The thing that has caused the most amount of debate between football fans this week is the Carling Cup ties- you can read more about that here. Apart from that, there are always things happening in the Premiership- some of the most important events are mentioned below.
1. Chelsea and Obi Mikel’s 3-match ban
Yesterday I told you that John Obi Mikel’s three match ban for the straight red was upheld; Chelsea have decided to appeal against charges for other incidents related to the red card- both their players and assistant manager Steve Clarke may be in trouble should their appeals be rejected too. The players have been charged for their behaviour towards referee Mike Dean after Obi Mikel was sent off; captain John Terry even tried to grab the red card shown, and Chelsea will be lucky to get away with their on-field antics. Steve Clarke was charged with “using abusive and/or insulting words towards the match officials”, so all in all not a very good match at Old Trafford for the London side.
2. Sunderland sign Musampa
Although the transfer window is closed until January, clubs can still sign players without a contract (ie free agents). Manager Roy Keane has done that, picking up midfielder Kiki Musampa on a trial basis; the Dutch international player will join Sunderland if all goes well. Musampa will be familiar to Premiership fans- he previously played for Manchester City on loan from Atletico Madrid, and as he put in some assured displays Sunderland fans should be happy to see Keane adding more quality to the side.
3. Hiddink for Chelsea?
Although Chelsea came out a few days ago saying that they were confident in Avram Grant, today’s interview with Russia manager Guus Hiddink suggests not. Hiddink has done great things with national sides Korean and Australia, and is currently the Russian manager as well as a supposedly great friend of Abramovich. Hiddink claimed that Abramovich offered him the job, asking him “What do you want?” However, he turned it down, stating that he wanted to focus on Russia’s quest to qualify for Euro 2008. Chelsea fans would probably have been happier with Hiddink, who is a proven manager at the top level; it appears that Grant is here to stay though, although current Manchester City manager and ex-England favourite Sven-Goran Eriksson has been sneakily linked with the job by some members of the press…
4. Manchester United after Marek Hamsik?
Yes, the transfer window is closed as I mentioned above; that does not stop all the speculation though. Manchester United is the club linked; Marek Hamsik is the player. Hamsik is a Slovakian international that currently plays for Italian side Napoli in Serie A; his fine performances in recent weeks have caused him to be linked with the Red Devils by the Italian press.
The fee will be a reported £12.6 million (18m euros), and should it go through United will continue their plan of buying players that can continue for the next decade. Hamsik’s agent Juraj Venglos was ‘delighted’ with the interest, stating “Hamsik has made another step forward which has made the public take notice and without any doubt he will make another step in the future”. While few that follow the Premiership will have heard of him, could this be yet another good Fergie buy?
5. Martin Jol wants to keep Tottenham stable
Spurs are once again in the press; Martin Jols speaks out, saying that sacking him would be a mistake. Jol has come under fire in recent weeks after Tottenham have picked up just 5 points out of a possible 21 in their first seven games; with reports even suggesting that the Tottenham management had approached current Sevilla manager Juande Ramos to manage the club.
Chairman Daniel Levy insisted that he wanted an improvement from last season after giving Jol around £40 million to spend in the summer; most would interpret that as wanting a top four place. With the poor start Tottenham have had, that looks unlikely- which is why Jol has called for calmness, quite rightly pointing out that no managers in recent history had done this with the club.
Editor: Actually, Tottenham officially announced that their ambition this season was a top-4 spot.
6. Newcastle United lose Shola Ameobi to injury
More injury news for Newcastle; striker Shola Ameobi will be out for an unknown period of time. The 25-year old picked up a groin injury in the 2-0 loss to Arsenal in the Carling Cup, and will hope that yet another setback does not affect his career too much. Although Ameobi was fourth choice in Newcastle’s striking order (Martins, Viduka and Owen being ahead of him) they were heading into a time when they could have used him- especially with Owen’s recent injury. With Martins heading off to the African Cup of Nations in January, Newcastle will hope that Ameobi is fit to play before then; they could struggle otherwise.
7. Liverpool want to copy Arsenal
After Arsenal’s financial reports showed how much moving into a bigger stadium can benefit a club, Liverpool chairman Rick Parry wants to get a move on quickly. Liverpool plan to build a new stadium in Stanley Park and are still in the planning stage; Parry made it clear that the quicker the move, the better it will be for the club. Moving to the new stadium would not just give the club more money; it would also allow more loyal fans to watch their team. All football fans know the power a full crowd at Anfield has- the new stadium will allow much, much more. Parry spoke about this at the launch of the new Liverpool TV channel; another scheme that will bring in money to the club.
Today on Soccerlens:
- Carling Cup Round 3: Arsenal dump Newcastle, Manchester United crash out, Chelsea, Liverpool and Blackburn power through
- Fergie messed up against Coventry / Manchester United can top table on weekend
- Grab Your Balls to Release the Anger Trapped Inside You
- Bad Coaching Cost Americans World Cup Glory
- Will removing Jol create instability at Tottenham?
- Top 4 vs Rest of England: Is the Gap Widening?
- La Liga week 5 – Barcelona play better without Ronny and Eto’o
- Video Evidence That Football Desperately Needs Video Technology