Posts Tagged ‘AC Milan’

Transfer records went tumbling on deadline day yesterday. I expected a lot of activity but the amount of money that was thrown around really surprised me. January transfer window is usually full of speculation but very little transfer activity takes place. Mid-Season transfer are considered to be risky and unless there is an emergency clubs usually stay away from buying. Even players like Nemanja Vidic have struggled to make an impact immediately after coming in during the January transfer window.

The most high profile transfer was that Fernando Torres to Chelsea.The Blues also signed David Luiz from Benfica. The Luiz transfer had been going on and off the entire window, but I think it was a necessity for the Londoners to sign a Center Back given their lack of cover in the area. Chelsea fans would now love to see the back of Paulo Ferreira.

Once auditioned for a role as Side Show Bob.

Considering Liverpool’s position at the moment, I expected Torres to leave Liverpool soon. But I never expected him to hand in a transfer request 3 days before the window shuts. Torres has not been great this season but then again their whole team is struggling badly. The arrival of Dalglish has made a difference but it seems it wasn’t enough for Torres. One can’t blame Torres for wanting to leave but the manner in which he has left would have certainly angered the Liverpool supporters. A £50million offer was too good to refuse as far as Liverpool were concerned (and we privately agree, £50million for a player who is crocked so often?).

LFC fans surely feel let down by a man they called a Club Legend

Let us get down to the most mind boggling transfer in the history of transfers – Andy Carroll. I think he has been excellent this season. But £35millon?? £35millon for a player who has only 41 appearances in the league has 14 goals! This is the 8TH most expensive transfer in football – more expensive than World Cup winning David Villa. Andy Carroll (and every other English player still active in the world) has no idea what a World Cup medal looks like. Andy Carroll – much like his most expensive English brethren also suffers from disciplinary issues off the pitch. We clearly see him following in the path of Rooney, Ferdinand and Gerrard in that sense.

If he's worth 35 million, how much is Ronaldo or Messi worth?

This clearly is a panic buy from Liverpool. The Merseysiders are seventh in the league. Regardless of who they sign (barring maybe Messi) they are not going to get into the Champions League. Why spend so heavily in the January window when you have to pay twice the price?  Also Dalglish doesn’t seem like the kind of manager who would approve this kind of transfer which makes you wonder how much say he has over transfers.

Final Verdict regarding these two transfers- I have a feeling Torres won’t make that big an impact at Chelsea like many think he will. I think Chelsea needed a creative midfielder more than a striker. It will be interesting to see where he plays, probably Anelka will be dropped. He will score goals but I doubt he will be able to justify the £50million Chelsea has paid for him. He will not be available for the Sunderland game which means he could make his debut against Liverpool! It will be a real heated game.

Darrent Bent went to Aston Villa for £24million.So Carroll who is younger should fetch more than that. Only if you apply that kind of logic will this transfer make sense. This is a lot of pressure on a young player. After all he is only 22.He could crumble under the weight of expectation. But if keeps his head Liverpool have a good player in hand. But like Torres, I think he will struggle to justify the £35millon transfer fee.

In one corner of Manchester, some people are really happy that some other club is paying ridiculous prices for players who aren’t quite up there. City have been surprisingly pretty quiet throughout this transfer window, splashing £27 million pounds in the direction of Edin Dzeko, which looking at all the other transfers in this window seems like a well thought out, measured and financially prudent move.

 

Transfer Round-up

Tottenham went on a rampage in the last 3 days bidding over 30 million for nearly  every single striker playing in La Liga and got rejected by all.Harry Redknapp is not too happy about it. Peter Crouch was video taped doing The Robot outside White Hart Lane.

Denilson last night shocked the football world and Arsenal supporters by demanding a move away from Arsenal.He later on changed his mind after the best bid he received was  £5.99 from Crawley town! Crawley then withdrew the bid thinking it was over priced.

Rangers have signed Kyles Bartley and El-Hadji Diouf on loan. Glad to see Diouf leave the premier league. Fulham have signed Eidur Gudjohnsen on loan and Aston Villa have secured Michael Bradley on loan till the end of the season. Paul Konchesky joined Nottingham Forrest on loan. Daniel Sturridge moved to Bolton on loan.

Seria A

Lot of transfer has taken place in Seria A.The best signing has to be that of Antonio Cassano by AC Milan. Milan have also signed Emanuelson from Ajax, Van bommel and Nicola Legrottaglie from Juventus.

Inter Milan made 2 excellent signings in the January window.They have signed Pazzini from Sampdoria and Andrea Ranocchia from Genoa.This will certainly help their squad.

La Liga

No major news in La Liga. Adebayor of course moved to Real Madrid on loan. Also don’t forget that Ibrahim Affelay’s transfer from PSV to Barcelona went through during this transfer window.

 

The draws are out and Arsene Wenger will probably be wishing he kept his mouth shut.

Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk

AC Milan v Tottenham

Valencia v Schalke

Inter Milan v Bayern Munich

Lyon v Real Madrid

Arsenal v Barcelona

Marseille v Manchester United

Copenhagen v Chelsea
We’ve watched most of these ties last season. Last seasons two finalists get it on and Munich have a shot at revenge which they’ll most likely get. Tottenham get to face the other team from Milan and they’ll find themselves at familiar ground when they go back to the San Siro.

Arsenal draw Barcelona. Nuff said.

 

 

The week has been pretty good for the top 4. Wait, I think its best to say top 3, don’t know who the fourth is – Tottenham, City or Liverpool? I think we’ll give it to Spurs considering they DID finish fourth last season. But if Spurs are included, then they had their ups and they had their downs as well.

Weekend was United versus Spurs and within 3 minutes of the game Park Ji Sung hit the upright. I was expecting a flowing game and it came. Lets be quite honest, I was on the edge up until Nani scored United’s second. Perhaps one of the most controversial goals ever scored in the Premier League era, but in my opinion it was a legitimate goal. Clattenburg made an absolute meal of it. He has it in for United versus Spurs game – Pedro Mendes’ goal being disallowed, giving United a penalty in the 2006/7 season incorrectly and then failing to give Spurs one even though Gary Neville was holding on to Chimbonda in the penalty box.

Clattenburg made a complete mess of things

The goal was good though. However what I really noticed was that Nani had to be told by Scholes to shoot. Some of you may say it wasn’t sportsman like behaviour for Scholes to ask Nani to shoot. I don’t know about that, but what I’d really like to draw your attention to is the fact that Scholes brain works really really quickly.

While perhaps all the other players on the pitch were pretty sure that it was a free kick, it was Scholes who realised that the ref hadn’t blown the whistle therefore the game was still in play due to the advantage given to Spurs (either that or he understood what Clattenburg meant with his shrug). Its fantastic how he figured it out in the heat of the game, but then we all know he has a cool head on his shoulders except when he needs to make a tackle.

Chelsea won away at Blackburn which was definitely a tough fixture and Arsenal managed to win in the dying moments of the game against West Ham. The Hammers would have been quite disappointed especially after Robert Green making some fantastic saves during the game. Nonetheless, Song managed to win it in the end for Arsenal and therefore they remain second in the Premier League standings 5 points behind Chelsea and on level with United but with better goal difference (+2).

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Gareth Bale rips apart Inter Milan again

Bale ripped apart Inter Milan in the first leg at the San Siro but since the final result was Inter 4 – 3 Spurs, it wasn’t talked about too much. Bale then repeated his performance at White Hart Lane in front of the Tottenham faithful and I’ll bet they’d love to make a DVD out of this!

Humbler of Maicon

Beating the reigning European Champions can have a very satisfying feeling. But absolutely hammering the reigning European Champions gives you a sense of euphoria. Spurs are pretty sure to go through barring some unforgivable mistakes.

Credit to Harry Redknapp for always playing attacking football and you see the results. Bale absolutely ripped apart Maicon twice and has trampled all over his reputation of being the best right back in the world. Rafael Da Silva (Manchester United’s young full back, also Brazilian) did a much better job of containing Bale at Old Trafford.

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Other Champions League shizz bizz..

Real Madrid managed to draw 2-2 against AC Milan at the San Siro. Two goals by Pippo Inzaghi (the second one was perhaps offside.. then again he was born offside, wasn’t he?) for Milan and a goal each from Higuain and Pedro Leon (in the end) to put Madrid through to the group stages. Still unbeaten in Europe, Real Madrid.

Group G

Teams Pld Pts
1 Real Madrid CF Real Madrid 4 10
2 AC Milan Milan 4 5
3 AFC Ajax Ajax 4 4
4 AJ Auxerre Auxerre 4 3

Arsenal missed a brilliant chance to cement their place in the last 16 of the Competition after losing 2-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk. The Gunners went in front through Walcott and then were 1-1 due to an Eastmond own goal. Following this Eduardo came back to haunt his old club (as I mentioned he might). 2-1 to Shakhtar on the night, although Arsenal are still favourites to go through.

Group H

Teams Pld Pts
1 Arsenal FC Arsenal 4 9
2 FC Shakhtar Donetsk Shakhtar Donetsk 4 9
3 SC Braga Braga 4 6
4 FK Partizan Partizan 4 0

Chelsea has booked its place in the last sixteen and don’t really have much to worry about having conceded only 1 goal in the European encounters. The battle for second between Spartak Moskva and Marseille will be interesting after Marseille hit Zilina for 7.

Bayern Munich also are assured of a last 16 place after getting maximum points from their four games in Group E. Roma are second with six points.

Barcelona drew 1-1 at Kobenhavn with Jesper Gronkjaer pretty much running through Barcelona and “holding his own in the battle of number tens”, as the commentator said. They’re on 8, Copenhagen are on 7 points. On our blog we had expected Rubin Kazan to go through but Copenhagen seems to be favourites to take the second place in Group D.

In Group C Manchester United are on 10 points and Valencia on 7. This seems pretty much like what we expected it to be.

Group A is pretty much wide open. There’s no room for error in that group.

Group A

Teams Pld Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur FC Tottenham 4 7
2 FC Internazionale Milano Internazionale 4 7
3 FC Twente Twente 4 5
4 SV Werder Bremen Bremen 4 2

 

Spurs are on 7, Inter on 7. Twente on 5. I think its pretty safe to say that Bremen are not going to go through although it isn’t impossible either. You never know what happens in the Champions League though.

 

Drawchester United

Man United have done it again. They have drawn another match. This time against West Bromwich Albion at home! Thus far they have won all their home games and drawn all away games. But now they’ve started drawing the home games as well. Excellent! Just what the doctor ordered.

Costly Van der Sar error saw West Brom take a point at Old Trafford

The worrying thing for a United fan is the fact that they still haven’t played the tougher teams in the Premier League. Granted, given Sunderland’s current form, they are one of the better teams in the league, but they still haven’t played Man City, Spurs or Villa which are bound to be tougher than the likes of WBA. They have played Liverpool and home and won, and played Everton away and drawn. I don’t think this is good enough. In the 2008-09 season United didn’t have a great record against the other big four teams, but hammered smaller opponents, thereby amassing 90 points in the season and taking the title.

United are still unbeaten in the league, but that’s little consolation and so long as Man City are above them in the league (as is the case now) United fans will worried.

Fighting Blackpool

Every once in a while you see a team come up from the Championship and play exciting football. Blackpool are doing just that. They played Man City at Bloomfield over the weekend and boy were they unlucky to lose. Tevez had a goal given to him which should have been ruled as offside and Taylor Fletcher had a goal disallowed after incorrectly being ruled offside. The final score was 3-2 and David Silva scored a beautiful third goal amongst all this chaos.

Blackpool really looked threatening and for a while it seemed that all the money City pumped in had gone to waste. City were really lucky to win the game. I feel sorry for Blackpool because for teams like them, every point counts and could save them from taking the drop.

Teams like Stoke came up from the Championship and they decided NOT TO LOSE, whereas Blackpool decided to WIN. The strategies are different, but if the end result is the same (staying on in the Premier League) then the manager and the team, both, have achieved something worth remembering. You could argue that its boring watching teams like Stoke play. The Stoke board will tell you that they’d rather have boring football on display than earn lesser revenue by going back down to the Championship.

Chelsea held at Villa

Didier Drogba didn’t play the game and therefore my Fantasy Football gameweek went for a toss. The result was a pretty fair one in my opinion and I don’t think Chelsea will be too disappointed about getting only a point at Villa. Ancelotti certainly isn’t disappointed.

Jack Wilshere’s dark side

Poor Arsene Wenger. He goes on and on about bad tackles and then suddenly one of his own players lunges in with a really dangerous tackle on Zigic. Arsene Wenger has been very vocal in his criticism of dangerous tackles by other players on his own team and this time when the tables were turned, didn’t come off so strong.

Welcome to the Dark Side. We have cookies.

“We know Jack Wilshere is not a dirty player, but it does show you players can mistime in this hurly burly game in football. Everybody has to recognise that.” – Arsene Wenger

But when Paul Scholes does it, it means he has a dark side. Hypocrisy much, Mr Wenger?

It was a bad tackle and its a good thing Zigic wasn’t injured, Alex McLeish would have cried after spending 6 million on his transfer from Valencia.

Merseyside is blue

Everton absolutely pushed Liverpool out of the game. It was a really dominating performance from Everton and they deservedly ended up winning 2-0. Goals from Cahill and Arteta settled the encounter, Arteta’s strike being fantastic (not that Cahill’s goal wasn’t good in itself). Arteta (once upon a time, England’s midfield hope) and Cahill pulled all the strings in midfield making Liverpool’s summer signing of Meireles seem completely pointless.

Liverpool played two Defensive Midfielders – Meireles and Lucas and were still not able to get the ball enough. Steven Gerrard had to occasionally track back and anchor midfield. Yakubu looked three times a better striker than Fernando Torres, and its not everyday that something like that happens.

Let’s be honest, Everton ran out winners and deserved it.

Barcelona versus Valencia

Barcelona versus Valencia was the clash of the weekend in La Liga and was a really really good match. Barcelona were dominating the game in the second half with the score at 1-1. Barca won the game in the end with a commanding header from Puyol. Final score there was 2-1 to Barca. Iniesta and Puyol on the scoresheet for Barca and Pablo Hernandez for Valencia.

Real Madrid absolutely hammered Malaga with Ronaldo scoring a brace and two from Higuain as well. Higuain’s goals were set up by Ronaldo as well so its fair to say that he was probably the player of the match.

Ronaldo and Higuain celebrate after the first goal against Malaga

 

With that win, Real go on top of La Liga thanks to Valencia’s loss and Villareal drawing 2-2 away at Hercules (who seem to be giving a headache to the big teams). Sevilla also lost to Sporting Gijon which was quite unexpected.

Waaazaaa Wazza?

Wayne Rooney has reportedly refused to sign a new contract with Manchester United. All the newspapers have tipped him to make a move away from Old Trafford and claim that he has had a bust up with Sir Alex.

I’ll give you my two cents on the entire thing. It is too bad if Wayne Rooney wants to leave Manchester United. He’s a good player going through a bad patch, but he needs to be a little bit more mature when dealing with people and the media (especially).

Sir Alex has his best interests at heart and has tried to focus attention away from Rooney and he keeps bringing the spotlight back on to himself. He countered Sir Alex’s story that his ankle had a problem which was why he was going through a bad patch and said instead that his ankle was absolutely fine.

There’s no doubt that Sir Alex would’ve been furious with Wayne Rooney for this and perhaps it was one of the reasons Rooney started on the bench against West Brom.

I read elsewhere that Rooney is holding out for 200,000 Euro a week on his new contract which seems quite ridiculous considering he’s getting 120,000 Euro a week now. Apparently United offered him170,000 which seems quite fair to me.

Rooney needs to grow up.

Tonight’s Champions League clashes

For those of you who are in India and wondering which games will be telecast by TEN tonight –

Shakhtar Donetsk versus Arsenal on TEN Sports at 00.00 hours

Real Madrid versus AC Milan on TEN Action at 00.00 hours

Spartak Moskva versus Chelsea on TEN Action at 21.30 hours

We pulled out our prediction hats and we’re going to tell you who we think will qualify from the group stages of the Champions League. Its a little difficult to say who will go beyond that because the draws for the knock out stages aren’t done like in the World Cup.

So here we go..

Group A: Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, Tottenham, FC Twente

Nishanth – Inter Milan and Werder Bremen

Keshav – Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspurs

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Group B: Lyon, Benfica, Schalke, Hapoel Tel-Aviv

Nishanth – Benfica and Schalke

Keshav – Lyon and Benfica

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Group C: Manchester United, Valencia, Rangers, Bursaspor

Nishanth – Rangers and Bursaspor [Haha, no.. Manchester United and Valencia]

Keshav – Manchester United and Rangers

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Group D: Barcelona, Panathinaikos, Copenhagen, Rubin Kazan

Nishanth – Barcelona and Rubin Kazan

Keshav – Barcelona and Rubin Kazan

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Group E: Bayern Munich, Roma, Basel, CFR Cluj

Nishanth – Bayern Munich and Roma

Keshav – Bayern Munich and Roma

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Group F: Chelsea, Marseille, Spartak Moscow, Zilina

Nishanth – Chelsea and Marseille

Keshav – Chelsea and Marseille

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Group G: AC Milan, Real Madrid, Ajax, Auxerre

Nishanth – AC Milan and Real Madrid

Keshav – AC Milan and Real Madrid

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Group H: Arsenal, Shakhtar Donetsk, Braga, Partizan Belgrade

Nishanth – Arsenal and Braga

Keshav – Arsenal and Shakhtar Donetsk

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This is not in any order. We’re not predicting who’ll finish top of their group or anything. These are the teams we think who will make it out of their groups. And also the final is to be played at Wembley in May.

The Champions League draws were announced last night. Some of you might have had no idea, but the rest of us were eagerly anticipating the aforementioned draw.

Champions League 2010/11 groups

Group A: Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, Tottenham, FC Twente
Group B: Lyon, Benfica, Schalke, Hapoel Tel-Aviv
Group C: Manchester United, Valencia, Rangers, Bursaspor
Group D: Barcelona, Panathinaikos, Copenhagen, Rubin Kazan
Group E: Bayern Munich, Roma, Basel, CFR Cluj
Group F: Chelsea, Marseille, Spartak Moscow, Zilina
Group G: AC Milan, Real Madrid, Ajax, Auxerre
Group H: Arsenal, Shakhtar Donetsk, Braga, Partizan Belgrade

Spurs would’ve hoped for a slightly easier group in their European outing but Peter Crouch says he relishes the pressure, lets see how that one turns out.

Group B is also not very easy to decide, but based on Lyon’s performance last season in the same competition, you would fancy them to get out of their group.

United has a relatively good group. The Rangers clash will be noisy for sure. Police trouble perhaps in Manchester? Valencia is the other big team in that group, but without David Villa or Silva, will they go far?

Group D has Barcelona written on it all the way.

Group E is relatively straightforward, you would expect Munich and Roma to get out of their groups, but I’m never sure when it comes to Roma.

Chelsea will be travelling quite a bit in Group F, but its an easy one for sure.

Group G is the win. AC Milan and Real Madrid clash. Be there or else jump in a well.

Eduardo will make a return to the Emirates courtesy their Group H draw with Arsenal. It will be quite amazing if he scores at the Emirates, I’m not so sure the Arsenal fans would mind that either, provided they’re 12-0 up and there’s only 1 minute remaining. Actually, even then, I’m sure Fabianski/Almunia is capable of coming up with something amazing and letting Shakhtar win.

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Arsene Wenger has come out and accused Stoke of playing Rugby rather than football. Most of us still remember Shawcross’ horrible tackle on Aaron Ramsey. Now, let me just make it clear that I’m not saying Stoke plays fair. But they aren’t the only team like that.

Arsenal has a clash against Blackburn coming up. Sam Allardyce’s teams are often the most physical. I’d love to see Fabianski/Almunia deal with Samba during a corner.

The thing is, Arsene, you KNOW that these teams aren’t going to be easy physically. Why don’t you breed a team that can compete physically as well? I don’t think the team that consisted of Vieira, Keown and Adams et al would have come second best in a physical battle.

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