, courtesy of BBC Sport.
Manchester City have finally sold Sylvain Distin to Middlesbrough, and the player is now left to agree personal terms with Southgate’s club.
You think you have problems? Van der Meyde has some very sick and twisted people after him. First, he drink gets ‘spiked’, and now his house is robbed and his dog is taken for ransom (the burglars decided to abandon the mini-cooper and porsche – in hindsight a smart move).