Today’s most interesting news:
1. Wenger won’t spend big next year
“I’d be happy to go into next season with the same squad because we are in a growing process.
The temptation is always there to spend but I’m more concerned with developing the young players.
I don’t think we need a big investment.”
[Source: Sky Sports]
Not much to say on that except that Wenger is right – the current squad needs more time and Arsenal should stick with them.
However, bringing in 3-4 experienced players (keeper if Lehmann leaves, otherwise a defender, a midfielder and a striker) is necessary if Arsenal want to challenge for the Premiership. They don’t need to spend big though.
2. Uefa asks United fans to tone down their drinking
UEFA has asked Manchester United to warn travelling supporters to cut down on their drinking ahead of the Champions League semi-final trip to face AC Milan next month.
UEFA spokesman William Gaillard:
“There are no special concerns about the game in Milan. It is a different city, a different stadium and a different team. There was trouble in Seville last week but none on Tuesday when Chelsea played Valencia.
If everyone behaves in a proper way, we should have a smooth sailing but Manchester United has to brief its fans and tell them what is appropriate.
There has been a problem with drink and it would be nice if the supporters were advised not to do it. I realise this is a difficult thing but people are putting themselves at risk because they stop behaving in a rational way. UEFA are still investigating what happened in Rome, so we have to be careful, but there is shared responsibility for most situations, even if there is not equal responsibility.”
[Source: The Scotsman]
While I don’t think that drinking is the primary cause here, it is a convenient scapegoat. The big question is – what about the drunk fans in England? Or do fans only drink when they’re outside England?
3. La Liga title race heats up
Real Madrid have a chance to top the La Liga table on Saturday if they beat Racing Santander away. Barca and Sevilla play on Sunday, and if Madrid win it’ll be interesting to see how the other two react.
Barca play Real Mallorca at home so they should get through the weekend with a win (although Deco (personal reasons), Ronaldinho (illness) and Samuel Eto’o (tendinitis) may not play), but Sevilla have the tougher game as they travel to Valencia on Sunday.
4. Schuster signs pre-contract agreement with Real Madrid?
Soccernet have either outdone The Sun or they’re first to the big news. According to them, Bernd Schuster’s representatives have confirmed to DPA (Deutsche Presse-Agentur – a German news agency) that Real Madrid have signed Schuster on a pre-contract agreement that will require the party canceling the agreement to pay 1m Euros as comepnsation.
Bernd Schuster has done well at Getafe and is well-loved at Real Madrid. So was Capello, mind you.
Schuster is expected to take on July 1st.
This is the best bit from the article:
“In March, Schuster boosted his stock with the Madridstas when he lambasted out-of-favour Capello.
‘Capello only wants to win, it does not matter how, and with that philosophy you will never succeed at Real Madrid,’ he said.
‘It is practically certain he won’t be coach of Real Madrid next season.’
Since then Schuster has been involved with planning Madrid’s summer transfer campaign – demanding any plans of sell defender Fabio Cannavaro are shelved, approving a move for Germany international Christophe Metzelder and suggesting £50m is decent price for Cristiano Ronaldo.”
5. Is the Premiership the best?
People are not happy with success – they need to question it and rationalise it, as if success alone is not enough and we need to discredit it as well.
>Gabriel Marcotti from SI.com tries to figure out why the Premiership clubs are so strong in Europe this season. His basic argument? Money, stability and luck. He’s probably right about luck 🙂
Kevin Fylan from Reuters thinks that it’s the European influence on United, Pool and Chelsea that’s got them going this season. An interesting read.
- Mourinho wants Crespo back at Chelsea. Early next year Chelsea will be without Kalou and Drogba (and Essien and Mikel) as these guys go to play in the African Nations Cup. I think Mourinho wouldn’t mind another striker coming in instead of Crespo sticking around either.
- Roy Keane’s Sunderland can expect to have plenty of cash to spend next season thanks to sponsor deals regardless of whether they get promoted or not.
- Kahn bitches about his teammates not giving 100% against Milan. Boo hoo.
- With Blackburn and Watford not able to sell out all of their tickets for the FA Cup semis, people are starting to worry if semi-finals from next year at the Wembley will be played in front of half-empty stadiums. My take: People will pay, it’s nothing to worry about, although yes, some ticket prices may have to be reduced.
- Stan Kroenke owns around 11 percent of Arsenal shares. 9.9% from ITV, and just over 1% shares that were sold by Danny Fiszman recently to an unknown buyer (which has now been confirmed as Kroenke Sports Enterprises (KSE)). Here’s the full story.
- People are getting worried that an all-England Champions League will cause security concerns, but let’s be realistic about this, shall we? We’ll know on 1st May (When Milan play United in the second leg), and there will be 20 days after that to prepare for the event. Nothing to worry about yet.
- Blessed are the Water Carriers
- SHOCK! HORROR! Ronaldo signs 5-yr contract for Manchester United at LESS than 140,000/week
- Let’s replace Martin Jol with a real Tottenham legend