December was notable for managerial changes as clubs prepared for the January transfer window and their chance to save their seasons. Real Madrid sacked Schuster and replaced him with Ramos, Blackburn fired Paul Ince and brought in Sam Allardyce while Roy Keane resigned from Sunderland leaving Ricky Sbragia in charge until the board appointed him as the permanent manager till summer 2010.
Ramos would go back to the Premier League to bring in reinforcements for Real Madrid, with Lassana Diarra his first signing and Ashley Young”> also a target for the Spanish champions.
Karim Benzema used the old ‘my mother wants me to go’ excuse to voice his desire to go Madrid while at the same time committing to Lyon till the end of the season, while Andrei Arshavin kept begging Champions League clubs to
pay him lotsa money take him away from his Russian misery and Santa Cruz kept angling for a move away from Blackburn, but his target club Manchester City were doing no better in the league either.
Arsenal were rocked by a long-term injury to Fabregas, prompting concerns that an already-weakened midfield could not cope with the demands of a Premier League without their talismanic captain. The game in which Fabregas got injured saw Arsenal draw 1-1 with Liverpool at the Emirates while Chelsea failed to beat Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
Manchester United would travel halfway across the world to play in the FIFA Club World Cup with the tournament getting both criticism and praise. United would win the CWC 1-0 against Liga de Quito but the main concern was if the team’s performances in the league would suffer as a result.
Elsewhere – Beckham completed his loan move to Milan, FIFA formally confirmed that a ‘Great Britain’ football team at the 2012 Olympics would not jeopardise the international status of Scotland and the rest, the Champions League and UEFA Cup draws were announced and the FA finally gave a verdict on the Evra-Bethell case from last season.
Back to Soccerlens’ 2008 Review.